Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Building the Energy

For the next few days we're headed toward the deep freeze with temps in the single digits and below zero. Then, by the weekend, it's predicted that we'll be back up to the low 30s. Needless to say, the current community conversation is that we'll have no ice road to Madeline Island this winter.

I had a slow start to the day. I missed last night's movie (American Outrage, 2008) but arrived in time for the Conversation Cafe that followed. It was a painful discussion since the documentary was about two aging Western Shoshone sisters who had their horses and cattle confiscated by federal marshals for the crime of grazing them on the open range outside their private ranch. One minor problem: that range is recognized by the U.S. as Western Shoshone land.

The real reason for the harrassment of the Dann sisters eventually emerged: the government wished to secure lands containing the second largest gold producing area in the world. As Eric Cheyfitz, director of the American Indian Program, Cornell University, states on the DVD case: This "eloquent testament to the courage of the Dann sisters" is "an important document for those who want to understand the ongoing resistance of Native peoples to U.S. colonialism in Indian country."

Through our movie and discussion nights we're discovering that it's important to share information, engage in conversation, and educate ourselves and each other about the ways in which the government supports the rights of corporations over the rights of its citizens. As our resources decline, this fact becomes more and more obvious. It's also obvious that it's important for all U.S. citizens to become more educated, active, and inclusive of others (especially those who have less of a voice in this culture).

So, it was a long day yesterday which led to my slow beginnings today. I did my T'ai Chi Chih practice late morning in order to energize and gear myself up for my afternoon at the library. I do feel better and more prepared for whatever comes during the remainder of this day. And so, I'm off....

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