11 November 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, This writer has returned to school to become a counselor.

 I had stated my reason for returning to school is to help survivors of trauma through the wounds that do not show. Soldiers and military families are left picking up the pieces of human tragedy long after the fanfare dies down and the media has again turned away. I worked as a UN journalist and in UN Television; many people asked me how I could leave a workplace dedicated to building peace to work with soldiers. I try to explain simply that a soldier knows better than most the true price of war. Native soldiers are disproportionately recruited to fight for protecting our country. The first to give.

Our country does not then stand for our veterans beyond lip service and sales on Veterans day and Memorial day.  Armistace Day began as the first World war to end all wars came to a close- only that war did not end all wars, and we have been creating new Veterans constantly.   Some come home without injury, thank goodness. Some do not come home, some bear scars which do not show. We must give more support than lip service. 

29 October 2015

Our dear friend Haider Rizvi survived torture and beating in his country during a regime change at age 14, soon after the death of his own father. He had hand written leaflets asking people to come to a meeting, and got a police beating. His response was to grow, and become a UN journalist, and stand for the rights of Indigenous People every where in the developing world and within Indian Country in the US. He was a radio broadcaster and a fine journalist. And he is always Jiggar. Good Journalists are a dying breed, and he was one of my last standing.
The last I spoke to Haider, I was trying to get money together to fly us to Mayo in the West of Ireland to cover the pipeline atrocities and the harm to the farmers and young coastal families. He was all in, I could not find the money to cover truth. Haider is truth. He had the Best intentions.   I went back to school to help survivors of torture. This is not a popular goal in the USA. If appropriate support for survivors of torture were as easy to find as say- alcohol- we might have a few more friends standing and laughing.

22 March 2015

Danny Schechter the Media Dissector

A quick note to honor a friend Danny Schechter the media Dissector.  We must all meet our end someday,  it is best if we can we all keep living to the fullest until the day we die.  My favorite thing about him is that he kept recognizing Priya Reddy for her relentless work as a real journalist with heart. Real journalists are blacklisted, while talking heads are paid to read lines. Real journalists are targeted and shot dead in the street filming a People's Uprising, and Danny wasn't the type to embellish a personal story to boost personal fame.  He did not have to, as he was armed with truth.  He went into media to help solve the problems of the world, only to discover  that main stream media and propaganda is one of our biggest problems.
Rest in Power Danny Schechter. Presente. Jaysus, would you find my old film partner Mike Pahios and tell him there is not another in the world like him. Will keep living fully down here until the last breath, may that be so many years until I join ya up beyond the stars. There is loads of work left to be done yet. Presente, Lads. I miss ye.  Cancer takes another great one from us, although you left a good legacy. On point film and ya never wasted a moment to mince words.

22 February 2015

Writing it down.

Writing helps to let loose memories like floes of ice overflowing river banks in the spring.  Ruminating on past experiences can keep us stuck in a place of hurt, while writing it out can help us to move forward and to help others as well.  I like to think of the beginning of a story as a thought seed, and a little time and thought helps grow that seed into a deeper story.  Research shows that daily journaling and a gratitude journal can help to make one happier.  There are often serious issues in life that can weigh on one’s shoulders.   Writing one’s troubles down can be a release.   Like the ice floes bursting free to flood down river, once we start writing, it is such a freeing release.  Once the pen is to paper and the fingers to keyboard, one can go anywhere.  Make it a good day, it is yours.