2017 Is Here

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It’s hard to believe it.  The new year is upon us and my wish is that it will bring peace and healing for all of us.

The past year has been a crazy one.  There were so many stories around the world to follow, but the stories that really left the strongest impressions on me happened closer to home.

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a story I followed obsessively beginning around 10pm on January 2nd, 2016.  I’m still obsessively following the ongoing outcomes of that event, and maybe one of these days I’ll write down some of my reflections on it all.

Of course, the Malheur occupation brought the story of the Hammond family to my attention.  Their treatment by the justice system is upsetting, and the family faces numerous hardships as a result.

Two more stories that crossed my radar as a result of the Malheur occupation are still unfolding.  One is the proposed national monument to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands.  President Obama just declared two new monuments, Gold Butte in Nevada and Bears Ears in Utah.  The other story is the implementation of Oregon’s greater sage-grouse management plan, and the decision by some Oregon ranchers to file a lawsuit challenging aspects of the plan.

One more story that I have written about is another example of the justice system gone wrong.  Benjamin Cunha was given a six-year sentence, most of which was suspended, for arson.  He served a year in prison and five years on probation, then moved on with his life, only to be sentenced again, this time by the federal government, to a five-year sentence, eight years later.  I’ll be posting an update on his story soon.

While following these stories and writing about them, I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of great people.  I am grateful for all my new friends, and thankful for all the help they have given me.  In spite of all the negativity in the world around us, these people have given me hope.  I welcome 2017, and will keep doing whatever I can to make this world a better place.  So here’s to a happy New Year, for everyone!

I have just one resolution for 2017…I will finish my novel!

 

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

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2 thoughts on “2017 Is Here

  1. Here’s a development in Grant County, Pennsylvania that you might find encouraging going into the new year. (This is my comment from my own post on this story from yesterday: “To get up to date on this specific issue check out the Grand County “East Run Hellbenders Society” website https://eastrunhellbenders.wordpress.com/ and check out their Sunday interview with Kevin Annette at Radio Free Kanata (it should be uploaded on this link by Wednesday) http://bbsradio.com/radiofreekanata In that interview they talked about the name of the organization. Apparently there is a salamander named ‘hellbender’ that requires clean, clear water to thrive and whose health as a species is a good indicator of stream health. When it comes to being “water protectors”, such as what is claimed to be in Standing Rock, I think it is extremely important to understand how the system is set up to manage and redirect dissent into channels that not only diminish the impact of protests but require the protestors to reach out to the system to support their cause. “Please Obama! Use your executive powers to stop this pipeline!” (One pipeline among many that have gotten the federal stamp of approval… alongside the numerous nuclear reactors and uranium mines; including ones owned by Russian investors! http://www.nytimes.com/…/cash-flowed-to-clinton… ). The mechanism they are using in Grant County, Common Law, recognizes the long standing practice of colluding private/ public entities (often by way of NGO philanthropy) that effectively whitewashes all the crimes committed by the state… up to and including genocide. There’s far too many examples to draw from that demonstrate this process, in history and contemporarily, for this not to be considered.”) Keep up the great writing! Your backyard is my backyard and you are among the few I’ve turned to get a sensible perspective on what in the hell is going on around here! Happy New Year! (Or “Happy Bank Holiday” if you’re living by the Coptic/ Alexandrian/ Ancient Egyptian Calendar…. they celebrate New Years on Sept. 11… hmmm.) http://holiday-calendar.com/egypt-public-holiday…/170/

    1. Thank you for the comment!
      Your statement, ” When it comes to being “water protectors”, such as what is claimed to be in Standing Rock, I think it is extremely important to understand how the system is set up to manage and redirect dissent into channels that not only diminish the impact of protests but require the protestors to reach out to the system to support their cause,” is spot on.
      I do hope that 2017 will be a little less tumultuous in our shared backyard! And all throughout the world.

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