Category Archives: AMERICAN INDIAN

Bernie Sanders and the Christian Vote

I became a democratic socialist in 1985 because, in large part, this approach seeks to address many societal and Red_Rose_(Socialism)other ills by addressing underlying (as opposed to superficial) causes. Many of these problems and their solutions lie in redressing specific moral failings such as unbridled corporate greed, which is something democratic socialists such as Senator Bernie Sanders tackle head-on with genuinely progressive, transformative ideas and proposed legislation. And, at the heart of democratic socialism, is a sharing and “level the playing field” ethic that is consonant with core Jewish and Christian beliefs and teachings.  Luke Tomycz “cores the apple” on an article titled “Bernie Sanders and the Christian Vote” which I wholeheartedly recommend you read and then share with others in your orbit: https://medium.com/@ltomycz/bernie-sanders-and-the-christian-vote-2350b31a6bbf#.94h2wp30g

Bernie Sanders and the Christian Vote

 

In praise of the color blue

By

Summer Cloud

Let’s talk color. Specifically the color blue. Does this happen to be your favorite color? If so, you share this affinity with about 29% of other people (including “yours truly”) according to a 2012 poll (Click to read how blue ranks in popularity worldwide). But what does blue mean to you anyway?

The mental linkage between the word “blue” and being down or depressed aside, blue is an uplifting color in that it characterizes bodies of water (unless overrun with Styrofoam cups and pollutants or algae or such) and the skies above on a sunny day.

Scientists, of course, have found many interesting properties about blue light. For example, blue light at wavelengths of 670 and 830 nanometers ameliorates multiple sclerosis symptoms. And there is this: recently Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars captured images of a blue sunset on the red planet! (Click to access a CNN story on this phenomenon)

Sunset on Mars

With your indulgence, dear reader, I’d like to share a little about my own love affair with blue. I trace much of this to a natural association of blue with the skies over North Texas (where I was born and grew up), especially during the summer months. It is the medium in which is suspended those billowy wonders made of liquid droplets that inspired my American Indian name (Summer Cloud).

 

Clouds - the mark of summer in Plainview

Photo taken in Plainview, TX during August 2011

It is also the color of one of my favorite gemstones, turquoise (“Sky stone” in American Indian parlance) and is the color of the stone in my college ring (Blue spinel).

Like many American Indians I carry a medicine bag (which bears an artistic rendering of the summer clouds I captured in a photo taken near my late maternal grandparents farm outside Plainview, Texas). The contents of my bag? You guessed it, turquoise has a place of honor in it, as does a reddish stone taken from what was once the gravel driveway of my grandparent’s country farmhouse. These items serve as a physical connection to my ancestry; one that summons up all kinds of joyous memories and associations.

Here is a photo of my medicine bag and its lithic contents:

photo 4

 

 Photo F

And finally, I would be remiss if I did not add two other blue favorites —

There is Neptune, the gaseous giant rendered blue by the absorption of red light by atmospheric methane.

Neptune - image taken by Nasa's Voyager

Photo taken by Nasa’s Voyager 2 spacecraft

And the Pleiades star cluster also known as the “Seven Sisters”,..

 1024px-Pleiades_large

Nasa/Palomar

..which is admittedly more blue-white than “true blue”. This particular star cluster holds special significance to we American Indians and many other cultures as well including the Japanese (In Japanese this star formation is called the “Subaru”). I am cognizant of the fact some people believe that advanced alien civilizations exist on planets in or near the Pleiades cluster and have visited earth. I cherish the Pleiades for a different reason. Namely, yes, because it emits blue light — but also due to the fact that I associate it with seven (7) students of mine in Japan who became “The 7 Princesses” (I selected these seven to serve as role models for specific trait and virtues I felt the other young people in my orbit were neglecting or had let bad economic times eclipse). One of the seven became both a princess and my Nihonjin musume (daughter). Click to read more. [Note bene: I am 70 pages into a manuscript that lays out the story of moi and my seven princesses]

Seven is the number of perfection in Hebrew numerology (Associated with the Almighty), and in my mind with the color blue.

Do you sing the praises of blue? If not, why not?

 

Further Reading

Click to read “The Pleiades in Mythology”

 

© 2015 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved,

Virtual cloud watching for you

Magestic clouds (So West Texas)As a boy in Lubbock (Texas) I spent many lazy summer afternoons just lying prone on a bed of rich green grass and cloud watching (While, yes, looking for recognizable patterns or characters). I bet you did your fair share of childhood cloud watching too. If  so, you’ll appreciate this video immensely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf1P4WuQ8Lk 

And here’s a perspective-expanding book to read while you cloud watch: Faces in the Clouds by Stewart Guthrie, Ph.D.

Choctaw Doc

The 562 Project: Matika Wilbur’s ambitious project to photograph citizens from every American Indian tribe

self_portrait-Matika1

Professional photographer & fellow American Indian Matika Wilbur is busy doing something that is 100 years overdue: Photographing American Indians in ways that beautifully captures their spirit & joy & perseverance.  What she needs is funding — which you can help with by going to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matika/project-562-changing-the-way-we-see-native-america and giving.

Thanks heartily from “Choctaw Doc” (Dr. Anthony G. Payne – member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

My 2-17-2014 EXAMINER article on Matika and the 562 project: http://www.examiner.com/article/matika-wilbur-s-quest-to-photograph-citizens-from-every-american-indian-tribe

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