Slavigrant?

To Dr. Ben Carson,

To my understanding, you said slaves were immigrants who had a dream for their descendants to have a life that was better than theirs. I think you are mistaken. An immigrant leaves their country because they chose to. Whether or not that choice was made because of fear or a specific want, it was still a choice they made. My family is Puerto Rican. We come from an island that was pillaged by the immigrant-explorer known as Columbus. My people were murdered to make way for “immigrants”. The island of Puerto Rico was given it’s name by immigrant/explorers which is different from the name it’s people gave it. That original name was Borinquen. I doubt you know that name as I doubt most American people would know that name.

Some of the Borinquen who survived the initial cleansing were turned into slaves. Their land was taken from them and they were taken from their land to other continents they probably only knew about through stories heard from sailors who happened to find their little island. I’d be hard pressed to believe that they were thinking about the children they’d have and their bright futures while chained in the bottom of those boats, like so many sacks of fruit, vegetables, and seeds. I’d wager they thought about how much longer they had to live.

I can’t believe I have to tell you this, as it’s common knowledge but a slave is an unwilling traveler. In fact, a slave is a possession brought from one place to another as you would a vacuum or a hand towel. A slave is not treated as a person, so by definition a slave is not an immigrant. An Immigrant moves of their own accord. Outside forces are a factor yes, but an immigrant makes the choice to leave their home in search of something different, something better than they had, in a land far removed from their own. An immigrant chooses to experience other cultures while a slave is either made to accept a new culture or at the very least violently admonished for hanging on to their own.

Dr. Ben Carson, it confuses me how a neurosurgeon could be so blind as to equate a slave and an immigrant as you have done. Far be it from me to say the only people who experienced slavery were the Borinquen. However, I do not wish to speak for people whom I known nothing about.

Sincerely,

A Puerto Rican

Authors: How to Sign a Top Literary Agent

The Book Publicist

By Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications

 

Landing an agent for many authors is the most sought after goal. Why? It’s been long considered the fastest and most profitable path to publishing success. If that is your goal then you’ll want to check out these tips, techniques and resources to help you land the quality literary agent you are seeking.

Where to begin?

Get up to speed with the latest information with books and resources on the topic. According to Jeff Herman, book agent and author of Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, authors should assess potential agents on the following points before sealing a deal:

  1. The list of books the agent has sold to publishers, including the publishers’ and authors’ names.
  2. The agent’s reputation online.
  3. Why s/he likes your book and how s/he plans to market your book, with reference to a timeline and…

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Breakdown of Religion

Let’s get one thing straight, the US is a Secular nation arguably founded with the best ideals from Catholicism/Christianity, Love thy neighbour, don’t kill other people, etc. that is not to be construed as “America is a Christian Nation”. America does not have an official religion. Speak about the founding father’s personal religious beliefs all you wish, but Freedom of Religion is associated with the US for a reason. The United States essentially became a country of other’s Refuge for a reason. However, you should never forget America was also founded on the blood of the Native people whom were here FIRST. The myriad of Tribes which lived on this part of the continent and the neighbouring islands were slaughtered so others could live FREE of religious persecution, funny how that worked out. What also should not be forgotten are the colonies whom lived in peace with the native population, the ones who truly shared and learned from and with the Native people.

Where am I going with this? Well the separation of church and state for one thing. It seems the wall between these has eroded to nothingness over the centuries. For others, the wall never existed. Religious peoples have allowed themselves to become pawns in the political game which is currently causing a massive rift in American society. Even worse, religious peoples have allowed their beliefs to be turned into marketing and nothing less than a club with a membership who doesn’t seem to realize the reason why the youth “strayed from God”. The irony here is that many people do not realize it is they who have done it to themselves. Speaking from experience, I’ve always noticed the faces people make when they think others aren’t looking. I didn’t have to be an adult to realize that the stares and glares I received as a child in church were of the “You don’t belong here” variety. These stares weren’t plentiful but there were enough to make me curious. Imagine how it feels to have a priest make a sermon about love, respect, and the like, only to receive a stare of hatred from someone just for breathing the same air in the building as they. Then to have those same people speak with your parents and others in the congregation with forced smiles and faux laughter. I couldn’t have been the only one to notice these people but everyone else seemed too polite to talk to them about it. Stir not the demon you care not with to contend, I guess.

Fakeness is what drove many in my generation from religion, or in the least from the physical buildings of a religion. Religion to many has become a whithered badge to wear, to prove to others how you’re better than they are. Many people speak the words but how many strive to become better? To learn from those teachings? The response from many has been to “Religion Harder” which is akin to singing louder in church so God can hear you over the others, or prostrating yourself more gracefully during which ever religious movement/action applies.

Now I spoke of separation of Church and state before, but why? Well here’s the connection. I believe (heh) that it’s the people who “Sing louder” or “prostrate more grandly” than others, whom are responsible for the reason why Evangelicals are so highly regarded by the political system. Faith is a strong thing, so in the halls of religious institutions people are unaware that their beliefs are being used against them and turned into a political tool. Some are even tricked into believing that one party is more religious than the other and thus better. See where I’m going?

People want to believe that they are better than the person next to them because we’ve been hardwired or programmed to believe that it has to be that way and for some, the easiest way is to take up religion. Narcissists and other Sociopaths are spoken about in the political sense but I’m not aware of religions response to them in the current day and age. The Holy books and writings can say what they will but thinking on the leaders of “Mega Churches” alone it’s curious that they are not called out for being what they really are. When a religious officiator can speak to their congregation and point them at a political enemy that is a major breakdown of religion. That is actually no longer religion but politicking by another name.

Freedom of religion was written into the constitution in an attempt to prevent this kind of thing from happening. For the most part, day to day, it does. But the current times are causing me to think about “action-over-time”. The talking heads in the political realm try to sell one religion over another. They are attempting with varying degrees of success to paint an entire religion as filled with degenerates and murderers as if we were back in the times of the Crusades. What’s even worse is that people are buying into this madness, what’s more is that it’s even working in the religion vs secularism arena. One example of the latter being Planned Parenthood. Calls for the complete de-funding of a program which does far more than people are willing to realize. In a Secular Nation your religious book is not and should not be admissible in court. “Holier than thou” is not a reason to attack something you do not agree with. In America there are laws which should be followed and there are procedures for the way things are done or changed.

I believe that religion should stick to matters of the soul and the congregations thereunder should take care that their beliefs are not turned into a weapon to be pointed by a sociopath who managed to gain their trust.

This is not an attack on religion. It is an attack on those who pervert religion and those whom are willfully ignorant to their influence.

Oglala Sioux Tribe Suit against Army Corps

Turtle Talk

Here is the complaint in Oglala Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers (D.D.C.):

Complaint

An excerpt:

This is a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the construction and operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) until the Defendant United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) completes an environmental impact statement (EIS) that fully analyzes the impacts of the DAPL to the Tribe’s Treaty rights and rights in the Mni Wiconi Project as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA).

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You Are Your Actions

Action for actions sake is just as naive and ignorant as inaction. An act should have an end goal in mind. To act merely for the sake of a visual show is wasted energy. This is applicable to all facets of life; participating in and professing a faith just to look religious, arguing, contrarian ideologies, etc.

There must be a solid ground for an action to have any significance. It’s spoken about in movies as “Dying for nothing.” when the naive yet selfless hero attempts to throw themselves into harms way, knowing they will die and change nothing. While self-righteous indignation may seem great, it does nothing.

Why do you REALLY go to church? Why do you REALLY protest? Why are you REALLY willing to risk your life? Do you truly believe the things you tell people just so they stop talking to you about it or perhaps do you say and do these things just to keep up appearances? For all the things I’ve been told to cherish and keep on a pedestal, as I’ve grown up and become an “adult” I find it wondrous that we constantly make excuses for why things are the way they are and why those things we were told to cherish are impossible now. “Do away with childish things” and what-not, this is the REAL world.

We shift blame for the reason why things became the way they are instead of actively trying to change course. “We’re heading off the cliff but we’re already heading this way, and I don’t want to be in the driver seat when we go over. I didn’t put us on this path.” Apathy and a reluctance to do wrong in order to keep up appearances lays the blame at everyone’s feet when we should be looking at ourselves. We are all in the wrong but no 1 can truly point to another to cast blame.

We left kindergarten years ago yet ALL people across this planet resort to name calling, and cast their vast nets of blame all while ignoring our own faults because clearly, our faults aren’t as bad as that persons, so we can obviously work on ours after they get their shit together.

We have our strengths but we allow them to go to waste because of whatever nonsense way of life we and generations before us have come to believe to be beneficial for us.

What is an action without the proper foundation? A death sentence to our quality of life.

Making Human Characters

Caroline Kerley

I had a wonderful experience today. I met new family that until a month ago, I never knew I had—if it sounds like something out of a reality TV show about long lost family reuniting, you’re not wrong.  The meeting had been planned a few weeks ago and I never gave it too much thought until yesterday, when it dawned on me that it would be a slightly awkward experience because in effect, a group of strangers—adults and children—were going to meet up, shake hands, and be family.  And it was awkward, for about a minute, because that’s all the time it takes to realize how excited everyone is at the prospect of new cousins, and when you have that excitement in common, how can it go wrong. As much as I was absorbed in these new people—what do you do, where did you grow up, what sport do you…

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Blind

People spend an inordinate amount of their life doing soul-crushing tasks, yet others will say their depression is just an act while ignoring their own.

We turned a barter system of equivalent exchange into a trade system of non-existent currency based on a vacuum that trades for real physical things in a hope to be filled.

People cause incalculable sicknesses and even deaths of others, animal and human, yet are allowed to continue harming our global family. They can “pay” for it and everyone else pays for it.

We knew we were different since time immemorial, yet spent no time to learn about those differences and only rarely cherish our similarities. They both should be celebrated in concert.

We focus on the negative when someone tries to be positive.

For too long we’ve been teetering like a top about to spin out but we listen to those who say we’ll continue to spin forever. “We aren’t teetering” they will say and people will continue to believe them because once we recognize the truth we’ll know, it is our fault.

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