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Good news! Federal Court Rules Trump Border Wall ILLEGAL January 5, 2020

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Here’s a report from the ACLU, an organization I’m proud to support. A federal court has ruled Trump’s abuse of executive power to bully his xenophobic wall into existence is illegal.

This is excellent news, not only for the human people, the US economy and the democratic process, but for all of the wildlife who are, and would be, devastated by this ridiculous wall’s construction and existence.

Here are details about a fraction of the environmental devastation it will bring from The Guardian, Dec.29, 2019: 

Despite the potential for far-reaching long-term consequences, details about the plans are sparse since the government suspended 28 federal laws mandating protections and oversight, relating to clean air and water, endangered species, public lands and the rights of Native Americans, in order to expedite construction.

The waiver includes the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa), considered the cornerstone of environmental protection in the US, the Endangered Species Act, National Fish and Wildlife Act and Migratory Bird Conservation Act. These laws require robust scientific, environmental and costs analysis before projects can be sanctioned.

“With his wall obsession, President Trump has created an environmental crisis at the border,” said the Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva. “Through environmental waivers and stolen funds, he’s building a wall that will deplete precious water resources, desecrate sacred sites and destroy the environmental treasures and biodiversity that make the borderlands unique.”

Jordahl added: “The wall could not be built without the waiver. Nepa requires the government to choose the least invasive, best option for taxpayers … surveillance cameras could be installed every hundred metres at a fraction of the economic and environmental cost. This wall is an unjustifiable project.”

Thirty-seven federally listed endangered and threatened species live around the Arizona-Mexico border, plus innumerable others who currently are in less danger but who would be added to that list in short order were this operation to go. And according to the US army corps of engineers, the wall would cost US taxpayers roughly $14 million dollars per mile. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a priority for something I want to see the government spend my hard-earned money on.

So glad that sanity is beginning to win out!

Here is the full article text about the federal ruling, which came from this ACLU press release:

DECEMBER 11, 2019

OAKLAND — A federal court today ruled that President Trump’s use of emergency powers to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funds for the border wall is unlawful. The ruling came in a lawsuit, Sierra Club v. Trump, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition.

In ruling against the use of emergency funds, U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. stated: “[T]he Court cannot blind itself to the plain reality presented in this case: the border barrier projects Defendants now assert are ‘necessary to support the use of the armed forces’ are the very same projects Defendants sought—and failed—to build under DHS’s civilian authority, because Congress would not appropriate the requested funds.”

The ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of the Sierra Club and SBCC challenges President Trump’s abuse of emergency powers to build a border wall using funds Congress explicitly denied.

“This ruling confirms that the president has no authority to raid military construction funds for his xenophobic wall,” said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “By putting an end to the president’s power grab, this ruling protects our democracy’s separation of powers, the environment, and border communities.”

As part of the same lawsuit, the court previously blockedthe administration from beginning construction using $2.5 billion in military pay and pension funds under a separate statute. The ACLU was in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month to defend that victory.

The district court today also permanently blocked construction of the wall using the military construction funds, but has temporarily stayed that block given the ongoing appeals process in the case before the Ninth Circuit.

“We will be back before the Ninth Circuit very soon,” added Ladin.

A court in Texas yesterday blocked imminent construction of the wall using military construction funds. That block remains in effect.

President Trump declared a national emergency on February 15, 2019, to secure border wall funds Congress denied him. While declaring the emergency, President Trump stated that he “didn’t need to do this” but he’d prefer to build the wall “much faster.” He added that he declared a national emergency because he was “not happy” that Congress “skimped” on the wall by denying him the billions he demanded.

Below are additional comments from:

Gloria Smith, Managing Attorney at the Sierra Club: “Today’s decision is another critical step in permanently stopping Trump’s border wall. The court recognized that Trump’s reckless national emergency declaration illegally destroys our borderlands and border communities. By raiding money from the military for this wall, Trump is depriving service members and their families of essential government services like schools and retirement. The Sierra Club will continue to fight to protect border communities as this administration inflicts its relentless agenda to harm the people, places and wildlife along the southern border.”

Vicki B. Gaubeca, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition: “We welcome this decision against Trump’s blatant attempt to sidestep Congress. Trump’s senseless wall is destroying our natural habitats, endangering our communities, and eroding the quality of life of the 15 million people who live in the southern border region. The southern border is and always has been a place of encounter, opportunity and hope. We need a responsible border governance approach that begins with respecting the checks and balances in this country.”

 

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The beautiful painting featured above is by Ron English See his “Welcome Wall” and other art at https://www.vinylpulse.com/2019/05/ron-english-and-friends-build-the-welcome-wall.html

Other full URLs:

 

 

Womens River Retreat in May – come along! January 12, 2018

Women and women-identified folks: Want to renew your spirit on a beautiful gentle river, including an overnight solo between just you and the spirits of the land?

Join the 8-day Womens’ River Retreat I’ll be co-guiding for The River’s Path, down Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River of Utah with Lauren Bond Kovsky.

“The River’s Path offers a supported 48-hour solo experience in Labyrinth Canyon as part of a 8 day canoe river trip down the Green River of Utah. Our women’s river retreats are a deeply spiritual journey… a powerful way to connect with your purpose during times of great transition. All ages, ability levels and backgrounds are welcome.”

May 5-14, 2018.

For more info: https://theriverspath.org/womens-river-retreats/

 

Solabaration! 2016 December 17, 2016

Filed under: Announcements,Arts,Dance — BrujaHa @ 12:55 pm
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Folks along the Front Range of Colorado, come drive the cold winter away tonight with dance, song, story, cheer, xtreme juggling, a mummers’ play and more. All ages are welcome.

I’m honored to be one of the three dance callers.

Solabration Click on the sun for info.

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Climate Crisis Solutions conference October 19, 2016

I’m pleased to be one of the presenters in Ohio this coming weekend at the 63rd annual conference put on by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions. It will be held at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, from October 21-23, 2016.

The presentations cover a wide variety of topics related to climate change.

 

Climate Crisis Solutions: Charting a New Course

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My two presentations are:

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP:

Stones as Mentors: Spiritual Ecotherapy    Tina Fields

As you face the big issues like climate change along with figuring out how to best live your own life, have you ever wished you had a wise elder around to give you perspective and advice? Engage in an ancient and powerful animistic practice that works with the oldest parts of the earth – stones – to gain insight into a life question. Participants will experience how the natural world can serve as spiritual advisor.

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Fostering Nature Connections and Joy as a Resilience Strategy     – Tina Fields

Along with structural alternatives, psychological and spiritual resilience need to be cultivated in order to effectively meet the enormous challenges and coming changes posed by climate change. Allowing the feelings that arise to be recognized and flow though us is a key element – both the harder feelings of pain, fear, anger and denial, and also the joy and mysteries of being alive at this time. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to express their feelings about the situation of climate change, and to explore their own deep and abiding connection with the more-than-human world.

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I’m especially delighted that two of my former students will be attending, and one, Catherine Phillips, will assist with the Stones as Mentors workshop.

Hope to see you there!

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“Making Thought Whole Again” Evolver event June 11, 2015

“Making Thought Whole Again.”

That’s the topic on which I’ll be in invited dialogue with host Glenn Aparicio Parry, linguist Matthew Bronson, and philosopher Ashok Kumar Gangadean as part of Native Wisdom for Modern Times on Evolver Learning Lab on July 16, 2015.

On a personal note, I must admit that the messenger from Evolver won me over not only with the interesting topic, but with her invitational email: “We would like some influential and radical women who can talk on various topics he will be covering.”  Influential and radical. Who can resist being flattered like that? 🙂

Seriously, it felt so refreshing to see “radical” reflected back as a positive professional achievement. After all, along with meaning “extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms,” the word radical also means something quite fundamental: “forming a basis or foundation”; “of, or going to, the root or origin“; and existing inherently in a thing or person.”* So it makes sense to view radical thinking as a root teaching, instead of some weird offshoot to raise one’s eyebrows at. (I’m actually not digressing. My point is that Evolver’s courageous attitude bodes well for their endeavors, including this series.)

From the Evolver website:

Native Wisdom for Modern Times

Native Wisdom for Modern Times

5 Sessions • Starts June 25, 2015.

Host: Glenn Aparicio Parry, with Special Guests: Gregg Braden, Grandmother Mona Polacca, James O’Dea, Grandmother Susan Ka’iulani Stanton, Vernon Masayesva, Ashok Gangadean, Tina Fields, Carole Hart, Matthew Bronson, David Christopher, and Jerry Honawa.

“For all of the achievements of modern “progress,” the Western way of thinking has led us — personally and collectively — to a crisis. We experience ourselves as fragmented beings, separated from one another and Nature, and this alienation has led to destructive behavior that endangers the future of life on this planet.

“But each of us has the potential to transcend this crisis, and leave the era of separation behind.

“…At the legendary SEED Gatherings, [Parry] convened pioneering dialogues that brought together Native American elders and leading-edge Western scientists, to uncover the common perspectives of scientists and mystics. They also shared traditional Indigenous and Eastern spiritual techniques to help integrate this understanding into a reimagined, contemporary way of life.

“For this unique course, Glenn has gathered some of the most insightful and celebrated participants from the SEED dialogues and more to lead you to a deep appreciation of the emergent paradigm. They will teach time honored practices that will support you on the journey to a new way of thinking and being. And they will share their own experiences of the same journey.

 “These sessions will be filled with provocative information, honest testimonials, and practical advice from some of the thinkers, writers, and doers at the leading edge of this new, emerging paradigm of reality.”

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To check it out or learn more, click:  Native Wisdom for Modern Times

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  * Definitions of “radical” are from http://dictionary.reference.com

 

 

The Mindful Guitarist February 4, 2015

Michael's book cover My friend Michael DeLalla‘s first book is about to be HAS BEEN born: The Mindful Guitarist.

Michael is not only one of the finest fingerstyle guitarists I have ever heard, he possesses a deep soul that shines through his music, along with a keen and quixotic mind.

This book is not only for guitar players. Michael also teaches World Music and Myth to community college students, and he knows how to weave things together. The way this book riffs on the creative process and the concrete development of mindful attention to enhance skills makes its insights accessible to anyone. Its publication will add to the blessings of the world.

Because I see this potential, I donated the proceeds of my last dance calling gig to his Kickstarter campaign.

To hear some of Michael’s exquisite guitar playing, read a snippet of the book, and find a link to his time-limited Kickstarter campaign, click here to go to Falling Mountain Music.

If you’re looking for a place to contribute that last bit of charitable gift money burning a hole in your pocket before the tax man comes, this would be a darned good choice. Support an independent musician and a new interdisciplinary book in one swell foop. You will also get loads of neat perks back, like CDs.

(I have only plugged one fundraiser before this – the attempt to keep my then-employer, the most excellent Audubon Expedition Institute (AEI), alive. –Well, and several for the Girl Scouts, with whom I was forced into junior cookie capitalism. But that’s different. The point is, believe me, this project is worthy.)

And thanks for mindfully listening to whatever in this world is making music, whether full moon crickets, a screeching bus, the contented snore of an old dog, or your own heartbeat.

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POSTSCRIPT 1/23/2017: The book is out, and is excellent.

 

Stellar Days and Nights February 3, 2015

Filed under: Announcements,Dance — BrujaHa @ 10:53 pm
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Stellar 2015

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Hey contradancing folk, consider coming to a long weekend event in the lovely Colorado mountains later this month,

Stellar Days and Nights.

Excellent food, dancing ecstasy, great music, and relaxing fun. It’s held in a summer camp setting, so you get to stay in rustic cabins with running water and dance and eat together in one large hall. You can even x-c ski directly from your cabin!

I’m co-calling with Scott Higgs to the transporting music of Foxfire (Daron Douglas + Karen Axelrod), and two of my favorite local Front Range musicians, Elizabeth Wood + Rodney Sauer.

This year’s event will feature both Contra and ECD (English Country Dance). Plus Rodney will teach contra piano, Erik will lead a late-night techno contra, Daron will lead an English ballad swap, there are jams and workshops for all levels of musicians, Ceili, waltz, and Cape Breton step dancing workshops, and an evening gathering for everyone to share their talent/no-talent. And along with calling contras, I’ll also lead two song sessions (1) Bawdy British Ballads & Funny Chorus Songs;  2) Chants, Rounds and Sacred Songs from Many Traditions), and a genderplay dance workshop.

Come play!!

February 19-22, 2015, near Buena Vista, Colorado.

I just spent the eve plotting the “Gender Shenanigans” workshop with my co-leader, Erik Erhardt. Oh, are we gonna have fun. And further infiltrate the straight dance world. And help enhance everyone’s joy. Hoopla!

There is still space available for you to join in.

For more info and to sign up, see http://www.stellardaysandnights.org/

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Stellar t-shirt

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