“Due to Covid-19”

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Rude1

The great excuse to misbehave,
not come to work, not say hello,
not shake a hand…

“Don’t even look at me,” says
the disease that treats everyone
like a disease…

Please. Covid response by
corrupt, confused governments,
anti-social germaphobes—

Have their justification, at last,
to cower without judgement.
It’s okay! You can fear others now,

and get the back pat by human
authorities, the white coats running
a panic game, a lucrative one,

pharmaceutical companies reaping
the harvest of your fear, assuring
you this is… Health.

***

Turn around.  Wake up.  Open up
your eyes and define life! Your way,
Health is extremely personal so

state your belief, seek your path—

But please stay in your lane, I’ve
got my own here!  Do you know
my medical past?  Do you know
the intimate details of what I’ve
been through?

If not, kindly care for yourself, wear
a mask, don’t wear a mask—your body is
yours, some say from parents, from
higher powers, creators, nature
or whatever! It’s yours!

Fear is universally unhealthy.  And
fear precedes anger, a state politics
finds itself in, when the other guy or
girl doesn’t do what we want them to do.

Live and let live, remember?  Adhere
to a glorious moral code, one from
books or old wisdom… but something.

Grab onto good principles to avoid
judgment of others, live your life
fear-free, honor Creation underneath
civilization,

Underneath Covid-19.

What Homeless Problem? Leaders Scapegoat the Poor Instead of Tackling Development’s Filth

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Homeless2

-by Bill Watkins 10/27/2021

The problems of “Los Angeles” run deep, as deep as the rivers and lakes that used to bless this land before the great European conquest.

It used to be a land of many names to many tribes.  By any name naturally sweet, especially when compared to what we industrialists have done to it.  Litter spews out of sidewalks’ cracks, asphalt trying to make all accessible to earth-burning cars, elected leaders in suits meeting in grand halls making and spending money…

Then we are appalled “at that bum on the corner.”  At all the trash, the smell of urine, RV’s mounting months of rentless stays, providing homes to some and eyesores to others – those enclosed in business attire at stationary houses, nine to five jobs shaking their heads…  “Let’s have a meeting about the homeless!!” they hurl, as the trash mounts.

Did anyone ever think we should just pick up the trash?  Daily?  And not just in gas-guzzling trucks, but on foot?  Los Angeles has forgotten how to walk!  LAPD, since the 1960’s, has even decided to police by helicopter!  Never mind the noise, the sound of war…  There they are because you forgot to lock your deified car, someone stole it, and now we add the second crime of noise pollution from above to stop the theft!

I call for a return to Otsungna.  Yaangna, or whichever the names were before the Spanish and their guns stole land and branded it angelic with their bibles.  We have failed.  We have desecrated.  We have polluted…  And now it’s the fault of poor people?  People who look to a blessed outdoor life?  Sleeping under the stars?

In this formerly peaceful, natural space the conquerors called Los Angeles I don’t see a homeless problem.  I see a filth problem, and lazy leaders getting rich in suits who haven’t the slightest idea how to get out of their SUV’s, put on some work clothes, go out on foot –

and solve it.

One Man

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Homeless1

He had lost half his nose,
the right side of his face
marred by the streets.

His eye on that side
bloodshot.  Barely here,
laid out across a driveway—

Concrete and asphalt his
best friends, along with
the devil alcohol…

Near naked, shoeless,
writhing on the ground for
traffic to finish off,

I asked him if he needed
help… He groggily said “yes,”
I called 911, waited, then

watched as paramedics
kindly carted him away for
a short or final rest, who

can say?  He was not really
another man, he was me.

He was a man, like me.  He
could have been me, a
long-lost brother.

He bled red like me, a thin
line of it glowing where his
nose used to be whole.

A red eye like mine, skin
and sweat… Was he ever in
a sandbox at school?

Branded homeless by the suits,
a “problem” by them and
others, when really…

He’s just a man like you
with a disease.  One man,
barely breathing, hoping

for something good, some
moment of light before
the end to signify forever.

We are here, equal.  None
better than another.  This
man was me.  You…

Our job to love him as
we love ourselves, remember?

The Failure of Democracy

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Democracy1

It’s not so bad.

The realization that the second
major people-governing concept
has failed…

First there was Higher Power, gods
invoked so close to us on
earth that they came to our
dreams, spoke and guided us.

Folks like those under the prophet
Samuel kicked that theocracy out
years ago, thought kings might
be a better way, for “Hey—

all the other nations was doin’ it!”
The Hebrew god warned kings might
be corrupt, finally that on the day
we complained, he wouldn’t hear.

So the Greeks rose up like a Narcissus
flower, rejected single male power,
and invented dēmokratia, democracy –
Long live people-rule, at last!

The Romans liked it, spread it
around by force, liked Jesus—spread
him around by force, combined the two
to steal land in the New World,

a Dutch mapmaker calling it all…
America.  The natives still had their
higher powers, excited by the earth
and their place under a Great Spirit.

But we had our democracy, bible, and
most powerful of all, it would seem,
gun powder.  An Asian invention, fireworks
English and other Euros used to kill.

So people-rule it was and has been,
although I’ve never seen people rule
during an earthquake, forest fire
or hurricane.

“It’s flooding, you say? Well, let’s
hold a vote,” never much swayed
the elements, but still we claim that
“people-power is best.”

Until it isn’t.  Until two parties argue
and argue and do nothing.  Until you
realize there is no power in hallways,
marble and human art, that the

natives may have had it more right
than wrong, the waterfalls, valleys,
rivers and mountains of their
higher powers holding joy and sway.

I used to talk and write of Geocracy,
God, Earth and People-rule, but
know the word in front offends, so
onward I look, want to join?

People don’t always rule, so let’s
move on… There’s something better
at the end of this tunnel, so keep
digging toward the light.

Democracy has died because it was
never in the first place right.

The combination of people, honoring
the earth and invoking a higher power
seeming to this poet the truth,
a way to it, giving blindness sight.

Lethal Force Argument Fails in Big Picture

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Lethal1

***

I recently spent some time with an LAPD officer, who went over a variety of potentially lethal situations he and his fellows face while on the job, trying to protect and serve.  He was surprisingly convincing, had me on the edge of my seat, and I was close to renouncing some of my religious views—the main one with relevance being the Sixth Commandment of the Jewish Torah:

Thou shalt not kill.

The officer was convincing with the set of conditions in front of him, as a lethally trained cop, but…  After a few days to meditate, I recalled the big picture.  Stolen Native American land… Guns and more guns rationalized by bibles, then the forced industrialization and development of this once thriving wilderness turn New Europe.

In the insanity civilization has created, the normalization of fast cars, planes, and even the loud war machine helicopters above us claiming law enforcement:  one could argue that indeed some people need killing.  An insane notion made almost palatable on the concrete and asphalt of this city:  law officers speeding around in fancy cars burning earth, flying around over our homes burning more earth—

Showing up mid-conflict… someone draws a knife, or a gun, or a machete… and now?  The police officer called in with few facts and limited knowledge of a crime scene shows up to make a life or death decision with his or her lethal firearm.  They trained to kill, trained to shoot for the largest mass on the human body—the torso, the chest, the heart… to kill.

And given all of that, all that touring around in fire-burning vehicles across this once natural area turned polluted metropolis:  they are out of touch.  Their boots are not on the ground.  They don’t know the suspect nor the suspect’s family.  They often know only a little about the community they enforce, and what they do know they know driving at high speeds or worse yet, flying loud metal choppers from above us.

Lethal force in policing is always wrong, I still assert.  Even after an LAPD officer’s impassioned plea to me and set of scenario explanations…  Why?  Because the concept of “America,” land theft and the forced industrialization of this land has created the insane situations they experience that only seem to justify the taking of human life on the job.

I reject lethal force.  I reject lethal force training.  But well before that, I reject “Los Angeles,” the “United States of America” and any other concepts deriving from a racist, criminal theft of land some like to call a romantic conquest so they can keep benefitting from sin.  Putting down our guns may not be the first step toward proper amends, but it is one. 

It’s time to question the founding of this New Europe on stolen Native American land, where gun use is too often justified in the loud, polluted insanity industrialization has created here.

Democracy Has Failed: Is There a Better Way?

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-by Bill Watkins 10/25/2021

I have never seen “people-rule” during an earthquake.  Or in the midst of a Category Four hurricane, forest fires or any other natural disaster.  I have never known a person or group of people who knew the future or could influence events to a level that would decide it.

And yet we around here hold on against hope to an old Greek concept that flouts the untruth that people do have power, an ultimate power of governing events.  It’s a lie, but a far better one than what monarchies pitch, so… we stick with it, a so-so governing concept that only has occasionally worked on Turtle Island (“America” to the invaders), and only after we Europeans removed the natives here by brutal, genocidal force.

Men will not think that robbers and pirates have a right of empire over whomsoever they have force enough to master, or that men are bound by promises which unlawful force extorts from them.

Democracy on stolen land?  Can it work?  Of course not.  When did the United States ever get consent to rule over the native people here?  They did not, nor will they ever have it, therefore the USA has no “right of empire,” as Sir John Locke, quoted above, would eloquently put it. 

If here today, I think the English philosopher would conclude that the United States Constitution is invalid.  Written on stolen land.  For what good are written laws upon a shameful genocide and forced removal of people?  Karma alone is powerful enough, some might say, to forever curse the Europeans who continue to hammer their Roman civilization down on the unwilling—

And by unwilling, I’m not just referring to “people,” ye lovers of “democracy!”  There’s more than just us here!  There is the Earth, its plants, its animals, powers at work to create this world and universe.  There are powers at work that might know what the future holds, powers above human pay grade…  People can decide and control a portion of events, perhaps, but not the whole thing—

Why “people-rule” is invalid, false, and misleading.  Why democracy, although a better system than monarchy, can in no way be thought of as the best conceivable governing system.  We must seek a third concept, a more truthful, all-encompassing one that includes more of nature and all those powers we can’t control.  The American Congress invokes those powers at times, has their ministers praying in their enclosed halls, but perhaps the prayers are blocked by grand European-style marble ceilings.  “Democracy” is hallowed like a religion by some, a false one (unless you can say people rule our floods).

What could be better?  What might that third concept be?  I myself have reached into my poetic dreams, invoked, meditated and abstained from alcohol and drugs long enough to see some things pretty clearly.  “Geocracy” was a concoction I fiddled with for a while, a three-part invention for governing:  Earth, People and Higher Power-rule. 

It’s time we accept we don’t know it all, can’t know it all.  Invoke, invoke, invoke.  Hold more meetings outside, adopt native views and native terms.  Tear down the racist USA, the term “America” itself a European invention forced down throats in non-European land.  Listen to the natives, who had no guns when we met them.  Their way of life not perfect, but one lived in concert with nature, not in aggressive competition against it.

Ame-rica, a Dutch mapmaker’s idea, coined from Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci’s first name, but also a telling mix of Latin words expressing “love of wealth and riches.”  And power.  False power.  The false claim that people have power in all situations, a false claim that “Democracy” foments.  Democracy has done its duty!  It broke us out of the far worse corruption of kings…

But as Democrats and Republicans fight in Washington, roads and bridges fail, and pharmaceutical companies get rich calling their drugs “health,” it’s time to admit that democracy is overrated… In fact, it’s just a good system, but maybe “good is the enemy of the best,” as AA’s Bill W. once put it.

Let’s move toward the best, back to the earth, back to admitting people are part of this universe, but not the whole part.  Let’s make amends to first peoples, wipe out bad, racist, violent and dishonest concepts and find something that works.  I present Geocracy – Earth, People and Higher Power-rule.  What’s yours, lets talk!

Hollenbeck C-PAB Welcomes Back Live Meetings

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Community1

-by Bill Watkins 10/20/2021

Every third Wednesday at 6:00pm Hollenbeck Division Headquarters on 1st Street in Boyle Heights welcomes the Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) to facilitate an exchange of information and advice.

New Hollenbeck Captain Germán Hurtado co-chaired the meeting with C-PAB community Co-Chair Mark Overstreet of University Hills.  The board is five strong but is actively open to new recruits who want to serve their communities as a liaison between the LAPD and the streets.  The captain opened with a crimes report, reflecting a slight surge in numbers and high concerns over the “homeless situation.”

Also present and contributing were Neighborhood Prosecutor Cynthia Gonzalez, Hollenbeck Detective Commander Chris Mayberry, area LAPD Lead Officers, two representatives from CA Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo’s office, the board members mentioned and about twenty members of the community.  Interested members brought their concerns, among them:  gang activity and crimes in areas with high homeless populations.

Commander Mayberry stressed the importance of having experts on gang activity among Hollenbeck’s force, as “a strong nexus exists between the gangs and certain kinds of crimes.”  Neighborhood Prosecutor Cynthia Gonzalez with the City Attorney’s office, committed to Hollenbeck Division and communities they serve, spoke at length on her work, from trying to educate folks on keeping public spaces safe and accessible (L.A. Municipal Code Section 41.18) to advising those present of a “Safe Parking Program” that exists out of Council District 1 in Glassell Park.  The program attempts to assist in safe parking for RV’s in this area.

Lead Officers contributed their reports, with Officer Oscar Casini receiving special recognition for his outstanding work.  Officer Huerta of Lincoln Heights, Hermon, and Rose Hills communities spoke of extra attention on Debs Park of late, while Officer Frank Dominguez mentioned more concerns about homeless populations.  All of the lead officers requested community help and involvement.

For some that involvement could be membership in the C-PAB board, for others captaincy with Neighborhood Watch.  Officer Casini passionately pitched for community support, knowing that without it—LAPD will not be as successful as they could be.  It’s through community watch programs and support that quality of life can rise to new heights, a community member even presenting an idea to introduce non-lethal foot patrols to get ahead of crimes in the area.

Opinions at Wednesday’s meeting expressed that far better than reacting to crime is to put eyes on the street and avoid them altogether.  Together, Wednesday night’s C-PAB meeting seemed to say, we can create the kind of community we want.  See you at Hollenbeck Division Headquarters (2111 1st Street, Boyle Heights) on each third Wednesday, the next meeting scheduled for November the 17th at 6:00pm.

Amtrak Ignores CDC Mask Exemptions

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-by Bill Watkins 10/20/2021

It’s tempting to bully others, when you feel threatened.  Many people feel afraid someone is going to breathe on them and give them Covid-19, kill them…  It’s the type of fear civilization foments, folks living on top of each other in mass buildings, concrete, asphalt and earth-burning rapid transportation.

Here in New Europe we suffer years of Western medical doctors with their convincing claims of disease and solutions, fancy degrees on the wall full of themselves and knowledge.  Enough to overcome early blunders as bloodletters?  Can we trust them or pharmaceutical companies pitching tomorrow’s cures, warding off addiction—justifying all by record sales?

Governments do.  Governments kicked out “God” years ago, anything Science can’t explain, anything too controversial like religion…  But wait, isn’t religion a part of many people’s conception of Health?  Health is extremely personal.  Why is government in mine?  Do they live with me? Do they know my medical history? 

“Masks are for your health and those around you!”

But I have a diaphragm injury, can’t breathe through them.  How’s that good for my health?  You hear me, Public Transportation?

Amtrak, are you listening?  Did you read the CDC mask guidelines?  There’s a big section mandating masks to be worn on all federal transportation, but guess what?  As there should be, there is also a pretty large section of EXEMPTIONS.   You won’t hear about those, if you are a passenger on their trains.  The conductors won’t listen to your CDC-granted exemption to wearing a mask because some individual or individuals at Amtrak have decided to push their own “policies” outside of the CDC asks.

The CDC rightly excuses someone from wearing a mask, “when experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or feeling winded” until able to “resume normal breathing through the mask.”  To me “normal breathing” never includes doing so through a mask, but at least the CDC comes out against suffocation on board public transportation services.

Amtrak is all over the place about mask policy, when they should just stick to CDC’s shtick.  I contacted them on Twitter, Customer Relations by phone,  then a supervisor, and finally a guy emailed me.  I was seeking their “policy” in black and white.  Of course they don’t have an officially published policy that goes against the CDC’s logical exemptions.  In this atmosphere of fear they bark about stuff like being “committed to the American Disabilities Act,” then a system of requiring that passengers with aversions to masks apply 72 hours in advance of travel for an exemption you may not get.

Adam Bland of Customer Relations at Amtrak said in his email to me that “Per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers in stations and on board trains and thruway buses are required to wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times.”

“Unless they can’t breathe” or any other logical reason to not wear a mask was left out of Amtrak’s supposed policy, seemingly made up to be verbally administered case by case and not on any website.  Why would it be, if it goes against the CDC?  And so… because Amtrak fails to mention all the reasons the CDC says it’s okay not to wear a mask indoors, I’ll print them here:

While in indoor areas of conveyances or while indoors at transportation hubs, people are not required to wear a mask under the following circumstances:

  • while eating, drinking, or taking medication for brief periods of time;
  • while communicating for brief periods of time with a person who is hearing impaired when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
  • if, on an aircraft, wearing oxygen masks is needed because of loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation;
  • if unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance;
  • when necessary to temporarily lower or remove the mask to verify one’s identity such as during Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening or when asked to do so by the ticket or gate agent or any law enforcement official;
  • when experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or feeling winded, until able to resume normal breathing with the mask; when vomiting until vomiting ceases; or if wearing a mask interferes with necessary medical care such as supplemental oxygen administered via an oxygen mask.

The following categories of people continue to be exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:

  • A child under the age of 2 years;
  • A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.);
  • A person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.

People on board the following categories of conveyances continue to be exempt from the requirement to wear a mask:

  • Private conveyances operated only for personal, non-commercial use;
  • Commercial motor vehicles or trucks, if the driver is the only person in the vehicle or truck, or the vehicle or truck is operated by a team who all live in the same household and are the only persons in the vehicle;*
  • Conveyances operated or chartered by the U.S. military as long as the operator of the conveyance follows all requirements of U.S. military services to prevent spread of COVID-19 that are equivalent to the requirements in CDC’s Order.

*Non-passenger-carrying commercial vessels operated by a team of mariners who all live on the vessel and are the only people on the vessel are also permitted to use this exemption.

México Sin Miedo

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Mexico

Ya veo venir, paz y
mas paz, el día cuando
recordamos el rancho.

Mas, el campo, ríos y
valles, piedras al mar.
La naturaleza antes armas—

La paz de estrellas, antes
el cartón, botellas y
plástico, tirado sin pensar—

sin recordar.

¡Hay mas!  Recordar es vivir,
podemos reaprender, los
lenguajes de antes, Náhuatl,
Mixteco y Otomí.

El maíz no se expresa bien en
Español.  Recuerda lo que
está adentro de nosotros…

Antes las armas.

¡La biblia no dice todo!

Hay mas, pero escondido si
no andamos bien:

México sin miedo.

Tlanextili

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beauty6

Great Spirit, Holy Creator hear me.
We need to be awake—

The sun of civilization is setting,
hopefully passing over before
the mountain cracks.

Europe keeps coming for its
concrete—

Broken rocks on the dock of
fallen natural ports, civilization
stealing, dignified.

Tlanextili, Earth!  I’ve been asleep!
Hear me, I’m awake!

Rome planted unholy plants over
the green earth, as time separated
us from the rocks—

Sun! Shine, Tlanextili!  Hope, eternally
falling in natural wonders;

Hope – that cascade of truth in
red orbits we read next to golden
lines to time Thou growest!

Tlanextili, Sun!  Tlanextili to the
old gods that harmed no one.

Peace be to the reigning powers
that gobble up peace, calling it
politics—even medicine…

Tlanextili, me!  Sunshine next
to rain still a rainbow!

Tlanextili, Earth!  We can return to
the goodness before the gun. We
can return to honor—

Truth springs eternal down the lines
that care, children always there.

Conmueva mi mentalidad, Spirit!  The
Earth where there are no words…

Una mejor sociedad… sin lenguaje,
sin fronteras menos ellas creadas
en el núcleo de la tierra—

Tlanextili, mente.
Tlanextili, libertad!

Tlanextili, primera gente—
Tlanextili, Esperanza!