The Lakota People's Law Project supports and defends the Water Protectors battling Big Oil and its Black Snake pipeline. A donation helps these volunteer lawyers continue their work. Buying a tee-shirt helps too-- plus it gets the message out that the battle isn't over. You can order a Shepard Fairey design and others here.
"And I've been running away from the wise man in my head
And he said, go, go, go, go get lost in the wind
And I've been hearing some whispers on the wind
And they said, run, run, run, run away for your sins
But don't leave that fiery mind behind
Take it along for the ride
And don't leave that fiery mind behind
Take it along for the ride."
Coincidence? I think not. Alice Phoebe Lou and I share more than just age and a predilection for war paint-- although I'm sure this 20-year-old flower child singer/songwriter from South Africa would beg to differ the significance of that stripe across her face. Like me, we also couldn't wait to get started with living. We both left our homes while still teenagers. She went to Berlin to sing and play her guitar on the streets. I went into the swamp chasing my dreams of being with Nokosee.
Okay, her muse was more spiritual than mine-- I will be the first to admit in Book 2 that raging hormones had a lot to do with it and that I was pregnant-- but we were still proactive with our lives at a very young age. And, okay, she never shot anybody or anything before she turned twenty, but we both care deeply for the environment.
Plus, we both like to sing. Although some say my voice "isn't half bad"-- my passed father-in-law Busimanolotome Osceola loved my take on the song I sang to Nokosee at our wedding in the swamp, "A Band Called Smith's" Baby It's You-- he also liked to "joke" that my voice could feed the NS tribe because it-- in his words-- "could scare the critters shitless out from hiding"-- which made them easy targets.
Anyway, although Alice Phoebe Lou and I are blue-eyed blondes and share a love of singing and war paint-- I'm sure she'd say it's "peace paint"-- she's got a voice that is all her own: beautiful, original, and heartfelt. I suspect if she ever sang for the NS, that voice wouldn't scare "critters" but would instead lure them to its source.
Where we could "kill them dead."
Just kidding. Buy her music. Get her off the streets!
It's official now. After years of conservationists battling a "developer" wanting to put a Walmart and other buildings on one of the rarest forests in the world and home to numerous endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given the project its official stamp of approval. Ken Warren, spokesperson for the toothless agency set up to protect America's natural world, justified their position by reminding everyone that the land was private and the only thing the agency can do is try to mediate a solution where everyone wins.
Unfortunately no matter how you slice and dice it-- the land divides habitat in a scheme that allows Walmart, a strip mall, 900-apartments and, of course, a huge parking lot-- no one wins. Except Greed. And the Repugnicant Party.
And the University of Miami which had been given the land by the U.S. Coast Guard. Instead of conserving it, they sold it to the developer for $22-million. Knowing that, it's hard to miss the irony and not be repulsed by the football team's gleeful display of that over-the-top-in-your-face "Turnover Chain." Maybe they can hang it over the neck of the school's new president. Yeah, with the "U" it's all about the bling.
You can learn more, here.
Update 12/8/2017: Judge orders emergency halt to clearing rare Miami forest targeted by Walmart. Miami district court Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled the plaintiffs "showed a likelihood of winning their case and that ongoing work could cause irreparable harm."
Kudos to the Center for Biological Diversity, Tropical Audubon Society, Miami Pine Rockland Coalition, and the South Florida Wildlands Association. Here's hoping they will be successful and the NS won't have to get all "old school" with them thar bulldozers like we did in Book 2 (for those who read Book 2, yes that didn't turn out very well but apparently anything is possible). You can read more here.
While holed up seeking "Sanctuary" from Uncle Sam at the Miccosukee Embassy here in Miami, I got to reading a story in our local New Times. Apparently something called the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has concluded in a study out this month that the Everglades is in deep shit. Of 241 natural wonders assessed around the world, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Smoky Mountains, the Everglades was the only one in the United States to make that list. Climate change, altered water flow, and invasive species are the main contributors to its perilous predicament. All of these factors are man-made.
"Woo-hoo! We're Number One!"
The locals here live on the edge of the Everglades but rarely think about it. If anything it gets in their way. There's something called the Urban Development Boundary that developers are constantly urging our elected officials to push further west so people can travel faster on new roads to buy needful things for their new homes in what was once Everglades. So far that line has held but for how long is anyone's guess.
Fighting encroaching developers has been one of the main missions of the New Seminole since its founder Busimanolotome Osceola dreamed it up one day many moons ago (the other one is rescuing the Everglades by taking it back by any means necessary from the "Outside." If you read my last book, you know that didn't turn out too well). After meeting his son Nokosee in the middle of nowhere during an Everglades fire, it became mine, too. (But not right away. I may be a slow learner, but I am a true believer now in "The Cause.") My Nokosee books trace that evolution of me not caring and then joining the NS to fight back to "save the swamp." Sure, some, like my parents, might tell you that I only saw "the light" after seeing Nokosee; that it was my raging teenage hormones that made me do it. And you know what? That's true. BUT I did come around on my own to put it right up there with loving Nokosee. And now our daughter, Haalie.
When I think of her, I think about the Everglades. It brought Nokosee and me together and it cradled the birth of our daughter. Knowing that, I can't let anything happen to them and will fight to the death to protect them.
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.