Oh, Say, Can You See? Can You Resist the War Machines?

‘Oh, Say, Can You See?’ Is an illustrated poem written and drawn by Laura R. Morris (LRM21)

Oh, say, can you see?

Can you resist the War Machines?

By the dawn’s early light,

Help me to wage Campaigns of Peace

‘Lest we become mere pawns and beasts.

-Laura R. Morris, 2021

Updated: Look, Mom! I’m on the Radio! Part I & II interview on ‘Friendly Fire- A Voice For Veterans’ on WMPG Community Radio

A screenshot of the WMPG ‘Friendly Fire’ archive page. My interview in two parts on Dec 8th and Dec 15th.

Updated: Listen to Friendly Fire on WMPG.org here, and look for Part I of the interview, which aired December 8, 2021, and Part II of the interview, which aired on December 15, 2021

https://www.wmpg.org/show/wed1300/

My friend, and fellow Veterans For Peace radio DJ, Don Kimball, talked me into a radio interview on WMPG, a community radio station in Maine. You can listen to me ramble about my adventures pursuing peace through art, my military career, and learning how to be a better human.

Many thanks to Don for making me sound coherent and keeping me on topic!

‘Airwaves’ by Laura R. Morris

Veterans target US military’s outsized impact on the climate crisis – Fellowship of Reconciliation

Veterans target US military’s outsized impact on the climate crisis – Fellowship of Reconciliation | Fellowship of Reconciliation
— Read on wagingnonviolence.org/forusa/2021/12/veterans-target-us-militarys-outsized-impact-on-the-climate-crisis/

Update: This is a reblog of an article my friend Cindy wrote for the Veterans For Peace (VFP) Climate Change and Militarism Project (CCMP) covering the US military’s underreported global greenhouse gas emissions ‘boot print’. She’s a very talented writer and I hope you all enjoy her article!

More Diplomas Mean More Diplomacy

‘More Diplomas Mean More Diplomacy’ is an original artwork by SM(Art) Bombs Comics’ creatrix Laura R. Morris

I drew this while thinking about how horrible it is that a minor child had access to an assault weapon and then killed two people, and wounded a third. Assault weapons are designed to ASSAULT, not DEFEND or hunt, except boar or large game, which are NOT usually in RESIDENTIAL AREAS or cities. Oh, and then that minor child was tried as an adult and WALKED?!

Update: What is the root cause of this problem? If we valued the peaceful exchange of ideas more than weapons, we might start to see a change in society.

I can’t help but think about the Legendary Johnny Cash (1958) who sang “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town”

https://youtu.be/CoxQWFtqaYM

Armistice Day Reflections: There is no glory at the end of a gun

‘Peace and Poppies’ an original work by Laura R. Morris

Today is Armistice Day, also known as ‘Veterans’ Day’ in the United States. If you’d like to support veterans, please stop supporting wars. Stop investing in fossil fuels. Look at your retirement funds. Read the fine print when you buy things.

Also, The whole ethical conundrum the US has created about Women’s roles in Combat is absurd. If you don’t want Women in Combat, then stop waging and supporting Combat. Women and children are dying everyday from US airstrikes and bombing campaigns. The people who are reinforcing harmful gender roles are also the ones approving of US acts of war. Please be rid of the draft and stop sending our young people to die for the sake of land grabs and natural resource acquisition.

If you are a young person and want to change the world and make a difference, then go to a good trade school or technical college. Learn a skilled trade or anything involving medical or health services. Give back to your communities. Be a firefighter or an EMT or a librarian or a school teacher. Please think twice before enlisting in the military.

I am a veteran coming from a deeply military family. I grew up watching GI Joe, helping my Dad shine his combat boots for National Guard duty, and thinking MREs were better than Happy Meals because MREs came with candy and little hot sauce bottles.

I have very complicated feelings about this holiday. I don’t like to be thanked for my service. I don’t know how to respond most of the time. How do I explain that the military was both the best and worst decision I’ve ever made? It was the best because I saw the world for what it is. I saw with my own eyes the massive train wreck that is our foreign policy. I met all sorts of amazing and inspiring people which have ultimately shaped my view of the world from the country-fried conservative I started out, to the eccentric back-woods progressive I’m becoming. I wouldn’t be who I am in this moment without that experience, and I am grateful to have survived to tell my story.

The drawbacks to becoming the property of the US Government for eight years was that Uncle Sam can ask you to go anywhere, do anything, or kill anyone, or be killed as long as it abides by the Chain of Command and the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Job descriptions are deceptive. You can start out thinking that you’re signing up for a desk job and supporting democracy, then end up dead in a ditch halfway on the other side of the world because politicians put people over profits. Resist and go to prison or, do your job and go to prison later. I usually lose people here. That’s fine. Just read Smedly D. Butler’s “War is a Racket,” written in 1935. The War for Fossil Fuels has been going on a long time.

All in A Day’s Work: Militarism, Climate Crisis, and Colonization

‘All in a Day’s Work’ is an original digital work of art by SM(Art) Bombs Comics’ Laura R. Morris.

Update: I lightened the image because the original painting came out a little too dark to see the details.

It took me a day to find the words to describe this painting.

Over 1,005 Environmental and Resource defenders have been Murdered outright since the 2015 Paris Agreement (Democracy Now!, 2021). This figure does not include the number of deaths from environmental pollution, exposure hazards, cancers, birth defects, loss of livelihood, economic hardship, or climate crisis. What is the true body count for the war for fossil fuels? How many secret mass graves will we find when we start looking around these work sites?

These are people who died protecting their lands. Yesterday was recognized as Armistice Day. I believe that anyone who dies for their land is deserving of the same honor and recognition given to a soldier killed in action.

‘All in A Day’s Work’ was an incredibly difficult piece to make emotionally. The machines, scaling, and placement of the construction workers was the easy part. Depicting the dead in a way that was both respectful and impactful was the hard part. I cried everyday I worked on this.

I have seen worksites like this up close.

The sky takes on unique atmospheric characteristics when a dust storm is moving in. It looks like hell on Earth. The soil beneath your feet is reduced to moondust from heavy industrial desertification and you can taste the sickly sweet Diesel exhaust.

The machines are quite large. The scaling of human to machine here is actually quite modest.

In the painting, a breached aquifer spews muddy toxic rainbow sludge as a new pipeline is sunk. The souls of those murdered for the land are rising up and speaking to us from beyond the grave. If you look close enough at the soil, you will see their messages from beyond.

A large excavator looms over the scene with two armed construction workers guarding the perimeter. In the distance are oil wells and rigs. A vulture looks down at the scene with a predator drone and two F-35s patrolling the skies.

Reference:

Democracy Now! (2021, November 8). Activists at COP26 Honor 1,000+ Environmental Defenders Killed Since Paris Accord — 1 in 3 Indigenous. Democracy Now!. https://www.democracynow.org/2021/11/8/memorial_for_murdered_earth_defenders

How the US Military is Fueling The Climate Crisis in Three Discussions with Democracy Now!, The Veterans For Peace, People’s Summit for Climate Justice, and Peace Action Maine…

If you weren’t able to catch these conversations live, you can watch the recordings for free at the links below:

11/09/21: Democracy Now! War Helps Fuel the Climate Crisis as U.S. Military Carbon Emissions Exceed 140+ Nations. https://www.democracynow.org/2021/11/9/cop26_military_emissions_and_climate_change


11/07/21: Veterans For Peace. US militarism space tech and climate crisis. People’s Summit for Climate Justice, COP26 Coalition. (7 Nov 21).

Speakers: Adrienne Kinne, David Collins, Lisa Savage…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iHElWVEN7Q&t=83s


10/31/21. Peace Action Maine and Veterans For Peace. How the Pentagon Fuels Climate Crisis.

Speakers: David Swanson and Janet Weil

https://youtu.be/mm6403IXqE4

Passamaquoddy artist Geo Soctomah Neptune made the ‘Out 100’ List of most influential LGBTQ leaders

Out.com Editors. (2021). 18 LGBTQ+ Policy Makers and Advocates Changing the World. Out.com. https://www.out.com/print/2021/11/03/out100-2021-18-lgbtq-policy-makers-and-advocates-changing-world#media-gallery-media-8

Basketry from Geo Soctomah Neptune’s Portfolio https://www.geoneptune.com/portfolio-2/project-one-425k8

I vividly remember the time I met Geo Soctomah Neptune. I was attending the Common Ground Fair in Unity, ME in the Fall of 2017. As I was walking through the tents for local artists, I was drawn to the most colorful baskets in all shapes and sizes. The baskets glowed like the weaver had woven the light of rainbows. I was enchanted, so I asked lots of dumb questions to the artist.

Geo Neptune was incredibly patient as they explained their approach to their art and how it related to being ‘Two-Spirited. I had never heard of Two-Spirited people, but the way Geo explained, it was so beautiful and it made so much sense. Simply, some people embody both the masculine and feminine divine aspects.

It was as though Geo revealed a secret of the universe by sharing a truth about themself, and it I am so grateful for that chance meeting. I doubt Geo would remember me, I was just a face in the crowd, but I’ve been so happy to see Geo’s star ascend and I wish them all the best. ✌️

Art needs diversity! We need to be introduced to more unique and beautiful points of view and to support those who are blazing new trails!

You can see Geo’s works here:

The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, ME https://www.abbemuseum.org/attending-artists-profiles/geo-soctomah-neptune

And on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/GeoNeptuneArtist/

Here’s a local news article from the Bangor Daily News:

Burnham, E. (2021). ‘Passamaquoddy artist Geo Neptune makes list of nation’s 100 most influential LGBTQ leaders’. Bangor Daily News. https://bangordailynews.com/2021/11/05/news/down-east/passamaquoddy-artist-geo-neptune-makes-list-of-nations-100-most-influential-lgbtq-leaders-joam40zk0w/

Update: I added the photo with Credits

People Powered Science in Action! Help Ron monitor the Line 3 Environmental Impacts…

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-ron-monitor-the-line-3-environmental-impacts

I love Citizen Science, projects that get raw data and science into the hands of the people. Equipment for monitoring and testing yields raw data that stands up to ‘peer review’ and can be used by experts and voters to make decisions and take action.

It would be really great if we could get citizen scientists organized with equipment for independent monitoring and testing at every construction site. It would be a wonderful way to teach students and promote community-based science initiatives

Maine Voters Reject the CMP Corridor/ NECEC

https://bangordailynews.com/elections-central/

The results aren’t official until signed by the Maine Secretary of State. Bangor Daily News is reporting Question 1 passed to reject the CMP Corridor!

Results Tables from https://bangordailynews.com/elections-central/

Thank you to everyone who shared flyers about the the CMP Corridor. Mainers used the power of the people to peacefully protect its resources from greedy greenwashed corporations.

There is still so much work to be done. I think of the struggles in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin over the Enbridge Tar Sands pipelines (line 3 and Line 5), I’m thinking about the Indigenous peoples’ struggles in the Amazon, and I’m thinking about the underreported extractive projects affecting the Indigenous peoples in Africa.

We are more connected than ever and the extractive corporations have a harder time stealing resources when we support one another’s resistance and provide mutual aid. Watch and share a lecture. Draw a picture. Have an honest conversation.

Divest from these abusive companies and learn more how to resist at Stop The Money Pipeline https://stopthemoneypipeline.com/

To quote Cesar Chavez, ‘¡Sí, se puede!’

✌️🕊

Hunterdon Art Museum Exhibition Explores Decolonization With Indigenous Artist Marie Watt

Hunterdon Art Museum presents Companion Species (At What Cost): The Works of Marie Watt, on display until January 9, 2022. This exhibition, which …

Hunterdon Art Museum Exhibition Explores Decolonization With Indigenous Artist Marie Watt

I’m so grateful to have been introduced to Marie Watt’s work through this article! (Isn’t technology amazing?) I wish I could see this exhibit in person.

Watt’s approach to artistic creation involves community, multiple people stitching together while sharing their stories. This spirit of community is imbued into each work, and every stitch makes the overall piece stronger.

I feel like there are a million lessons to be learned about Decolonization from sewing circles that need to be shared. What if our leaders had to work through the sewing circles? Each would have to learn patience, team work, discipline, and compassion.

I wanted to learn more about Marie Watt and I found her website here with more examples of her beautiful work. http://www.mariewattstudio.com/

Handmade textiles have a magic of their own. My sewing/weaving/ crochet skills are not spectacular, but I have experienced the catharsis of counting stitches through the tears, with each loop a prayer of hope or healing. My grandmothers’ hands have crocheted and quilted many blankets for family, friends, and those in need. These blankets have lasted lifetimes. My Grandmother had a blanket quilted by her Grandmother. I can still see my Grandmother’s hands working and feel her hugs through those blankets, even though she’s no longer with us in this existence.

COP26 Coalition-The People’s Summit For Climate Justice: Join the Veterans For Peace in a session about ‘U.S. Militarism, Space Tech, and the Climate Crisis – The Role of Demilitarization in Climate Justice.’

Images are banner snapshots from https://cop26coalition.org/peoples-summit/u-s-militarism-space-tech-and-the-climate-crisis-the-role-of-demilitarization-in-climate-justice/

On Nov 7, at 8PM UTC, (3PM EST) Join The Veterans For Peace session on Militarism, Climate, and Space Tech here: https://cop26coalition.org/peoples-summit/u-s-militarism-space-tech-and-the-climate-crisis-the-role-of-demilitarization-in-climate-justice/

Upcoming Zoom Events You Should Attend If You’d Like To Help UnFrack the World…

PEACESTOCK Tues, Oct 19th, 6:00-8:30pm (central) https://www.peacestockvfp.org/

Zoom Your Way Over to ‘Peacestock’ for an evening with artists, musicians, and public speakers as we explore ‘Militarism and The Environment’ with the Veterans For Peace

How the Pentagon Fuels Climate Oct 30 Sat. 8 PM (eastern) https://peaceactionme.org/

Join our Zoom  Register HERE

with David Swanson and Janet Weil, (These are some heavy hitters, folks!)

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/peoples-summit-for-climate-justice-tickets-182897339867?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=escb

7-10 Nov, 2021 People’s Summit for Climate Justice COP26 Coalition https://cop26coalition.org/peoples-summit/

150 sessions joining movements across the globe. We need to network! Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/peoples-summit-for-climate-justice-tickets-182897339867?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=escb

What Would Happen If… The Border Patrol Was Replaced With A Safety Patrol?

‘What Would Happen If… The Border Patrol Was Replaced By A Safety Patrol’ by SM(Art) Bombs Comics (LRM21)

I’m reimagining the border. What if we were more concerned about people over profits? What If the Border Patrol was trained by all those awesome people who fiercely protect kids as they cross the street?

The Motherly figure is wearing a Red dress for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) who have been affected by human trafficking at the border. I made the safety patrol officer a Grandma, because I usually see them out keeping the little ones safe at the bus stops.

Greenwashing Uncle Sam: A Summary of the Department of Defense Climate Adaptation Plan…

‘Greenwashing Uncle Sam’ is an original work by SM(Art) Bombs Comics (LRM21)

Update: I love riffing on old recruitment posters. This is a reference to the old “I Want You” Uncle Sam campaign. In this setting, Uncle Sam has been painted green and was given some cool sunglasses to appear more young and hip! Please read the next paragraph in your best impression of what Uncle Sam would sound like! To me, Uncle Sam sounds like an annoyingly loud infomercial guy.

Uncle Sam Says: “Nothing is Greener than the military, well maybe except for money and Lady Liberty, but Uncle Sam has a deal for you! Uncle Sam is such an expert at being green, that he wants to COLLABORATE with the public and private sectors over land use, natural resources, water, and power generation!
DoD has a shiny new AI tool that will take down all your metadata and help you be super green too, just like Uncle Sam! Just sit tight while it takes down an inventory of your stuff…
“It’s not easy being green”, so Uncle Sam just wants to use your land and water, and oil, or whatever, if the supply chains get weird, so no biggie, right? Oh and that collaboration earlier includes Uncle Sam’s friends in the big industries, so can they can use your stuff too! Hooray!
While you’re out there being green, don’t get caught protesting against any pipelines! The Department of Homeland Security is going all the way to the arctic to make sure oil flows to power the machines that control the military’s ‘climate adaptation’ while somebody is stacking a whole lotta green!”

My key takeaways from the DoD Climate Adaptation Plan

“The primary purpose of this plan is to integrate climate change adaptation and climate resilience across agency programs, management of real property, public LANDS and WATERS, and FINANCIAL SERVICES” (DoD Climate Adaptation Plan, from the introduction on pg 3, pgph 3, lines 3-5, 2021)

Bottom Line Up Front: 
1) DoD is ‘collaborating’ with public and private sector civilian organizations, NGOs, logistics, business enterprise, and natural resource entities under the guise of improving “climate adaptation” and “resiliency”. The fine print includes DoD’s requisition of those resources to protect DoD assets when times get tough and supply chains fail. (So like right now). DoD could use Greenwashing to seize control of National assets and resources. 

2) DoD awarded Booz-Allen a contract for ‘Advana’ in 2019 (before the pandemic) to be like a Siri for base installations and track metadata for logistics, analytics, supply chains, readiness. Who has access to this info? How is this info protected? This needs more background and followup. 

3) DoD has a renewed push to train and acquire resources in Arctic. 

4) DoD acknowledges that training and testing ranges will need to be expanded due to land loss and degradation from climate change. Expect DoD will expand (eminent domain) around bases to create buffer zones and into the arctic as land becomes accessible

5) Expect more clashes over resources and for those who resist to get stuck with antiterrorism charges, since the DHS is getting more involved with infrastructure and arctic ops. 

Resources:

Department of Defense, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition and Sustainment). 2021. Department of Defense Draft Climate Adaptation Plan. Report Submitted to National Climate Task Force and Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. 1 September 2021. https://media.defense.gov/2021/Oct/07/2002869699/-1/-1/0/DEPARTMENT-OF-DEFENSE-CLIMATE-ADAPTATION-PLAN.PDF

The Derpartment of Defence Released Their New Climate Readiness Action Plan (CRAP)

This is a copy of some notes I made for research…obviously I altered the original document for satirical purposes.

I didn’t make it past the cover. I just couldn’t help myself. 😂😜

The photos of the poor troops happily sandbagging and the submarine on the arctic voyage are in the original document. It is very interesting when you contemplate WHY the US is suddenly so interested in NATO…

Update: I really have no idea WTF that is in the lower right corner of the graphic. It was in the original document, so I left it alone, but the more I’m staring at it, the more intriguing it gets… what is it? Anybody know?

Updated Update: There are talks of implementing a higher level Operational Climate Readiness Adaptation Plan (OCRAP) which will likely cover the 2050-2099 time frame

An Update to the Updated Update: This is a Satirical Humorous Interjection and Thought (S.H.I.T) post. Also, That weird thing in the lower right corner is part of a Climate testing facility.

Don’t Use Climate Funds for Hydro Projects: 300 organisations from 69 countries to UN & govts at COP26

A landmark Global declaration titled “RIVERS FOR CLIMATE” was launched on Sept 21, 2021, endorsed already by 300 organisations from 69 countries …

Don’t Use Climate Funds for Hydro Projects: 300 organisations from 69 countries to UN & govts at COP26

I found this article just this morning. The CMP Corridor depends on Hydropower from the Churchill Falls region in Labrador, Canada. Megadams are built from the deliberate flooding of a valley, which destroys people’s homes, wipes out fisheries, and contaminates water supplies. More water equal more electricity generated. It’s all about the flow of Money and Power…

‘Warning: Fossil Fuels Frack The Future’

Don’t frack my future, Man! ‘Warning: Fossil Fuels Frack The Future’ is an original work by SM(Art) Bombs Comics. Share it. Just gimme a shout-out, okay?

The American Crow returns, this time warning of the Vultures waiting on the oil wells…

Interpretive Notes and Translation to the Layman’, personal notes on ‘DoD Installation Exposure to Climate Change at Home and Abroad. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

I took notes while I was reading and thought you’d enjoy them! Screen capture of page 4 (Pinson, White, Ritchie, Conners, and Arnold, 2021)

‘Interpretive Notes and Translation to the Layman’, personal notes on ‘DoD Installation Exposure to Climate Change at Home and Abroad. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Washington, DC, page 4 of 136, paragraph 1.’ (Pinson, White, Ritchie, Conners, and Arnold, 2021)

Here’s the deal, folks! The military doesn’t change it’s tactics, spend time and precious money to make the ‘snowflakes’ happy or because DoD has turned over a new leaf.

The military spends money to protect the assets it thinks are important for global domination. So, when DoD says it can’t forecast a future where there isn’t worsening drought, flooding, wildfires, chaos, etc.. it should make us all take a moment. Please take a moment, and then think of ways you can divest from fossil fuels, plant a garden, learn how to take care of your community and support local and sustainable food sources.

Resources:

Pinson, A.O., K.D. White, E.E. Ritchie, H.M. Conners, and J.R. Arnold. (2021). DoD Installation Exposure to Climate Change at Home and Abroad. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Washington, DC, page 4 of 136, paragraph 1. https://media.defense.gov/2021/Apr/20/2002624613/-1/-1/1/DOD-INSTALLATION-EXPOSURE-TO-CLIMATE-CHANGE-AT-HOME-AND-ABROAD.PDF

Let’s Help This Great Grandmother Get To Glasgow COP26!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ggm-mary-lyons-climate-uncop26-in-scotland-funds/share

From GGM Mary Lyons GoFundMe page:

“Greeting all, We are in a time of stillness, a time to reflect the wisdom of the beginning. We are all here in a circle of balance, to honor the sacred bundles that have been placed throughout Mother Earth, of healing light and truth. Now is the time to focus on the essential truths, giving them power. We are the masters of our own emotions and choices. We all drink from the same well of air, earth, water, and light. We all are sitting in the right place at the right time, our breaths are of the oneness….”

We have the opportunity to crowd-source this amazing leader’s trip to such a prestigious world event! (The internet still amazes me-lol).

I heard about GGM Lyons from the Native Root’s Radio October 20th podcast. Native Roots Radio covers the impacts of the extractive industries in North America/Turtle Island, which the mainstream media rarely covers. Please give them a listen, if you can. https://www.nativerootsradio.com/

Abby Zimet: OMFG Texas – Giving Nazis – Also Slave-Owners and Assorted Bigots – A Break

Alas, the move to whitewash history isn’t going so well in one of the last states to tell slaves they were free…

Abby Zimet: OMFG Texas – Giving Nazis – Also Slave-Owners and Assorted Bigots – A Break

Zimet’s article above is a treasure trove of information that should be included in high school reading and history programs.

I am an 8th generation Texan and graduated the public school system almost 20 years ago. What makes Texas so special IS the diversity of people, landscapes, food, and music. This diversity needs to be reflected in the stories and histories because history doesn’t exist in a singular whitewashed lens. (How boring!)

Our understanding of events (History) is multi-dimensional and dynamic, especially if we approach learning using the scientific method. As we discover more facts about the past and more diverse sources, we are forced to change our hypotheses and we form new conclusions. We have to identify and discuss our failures to help heal the generations that came before us, and make the world better for the generations that come after. Some people call this “Critical Race Theory”. I just call it ‘good research’.

Love Thy Mother Earth

‘Love Thy Mother Earth’ is an original work by SM(Art) Bombs Comics, Laura R Morris (LRM21)

I drew this while watching Peacestock.

Keep Your Bans Off Our Trans – Let The Children Play

Resist TX House Bill 25, which bans transgendered children from playing sports. Read the bill here https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/873/billtext/html/HB00025I.htm

Once upon a time I wanted to play baseball. I was obsessed. It was around the time the movies ‘Field of Dreams’ and ‘A League of Their Own’ came out. I wasn’t allowed because of some garbage ass excuse that I hadn’t played t-ball, but I’m pretty sure it was because I was the only female child. I could visibly see the adults tap-dancing around it. They asked, “Why can’t you play Softball, instead, with the other girls?”

I’m still mad about it. It was bullshit and it needs to stop. I don’t identify as a trans person, but I know how much it stings to be rejected based on biological sex. Texas’ House Bill 25 legalizes sex discrimination.

Update: It needed more glitter and a lens flare, because the answer is always YES to Glitter!!

Greenwashing Big Dam Lies

‘Greenwashing Big Dam Lies‘ is an original painting by Laura R. Morris.

I’ve always thought that dams looked like big creepy mouths. After researching the sources of hydroelectric power for the CMP Corridor/New England Clean Energy Corridor, my outlook hasn’t changed much.

The above piece was an idea that didn’t make it into my infographic because I ran out of space, so I made it a stand alone piece. As I started drawing, it took on the vibe of an old Megaman villain crossed with that weird fuzzy red Looney Tunes character whose name escapes me… The dead Brook Trout and Catfish among the dying and polluted vegetation really finishes it well, I think.

For more information, please visit my Infographic https://smartbombscomics.wordpress.com/2021/10/13/what-you-should-know-about-the-cmp-corridor-aka-the-new-england-clean-energy-corridor/

What You Should Know About The CMP Corridor aka The New England Clean Energy Corridor…

Here are some things to consider before supporting the corridor…

‘Reject The CMP Corridor/ NECEC’ by SM(Art) Bombs Comics

1. The CMP Corridor / NECEC is illegal.

• In August 2021, ‘Maine Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy terminated CMP and NECEC land leases in a ruling ‘that state agencies broke the law and ignored the Constitution by keeping Maine people and the Legislature in the dark about leases given to CMP to cross public lands’(Murphy, 2021); and that the State of Maine ‘had no authority to lease public land for CMP corridor’ (Shepherd, 2021).

• The Penobscot Nation also opposes the project. In 2020, Chief Kirk Francis requested an Environmental Impact Survey from the Army Corps of Engineers.

2. The CMP/NECEC Corridor does not supply any energy to Maine. (NRCM, 2021).

3. 25 Maine towns and 6 major organizations have opposed or rescinded their support for the project.

• This opposition includes the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine , United Steelworker’s Maine Labor Council, and Bath Iron Works’ largest union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local S6 (Natural Resource Council of Maine [NRCM], 2021)

4. The energy passing through the CMP/NECEC Corridor isn’t Clean, Green, or Sustainable.

• Hydro power supplied by Hydro Quebec through the CMP/NECEC Corridor, has flooded hundreds of acres of Indigenous ancestral homelands and caused methyl mercury poisoning in the local watersheds (Hongoltz-Hetling & Seamans, 2019).

• this has destroyed access to livelihoods, foods, fisheries, and ecosystems.

• CMP proposes Clearcutting 53 miles through 263 wetlands, across 115 streams, fragmenting the largest contiguous temperate forest in North America. (NRCM, 2021).

• Includes “areas where public agencies and private citizens have spent millions to protect brook trout.”

References:

Francis, K. E. (2020, July 22). Letter from Chief Kirk Francis, Office of the Chief and Council of the Penobscot Nation to Colonel William Conde, District Engineer Commander U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nocmpcorridor/pages/371/attachments/original/1596047500/penobscots_letter_for_EIS.pdf?1596047500

Hongoltz-Hetling, M. and Seamans, M. G. (2019, December 2). The Hidden Costs of New England’s Demand for Canadian Hydropower. Valley News. https://pulitzercenter.org/stories/hidden-costs-new-englands-demand-canadian-hydropower

Murphy, E. D. (2021, August 11). Transmission corridor in jeopardy after judge vacates lease of public land to CMP. Portland Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2021/08/10/maine-quebec-power-corridor-in-jeopardy-after-judge-vacates-public-land-lease/

Natural Resource Council of Maine (2021). CMP Corridor Proposal: A Bad Deal for Maine. Natural Resource Council of Maine. https://www.nrcm.org/programs/climate/proposed-cmp-transmission-line-bad-deal-maine/

Shepherd, M.(2021, August 11). Judge rules that Maine had no authority to lease public land for CMP corridor. Bangor Daily News. https://bangordailynews.com/2021/08/10/politics/judge-rules-that-maine-had-no-authority-to-lease-public-land-for-cmp-corridor/

Reflections on Indigenous Peoples’ Day: We Are The Dreams of Our Ancestors… What Future Are We Dreaming Into Reality?

‘La Madre Mariposa’ an original artwork by Laura R. Morris, 2021.

Today is Indigenous People’s Day in the lands now known as the United States. I wish to express Gratitude to my Indigenous relatives. I recognize that my (mostly) European ancestors would have died had they not been shown mercy. Because of those first acts of kindness, I exist here. Anyone who is a descendant of Los Conquistadores, and/or the ‘founding fathers’ of the ‘13 original colonies’ wouldn’t exist. Even our Constitution largely borrows from the governance of the Eastern Woodland Tribal nations. The United States government and citizenry owe so much to our Indigenous allies, yet our government has left behind a Trail of Broken Treaties in its destructive wake as Colonialism, Capitalism, and Centralized Banking have taken root.

In the first few months during the Pandemic, I decided to learn more about the tribal nations located closest to me. I have learned that I live in the Dawnland, and that my neighbors, the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot in the Wabanaki Confederacy, have continuously cared for these lands for at least 10,000 years. I learned that 400 years ago in 1621, my English ancestors on the Mayflower met Samoset, a Wabanaki diplomat who was the first Indigenous person to make contact with the ship. This really intrigued me because for the last 8 generations my family has lived in Texas. It makes me wonder if it was really random chance that I have returned back to the Dawnland now 14 generations later…

I recently listened to an interview with the now Secretary of the Interior, the Honorable Deb Haaland, who in a 2020 video interview said that, “I am the person that my Grandparents dreamed of,” as she recollected her family’s history surviving the genocidal practices of the United States, the Boarding School era, her mother’s military service, and her personal journey to being elected into Congress. Please listen to her interviews if you get the time. She is an amazing person.

Her statement resonated with me. It made me think about my grandparents and who their grandparents were. Through a combination of genetic testing, Ancestry.com, and old family bibles, I found out that if all my grandparents and their ancestors got together in one room, they would look like a UN assembly and would represent 5 continents. If they could speak to me, what would they say?

I am a child of Colonization, but I am learning to live a better way. Please forgive me for supporting a harmful system. I didn’t understand that there could be another way. I have learned that the version of history I was taught in school is a whitewashed fable of America. We desperately need the perspectives of those born outside the system in we ever wish to escape the abusive cycles of Colonization that are destroying our world. We must acknowledge our failures if we are to live up to the idea that “All (People) are created equal” and we must make sure their voices are heard if we wish to live in a real Democracy.

The more perspectives we hear, the more dimensions of history can be studied. We aren’t getting the whole story if we only listen to the European American sources. This is called Critical Race Theory, or CRT, by some, but I just call it good research.

Here are some of the resources that are helping me learn along the way (in no particular order):

1. ‘1491’ a documentary series by Aarow Productions, Inc. (2018) about the Americas pre-Columbian contact. https://vimeo.com/292727873

2. Native Roots Radio ‘I’m Awake’ radio show with Robert and Wendy Pilot https://www.nativerootsradio.com/

3. ‘Cut To The Chase’ podcast with Chase Iron Eyes https://anchor.fm/cut-to-the-chase

4. ‘This Land’ Podcast with Rebecca Nagle and Crooked Media. https://crooked.com/podcast-series/this-land/

5. ‘Sacred Instructions’ by Sherri L Mitchell (2018) https://sacredinstructions.life/books

I hope these resources can help add a little more perspective to Indigenous People’s Day and please share to continue lifting up their voices and perspectives.

References:

Aarow Productions, Inc. (2018). 1491- The Untold Story Of The Americas Before Columbus. Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/292727873

Burnham, E. (2021, March 16). 400 years ago today, a Wabanaki man was 1st Indigenous person to meet Mayflower settlers. Bangor Daily News. https://bangordailynews.com/2021/03/16/news/bangor/400-years-ago-today-a-wabanaki-man-was-1st-indigenous-person-to-meet-mayflower-settlers/

Iron Eyes, C. (2021). Cut To The Chase (Podcast). Anchor.fm. https://anchor.fm/cut-to-the-chase

Haaland, D. (2020, September 19). Meet Deb Haaland, the Indigenous Woman Who Might Be the Next Secretary of the Interior. The Sunrise Movement. Youtube. https://youtu.be/g5COU76BvGs

Mitchell, S. L. (2018). Sacred Instructions. North Atlantic Books: Berkley, California.

Pilot, R & Pilot, W. (2021). Native Roots Radio. https://www.nativerootsradio.com/

SONGNGUTAITRAM

Vietnamese art and literature, beyond borders

— Read on songngutaitram.org

Every once in awhile I come across a project that reminds me that the internet can be an extraordinary medium for the spread of peace. Songngutaitram is a poetry and art blog that gracefully explores war, peace, disaster, plague, and hope in ways that are haunting, raw, and devastating. This voice needs to be heard. These are the voices of peace and survival. If we listen, maybe we can learn how to prevent future atrocities.