How slavery came to the USA & what can Democrats / Republicans do 2019?

Freedom from slavery:  So how many slaves came to the New World from Africa  and what  can the Democrats and Republicans do today?

Well how about that — only  a tiny percentage of slaves  came from Africa  to the New World. About 388,00 total.  A tiny percentage of the total.

According to PBS.org and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. Only about 388,000 were shipped to North America. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

Today in Africa there are an estimated 9.2 million people living in modern day slavery.  The population of Africa 2017  is 1,256,268,025.

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Firenze Sage   JAJ48@aol.com      And to think only the USA had slaves?   Wake up,the slaves came from black slavers who sold black people.

If Democrats and Republicans were serious about eliminating the blight of slavery they may want to focus on modern day Africa.

This week Nancy Pelosi and 12 Democrats will travel to Ghana to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves from Africa arriving on American shores.

Will these Democrats speak out against the thriving slave trade in Africa today?

One, two, three — 3 spiritual exercises how to converse with God?

Spiritual exercises?  How to converse with God?    How can you expand your daily  consciousness of God,  who is in all and all present.

Catholic priest  Father Larry   learned after the death of his wife Joan nineteen years ago how much he needed God as his Friend, the same way  as Abraham was God’s friend.

“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend. ( Isaiah 41:8).

Says Father Larry:  There’s one, two three spiritual exercises you can do daily,  which take about 5 or so  minutes a day.   These spiritual exercises are a way of expanding your consciousness of God who is in all and all present.

At the  ‘Last Chance Cafe’ 7/28/2019   (6 pm Sunday  Mass at Resurrection Catholic Community in Aptos, CA)   Father Larry  said:

1) Think back over the last 24 hours for an interaction or event  that went well in your life. Re-experience those moments and hold them in your consciousness.  Then,  give thanks to God for those moments and event.

2) Next.  Now think back over the last 24 hours for an interaction, project  or event that did not go well. This time think how  it might have gone better and replay in your  consciousness how it might have gone.  And now, ask God  for grace that next time that it will go better.

3) Think ahead to the next 24 hours.  Think about what might happen in the next 24 hours,  about up-coming   projects, events or interactions which you think will occur.   Pick a particular  possible event.  And ask God for strength and wisdom as you experience that up-coming event or interaction.

That’s the One, Two , Three spiritual exercises you can utilize to expand your consciousness of God as your Friend and Companion on the Way.  Thank  Father Larry  of Resurrection Catholic Community, for these suggestions.

written by Cameron Jackson   7/29/2019      JAJ48@aol.com

Person holes? Woman holes? Man holes? Oh dear …

Gender free language does little to promote real freedoms.  Berkeley CA is into  language changing for whatever purposes.

Berkeley, CA bans gas and man holes. How about person holes? Man holes? Woman holes?

At a Tuesday night city council meeting, Berkeley, CA  became the first city in America to ban the use of natural gas piping in new construction. But that was not the only utility-related issue they saw fit to attend to. No, there was another matter on deck: Eliminating the gendered connotations of words like “manhole” in the city municipal code.

No longer will the streets of fair Berkeley be dotted with manholes, nary a womanhole or nonbinaryhole in sight. With Tuesday night’s vote, they have all been transmuted into “maintenance holes,” that highest, hardest glass manhole-cover finally shattered.

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Firenze Sage    aol.com    You now need a language course to enter Berkeley, CA   assuming you’d want to.  Gas is cheaper and less polluting than electric  so let’s ban gas.

Community organizer Deon Johnson strong contender for next episcopal bishop?

Deon Johnson — second person from  left

Remember Obama’s 2008  mantra —  Hope and Change– ? Remember that    Obama’s background was in  community organizing?

Another community organizer, Deon Johnson,  is a strong contender for the top job as Bishop of El Camino Real located in Salinas, CA.

In the picture of five people above, Deon Johnson is the second person from the  left.

Will  church  pick a ‘community organizer’ for  their next bishop? Tomorrow, 6/1/19, clergy and laity reps  pick one of five contenders for the top job as Bishop of El Camino Real.

In his taped  performance at Almaden episcopal  church in San Jose Deon Johnson  appears  smooth, verbally  quick and similar to  another community organizer who captured the American presidency  back in 2008 – Barack Obama.  Deon Johnson  is a native of Barbados,  and currently lives in Michigan  with his husband and two adopted children.

Below are   videos of several of the candidates speaking at   Almaden church in San Jose, CA.

One of them, Lucinda Ashby,  grew up in Peru, speaks fluent Spanish and her role model is her model.

written by Cameron Jackson     jaj48@aol.com

 

How to improve public meetings? Require officials state ahead how they plan to vote

Require elected officials state in writing — 24 hours ahead of time — how they plan to vote

The  way current  Council meetings are currently conducted is an abomination .

I suggest that each member of the council be required under penalty of forfeiture of  to submit 24 hours in advance of any meeting a statement in writing which sets forth the member’s  views on issues to be voted upon and contentious issues which are not to be voted upon.

The views are not binding but are for the purpose of alerting the assembled crowd to the position of the particular   council member which would allow a member of the audience to focus his question on the issue at hand. And, furthermore, it would require the councilmember to answer a specific question with respect to his view and why he holds it.

At present we have stone faces unresponsive to public input.

Require officials state how they plan to vote 24 hours ahead.

written by James Jackson    jaj48@a0l.com

What’s “church” all about at St. John the Baptist Episcopal in Aptos, CA ? It’changing …

 

‘Transform lives’ —  bit  the dust as part of  a proposed Mission Statement for St. John’s episcopal in Aptos, CA

So what’s “church” all about at St. John’s episcopal church  in Aptos, CA?  It’s changing.    What we do know:  ‘transform lives’ bit the dust and won’t  be included in the new Mission Statement.

Soon  — or very soon —   this small episcopal church  of typically  75-100 persons  attending   an average   Sunday  10:30 AM  service — will collectively  agree on a new Mission Statement.

Assuming that  Mission Statement words become  connected to   new church  behaviors — there will be a host of new objectives and goals monitored by the church vestry/ board.

Initially proposed as the  new Mission Statement:    ‘Love like Jesus, respect the dignity of all people and  and transform lives.’  This  was proposed by the new  Rector,  Mother Tracy.

One member  wrote in,   ‘What does it mean to respect the dignity of all people?’   That it appears  was a  hard one  to define.    At a general meeting concerning ‘transform  lives’ as part of  the Mission Statement one  member strongly objected,  “I don’t like it” without saying why.    That thought prevailed.

So,  where is  St. John the Baptist  Episcopal  Church going  concerning  finalizing a new Mission Statement?

What’s  most recently  proposed:   ‘to love God and love our neighbors by doing justice,  loving mercy and walking humbly with God – together.’

Anyone out there  recognize the biblical  basis for the above?   The Great Commandment  has been squished together with  the old testament  question,  ‘What doth God require of thee, O man?’

Anyone willing and able to write a basic Mission Statement for a small Christian church?  Here’s one try:

‘We,   as part of the Body of Christ, love God & neighbor, seek to forgive others and also ourselves,  pray as He teaches us to pray,   and  do  such acts  as Jesus’s life,    teachings, death and resurrection suggest.’

Go for it —   suggest a basic Mission Statement for a small, episcopal church.

written by Cameron Jackson

 

 

 

 

 

“Respect every person” includes living space & clean needles? More social justice focus for St. John’s episcopal in Aptos, CA

 Will  social justice become central to overall mission at  St. John’s episcopal in Aptos, CA? 

Stay ALERT

  Highly likely.  Mother Tracy brings her perspective and changes are happening.   This  inference is based on reading  the  lengthy  email sent out  by the Mother Tracy (aka Mother  T)  concerning the proposed Mission Statement.

What we do  know:

  One:   Mother T chose the  well known social justice verse  from the old testament  — what  doth god requires of thee?  written by  the   prophet  Micah.

New International Version
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Mother T quotes Micah as “Do justice”  not     “do justly…”  There are numerous translations.  Few translations  use the words “do justice”.   Most  translations say  “do justly”. There’s a large difference between “justice” and “do justly”.

We do know that Mother T — who has numerous, excellent   skills — has not parented her own  small children.  Children  often say or demonstrate ‘that’s not fair’ concerning sibling antics and parents step in on a daily basis to deal justly with them.   As most  parents who have raised  small children know, handing out  justice is  a far cry from dealing justly with  their children.

  The prophet Micah is better translated as ‘do justly’ or ‘act justly’ rather than ‘do justice’.

Courts of law, judges and juries “do justice”.  As individuals  we  can  choose to ‘act justly’ and ‘do justly’.

 Two:  the words  of the proposed Mission Statement for St. John’s are  vague —  sufficiently so   that most anything can be plugged in as a Goal / Objective tied to an  underlying  ‘do justice’ theme (Micah 6:8).

The guts of the proposed Mission Statement:

Love like Jesus. Respect all persons.  Transform lives.

All three prongs — love, respect and transform —  easily morph into  social justice goals which focus on equality  —   which for many includes providing free needles  for persons  addicted to heroin / opiates  and  provide free living space for all homeless persons residing  in Santa Cruz county.

ALERT!  A simple  logo & mission statement  for St. John’s Episcopal, Aptos, CA   Based on Love, Respect and Transform.

Here’s a suggestion for a far more  simple  Mission Statement for St. John’s  which is based on the  core words Love, Respect and Transform.  The word Alert.  Be alert. Stay alert.

And ALERT   means  stay off  heroin/  opiates. Stop using needles.  Stop pushing free needles for addicts.   Support free detox via methadone tablets and mobile detox facilities.  There’s a truck that provides free showers which goes to St. John’s episcopal  and other Aptos area churches.  Let’s have a truck that goes to those addicted and  supports persons who choose to get free of drugs and be ALERT!

  And, no more nodding off while alive.  The apostle St. Paul told  people to stay alert.

The word ALERT readily connects to the core words of Love, Respect and Transform which form the basis of St. John’s proposed mission statement.Just add a couple vowels to L R T   —  add a and e — and ah,ha — the word  ALERT.

Yes – stay alert!  That a decent,  basic, solid  stance towards life — to  Love, Respect and Transform.

And for non-believers and non-Christians and atheists — of whom there are quite a few at St. John’s —   the word ALERT  contains   no mention of  Jesus Christ, of Him as the Son of God, of  Logos or of anything explicitly Christian.  There’s little liklihood of offending anyone with a  logo of ALERT.

Note however that in the above image for ALERT  that there is a triangle.    The triangle could symbolize Father, Son and Holy Spirit for those  who do  believe Jesus Christ lives yesterday, today and forever.

Back to the beginning ….

Social Justice is largely all about  equality – and not about freedom.  Social justice advocates seek equality at the expense of freedom.

Like  a say in the direction  St. John’s  takes?    Then come on Sundays at 9:15 – 10:15 for the next couple week or so.  Come, listen  and participate.    Stay ALERT!

Written by Cameron Jackson

Monerey Bay Forum

127 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States (US)
Phone: 831 688 6002
Fax: 831 688 7717
Email: jaj48@aol.com

Homeless in Santa Cruz CA – why?

Slipped on a banana peel  why homeless in Santa Cruz CA says  Jon Showalter, President of AFC & member of St. John’s Episcopal in Aptos, CA

Homeless in Santa Cruz CA — Why?  Largely just economic,   a slip on a banana peel?  Or are people homeless due to  lots of inter-related issues with use of  illegal drugs interwoven?  Your experience?

From government statistics:   Roughly 40% surveyed report at least one or more  serious health conditions:   drugs/alcohol;  psychotic/emotional;  post traumatic stress disorder,  physically disabled and  chronic health conditions. Such are the statistics.

It’s one thing to report and another thing as to what the real problems are.   Surveys are simply what people choose to report.

Per government  survey, roughly the same percentage  of homeless persons  look for work (43%)  compared with those who report they are  unable to work (43%).  These figures are from Santa Cruz County data.

A different   viewpoint  expressed recently  by   homeless advocate Jon  Showalter:  He  said in a talk  that 60% of local homeless  are “economic refugees” who “slipped on a banana peel” and  lost their social network. We need to know them human to human  Showalter emphasized.

It’s 60% economic  to 40%  other  (mental illness/ drug and alcohol)   states  homeless advocate Jon Showalter who spoke to 50+ women in Aptos,CA at Resurrection Catholic Community  3/18/19.

Showwalter is President of the Board for the Association of Faith Communities (AFC) and member of St. John’s Episcopal church   in Aptos, CA. The AFC meets monthly at Calvary Episcopal church  in Santa Cruz, CA   and  has 11 representatives of largely north Santa Cruz  faith organizations including Buddhist, Hindu and Christian.

Following Showalter’s presentation,  Pat Lorenzo of Resurrection Catholic Community  updated  attendees concerning other  programs currently in place through mid-county churches  which assist homeless persons  with meals, shelter, showers, socks  and other services.  The collect Socks program will continue says  Pat Lorenzo who applied for ,and received, three or four thousand  pairs of socks in December, 2018. Those socks have been dispersed throughout Santa Cruz County Lorenzo said.

New long term sheltering program:  Showalter states that a new sheltering program starts 3/18/19 at St. John’s Episcopal in Aptos, CA. Occupants of 3 cars will shelter long term in the parking lot of the church.  One car/person has been doing so for several months.  Persons  in the new sheltering  program will be  vetted through the Association of Faith Communities states Showalter.

Not in my backyard issues:

Whether or   how the nearby   housing project  — located adjacent on two sides  to St. John’s Episcopal   church in Aptos, CA  —  was contacted  concerning the long term sheltering program  was not discussed by Showalter  at the Guild meeting nor in  recent  email sent by the Rector, Mtr Tracy,   to St. John’s Episcopal  congregation.   At the Guild meeting an attendee discussed how  a successful   Catholic church sheltering program — located next to a school — managed the “not in my backyard issues”. Ongoing communication,  sharing  meals with  the parish  and a 6 am leave the premises each day  were central rules  she said.

Comment by Aptos Psychologist:

Are people homeless in Santa Cruz mainly   due to  “a slip on a banana peel”?  Mostly an economic issue and only somewhat a mental health/ drug issue?    Nope.  Why the multitude of  needles on the beaches? Why the feces and urine smells in downtown Santa Cruz?  Why the encampment of 100+  unauthorized tents at the entrance to Santa Cruz, CA.   Why do young mothers not take small children to Santa Cruz parks?

Reality:   It’s probably the reverse — 80+ percent drug/ alcohol/ mental illness and  20 percent economic.

What do statistics say?

Take Away :  The numbers show an overall decrease in homeless persons comparing  numbers   first collected (2005)  to the  latest numbers (2017).   There were about 3,400 homeless  in 2005 — and 12 years later — about   2,200 in 2017.

For communities to receive federal grant money for homeless issues those communities must count homeless persons every two years.   Communities   use  the Point in Time method of counting.

Statistics  collected by Applied Survey Research show that in 2005 there were 3,371 homeless and 8 years later in 2013  — the high point —  there were 3,536.  In 2015 the number was 1,964 and in 2017  it was 2,249.The statistics listed above  can be found via  United Way and from Santa Cruz County.

One size shoe  does not fit all:

There’s a fairly  new federal law that cities cannot displace homeless unless they provide a bed/ place for them.  New York City shelters almost all of their homeless.   California provides services to 1/3 of all the homeless in the U.S.   — must be the weather and beaches? — and roughly 70% of the homeless  are not sheltered.  Thus we see encampments of homeless tents at the entrance to Santa Cruz, CA.

What say you?  The government — and religious faith organizations  — should provide long term  house / housing space for all?

written by Cameron Jackson

Monerey Bay Forum

127 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States (US)
Phone: 831 688 6002
Fax: 831 688 7717
Email: jaj48@aol.com

Give people “free fish” or a fishing pole? Free fish first! per COPA / Central Coast Interfaith Sponsors Inc speaking at St. John’s in Aptos CA

Give people in need a “free fish” or fishing pole?

Give people in need a  “free fish” or a fishing pole?  Free fish first! per  COPA / Central Coast Interfaith Sponsors Inc.

Community organizer Tim McManus of COPA / Central Coast Interfaith Sponsors Inc.,  a non-profit organization  located in Watsonville, CA,    spoke 9/16/2018  to 15- 20 parishioners  at  St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Aptos, Calif.

So, does your church/ synagogue / mosque “welcome the stranger”? Seek “social justice”?

How about lots of  cheap  housing,   free health care/ free  specialist MD referrals for  illegal alien  immigrants, & expanded  free mental health?  Those are COPA’s 2018  goals for Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties in California.

So what  methods really  work to effect “social justice” according to COPA?

Just show up  when told to  —  says   McManus of COPA /  Central Coast Interfaith Sponsors Inc.  The power politics of sheer body count  with government officials effects COPA specified change  according to  Mr.  McManus.

Here’s what COPA Tim McManus says:

 

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Aptos Psychologist:  COPA is not my cup of tea.  What was the original tea party that lead to the American revolution all about?  Not about “body count” muscling local government officials to achieve socialist progressive goals. About COPA — be wary. Give a fishing pole not free fish.