All posts by Elizabeth

Jewish Homosexuals, Feminists, and the Decline of Western Civilization

I receive a lot of emails from a lot of people. Some of the emails are very strange, written by fringe dwellers from various corners of the world. A year or so ago I received a particularly astonishing missive that stated, in several thousand words, that the blame for the decline of Western Civilization could be laid directly at the feet of Jewish homosexual men and their evil cohorts, the feminists. It was full of statistics, half-truths and some of the most misogynist, racist crap I’ve come across in a long while. Reminded me of my youth–particularly of my father’s John Birch Society rants. I couldn’t help myself. I had to write back.

Today, someone asked me to re-post my response as it pre-dated this blog and the publication of Risking Everything.

So, you would like some comments on your essay about the Homosexual Jewish Agenda? Thanks for asking. I have some thoughts, but it’s hard to know where to begin as you’ve opened up so many different fronts at once: the Jews, the queers, the feminists, the blacks… You didn’t really have anything to say about the Muslims (but you’ve covered them before). The only group I see glaringly, conspicuously absent from your list of the people you blame for destroying civilization (as you would like to see it) is…hmmm…how about, White (Presumably) Heterosexual Men? Where are they in your list of transgressors and destroyers?

While I try to organize my spinning thoughts into some sort of coherent response, I’ll tell you right up front exactly who I am. That way you can decide early on whether or not you want to hear my thoughts on the matter. But, be fair. I read yours. I am a lesbian and an unapologetic feminist. I am well-educated, broadly traveled, politically liberal (in the classical sense). I am not now, nor have I ever been, Jewish. White-Anglo Saxon all the way back through the genealogical trees of pirates (Richard Worley), generals (both Robert E. Lee and George Washington) to kings (Charlemagne)—and no, I am not making that up. I like good coffee, dark chocolate, red wine, and clear morning vistas to the horizon. I talk to my cat. I’ve been known to swear. I live alone.

I first had inklings that there was something ‘different’ about me at the age of 15. But in a small, fundamentalist, southern, conservative town and family, being a lesbian was not an option—even if I had ever heard the word, which I hadn’t. It was not until I was in my twenties, married, with children, that I began to understand that, yes indeedy, I am ‘different.’ In the interests of ‘family values’ and preserving the “institution of marriage”—interesting phrase. Who wants to be stuck in an institution?–I stuck it out until the last child finished university. I thought I was doing the right thing. I did so at great personal cost. My children do not thank me for that—they love me, as I am, though, and they wish I had taken better care of myself along the way. Live and learn.

I came to feminism during my career directing a multi-county domestic violence and rape crisis program, where I saw first-hand the horror that is routinely perpetrated on women, by men who think they have the ‘right’ to do so. The secondary horror was the way the legal and judicial system routinely re-victimized these women and tried to make their bruises, lacerations, miscarriages, and broken bones their fault. “Mouthy bitch—she deserved it.” “Slut—look at the way she was dressed! She got what she was asking for!” “If she hadn’t made me mad I wouldn’t have hit her!”.

So. Your essay lays the predominant blame for all social, economic and moral ills of the Modern Age at the feet of a vast and patient historical conspiracy led by queer Jews. You like to quote statistics. So do I. Let’s take a look at some figures that paint a somewhat different picture than the one you are promoting.

ALL the Founding Fathers and ALL the presidents, with the exception of Barak Obama, have been White (Presumably) Heterosexual Men.

The vast majority of legislators, (thousands and thousands of them) local, state and national, throughout our country’s history, who have been responsible for drafting and passing (or blocking) legislation on all manner of things have been White (Presumably) Heterosexual Men.

The vast majority of the judiciary from local courts to the Supreme Court, throughout 200+ years of history, have been White (Presumably) Heterosexual Men. (From here on, I will use the acronym WPHM).

The laws that prohibited women from owning property in their own names until into the 20th century? The laws that gave the vote only to other WPHM? The Jim Crow laws? The LACK of laws that protected women from domestic violence and rape (by anyone, including their husbands)? The anti-birth control laws? The anti-homosexual laws? All of these can be laid at the doorstep of the WPHM in power.

I begin to see a pattern here. Do you? It seems to me, historically, that if the WPHM — with their unquestioning divinely ordained sense of entitlement— had not been so vehemently invested in keeping everyone who doesn’t look, act, worship, think or love the way they do, barred from equal access to economic, political, social and moral power sharing…well then. If that hadn’t been the case, then, well…really, the mind simply boggles at how history might have been different.

Think about it. We wouldn’t have Native American reservations where an entire people have disappeared into invisible despair. We would have missed the Abolitionists and, perhaps, the Civil War (still known in my family as The War of Northern Aggression). We would have missed the early decades of Women’s Suffrage, when women marched, and were beaten and arrested in every major American city because they demanded the right to vote. (Mid-to-late 19th century through early 20th). We wouldn’t have needed the Civil Rights movement to give black people the right to vote, to eat at the lunch counter, to have a seat on the bus, or a place in the state university. We wouldn’t have needed a Second Wave of Feminism to give women access to effective birth control, the right to decide what happens to their body, access to science, math and medical programs in top universities, and a crack at Equal Pay for Equal Work, based on merit. And we wouldn’t, right now, be facing a bevy of Republican candidates and politicians who want to strip women of these very same hard won rights. We wouldn’t have an corporate culture of such greed that it has brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and brought the planet’s environment to the edge of destruction.

According to you, in league with the Jewish Homosexuals, are feminists. Specifically, you charge that “feminism” forced women to leave their children and put them in day care. What a load of hogwash. That’s a whole other sociological conversation about the urbanization of America, the displacement of the extended family through westward expansion (I think Madison called it “Manifest Destiny”—maybe he’s to blame), the economic shifts of the past 60 years which require two incomes to maintain a family in the middle class, and the actual FACT that many women don’t really enjoy staying home and playing Betty Crocker. We have brains, talents, ambition, and energy—the match or better of many men. And yes, some women actually WANT to be police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, and they are good at it. Some men actually WANT to care for children, be decorators, be chefs, and they are good at it. One size has NEVER fit all. Ever. Anywhere.

Shocking to think how history might have been different, if instead of being power horders, the WPHM had been true libertariansliberty and justice for all, no matter how small a percentage of the population a minority represented. But that isn’t the way it happened, is it? So look around at the detritus you and your fear-based, bigoted and greedy kind have created.

Today, after generations of struggle against the oppression of the WPHM and their draconian legislative attempts to keep it all, forever, you appear to be losing and you are getting desperate. The Global Occupy movement suggests that a new day is coming. Hallelujah. ‘Bout damn time. Remember the law of physics which says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? THAT is what is happening, on a global scale. Occupy that thought, if you can.

You, my white, presumably heterosexual male friend, are now officially in the minority, world-wide. Must be quite a shock to wake up and realize that you guys are not the end game in God’s evolutionary plan for humanity. Or do you also believe that the earth and all it’s creatures—I wonder if any are gay? Or dark? Or just plain weird?—was created in 6 days, a mere 6,000 years ago?

Give up? Or, do you want more? How about some statistics about sexual orientation—not just among male Jews as you so cleverly quoted, but about women? Specifically, lesbian women. Come on. Keep reading. Expand your horizons. This could be fun.

Sexual Orientation

Precise statistics about the numbers of lesbian or bi-sexual women are difficult to come by, as the stigma of same-sex relationships continues to keep the voices of many women silent. However, the 2000 US Census Report, the American Community Survey, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation, election exit polls, a Center for Disease Control study, and various Harris polls, provide information upon which to draw some conclusions:

  • There are 125,701,017 adult women (over age 15) in the United States (2009)

  • 65%, or 81,705,661 of these vote in presidential elections

  • Exit poll (2008) results state that 4.1%, or 3,349,932 of these self-report as lesbian or bi-sexual. This percentage is generally considered to be a very conservative estimate for the actual numbers of lesbian and bi-sexual adult women in the US. (While voters may constitute a large sample of the U.S. population, they are still not representative of the population at large).

  • Over 500,000 of women in same sex relationships have children under the age of 18 living with them.

  • 669,986 (20%) are over the age of 55.

  • 837,483 (25%) are ethnic minorities.

  • The median educational level for lesbian and bi-sexual women is 14.3 years versus 13.9 years for all women.

  • The median income for single lesbians is $52,000 per year; for lesbian couples the median household income is $96,000 per year. 1,205,975 (36%) of self-identified lesbians report annual incomes of over $100,000. The national median income for all women is $34,000 per year.

  • A study by CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported that their randomized study showed 4% of female respondents had had a same-sex experience in the past 12 months. Eleven percent reported having had a same-sex experience in their lifetime. Three percent had had sexual relations with both males and females in the past 12 months.

Too, consider the recent research by Lisa M. Diamond (Ph.D., Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City, Utah—not a bastion of Jews or homosexuals or liberals!), Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire (2008), in which she concludes that, “Though women – like men – appear to be born with distinct sexual orientations, these orientations do not provide the last word on their sexual attractions and experiences. Instead, women of all orientations may experience variation in their erotic and affectional feelings as they encounter different situations, relationships, and life stages.” This widens the stage considerably, when attempting to define the number of women who are attracted to other women at some point.

Travel and Living Abroad

In 2005 it was estimated that over 4 million Americans live abroad. Precise numbers are difficult to track, as many expats do not declare that they have expatriated. All current indicators show that this number is rising annually, though, with a five-fold increase between 2000 and 2005. Using demographic norms, it is reasonable to extrapolate that 83,000 of these are lesbian or bi-sexual women.

Fifty-seven per cent or 1,909,461, of self-reporting gay females hold US valid passports. Only 29% of the general American public hold valid US passports.

The internet is rife with websites, advertisements for international conferences, workshops, cruises, vacation packages, and blogs specifically targeted to lesbian and bi-sexual women living or traveling abroad. Current market research and analysis strongly indicates that even with the global economic downturn, gay-lesbian-bisexual persons have more disposable income and are more than twice as likely to use at least part of it for travel, as are heterosexual persons (married or single).

Here, in the tiny dot of Chiriqui Province, in the Republic of Panama, there are over 500 expats. I personally know of 28 out-of-the-closet lesbians—or 4.6%, slightly higher than the magic number of 4.1%. (That does not include the Panamanians—and they are out there, too).

Coffee — just because.

The National Coffee Association reports that 54% of all adults in the US consume coffee daily at a per capita rate of 1.4 cups for women, and 1.9 cups for men. That means that 67,878,549 women—2,783,020 of whom are openly gay or bi-sexual—consume a cup of java or more every day. 506,788 of these gay women prefer, on a daily basis, to drink specialty gourmet and organic coffees—because it tastes good and they can afford it.

So. Those are my comments. You asked. In my opinion, it isn’t the Jewish Homosexuals you should be worried about. I’d be worried, if I were a WPHM, about the Lesbians. ALL of them. They are educated, have money, are hyped up on caffeine, can read a map and will travel.

Best regards,

Elizabeth


 

The Smell Test…Passed!

 The Smell Test...Passed!Smell. Did you know that if your proboscis is normal and functioning well you can distinguish over 4,000 different smells? And, if you are a world class sniffer, the number can exceed 10,000? Did you know that a mere 8 molecules of a substance is enough to trigger a smell response? Did you know that the perfume industry, who’s sole raison d’etre is to make us sniff, associate and buy again and again, has annual sales in the neighborhood of $30 billion dollars a year? Did you know that smell, among all our senses, is most directly tied to memory and can evoke the most intense emotional response—decades after the event that was first associated with the scent?

Metaphors for smell abound. If we don’t like something, we say it stinks. If we are suspicious of something, we say it smells fishy. If we have doubts, we say it doesn’t pass the smell test.

I’ve been looking into smells lately. Things that create odors. Things that get rid of odors.

About 4 months ago we laid the concrete foundation for a small cabin here on the farm. We let it dry…cure…for two months. While it was curing (and we were building out the rest of the cabin), we took all the old style hand built terra cotta tiles that were going to be laid on top, cleaned them and let them dry as well. When the time came and all was dry, the tiles were laid and cemented in place. (We had followed this exact same procedure in another location 6 months earlier with complete satisfaction). So far so good. A few weeks went by. It was time to finish the floor by sealing the tiles, which are very porous, to keep dust down as they wear. We used an acrylic matte finish sealer of good quality. The tiles looked beautiful. All was well.

Not.

A few days later, I noticed a peculiar, sourish smell in the cabin. I could not find the source, opened all the windows to air it out and left. The next day it was worse. Much worse. Sour. Rank. Rancid. It stank. Frantic rounds of consultation ensued. Internet inquiries yielded all manner of suggestions, from using hydrogen peroxide to kill the odor to dire predictions that water was seeping under the foundation and the whole thing would have to be torn up. Shudder. Try not to panic, dear.

First thing, we sanded off the sealer. Lots and lots of red dust everywhere—the stink diminished a bit, but did not go away. We mopped with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, boric acid and vinegar. The smell diminished some, but was still there. I racked my brain. It had to be some sort of reaction between the sealer we had used and either the tiles themselves or the concrete mortar. I consulted with a chemical engineer and he agreed, hypothesizing that it was the concrete mortar, not the tiles. He recommended a thorough saturation of soda ash to neutralize the acidity we were smelling, twice applied, followed by pinesol.

This whole process of using more and more chemicals to get rid of the obnoxious odor was making me very nervous. Finca Luz is, after all, an organic and mostly chemical free farm. But, I had to do something. I researched soda ash. Seemed to be ok—a neutralizer, one molecule away from bicarbonate soda, non-caustic. We saturated the floor with a strong solution and it helped, some. We turned on the dehumidifiers, the fans, opened all the windows and let it dry out for three days. Better, but still not good enough. I was stumped, frustrated, and really at my wit’s end. This cabin was for guests, PAYING guests and it smelled like sour, nasty, dank…something.

Enter the old woman down the road who heard about my plight from Alexis, who is my right hand man on the farm and without whose dedicated assistance and guidance very little would get done.

Let me say, for those who don’t know, I live in Panama in the highland mountains of Boquete, on a small coffee, citrus and medicinal plant farm. It is very rural. My Panamanian neighbors are wonderful folks and it is a very tight knit community here on Jaramillo Mountain. Everyone knows everyone…and knows their business as well. It has taken me years to be accepted. They respect that I work really hard on the farm. It helps that I speak reasonable, if imperfect, Spanish. They think I am odd—a woman living alone on a farm—but harmless.

The old woman shook her head. “Pan,” she said. “Y cafe. Dos libros de pan y un libro de cafe. Eliminan todo olor malo. Dos dias.” Translated, she told me to put two pounds of fresh French bread and a pound of ground coffee in the cabin for two days to eliminate all the bad smell.

Huh?

On the other hand, what could it hurt?

I love many, many things about Panama, but culinary achievements are not the national strengths (those would be banking, the Canal and bad driving). The French bread here would make a Frenchman weep and tear his hair. The coffee produced here , though, is some of the best in the world. However, since I wasn’t going to eat or drink any of this, quality really didn’t matter. Off I went to the supermarket.

For three days now the interior of the cabin has been littered with dozens of ripped apart hunks of soft white pseudo-french bread and saucers of dark roasted coffee grounds. And, miracle of miracles, the smell—that nasty, rank, sour, god-only-knows what stink is…gone. Gone. Who knew?

I went to the old woman. I expressed my thanks and reported the success. “Ahorita la cabaña huele muy bien!” Now the cabin smells very good. She nodded. “Por supuesto.” Of course. She asked me how I was. “Corre corre,” I replied. Running, running, doing things. She nodded sagely. “En la casa las cosas nunca terminada.” In the house, things are never done. I agreed. “Mi abuelita me dijo lo mismo.” My grandmother told me the same thing. She patted my hand and smiled. That pat on the hand was like a blessing. It touched me.

Now when I go into the charming, cozy Cabaña Mariposa Azul, I sniff and am transported to a small, back alley cafe I visited in Normandy, France, some 30 years ago, where the bread was crusty, the coffee strong and the woman dressed all in black behind the counter looked like Madame Defarge from A Tale of Two Cities. I remember that I savored a chocolate gateau stuffed with white grapes soaked in champagne and stared wistfully out the window, through the slanting rain, and marveled at the silvery quality of the light that reflected off the cobblestones in the street. Ah…to live in France…

(For more information about Cabaña Mariposa Azul or the Finca Luz and Cloud Forest Botanicals story, please visit http://boquetepanamacloudforestfarm.com).

 

Christmas Fruits & Flowers at Finca Luz

December 30, 2011.

So, here we are, on the mountain, 24+ hours away from the end of 2011. Is it just me, or has this year just whizzed by at warp speed? So much has happened. So many tasks accomplished…so many miles traveled…so much more to do and look forward to. I am seriously excited and curious about what the road ahead will reveal. I need to remember to take my vitamins and drink my breakfast ‘green drink’ so I have the energy required!

I look back at the days, weeks, months since this time last year and I am amazed.

  • House expanded and remodeled. Check.
  • Cabana Mariposa Azul (almost) ready for guests. Check.
  • Plants planted, harvested, crafted into amazingly effective products, and SOLD! Check.
  • Trails built. Check.
  • Pond stocked with mountain trout. Check.
  • Trek to China and the top of the Great Wall. Check.
  • Familial relationships monitored (as much as they can be, given that family members may or may not be obedient!). Check.
  • Books published. Check.
  • Lessons learned…we hope. Check.
  • Love lived…deeply. Check.

A bit dizzying. For each of us it is different, but no less rich. It is good to take a moment, now, at the point of time between one season, one year, and the next and reflect on what has passed under the bridge…and to contemplate what we wish to create in the next span of time unfolding.

I want, for this next year, to learn more. About Life, the Universe, and Everything. About plants. About people. About Holy Hospitality–as my dear friend Michael once called it: the art of making people welcome. What Jesus would have done if he had been standing at the gate of Finca Luz saying, “Come on in!” (I am not particularly religious–but it seems fitting to acknowledge the Christ, the Light, in this moment of shifting from dark to light–or light to dark, depending on whether you are above or below the equator. Perspective is all, isn’t it?).

What do you want? Ponder carefully what you wish for.

The living of life here, in Panama, at Finca Luz has been such an experience of expansion. I want, this next year, to share this Holy Hospitality, this expansion of spirit, with others, with an invitation to heal, to grow, to create, to be…to both receive and to give.

Bienvenidos a Finca Luz on this, the eve of 2012.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.206812262741139.52495.145803835508649&type=3

Follow the link to see Christmas Fruits and Flowers at Finca Luz. Nice, eh?

Peace,

Elizabeth Worley

 

Finally! Finca Luz Goes Live!

 

Well, it’s taken a long time, but then, creation dreams take awhile to manifest, yes?

As some of you know, I’ve been holding the vision of what Finca Luz–this small organic farm on Jaramillo Mountain in Boquete,Panama that I Risked Everything for–wanted to be for almost 10 years. I knew it in that first magical moment. I’ve carried it, under my heart, from that instant. Talk about a long pregnancy!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that this little patch of Panamanian Paradise is now open to the public for walking tours, retreats, and workshops. A rental cabana, Cabana Mariposa Azul, will be available January 1st, 2012.

We had our first tour group last week–a lovely cadre of yoga teachers, river rafters, a psychologist, and a philosopher/seeker. They were wowed by the farm, the Medicine Way Trail and Dianne’s guided tour, and they ate ALL the orange-rhubarb bread I had baked. We were ecstatic! Muy emocianante!

Here is the website with all the details. Please visit the site. Please LIKE it on FB. Tweet it. Buzz it. Whatever. Spread the word. Ask questions. Come visit.

http://boquetepanamacloudforestfarm.com/

Whew! Finally.

And, this is why–as some have asked–I haven’t posted a Ramblings From the Mountain lately.  It’s been really, really busy on the Mountain!

It’s all good, though, and all us on the Finca Luz team–

Dianne, Phillip, Alexis, Jose, Ernesto, Charlie The Dog, Ghost Kitty, all the fat hens and myself–

wish each of you a

Very Merry Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Winter Solstice Season

Been quite a ride this year, hasn’t it? Let’s all gather with our loved ones, give thanks for air, water, food, and the loving kindness of others. Reach inside yourself and what you find there of value, extend out to another.

Be blessed in the New Year. See you then!

Elizabeth Worley

PS–Are you carrying a creation dream under your heart, wanting to make it manifest? Or have you already brought it forth? I would love to hear your story.

Occupy Goes Global. Ojala.

It’s raining. It’s been raining since noon. It rained for 8 hours yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. The forecast is for more rain tomorrow. It must be October in the highlands of Panama. Let me check.

Yep. It is. Raining…in the highlands of Panama and it is October. I just looked out the window, checked my calendar and verified those facts. I may be mad, but least I know where I am and what day and month it is!

So. I’m supposed to be writing for a paying contract, but instead I am looking all over the internet and following the Occupy Wall Street demonstration obsessively. I am thrilled to see it going viral…Occupy the London Stock Exchange. Occupy Orange County. Occupy Sylva, NC. I thought, yesterday on Saturday the 15th, about going down into Boquete and standing outside Global Bank with a sign saying, “Occupy Goes Global,” but, it was raining and I wimped out and came home and took a nap instead. What’s up with that?

The fact is, I just can’t be bothered, anymore. Brutal, unflattering truth. I spent the better part of my working career years advocating for social justice, demonstrating for women’s right to control their own reproduction, and protesting wars. At the end of it (which for me occurred in March, 2003), I was so depressed I just dusted off my jeans, wiped my hands, cleaned out my closets, walked away and moved to Panama. I was tired. I was defeated.

Where was I in March, 2003? My 17 year old daughter, a friend, her 20-something daughter and I were marching in a Code Pink demonstration in Washington, DC against the imminent invasion of Iraq. The upcoming war was was so, so wrong on so many levels. We knew it. All 20,000 or so of us who bothered to show up in the crisp, brilliant, cold sunshine of that pre-spring day knew it. We had our hand painted banners. We had our posters. We wore our pink scarves and knitted hats. There was street theatre—mimes, clowns, dancers, drummers, flautists. There were singers—“We shall overcome…”. There were people walking. There were old people in wheelchairs. There were children, frolicking in the festive atmosphere. There were a few young and middle-aged men. There were LOTS of women, of all ages, and all colors. And there, on the roof tops looking down at us, were lots of scary men in black with submachine guns on turret mounts aimed down at us. And there, along the sidewalks, were lots of uniformed policemen. And there, in front of the White House, were lots of concrete bunkers to keep us away, and more police, and more men in black with more machine guns. Were they scared of us?

As we marched, the mood changed. What started out light, became dark. I grabbed a black marker from someone and wrote an impromptu sign on the back of my previously rainbow hued “Peace Now!” platitude. I wrote, “Regime Change, NOW! Impeach Bush!” I intentionally approached every single policeman along the long, cold route and said, “Thank you for protecting my constitutional right to peaceful assembly. Thank you for protecting the Bill of Rights.” Many looked at me blankly. WTF? A few glared. A few, it seemed, nodded. Just barely.

I didn’t get arrested that day. A mere handful did. By the time it got to that stage in the afternoon, there just didn’t seem any point to it. I went out with my daughter and friends and a radical cousin and drank a bottle of wine in a Vietnamese restaurant where I am certain I was served grilled cat. (Why else was I having a choking, asthmatic allergic reaction that was ever ONLY brought on by cats?).

The whole thing was extremely disheartening. The day vanquished every last ounce of activism I possessed. I couldn’t understand why the people, the American people, MY people, weren’t ALL out in the streets—first disputing the give away election of 2000, then the Patriot Act that disemboweled the Bill of Rights I grew up reciting and revering (I grew up in that kind of family), and now this, the invasion of a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11? (But who had lots of oil…).

I had already been to Panama post-2000 election coup d’etat, had already made a tentative decision to move there, pre-9/11, and that cold, clear day in DC merely cemented that decision. This wasn’t my country any longer. I didn’t believe anymore in the democratic process as the way to social change. I no longer believed that ‘right makes might’ and that if only we kept at it, kept protesting, kept organizing, Camelot would prevail against the war machines of the greed grinders. I felt alienated. I no longer belonged. I wanted out. I wanted a little farm somewhere…a place where I could grow things, be creative, live away from the constant onslaught of bad news getting worse.

Fast forward. I’ve been here, in Panama, going on 8 years now. It’s a peculiar, funny, endearing, odd little country. Aspects of it are corrupt as can be—though nothing to compare to what has been perpetrated in the US by Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the Congressional lobbyists on behalf of corporations. Panama isn’t perfect. But, it’s a nice place to be and opportunities still abound. I am thriving here in my new life, which bears very little resemblance to my old life in the US, where I was a professional career person, married woman, mother of three. (You can read about that particular transformation in my book, Risking Everything: Coming Out in Coffee Land. Shameless plug.). I’ve learned to speak, read and sort-of write Spanish. I’ve learned how to grow coffee and medicinal herbs and how to transform them into high quality marketable products. I have uncovered a deep streak of capitalistic entrepreneur in myself. I grow, make and sell things. I like the satisfaction inherent in that cycle. Life is good.

So, on this rainy, rainy October evening, why am I surfing the net and reading about the Federal Reserve (great link: http://www.bigeye.com/griffin.htm), scanning alternative news sources (http://www.readersupportednews.org/), posting frenetically on Facebook about Occupy Wall Street, and—for god’s sake—tweeting on Twitter?? I’m 60 years old! Who tweets at 60? And I don’t even live there anymore—I voted with my feet and left!! What’s up with all that?

The only answer I can come up with is that, at heart, I still feel like an American. I was born there. I grew up there. The values and ideals of what America once stood—was intended to stand for—are branded in my mind. When I could no longer bear to identify with the bastardization of those ideals, I left. I am now an expatriated American. I have no desire to go back. Still…my heart and mind are with those young and not-so-young people who have risen up and said, “No! Enough!.” I so do wish you well. I am so happy that you are finding your voice, your power. It feels, almost, like a breath of optimism, of possibility. However, I fear for you, as well.

I once had the great honor and privilege to spend a whole private day with Myles Horton, co-founder of The Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. (Check him out on Wikipedia for an interesting read). He embraced and taught the principles of non-violent protest. He led the coal miners of the Cumberland Plateau to unionization. He taught the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and the young girl who braved the National Guard and KKK in Little Rock, Arkansas how to “do” non-violent protest in the style of Ghandi. He told me, that day, what he told them. “You have to know what you believe in. Then, you have to be willing to walk up to the line they have drawn and then walk cross that line, knowing that they might kill you. And, sometimes, they don’t kill you.”

Thomas Paine wrote, over 200 years ago: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Thomas Jefferson, my ideological hero, stated emphatically: “Every generation needs a new revolution.”

The Occupiers, and those who support their active dissent against the unbridled greed of the multinational corporations and Wall Street bankers, they are the patriots of today. Perhaps, at last, the people will rise up in revolution, peaceful one prays, and effectively turn the tide of current events to a more sane, just, and reasonable path. I have my doubts.

For Jefferson also said: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Oh, I wish you Occupiers courage, and creative intelligence, and conviction, because in the face of the greed for power that you are challenging, you will need every ounce of it in order to cross those lines, knowing that “they,” the Powers That Be, may, in fact, kill you.

However you can, support the Occupiers. Be with them. Join them. Send them money. Or, at the very freaking least, Tweet them! and let them know that they are not alone.