Liberal Women Protest March I, Nike Davies-Okundaye, 1995
Liberal Women Protest March II, Nike Davies-Okundaye, 1995
In these two paintings, upon a backdrop of adire¹ Nike Davies-Okundaye has portrayed women in their finest attire, engaged in nonviolent protest. She sought to show that “women are very, very powerful… Sometimes they are more powerful than their husbands… Women are stronger than they think they are.”
I have to say that I love the artist’s first name, Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. In mythology, Nike and her three siblings, Kratos (power), Bia (force) and Zelus (zeal) all represents ideas of strength and action. I have the good fortune to be married to such a woman. After the 2016 election, Anne knitted herself a pink “pussy” hat and wore it while she protested in the streets. She is currently working on an “Im-Peach-Mint” cap. You can guess its color combo.
- Adire, a tie-dye textile is the indigo-dyed cloth made using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques. It is a textile art form that historically is used by the Yoruba women of southwestern Nigeria to communicate symbolically.
Spirit Shield, Arapaho, 1880
Spirit Shield, Cheyenne, 1880
According to the curators of the Smithsonian who prepared these two artifacts:
Native American warriors sought protection, strength and courage from spiritual beings that they worshipped and believed controlled their universe. If these beings manifested themselves to a warrior during a vision quest, the warrior would paint the visionary experience on his shield. Before a battle, he would respectfully call upon his spirit helpers for assistance. During the actual battle, a shield was the strongest spiritual protection a warrior carried. A warrior’s shield gave him specific powers. Only a shield’s owner had full knowledge of the symbolism, songs and rituals associated with it. The two bear paws painted on the first shield suggests that its owner invoked the spiritual power of bears. The second shield shows the battle exploits of Chief Hump. Hump was a prominent Lakota warrior at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
For Native Americans, in war, as in life there is a religious element. The same cannot be said for the current Administration. Last week, they wagged the dog, to distract from the latest doc drop related to impeachment. Missed it? Mission Accomplished! That’s OK, Cadet Bone Spur has marched us off to fight another unwinnable war, for his own personal interests. Why should I believe anything else? After he has told 15,000+ lies in office, why should I believe anything he says? You know how I know when he is lying? His lips are moving.
Now, good American men and women will die, just to serve his own private political benefit. He cares nothing for this country or anything, but himself. Before he was elected, he projected upon Obama, what he has just done himself, attack Iran to get reelected. Assassinating Iran’s number two man was an act of war and was way out of proportion to anything that was done to provoke it. He hopes to leverage this conflict to facilitate his reelection. He will do anything to get reelected. No criminal act is too low for him now and may God help us if he succeeds. Then there would not even be a prayer to shield us from destruction.
Plop, plop, plop… Sondland sings. “Everyone knew.” “Trump ordered.” Pence denies. Pompeo planning to resign early, to save his reputation. Too bad that that ship has already sailed. Ken Starr floats President’s resignation on Fox. A Senate GOP trip to the White House might be in the offing. Trump says, “I WANT NOTHING” [to do with this anymore] “NO QUID PRO QUO” [time for me to go.] Bombshells were exploding all day long and President Pelosi was trending on Twitter. No one seems to like Rudy Guiliani and it looks like he is being teed up to take the fall, insurance policy or not. Except, how does an unpaid personal attorney halt $391 million in aid to Ukraine? Riddle me that Batman. Anyway according to Trump, the ambassador is “Not a man I know well.” And the week’s still not half over yet.
Clouds Over the Capitol
Trump intimidated a witness today, while she was testifying at his impeachment hearing. She was testifying on how Trump had previously publicly intimidated her. Trump’s tweet energized today’s proceedings and threw his Republican sycophants onto their back feet. Trump’s live attack and act of witness tampering certainly added an element of pizzazz that critics claim was missing from the hearings on Wednesday. Trump’s misogynistic attack converted a day that had been scheduled to only supply backstory, into galvanizing testimony.
Meanwhile across town, Roger Stone, Trump’s political fixer was convicted of seven felony counts for lying to Congress. He was guilty on all counts. All-in-all, today was a very good day for the good guys and our country. As the noose tightens around him, Trump is acting more and more erratically and guiltily.
Manganese Oxides – Dendritic crystal growth
After almost a week in Washington DC and an off-off year election, you didn’t really think that there wouldn’t be a political post, now did you? On Monday, after a day-long museum crawl, I was walking back to the hotel. As I passed the Capitol building, I noticed more than the usual amount of activity on the part of the Capitol police. One officer was standing on the opposite street corner, with an AR-15. I came to the conclusion that Moscow Mitch and Red Rand would soon motorcade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Whitehouse and join Trump on a flight to Kentucky. Their combined mission was to prop up the incumbent Republican governor. Unfortunately for them all and even though Trump stated that “losing sends a really bad message” and pleaded with his fans, “you can’t let that happen to me!” It happened. The Democrat won the popular vote, with Medicare. Now the GOP is maneuvering to game that election.
All week, DC television had been dominated with political ads by candidates for Virginia’s state legislature. Democratic ads harped on their opponent’s NRA support, “A bullet travels the length of a football field before it is first heard.” The NRA rally that I had previously seen on the Capitol grounds, must have been in response to this campaigning. Meanwhile, Republican ads harkened back to the scandals that engulfed Virginia’s Democratic administration earlier this year, “If your head is held down, then it is not consensual.” They were all highly repetitive. In the end, the Democratic message won out.
We are now less than a year out from next year’s 2020 Presidential election. Tuesday’s elections were the largest last set of elections before that election. Except for elections in the reddest of red state of Mississippi, things went pretty much in favor of the Democrats, which is an encouraging sign.