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No More Fireworks: The Cost On Society and their Racist Origins

Every year fireworks accost my neighborhood.
They are illegal and there are $1000.00 fines for their use.

Fireworks traumatize many veterans with PTSD, including myself. Their cacophony can cause months of nightmares, or require the necessity of extra therapy. Some vets can be violent.

During the Vietnam War, soldiers were not allowed to spend more than two tours of duty there because after two tours you came back a killing machine. Extended exposure in a hostile zone creates people who are unable to fit back into society.

Over a 100,000 of todays soldiers have spent 3 or more tours in a combat or hostile zone, over 50,000 experiencing more than 4 tours. That means we have a lot of extremely traumatized vets dealing with heavy psychological issues in our neighborhoods.

Given these issues combined with months of quarantine, record unemployment, and a nearly 4 year political environment that thrives on creating discourse and social unrest, fireworks are going to set off veterans, friends, and family. Please remember veterans served in war so that you did not have to.

The street favored M80’s and rockets are not only traumatizing, they can cause injury and death. They sound like bombs going off, shaking homes, cracking window panes, causing fires and terrify people and animals.

Fireworks also terrorize pets and wildlife. Many of us can attest to the terror of our pet’s experience. Community animal volunteers share how the animal shelters are full of frightened and lost animals around the Fourth. Animals get lost, bolt from homes, squeeze through windows, and in some cases get hit by cars. The shelters are filled with cringing, whimpering and sometimes barking and howling dogs.

It is time to reflect on why we are still using fireworks.

Our independence from England may have been something to celebrate for the original 13 colonies, but is it really worth celebrating when our independence cost  up to fifteen million Native American men, women and children their lives?

Is it worth celebrating the independence of the white man when in the middle of a national pandemic the US has with-held testing supplies and treatment to those who survived the genocide of their culture? How can we feel proud when after 243 years we have a president that ignores Native American sovereignty and private lands?

Colonization by definition is  “intrinsically genocidal”. It does not come only in the form of murder of humans and their culture. It exploits inhabitants as a resource and creates forced labor. The colonists built their independence off the backs of others. It created an “us versus them” mentality, the foundation of the entitlement of white supremacy.

This ugliness is not worth celebrating, especially not with fireworks. America is not free if it can only survive off the control and suffering of others. After a long history of toxic focused racism, Americans have had enough. After the murder of George Floyd by a policeman in cold blood, millions of people have protested in cities across the country saying, “enough”.

In fact, sixty countries on every continent (except Antarctica) have literally joined those protests to tell Americans “enough”.  It’s time for Americans to put away the fireworks and evolve.

Header Image: Copyright Free Image by TeeFarm from Pixabay


Uriél Danā at the Getty MuseumUriél Danā has been a Professional Fine Artist 38 years and is a Contemporary Figurative Art Curator.
She is an Air Force Veteran and former USIA (State Department) Ambassador to the Arts. She is a graduate of the 2016 Writers Guild of the West (Los Angeles, CA) Veterans Writing Project.

A Contributing Editor on the Arts, Buddhism and Culture, Uriél contributes regularly to online and print magazines in addition to international journals. She has won many awards for her poetry and has been included in two anthologies. For National Poetry Month, April 2020, her poems were  featured on San Francisco’s public radio station, KPFA. To see more artwork and read more of her articles, please visit http://urieldana.com.

A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Uri has lived on three continents and visited 44 countries.

Muted Warnings and An Invisible Killer: Why Are Scientists & Doctors Being Ignored About 5G?

The Roman Empire slowly committed suicide by lead poisoning. They added it to their food as a sweetener, cooked in lead pots, added it to their make-up, and piped in via their water through contaminated pipes.

Mount Vesuvius engulfed the city of Pompeii in A.D. 79 before the residents could act. In the end it saved them from the slow death by the chemical element antimony, a brittle silvery white metalloid mixed in pewter, lead, and other metals. Antimony came from a naturally occurring black sulfide and was also in the black kohl used in cosmetics.

In both of these examples the ruling government chose commerce over health, ignoring their scientists and the symptoms laid before them.

This is not a cautionary parallel with the current Covid 19 pandemic; it’s a red flag for the endless push towards 5G by telecommunication networks.

Alan Watts once wrote that the rhythm of life is the “on/off of the universe and extends from the pulse of a star to the beating of a humming-birds heart”. If he was correct, then 5G is interfering with natures heartbeat.

Using frequencies 1,000 times faster than 4G, the latest generation will move our mobile devices effectively from horse and cart to a modern sports car. Before 5G was proposed, however, over 3000 physicians and scientists called for a halt to the expansion of wireless technology in the Freiburger Appeal.

The harmful effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) are already proven. Scientists from 41 countries have contacted the World Health Organization with studies that show this damage.

Over 10,000 doctors and scientists have peer-reviewed scientific studies that show us EMF’s can alter heart rhythm, genes, metabolism, and stem cell development. Their studies show a direct connection between RF radiation from 30 kHz-300 GHz to cancers, cardiovascular disease, DNA damage, cognitive impairment including learning and memory deficits as well as autism in children, ADHD and asthma. It also increased free radicals, caused miscarriage, impaired sperm function, neurological damage, obesity and diabetes, as well as oxidative stress.

The damage done effects birds, insects, mammals, honey bees, as well as trees and forests.

Despite urgent requests to halt 5G by the United Nations, World Health Organization, the EU, the Council of Europe and governments of all nations, telecommunications networks continue to pursue profits under the guise of advancement.

In 2019, 240 scientists who had studied the health effects of EMF’s, called for stronger exposure limits than those adopted by the FCC in the late 1990’s.

Signing what has become known as The International EMF Scientist Appeal, the paper states the following:

“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well beyond most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

All life is connected in ways we may not see. The Earth is not here for the profit of a few corporations. I’ve noted that as we get closer to telecom companies launching 5G globally, there has been a gluttony of articles praising it arrival. Scientific and medical warnings are being forced out of site with articles ridiculing those concerns. The science is put into the same basket of people once afraid of telephones or electric lights.

German music journalist and author of over 20 books, Joachim Ernst Berendt (d.2000) once shared a story about biologist Lyall Watson. Watson wondered at a drum that was beaten exactly every two minutes and thirty five seconds for a full day by native drummers to ensure crop fertility. Only years later did scientists discover that the cadence of their beat exactly matched the resonant frequency of the earth. Native peoples call this, “the heartbeat of Mother Earth”. 

Header Image: Copyright free Image by Ria Sopala from Pixabay


Uriél Danā at the Getty MuseumUriél Danā has been a Professional Fine Artist 38 years and is a Contemporary Figurative Art Curator.
She is an Air Force Veteran and former USIA (State Department) Ambassador to the Arts. She is a graduate of the 2016 Writers Guild of the West (Los Angeles, CA) Veterans Writing Project.

A Contributing Editor on the Arts, Buddhism and Culture, Uriél contributes regularly to online and print magazines in addition to international journals. She has won many awards for her poetry and has been included in two anthologies. For National Poetry Month, April 2020, her poems were  featured on San Francisco’s public radio station, KPFA. To see more artwork and read more of her articles, please visit https://www.urieldana.com.

A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Uri has lived on three continents and visited 44 countries.

Insulated Societies And Fear: Awakening Cultural Intelligence Through The Arts

The Covid-19 quarantine has catapulted humanity into a new phase of global awareness through internet-based interaction. Professional and community based online communication has become a literal life stream.

Sadly, prior to the pandemic, we had already started to see a push towards cultural isolationism as a knee jerk rejection of globalism by the fearful.

Insular societies are often formed by living in an isolated location or in a group of people that resist exposure to new ideas. It can be a side effect of poverty with restricted travel or movement. Fear will often derail travel or reflect a lack of interest to exposure to other nationalities, languages or cultures.

Excluding the East and West coasts of the United States, 60% of Americans do not have a passport. Since the early part of the 20th century Americans have rarely traveled beyond 50 miles from where they were born! Our only exposure to other cultures can be limited to television, movies or social media, none of which reflect reality.

Unfortunately this can create a fear of new experiences, fear of travel, or worse, gross stereotypes of people. A perfect example is how Muslims are portrayed as terrorists or as dangerous individuals. Imagine if the entire world thought all Americans were Jehovah Witnesses?

Geographical size can also be a major contributor to an insular culture. California is the size of 5–7 European countries and is actually smaller than Texas or Alaska. Americans with only two weeks vacation a year barely have enough time to explore their own state, much less travel to another country.

In comparison, while living in Germany, I could drive to Holland or Belgium in 5 hours, Austria in 7 hours, France in 10, and Italy in 13. In those few hours I was exposed to multiple cultures, languages, food, and people. In Switzerland I was astounded to hear preschoolers speaking multiple languages from their exposure to people from other countries.

Now imagine each US state as a different country. It’s easy if you try and imagine someone from Boston talking to someone from Alabama, Texas or California. It would sound like we were all from different planets. There is a reason for that too.

As a melting pot of people who immigrated here from around the world, we came here despite the First Nations and Mexican Nation people that already were established here culturally and physically. Isolationists choose to forget that we are a country of immigrants. Their racism and xenophobia are a response to not being able to recognize the original cultural heritage in another person. This is what we now identify as “cultural intelligence”.

Professor David Livermore is an expert in cultural behavior. He is a world-renowned writer and lecturer on Cultural Intelligence. He helps train police departments to determine whether someone from a different cultural background is exhibiting behavior that is a threat or a culturally derived emotional response to a crisis.

To understand someone’s character or behavior, it helps to understand if they are from an Affective or Neutral Cultural background. Affective cultures are highly expressive in their communications and feelings. They talk loudly when excited, are very animated, enthusiastic, spontaneous. They are also more emotional and use their intuition in their decision making process and will often exaggerate to make a point.

Affective cultures include African American, Italian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and the Spanish. In Affective cultures, interruptions are okay but it is silence that is considered awkward.

Neutral cultures emphasize controlling their emotions or a non-emotional response to situations. They are more likely to disguise what they are thinking or feeling which can lead to unexpected outbursts. They can speak in a monotone, show little emotions, and expect others to stick to the point on specific, predetermined topics. To interrupt someone is taboo and punishment often includes being given “the silent treatment”.

Neutral cultures include Chinese, Ethiopian, German, Japanese, and Native American.

Culture is not only about national culture. There are also industry cultures and corporate cultures.

In his Teaching Company course, Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Where ever You Are, Professor Livermore analyzes cultures beyond Affective and Neutral behaviors.

Cultures (based on academic research across 60 countries) are also identified by;

  • Individualist versus Collectivist attitudes
  • Low versus High Power Distance
  • Cooperative versus Competitive
  • How they view time (Punctuality versus Relationships)
  • Direct versus Indirect Communication
  • Being versus Doing
  • Particularist versus Universalist
  • Tight versus Loose

Livermore also identifies 10 global clusters of large cultural groupings which share core patterns of thinking and behaving.

The arts can be one of the least fearful ways to open ourselves up to other cultures. If travel and finances are restricting our global curiosity about other cultures, we can learn much by watching videos or travel blogs on YouTube from expatriates who live in those places.

Begin with one or two countries. Perhaps the countries your family originated from or a country you have always wanted to visit. If you really want to stretch your personal boundaries, do this with a culture you have no interest in.

Research your country of interest’s most famous painters, singers, play-writes, and film directors. Who were their bestselling authors? Find out and then read English versions of those books. Who are their famous chefs and what foods do they eat and why? What is your chosen country most famous for? What were their gifts to the world? 

Exposure to other cultures has benefited humanity much more than isolation. It may not be immediately obvious but history has provided many examples of this.

Prior to the Renaissance, only priests and monks could read. Much of Europe lived in filth and isolation until the Christian Crusades. History shows us these solders were not Christians at all, but paid mercenaries to go into Spain and kill off the Moors who had settled there by the Christian church.

When the soldiers arrived in Cordoba they found a place like no other. The Moors had plumbing, in-house baths, and communal fountains. They cultivated fruit trees and had more libraries than in all of France combined!

“Their society had become too sophisticated to be fanatical. Christians and Moslems, with Jews as their intermediaries and interpreters, lived side by side and fought, not each other, but other mixed communities.” (Cleugh, 1953, p.71).

While the rest of Europe lived in fear and superstition, Arabs had traveled the globe and brought books and knowledge from every location.

Thanks to the Moors, we were gifted with our knowledge of medicine, botany, geometry, astronomy, mathematics (including the concept of zero), eye -glasses, and the use of brass type for printing, just to name a few.

The Moors also gave us the concept of dressing for the seasons, using glass and silverware to eat, and eating meals in more than one course.

These were the gifts of Arab Muslims to the West. Their culture was so far ahead of the rest of the world that Christian and Jewish scholars had to come from all around Europe to translate their books. It took them 300 years! This is what came to be known as the Renaissance or “great rebirth”.

When we travel we learn more about ourselves than the world. To get past fear and isolationism, we must focus on what makes us the same rather than what is different. We all want a safe place to live, enough food to eat, and for our families to be safe. We all laugh and we all cry.

We all love. When we hear or read any disparaging statement against another culture it is important to ask ourselves two questions. What is it they fear and Who will benefit from creating an Us versus Them situation?


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Uriél Danā at the Getty MuseumUriél Danā has been a Professional Fine Artist 38 years and is a Contemporary Figurative Art Curator.
She is an Air Force Veteran and former USIA (State Department) Ambassador to the Arts. She is a graduate of the 2016 Writers Guild of the West (Los Angeles, CA) Veterans Writing Project.

A Contributing Editor on the Arts, Buddhism and Culture, Uriél contributes regularly to online and print magazines in addition to international journals. She has won many awards for her poetry and has been included in two anthologies. For National Poetry Month, April 2020, her poems were  featured on San Francisco’s public radio station, KPFA. To see more artwork and read more of her articles, please visit https://www.urieldana.com.

A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Uri has lived on three continents and visited 44 countries.

Poetry Online: Featured on KPFA Radio for National Poetry Month

On Saturday, May 2, I was honored to be invited to read two of my poems for National Poetry Month 2020, on  KPFA radio’s B.A.J.A.B.A. on JaZzLine (Bay Area Jazz and Blues Artists).  The poems read (in order) are Spirit Chaser (Guide for the Departing) and The In-Between.  Destiny Muhammad provides the amazing background music for the poetry.

The poets sharing their work in the complete broadcast included: Iris de Anda, Briana Munoz, Devorah major, John Curl, Jose Hector Cadena, Kim McMillon, Uriel Dana, Karla Brundage, Sam Louie, Tureeda Mikell, Paul Corman Roberts, Judy Juanita, Al Young (read by his son, Michael Young) and Lucinda Clark. All poetry can be heard online in the KPFA (Berkeley, CA) archives.