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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce

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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce
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Now displaying: June, 2020
Jun 30, 2020

Today is the day you have been waiting for - the day that we do the LFTN workshop rundown. But unlike other years, instead of a blow-by-blow I thought I would center this on the community that we have at LFTN. So today’s run through will be of the superb people who attended the event and what they brought to the community. I think you are going to like this approach.

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • Pantry restocking is back to normal 
  • Get ready for a turbulent fall by stocking up
  • Canning beets, pickles
  • Butchering half a pig this week from our friend over at schoolbell farm - he may still have some pork available so reach out if you want some

Operation Independence

  • Added $340 to the independence fund in honey - not sure what the dr bill will be though
  • Basecamp is so.very.close.

Main topic of the Show: Sowing Seeds with Superb People

Grow 2020 - when I came up with that topic for the workshop, I had no idea what the first 6 or even three months of 2020 would bring. Many of us are walking around wondering which shoe will drop next, uncertain of what our future earning potential is, pissed off that the political factions are willing to tear everything down in order to win -- it makes a person uneasy, doesn’t it.

This year’s LFTN workshop was likely the one that has made the biggest impact on me personally and I think on most of the attendees as well. Perhaps it was because we came together as this time, a group of doers and helpers, all in one place. 

It can be very difficult to convey the power of getting a group together like this once a year on an audio podcast and I took a few weeks to think about the best way to highlight the event, then I realized it was simple really. You see while we had great food, fun and content for the workshop -- that is not what made it so powerful. 

It was you, the attendee, that did that. Every single person at the event had something to offer. Every single person did something that I am thankful for.

Sunday, after the great bee sting of 2020, I was talking with Jenni and she dropped a gem in my lap. She said something like “You know how you said that there was no huge “a-ha” moment at the workshop but that a major corner was turned. I think it was the theme - grow - that did that. We were all in the grow mindset. And if you think about how you grow things, you start with the soil and a seed and do a bunch of work. And nothing happens, until one day, there is a little teeny plant. And you nurture that until it is a big plant and pretty soon you have something that is a great big plant providing you with shade and food. That is kind of how the workshop was.

And she was right - this is the perfect way to describe it. We started with the hard stuff on Thursday, including a session about working through grief and taking care of your PTSD - which was somber indeed - and we did the hard work together, with and for each other, so that by the end most of us were ready to go back out, encouraged, and ready to grow what we want to grow no matter what the world brings.

And that, my friends, is the power of getting together once a year. A group of doers not takers. People who like to help and allow themselves to be helped. Who take responsibility for their current mistakes and next chapter. Yes, we demoed knife sharpening, knife throwing, how to make a hoop row cover for a raised bed, fermentation basics, a solar hot water heater, tasted homemade salad dressings and pimento cheese, and bourbons, and feta cheese, and salsa, and fresh salad, and smoked meatloaf and brats, and a pretty tasty venison ham. We played yard games and sang karaoke. We helped people accelerate their new and existing business ideas.

But the people. This year was all about the people. So I wanted today to give a rundown of who was there and why I am thankful for their contributions:

Make it a great week!

Song: Wolf by Sauce

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Community

Advisory Board

 

Resources

 

Jun 26, 2020

Today we talk with John Athayde of Sfumato farms, Meticulous and Homesteadoji. He’s joining me today to talk all about scything and if you have not thought about using one at your place, or even if you already are, I recommend listening to this interview.

Last call for webinar registrations - if no one is signed up by tonight, I will delay the webinar 2 weeks.

Show Resources

Where to get scythes

https://scythesupply.com/

https://www.onescytherevolution.com/index.html

About John Athayde

Work-from-home/farm, VP of Design for PowerFleet. Moved to a small 15ac farm outside Charlottesville with wife, Whitney, and 3 month old Quincy in 2013. PDCs with both Geoff Lawton and PermaEthos. Now four kids, finishing a house addition, and working on building out an orchard.

Covered on the show

  • Different kinds of scythes
  • Where to get scythes
  • How to use scythes
  • Why to use scythes
  • Improving pasture
  • Sizing scythes

Make it a great week

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Advisory Board

Resources

 

Jun 24, 2020

Today, we walk, step by step, through the process of making comfrey salve with fresh comfrey.

#HollerHatWednesday: When is she going to finish?

Stump the Sauce

  • From Chris - I ordered some medium pink salt and it is too big to fit in my grinder - what do I do with it?

What’s Up in the Garden

  • Transition time: Garlic out, onions, cucumbers, okra and beans in
  • Beets starting to beaten - planting sweet potato slips in their best alongside them
  • Time to plan the fall gardens (Starting plants inside)
  • Tomato trellis update
  • Peppers not yet ready - sads

Main topic of the Show: Make Comfrey Salve

What it is good for: swelling, healing cuts, itching, post shaving skin repair, post waxing skin repair, bee stings, bug bites

  1. Harvest (when)
  2. Ingredients: coconut oil or other oil
  3. Ratios
  4. Complementary herbs - calendula, plantain, mint, jewel weed
  5. A word on drying
  6. Crockpot method and water vapor collection
  7. Duration
  8. Finishing the salve with beeswax
  9. Packaging and storage

Make it a great week!

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Advisory Board

Resources

Jun 22, 2020

Never before have I taken time after the spring workshop to get away from the internet, from people, and from modern life. And it did just what I said it would do - allowed me to take the time to process. Change is coming. Change is always coming, but this year, we have taken a special path and I want to share one lesson with you today.

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • We had rain so I hope to do a batch of beets this week
  • Added lamb to the freezer
  • It is time to do the now quarterly freezer defrost and audit - a thing that has been keeping me honest on using stuff up
  • Still drying herbs like mullein flower and bee balm

Featured Forrage: Wild Raspberry

For berry advice

https://nicolesauce.com/2015/06/14/wild-raspberry-summer/

Herbal uses

https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/raspbe05.html

  • Tea: high in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins B, C, and E.
  • Excessive menstruation
  • Antidiahrreal
  • Reduces fevers

Operation Independence

  • This whole show is about this topic, really

Main topic of the Show: Change

It is always there under the surface. Ready to push you just a bit further. Ready to get in your way when you are in your stride. Ready to show you opportunities when you are least ready for them. Always there no matter how much you wish to cling to today and yesterday. Change happens.

Many people fear it, hate it, resist it. But change is part of life and if you are living, change is simply something that you must learn to integrate into everything. Because it will happen whether you want it or not. 

And yet we can guide change, we can shape it and shift it in ways that suit us. Yep. Change is hard but change is also good.

I haven’t done our usual lftn spring workshop debrief episode this year. You know the one I speak of? Where I run through it session by session and talk about all the things we did and learned and how powerful the community is when we get together? A community of doers…

I haven’t done this thing because this year was different. Now don’t get me wrong, the workshop was fantastic, fun, hard, good, educational, and the community is why this is. 

But unlike former years where the best outcomes of the workshop were on the surface, this year was different. It was more subtle. The group was both quiet and social and sometimes raucous. The sessions were usually focused and thought provoking. The group had a comfortable companionship about it and conversations tended toward long and deep over surface and short.

The whole time the event was happening I was worried that we would not meet the benchmark. You may wonder what the benchmark is. The benchmark for every lftn spring workshop is that at least 1 or 2 people figure things out. They find that it they have been missing. The thing that shows them a way forward toward building the kind of life they want. Usually, this happens quickly and obviously. But not this year.

The day after the workshop, Jenni stopped by. You know who I mean. Jenny of Word of the Year Jenni - to get her stuff and she said - I think we turned a corner at the workshop.

And she is right. There wasn’t one or two “aha” experiences, but rather a more subtle shift for most of us there. 

Setting the stage for the workshop, we have seen the following in six short months:

  • A strong financial environment to start out the year
  • A scary pandemic illness that brought along with it the following:
    • Population-wide acceptance of the top-down control of private lives.
    • An awakening that people seem to want a crisis really badly - so they won’t let go when new information comes to light
    • Acceptance of politically charged narrative on a topic that should not be at all political - both sides have shamelessly used this pandemic to desperately further their agendas with no consideration for the impact on real people
    • A media meltdown - To this day, media is frantically reporting increase in cases with no context on increase in testing, or link to hospital beds needed - the more important measure of the impact of covid. Literally - Tennessee saw it’s largest spike in cases the same day that they also finalized testing of all people in all old folks facilities, for example. 
    • Government overreach in the form of shutting down private businesses - you can say what you want about if it was or was not the right move, but it was an overreach and court cases are starting to show this
    • Destruction of our livelihoods, retirement accounts, educational facilities, ability to travel, and autonomy
  • Racially - charged, divisiveness in a world where I truly believe most of us want to coexist -- followed by rioting to further the clear division between a and b, 1 and 0, r and d, because that is the only way to control us
  • A recession that very well may melt into a depression, especially if the masses continue to let the oligarchy that runs this country bring us to ruin lest they lose power

As a group, we had people facing sudden loss of jobs, income, business revenue - paired with people who are still doing basically ok, and even some who have seen growth as a result of the turmoil of the first half of this year.

Perhaps you can tell by how I have framed this what I was feeling at the outset of our event: scared, a little sad, and scared some more. I got to pair all the big picture angst we all share with other, more personal stuff and that all ramped up the week before the workshop. And there I was, supposed to be the positive influence, the coach to help others find their purpose and go there. The find your opportunity lady doing an event that is supposed to spark the kind of change that brings people up. Let’s just say the weekend before the workshop I had a pretty intense meeting with myself about my attitude and the need to focus on the most important and let go of the crap.

Because when you think about opportunities and prosperity that we make for ourselves, much of it is SEEING that there is something there, but there is also the impact that a group of great minds can bring by deciding to make the change that will come into a positive change. And what better place to do it than here, in the Holler, where people come to rejuvenate?

As we navigated topics like how to work through grief, how to make sauerkraut, how to easily make a hoop house, phases of building a business, and talked about the ideas that some folks have for starting new things -- my internal angst got lighter and lighter. As people played cornhole together, sang karaoke, shared food and fun -- things got lighter still. And sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, as Jenni said, we turned a corner.

We stopped talking so much about the covid stuff, we stopped worrying about burning cities, the Trump and Biden jokes faded away, and we got real. Some people started taking stock. I know I did.

Because I was wrong all along. Change is not coming. Change is here. It  has been here the whole time, inviting me to take that next big step. And like the bad habit tempter that it is, the wealth of opportunities presented to me include some that will keep me stuck in the wrong place while I miss the boat to the better one.

But you can’t grab that boat if you can’t see it is there. And to see the boat, you have to open your eyes.

I am not really sure what everyone got out of the workshop this year. So many have reached out to me to say. Some who have been struggling to get their dreams going are starting.

But I know what I got out of it this year. I got sight. 

All my life I have been preparing to soar. And I have soared here and there, and sunk other times. And all my life, I have been ready to weather something like the first six months of 2020. But these last 6 months are not my destination - they are a lesson about what has always been there. Change. Unpredictability. A subset of people who wish to be in control. These things simply are.

And now I can see beyond them - I have often railed against that last category and will continue to do so. But think about what is on the other side of those people: the masses that ultimately cannot be controlled.

Through all of this, the real opportunities are within you, within me, and within everyone else who is willing to first see, then act. It is that simple. We already have what we need to prosper, built in and we just need to turn the corner. To change. To make the choice to jump on that boat.

And the best part is that this looks different for every single one of us. And what that means is that any solution that looks the same for everyone is the wrong solution. This small measure makes choices much easier to make.

I was doing just fine before we all got together a week ago. There was no big risk of losing it all for me because I have been moving toward better stability for some years now. 

But the change that was there the whole time was largely energetic and perspective.

Think about that - all in the mind and heart. An acceptance that now more than ever, it is the best time to change they way we want to. To make a move. To grab another bit of independence -- and to help others do the same.

I apologized at the workshop for choosing the word grow for this year. Because in order to grow, something has to happen to motivate you and usually that thing is pain. And pain is something we have all felt this year as things have unfolded. But I am not sorry - sorrynotsorry. 

Because of covid, I know how insatiable my biggest source of income was -- and now it is gone so I get to focus on building something better. I can either grow the things I love, or try to get back what I once had. I choose grow.

Because of the racial strife, I understand how much further we can go to build a society that decides based on merit, not heritage. I can either refuse to look at what is happening, or I can grow my understanding. I choose grow.

Because we have landed in a recession, it is harder to leverage what I have to expand the rental properties, to close new deals, and to find things that used to be easy to get. I can either use recession as an excuse, or I can grow by business. I choose grow.

Because many people in our world are easy to control, to leverage, to pit against one another, the oligarchy that has controlled us for basically every is gaining ground. I can either poke that oligarchy in the eye and moan about it, or I can help as many people around me grow beyond the chains. I choose grow.

Yep, the change that happened at the workshop was not loud, it wasn’t a fireworks moment, it wasnt an in your face thing. It was just a little shift. A small move from one not so bad track to a much better one. On little jump really.

And now I can’t wait to see what the next six months of 2020 brings! What about you?

Make it a great week!

Song: The Flood by Sauce

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Community

Advisory Board

Resources

 

Jun 17, 2020

Today I will go over the woes of the grey water system and what we are doing to address them.

#HollerHatWednesday: Where is she and who is she with?

Nicole in the woods Thursday and Friday

What’s Up in the Garden

  • It is dry - I had to water (Soil balance story)
  • Tomatoes are soon to ripen, blight has started on one
  • Strawberries coming on
  • Beets are forming beets
  • Peppers look sad
  • Green beans are about ready to start production
  • Squash looks sad - bad soil (Goat fence problem)

Main Topic: Grey Water System Overhaul

  1. History
  2. Core Problem
  3. How the solution came
  4. Mulch pit, versus drain field, versus spilling on land (Environmental concerns)
  5. Day one update
  6. Day 2 update
  7. Next steps

What about you? Have you thought about how you will handle black and grey water when you move to the land?

Make it a great week!

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Advisory Board

Resources

Jun 16, 2020

Today I will share the great car breakdown of 2020, the aftermath, and the lesson it taught me.

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • Nothing got put up this week (workshop) but we did start some sauerkraut
  • It is time to pickle beets (not those I am growing)
  • Made it through the workshop with salsa to spare
  • Whole lambs incoming

Featured Forage: Thistle

  • Bull thistle: Carduus lanceolatus L.
  • Cirsium lanceolatum (L.) Scop., non Hill
  • Carduus vulgaris Savi
  • Cirsium lanceolatum (L.) Scop. var. hypoleucum DC

Edible parts: Crushed well for fodder (Unless you have a goat), Seeds = oil, Stems, roots and leaves, 

Possible medicinal uses: Wound poultice, skin care, stomach complaints, swelling joints, ibs

Operation Independence

  • Inspired by the network this week

Main topic of the Show: Don't Worry Be Happy

Today, I want to tell you a story from the Thursday before the LFTN workshop. And the reason I want to tell you this story is that this has been a year of calamity. Covid forced us to move the workshop due to travel problems. We had speakers scheduled who could not make it. We lost 25% of our participants due to the reschedule. There was no way to know what that had not bee locally produced would be available for meals. And just when things were coming together for the event, riots broke out causing additional troubles for our event.

So as you can imagine, having my only vehicle punk out on i-40 with Mama Sauce the Thursday before the event was not the best timing.

Here is how that day went:

  1. The Holler Team meeting had happened and Tactical was to drive KH to the airport for a family emergency
  2. Ma Sauce and I were to head the other direction with my car to get supplies
  3. There were grumpy mugs so I asked and we ended up trading errands - ma sauce would drive knighthawk to the airport and T and I headed to sams
  4. Mom called
  5. Knighthawk called
  6. Gas station pickup
  7. Rental car arrangement
  8. Meanwhile I was supposed to meet someone who wanted to buy my wheat grinder and she was already on her way
  9. No one was looking forward to wading through traffic to the airport
  10. KH ubered to where we were
  11. Car drop off - transmission breaking behavior
  12. Sketchy truck
  13. Left T there while I got the rental car
  14. Picked up T and headed home exhausted having lost a whole day of workshop set up
  15. Arrived to dinner delivered by Mark Alexander

Poked around and it looked like 1500-3500 to repair a transmission on my car and it blue books at 3500-4500. Big transportation decisions needed to be made. 

Called the mechanic and he said he was covered up and would need a week to get me a bid.

So I did what anyone in this situation should do: Stopped worrying about it, and focused on what I CAN do: make the workshop awesome. From time to time I would look at rental cars but really just ignored the car issue.

Got a call Friday of the workshop and did not call back because at that point I did not want to know.

Monday’s call: $125 for the tow.

My car is not totaled -- at least not yet. We have no idea why it overheated. They can’t find anything and with my upgraded AAA in place, I am just going to go on as usual while keeping my eye out for deals on the kind of vehicle I should own.

In the end - when things are what they are, and you can’t really do anything but your best, the time we spend on worrying about it only sets you up to:

  1. Lose sleep
  2. Become less effective and possible hurt your future
  3. Become a burden to your friends

Really a better approach is to maybe complain a bit about the situation to let your emotions out. Step back and make arrangements that will get you through the crisis phase, then reorient on what is most important. Because even though things may feel really urgent in a situation like this, nothing you do until you can do something changes a thing and if you use that gap time to get other things going well, you end up ahead in the end.

So today, with riots, emerging nation states, pandemic madness and all the other news cycle stuff. Today, when maybe you just los your apartment and need to figure out what is next. Today, do your best to take the advice of Bob McFerrin and Dont worry be happy. Because you can only  control one thing in this world and that thing is you.

Make it a great week!

Song: Wolf by Sauce

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Community

Advisory Board

 

Resources

Jun 5, 2020

Today I speak with photographer Jay Farrell about how he went from a forgotten and abandoned building explorer to author and photographer.

Direct Download

Jay Farrell Information

website URL(s): www.jayfarrellauthor.com

Instagram and Facebook: @jayferrellauthor

Jay Farrell is a Nashville Tennessee-based photographer and book author, featuring the work of abandoned and forgotten buildings in various states and regions.

Make it a great week! (Talk with you again on June 16)

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Advisory Board

Resources

 

Jun 3, 2020

Today is wednesday so we have a how to topic and what is top of my mind today is focus. Focus through the noise. Focus through the news cycle. And ways to trick yourself into focusing in times when there is simply too much going on. I will share with you four of my favorite strategies for focusing.

#HollerHatWednesday: Where is she and who is she with?

Stump the Sauce

What’s Up in the Garden

  • Peak Weed and No time to Deal With It 
  • Beets are up and I hope to keep them alive
  • Still seeding things like Okra, cucumbers, squash and beans
  • Time to plan to fall garden starts
  • Lettuce growing update

Four strategies to Find Focus When You Feel Scattered

Do you ever have one of those days or weeks where it seems like every time you turn around you are being interrupted by something urgent? And at the end of the day you have started nothing you need to start? Sometimes these days happen, but all too often it is up to you to keep it from happening by making choices to focus on one thing at a time.

I often say that multitasking is a fiction. Sure, some people are good at changing their focus from item to item quickly, but if you look at how they are processing things, you often find they are really just able to shift rapidly, not process two or three things at a time.

This is not to be confused with function stacking when you do one thing but it serves multiple purposes.

But back to focus - the best way to navigate a scattered day is to dig in and focus on the top priority item until it is either finished or as far as it can go before you move onto the next item.

But if you are like me, when there is tons of stuff going on, you feel anxious. Stressed. The LAST thing you want to do is buckle down and do just one thing when so many need attention. 

But focusing on finishing things is the best way to get over the scatter. To bust the clutter. To move beyond the overwhelming panic that you have. And today, just one week out from the LFTN Spring Workshop, I share with you four of my strategies for MAKING myself focus.

Pregaming:

  • Pause
  • Make a list (Include the desired end state of the thing you need to do)
  • Establish priority

Four Strategies for finding focus

  1. Go into isolation (closed doors really help)
  2. Play music that will reprogram your brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IInG5nY_wrU&list=PL7ZB8gM_jSLRACWkN_5H71m8IYJhGMYO5
  3. Only show yourself three things on your list at a time
  4. Set a timer plus reward system

It may seem like I am playing games with myself but the thing that discerns people who GSD vs those who don't is the ability to finish things, not just start them and focus is key to that endeavor.

So what do you do when you cannot focus? How do you bust through the metal clutter to get your stuff together? 

Make it a great week!

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

Advisory Board

Resources

 

Jun 1, 2020

Grow is the word of 2020 and sometimes growing means learning to talk about hard topics. In the past, I have not said much about racial issues, mostly because it isn’t easy to talk about, there is not a clear solution, and when you try to open a dialogue about this topic, many people on all sides take issue and attack rather than seek to find a shared understanding.

So today, in the spirit of growing myself, I want to open a dialogue about class and racial issues in our society. I hope you will give me your thoughts so that we can grow together.

Announcements

  • We might do a livestream this week but it will not be pre-scheduled due to event preparation madness

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • Ahead of schedule: Summer shift and audit is complete
  • Confession: Been buying things at the grocery store when there is plenty to eat here
  • Still picking and drying lots of late spring herbs
  • Stress Dinner: Tacos, green beans, spanish rice, lots of lettuce, salsa from the jars

Featured Forage: Honeysuckle: https://elmaskincare.com/herbs/herbs_honeysuckle.htm

  1. Bark used as a diuretic, liver troubles
  2. Leaves as an astringent mouthwash for canker sores, oral care
  3. Flowers used for anti spasmodic and anti coughing

TEA, Tinctures, Syrup (flowers and buds)

Decoction: Leaves and stems

Operation Independence

  • Focus on LFTN 2020

Main topic of the Show: A Discussion

Intimidation and shaming has become the norm for influencing people who have opinions that run counter to the prevailing, chosen narrative. When it comes to race in America, this approach has backfired because there is not an open forum to discuss, learn and grow. One tiny misstep and you may find yourself a target of judgement, a job loss, calls, threats and worse. In this environment, how can we ever hope to find lasting societal change? The answer is we can’t.

It is time to discuss hard things. It has been time to discuss them for my life and for the lifetime of my parents and my grandparents. And here and there along the way, we have found a way to address racial and gender biases, generational poverty, and much more, in a way that moved things toward the better. And we have found ways to step backward.

And at the core of taking on hard topics is this: making rules to fix things doesn’t work. Capturing hearts does.

Whitewashing language doesn’t bring change, it merely makes it harder to have a discussion. Oh. Did that word bother you? Do you know what whitewashing is? It is painting a place to make it look cleaner and it has come to mean a means by which we hide the truth or truth in meaning from people. And it is dangerous to do this if our goal is in fact to create a society that values people for who they are, not what they look or sound like.

So then, how can we begin to talk about hard things like race in America? I think we need a set of discussion standards.

When we discuss hard things: 

  • Assume the person talking intends to process and grow, rather than to intimidate and attack
  • Approach discussions with opinion, facts, and questions - know the difference between these things
  • Be open to discussing what “could be” even if it seems impossible to achieve because impossible things do happen
  • Personal attacks are unwelcome in this discussion
  • "If this then that" statements lead to problems

So now I would like to open a discussion:

When I got up this morning, I wondered how many more livelihoods were stolen from people by vandals who wanted to loot and start fires? Notice I don't call them protesters. Fomenting this kind of violence on innocent people because you are mad about a cop killing smacks of one of two things: Vast immaturity, like three-year-old tantrum-level immaturity, or a huge lie. I tend to think that we are seeing a huge lie. Protesters go out and they communicate their displeasure with the status quo - and hopefully they have a solution in mind when they do it.

Vandals burn things, beat people up, and steal stuff.

And yet the media - an establishment that is supposed to exist to uncover the truth, comes out with headlines about protesters burning things.

OK OK - we know how they came to that spin: It is totally unacceptable for police to kill a man in the way that George Floyd was killed and people are right to be pissed off about it and demand change.. You and I should be demanding change. Police for too long have been immune to prosecution when they do wrong - and what was done to Mr. Floyd and everyone who loved him was wrong. It is called ”Qualified Immunity” and goes to a 1982 supreme court decision:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlow_v._Fitzgerald

Link to the text of the decision: http://cdn.loc.gov/service/ll/usrep/usrep457/usrep457800/usrep457800.pdf

Basically, qualified immunity requires that the act that was done by the government official against someone be previously established as something that was in violation of the victim’s rights. And the way it is being interpreted is that, for example, when police sicked a dog on a suspect who had surrendered, they were not in violation of his rights because he was sitting up with his hands in the air. Had he been lying down as the victim was in a previous case, it would have been a violation. Sicking a dog on someone who has surrendered, sitting instead of lying on the ground totally different right? (It is no wonder this has led to our current tinderbox with cops.)

We’ve talked about the corruption of the justice system and how it is built to keep itself in business and in office. Well qualified immunity is another part of this.

It allows assholes like Chauvin and every other cop who stood around letting this happen get off scott free when they have clearly done something that at a minimum should have them out of a profession, and in reality in jail.

So back to race. It is also not a secret that people of color are the target of police violence more than those with white skin. This is an endemic problem that must be addressed. But it goes much deeper than a simple solution. And in order to find a path forward, we MUST be open to have this discussion without shaming and violence. Without ruining people’s careers as they form opinions.

An open discussion hurts. But an open discussion can also begin a healing process.

But the riots are scary and the media is just EATING THIS SHIT UP. They were having a really hard time keeping the coronavirus panic up and nothing new was happening and then a cop killed a black man, people protested, some protests got violent, and here we are.

Is it any wonder that some folks are screaming conspiracy?

And can we talk about a lifetime of programming that we have been exposed to? You know, the programming that pits one side against the other on almost every topic? From pandemics, to rioting, to personal life choices, what you do is either Democrat or Republican. How wildly absurd is that?

Why can’t I believe that racism still exists in the US, that the cop who killed Mr. Floyd should be tried for his actions, that rioting and violence are not only wrong, but a pathway toward getting the opposite of what the protesters want, that the media and government officials overreacted to Caronavirus, that coronavirus is still a terrible illness for some people and we should protect those vulnerable to it, that regulating every word, move, job, landscaping choice, food and healthcare decision is leading to even more tension and bigger problems, that taxes should be lower, that our education system has been broken for years and we need to open up opportunities for our children to learn outside the broken system or it will never get better, guns should be legal, that regulating ourselves out of local, stable sources of food was a terrible idea, that holding patents on plants that already exist is criminal, that drugs should be legal and I mean all drugs. 

And really at the core of things, why can’t I believe that it is in part the preponderance of regulations and laws that makes it all worse? People would not be complaining that cops were bad apples if the cops did not have so many victimless crimes to enforce. We try to fix things with rules and the more rules we get, the more unfair everything is - under the guise of fairness.

But back to having hard discussions - How about we open with just one aspect of it. Something I have trouble understanding in the discussion of race is this idea: If you are not <insert race or gender here>, then you don’t have a right to have an opinion.

Wait what? Why not?

Because you can’t know how it is for a person who is <race, or gender>.

While this statement is true, it is a fundamental flaw to demand silence in a quest toward shared understanding. True, I will never know what it is to be black, to be Asian, to be a gay kid afraid to come out. I’ll never know what it is like to be in combat, or a billionaire either. 

But why would you want to stop me from imagining what that is like? Why not encourage an open discussion about it so that I can better understand?

The shut up approach to winning hearts just seems so counterproductive.

What do you think? Should people be allowed to talk through their thoughts on this topic openly, or should we continue the silence? Should we avoid the problem?

I’m curious to hear what you have to say.

Make it a great week!

Song: Special by Sauce

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. 

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