Along the Nile and Festival of the Arts

Along the Nile: This is my promotion backstory that is published with the composition.

This is Margaret, the younger and slightly homely sister of well-loved  Bast. Although she doesn’t have her siblings Goddess duties, she does have many civic responsibilities. Here Maggie is shown welcoming The Nubian Caravan at the mouth of the Nile.

This is how it is available.

8"x 10" - Bleed artwork, signed and numbered behind the print. Placed (not mounted) on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.
17" x 22" - Overall size. Can be framed and hung gallery style without matting OR can be matted to taste. Shipped on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.
20" x 24" - Overall size. Same size artwork area as the 17" x 22" item BUT double matted in archival white.  Shipped on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.

 

This month I thought that we might explore my composition "At the Nile". Over the last few years I have completed a number of Egyptian picture and this the latest. On the right you can see some of the Library of Congress digital images I've used here and in other images.

I've also done a number of Egyptian graphics and symbols and developed a palate of golds and silvers that seem to work well.

On the right you can see the Nubian Caravan I  created that would be behind Margart, and below the caravan is the original feline I used. Although he is a male in real-life he agreed to don a princess outfit for my needs.

 

Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City

 

The Oklahoma City show was  a checkerboard of weather and success, it could not make up it's fickle mind and changed daily. On the first day of the show (Tuesday the 25th) temperatures reached 80...the next day rainy, windy and perhaps 48 for a high.

 

Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th were both fairly decent days with good crowds but windy and cool days. 

Then came the disaster day--Saturday the 29th. Rain, wind and cool all day and all evening. Saturday is traditionally the very best day of this show, crowed can very easily hit 250,000 or more.  If we saw 10,000 it was a lot, and they didn't buy.

Sunday the 30th was the last day of the show and although windy was not bad as people tried to make up for Saturday.

 

Last year the Festival of the Arts was my most successful show ever, with sales in the low to mid five figures. This years weather and low crowds that produced pulled my sales to 50% or less of last year.

Of special note, you will see my painting "Got Milk" in some of the photos--this painting found  a new home.

The next day I drove home to St. Louis, this is normally a 8 hour trip--but flooded rivers and detours added 4 hours.

Oh well.

 

 

 

Trump Stuff this Week (May 7-13)

Today, Trump told Lester Holt( of NBC), "I have a certified letter. It says I'm not involved in Russia"

"I have a certified letter," Nixon said. "It says I am not a crook."

5/11/17


Consider...Watergate was about covering up a 3rd rate burglary; this is only about covering up possibly treasonous collusion to steal the White House.

I always said a perfect crime would be to rob a bank and then fire the cops.

5/11/17


Throughout the day I repeatedly heard the the comment "This isn't Watergate".

Consider...Watergate was about covering up a 3rd rate burglary; this is only about covering up possibly treasonous collusion to steal the White House.

5/1017


If you don't as subscribe to at least one (at least to the digital edition) of these...The New York Times, The Washington Post, perhaps the L.A. Times or the Chicago Tribune... then you doing a great disserviceto our democracy.

Get yourself some fake news, before it's gone.

5/9/17


Best of Show and At the Wall

The first weekend of April in St. Louis is traditionally the baseball Cardinals  home opener (in which we beat the World Champion Cubs no less) AND a long running art show called The Art Fair at Queeny Park. This show brings together approximately 125 local and regional artist in all media types.

The exciting news at the show for me, was the Best of Show (2D) award shown. Very pleased to be so recognized. I've won nice awards here before but never a Best of Show. The judge was Victor Wang, a full professor of fine art at Fontbonne University - Saint Louis. Victor and one of his amazing portraits is shown below. 


New Picture - At the Wall

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there has been a political agenda to my work since the election. The agenda is liberal and progressive-the complete opposite of what we are seeing in Washington.

I believe we are in dark times. Dark times for our nation, our constitution, our electoral process our very way of life. One of the ways I try to combat this darkness is through my art.

This piece is called "At the Wall". I started with a Library of Congress image in the public domain showing three very young minority children, poor as dirt and standing by a wooden wall.

I then added type saying Make America Great Again. Next I spent a great deal of time going through my of shelter cat photography resources to find three feline faces that conveyed the proper LOOK. Also a rat, I figured for this composition you gotta have a rat. 

I then spent a number of hours working on the color, texture and weathered look of the type and "'the wall". Lastly I worked on the urchins cloths and furry hands.  

Above you can see it all put together.  Be sure to click on the image to get a full light box image that you can explore. Click here for purchase information.

I usually have a very extensive back-story for each of my compositions. In this case I want to leave the story UP TO YOU.

8"x 10" - Bleed artwork, signed and numbered behind the print. Placed (not mounted) on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar. $35
16” x 20” – Overall size. Matted in archival white. Shipped of 1/8” thick acid-free foamcoar. $65
20" x 24" - Overall size. Same size artwork area as the 17" x 22" item BUT double matted in archival white.  Shipped on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar. $85

 
At the Wall-pieces.jpg

There are Monsters and some political Rants

January 20th with the new President tripping over the door frame and taking office - I had an idea. I would begin to design a series of compositions that would generally reflect my parianora of how life MIGHT BE in that reality. There are Monsters is one of the first in that series.

 

Like all my work the first thing I do is start with a Library of Congress type digital download, I always use images in the public domain. The reason I use LOC is the high resolution files that are generally available for free. Not in every case and not for every need - but mostly.  This is the selected image, three guys perhaps business types or perhaps travelers. Then I find the right feline for the body.

Those lucky dudes are shown on the right. Almost all my felines are shelter cats that I photograph. The guy on the right (actually a girl) would try to sucker you in to rub her belly - then she would promptly bite you for daring such impertinence.

One of the most interesting parts of There are Monsters is the city background. It was sourced from many skyline photo's of New York and Detroit, mostly from the 1920's. Then I blend in a bunch of smokestacks shots to help create a dirty environment and finally place a big billboard on top of a large building proclaiming TRUMPLAND.

 

Nerd out now. The next step was to add the titled MONSTERS to the composition. From King Kong to Godzilla to Harry Houseman creations - there are many creatures to fear along the waterfront,

 

We put it all together. Be sure to click on the image to get a full light box image that you can explore.

Here is the story for There are Monsters.

Max, Merlin and Alex have just arrived at TrumpLand, a recently completed entertainment complex along the razed waterfront, of Old Detroit.

Part of the experience, as has been Tweeted, is to avoid the skinheads, the demagogues, and the bigots while hunting monsters both real and imagined!

8"x 10" - Bleed artwork, signed and numbered behind the print. Placed (not mounted) on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar. $35
16” x 20” – Overall size. Matted in archival white. Shipped of 1/8” thick acid-free foamcoar. $65
20" x 24" - Overall size. Same size artwork area as the 17" x 22" item BUT double matted in archival white.  Shipped on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar. $85


some political rants (and some that aren't)

"Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell that criticises the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language.

The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it. Here is a .pdf of the essay.


JC Weatherly writes in Medium.com. The name of the essay is It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban. Here is a appended paragraph...

Evangelicals are advocating a religious extremism that is no different from Muslim extremism, which projects religious authority over all people in their domain, which limits the rights of women, controls and limits education, and enforces strict adherence to a moral code, which naturally rejects and punishes all forms of “decadence,” including; “deviant sexuality,” science, reason, and any questioning of authority. Christian fundamentalists, if given the power, will do the same things. We should call this The American Taliban.


Mambo dogface to the banana patch? 
Said to be a alt-right way to ask permission to go to the bathroom. Only a rumor however.


Here I present two different T-shirt designs I created. These are free for you to use any way you see fit. If you'er nice to me I will even send you an Illustrator file you can print from. CatWorks prevails!


Tweet reprints PLUS "On Broadway"


There is a fine gentle man on Twitter called "exhausted father" @markpopham who about a week ago published this long line of tweets. I though they were just great, engaging and insightful. So I  asked  to be able to reprint in this venue. So here go's...

What you have done is way harder than me calling @SenAnybody every day and just whispering “primary” into the phone

And right now you might be felling pretty low!

And right now it feels like it didn’t do anything. that they were able to just tune you out, without fear of consequence.

But let me absolutely ASSURE you - they heard you. They know you’re there.

And they're absolutely scared shitless. They're fucking terrified.

This is not some piddly letter-to-the-editor bullshit right here. You all have been absolutely inundating them!

But let me absolutely ASSURE you - they heard you. They know you’re there.

They've been shutting down voicemail! They've been RUNNING FROM TOWN HALLS

They have never - NONE OF THEM - seen this level of engagement from the public. Ever.

And the only thing that is keeping them from pissing their khakis right now is the assumption that you will get discouraged and go away.

They think that if they can just get through until the spring everyone will become dejected ad give up and tune out.

If this is just the crazy spring of 2017, they can go back to gutting our nation like a fish. But it's the new normal..

If this is just American Political Life, 2017-????, then they've got a huge problem.

Now I don't think they're going to get woke. They're not going suddenly become the good guys.

But we need them scared. We need they saying..."If we touch the ACA my constituents are going to literally eat me. Literally."

We need them to look at the Trump administration and say, "What am I actually getting out this guy?"

So I am going to ask you to keep calling and facing and mailing and going to town halls.

Because we need them to know that we're still paying attention. And this becomes especially important with something or someone like DeVos.

They own her now. She is 100% thier's, and every time she screws up. Every terrible thing she does. Every horrible thing she says.

They need to know that you saw it, you are pissed, and you hold them PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE.

It is an unfortunate, terrible truth that these people are about to absolutely fuck up a lot of America.

Both on purpose and because they're all tremendous dipshits. And every time your representative needs to knows how furious you are.

Okay this is the last clause! Imaging you are fighting a war. You're both entrenched. You can't really see the enemy.

But every day they fire off some volleys at you , and you fire off some volleys at them. Just a little bit, every day. You're in a stalemate.

Then one morning you get up and they're already firing. And they don't stop firing. They just keep firing , all day long.

They're not even AIMING. They're just shooting at you, non-stop, for days. What would you, cowering in your trench, under constant fire what would you assume about the relative size of the enemy? About the amount of ammunition that they had?

You'd assume they were HUGE, and sitting on stacks and stacks of ammo.

But if they stopped firing, you'd assume they were weak, low on ammo, trying to scare you.

We have to keep firing!

Again - thank you, red state liberals/leftists. Thank you so much. You have a very hard path and you get shit on all the time and I love you.

I have been trying to reply to everyone who has been responding to this thread! But I need to go to sleep because my baby loves being awake.

I am so glad if this thread had inspired anyone to keep fighting tomorrow. Thank you for all you've done already!

If you are exhausted and discouraged and burned out please take some time of yourself. Come back when you're ready.

Dems in red states are lynchpins of what we are doing now. They will hear your voices.

This keeps getting passed around - thank you! I wish you all could see not just the responses but how widely quoted this is.

Which means - you are not alone. We are not alone. There are millions of but dots in red states. Keep fighting!


New artwork...ON BROADWAY

In the first full month of the Trump presidency I began and finished what is very much a throw-back composition. It ended up being called "ON BROADWAY". It started out being called "Chorus Line." At any rate the original source material is from the New York Public Libary's digital collections (and cost $50 for a hi-res .tiff image.)

 

The first work-in-progress shows the selected cats on the human heads. The feline on the left show the cat-fur-body-treatment  that I was to use for the entire  composition.

 

This second work-in-progress starts to show a fully formed decision on my part as to what the composition would finally be about.
The background now becomes important. But is it real? Or is it a theater drop? 

 

Below is the finished background in all it's glorious detail. Many parts will look incorrect because the felines are designed to be in front. This is my vision of a 1930's or so New York City -- really only exists in my minds eye.

 

In the story for "On Broadway" I talk about "a giant ape has begun to climb the tallest building". But it's hard to see in the origianl--here I present it larger.

 
King Kong.jpg

Here is the final form of "ON BROADWAY"- - I finished it on February 10th, 2017.

Here is my story for "ON BROADWAY"...

A chorus line of pensive starlets lead by a young Ann Darrow, await the judgment of director Victor Shortshanks. His new
production of “On Broadway” is set to thrill audiences in these bleak authoritarian times. Unseen...a giant ape has begun to climb the tallest building.

Click on the image for a large light-boz view.

 

Hero of the Beach and a Rant or Two


Here is the story I put together for "Hero of the Beach": Ambrosio Lightfoot (The Master of Muscle Mystery) secured his destiny when he appeared as the  original model for “Hero of the Beach” This rare poster version was recently found behind a housing rebuild on the Boardwalk.

Original acrylic painting on 36" x 48" hardwood with a 1 1/2" cradle.

 

The first detail show the graphic drawing, that gives me a painting guide. I started this paining excatly one year ago on February 1st. 2016.

 

On the right I'm showing the first paints applied to the panel. To the right of the painted panel show my reference material. This is from 2/5/2016.

 

Detail showing the main face and walking cat. From 2/6/2016. This was my Facebook profile pix for about a month.

 

Then I took a brake and worked on the type. This is where I was last Super Bowl Sunday. 2/7/2016.

 

This show the full scale of the 36" x 48" hardwood panel. Added both arms and finished the walking feline body. Monday the 9th, 2016.

 

This detail shows more finish, the background filling in, "behind the cure" type and the beginning of the texture. Thursday the 11th, 2016.

 

Here is the finished product. February 13th 2016. BTW this painting is still available, drop me an email.

 

This shows the "Hero of the Beach" after I took it to the Clayton Fine Art Gallery last February 26th, 2016.


A Rant or Two

With a new Supreme Court nominee being forced down our throat here is the definition of a Constitutional Originalist: The theory that the US Constitution should be interpreted based on the intent of its authors, as determined by examining evidence of their understanding of the meaning of its wording in its historical context.

For those who need to know I am a lifelong member of the progressive liberal collation to make the world a better place.

Donald Trump is a deeply disturbed megalomaniac.

In their wildest dreams, ISIS could not do the damage to this country that Donald Trump has in one short week.

Although we can't use this yet. I have no doubt we will need it in the near future...

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

I understand if this post does not meet with your approval, completely understandable. Please block me. If you find TRUE FACTS AND REASON  in your travels, come back. I'll be here.

February 1st, 2017


Juries and their Delusions and New Efforts

Disclaimer:

Last year in early summer I ran across something called the Parallax Blog, they had some interesting stuff. I'm going to reprint a part for your enjoyment. Sorry I don't have the writers name, hopefully he will forgive such temerity. Please enjoy.

Juries and their delusions

Juries and committees still abound in the art industry. Pride and egoism are such important hooks for selling products on that the best marketers know that a jury of some kind, however used or abused, draws in the customers. And better still if you can qualify that jury with a quasi-expert who rubber stamps the process as genuine, real and believable. For artists this process is destructive. And I am not referring to those who get sifted out. No, I am talking about those that get "chosen" or "selected". I'm talking about the seeming winners. We love hierarchy, especially when we are close to the top. We like the idea that we are "in" and others are "out" of the club. The art industry fosters this sense of exclusivity, on the belief (for that is what it is) that there is a "reality" of special knowledge and only a few are "behind" the curtain. And those on the "outside" often share in this belief too. How often do you hear someone shying away from "explaining" an art object claiming that they do not know much about art? You see, they BELIEVE that there is something unbeknown to themselves that CAN be known, in most cases, by the specialist, whether that be the artist or some other expert in the arts. So, the artist that gets "selected" believes that this process is something quite real.

This is why there is often talk about such ideas (or myths) as "quality". The process of selection, in their thinking, MUST substantiate "quality". The converse is also true for the losers. This is a great delusion- a charade played out in the art industry where there is amnesia of having placed "quality" in the first place.

If you are "selected" it means nothing in any objective sense. In fact, it could point to an intellectual laziness on the part of the "specialists". (This is the sad irony of that seeming intellectual exclusivity played out by so many in the art industry.) For they put that "quality" into your object though they often know it not. They did not find it. And if they cannot find it...it begs the question of the purpose of jurying artists and objects; of propping up and maintaining hierarchical notions of objects and makers under such a delusion. I would suggest that to do this is not to embrace the "new zeitgeist" (that strange "sound" that one sometimes hears and feels in these times and is yet to be named) but is to be planted in an age that has already passed.


Behind the curtin with Sex and the Kitty

This time I have a just finished work to share that we can deconstruct...it's called "Sex and the Kitty". At an art show a couple of years ago a customer said that I would do well if I had a picture called "Sex and the Kitty"--obviously after the well known show that ran on HBO. It's taken a while, but finally I believe I have produced something that has that unique feel.

If you look to the right you will see many of the elements that were used to compose "Sex and the Kitty." At the top is a NYC street scene from the 20's (like nearly all my background starting images, these are form the Library of Congress and are in the public domain.) Under the building are three different images of women walking (again LOB and public domain free) and to the left of the women walking a NYC policeman.

Moving down the composition I've shown four of the cats heads I've used. These are (mostly) from shoots that I've done at the Open Door animal sanctuary in House Spring MO. Below that you can see the composition of all five cats, they have great determination.

Finally this is the final composition with all elements in place, I even added a cobble stone street. I this you can now see the policeman and the part he plays. A voyeur male admiring the rear ends of the fine felines walking down the street. I'm sure it made his day.

One thing you may have noticed is that I'm not striving for complete realism anymore. There is more of an painted feel, there are elements that are left unfinished or give an impression of what they are. The building for example. I think the new look is much more interesting.

This is my bio for "Sex and the City"*... United by their ability to take on a male dominated society, on terms of their choosing, these ladies show an indomitable spirit. At the moment they are just returning from a gab fest at Moshe's Matza. a Jewish eatery on 12st at Bleecker.

Sex and the City *is offered in three limited edition sizes...

  • 8"x 10" - Bleeddartwork, signed and numbered behind the print. Placed (not mounted) on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.
  • 17” x 22” – Overall size. Shipped of 1/8” thick acid-free foamcoar.
  • 20" x 24" - Overall size. Same size artwork area as the 17" x 22" item BUT double matted in archival white. Shipped on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.

OKC - Festival of the Arts AND the Islamic Terror Felines


My set at the 2016 OKC Festival of the Arts.

In  mid April I attended the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City (this blog post was first published at my old web site on May 2, 2016), this is the 4th year I have done this show and have been well pleased with the results each year. This year I had an unfortunate encounter with a Muslim lady and her two young children. She had seen my "I Want You" composition and was deeply offended and felt that it was completely inappropriate. We argued and she eventually went away.
I believe it was the next day that she came back and handed me a letter she had written, asking that I read it. It wasn't until a few days later when I returned home did I read it. I was shocked at the clarity of thought.   Aside from redacting her name and email I will re-print it in it's entirety. I think it's an incredible document that speaks to being Muslim in our "fear based society" (my quotes). Please read it carefully, and when it's time, vote Democratic.

This addition is added 12/12/16. Voting democratic didn't help. We now have to look forward to four years of autocratic terrorism from the presidential suite. Please read the letter below, there are thousands of such victims living in fear. God help us all. 
 

Festival of the Arts
April 24, 2016
Dear Jay Thompson,
I want to apologize for my behavior yesterday. I was the one who took a photograph of the picture you had in your gallery depicting a cat as Uncle Sam, recruiting others to fight the "Islamic Terror Felines." When I had calmed down enough to think clearly about it, I realized there had been no need for me to get so upset, and I wanted to put things right. You may or may not be receptive to reading this, but I hope you do.

It had been an irritating morning—nothing at the Festival was ready for little kids, even though the website listed the starting time as 10 am rather than 11—and I was heading home with a disappointed child. But it has also been a challenging year, where I lost my mother to a terrible disease, and my husband lost his job, among other things. I have been watching the news with growing trepidation, and I feel scared living here in what is supposed to be my home now, after 25 years, when I hear prominent figures call for people like me to be kicked out. But I should not have let all that turn me into a reactionary too. The cycle has to end somewhere. 


I wrote much of the following before I looked you up. Can you imagine how mortified I felt when I realized your politics and world view made you, in my eyes, one of the good guys? (Heck, I voted for Bernie earlier this month!) So I guess I'm preaching to the choir, in a sense... But I had to write to you. My mother would not be proud of me if I didn't; both my parents did teach me right from wrong, and good manners. I know that's hard to believe after my outburst, but people do strange things when they're scared. (Oklahoma is not the most open-minded state I've ever lived in; I've become quite leery of strangers over the years.) What you say on your website about your youthful dream for this country being gone: I feel something similar, that the promise of the United States, what I looked forward to as a young immigrant a quarter of a century ago, is evaporating, and I am left quite disillusioned.
 
I love cats. My eye was first caught by the large picture on the front of your display, of a cat dressed in Egyptian garb—especiallyclose to my heart, as that is my heritage. Then I saw the words "Islamic Terror" on another picture and immediately thought, "Oh, here we go again!" 1 looked at the photo on my phone of the feline Uncle Sam: To be honest, that picture is not really offensive after all. It's actually kind of funny. I remember laughing at similar pictures of cats dressed as terrorists and criminals in Belgium last winter, after the Paris attacks; the Belgians were approaching the warnings their government was giving them with humor. I thought it was wonderful and showed how strong they were, how hope and a positive outlook must prevail against such darkness... When the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo published those caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, I was not in favor of all the violent reactions, but I did wish that those French journalists would show a little respect for one of the three great Abrahamic faiths, and not hide their rudeness behind the banner of free speech. They painted millions of people with the same blood-stained brush. It's not fair, and it's not right. Jesus would never be attacked like that in a newspaper of a predominantly Muslim country; he is a holy figure in Islam, as is his mother Mary, as well as Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Noah, etc. It is just unthinkable there to direct such "jokes" at any of the messengers of God.
 
Terror has no religion. That would be the only thing I would have to say about the caption. Those men over there, they terrify all of us. They've killed many more Muslims than non-Muslims. Most of us are not religious enough for them, at least the way they seem to think it should be: a prison of rules. They have no sense of the divine at all. They are a bunch of thugs and criminals, young unemployed men with no sense of purpose, drifting through life when all of a sudden they are allowed to enforce archaic laws and experience the thrill of shooting people and cowing others into obeying them. It's sickening, and a destructive force that has been unleashed from who knows where. I don't believe anyone really knows the truth about these men's origins or who's really behind them. You may disagree. But most Muslims just want to work, raise their families, and do what's right. Wackos like those guys spoil everything, for all of us.
 
Anyway, I'm sorry for upsetting you. I don't even know if you are he artist or were manning the booth for the artist. (Update: I took the time to go to the Arts Festival website to look you up; you describe yourself as a curmudgeon on your website, but I'm afraid I was the curmudgeon yesterday.) But I want you to know that I have deleted the photo from my phone. I would not publish it, online or any where else, as I have a healthy respect for the rule of law (including copyright law). I was mortified when my three-year-old leaned on the big Egyptian cat picture and almost made it fall. My instinct was to walk back to you and help you hang it back up securely, but I knew back then that it was too late and that you would tell me to go away.
 
But I don't want to leave this as a negative interaction. The pictures you have for sale are intriguing, and I wish I had taken the time to peruse them more leisurely, and to talk to you about them. That's how I normally behave. This atmosphere of fear and exclusion has me jittery and nervous, I guess. I saw the word "Islamic" and it triggered all kinds of fears in my head. It wasn't that long ago that Japanese were interned here, and Jews were herded into camps in Germany. What if people like me are targeted soon? It is terrifying—another source of terror. If I could afford it, I would buy one of your pieces. As it is, these days I am working as much as I can and worrying about paying bills... I hope you accept my apology. And that you continue to produce your art and exhibit it to grateful and appreciative festival-goers like myself. I promise to take some time to think before I react next time. And like you say on your website, I will choose to be by the light. Thank you for your beautiful and thought-provoking art.

 

Sincerely, J


I found this online, I don't know the gentleman BUT I certainly agree with what he has to say...

To All My Republican Friends,

I am tired; I am tired of talking politics. This will be my last political post on Facebook. I am tired of being called ignorant o...r a communist. I am tired of people asking me to leave the country. I am an American and I am patriotic. I have as much right to my opinion as you do yours. I am educated; I try very hard not to post false information when arguing my points and I certainly would never ask anyone to leave the country if they did not agree with me. Most importantly I do not believe, write or say anything before I spend time to research it.
That being said I would like to explain why I am a Democrat and why I fear the extreme right.

First why am I a Democrat?

1) I believe all people should be guaranteed medical care, housing, food and an education.
2) I believe all people should be equal regardless of their race, religion or sexual preference.
3) I support a woman’s right to choose.
4) I believe in diplomacy before war.
5) I believe in a separation of church and state.
6) I believe in Background checks and better safety measures for guns while still protecting 2nd amendment rights.
7) I believe in protecting our earth by protecting endangered species, protecting our water, forests, and air and investing in ways to reverse/slow down global warming.
8) I believe in putting regulations on corporations and holding CEO’s responsible if they participate in fraudulent activities or break the law.
9) I believe in higher taxes on the rich, fewer taxes for working people and no taxes on the poor.
10) I believe we should raise the minimum wage.

Now for these beliefs I have been called ignorant, communist, an ass, un-American and of course asked to leave the country. I don’t believe there is anything extreme about my beliefs. I can understand a Republican's concern about the cost of guaranteeing medical care, housing, food and education for everyone. However, I do not understand why wanting to help fellow Americans is bad. It is my belief that America is the greatest country in the world and if other countries can provide these services to their citizens we can find a way to do it as well.

I also understand that some religions prohibit abortions, I respect that. I will admit the abortion question is a tricky one. However, when you live in a country like America where there are so many different beliefs there will be times when we don’t agree or understand each other. Because of that we have to be tolerant even if we do not agree or understand each other. That doesn’t mean you can’t believe what you believe but you should not try to force your values onto others. Orthodox Jews don’t believe in eating pork. You may say that is different than abortion but to the Orthodox Jew eating pork is a very serious thing. Imagine if they tried to get everyone in the United States to stop eating pork? That would be crazy.

As far as the rest of my beliefs I cannot believe any of it should be controversial.

Why I fear the extreme right. (Remember I am talking about the extreme right not all Republicans or Christians.)

1) No respect for the law.
2) No respect for the office of the President
3) No respect for science
4) No respect or tolerance for other races, religions or political beliefs
5) Spreading false information to instill fear
6) Their first choice is to bomb all our enemies

A Militia that takes over a federal building and then threatens to protect themselves with weapons cannot be called a protest, it is criminal. A protest is peaceful with no weapons.

Preventing someone from getting a marriage license because they are gay is against the law if your job requires you to do that and you don’t want to either quit your job or turn your duties over to someone else.

Bombing an Abortion Clinic because you're against Abortion is not ok.

This country has due process. If you disagree with a law you can use our judicial system and take it all the way to the Supreme Court. But once the Supreme Court rules on something it becomes the law of the land and we ALL have to follow it. That is what civil people do. We have a process in which each side gets to present their side and then have a ruling. There will always be a winner and a loser. In a civil society you have to respect the ruling even if you don’t agree with it. Those are the rules we have played by for over 240 years.

In many of my discussions with those on the right they have referred to the President in the following terms “it”, “that wanna be black President”, “monkey” and other derogatory terms. Again this is not ok and should never happen in a civil society. President Obama is a professor of constitutional law. He has experience in government and has been elected President not once but twice by the American People. You may not agree with his politics but that is not an excuse to be disrespectful. I disagreed with Bush’s policies but if I ever met him in person I would still refer to him as Mr. President. Doing anything else would be disrespectful not only to the president but to 50% of American population.

I don’t understand this backlash against science. The Scientific Method is a process. Once this method is applied and another person can duplicate the result it then becomes fact. A fact is not debatable. 2 + 2 = 4. Only an uneducated person or a crazy person could argue that 2 + 2 doesn’t equal 4. You cannot deny that temperatures have been getting warmer on Earth. It’s a fact not open for debate. We can debate as to the reasons why the earth is warming, I.E. natural occurrence or manmade. Either way the outcome doesn’t look good. It would seem wise to try and do something about it. There are so many other scientific facts being completely ignored by the extremists. Logic and reason are the best way to make the right decision.

The most frightening part of the extreme right is the belief that this is a Christian Nation. It is not a Christian nation. It is a nation in which people are free to practice ANY religion they like or no religion. The constitution was not written to protect the majority, it was written to protect the minority no matter how small, to protect individual rights. That is why there is a separation of church and state. You learn about religion in Churches, Synagogues and Mosques. School is for Math, English and Science not for religion. That is a personal choice reserved for family members. The key here is we respect all religions. The same is true for race and sexual preference. Trump calling Mexicans rapist and lazy is just un-American. The idea of registering members of an entire religion is also un-American. Condemning a whole religion because a small group of them are radical extremist is crazy. That is why I will not condemn all Republicans. Telling me to leave the country because I don’t believe what you believe is not American. My 70 year old mother was actually threatened because she had an Obama bumper sticker on her car. This country does not belong to the extreme right; it belongs to all of us.

Another dangerous practice is the spreading of false information. Even after proof has been presented of Obama’s US birth certificate people still claim Obama is not an American. They also claim he is a Muslim, also not true. I recently saw a photo shopped picture of a Student ID card that said Obama was a Foreign Student. When I pointed out that it was photo shopped and proven to be false I was called ignorant and an ass. Another photo shopped picture shows Obama and Michelle saluting the flag with their left hand also proven to be false. Even Fox called Obama’s executive order Obama’s Gun Grab which is irresponsible and inflammatory and completely false. The misinformation and propaganda has to stop. There are people that believe a missile hit the pentagon and not a plane on 9/11. Well, my wife used to work on Capitol Hill and still has a lot of friends there. One friend was at the pentagon an saw the plane crash into it. It was definitely a plane. All I ask is that we discuss the issues using facts. False information that causes fear is a tactic to control people. Don’t fall for it.

Bombing is not the solution to all problems. Before the second Iraq war I tried to tell everyone it was a mistake to attack Iraq. I didn’t understand why we would attack Iraq when most all the 9/11 attackers were Saudi. I didn’t believe there were weapons of mass destruction. I believed the daily terrorist alert status, you remember one day yellow, the next day orange was a fear tactic to get the American people to support the war. Back then like today I was asked to leave the country, called ignorant, an ass and a communist for speaking out against the war. Turns out I was right. Recently, when 10 members of our Navy were taken captive for trespassing in Iranian waters the extreme right candidates all said they would have bombed Iran. In the meantime our president who improved relations with Iran was able to get the 10 Americans released within 14 hours. What people forget is we were in the wrong. We were in their territory.

I don’t have all the answers on how to fix this country. However my opinion is to be respected and not dismissed. Republicans might have great ideas on how to fix the economy but I am afraid I will not be listening to those ideas until the extremist stop the hate speech and agree that this is not just their country but it belongs to all of us no matter what religion or race you we belong to. Democrat, Republican, heterosexual or gay it belongs to all of us equally. I would fight and die to protect the right for someone for their right to practice Christianity in this country. However, I don’t want to be told I am going to hell because I am not a Christian. I don’t want Christianity taught to my kids in school. I am not Christian but I am an American. A true American not only fights for the rights of Christians but they also fight for the rights of Jews, Atheists and Muslims, African Americans, Hispanics, and Gays. Of course in the end it will be compromise that will save this country. Without compromise we become the Middle East. Groups and factions that disagree with no compromise or give and that can only lead to violence with no winners. Respect, honesty and compromise is the only way to keep this country great!

I am not doing this to change anyone's mind I am doing this because I am an American and it is my right to have my beliefs and live my life as I do. I only ask that you respect that. After all tolerance and respect of another's belief is the most American thing you can do.

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Scott Cook
American, Liberal, Human Being