Looking Back, Vol. VI, Issue 12

December 2019

Welcome to my (abbreviated) month-end reading, listening and viewing recommendations, plus links to noteworthy news…


Viewing, Listening & Reading

Watch — Don’t have any serious videos to suggest this month, so I’m including below one of my all-time favorite, make-me-laugh-when-life-sucks clips:

Listen — After hearing Krista Tippett’s recent podcast with presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco, I bought a copy of Blanco’s How to Love a Country: Poems. Amazing stuff. Also, check out “Musings of the Artist,” a podcast created and hosted by Montserrat Carty.

Read — I just re-listened to David Treuer’s Rez Life on Hoopla — loved it — and received a copy of Treuer’s Native American Fiction for Christmas — can’t wait to read it…Thanks to a gift from a Boulder farmer, I now have a people’s history of Valmont, Colo., to read and consider.

“Food for Thought”

Partners from an Arvada church recently delivered 13 cots for us to use in the newly forming Code Blue Warming Center in Broomfeld. (Marrton Dormish)

Holiday laments — While the Christmas season is time for generosity and love, it’s also the anniversary of two infamous events in American history: the hanging of the Dakota 38, and the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Highest paid employees — I love sports, especially basketball and football, as much as the next person, but the fact that college coaches are the highest-paid state employees in like 40 states is not okay.

Who were they? — National Geographic recently published an examination of the identity of the three Magi from the East who figure prominently in the story of Jesus’ birth.

“Stories of Need”

At Home — The House of Representatives impeached Pres. Donald Trump…A gunman killed two people at a Texas church before security killed the gunman…Major cities, including Denver, have instituted camping bans affecting people who are homeless. Denver recently appealed a recent court ruling that declared its ban unconstitutional…An attack at a kosher grocery store in New York seems to have led to a spate of anti-Semitic attacks across the country

Abroad — Protestors opposed to recent airstrikes stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq…The United Kingdom neared “Brexit“…At least 61 people were killed by a car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia…

“Everyday Epics”

These “everyday” individuals, families, businesses and communities have done or are doing extraordinary things:

OKLAHOMA — “This Land,” one of my favorite podcasts of 2019, which tells a story of Cherokee history and sovereignty, made The Atlantic’s “50 Best Podcasts” list, too.

SPACE — Scientists took a picture of a black hole, an action previously thought to be impossible.

NEWTON (Mass.)Neighbors learned sign language to make a girl who is deaf feel at home. Wow.

VISTA (Calif.)Katelynn Hardee, 5, raised money to pay off the negative lunch balances of 123 of her fellow kindergartners.

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