RELEASE: Cindy Lake Files Ethics Complaints Against Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson

CONTACT: Jason Nellis
Jnellis27@gmail.com

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Cindy Lake Files Ethics Complaints Against County Commissioner Jim Gibson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HENDERSON, NEVADA – Cindy Lake, Candidate for Clark County Commission District G, filed Ethics Complaints with the Nevada Secretary of State and County Commission Manager against Jim Gibson, the appointed District G Commissioner. Jim Gibson was appointed to the Commission by Governor Sandoval in July 2017 after having been retired since 2009, replacing Mary Beth Scow who stepped down on June 30, 2017. Gibson was formerly the Mayor of Henderson and is now seeking election to the Clark County Commission.

On April 3, 2018, Gibson voted AYE (Yes) with the Commission to build the Raiders football stadium, at a cost of 750 million dollars in taxpayer debt for 30 years. Jim Gibson is President of Western Elite, according to his Clark County website biography. On July 5, 2018, a press release was put out by Western Elite Vice President Scott Seastrand, announcing a contract with the upcoming Raiders Stadium to handle trash and recycling. Jim Gibson has neglected to inform his voters, the residents of Clark County, of this important conflict of interest, personally enriching himself. This is what the Ethics Complaints are based on.

Cindy Lake’s complaints claim that he is in violation of these six Nevada statutes:

NRS 281A.400(2)- Using his position in government to secure or grant unwarranted privileges, preferences, exemptions or advantages for himself, any business entity in which he has a significant pecuniary interest, or any person to whom he has a commitment in a private capacity.

NRS 281A.400(4)- Accepting any salary, retainer, augmentation, expense allowance or other compensation from any private source for himself or any person to whom he has a commitment in a private capacity for he performance of his duties as a public officer or employee.

NRS281A.400(10)- Seeking other employment or contracts for himself or any person to whom he has a commitment in a private capacity through the use of his official position.

NRS2814.420(1)- Failing to sufficiently disclose his acceptance of a gift or loan, pecuniary interest, or commitment in a private capacity to the interest of another person that is reasonably affected by an official matter.

NRS2814.420(3)- Failing to abstain from acting on an official matter which is materially affected by his acceptance of a gift or loan, pecuniary interest, or commitment in a private capacity to the interest of another person.

NRS281A.430- Negotiating, bidding on or entering into a government contract in which he has a significant pecuniary interest, (some exceptions apply).

“There isn’t a statute of limitations on honorable public service; Jim Gibson’s unethical, questionable behavior began long ago and continues to this day,” stated Cindy Lake. “It’s our responsibility as citizens to hold our representatives accountable and when I am elected I expect to be held to the same standard.”

Lake amended her complaint, adding: “Pursuant to an Ethics Complaint filed by me against James B. Gibson, it has come to my attention that Mr. Gibson also received liens by the IRS for $222,000 in 2012 for unpaid taxes from 2011 which he claims was due to ‘unpaid campaign debt’.”

In an October 8, 2018 Review Journal article, Michael Scott Davidson wrote, “Gibson said he has fully addressed personal financial issues that arose following his failed gubernatorial bid in 2006. Many donors gave him the full amount of money allowed for both the primary and general elections, so he had to return half that money when he lost the Democratic primary. And Gibson said his campaign “overspent,” so he had to liquidate many of his assets and borrow money to pay back the donors.

“In April 2012, local bank executive Selma Bartlett sued Gibson and his wife, alleging they owed her almost $763,000 in unpaid loans. The case was dismissed that June because it was settled out of court, Gibson said.

“Later that year, Gibson and his wife received two federal liens from the Internal Revenue Service for almost $222,000 in unpaid income taxes from 2011. The liens were released in early 2015, records show.”

Cindy Lake added in her letter to the Nevada Ethics Commission, “I feel I must reiterate that he never claimed any loans or debt on his financial or C and E disclosures, and his 2008 C and E shows he paid himself back hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

She continued, “The questions are, what else is he hiding (there’s an NDA on the lawsuit), are there more loans outstanding that he is not filing on his current candidate and incumbent financial and C and E reports, where did he get almost a million dollars to pay back the loans and IRS liens, and isn’t it legally required for him to have filed these loans for campaign debt on his reports?”

While running for governor in 2006, he was accused by Dina Titus of Pay to Play, voting for large donors’ projects who donated to him. She created a website, PayToPlayWithJim.com, which can be viewed via TheWaybackMachine.com.

Also, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has launched a criminal investigation into Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell, in Gibson’s district; Gibson wants to wait and says “We can take action when the findings are revealed.”

“These allegations against the constable are deeply troubling for both the taxpayers and the deputies he was supposed to compensate,” attorney Paul Padda told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Anytime there is an allegation of misuse of public funds, it’s going to attract the attention of law enforcement, whether it be Metro or the FBI.”

Mike Radza, Executive Director of The Committee to Elect Cindy Lake, said, “Cindy Lake offers voters the clearest choice between the old-school politicians in it for themselves and public servants that are in it for their constituents.  Cindy Lake, throughout her career, has been consistent and principled in her drive to end politics as usual and restore integrity and ethics to public service.”

A PDF of Cindy Lake’s filed complaint is available here: ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED NEVADA 092418 (1)

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“It’s our responsibility as citizens to hold our representatives accountable and when I am elected I expect to be held to the same standard.” -Cindy Lake

SOURCES:

http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/county-commissioners/districtg/pageslAbout-Us.aspx

https://www.nevadabusiness.com/2018/07/westem-elite-contracts-with-future-las-vegas-stadium-for-partial-waste-management-efforts

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/clark-county/jim-gibson-faces-challengers-in-clark-county-commission-race/

https://www.nvsos.gov/cefddocs/0002008_Reports/000CandidateIncumbent_C_and_E_Reports_and_Financial_Disclosures/000Gibson,_James/0002008_Financial_Disclosure,pdf

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/courts/ex-henderson-mayor-gibson-settles-lawsuit-with-retired-bank-executive/

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2006/apr/05/jon-ralston-looks-at-ethics-accusations-leveled-by/

https://www.reviewjournal.com/investigations/clark-county-da-confirms-criminal-inquiry-into-henderson-constable/

https://www.reviewjournal.com/investigations/henderson-constables-spending-ignites-calls-for-closer-scrutiny/

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Meeting Tom Green and his Shrunken Head

So, I met Tom Green the other night. The one and only “my bum is on your face”, David Letterman show hosting, deadpan pranking, target of complimentary Eminem disses, Freddy who got fingered, the host of the Tom Green show, Mister Drew Barrymore himself. The Golden Tiki, the tiki-themed lounge this year voted best bar in Vegas in the Las Vegas Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards (discovered by me just last year and this time being my second visit), hosted him for his reception of the shrunken head, a tradition for the Golden Tiki. Managing partner Branden Powers introduced Tom and presented him with his shrunken head.

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“Created exclusively for the cabinet of curiosities by Smithsonian artist Terry Barr, the head was sculpted over the course of four weeks referencing photos of Green to ensure physical accuracies.” (Source:  Vegas NewsIMG_20180905_022106_671.jpg

Previous recipients have included Marky Ramone of The Ramones, Carrot Top, Frank Marino, Robin Leach, Norm Clarke, Claire Sinclair, magician Murray SawChuck, Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie, Monti Rock III, Lonnie Hammargren and Rich Little. (Source: Best of Vegas)

After lounging by the Cabinet of Curiosities for a couple hours, Tom fulfilled the straight-faced absurdist comic persona (hardly seeming like a stand-up comic, just exuding pure funniness) his fans would expect of him, just as if he were on TV or a movie, but in real life. He was there to basically just received his shrunken head after a brief opening… and he opened by working the audience, of course- with a hype starter of “when I say chicken, you say sandwich! Chicken- SANDWICH! When I say corn you say on the cob! Corn- ON THE COB!”

Video:

Seeing him brought back some feelings of a simpler more innocent time, of the late 90s to early 2000s, that innocent seeming time when “my bum is on your lips” was controversial and lightly funny, as opposed to now when it may be seen as offensively unfunny, but wishing death on people is funny, and sorry I got off track… when I was finishing high school, about when I got over my addiction to TV and started growing out of toilet humor, but my appreciation deepened for clever pranks and master pranksters. I had just learned of the absurdist comedy genre- a kind that may seem silly and random at its surface, but when intentionally applied via the lens of the prankster/jester archetype (that I much later studied in depth and grew even fonder of), is one of the few crucial roles in society, that holds a mirror up to our own absurdities and contradictions and bizarre behavior, with a knowing smirk and ability to laugh at ourselves. We need that more than ever now, in the most of darkly absurd cultural age of my lifetime; and it seemed so easy then, albeit extremely unnecessary or ridiculous to more people – but it worked.

He was refreshing to watch and pleasant to meet. I even ended up outside in the back with him without knowing he’d be there and some cool conversation was had. He’s a real dude, just like many celebrities. I never mean to brag (what is meeting famous people worth/proof of anyway?), but I’ve happened to meet many, and yes they’re usually just like you and me but not all of them. Well you probably already know. He’s an entertainer with a knack at what’s genuinely simply funny, as dryly as can be. He definitely ranks up there on my list of comedic wizards.

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Upon retelling the story of this night to my mother (who has met many celebrities in her life as well, some known well), especially the musicians of the 60s & 70s, I realized Tom may have been the first I’ve ever gotten a picture *with*. I’ve taken pictures of numerous as I’m so used to being behind the camera, but usually thought I shouldn’t bother then, especially while on jobs. On the jobs, I rarely ever took pictures of them anyway which was a safe bet when relying on hourly wages or volunteering and dealing with major celebs that sometimes would supposedly have you blacklisted if you even look at them in the eye.

Well, I’m at least confident enough to make eye contact with famous people (even my creepy too-long stares which have gotten meet in trouble with “typical” people), though this off-work experienxe reminded me, hey don’t be afraid to approach them and share some thoughts if you/I get the chance; after all I’ve seen ever since my first memories of people like Bill Clinton and Dudley Moore, they’re just people like you and I. Sure, maybe they’ve gone through some strange or grandiose stuff that may have shaped their personality in incomparable ways, but we’re all human (or so we’re told).

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For example, when my longtime celebrity crush on Christina Ricci culminated in meeting her parents (security secured the stairway after I casually walked up it to her), some of the mystique surrounding her faded and I reached a progress point of the chase that had a good chance of being the furthest I’d ever get… thus our relationship went no further. Not long later, I developed an admiration for Aubrey Plaza, whom I soon ran into at Amoeba Records giving autographs along with her Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World costars (including a few other of my favorite actors), and asked me “why I do this to her”, thus throwing an intriguing cliffhanger into our relationship, and my interest never totally faded. Anyway, with people like these, such as Busta Rhymes whom I got a big hug from and a “God Bless You” after sharing he was my first favorite rapper, and a detached handshake from perpetually sunglassed Puff Daddy after a similar share, and many other stories like those, I feel connections with “celebrities” are amongst all our “powers” of manifestation, and usually they reinforce the understanding that we’re all in this together, and we all just have our own ways of taking on and getting along in this world.

Just tonight as I finish this, I saw Pharrell perform with my favorite project/group of his N.E.R.D., for the first time since I met him at the Palms a decade ago, delivering his baby clothes and toys to his room and seeing and feeling how legit and genuine he is. Then tonight I had this huge kind of expectation of their show and while it did give me goosebumps and fulfill their powerful “different” and revolutionary vibe, it just felt a bit more shallow and political than when I met him and felt the true spirit he channels in his music. As are the waves of how deeply we connect with other humans throughout life.

Some may seem “better” at some masteries but really it’s just hacking this and that part of life. And when some people hack it and still keep their original identities and quirks intact, well they sure do seem to be winning, and we can learn a thing or two from them; not just think they got lucky and are at a place we didn’t stumble or get born into.

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Review of Freedom; A Poem Brought To Life

via Freedom; A Poem Brought To Life

This was my friend Brianna Florian’s first film adaptation of a poem she wrote, “Freedom”. Directed by Nicholas Saiz, starring Brianna herself, thinking the narrated poem. Below is my take on it; I recommend watching it first. I got to a screening of this late, full of artists and many opinions before I actually saw it, which was interesting, but not the usual order I’d experience a film screening in.

 

The poem itself, seen on her blog entry, differs slightly from the video in a few parts, and she made clear that the adaptation is not quite what she envisioned, though such is often the dilemma us writers face when a director interprets our vision. However the essence I felt from the film seems to be pretty close to my interpretation of the poetic prose. To me this felt like a story of couple being tested from an outside catalyst, acting as a trigger for their test of each other’s love, resulting in freedom from their own self-imposed walls.

We jump into a scene from what seems like an early to perhaps middle stage of this couple’s relationship, one that may have gone through a “honeymoon” period but shows signs of ending before it can get very deep; they set limitations on themselves because they don’t want to bare their vulnerability too much, or at least that seems to be her case. She doesn’t want to “do to him what (she) did to (her) ex”, while “he wanted raw. Raw everything.” Such is what we often do in budding relationships, withhold our “raw” selves for fear of how ugly the rawness could get, for them and for us. But for the relationship to truly blossom we will face tests that we will either flee from or fight to make it to the next level. We may avoid these obstacles or roadblocks but we can’t just ignore them and maintain a healthy relationship for long. Well that’s how I feel watching (and reading) this.

The third party female makes subtle appearances in the film outside the bar during their argument (“Desperate thoughts begging to be agreed with”) and inside on a bar stool, foreshadowing her role to come. She acts as a pretty bold interference, coming between them to “summon him”, while I feel like she is some kind of divine intervention. This is one part in which I get a different vibe from the film than from the poem, as in the poem the interventionist kindly turned to her “apologetic”, but on screen she seemed to be perfectly fine with her forward move and her request for “permission” seemed to be more of an empty polite technicality. But still, the protagonist gives permission, the go-ahead, a deciding moment in their relationship, and he goes ahead and lets the girl take him away.

At the screening I saw this at, I noticed an interesting consensus among the females, that the guy was wrong for leaving with the new girl. I do agree, he shouldn’t have let her take him (which he ends up doing in what appears to be reality, or perhaps an alternate timeline), but I think the first bad move made here (among the couple, that interfering girl is, well, not cool at all, but again- divine intervention?) was the protagonist female’s decision to grant permission for the other girl to take him away. His angry reaction in the “real” outcome seems justified to me, in that a girlfriend and some other girl shouldn’t decide amongst themselves whether he stays or goes, and if it were a test to see if he then stands up for himself and refuses that decision, which he does, well, I don’t believe in games like that. *But* in this case this third party seems unexpected and him being taken away seems like a dark fantasy, which we’ve all surely done in relationships.

The fantasy sequence thrown in is quite amusing and identifiable, as if/when we’ve ever had a significant other seem to be targeted as a romantic interest by someone else, especially if that someone else seems like a threat to us, we may imagine them ending up being the ideal couple, frolicking happily everywhere and being so happy together, as the montage painfully laughably shows. I think this is a quite effective portrayal of the part of the poem where she says, “I saw it all.” She understandably feels sick from these thoughts, and then snaps back to the current situation.

Again here the poem differs from the short movie, as she again says “yes” in the poem but on screen I just see her kind of reeling back in from that troubling imagined what-if scenario, and then the guy storms up and grabs our love by the hand, expressing his displeasure on the way out. When I saw the film, I was thinking more like he was just freaked out by it all and wanted to get out of there, and maybe was a bit more mad than necessary since Brianna’s character didn’t do anything wrong; but after reading the poem I see that her “yes” to the girl’s proposition is what flipped him out, and like I said before, and he feels, that’s not their choice to make.

This decision and success of what seems to be a test (not necessarily by one or the other, but from the universe or what have you, sent in the form of an intercepting catalyst/archetype), leads to their walls of being broken down, and giving in to their resistance against vulnerability. She sees that he truly wants her and will not take the weak way out, he asserts his “freedom” to choose, and they both open up their “raw” and true selves up to each other and let their passion loose.

Well that’s my take on it. Wonderful writing, you definitely can feel the emotions and complexities of what they withhold and let go of and their fears and frustrations, while the directing seems to take a somewhat detached feel, especially toward the end which I think may be part of the disconnect the writer felt from the final product… but the shots are great, you do feel very close to her in moments like when she is feeling ill from the situation and just about passes out, and in the tension between the three at the table. The shots of the second girl slipped in early on are also quite clever, more noticeable upon second viewing, and the ending alley scene has a nice tastefully voyeuristic distant feel to it using the silhouette and shadows. It is for the best that Brianna played this character, as she portrays the thoughts of the poem effectively, and the writing is what is the heart and soul of this.

Hope from the Brink of Society’s Suicide

A short thought let loose into a stream of thought-

Yester*day* had such crazy collective energy (night was awesome), primarily noticed online, which of course has a blurry line contrasting “real life”, but overlaps. Mental health seemed to be the theme and manipulated divisions wedged the angst to fever pitches on multiple fronts, and I fed into some of it in ways I thought were sensible/fair. But everyone’s sense is different, of course. We are reminded of this all the time throughout life but I felt like yesterday was a reminder we need to A- keep our perceptions open to others’ realities though B- not let others’ perceptions dictate our realities, especially when there’s reason to believe they’ve been manipulated from sources that have questionable intentions, and sorry but C- remember there is one foundational agreed-upon reality that we all share, and to let ALL “rules” fly out the window is, well, inviting in more chaos and confusion and a void for completely misguided and potentially malignant to find its way into some “legitimate” seeming new groundwork that can lead to even more mental illness in susceptible sensitive people, and social illness in a susceptible sensitive society.

And we at least know that’s where we are today. Knowing that we are “there” is at least one foundation, that we are all in this world- seemingly full of more questions than answers- together. And most of us have felt “safe” at least at some point in life, and we can remind ourselves of our collective consciousness and find that “safe space” when things seem to get too out of hand. We know “we” have a problem even if we individually feel “ok” compared to people who are committing suicide and having mental breakdowns. We have been having a system-wide breakdown but in that we can remember our human bond that goes deeper than any man-*made* system (social structures designed by man to try to keep things organized and in check, not already existent within us)… And of course our attempts to keep structure amongst the much grander natural design of the Earth and universe can only hold us together and in order up to a limited point. Sure we may be evolving to an intelligence surpassing our so far known limits but how do we know that will inevitably “fix” what we’ve done “wrong”? I don’t want to digress into a technological conversation here. This is not what I feel is the takeaway of what yesterday seemed to be some nexus of.

The issue of mental illness and suicide peaked in (at least online) conversation yesterday. Two celebrities killing themselves sparked all kinds of debates… Today I noticed people reflected more and pulled back on the “ugly” rhetoric, not perceived as ugly by many who will stick to it, but nonetheless we knew yesterday was steeped in emotion and triggers. We may not like that celebrity status guarantees such disproportionately high attention, but it’s the society we live in and the inclination of civilization to focus on highly visible public figures. And this atmosphere continues to heighten certain personalities, and needed discussion does arise when we see our apparently growing social and mental problems reflected and acted out in celebrities. Whether we admit it or not our society is making sacrifices of people regularly, and widely recognized deaths are being “used” for public conversations, for better or worse. Many of these topics are used for ill and selfish means, but many are productive and honor the lines of the fallen.

Hopefully we aim to honor the dead throughout all of life, and I think some of the apologetic or retracting feelings of empathy today are a sign that even if our society seems to have fallen into depravity and carelessness, we are still human at outscore and THERE IS STILL HOPE. Many have “lost their minds”, and our society so often increasingly overwhelmingly feels like we have “lost our way”, but just as we feel we’re on that brink of “losing it all”, we may get that chance from an outstretched hand, whether it be from a loved one or something that “clicks” inside or perhaps from a perceived higher power, whatever it is, seeming miracles can happen. We can save ourselves, and each other, and both are one and the same when it comes down to it. Suicide and mental breakdown prove both it is every man for himself/oneself and we cannot survive as a species if there were just one of us. As a species we are one and as a collective of all life and all existence we are one. We have individual identities to see that we have a whole lot to work through and recognize beauty and unique freedom in each other, in all its expressions and forms. We are one organism and trillions of quadrillion of organisms.

It’s time we *remember* we came from love, and our differences are a beautiful product of that love, and the beauty is in the dualities and the many colors and characteristics and stunning majestic divine design behind all the puzzle pieces that at times may seem inexplicably chaotic. It all makes sense where we came from but where we are going seems so unknown… But do we even “know” where we came from, really? I and “it” may seem bafflingly contradictory and create anxiety but how about finding comfort in that we came from the linguistically/mentally inexplicable source, manifested by an act of at least what is in its essence physical love (of course not *everyone* enjoyed the specific act, but that doesn’t change “magic” still happened)… And maybe where we go is just as beautiful or moreso in a whole new way we could never mortally imagine. Maybe society is headed to this indescribable expression of accumulated love as well.

 

Rest in peace Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, and the all too many people who take their lives every day.

How the Knights are resurrecting Vegas

UPDATE: THEY WON GAME 1 OF THE FINALS!!! WHILE I WROTE THIS 🙂

This isn’t just once in a lifetime, this could very well be once in history, right where we call home. If you live in Las Vegas, there is no denying or being unaware of the incomparable excitement that has surrounded the historic path of success of the Golden Knights, the major league hockey team that nobody thought would rise above another novelty Vegas team, to come and go like the Wranglers or the Thunder (the only hockey game I’ve ever seen) or the other sports teams the 51s or Outlaws. They’re the most talked about team in all of sports this year.  We didn’t even HAVE any major league team last year, and throughout our decades of rumors and debates about having a team here, most thought this would not be fit to be a “sports town” (and I was amongst the naysayers). But they’ve beaten all the odds and not only have been the first inaugural (first year) NHL team to reach the Stanley Cup finals, but the first to reach the playoffs, and they were already setting records like the fastest first-year team in history to win 15 games since the Rangers in 1927. And the most wins in their first two months since… The 1974-75 Washington Capitals.

I wri636624462559682497-vegas-trophyte this during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Las Vegas, when the score is tied between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals 3-3. I was going to write this weeks ago during the playoffs, when I had the same feeling I have today and have for months, that they would win the Stanley Cup… That is quite the feat to be so confident about, especially for someone who’s not only not usually a sports fan, but has railed against the “mindless” consumerism of sports and disproportionate hype around it for years, and never really seen how the hoopla around some sports teams is deserved. So at least don’t expect me to get into the minutiae of the game or how they’ve gotten this far or how amazing their defense (which I can tell is astounding, and happy to just have learned that goalie Marc-Andre Fleury‘s birthday is a day- and a year- after mine… ok also maybe a bit intimidated) or offense is and why… but I know they’re amazing.

But this year, the Vegas Golden Knights have made a sports fan out of this usually anti-sports nerd. And within a year of “losing” my best friend since high school who was the ultimate sports fan and for years tried convincing me the communal bonding power of sports. Now I get it. Las Vegas gets it, and on the heels of our most massive tragedy ever, we deserve it.

It certainly is mainly due to the timing, first and foremost. It already seemed meant for a movie when they opened their season with a somber memorial tribute to the 58 killed and over 600 wounded in the Route 91 music festival massacre (spreading the term “Vegas Strong” like wildfire), and scrapping their plans for a big festive opening night show. After the unveiling of the name nearly a year earlier got a lukewarm if not unwelcome response (“Vegas’s new NHL team: Golden Knights – cool name, or just very, very bad?“), I and I’m guessing much of Vegas figured it’d be another mediocre or flop of a team, albeit with the initial excitement of having our first major league team, with excitement waning after the first game.

Personally, I felt an interesting connection, having just gotten out of jail and recovering from the hardest period in my life, involving the loss of my grandmother immediately upon my release, meeting up with an old best friend at the time the team name, logo and players were announced. The TV played the grand unveiling over the bar behind us, and I didn’t know until months later that their practice arena was to be built directly across the driveway from where we were seated up high (just down the street from where I live). It was a fun little moment that was just secondary to our conversation. Little did we know (especially my friend who left Vegas for good shortly before their first game) that we were half-attentively witnessing a historical beginning.

 

But then the October 1 massacre happened, blocks away from where the T-Mobile Arena hosts the home games, and our city was lost in misery and confusion, lacking true heroes. The police were applauded for a while, until more came out about their delayed response and months of resisting requests and demands to release evidence. So the Knights have come out as the unlikeliest of heroes, especially to so many of us who have never been sports fans before. A powerful short period of community unity came in the wake of the attack, but soon devolved into infighting and division and the city seemed to be breaking at the seams and plunging into darkness as we were all shaken and couldn’t find solutions or answers. The most complicated and confusing of stories, still mostly unanswered to this day, of one man who shot many hundreds of innocent people, was followed by the salvation brought by the pretty simple story of a new hometown hockey team rising to the heights of success and stardom, brightening the faces of thousands, then millions of the newest fans of any sport. They came right during our prime moment of togetherness, and soon the entire city got caught up in the wave, and for once we began to feel like a “real city”. Surely something bigger than just “luck” is at play.

I haven’t even written an article about the shooting, but I drained myself enough independently researching and posting pieces that were attacked left and right by people who equated questioning the official story with disrespecting the victims (whom I know were real victims). I’m definitely not turning into some mainstream/sports blog or no longer caring about issues important to peace activists and truth-seekers, but the years spent on it culminating in that jailtime and the most difficult family episode of my life took a toll on how much energy I spend on “politics”/current events, as most longtime activists have certainly felt “burnout”. But since the Golden Knights basically got their big jumpstart by memorializing the 58 killed in the attack and playing under a far more somber atmosphere than expected in the immediate aftermath of October 1st, this of course has to be mentioned. But here I’m not focusing on those attacks, or my opinion about the way it was handled by Metro and the FBI…

 In fact, the Knights story may seem so “perfect” or too good to be true that some with as “conspiracy” leaning minds like mine might wonder if it is part of some dramatic narrative to raise Vegas from the ashes of the attack and bring tourism back asap after such a huge blow was taken to our city’s lifeblood of gaming & tourism. But obviously we’ve survived anyway, and I tend to think it’s more of a divine play than a manner manipulation. Separate from the questionable attacks, this team apparently had the magic formula and came at just the right time to heal the city. They earned their way to the top through hard fought battles on the ice, and no other moment in Hockey history can compare. Perhaps in all of American sports history.
Vegas rises from the ashes

Vegas will always rise from the ashes. A picture I took in 2012 directly along the gates of the site of the MGM Resorts Village festival grounds where the Route 91 massacre took place. (taken during shooting of the movie “Symbol”)

 There is of course irony to every beautiful hometown heroes story, such as the coach Gerard Gallant saying early on, right before their 7-0 win against Colorado on Oct. 27, 2017, “We are an expansion team. Every team is better than us.” (“Top 10 magical moments from the Golden Knights’ inaugural season … so far“)
Another irony is that if they do win the Stanley Cup, the Vegas sportsbooks will lose a lot (“If the Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup, Vegas loses money“)-
Sportsbooks set the odds that the Knights would win the Stanley Cup Finals at 500-to-1, meaning that if someone bet $1 and the Knights won, that bettor would win $500.

“We took 13 tickets on 500-to-1. The biggest bet was $60,” he said.

But this shouldn’t take too much of a toll on our economy, mainly a dent in the sports books, and we will surely see a bit of a spike in spending if they win the freakin’ Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl of hockey. Actually I’ve wondered how our city would respond, after seeing how other cities handle wins and honestly shaking my head at their overreactions. I got a taste in a game late last year at the Sahara Lounge (one of the best places to watch the game) in which a “F*** the Ducks!” chant broke out into a frenzy ignited by a perfect double-overtime game, of course ending in a Knights win… and it was then I realized I was swept up in the spirit and this was just what Vegas needed. Well, I know I wouldn’t be in the streets flipping cars, and hopefully our city would show the usual kind of temperament it shows as the protests that have never really gotten out of hand. But with sports fans, you never know. I still think many are way too extreme and take it too seriously.

If we don’t win, hey, we didn’t beat ALL the historical records, but still had a pretty damn amazing first year that can never be repeated by any team, anywhere. But I really think we’re going to win. And I really should’ve placed a bet at least in the first month or so, when I thought this felt like their time, OUR time, the resurgence of Las Vegas after such a terrible fall. Storybook seasons don’t happen very often, but if it were to ever happen for such an unlikely first-time major league sports town as Las Vegas, this is the year.

When they won the playoffs, my friend who is far more versed in sports than me and who I have relied on for the need-to-know facts about the Knights this year and certainly contributed to me getting into this historic team, compared the story to the “Miracle on Ice”, the unlikely Olympics victory of the U.S. over the Soviet Union that the movie Miracle was about. Moments later, the local news came on, hometown reporters’ faces beaming with proud excitement, and also brought up the “Miracle”. (But I got dibs on making this movie!)

Vegas surely are the underdogs, even after they’ve whooped every team they’ve come across. They started off as the most unlikely team in the league to advance, and they’ve advanced to the very top. In just their second month, they beat the record set by the highly successful Washington Capitals- “The Golden Knights have already won more games in less than two months than the first-year Washington Capitals (8-67, five ties in 1974-75)” (also from “Facts and Figures: Golden Knights continue setting records“). I expect them to beat them once again, at the Stanley Cup. And in a year that the underdog Eagles beat the cocky reigning Patriots after their seemingly endless streak of wins that I felt were very undeserved (one of the very few other games I have ever gotten relatively excited about- when “winners” cheat, I root thoroughly for the underdogs), I have full belief that magic will happen, and that the time of establishment giants reigning supreme has come to an end… and this is Vegas’s golden moment.

GO KNIGHTS GO!

STAY GOLDEN!

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Sacred Peace Walk 2018 playlist and poems

Instead of a novella essay about this year’s walk, I’ll just post two poems I wrote, during and after the peace walk, and the many videos and pictures I took of it (below the poems are the videos and photo galleries day-by-day):

Civilization is Weird
(Something I jotted down when getting back into town for a night after walking 3 days in the desert, in a peculiar state of mind… partly inspired by the Doors’ “People Are Strange”)

Civilization is weird… After you’re away… It’s home and it’s here but it’s strange… Even if nothing has changed, it’s never the same and it seems so insane compared to nature… Where you know where you are without a way to be sure… And if you’re off some it’s ok because this is your pure home… You probably won’t be kicked out if you end up wandering where someone else roams…you won’t be alone as opposed to being surrounded by so many others in the big city world where most make you feel alien, while they’re more foreign to anything native to everything around you before bricks and mortar and technology and order sprouted up everywhere, making the world you now know bare, into an odd display of humanity’s wear and tear and joy and fairs… Urbanites and suburbanites hear nature and feel fears, natives and cowboys think earth water wind fire birds and deer… Sacred lands under father sun and grandmother moon, suburban sprawl reminds some of microbes’ crawl… But we’re all nourished by the same celestial lineage, at least in our current image, and mother Earth remains where we all give and are given birth… So instead of seeing myself as alien in a foreign land that is really my own when travelling back home from the deserts and forests I roam, I shall remember what the uncivilized parts of the world, as small as they may be in the areas I’ve seen, teach me and teach man and remind us that we are a guest on this land, just as we are a guest in this life, and to embrace fellow mankind for what we are, with all our gripes and strifes, all species must undergo a process in harmonizing with nature… And we’re trying, even if we’re losing our minds by letting the mind rule over and cover up our inner humble dirt-rooted water-born air-balanced fire-starting spirit filled human nature.

Playlist of SPW 2018 videos (continuously uploading, not done yet- most shot by me, a two other so far by John Amidon):

Our Illusory Goliath
(partly inspired by the Billy Bob Thornton series “Goliath”, of course the biblical parable of David and Goliath, and certainly the Sacred Peace Walk, written during the week after)

David didn’t kill Goliath
just for the thrill of it.

He didn’t cast that fatal stone
to feel less alone.

Some people wonder why
we reach for the sky.

We don’t expect personal gain
out of affecting structural change,

But we seek a world we can trust
for ourselves, our planet, and all whom we love.

Whether you believe in God, gods,
holograms, yourself, collective consciousness, or naught-

There’s no sense in denying
we want to protect life from dying.

We know the natural order of life ends in death,
but we have an aversion to unnatural theft.

Since we have the capacity to create machinery,
perhaps technology’s threat is part of the scheme of things.

Though as long as we’re here amidst the tools we’ve created,
we have a responsibility to deal with the effects as we see fit.

One side handles the consequences by stockpiling weapons more and more,
for the weapons may be in the “wrong hands” and results in endless cold war…

Which leads to perpetual growth of the military industrial complex,
and in turn needs more wars to feed the demand of lethal tech…

While another group faces the breeders of violence with peaceful protest;
no practical match for guns and tanks, the warmongers may take it in jest…

Though from behind their bullet proof vests they can’t see the spiritual armor of peace;
when they shoot one down and ten more rise up, their eye just might begin to see…

Even if everybody laughs and shouts at us to go home,
we know that we’re already home and want to protect this land we roam.

No matter how big the giants the small minded men bring,
or how advanced the robotics, their weapons are just things

They can add as many bird’s eye spy towers as they’d like,
their attempts to gain intel are amusing to us and birds alike

As covertly as their drones can watch or quietly attack at night
they don’t get the wisdom that is shared by nature’s masters of flight

We may feel some hesitation due to their intentional intimidation,
but remember their malevolent manipulation is a tactic of a terrified tyrannical nation.

One that cries that it’s being terrorized when we defeat their lies with truth;
we just hold up a mirror trying to un-hypnotize and make them realize their fruits.

They can’t just step onto native land and occupy by brute force,
without expecting the heart of the people and the power of the sacred to retort.

So here stand the people, representing their history and their land,
waving peace while the military’s mechanical glove secures its lifted hand…

The odds may seem insurmountable,
Facing modern military with unarmed tactics of old…

With our flags and our signs and our plants watered with peace,
Stepping over the line guarded by federal police…

It may seem fruitless marching up to the front gate
of the military industrial surveillance state,

But they’re not as powerful and scary as they may seem;
as long as they’re still human we can plant a seed.

The giant may now take the form of towering technology,
but we don’t have to automatically accept totalitarian philosophy.

Artificial intelligence may surpass our intellect,
though nothing triumphs in nature without respect.

Our world thrives on the belief in survival of the fittest,
while we know we shouldn’t judge based on appearance.

And repeatedly it’s proven bigger doesn’t mean better,
so why do the people cower from henchmen and debtors?

We feel good overcomes evil so we keep on dreaming;
believe in the power of our will as hopeless as our country’s seeming…

Fearful Israelites mocked David for his disproportionate confidence,
Fearful Americans mock those who step up to the military industrial complex.

The drones we shun can take us out one by one and follow us without our ever seeing a camera or gun;
The nuclear waste and uranium will outlive us and one moody push of the button can destroy everyone.

But who knew a small man with a stone could defeat a giant
Who thought a document could topple a tyrant?

Who knew tea could lead to revolutionary victory
Who foresaw tearing down a wall would instantly usher in liberty?

Physically we may appear small against a behemoth system immeasurably tall…
Internally, spiritually, intently our resolve will bring down humankind’s prison walls;

Not for our own ego or advancement but for our society’s and planet’s benefit…
With nature and creation on our side, together we shall bring down this illusory Goliath!


Pictures and videos day by day (more videos from fellow peace walkers are also coming):

Official day one, March 24th, Tamara Yaron’s “The Beauty is in the Contrast” Sacred Peace Walk 2016 photography book release party at Happy Earth Market, following orientation:

 

March 25th, City Walk (I missed this day, so here are John Amidon’s videos):

March 26th, Day 1 of the desert walk:
(happy would’ve been 101st birthday grandma!)

March 27th, desert walk Day 2:

March 28th, Day 3 of desert walk, Creech action day:

Video by pazamidon:

Desert Day 4 (missed the walk portion, arrived at Peace Camp):

 

Desert Day 5/Final Day:

(YouTube videos of Culvert Tunnels and Line Crossing soon)

Video by pazamidon:

Archive notes – A strange night of technological synchronicities

From the archives, just compiling now for research sake…
(if you seek an informative/logical article, this is not the time)

Following an educational experiment and an unexpected unidentified encounter not described here 4/4/16-

April 4, 2016 at 2:22am · Las Vegas, NV · 

 We are but are we not apologizing and what is there to apologize for on an earth if it were not untouched unscathed unscarred but also left unabused that was about but don’t wanna get too comfy on de ol’ I know what city maybe this guy’s in,sorta)… But no moping Mondays no we just EVERY MOMENT IS WORTHY even if its just a random throwway one or the ones we get to correct misspelled words, maybe doesn’t portray our mood but it is communication and yay if its partially succesful we should be happy

“Oh but then did someone actually write down that shit I just said, and realizing, again, oh it’s a just a little piece from the same leafbehindthingy as before? And, then, wait…”

 

Ok there ARE NO BIASES or whatever ok i will say human computer interface i dont know cats dogs so far “deep dream” whatever thats what they could barely try to translate so do they dare….??????? Lets leave it beyond words but tell me if there is a conduit

 

No matter who said what to who when, was all just heard in some old people s passin thrus… Nonofah business.. Seriously though not business

And the internet tells me… Something just went wrong. Will try again. Ha. You can’t fix it and you wont figure out the way to right its wrong,technology always gets this defensive wall,and if you dont face what it is head on at least confrontation or sidestepping then you get all dilluted in shit… So just stop trying to handle everything, maybe mr. Technology isnt the right answer for all my directions after all

Comments
Shane Willie
Shane Willie Jason.chill go pet a cat.I see too much of your shit on here.Manage
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 · Reply · 2y
Shane Willie
Shane Willie Or Chewbacca.pleaseManage
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 · Reply · 2y
Jason Nellis
Jason Nellis Thank you. Wise words, honestly. I almost tagged jimi here at midnight in wonders of what to do when I was in the Bermuda triangle but it actually appears that he is forever untaggable, maybe just from that moment on in my universe when I’m looking for a magical shaman to drop out of the sky with directions…. And my dying phone reminded me hey I’m the shaman I’m always looking for (but I did have a pretty cool one earlier tonight who pointed me where I needed)
 · Reply · 2y · Edited
Jason Nellis
Jason Nellis Actually now it appears the only person I can tag on these comments is you Shane Willie so for that I congratulate your mastermindery and hope mr. Jim Stone had a wonderful night as well that had no need to be interrupted by my musings of a madman… Hope all of us and our cats and dogs and your cats are at peace tonight, amen/acats.

(and actually I just realized this is the precise post I was trying to tag him in a comment ha)

 

But then technology is our friend and has been and we have come this far very thankfully alongside our techno friends. ..

Comments
Jason Nellis
Jason Nellis Your profile picture… Well the overall archetypal image of the owl/bird with its wings… In context of tonight and things I and a friend (that being important) saw with our own eyes… The meaning who knows exactly right now but… Anyway caught my eye when seeing your thumbnail

Well my technology backup of course has my back and propped me up to at least knowing I have this 10% (I suppose there for some backup presupposed moments like these?) for me to still have some tablet for the desert madman to try to ramble on…. Just passing through, your typical tall whites multicolored multidimensional nonlinear yaknow….. Walkerby….

 

(I apparently knew what I was doing by wearing my favorite shirt in the sacral root of what I know right now as Vegas and this location and…… And i realize my hair is weird too and… Just had to look at mirror for the first time in a while and.. 😀

 

So in other words, it’s all good, to the extent we all know in our own lives… And control, with responsibility…. Whatever we place upon it with our perceptions… Thrn it’s just… As we please

 

So have a good blessed night to all…. Sacred or no sacredness to any… Sacred is what i have faced tonight and this is not something i can or should any longer try to explain but where we all know …….

 

This is all just notes and what should really be my notepad so thanks and I’m sure later I’ll…yeah…. Just to justify or humannate i didnt touch an alcoholic drink nor for some reason, did i smoke anything today… Nothing… Really odd actually. This part of the world, just, it brings out that part of ya sometimes…. And seriously, I do thank anyone not read or read or just being here thank you for my and our vessels of expression….. Thank you

 

Wow. That moment when what you “come back to” (for the moment) is that AMAZING PAINT COMMERCIAL WHO DID THAT followed by the eTrade retirement commercial about retiring to hear about more retirements and other retires….. And this but with “Something went wrong. Try again”….. Haha that feeling tech nor regular mere human-psyched emotions can describe… Eehhhh

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Anyway thanks y’all haha hope you’ve all had good not too crazy nights as well,safe travels…

 

Definitely a tale best told after some time to look back and let it roll around on the tongue a little bit and even though nothing really crazy in the physical happened at allll that I immediately know of… All coulda went by without a pip from my sidespiritobservin ridin pony as

s over here… Anyway, to be continued… Fareal this time energy must be focused where need be, and hey Vegas, yep you’re home

 

You freaking kidding me matrix?!? I went to charge my phone which aside from its most integral sole purpose suddenly became to take this exact picture… To then all(momentary) plans for tonight gone out the window to I MUST TAKE THIS PICTURE but my phone’s dead… Then i turn it back on and there ya go take a picture and there ya go bus comes, everything back on track… What?!? Thank you TESLA?!? (Yess… Thank you technology built world for reminding me this….)

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And NO not you T-Mobile ha (well maybe) but man I thought I just stepped to the side for a moment world, man… Haha… Clearly the future is now though.

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All is well in this sphere at least. Only casualty tonight that I know of (not to make light of any that may have happened in town or anywhere- may we all reflect for every time that happens, and we need to not take any moment for granted- but I can make light of my experience of life tonight) is NOT BRINGING A PEN.
Well now I am safely with pen and pad, and with that I yield my phone- and its masterfully sly teasing technologies- to my pen. Fare thee well and if you so write like I like to, WRITE WRITE WRITE AWAY.

 

Jason Nellis added 4 new photos.

One big message of last night: Steptoe. And what a message this street “intersection” was, presented itself to me when I eventually found my way… In my sore-thumb lion’s shirt, at this light that never turned red… (I still honestly did wait a few times when any cars came anywhere into range.) What is the message of this seemingly eternally green light (at night)? And of course I was told of this navigation marker by natives. Of this land. In a sincere way. This message has been repeated to me on many levels and in obvious ways increasingly lately, but now it was received loud and clear and to its simple point- Toe with care, respect, responsibility… And this is sacred land, all that we walk on and share and those holding the society we know now up entrusted with our accommodations, is sacred… And we all share our pieces of history. With my many backgrounds I know acceptance and reverence and asking for forgiveness while wholeheartedly knowing it’s time to give back and show gratitude and love and respect in any way we can… And the time of healing is upon us. In whatever way that fulfills our spirits’ and/or destinies or genetic memories’ place in the planet’s existence needs, at this time in this plane.

(yeah, made sure not to post these until I was no longer walking around in my lion shirt and home by a safely lit morning window… Totally realizing the ironies and recognizing not all travelers of that area have been so lucky)
(most of this definitely continued in journal to be compiled at a later date)

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I have never been much of a “lucky shirt” guy but this… It’s proven itself by far in the year since it popped out at me for me to grab it (with a highly affordable irrefusible price tag), and… I know I’ve projected on it with my own persona combined with environments and my own “luck” but… I LOVE. This. Shirt. Forever.

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