Black Kos: Chef Bobby Neary Sanchez, @nuevopionero, has joined the ancestors in Puerto Rico.

2 months ago Daily Kos

When Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, Bobby was the only Puerto Rican on the island who posted regular reports here, and he continued to do so, telling truths about conditions there that much of the mainstream media wasn’t getting out. In spite of what he was going through — the loss of his farm and animals he shared there with his partner Juan, Bobby persisted. The love of his life, his partner Juan José Salas Martín passed away, of cancer, on April 13, 2014. He shared that battle with us here.

For those of you who never got a chance to meet him, online or face to face, or read his writing I want to share some of it here. His words will live on, though he is no longer physically with us.

June 20, 2018

Nine months after the storm

and I’m still here.

Still hanging on,

adjusting to a life

I never imagined.

I’m not wearing black

though I still mourn.

I no longer light candles in the dark

though I share the fury,

the numbing frustration

of so many who still have no choice.

Nine months after the storm,

thousands remain without power.

Nine months after the storm,

thousands remain without safe water.

Nine months after the storm,

thousands still looking up

through the depressing,

suffocating blue hue

of wind-torn and leaking tarps

instead of a roof.

Nine months after the storm,

thousands still seeing life

through exhausted eyes

as if it were September 20, 2017,

frozen in amber.

Nine months after the storm,

273 days of suffering,

suffering scarcely comprehended

in our modern world.

Yet those of us remaining

on our beloved island

have our heads held high.




We rise.

Nine months after the storm,

Maria may have destroyed our island,

but never our spirits,

so please don’t weep for us.

We may have been battered,

but here we stand.

We may have been abandoned

but we still have one another,

arm in arm,


with you,

we rise.

We rise in honor

of the thousands

who lost their lives.

We rise in honor

of our ancestors

who persevered through

incomprehensible indignities

that can never be forgotten.





Our enemies,

no longer in the armor of conquistadors,

now wears suits, ties and spray tans.

We’ve seen these demons before.

Their dyed faces cannot conceal

their true colors.

We’ve survived their wickedness before,

we rise.

Nine months after the storm,

we rise because we must.

We dust ourselves off

because we must.

We will not be defeated

because we are Borinquen.

Nine months after the storm,

regardless of our own struggles

our eyes turn to the West,

searching for any remnants

of Lady Liberty’s elusive promise.

Our brothers and sisters

are crying out at the border,

heartbroken and desperate.

The tears of their children

are our tears.

How could we not fight for them

as we fight for our own families?

their unholy enemy is our enemy.

Nine months after the storm,

grateful for allies,

a shocked nation now rises to confront

the very same man made disasters

inflicted upon our island after Maria.

Incompetence and heartlessness,

hypocrisy and indifference,

propaganda and lies.

My God,

the lies.

Suits, ties and spray tans.

Nine months after the storm,

The hearts of caring people,

forged in the fires

of this hellish administration,

are being tested.

Make no mistake,

our road ahead is perilous,

the cruel manifestations

of centuries of inhumanity

are stalking the halls of power,

right now,

like the monsters

of our worst nightmares.

Nine months after the storm,

they celebrate cruelty,

mock the less fortunate,

raise glasses to white supremacy,

thumb their noses at the rule of Law.

We see the unmistakable omens

and take heed.

Only the complicit cheer them on

in their haze of ignorance and hate.

Nine months after the storm,

we cannot give in to fear.

The sleeping giant of justice

is awake and on the move.

There had to be a tipping point,

finally we’re here.

Our rage and disbelief,

crippling anxiety,

so many sleepless nights,

now transformed

into resolve,




We are rising,


crashing onto the shores

of our nation’s conscience

with the combined force

of all who have sacrificed before us.

We were not defeated by a hurricane,

we are the hurricane.

We rise with the hearts

of every Native American

slaughtered by “civilization”,

we rise with the cries of every Taino

sacrificed on the altar of a “New World”,

we rise with the tears

of every Cherokee on

that forsaken trail.

We rise.

We rise with the souls of all those

once shackled by the chains of slavery,

we rise with the spirits

of those reflected in the flames

of the Jim Crow South,

we rise with the last gasps of the innocents

gunned down on today’s streets.

Their breath is now our breath.

We rise.

We rise for the children,

from Puerto Rico to Flint,

Sandy Hook to Santa Fe,

from Columbine to Parkland,

remembering the lives needlessly lost,

cherishing the inspired survivors,

blazing new trails out of the ashes.

We rise.

We rise for the children

of the Americas,

frightened and inconsolable,

even  babies

ripped away from loving arms

by heartless tyrants,

thrown in cages.

My God,

we rise.

Nine months after the storm,

a new battle begins

with each new day,

no matter the destruction around us.

We simply cannot allow injustice

to infest and fester,

to shame and corrupt.

This moment in time

will forever be remembered,

the course of history changed.

In 200 years they will not remember our names,

they will remember our actions.

So we rise

because we must.

We dust ourselves off

because we must.

We will never be defeated

because we are Borinquen.

His best friend Ricky, from PR, who currently lives in Florida, was with him via video phone when he passed. Bobby’s ashes will be combined with Juan’s and be spread at the foot of one of Puerto Rico’s ancient trees — which are sacred to the people of Borikén. Ricky has asked that anyone who would like to help defray costs, or help out with Bobby’s beloved sato doggie Missilu can use his paypal — [email protected] Bobby’s friend Carmen is currently taking care of Missilu, and they are looking for a forever home for her — which isn’t easy because she has epileptic seizures.

Chef Bobby Missilu

Please join us today and share your memories of Bobby.  

Thank you.


News round up by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ POLITICS.png Biden marks MLK Day at King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church: ‘Progress is never easy’. AP: Biden: Americans should ‘pay attention’ to MLK’s legacy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 President Joe Biden made a historical pilgrimage Sunday to “America’s freedom church” to mark Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, saying democracy was at a perilous moment and that the civil rights leader’s life and legacy “show us the way and we should pay attention.”

As the first sitting president to deliver a Sunday morning sermon at King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, Biden cited the telling question that King himself once asked of the nation.

“He said, ‘Where do we go from here?’” Biden said from the pulpit. ”Well, my message to this nation on this day is we go forward, we go together, when we choose democracy over autocracy, a beloved community over chaos, when we choose believers and the dreams, to be doers, to be unafraid, always keeping the faith.”

In a divided country only two years removed from a violent insurrection, Biden told congregants, elected officials and dignitaries that “the battle for the soul of this nation is perennial. It’s a constant struggle ... between hope and fear, kindness and cruelty, justice and injustice.”

PresidentBideninATL.png ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This year, America commemorates Martin Luther King Jr.’s life amid a chaotic and shameful time for democracy. Less than two weeks ago, insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol after they were encouraged to “take back” the country by the sitting US president, holding fast to the false claim of election fraud.

During moments of social and political turmoil, we often ask ourselves, what would King do?

Unfortunately, the same forces that motivated the insurrectionists have tried their hardest to water down and whitewash King’s message and legacy. White supremacist ideology motivated the Capitol attack, and it’s this same power that has, in recent years, attempted to mischaracterize King’s words to fit their agenda.

Vice President Mike Pence, for example, has likened Donald Trump to King in an effort to defend Trump’s border wall. “One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,’” Pence said on Face the Nation ahead of MLK Day in 2019. “You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union.’”

Other Trump administration officials have done the same over the last four years.

Martin Luther King Jr., gives his "I Have a Dream" speech to a crowd before the Lincoln Memorial during the Freedom March in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. The widely quoted speech became one of his most famous. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MONEY.png ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the year since the Guardian profiled William Huston, the founder and chief investment officer of Bay Street Capital Holdings, a California-based wealth-management firm that invests in the stock market along with a portfolio of small, minority-owned businesses, the US market has undergone great volatility. The S&P 500 index peaked in the first week of 2022, but by mid-October had dipped 26.7%. Meanwhile, Huston’s firm’s portfolio has maintained its valuation of $85m (£70m), and its staff of 16 has not had to downsize.

Huston chalks up his company’s health to one specific pivot. His firm has been doubling down on an untapped and underserved segment of the US economy: Black-owned travel holdings. “Black travelers in America spend $109bn (£90bn) on leisure travel annually, and only $1bn (£831m) goes to Black-owned hotels,” he said of the disparity besetting the US travel industry. Black-owned hotels make up 0.8% of the 58,000 hotels in the US. Less than 1% of the money that all African Americans spend on leisure travel ends up with Black-owned properties.

With its establishment of Resthaven Properties, a portfolio of members-only boutique hotels, Bay Street Capital Holdings is betting big on travelers’ desire to support minority owners and visit properties whose values chime with their own. According to marketing firm Bluestone PIM, more than half of millennials prefer to shop at stores that reflect their priorities, and a similar survey conducted by Survey Monkey showed that 73% of Gen Zers across different age groups said it is very important that they patronize brands with values similar to those they hold. Huston, who grew up in small-town Alabama and now has over 20 stamps on his passport, is betting on modern-minded travelers with socially conscientious leanings booking at his Black-owned properties.

Hospitality holdings now constitute 20% of Bay Street’s portfolio. There’s a luxury rental in Venice Beach, California, that’s popular with influencers and entertainment industry workers and forthcoming resorts in the trendy destinations of Portugal and the ski getaway of Lake Tahoe. Bay Street Capital Holdings has also developed Unified, an app that connects influencers to travel properties, all in the name of publicizing new destinations to new audiences. “We wanted to add a layer of intentionality to the business,” Huston said from his Fremont, California, home office, whose walls are decorated with a colorful assortment of guitars and drawings created by his two-year-old son. “We’re never going to compete with Marriott, but in five years people will know about us. And they will know the names of some of the other hotels that we don’t own but we support, and that’s just as impactful.”

FinancialadvisorHouston.png ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ENVIRONMENT.png Nature’s way of controlling pest. Reuters: Army of pest-munching ducks keep South African vineyard blooming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Flocks of white, black and brown ducks hunt for snails and bugs as they patrol the grapevines at a vineyard in South Africa's winemaking town of Stellenbosch, helping the owners steer clear of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers.

Around 500 Indian runner ducks work as a natural pest control at the Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate, but also entertain wine-quaffing tourists.

"We call them the soldiers of the vineyards," the managing director of the estate, Corius Visser, told Reuters.

Ducks are at the heart of the winery's regenerative agriculture practices, and specifically Indian runner ducks, which have long legs and an upright posture, meaning they are able to reach for snails between the leaves.

Nutrient-rich manure from the ducks and other animals ensure the vineyard runs as sustainably as possible.


YouTube Video



Voices and Soul

Vintage_Books.jpg “… the net rising soundless as night, the birds' cries soundless, until
there was no longer dusk, or season, decline, or weather,
only this passage of phantasmal light
that not the narrowest shadow dared to sever… “

- Derek Walcott
“The Season of Phantasmal Peace”

by Justice Putnam, Black Kos Poetry Editor

I was so saddened  to hear of Chef Bobby’s passing, especially hard for me this time of year as this time of year has proved to be the season of passing. He first followed me because of some poetry I posted on the bird app, and I followed him back because chefs and poetry are a Law of the Universe.

I spoke to my son about three weeks before he passed in this season of passing, about how lucky we are to have made it somehow through limitless radiation from universes of cosmic rays and unfathomable cold to somehow root here on this luminous sphere, and then to evolve over eons into the sentient, purposeful beings we are. I remember a shadow go over his face, it was soon after he had some urgent advice from his doctor about his heart ailment at age 41, a diagnosis his mother and I were unaware of until after he passed in this season of passing. He told the kids early on in the year, when his doctor’s suspicions were first raised. And he took them on grand adventures and culinary excursions, and they became even closer than they were before, knowing how time is an unknown, but the present is now, even in this season of passing. They kept his secret well. And good thing, too. He knew, and they knew how his mother and I would have reacted. He didn’t want that pall in the middle of a conversation, and the ten mile stare into a future of longing regret.

I looked at that passing shadow pass as quickly as it came. For a moment, and I didn’t know it then, for a moment he fell to the pity and regret at losing this providence of life. But he never lived his life that way, and even though I know how short a time we have, it is so very easy to live as if we have all the time in the world, and we can do whatever, tomorrow. He was okay with his predicament, and he didn’t want pity. He wanted a wide open embrace of the All of Everything. And he did. Right here in the here and now.

It’s when we realize what time really is, even in this season of passing, that we can ignore any pity and regret at what we won’t have in the future, but to see, even in this season of passing, that the very present we exist in, is but a memory fading in a solar beat and a radio wave across an expanse of stars, across the lives we have touched, and the lives who have touched us. And that it was good.

Then all the nations of birds lifted together

the huge net of the shadows of this earth

in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,

stitching and crossing it. They lifted up

the shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,

the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,

the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill—

the net rising soundless as night, the birds' cries soundless, until

there was no longer dusk, or season, decline, or weather,

only this passage of phantasmal light

that not the narrowest shadow dared to sever.

And men could not see, looking up, what the wild geese drew,

what the ospreys trailed behind them in silvery ropes

that flashed in the icy sunlight; they could not hear

battalions of starlings waging peaceful cries,

bearing the net higher, covering this world

like the vines of an orchard, or a mother drawing

the trembling gauze over the trembling eyes

of a child fluttering to sleep;

                                                   it was the light

that you will see at evening on the side of a hill

in yellow October, and no one hearing knew

what change had brought into the raven's cawing,

the killdeer's screech, the ember-circling chough

such an immense, soundless, and high concern

for the fields and cities where the birds belong,

except it was their seasonal passing, Love,

made seasonless, or, from the high privilege of their birth,

something brighter than pity for the wingless ones

below them who shared dark holes in windows and in houses,

and higher they lifted the net with soundless voices

above all change, betrayals of falling suns,

and this season lasted one moment, like the pause

between dusk and darkness, between fury and peace,

but, for such as our earth is now, it lasted long.

- Derek Walcott“The Season of Phantasmal Peace” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ porch.png


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