Category Archives: Native American Sympathies

Size Counts! Or Does It? Get A Grip … On This.

Chichen Itza Pyramid

Long before the days of the white man, in fact when all of Europe was still a wilderness – to say nothing of what we today call ‘America’ –  the Maya in the Yucatan had a thriving commerce based on silver & gold … and charted the heavens with a stunning accuracy that still stands today.

From their observatories on the temple mount high atop the jungle, in a society that revered nothing if not time – they were the very first to witness the sunrise ….  and the last to admire and pray upon the sunset. 

My studies with the Maya have taught me many things, but chief among them is this thought process that I share with you here:

With talk of the recent ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon’ still fresh, travel with me on a meditation of the mind as I walk you through some ‘Spiritual Aerobics’ – a stretching exercise as it were – and yet use science, facts & logic all along the way…


Our Moon in the night sky is roughly 240,000 miles from Earth, while our sun is 93 million miles away. The Speed of Light clocks-in at 186,000 miles/second! Really. So, it takes our sun’s rays a little over 8-and-a-half minutes to make the journey from their origin until they reach our Earth.

Now, if light travels that FAR that FAST, can you even begin to get your mind around the distance light would travel in an hour? A day?  A week?

How about a year?!?

This is what the scientist ~ in the days before Columbus, before Galileo ~  the Mayan astronomer would call a ‘Light Year’.

Now, picture yourself camping on a star-filled night under the stars’ heavenly canopy. Pick out a star. Among the billions of possibilities, for the sake of example, let’s choose Betelgeuse, which sits in the middle of the Belt of Orion.

This ‘star’ – this SUN – is 642.5 LIGHT YEARS from Earth!  So, in the same way as our sun’s rays take just over 8 minutes to make their journey, here’s the punchline — 

That ‘starlight’ touching your eye left Betelgeuse BEFORE your grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents … were BORN!


Earth, the 3rd rock from the sun, is but a very small grain of sand on a rather immense & intense beach.  And it is not our final home.  Even the Carpenter from Nazareth would talk of the fact that His Father’s House had many rooms.  H-m-mm….

So, past all the science, numbers & math … ‘at the end of the day’ as the white man is often wont to say, what’s the take-away message?

It is simply this:  let’s you & I let the ego go. E-G-O … Earth Guide Only, Edging God Out, Eliminating Golden Opportunities … Forget the silly turf wars, dial-down all the drama & conflict,   and at least TRY to Increase The Peace.

Pause to consider, it’s called the ‘Universe’… break it down – ‘Uni’ {One} …. ‘Verse’ {Song} .

We all need to learn to sing the same song.

After all, in the ‘Big Picture’, from the ‘Slippery Slope, at the  ‘End of the Day’ (dare I say ‘literally’?) ….

You and I are but germs on a rock ball spinning around a ball of fire!

~ Micheal Ziants

Putting in time here on the 3rd rock, from the New Jer-USA-lem


          To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

Airlift Productions Communicates.

Redskins I’ve Known And Loved

With the NFL Washington Redskins coming to New Orleans to play our Saints this weekend, you might think that this blog is about them and the game.

You would be wrong.

As any visitor to the Airlift Productions Studios (and quite a few ex-loves) through the years would attest, my sympathies for the wrongs perpetrated against America’s first people run strong and deep.

While my skin may be white, my heart beats pure red.

And as the white man today wrestles with petty politics, tax reform, retirement plans, NFL players disrespect for the flag, and sexual harassment in the workplace, few have a clue.

A clue as to the not-so-distant genocide and ethnic cleansing of one of the most noble, resourceful, courageous, and spiritual cultures to ever inhabit this ‘pale blue dot’.

What an incredibly painful price the tribes paid so the white man could today surf the internet on his smart phone, shop at Sears on Sunday, and wax his BMW in the driveway.

Manifest destiny? Really?

While Americans talk of jingoistic pride, heritage, and protection for our “borders”, are you aware that, by conservative estimates, historians claim the Cherokee people inhabited what we call the mountains of the Carolinas for over 15, 000 years?

Before the time of Jesus of Nazareth, before King David & Solomon sat on the thrones of Jerusalem, before the time of father Abraham.

Millennia before.

Sitting Bull, the holy man of the Hunkpapa Sioux; Black Elk, the mystic of the Ogalala Sioux;  Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce; Geronimo, Cochise, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud… round-up the ‘usual suspects’.

And the United States military sure did.

And for what?

“They made us more promises than we can remember. But they only kept but one. They promised to take our land.  And they took it.” ~ Chief Red Cloud.

Do you know what General George Armstrong Custer’s nickname was to the Ogalala/Hunkpapa Sioux?

“Baby Killer”, because General Custer (dead last in his class at West Point, and first class a–hole) believed that if he put the “little bastards” to the sword as babies, he’d never have to deal with them as adults!

Oh, and I hear you, “But this is all history, Micheal.”

Yes, and a history where all the books have all been written by all those who hanged, raped, mutilated, tortured, and slaughtered heroes.

American History books call it “the Battle of Wounded Knee” in 1890… two-hundred-fifty unarmed Lakota mostly women and children dead in the last ‘battle’ of the Indian wars.

And at this point in history (“his story”/and you’d think the white man would be more enlightened) Thomas Alva Edison (by 1878) already had patented the phonograph.

Today? While the white man’s headlines are full of political pissing, sex scandals, and National Football League controversies – The Tribes, collectively, have the highest rate of alcoholism and suicide of any minority in these great United States.

Allow me to close with one more touch of irony.

Today, in 2017, America goes to war in Apache and Kiowa helicopters… fires Tomahawk missiles from its  aircraft carriers… screams “Geronimo” as it jumps out of its planes … and closes its national anthem at every 4th of July firework festivity & NFL game with the words, “… and the Home of the Brave!”

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “brave” as “ready to face and endure danger or pain” …. AND as … “an American Indian warrior”. 


So, Pray for the USA.

Oh, and I almost forgot … Geaux Saints! And a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  • Micheal G. Ziants


Mother’s Day 2015 & The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Many thoughts are rambling around my head on this Mother’s Day 2015, so I came here to unpack  a few of them.  Allow me to wish you & yours a Happy One, as I attempt to sort some things out.

aaa-motherearth2It’s been said that “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”, and indeed mothers – and the way in which they raise their children – most definitely mold and form society and the world in which we live.

Rightly or wrongly (and yes, there are bad mothers), through motherhood women leave their indelible mark on the planet.  Some seek to leave their footprints in the sands of time … while others leave but skid marks at the intersection.

Did you know that America’s first people, the Tribes – from the Sioux to the Cherokee – had quite a different view when talk of the planet and mothers was involved?

e5871399b6d1a59cbec107dc5635ba43To them, four simple words summed-up all of existence – “Mother Earth, Father Sky”.

ALL food, all sustenance – indeed all life – grew from the Earth! Berries, fruit, maize, corn, wheat ALL came from the dirt beneath their feet.  Mother Earth.

And all this nourishment, the very essence of life, would not be possible without the rains and the sun to make it grow.  Father Sky.

Pretty simple, huh?  And pretty true, too.

Well, if you’ve run with me this far on this Mother’s Day, let’s run just a bit further.   I’m haunted as of late by a line from Paul Simon’s tune “Questions For the Angels”, wherein he poses this question…

“If every human on the planet and all the buildings on it should disappear…  would a zebra grazing on the African savanna care enough to shed one zebra tear?”

Wow! Ponder that one a moment.  Let that one sink-in a bit.

fb112df7fe4157dff7836f18d9dd8297And I realize that it’s more than a tad on the dark side (for Mother’s Day 2015), but couple that thought with this troubling nightmare that persists… in my New Orleans nights.

The whole planet Earth – all 7-billion+and counting – all humanity … the very planet we call home – gone! Disappeared.  And the epitaph on the tombstone says rather succinctly – “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.” ~ the Father.

No. Despite all human ‘advancements’ and technology and progress and religion and culture … in the eyes of the Creator Spirit that is All — we just didn’t cut it.

1401389338528328800And the kicker?  In the Big Picture?  In the eyes of the vast universe… the disappearance of this one little planet in the backwaters of the Milky Way, here in what we call the 21st Century … didn’t even make the front page in the Sunday Universal Times.

Yet, from the palaces of Kim Jong Un to Vlad Putin, the games persist. And from the streets of Ferguson, MO to Baltimore, MD… peace, love & respect for human dignity increasingly get lost in our crazed, frantic and hyper-connected digital world.

And the beat goes on.  Until it doesn’t.

I only wish that I had a rosier picture to paint this morning, but we’ll save that ‘rose’ for the Mother’s Day bouquet sitting on kitchen tables all over the world at this moment.

*** Airlift Mike’s “This Is For the Mothers” ***



MichealZiantsNewOrleansVoiceOverTalentArtistRenderingAnd along with it, a Hope and a Prayer … for your Mother Earth and mine.

IncreaseThePeace …  with Love & Respect ~ Micheal Z

To communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

Airlift Productions Communicates.

… from the new Jer-USA-lem


Timeless Cherokee Thought for 21st Century Man

Airlift Productions NOLA Proprietor Micheal Ziants at age 25 in the woods of Pennsylvania, in a reflective picture taken by an old friend back in the day … with a vision from and for the Cherokee


Since the dawn of recorded time the world’s philosophers have disagreed on many things, but on this one point they are all in unison.
As a man Thinks … so he Is! 
What can any of us act on … but what we choose to think about? Thought creates reality. Thought, while invisible to man’s five senses … is the most powerful force in the universe.
As Emerson so eloquently phrased it, “The ancestor to every action … is a thought.”
Every building, every highway, every hit song, every book, everyTHING – including you & me – has at it’s root an invisible, imperceptible to the senses … THOUGHT!
According to the universal law of cause & effect, our thought is ‘father’ not only to our every deed, but to every condition we attract!
In the days before what we call ‘America’ was born, in fact in the days when all Europe was but a wilderness, the natives on these shores knew that.
Thousands of years before the time of Abraham, before King David, before those we call the Christ, the Buddha, and Muhammad walked among us … the Cherokee taught their young this same weighty philosophical issue late at night before sleep around the campfires.
The Story of the Two Wolves.
Every moment of every day, select and choose your thoughts wisely … for from your thought springs your action, deed and virtue.  Which wolf wins? The one you feed!
Now, if you, the reader of these words – this ‘thought’ – are nodding your head in agreement as you read along, vow today to take action. Take control of your own mind. Do not allow yourself the ‘luxury’ of a negative, harmful thought.
After all, if you are not in charge of every morsel of food that passes your lips … and every thought that passes through your mind, I’d like to respectfully ask you – who is?
Feed the Right Wolf!


With bountiful blessings, heartfelt prayers, and a fervent wish to IncreaseThePeace … from New Orleans, the new Jer-USA-lem, and Airlift Productions.  ~ Micheal

Airlift Productions ** A Catalyst for Positive Change from New Orleans since 1984

Pre-4th Holiday Weekend Native Irony


native american girl with dove

Reflective food for thought as yet more Americans prepare to lay down their lives on United States highways this week and weekend…

“It is sadly ironic that the wine that is the Christian’s most sacred substance, used in the Mass to represent the blood of their God, has caused such a tragic trail of devastation within Native populations.

Meanwhile,  the Native’s most sacred substance – tobacco – has caused so many major health problems for so many Christians.” 

— whiteshadow


native american spirituality

Friday Deadlines?!? Whoa! Hold On a Minute…


~ another sunrise over New Orleans, LA ~

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words of stunning insight, clarity and truth from my fave mystical, metaphysical, space cowboy running partner and disembodied spirit … culled from my first book of philosophical thought at Penn State all those years ago.

And words I’ve used to navigate and steer the Airlift ship through many choppy waters across these thirty years.

After all, from Harrisburg to Nashville and Philadelphia to New Orleans, I don’t have enough fingers & toes to count all the buddies, pals, and radio/tv vets that I’ve worked with, known, loved and respected … that just just aren’t on the planet anymore.

Work? It’s all Headlines & Deadlines.  And I’ve yet to find a hearse with a luggage rack … or a man on his deathbed whose last wish is that he’d spent more time at the office.