Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Peace be upon you all in this Holiday Season.
I will be back online some time before the new year...
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
To accurately answer the question, we first must understand the term "racism". Racism, by its simplest definition, is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
This is not a belief held by Indian Tribes, nor is it referenced to in the definition of ICWA. In fact, ICWA begins by clearly stating that the intent of the law is to ensure security and stability to Tribes and Children of the Tribes, as well as respecting the continued existence of cultural and social standards of the tribes. It is, therefore, a policy protecting the culture of Natives in America.
To summarize this short argument, before moving forward, it is necessary to reiterate the important fact that maintaining tribal integrity is NOT racist - it is a means of cultural survival.
Why is cultural survival important? Aren't all Indians the same? And shouldn't Indians simply give up and join the "American Culture"?
Now we are at the heart of this discussion. Let's start by answering the above questions in reverse order, and then we will be prepared to truly understand the importance of cultural survival.
The "American Culture", historically, has been one of a "gold rush" mentality - take what you can, as fast as you can, in order to achieve success - often times failing to regard the broader impact of their actions... Quality of life and future generations are second tier to individual achievement. The American Culture can be summed up, socially, as an agrarian society which became an industrial powerhouse - a focus on family interests, sporting and other social events, which as of late has become a society of consumerism and reality television - one would argue that this, in itself, is the erosion of classic American Culture. Should Indian Tribes give up reservations and become "American", giving up the memory of their individual culture? No more than should European Americans stop celebrating Oktoberfest, Halloween, or give up agrarian rituals, like summer vacation from schools... The call for further "Americanization" of the tribes is little more than a call to eliminate the reservations and complete the land-grab that began hundreds of years ago, and to eliminate the memory of the original inhabitants of this land - ancestors to many of my readers (and myself).
To answer the question about similarity between all Indian Tribes, one need look no further than a language stock map for original inhabitants, or reference any study on tribal culture to understand that though there are basic elements inherent to the nomadic or tribal lifestyle, each tribe of Indians is culturally unique. In fact, some tribes held no more than 50-100 members when they were "discovered" by white explorers, and had no ties to larger regional dominating tribes. Though similarities existed, regionally, it was out of necessity to survive in the lands - for instance, Plains Tribes, such as Oglala, where a nomadic hunting tribe, using housing styles and hunting tactics necessitated by the need to make rapid relocation of their village in order to stay near their migrating food supply. In comparison, Northwestern tribes, such as the Makah or Snoqualmie, were largely stationary and built permanent Longhouses where large portions of the tribes would live, and maintained diets largely from foraging and constant fish runs on the many rivers (or whales - in the case of the Makah). Language, lifestyle, societal structures, and even religion all varied from tribe to tribe, and from region to region... it would take years of study to fully grasp the complexities of each tribe, region, and culture - stressing the importance of passing these subtleties on to children of the tribe.
Which brings us to the final point - the importance of cultural survival. Michael Savage, a radio commentator, often says that there are three elements necessary to ensure a society succeeds - borders, language, culture. The borders have been stolen long ago from the Indian Tribes, replaced with reservations meant to "Americanize" Indians into an agrarian society - whose land reserves were arbitrarily reduced through a succession of court orders and illegal laws in order to establish homesteading across the nation.
Native Languages have been nearly lost for Indians, as part of the Americanization Era and Policy towards Indians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In fact, the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty included a mandate for White teachers to teach English to Sioux children. As can be seen from the following map, even in areas of large Indian populations, by and large, language has been eradicated amongst those who still live within the reservations:
Special exception can be seen in areas of the Navajo/Hopi Nation, where 14-65% can speak their native tongue, and areas of Crow, Cheyenne, and Sioux reservations where 14-40% speak their native tongue... sadly, across America, native languages have been eliminated.
Finally, and most importantly - Culture. With the variations in Indian culture being as vast as the number of tribes, it is most certainly and fundamentally important that tribal culture be maintained and passed from generation to generation. It is the culture that defines who you are as a group, as an entity, as a people - and to lose that identity is to lose an important part of yourself. Rituals, art, music, clothing, even philosophy - it is all culturally relevant, and once lost, can never be fully regained. The importance of this culture is recognized in the ICWA, as the driving force behind the law's legitimacy... it is also the reason for Total Immersion teaching by tribes in the island nations, and being introduced by the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Congress was 100% correct in the ICWA document when they stated: "there is no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children"...
In conclusion, the Indian Child Welfare Act is not a racist law prohibiting whites from adopting Indian children, rather, a thoughtful protection of the integrity of Indian Culture in America. It is a document recognizing the most vital resource to ensuring a continuation of tribal culture, and protecting the future of that culture. When a culture is in threat of extinction, lingually, artistically, or otherwise, it should be the will of the people to protect and preserve... that is the intent of this law - not as an obstacle or punishment to adopting families, but as a protection of a treasure at risk of being lost forever.
Monday, December 22, 2008
History shows us in periods of global warming, societies tend to prosper, disease subsides, food supplies increase, and the overall quality of live is improved... comparatively, during periods of global cooling food supplies diminish, epidemic/pandemic cases of sickness are reported, and quality of life is generally decreased.
One thing is common, and grossly misunderstood - the globe is ALWAYS EITHER warming or cooling... there has NEVER been a stationary period... there has always been a pattern, always been a change - and it has NEVER been caused by humans or any other creature inhabiting this planet.
We should do better to understand how to best adapt to minor temperature changes - such as encouraging hardy crops that perform well in either climate, and raising livestock that performs the same... To think that we can put some sort of super absorbing pad into the sky and grab greenhouse gasses is not only insane, but will be devastating should we accomplish it, ensuring a significant global cooling / ice age that is sure to wipe out most of humanity from the face of the earth.
Thought - something that global warming nuts are not too quick to embrace.
The rider upon the Red Horse spread knowledge to men about war and filled their hearts with the want to war. War was spread across the globe a hundred years ago, on a global level - and since the start of the great wars, man has perfected the art of war so much that peace is removed from the earth - all nations now must have armies of men ready to war - and there have been continued conflicts of massive war for over a hundred years... This rider was most effective.
The rider upon the Black Horse spread famine throughout the world... food rationed - lacking for large parts of the world. There is no shortage of food in the world, thanks to the United States - but there is a distribution problem - the UN Food program is largely ineffective, and areas where the food is most needed, food is often seized by warring factions - food as a weapon... more than the rider on the Black Horse could have dreamed of!
The rider upon the sickly Green Horse is Death, and death came to the lands of the world - Death by war, hunger, and sicknesses that are unstoppable. Death is upon the land, we are living in an age of death. The four spirits of heaven - the four horsemen - have ridden on the face of the earth, and in the bodies of men.
Is the book of Revelation the "ravings of a lunatic" - as Thomas Jefferson would have you believe? Is it a parable for the signs of the coming of the New Temple - YHWH's return to earth? Or is it a message to a warning of the self fulfilling prophecy of the end of civilization?
Some believe that we are living in the end times, as prophesized by John, others disagree. I would argue that there is compelling evidence to suggest that we are dangerously close to apocalyptic times... there are signs all around.
So why mix the end times with Christmas?
For a simple reason - faith and family.
Christmas may not be a holiday required in the commandments - but it is a time to remember the commandments. It is the time to prepare our souls - a reminder that we are to live Halleluyah, every day in praise to YHWH. It is not a day to covet, not a day to be gluttonous, not a day for pride, nor for sloth... it is a day to remind us of the sacrifices that YHWH has made on our behalf - that we could see the truth. Keep not just the holidays holy, but all days Holy in your heart... rest on the sabbath, rest on the day of remembrance - and use this time to reflect on the teachings of the gospel, the Word of YHWH, and to love your family with all your hearts.
In the worst of times, or the best of times, it is most important to keep the Word, and to live every day in Praise...
The end times are times to be feared - times of uncertainty... but there is hope in the hearts of all who seek the truth, the true Word.
Let not your hearts be troubled... Enjoy the Holy times. Live in praise - rejoice in YHWH.
And have a Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
A simple search regarding coerced adoption leaves you with a mind numbing amount of information, with the ultimate result, sadly, being that the practice is more common place than one would think.
In many cases, my research has indicated that Florida’s laws are so loose as to allow adoption schemes, coercion, and traps that are not overturned by legal challenges – even in the case of Mary Ramos, who contacted the agency in order to rescind her paperwork within the allotted three days. As my research has found, once you are targeted by a Florida Adoption Agency – “you are screwed”… and the courts are unlikely to support challenging mothers fighting paperwork they signed under pressure from these agencies.
However, in Mary’s case, there was a simple fact that was overlooked – Mary is a Native American, registered with the Avogel tribe of Louisiana – with a certified note from the Tribal Chief, blood records, birth certificates, and registry information to support her tribal belonging. This makes her child, by rules of the tribe, a registered member of the Avogel tribe – and as such, subject to the rules and regulations of the ICWA – Indian Child Welfare Act of Congress (circa 1979) - in the case of forced termination of parental rights. Mary Ramos has the ability (but not the means) to appeal the ruling of Florida Judge Arthur M Birken for a number of procedural and evidentiary irregularities – but the major source of concern is that the Judge threw out ICWA in the ruling and the adopting agency failed to notify the BIA or the Avogel Indian Tribe, in violation of 25 CFR § 23.11A.
A ruling in the Colorado Jefferson County District Court addressed this issue on November 30, 2006 – stating such:
In this case, the state was removing Native children to foster care due to violent criminal and drug related behavior of the father. The children belonged to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. The court ultimately upheld the appeal, rejecting the termination of parental rights based on the failures in the notification process required for removing native children from native family members. In Mary’s case, the question of state mandated child removal versus consent of adoption (with reversal of decision within the short period of time allowed) needs to be answered.
Congress enacted the ICWA because of concerns over the involuntary separation of Indian children from their families for placement in non-Indian homes. B.H. v. People in Interest of X.H., 138 P.3d 299 (Colo. 2006). The purpose of the ICWA is to protect Indian children who are members of or are eligible for membership in an Indian tribe. 25 U.S.C. § 1901(3) (2000). The Colorado General Assembly has expressly provided for compliance with, and consistent application of, the ICWA. See § 19-1-126, C.R.S. 2006.
The ICWA promotes the best interests of Indian children and protects the stability of Indian tribes. The ICWA is based on the presumption that the protection of an Indian child’s relationship with the tribe is in the child’s best interests. People in Interest of A.T.W.S., 899 P.2d 223 (Colo. App. 1994).
The ICWA applies when the state seeks to place an Indian child in foster care and when the state seeks to terminate parental rights. See 25 U.S.C. §§1911, 1912 (2000). Under those circumstances, whenever the court knows or has reason to know that an Indian child is involved, the party seeking placement or termination must provide notice to the child’s tribe or his or her parent’s tribe, or to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (the BIA) if the tribe cannot be identified or located. 25 U.S.C. § 1912(a) (2000); see also People in Interest of A.N.W., 976 P.2d 365 (Colo. App. 1999).
If notice is not given in compliance with the provisions of 25 U.S.C. § 1912, the tribe may petition to invalidate the order terminating parental rights. 25 U.S.C. § 1914. The tribe may raise the issue of inadequate notice in the first instance in this court, as the ICWA specifically provides that the issue of inadequate notice may be raised in "any court of competent jurisdiction."25 U.S.C. § 1914; see In re L.A.M., 727 P.2d 1057 (Alaska 1986); In re Antoinette S., 104 Cal. App. 4th 1401, 129 Cal. Rptr. 2d 15 (2002).
In discussing this issue with Mary, a substitute teacher and avid member of her church, she described the events leading up to the initial contact with the adoption agency. There was serious financial and mental hardships which caused an increased depression, which led to her new husband to suggest contacting the agency. The husband is not the biological father of the child, Elijah, nor is he the father of Mary’s 10 year old daughter (9 at the time of the court ruling). Mary’s contact with the adoption agency led to immediate, consistent, and persistent contact by the agency convincing Mary that adoption was the best option for the 1 ½ year old boy. The process, as well as the persistence, placed Mary under a great deal of duress, resulting in the eventual coercion to meet a family, sign the paperwork, and turn over her child. Florida law allows a 3 day period in which the biological parents can reconsider their actions – which Mary did. The adoption agency was given a telephone call, which was met with resistance and a notice that Faxing such a request to renege would not be allowed – which meant that a 4 hour trip would be necessary to file such paperwork, causing Mary’s filing time to be in excess of the 3 day grace period. In the end, Mary lost her child on a technicality – with full intent of keeping her child. A technicality which the Florida judge wrongly upheld.
Mary has not seen her son, a picture or otherwise, since October 2007.
Mary showed intent to repeal the adoption within the mandated time, made an attempt to stop the process within that same time, and as such, this ruling became a case of forced removal – by the judge – in violation of ICWA.
The judge did not find Mary unfit to be a mother, else she would have lost her eldest child, Autumn. The judge ruled on behalf of the agency, upholding their right to terminate Mary’s Parental Rights – but did so with the following irregularities:
1. Allowed Mary’s attorney to remove himself from the case (after collecting
$10,000) the day before trial. The judge allowed a continuance of about 6 weeks,
which was a time insufficient for Mary to find proper legal counsel – Mary
ultimately had to represent herself.
2. The removed attorney was a childhood friend of the judge, and spent some time working as a clerk for the judge – the judge ruled that he would allow the attorney to leave the case.
3. The judge knowingly allowed perjured testimony from the notary public, provided legal advice to her from the bench, and therefore knowingly allowed fraudulently
notarized documentation as evidence against Mary.
4. The judge dismissed any request from the Avogel tribe to be made party to the suit, any acknowledgement of the ICWA procedures (as this was a case about forced adoption), and dismissed jurisdiction complaints from the Chief of the Avogel Tribe.
5. Mary’s date for a retrial was set 2 days before she was delivered the order of the court, making it impossible for a request for retrial.
This leaves Mary with no choice but to appeal – leaving her appeal date as December 25th 2008. Mary is left without legal counsel, without funds to acquire counsel, and without sufficient knowledge of legal rules to properly file an appeal that won’t be thrown out on a simple technicality (such as using an individual’s full name as opposed to initials in the body of the appeal). She is in desperate need of immediate advice, else she loses her child on a technicality – and ultimately on fraud and coercion.
The United States ICWA states in Title 25, Chapter 21, § 1901 (3)
“that there is no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children and that the United States has a direct interest, as trustee, in protecting Indian children who are members of or are eligible for membership in an Indian tribe;”As such, with expressed interest being shown by the Avogel tribe, expressed interest by the mother to renege the adoption within the three day period, the State of Florida and justices therein should comply with the intent of federal law and federal protection of the integrity of the Avogel tribe.
Mary Ramos: "If I do nothing they win. If I open my mouth and tell the world, maybe someone will hear..."
Mary is in dire need of assistance on this case. If any reader has the ability to provide advice, feedback, or contacts that could assist in her appeal, please contact me and I will gladly put you in contact. We have a week to uphold justice – for a tribe – for a mother – and for a child.
Mary has requested that I make special mention to share this story, blog about it, YouTube about it, forward it on to all types of media - mainstream and alternative. her case is not a lost cause - and an informed public can do wonders to aid in her struggle, as well as help others who may find themselves in the same process of coerced adoption!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
My initial reaction to a Salazar appointment was "What role will this play in Indian Relations?"
The Rocky Mountain News Commenter HopiMedicineMan had this to say:
This appointment will not go down well in the Indian community. Salazar braggedPhil Doe and Ute Water Rights - True. Phil Doe is associated with the Animas-La-Plata Project, near Durango, which is a plan to dam a river whose sole water rights belong to the Ute Indians based on a treaty dating back to 1868 - for the purpose of providing water to oil shale production in that part of the state. A search of the website for the project indicates that the project is being coordinated through the Ute tribes, and that artifacts in the valley to be flooded are being preserved at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Delores, CO. The Salazar family has a history of vested interest in this project. The project is nearly complete, and was dedicated in October of this year - in attendance was Ken Salazar. Currently, the project is in support of the Ute water rights, and will provide water to the Ute tribes and the Navajo tribes. Phil Doe has tried to question the Ute's water rights, but has been turned down and the treaties upheld... could this change under Salazar?
a couple weeks ago his family was involved with the founding of Santa Fe in
1608. That means he’s associating himself with the genocidal Juan Martinez de
Montoya and Hernando Cortez. The Interior secretary is the dictator of the
reservations. And Salazar has shown he’s Mussolini in a cowboy hat, closing
77,000 acres of natural gas development. Indians want to drill on their lands.
Interior says, yeh or neh. Turning them down, as we expect from an ecomentalist,
would be seen as more genocide. It never ends. And it would have that effect,
fewer Indians going to college, fewer Chevy Silverados. Indian culture is
conservative. Salazar’s liberal pal, Phil Doe is attempting to acquire Ute water
rights in court. These rights would be used in the production of oil shale.
Liberals care about urban minorities, not Indians.
Salazar, a supporter of La Raza, seems more concerned with the blending of Mexico and the United States than preserving the cultures already existing within this land.
IndianZ.com posted the small amount of information regarding Salazar's past interaction with Indians in Colorado:
Salazar hasn't emerged as a major player on Indian issues since taking office.All signs point to the appointment of Salazar for reasons relating to Green Energy, and unrelated to Indian Affairs. In the cases where Indian Sovereignty was questioned over Environmental Issues, Salazar is against Native Sovereignty every time... making him a perfect fot for Obama's Environmental Machine, but absolutely WRONG for Department of Interior where Indian Affairs is concerned.
But he has co-sponsored legislation like the National American Indian and Alaska
Native Heritage Month Act, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the Sand
Creek Massacre National Historic Site Trust Act, the Code Talkers bill and bills
to extend methamphetamine funding to tribes...
Salazar recently questioned the $2.5 billion coal power plant sought by
the Navajo Nation, citing concerns about the impact on the environment in
Colorado and New Mexico.
Though Obama has appointed a Rosebud Sioux to head his First Americans Public Liaison transition post, it appears that Indian Affairs is at the bottom of his list of priorities - and a Ken Salazar appointment is evident to that fact.
update - the following letter was sent to Sen Salazar this afternoon. I will add any response:
Dear Sen. Salazar, and future Sec. of Interior -
I am a local political activist, blogger, and Indian Affairs activist. Let me start by congratulating you on your new post with the Obama administration, and directing a question regarding your new post.
In December 2007, Russell Means and a group of Lakotah Sioux, in their continued struggle to reclaim land promised to them through the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties, declared an intent to withdraw from said treaties. There was no official response from the Bush Administration - which is representative of the largely failed policies towards the Sioux. As the Secretary of the Interior, your position will oversee the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and will require attention to the situation on the Sioux reservations.
My question is this: What is your stance on Russell Means' declaration for a free and sovereign Laktoah Nation on the lands promised in the Laramie Treaties, and what is your position on the century old land battle over the Black Hills and other territories promised in the above noted treaties? As well, are you willing to support investment in Green Energy production in wind corridors on lands belonging to the Sioux, and under what liberties do you feel the Sioux should build/operate/and distribute this energy?
I appreciate your feedback on these issues. It is important to establish and continue comprehensive and constructive dialogue, and I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss these issues with you in the future.
Steven M Nielson
Secretary, Douglas County Republican Party
Grassroots Activist for Indian Affairs
Monday, December 15, 2008
Iraqi TV reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi threw two shoes at President G.W. Bush's head while giving a farewell press conference in Baghdad, leading to his detainment and a question as to how to punish the man - though current reports indicate that he will merely be tried for "insulting the Iraqi state".
This is not the first time that Bush has been targeted by thrown objects - the most deadly was a grenade thrown in the Former Soviet state of Georgia a few years back.
This marks the end of Bush's Iraq war... a war in which he has gone from liberator to tyrant in the minds of the people of that country... media bias getting all the praise.
The Shoe Incident is getting much press all over Iraq, and protests have sprung up all over Baghdad in support of the "Iraqi Hero", calling for his release. al-Zaidi is being praised as a national hero by the people, who are angry over the civilian casualties associated with the war in Iraq.
Bush was obviously shaken by the incident, but attempted to shrug it off as a sign of progress in the war-torn country - indicating the freedom that the people feel to protest their government... a freedom not celebrated under Saddam.
I see it as humiliating to the United States... a literal footnote to the last eight years... Let us hope that the history books are kinder to Bush than al-Zaidi, and Iraqi public opinion.
Watch. Learn. Share.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"I have listened patiently to the promises of the Great Father, but his memory is short. I am now done with him. This is all I have to say"
In 1866, the Sioux, under Red Cloud, promised resistance to US soldiers and miners in the Powder River Country of Wyoming, after failed negotiations by the US attempting to establish forts and settlements for gold mining in the area. The Sioux were fast to remember the US' failure to respect the previous Laramie Treaty of 1851, and the force of 1300 men brought to the Council tipped the US' hand that the current treaty had the intent of fortifying the Powder River area for permanent annexation by the United States.
The US fought against the Sioux in the Powder River Country for two years, who were attacking wood trains, supply lines, and over-running attack parties on a few occasions. In 1868, the US decided it was not feasible to run a railroad through the areas in conflict, and instead moved the transcontinental railroad south. In doing so, they reconvened another Council at Fort Laramie - this time Red Cloud refused to join the council until the forts in the Powder River Country were abandoned, which they were late in 1868... The US admitted defeat in the invasion of sovereign Sioux territory. The council led to the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, which established lasting peace on the "honour of the United States", boundaries of a Sioux nation state - described as the Great Sioux reservation, which set aside the Western half of current day South Dakota, with hunting grounds as shown in the map (the area currently claimed by Republic of Lakotah) - the full text is below.
The treaty allowed for citizenship, should certain Sioux decide to settle into agriculture - but allowed for the stipulation of continued sovereignty of Sioux land, including the Black Hills, with no settlement by whites. This treaty clearly defines land that belongs to a culture, a people, the Sioux. Based on the stipulations set forth by this treaty, the Sioux would operate their lands without interference by the United States Government - a sovereign nation (which all states originate as).
By 1872, President Grant was getting pressure to illegally harvest timber from the Black Hills for increased demand due to Western Settlements, and by 1873 word of Gold Reserves spread throughout the US, sparking an illegal gold rush in the Black Hills. The Custer Expedition was sent to protect the Black Hills from gold miners, until an order (as noted in the 1980 SCOTUS account of the events) from Grant to remove military protection in order to enrage the Indians into war - which the Sioux were ready to fight, stating that their removal would be only at their annihilation... an eerily prophetic claim. The US' attempts at persuading the Sioux to cede more land failed time and again - leading to the breaking of the treaty (unofficially) - or as the US put it "to whoop them [Sioux] into submission". This led to the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877, including Little Big Horn (Custer's Last Stand), and ending with the murder of Crazy Horse by the US.
In 1877, according to the 1980 SCOTUS, further land was taken by the Sioux in violation of the treaties - land including the Black Hills.
The final Sioux resistance occurred in 1890, when Congress broke the remaining Sioux Reservation to approximately the reservations in existence today. The further theft of the land sparked the Wounded Knee Massacre, the last major conflict between the Oglala Sioux and the US.
Based on the treaties signed, and the recognition of sovereign land ownership by the 1980 SCOTUS, there is a clear legal standing to sue for the return of, at least, the land specified as the Great Sioux Reservation - excluding the unceded hunting grounds. The Lakotah, in refusing the payment for land taken illegally under claim of eminent domain (as historically rejected by SCOTUS 1980), may have the standing to sue the US government for the western portion of South Dakota - in which they can live under sovereign powers.
Subsequent posts will emphasize the importance of the Republic of Lakotah, and why every Sioux and freedom loving libertarian should support this endeavor.
APRIL 29, 1868
TREATY WITH THE SIOUX-- BRULÉ, OGLALA, MINICONJOU, YANKTONAIS, HUNKPAPA, BLACKFEET, CUTHEAD, TWO KETTLE, SANS ARCS, AND SANTEE--AND ARAPAHO
15 Stat., 635.
Ratified, Feb. 16, 1869.
Proclaimed, Feb. 24, 1869
Articles of a treaty made and concluded by and between Lieutenant-General William T. Sherman, General William S. Harney, General Alfred H. Terry, General C. C,. Augur, J. B. Henderson, Nathaniel G. Taylor, John B. Sanborn, and Samuel F. Tappan, duly appointed commissioners on the part of the United States, and the different bands of the Sioux Nation of Indians, by their chiefs and head-men, whose names are hereto subscribed, they being duly authorized to act in the premises.
ARTICLE 1. From this day forward all war between the parties to this agreement shall forever cease. The Government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it. The Indians desire peace, and they now pledge their honor to maintain it.
If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States, shall commit any wrong upon the person or property of the Indians, the United States will, upon proof made to the agent and forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington City, proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also re-imburse the injured person for the loss sustained.
This document is most important for the Lakotah Sioux struggle, as it defines the original boundaries of the Plains Indian nations, as well as establishes their sovereignty - as Congress could not make treaties unless with a recognized sovereign entity. Note that this treaty was ratified by the US Congress, and became the supreme law of the land in accordance with the US Constitution, article 6.
The payments for passage through their land was never received, and settlements from homesteaders on their land, mass hunting of buffalo, and mining violated the treaty. This led to events such as Red Cloud's War.
Previous posts have discussed declaration of sovereign land ownership by the Lakotah as well as SCOTUS rulings indicating that Congress and the Executive wrongly took ownership of sovereign Lakotah (and other tribes) land. Subsequent posts will provide further detail into historical treaties of national boundaries - and we will ultimately help build a case for the ultimate boundaries of the proposed Republic of Lakotah.
ARTICLE 1. The aforesaid nations, parties to this treaty, having assembled for the purpose of establishing and confirming peaceful relations amongst themselves, do hereby covenant and agree to abstain in future from all hostilities whatever against each other, to maintain good faith and friendship in all their mutual intercourse, and to make an effective and lasting peace.
In testimony whereof the said D. D. Mitchell and Thomas Fitzpatrick commissioners as aforesaid, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves, parties hereto, have set their hands and affixed their marks, on the day and at the place first above written.
D. D. Mitchell , Thomas Fitzpatrick Commissioners.
Sioux:Mah-toe-wha-you-whey, his x mark,
Cheyennes:Wah-ha-nis-satta, his x mark,
Arrapahoes:Be-ah-te‚-a-qui-sah, his x mark,
Crows:Arra-tu-ri-sash, his x mark,
Assinaboines:Mah-toe-wit-ko, his x mark,
Mandans and Gros Ventres:Nochk-pit-shi-toe-pish, his x mark,
Arickarees:Koun-hei-ti-shan, his x mark,
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
A fate which in America means worse than being a black slave of old, being a Native of America. It is an identity that, even today, draws the ire of most Americans. Indians, especially those living on the US concentration camps, called reservations, are labelled as drunks, people who need to be "Americanized", or who have otherwise been cast aside to be warehoused on the reservations. It is the great tragedy of US history - and of US current!
In late November, I reported on a declaration of emergency coming out of the Lakotah areas of SD, after the state's US government declared emergency for the entire state, but did not send aid to the most impoverished and most harshly affected areas of the state - the Lakotah Reservations, namely Pine Ridge. Similarly, others' reports of this internal call for aid resulted in relief to the area, and the accounting for many of the missing or stranded elderly Sioux. The lack of state response is another echo of failed policies with regards to the Native Peoples.
I had to ask myself the question - What is the root cause of the failed policies in the US with regards to the Native American people? So to start, I would like to propose a question to my readers - generically, how do you view native americans? I say generically, because when I say Indian or Native American, is your first thought a reservation Indian, an Indian in picturesque head-dress, rich with culture, or in poverty as a part of the anti-culture?
I view native people, and their culture, very favorably. Just as I believe that Europeans and other old-worlders are unique because they embrace their own regional cultures and traditions, Americans have a unique identity in the ability to embrace not just their European (or other) culture, but to also embrace the culture of the natives on whose land they now call their home. For instance, over the last 20 years, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest has seen a resurgence in embracing the cultures of the pacific coastal natives. It is celebrated in a culture that has become uniquely "northwest", and has opened a celebration of the once persecuted tribes, teaching history and culture to children - both on and off reservation. It has become a unique regional identity. Such an openness in the Northwest has allowed tribes to openly teach their traditions, culture, and language - doing so, for the first time since settlement, with pride and basic human dignity.
The same can largely be said for the Navajo - whose culture is openly embraced by locals and those throughout the region - most notably for their art and beautiful traditional jewelry.
Unfortunately, the embrace of the Native Cultures stops there... In fact, in regards to the Sioux, there is still a policy of racial persecution, extermination of culture and language, and the disregard for basic human dignity... the very definition of Crimes Against Humanity.
In public international law, a crime against humanity is an act of persecution or any large-scale atrocity against a body of people, and is the highest level ofThe Sioux were the main target/adversary of the US' "Indian War" in the plains - a policy of invasion, occupation, murder, and forced imprisonment aimed at exterminating the Indian Culture, and the Sioux resistance to foreign persons destroying their food source, stealing their rightfully owned precious metals and other natural resources, and directly violating treaties signed with the US (Laramie 1851, 1868). The Sioux fought the US because they had broken their treaties... The US fought for the idea of Manifest Destiny. Such acts are considered Crimes Against Humanity by the ICC:
The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum states that crimes against humanity "are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human
dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings.
They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government
policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy)
or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a
de facto authority
For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the
following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack
directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Of course the common answer is that the Indians are free to live on or leave the reservations - and their poverty is of their own free will - therefore the Persecution is self imposed.
This is the very mindset that reinforces continued crimes against human dignity! And it is the thought of many or most Americans - as is reflected in our policies.
The very existence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a teeter on the brink of Apartheid - considering the fact that Indian Nations are free and sovereign, but are regulated by the US government. It is an agency which disallows the ability for Native Tribes to encourage ownership and private property economic growth on the reservations - as lands are held "in trust" for the tribe... forced socialism, forced poverty for those on the reservation.
In UNITED STATES v. SIOUX NATION OF INDIANS, 448 U.S. 371 (1980), The SCOTUS determined that the US government had wrongly taken Sioux land through acts of Congress after the 1868 Laramie Treaty, and in violation of such treaty, demanding just compensation for the land taken under Amendment 5 of the US Constitution. The Sioux refused, and continue to refuse payment for the lands - demanding, instead, for the return of lands protected by the treaty with the United States - outlining a free and independent nation for the Sioux.
Under a Free and Independent nation, Sioux would be free to operate independently from US regulations and taxation (though they are currently free from taxation - businesses within Sioux Lands would be freed from US Corporate Taxes) creating tax havens similar to Switzerland, Private Property and land ownership would be regulated by the tribe and not held in "limbo trust" by the US government - this would allow entrepreneurship to take root, not limiting their ability to casinos and liquor. The opportunities are endless, and the Republic of Lakotah movement is working to advocate for the free market investment in such a free and independent nation, as promised by the treaties (and acknowledged by the courts).
Where some argue that reservations should be eradicated, land placed on the free market, and Indian assimilation finally be complete (Kevin Tracy), I argue that the US live up to the treaties, respecting the sovereignty of the Native peoples (especially the Sioux which have held to not accepting a dime of payment for their land, furthering the case that they hold in that their land was illegally taken) - in doing so, the United States would be ending a centuries old violation of crimes against humanity, and finally making good with the original inhabitants of this great land.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
GM, Toyota, and Ford hold the top three spots in the current market for sales.
The brands fill gaps between luxury and production models, for instance Mercury is branded as the economy version of Ford brands, where Lincoln is the luxury - Mazda and Volvo are specialty acquisitions. Ford could downsize by branding all vehicles under the Ford name, and eliminating lines of vehicles whose sales are slumped.
GM and Chrysler could benefit by doing the same. Trimming off the fat that doesn't work, rolling in all models that play well with the US and World markets, and producing lines of cars that the market wants and needs. This is the business strategy used by Toyota, effectively... brand one line of vehicles under the name TOYOTA. They still sell luxury style cars, such as the Avalon, at a price in line with their working business model.
The Republicans who are pushing for a filibuster on this bail-out - GO GET 'EM! Force the big three into responsible business models, streamlined operations, and superior products... that is how to survive, not on the backs of the taxpayers.
Congress and the White House have reached a plan that would allow $15Billion in loans from the "green car" fund, as well as give the US government major stock in the companies and oversight of their restructuring. The automobile manufacturing trio will be nationalized within the week...
The deal is so open ended that it is unclear as to if the US government will have voting rights on the companies' boards, how involved they will be during the bankruptcy style restructuring, and what role it will play in determining new products and marketing of their respective automobiles.
What is clear is that this "entity" known as the "government" is less "of the people, for the people, by the people" and more ruling class tending to their pleebs.
The people of America have been fooled... and I am almost tired of yelling it time and again - what good is it doing?
Don't the subjects of America, the consumers of this nation, understand that it has been excesses in LIBERAL ideas that have led the corporations across the nation to fail - not free market capitalism... FMC is taking the blame based solely on the assumption that a Republican is in office during this downfall, Republicans believe in FMC, therefore FMC has failed!
The truth is that the lack of ability for these banks and businesses to operate more freely, making sound business calls - not meeting government mandates - has led to this downfall. From forced loans made to live up to "houses for everyone", to government driven mandates on automobile standards (which may not be all bad), and namely Union Gestapo Thugs creating job banks, near full pay retirement benefits for life, etc... with some blame falling on CEO greed and inability of management to do just that... This is not FMC. This is government and Union intervention - mobster tactics from both...
And now the only way to survive these waters is to sell out to these interests... A mobsters dream!
And that is what the US Government has become to the free market - bullies, gangsters, thugs!
They set impossible rules, support impossible standards via unions, and then conduct violent take-overs of the companies when they fail...
Here is the solution:
- The US government needs to STOP. We cannot sustain - and we should not allow the US Government to operate outside the roles of the Constitution - not even for one moment!
- The auto makers need to file bankruptcy - shed all of their contracts with unions, and restructure... if the laborers want to strike, they lose their jobs... others will gladly take them in this recession/depression we are slipping into (or already in).
- Trade Tariffs should be lifted or imposed to force other economies around the world to give these automobiles equal footing in world markets, and equally allow a fair market for other world automobiles on US soil - something that is generally done today in the US.
- The companies should be allowed to thrive or fail based on their ability to follow market needs/wants... The industry giants became so because they gobbled up failures before them... If they also fail, they should downsize or eliminated based on the market.
- The general laborer should educate themselves, and strive to better their situation should a lay-off come. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family... doing so means personal responsibility... a term that is equally as targeted as FMC.
Inasmuch, I am tired of repeating the same message week after week... Am I living in a pipe dream - that FMC stands a chance - that liberty is a desire in the hearts of all Americans... that we all strive to be free...
Are we living in a society that would rather be protected, even if it is to the point of fear of our rulers in lack of civil liberties? Have I got it all wrong, and before my eyes America shifted into a Socialist Authoritarian State?
Unfortunately, all signs are pointing to yes...
Friday, December 5, 2008
As an insider into the Human Space Flight world (as an employee for Project Orion), I would cheer the cancellation of Ares I, which is what Obama is contemplating doing. Ares I is overweight, underpowered, and poor engineering design. A better alternative would be the Direct 2.0 (Jupiter) launch vehicle, which is an Ares V lite... or perhaps continuing the EELV program, though that would still be more engineering and longer lead time on a launcher...
Currently there has been a schedule slip due to the inability to perfect the Ares I launcher... based on these slips, the first manned launch of the Constellation program is potentially slipping from 2015 to 2017 - that is for the first manned TEST flight... that is 7 years of lag time between the shuttle and this program... Under Direct 2.0, first flights could be as early as 2011 - 2012... as well, it keeps the shuttle infrastructure in place, so we could extend the shuttle a few more flights - and thus there would be no gap in the US' ability for Human Space Flight.
NASA, under Bush, is currently mismanaged. I don't think that Obama can hurt - in fact, at this point, some slight change in direction may actually help expedite the manned space flight program, and eventually Human Mars Missions.
So perhaps it will take more than 2-4 years for a GOP star to rise... on who is truly representative of Libertarian values, which as Regan said, are the Heart and Soul of the Republican Party.
h/t to the Southern Avenger.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Does Modern Christianity have it all wrong?
The question stems from a recent discussion between a reader/blogger and myself - but I have had this very discussion with friends, family, acquaintances, and even sidewalk evangelicals... And it ultimately stems from the belief that Jesus is God - and anyone who does not accept Jesus as God is therefore forsaken.
I challenge that Jesus (Yashuah), himself, would reject such an idea - and would reject worship to him.
NOTE: Anyone who comments on this post - I ask that you start by stating your religious preference (church) to allow context of comments. (this is a KTRACY.COM rule)
John, in Rev 19:10, made the mistake of worshipping an angel of the Holy Spirit. The angel's response: "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship YHWH! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The angels revelation to John states that to follow Jesus' testimony is to worship YHWH (not Jesus - simply follow in his teachings).
Jesus himself rejected worship of anyone besides YHWH, when Satan (a spiritual son of YHWH – as we are all his children) wished to be worshipped – Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8 – “Worship and serve our Father YHWH only “. Jesus claimed before the Priests that he was the Son of YHWH, not God Himself…(Matthew 26:64). As well, the testimony of Christ to the rich man indicated that there is only One who is good, Father YHWH, and you shall follow his commandments (Matthew 19:17).
Based on these teachings, the words of Christ himself, I find it peculiar that modern Christianity (let’s say Catholicism) prays to Saints, sets up shrine to oil stains resembling the Virgin Mother or the Messiah, and humbles themselves before engraved images of the Christ on the Cross… This is in direct contradiction to the commandments, which in Exodus 20:3-5 state that there shall be no God before YHWH, and that no engraved images of shall be made of anything on earth or in heaven, and we shall not bow down and worship those images… AND, Jesus, when asked about the most important Commandment stated in Mark 12:29 “People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God”
The stipulation, as I indicated above, is that Modern Christianity observes Jesus and God as One through the Holy Spirit. This is what I have conflict with (as with the worshipping of engraved images). In accepting Jesus as a teacher and prophet, it does not mean that I am rejecting him as Savior – more accurately I follow his teachings of praise to YHWH, and rejecting praise to others within the Holy Spirit… Does accepting Jesus as Saviour necessitate that I accept Jesus as God? The answer is NO. It has to be no. Jesus himself clarified that there is one God, Father YHWH, and that all praise belongs to Him... even after the resurrection, Jesus was conducting the Will of God - and as indicated by Jesus, he would take seat at the right hand of God - not that he was God.
We are all free to worship as we interpret. This blog post is a call for discussion on the fundamentals of Christianity, and how modern Christians understand the belief that Jesus is God when Jesus himself denied this charge.
Personally, I have accepted the teachings of Yashuah as the Word of YHWH, that he is the Saviour of men through his sacrifice in that he taught the world the Love of YHWH... but I refuse to worship anyone but YHWH. Halleluyah - live in praise to YHWH.