Who’s bankrolling healthcare terrorism?

I haven’t made it to one of these infamous “town hall” sessions yet, but I hear the anti mobs are carrying professional-looking signs.  Is Big Insurance stealthily backing these uncivil crowds?  Big Pharma?  corporate talk radio?  (I know, that’s redundant!)

If it’s bought and paid for, is it really “free speech”?!!  As someone opined at another time, is it real grassroots, or AstroTurf?!!!

Anyway, they claim “socialism” like that’s a BAD thing!!!  😉

While we’re talking about it, I really have hated these last 25 years like ONE PARTY owns MY PUBLIC AIRWAVES!

And why do the MSM keep paying attention to a ten-week losing Vice-Presidential candidate?  Just because she’s hot?  MILF appeal?!!  Palin obviously can’t take the hint!

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Was England’s claim to N. America pre-empted by Norway?

At its recent Church convention, the Episcopal Church of the United States, traditionally America’s branch of the Anglican Communion, denounced the late-medieval “Discovery Doctrine” which encouraged / justified (Western) Christian nations’ annexation and exploitation of newly-discovered non-Christian lands, nations, peoples, and persons.  This appears to be at this time an unofficial or ‘semifinal’ version of the adopted resolution, minus the strikeouts.  They also call on the Successor of one royal perpetrator of this legal doctrine, in her capacity as “Supreme Governor” of their Sister Church, the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth II, to also repudiate it … for their government lobbyists to press overturning this legal basis for a kind of suzerainty over Native American Tribes with the U.S. Government … and for their member dioceses and adherents to support Tribes’ struggles for their God-given rights as Indigenous Nations.

As Wikipedia relates, this “doctrine” backed-up Western European overlordship of Indigenous Peoples not previously Christianized.  Commonly it was considered for the “heathens’ ” own good, as well as providing cover for all the depredations Indigenous have suffered at their hands and those of their “legal successors,” including the United States, down to the present.  More to the point, also for the seizure of their lands and resources, especially all the gold that was rumored to be here.  I don’t know enough about the claimed legalities beyond this, for Spanish- and Portuguese-claimed territories … but for English, “the rule of law,” i.e., the English Common Law, eventually developed at least a legal fiction of respect for existing inhabitants of lands they were interested in acquiring, as having actual legal rights to or in those lands, as long as they lived in them — rights to which ambitious English rulers and explorers needed to at least pay lip-service.  (Remember, this is the system wherein the lawyer asks his client, “What do you WANT the law to say?”!)  This was an evolving thing, as I’ve said previously here.

American relevance was nailed down (supposedly) by Chief Justice John Marshall in an 1823 case.  He stated that on the plot of land at issue, in Illinois, England/Great Britain had “discovered” and taken precedence over the Natives, whether directly or by treaty(!) from France, and the United States succeeded to British “rights” therein.  Therefore, Native Nations had limited rights to their own lands and resources, Britain/America having ultimate determining legal authority, at least vis a vis other European powers.  The idea included reducing the Europeans’ habit of going to war with each other; Indigenous didn’t matter!  (Though England came preferring to acquire their rights by “treating with them,” i.e., treaties — even if these, too, often became “legal fictions”!)

Here’s Marshall’s language I want to focus on (emphasis added by me):

The states of Holland also made acquisitions in America and sustained their right on the common principle adopted by all Europe. They allege, as we are told by Smith in his History of New York, that Henry Hudson, who sailed, as they say, under the orders of their East India Company, discovered the country from the Delaware to the Hudson, up which he sailed to the 43d degree of north latitude, and this country they claimed under the title acquired by this voyage.

Their first object was commercial, as appears by a grant made to a company of merchants in 1614, but in 1621 the States General made, as we are told by Mr. Smith, a grant of the country to the West India Company by the name of New Netherlands.

The claim of the Dutch was always contested by the English — not because they questioned the title given by discovery, but because they insisted on being themselves the rightful claimants under that title. Their pretensions were finally decided by the sword.

No one of the powers of Europe gave its full assent to this principle more unequivocally than England. The documents upon this subject are ample and complete. So early as the year 1496, her monarch granted a commission to the Cabots to discover countries then unknown to Christian people and to take possession of them in the name of the King of England. Two years afterwards, Cabot proceeded on this voyage and discovered the continent of North America, along which he sailed as far south as Virginia. To this discovery the English trace their title.

In this first effort made by the English government to acquire territory on this continent we perceive a complete recognition of the principle which has been mentioned. The right of discovery given by this commission is confined to countries “then unknown to all Christian people,” and of these countries Cabot was empowered to take possession in the name of the King of England. Thus asserting a right to take possession notwithstanding the occupancy of the natives, who were heathens, and at the same time admitting the prior title of any Christian people who may have made a previous discovery.

Here’s the problem: Since around the Millennium, North America* had been “known to the Christian people” of Norway, as mentioned here.  The Norse main settlements were in Greenland.  But knowledge of the lands to Greenland’s west is undeniable from approximately then, which was about the same time those colonists became Christians.  Even if you give no credence whatsoever to my foster-kinsman St. Brendan, Carthaginian Early Christian monks in Connecticut, the alleged succession of Catholic Titular (absentee) Bishops of the village of Gardar, Greenland and Vinland, and as-yet-undiscovered Icelandic Sagas, etc etc etc, living knowledge came down to the first Lutheran bishop of Greenland before he attained to that title by venturing there in 1721 in hopes of rescuing the many-centuries-old and long-isolated colony from Catholicism(!–or Orthodoxy!!) or apostasy … not finding them (as far as he knew!) … and setting out to evangelize the Native Inuit (Eskimos) instead(!).

But Britain did not treat with Norway or Norway’s sometime sovereign Denmark for any of its North American rights (under European law), nor did it acquire them “by the sword.”  Now, it is not currently known that any Norse (or their Mixed-Blood descendants) survived here until 1492 or ’96.  However, the Cabots’ charter did not say, as later English ones, “not actually possessed by any Christian prince,” merely “unknown to all Christian people.”  Christian Norway’s “knowledge” of this northern landmass may have been obscure at that time, but it was knowledge:  Norway “discovered” North America before England did!

So what?  As one commentator to the story at the website of the newspaper Indian Country Today reminds us all,

Just better be careful that you don’t also overturn our sovereignty while overturning Johnson v. M’Intosh. Too many times, an unideal but working scenario gets scrapped when ‘reformers’ come in and start changing things. I present as evidence term limits, ‘independent’ legislative redistricting and other such ‘reform’ scenarios that have contributed mightily to the current state of ideological gridlock that grips both federal and state governing bodies.

I know enough about law and history, and more about courts, judges, lawyers, and politicians, to take this counsel seriously!  Also, although today Norway is a rather politically correct place, who knows about the future?  Is it a case of The Devil You Know over The Devil You Don’t Know?!  Though it might be interesting to see Washington and Ottawa have to re-negotiate their independence with PC Oslo!

One might say that Norway has never pressed its claim, challenging Britain, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, or anybody else.  But with the discovery of the Sagas and their settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, in a possibly-improving climate of International Law and politics, especially Norway being a NATO ally of both the U.S. and Canada (and let’s remember the last bits of New France), Norway itself may have a “Native Claim” needing respect and recompense!  Even the US Supreme Court awarded huge money to the Lakota for the Black Hills!

No one ever said the ‘Piskies don’t know how to make life interesting sometimes!!!  😉

(*–Presuming Marshall is associating Spanish and Portuguese “discoveries” with OFF North America.)

Light-skinned Mixed-Blood harassed on IHS clinic staff

But a dense Federal Appeals Court ruling doesn’t seem to get it!

What if it was the NAACP discriminating against a light-skinned Black employee?  In recent years they had one in charge, so maybe they don’t, but one other member of the Court panel might have been swayed by substituting Black for Indian ISTM.  Indians’ and Mixed-Bloods’ issues aren’t taken seriously in America; actually they’re only starting to be taken more seriously in Canada.

Even in the pages of Indian Country Today it seems open season on Mixed-Bloods.  In America you always must be either/or … maybe, like Fr. Andrew Greeley and David Tracy say, it’s that [sectarian] Protestant “dialectical imagination” rather than the Catholic “analogical imagination” for both/and.  The constant questioning and attacking and innuendoes and doubts are a real plague for us, and divide an Indigenous community that really can’t afford it.  U.S. Mixed-Bloods need a place where they can safely be who they are and know themselves to be and faithful to what’s been handed down to them by their forebears.  Yes, I know I look like the oppressor, but I am not, I never have been, and neither have any of my ancestors, and in fact once you go back about a thousand years if not sooner, we all have the same number of individual Indian ancestors, so the (unconstitutional, racist) “Blood Quantum” is a wash, if you really want to go that way!

I note the dissenting Appellate Judge was a woman, the majority two men.  (One with the CV of an Irish Catholic, which only goes to show you that’s not always a guarantee of social justice!  She’s a Clinton appointee; the men were appointed by Bush I and II respectively.)  Is it possible a woman brings necessary extra “experiences,” sensitivities, “biases,” to questions of “hostile workplaces”?  [You GO, Justice Sotomayor!!!]

This isn’t to say “Get over it,” at all.  (This is personal now, obviously.)  I grew up lower-working-class, without much known Irish OR Native culture or connections.  I would like more now, especially the Native because it’s HERE, in North America, where I have spent every moment of my life, and to which I have a special attachment since I’ve been learning more about my Native background.  If I ever am able-bodied again, I’d like to do more, too, even help.  But folks like me, “the 7th generation” perhaps?, need your help, humbly seek your help.  Why can’t it be a mutual give-and-take?  I didn’t grow up “On The Rez;” I grew up urban Poor Overextended “White” Trash, OK?  Sure, I won’t get called lazy by White South Dakota farmer-settlers at first glance, and I’m not proud for not speaking up when I heard that; but they were hosting me for the night, free of charge, and I had no other options at that time in my life … and it was July … you know what I’m talking about there, July in Dakota….  Anyway, WANNABE” STANDS FOR WHITE AND NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN BY EXOGAMY!  (I wanna claim the rights to that expression, but I don’t want to restrict its dissemination, so if you ever meet me, keep that in mind, ’cause I could really use the money….)

In any case, was that poor woman counseling at that clinic because it pays so well?!!  That’s not what I hear.  Probably she could’ve gotten much better pay and benefits elsewhere, even Passing For White, or not: Some Whites have more regard for someone being “part-Indian” than some Indians it seems.  But she stayed there 11 years, helping kids, the next generation, while enduring that racist crap from her own people.  She herself seems to be an elder — Worse yet!  This is the Appeals verdict, including Dissent (PDF).  I wish her lawyers had demanded proof/testimony of the faxing of a copy of her original EEOC complaint by and from the EEOC to the Clinic, supposedly within minutes of her filing it; then if the Clinic couldn’t produce it, nor reasonable cause why not, there might’ve been a question of withheld or destroyed evidence in discovery — very nasty for them, and helpful for her case.  One would wish Ms. Nettle had taken notes of the harrassment she received — names, dates, verbiage used; but good-faith employees aren’t always looking to build a case against someone until it’s too late — management has the built-in advantage: they can fire you, you can’t fire them.  But the male judges don’t see that in questioning her very Indianness they were directly attacking her employment there, because of the legal preference for “Indian” hires; these aren’t run-of-the-mill skin-color disparagement insults, so to speak.  They DO “alter her conditions of employment,” in a very technical sense of the term: presumably her skin color didn’t change much between 1993 and 2004!  It was OK enough to hire her, but not OK to make her feel welcome when she first arrived at least, and for her last 5 years there.  Because her employment was under what I must refer to as a racio/legal preference system, these insults struck directly at her continuing employment there, as well as any future employment anywhere else where they’d ask, What happened at the Clinic?  Maybe their job descriptions should state clearly, Must look like a Hollywood Injun!  “Hostile work environment”?: How about one where you might be fired because of how you look?  Isn’t that what EEOC and civil rights laws are all about?!!!  If not, My God, what!  Even “jokes” pile up after 11 years, especially “race” jokes!  And I’m not even a lawyer, though I was a Shop Steward.  The male judges, Republican appointees, just don’t get it, and as usual, analyze a complaint to pieces unjustly.  (What the Dissent goes on to call disparagingly, “divide-and-conquer analysis”!)

It is interesting to see “light-skinned Native Americans … in a protected legal class” though, even from the GOP!  Though only they would consider loss of some pay or benefits NOT “an adverse action”: She wasn’t a volunteer!!!  What I really wish is that she had a union in there, with a Shop Steward and a collective bargaining agreement — They’re present in many nonprofit workplaces.  When I was a Steward (in admittedly very different circumstances), I spent most of my time having complaints from my members bounced off me; most of the time management was allowed to do what was complained of (I inherited a lousy contract), but we at least cultivated a Shop where these things were talked up, evidence gathered for when Grievances were eventually filed in other cases. 

I have to question the competence of her counsel also, though her only appeal from here, within the U.S. system, would be to the still-GOP-dominated Supreme Court; although it’s possible even they would feel the need to send the case back to District Court for a full trial (This was only “summary judgment”), since there are so many holes in the Appellate Majority’s reasoning (if it can even be called that).

Metro areas and Countrysides II

…considered in the New York City statehood discussion of 1971Time then concluded on something like my Autonomy idea, or even a semi-federalization ala the Tennessee Valley Authority or the MTA.

More on-point is a Harper’s 1999 piece on discussing — just discussing! — whether the 1787 Constitution is obsolete, inspired by Columbine and the 2nd Amendment rants of recent decades, and its virtual unamendability.  The older Time article concludes,

The new consideration of national cities and city-states is a refreshing move to examine the rationale of the nation’s long-accepted governmental divisions. One of the most important national problems throughout the next 20 years, predicts Bell, will be to decide the most effective social unit to handle each social problem. “What is best left to the neighborhoods?” he asks. “What to townships? What to municipalities? What to metropolitan areas? What to regions and what to the Federal Government?” The questions are simple, the answers elusive—but an imaginative quest for them is essential to the future of the nation.

It’s questionable whether we really looked at those things seriously as a Federation — or whatever — during the predicted ’70s and ’80s.  Maybe now it’s time.

BTW, I know a bit more about the background than the Harper’s writer, and the reality about English village and town “militias” and posses and whether they were “volunteerism” or compulsory.  Also, how even these supposed bulwarks of local freedom could be used to enforce local conformity, oppress next-door neighbors, “different” people, dissenters, gays, immigrants, Catholics, Quakers, church reformers, “liberals” — which would cover both today’s U.S. “liberals” AND “conservatives”! — etc etc etc.  Plus, the main body of our Constitution empowers — Guess who? — CONGRESS!!! — to “regulate” the State’s Militias.  Simply reading the text will sometimes work wonders itself.

On the lighter side, it’s entirely possible that the 2nd Amendment isn’t about guns at all, but heraldry: “Bearing arms” also means, and meant, publicly presenting yourself as validly possessing a coat of arms, i.e., as armigerous.  “Well-regulated militia”?: Heraldry was invented in order to distinguish fighters on and near a field of battle, i.e., to tell them apart.  It’s still used today by modern armed forces in those logos and patches that distinguish military units and countries’ forces … even countries themselves, hence national flags like the Stars and Stripes, the Royal Colours (aka Union Jack), the Tricolour, etc etc etc.  So it’s possible the Framers weren’t thinking about guns OR militias, but shields and crests, ribbons and supporters!  But AFAIK the USA has never granted individual arms of this kind, leaving that to WWW bucketshop frauds seducing you with “mists of antiquity” and “ancient seats” and hints of … royalty and nobility!!!

Maybe some scribe even switched the two words around, and it’s about arming bears … knowing how crazy we’d always be arguing about guns and militias, coats of arms and “crests” and “mists of antiquity,” etc.!  Maybe we’re not even supposed to bear arms at all, just sic armed bears on our enemies!!!

Healthcare rationing as “New American Genocide”

Read all about it.  Except it isn’t just killing and threatening Blacks, but Native Americans, Hispanics, the disabled non-elderly like me, the poor like me, even the elderly who despite Medicare’s successes still can’t manage to get what they need, urban residents, rural** residents….  [*I* should be on Medicare, but that’s another story…!]

Yes, folks, we’ve been rationing healthcare all along: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, or in more “economical” terms, “as high as the market will bear.”  Reform ideally should care on the basis of need, without regard to class, party, religion, orientation, race, Tribe, language, Ability, age, religion, color, intelligence, or any other criterion.  Frankly, I think we get an NHS like Britain (once had), add the benefits of the French and Norwegians and Germans AND America … and KICK BUTT!!!!!  AND SAVE MONEY!!!!!

PS #1: Is Rachel Maddow getting cuter and cuter?  Sweetheart, if you ever want to give “the other team” a try….  I kid!  God grant you and your loved ones Many Years!

PS#2: “Whitey On The Moon” — ah, the ’60s, great larks!

(**–Now THAT’S going to make you “Bitter”!)

Arming-up against Obama, Democrats, poor, and probably those of us in need of healthcare too

You saw it on the front of Monday’s USA Today

Not just licenses, but permits to carry concealed!  This was a followup to an Election Week story.

You don’t need Concealed Carry to protect your home from break-in … unless you don’t even want your own family to know about it?!?!?!  And getting more guns when you think rational gun control is coming?  Only if you plan on murdering cops, sheriffs, ATF agents … you remember, “jackbooted thugs”?   (See Time magazine’s expose of ‘the new NRA’ – radical, militant, rebellious – around then, 1995.)  And just recently we were faced with the possibility of NRA/nationally-imposed  least-common-denominator Concealed Carry rules?!!  (So much for “States’ Rights”!!!)

No, at a time when GOP leaders, (formerly-)mainstream public figures like Chuck Norris, traitor Rush ‘I hope America fails’ Limbaugh, (let’s not forget their godfather G. Gordon Liddy,) and more than a few followers, are talking publicly about Secession and a New Civil War, it’s clear who these new guns, more and more guns, are being pointed at right now: the rest of us, our elected officials, our duly-appointed government officials, government employees just doing their legal jobs as apolitically as they can (Remember harrassment and threats against County Clerks in the Midwest based on 18th-century spelling and capitalization rules, not to mention a Day One of Law School grasp of Common Law?), anyone they consider “traitors” or “godless” or a “threat to civilization” or “persecuting” … THEM!

USA probably should’ve clarified that that gun seller claimed an elderly couple came in afraid Pres. Obama was going to personally ‘invade their home’ and take their guns, since presumably the USA reporter didn’t meet the couple in question.  The seller could’ve just made them up, like the fake couple — actors — who torpedoed healthcare reform the last time, Fred and Ethel or whatever their names were.  And as for those Richmond, Virginia, suburbanites living on wild game shot by pre-adolescents in the cul-de-sacs — Rats? Squirrels? Raccoons? Possums? My Native ancestors ate groundhog stew, but didn’t “rely on it,” except maybe in lean years, or when English colonists penned them up in Reservations! — I’m just glad I don’t live next-door to them!  (Raising growing boys on rodents? I guess they’d better learn how to shoot!)  The Associated Press (that time) again should’ve said that that family claims to rely on game for food, even though Midlothian and vicinity seems to have no shortage of Food Lions, Krogers, and even a chain called Ukrops.  In journalism it’s called attribution.

As KCBS-AM Radio News in San Francisco reported in November, this spike also happened when Democrats last came into the White House (or last succeeded in coming into the White House), with Bill Clinton’s election in ’92.  [Coincidence, or marketing ploy?!!!]  But now is not then, and with all due respect to mainstream poli-sci academics, the other side has sounded a whole lot scarier since ’92.  At the time of the First Civil War, “paranoia” was stoked by “extremists” on both sides of the Slavery and other arguments, tearing the rest of the Federation apart.  The only difference this time is that our side isn’t too fond of violence; that could be good, or bad, relative to history … I’m not sure.  Does that mean no war, or a onesided rebellion … or a coup d’etat?

I’ve been wondering if it isn’t time to tamp down the rhetoric by giving our urban and suburban and other such areas, their own states, letting each not have to follow the other in areas so fundamentally (no pun intended) offensive to it: e.g., same-sex marriage for them, Wild West for us.  Or even some kind of extra layer of Sovereignty or Autonomy within their current States: e.g., on their side, even though marriage is often presented in religious terms, its cultural ramifications are undeniable, so let them have their culture; on ours, city/suburb-appropriate gun control.  Creative thinking, please, at least; Civil War is not creative.  Then again, there’s the idea of a voluntary, amicable parting of the ways between “Jesusland” and “the United States of Canada” — only, not by Red State/Blue State, but more as discussed in this paragraph!

In the meantime, go with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

On the sneakier side, can’t someone provoke a schism within the NRA, deprive them of some of their vaunted numbers and monies?  A sort of Rational Rifle Association?!!*  ‘Cause right now, between them and Big Business and the (so-called) Religious Right, this country and this planet are being run into the ground.  What about revoking their home-state Corporate Charter by the people’s Sovereign Prerogative…?  Make it an issue in the next legislative, attorney general, secretary of state, or gubernatorial election!

More esoterically, it’s real certain that the guys who put together the Constitution of 1787 had no intention of subjecting their power and that of their “heirs and successors” to the kind of revolution they had just forced upon 80 percent of their neighbors, their constitutional parliamentary Monarch, and his lawful officials and forces.  If Tom Jefferson opined otherwise, he was obviously being facetious, and if not, he certainly didn’t feel strongly enough to do anything about it: “Every 20 years”?  Let’s see, he missed 1796, 1816….  OTOH, “a free state’s well-regulated militia” would’ve been the first line of defense against such nonsense, as Shays and the Whiskey Rebels found out real early on.  Arguably their more-or-less-permanent federalization, and dispatch to multiple long intensive wars and adventures overseas (not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but Central America in the ’80s, foreign drug interdiction since the ’90s, etc.), as opposed to Congress using its power to raise sufficient armies and navies, subjects us to the risk of just such nonsense here at home.  Although considering the infection of our military and paramilitary ranks with these folks, we may be safer this way, here at home at least….  Unless a draft were to draw from all walks of life, ideologies, demographics, etc…..

(*–14 years ago Time seemed to think it was possible to bring out the voice of those 40 percent who turnover every year, kind of like a fitness club:
Such talk leaves little space for people like Dave Richards, 37, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a target shooter who joined the N.R.A. to support the rights of sportsmen. Two years ago, Richards quit after concluding that the N.R.A. had become “more about lobbying for extremes than the mainstream people who just want to go hunting.” A large number of those mainstream folks are now ex-members. Currently, four of every 10 members drop out when it comes time to renew their $35 annual membership. “All the smaller voices like mine,” says hunter Ray Guzman, “aren’t being heard.” Speaking with a louder, shriller voice clearly works within the n.r.a. [sic]  The question is whether America’s other citizens, including responsible gun owners, will make themselves heard as well.
Yes, the time may have come for The Rational Rifle Association … or at least a simple, mainstream, anti-ideological Sport Rifle Association, to fight the NRA who give a bad name to target-shooting enthusiasts and recreational hunters everywhere.  Or even just a pissed ex-nra.org outfit to go tit for rat-a-tat-tat with them!  Or compete with them and re-focus gun enthusiasts’ attention on something more wholesome. 

[Even though this post retains my inherent copyright, I hereby grant permission to anyone with aims consonant with what I’ve expressed here to use the URL “ex-nra.org,” “x-nra.org,” “exnra.org,” “xnra.org,” .net, .com, .us, .ws, .info, .biz, and such.  You’ll be doing a real public service.  OTOH, if you just commandeer it against these aims, I reserve the right to litigate for violation of my copyright!])