No Child’s Red Behind Left

Imagine an education concerned with students, instead of with the corporations that only want docile drones, or with (Wannabe-)Suburbanites who want quiet, dead neighborhoods and conforming, boring, ‘vanilla’ neighbors.  They do tell us the word education comes from two Latin words meaning to lead out … not to repress and conform and restrain….

“Muslim-Americans”

Why do MSM use an expression, Muslim-American (with or without hyphen), as if it’s an ethnic background or something?  We don’t hear about Protestant-Americans or Catholic-Americans or even Orthodox-Americans or Mormon-Americans (though arguably many Mormons, like most Jews, are an ethnic group, not just — or even necessarily — religious).

I think maybe they’re trying to be sensitive, if unknowledgeable.  Remember when NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey came out of the closet as “a gay American”?  I dunno….

The fact is, American Muslims may be immigrants, or born here.  They may be Arab-Americans, Iranian/Persian-Americans, Afghan-Americans, Pakistani-Americans, Turkish-Americans, Kosovar-Americans, Albanian-Americans, Indo-Americans, Bangladeshi-Americans, Indonesian-Americans, Malaysian-Americans, even African-Americans … again, born here, or immigrants.  And lots more.

The plot thickens.  Arab-Americans may be Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Protestant, atheist, Syriac Christian, Sufi, etc. (listed only in the order they occurred to me, without any prejudice … except in favor of the Orthodox!).

It’s like a-whole-nother world!!!  And most of us are clueless….

I am not an “Anglo”

A way to insult both the Irish Catholic in me and the Native American in me would be to call me an Anglo!  I don’t care if my first language is English or my skin and hair are relatively light!

Ironically, I found out a couple years ago that I am 1/4 English by ancestry.  But I wasn’t raised with it, and although I’ve learned alot about America, Canada, law, history, literature, etc., via British stuff, I grew up too Irish Catholic to be comfortable with that.  What happened, I presume, is that my Episcopalian grandmother married my Irish Catholic grandfather, but was apparently not very religious, and of course their kids were required to be raised Catholic.  Plus, I think in those days “the mother’s side” was degraded in family-culture or identity alot.  Therefore, I only learned it recently as a factoid that doesn’t fit well with the rest of me, and doesn’t do anything for me.

Even funnier is that I think we actually talked more about Indian stuff than Irish stuff, when *I* was growing up — my mother and I, anyway … she’s the part-Indian.  The Irish stuff was there enough to influence me culturally, though not much because ‘we couldn’t afford any culture’!!  For that matter, we didn’t talk too much about Indian stuff either.  (My family … don’t ask!!)  Mom’s grandmom also said her dad was Welsh, but we didn’t have much grasp of Welshness in the ’70s, or I guess not even the ’40s.  I didn’t really become aware of Welshness until the nationalist movement started getting U.S. media attention in the ’70s-80s, though that wasn’t much either!

Just don’t call Michael J. Fox “chicken” … and don’t call me Anglo.  Yo soy ingles un poco … pero no soy “anglo”!

Indigenous genocide

Andrea Bear Nicholas teaches and works in Native Studies at/from St. Thomas University in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada.  Read through this brief talk transcript at least twice for an inside sense/feel of the genocide that’s still going on against Indigenous people and peoples around the world, including the U.S., as well as “kinder, gentler” Canada.  Against children as well as adults.  Even now, after the closure of the Residential Schools, even now, in “politically correct” government schools.

I think if there’s even ‘one drop’ of ‘Red blood’ left in you, it’ll “cry out to Heaven for” redress.

Professor Bear Nicholas’ talk also raises the question for me, as an Irish / Native American convert in the Greek Orthodox Church, of, What about more-recent immigrants and their languages and cultures?  (UPDATE: Also see FURTHER, below.)  Well, bilingualism, English-French, remains the federal ideal in Canada, although as we are told, there are probably more Chinese speakers than French in British Columbia!  (Tho BC is perfectly entitled to adopt Chinese as an official language … and Manitoba, Ukrainian … and Nova Scotia, Gaelic … etc.  How about Mohawk in Quebec?!  Send Gilles Duceppe back to school! 😉 )  As Bear Nicholas points out, when even school is a “cross-cultural experience” for an oppressed minority child, it’s alot harder: Look at how some majority adults need to receive special training in cross-cultural this and that!  So the alternative is not necessarily two – or more – “solitudes” in a country; she also points to so many Europeans who are multilingual.  (As British “executive transvestite” comedian and actor Eddie Izzard reminds us, “The Dutch speak four languages and smoke marijuana!”)  But it also reminds me how unnatural and perhaps unnecessarily difficult, such humongous and “diverse” conquest / immigrant countries are … maybe frees us to think of better, time-tested ways, tolerant rather than physical-force- or other-force-genocidal.  Can you imagine the Romans trying to impose Latin on the Greeks or the Jews?!  (Tho that scene has more to do with latter-day English schools than 2,000-years-ago Mideastern politics!)

Just thinking…!  Not advocating the violent overthrow of the government or anything.  (I need my driver’s license!)

She also shows how we *all* need Aboriginal education, not just Indians.

Finally, what kind of mental health can be expected from what imperialists have put the rest of the world through?  What blowback?  Suicide, schizophrenia, substance abuse, terrorism, rebellion, revolution, desperation, “unreasonableness,” dangerous romanticism, ideology, demagoguery, fragmentation, civil strife, sectarianism, overdependence, “fundamentalism,” “radicalism”…?

FURTHER

The difference between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples is just that, indigeneity.  In nearly every land there have been Indigenous peoples compromised by non-Indigenous settlers, conquerors, invaders, exploiters, overwhelmers, displacers, etc.  Sometimes their ancestors may not have relocated voluntarily, as with Slaves in the Americas from Europe and Africa.  But non-Indigenous peoples in one land are indigenous to other lands, or their families, their family cultures, languages or dialects, surnames, physical appearance, etc., are.  In theory – I say in theory – if they decided they didn’t like it in the new land, they would in some sense have a home … land … to “return” to, one where they might not stick out as much as if the Indigenous of their new land moved there, one where, if many Irish-Americans are typical, they might even feel an instant ‘mystical’ connection to, even before the plane lands there.  For Indigenous, where they are IS their home … land.  As hospitable as folks in other lands might be, it wouldn’t be the same, especially if the Indigenous in question have managed to retain some Indigenous sense of connection to their home … land … soil … etc.  In the ’90s I thought a little about emigrating to Ireland, but since I’ve learned more about my American Indian background, I wouldn’t dream of leaving the Americas permanently!  I’ve realized as never before in my life a relationship to this soil that goes back literally eons; it’s part of me.

All this may be one good way to understand the special status Indigenous peoples have in international politics, often in domestic law, treaties, countries’ customary law, social ethics or morality or social justice, racial or ethnic justice, etc.  Or should, or aspire to.  Indigenous peoples have been victimized in ways that prove to be fundamental to the very existence of the modern countries in which they now find themselves encapsulated, ways that in doing so fundamentally compromise Indigenous peoples’ way of life, spirituality, economy, language and self-expression, freedom and rights, homes and habits and customs, etc etc etc.  In former times often Indigenous peoples would simply be “terminated with extreme prejudice,” forcibly assimilated, exiled – all things we now consider criminally genocidal, or aspire increasingly so to do.

Freckles are not “imperfections”

Even if mannequins like Paris Hilton don’t have any!

Lindsay Lohan was most attractive before she started covering up hers, or as someone said, “hiding all signs of her ethnic background” or words to that effect.  Makeup for a TV, movie, or stage appearance is one thing, but out from under the bright lights too???

Freckles are God’s makeup!

Media spin against Democrats

Maybe I’m missing something.  MSM keep saying the Democratic race between Rodham Clinton and Obama is “mudslinging” and bitterness, etc.  I don’t see it or hear it.  I think they’re still mad at having to even follow primaries this “late,” that there really is a race rather than some foreordained outcome.

Look.  Just the facts, man, alright?

I even just heard Obama’s middle name for the first time.  I predicted it.  To say the Muslim world will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name is plainly stupid and ignorant.  He’s a liberal Protestant, OK?  What about his first name, Barack?  It’s an Arabic form of the Proto-Semitic for some principle part of “blessing,” the same as Egyptian President Mubarak and Israeli politician Ehud Barak.  Big woop.  There was Saddam Hussein, but there was also King Hussein of Jordan, OK?  It’s a common Arabic name; his father was a secular Muslim from Kenya.  Ironic, but no big deal.

“Stuff White People Like: Grad School”

LOL!  Been there, done that, alot!

Though obviously some people are taking that blog way too seriously!!!

Miscegenation

…is an unfortunate word, because it starts with “mis,” which in other vocabulary denotes something negative.  The actual Latin root is miscere, to mix, pronounced “MEE-sheh-reh” (unless it’s a Latin long-E, in which case it’s “mee-SHAY-reh,” I can’t tell for sure).  It’s not “mis”-anything, although it’s been treated that way in U.S. racialism – including some States’ laws (until a 1967 Supreme Court ruling) – for centuries.  The “sc” version of to mix is preserved in the Irish Gaelic word for Metis, meascach.  (Irish and Latin are both Indo-European languages.)

Kosovo II

Lemme make sure I got this straight: Serbs and Albanians go to war inside Serbia, we take the Albanians’ side, bomb Serbia back to the Stone Age, dismember their country … and threaten to hold their government ministers “personally responsible” when their people by the hundreds of thousands don’t take it lying down?  Serb Christians, and Albanian Muslims – some of whom have been implicated in international Islamic terrorism and insurgency IIRC?

What are we gonna do, kidnap them?  “Rendition” them to Poland?  (Romania won’t work this time because they’re Orthodox like the Serbs, and not thrilled with our “Balkanizing” their neighborhood.)  Afghanistan?  Egypt?  Syria?  Israel?

Look, what we’ve done to Serbia in another time would be ACTS OF WAR.  Sure, we have the nukes and bombers (and we have schoolkids write Happy Easter on bombs before dropping them … on Orthodox Easter … while we honor Ramadan and Eid) and NATO and the EU (not looking down your noses at “Old Europe” just now, are ya) … but does might make right?  Excuse bad faith negotiations?  What, was the Treaty of Dayton too difficult?

What was the better solution?  At least trying good faith peace and final status negotiations.

Kosovo independence

I’ve already said at least once I’ve had second thoughts about Woodrow Wilson’s project to give every subethnicity in Eastern Europe an independent micro-state.  (And you thought “Balkanization” had something to do with Slavicness or Christian Orthodoxy or “Byzantineness” or something like that!)  In the case of Kosovo, of course, if the Serbs weren’t trying to exterminate the Albanians, the Albanians were trying to exterminate the Serbs.  (And the foreign ‘protective’ forces that have been there have not done so well at preserving the peace for minority Serbs and their ancient churches and monasteries.)  Though we must remember that we in the West have been the ‘beneficiaries’ of a decade and a half of professional PR against the Serbs, as well as amateur anti-Orthodoxy on the part of so-called human rights monitors.  Were the militant Serbs saints?  Of course not.  But it seems at least some of the militant non-Serbs also fell short of canonization, during and since the wars that tore Yugoslavia to shreds (with foreign help), for good or for ill.

Nevertheless, ISTM the West was going through the motions when it seemed to be trying to bring about a genuine agreement regarding Kosovo between Belgrade and the Albanians there, treading water till “an opportune moment” to finally end it – they hoped – by just tearing Kosovo away from Serbia permanently.  It seems the Republic of Kosovo will be an instant Haiti, with no economy.  And if anyone thinks the substantial Serb communities in its north are going to take this lying down….  I’m not calling for more war, but I don’t see how it can be avoided without a miraculous conversion on the Western/Albanian side, toward more moderation, and listening to the needs and interests and ideas of the vast majority of Serbs who are not guilty of war crimes.

I have come to believe the ideal situation for most world states and peoples is not independent micro-statehood, but constructive engagement within a larger State that protects minorities, as well as individuals regardless of background.  Maybe there was never going to be conciliation between the Serbs and the Albanians … but the evidence suggests the effort wasn’t even made by the parties with all the resources, the West – the US, UK, EU, UN – as well as the Albanians themselves.

In labor-management relations, we call that negotiating in bad faith.

Lord Have Mercy on all concerned in this matter … and the rest of us!

Nepal going down American road

The facts contained within this account sound extremely familiar to readers of this blog and critics of U.S. history and the “American Revolution”!  From decompensating government, regions, and society, to the dubious claims of democracy of the politicians and ‘revolutionaries,’ it’s 1776 all over again, tragically.

Is it too late for the Nepalese people to rescue their nation from false ideology, and reach perhaps a better settlement with the otherwise soon-to-be-deposed King?  Hopefully they will not make the mistake of the American Loyalists and wait for His Majesty to make all the moves: King Gyanendra’s hands are tied unless he knows he has the people behind him, even to take action – perhaps “People Power” style? – to save the day. 

There’s an “election” scheduled, supposedly to manage the transition to a Republic – a decision already made ‘for’ the people and nation by the power-hungry elites, some of whom, the “Maoists,” have been waging actual war for years.  But if this “election” only includes “allowed” parties and candidates, how different will it be from the coups d’etat that usurped the Crown and Sovereignty of the American Colonies a couple centuries ago.

“Democracy as a nation-breaker”

This analysis suggests Kenya and many other countries need one or two things ahead of strict two- or six-party “democracy.”  Something to think about.

Could a State join Canada?

The article from the last post is about people in Maine interested in having that State secede to Canada.  The author lightly opines, “we would need to change our system of government to Canadian standards and start calling ourselves a province.”

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT.

A State is a sovereign, like “the State of Israel;” a province is a subdivision of a sovereign, like the provinces of the Roman Empire, or of many countries today.  When the UK colonies of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia (as we now call them, more or less) decided to get together in 1867, after watching the Union of sovereign States to the south go through a bloodbath of a  Civil War, they decided they wanted ‘a more perfect union,’ and so remained provinces (as all Britain’s North American colonies were sometimes called), legally giving more power to the central “Confederation” they were creating, Canada.  (Up there this word denotes the exact opposite of what it does for Americans, reflecting on the traditional propaganda about America’s previous “weak Articles of Confederation.”)

It’s true that after over a century of legal adjustments, court rulings (especially by the Brits aiming to protect the constitutive Provinces from Federal encroachment), and political compromises, Canada today seems among the world’s loosest federations, and it’s common to say the Provinces are “co-sovereign” with the Confederation (or Dominion), in almost American terms.  And while, in theologian Stanely Hauerwas’ perfect phrase, “there may be no denying the descriptive power of this statement,” and the Provinces of Canada may have evolved nearly into sovereign States, it still remains a bit of an exaggeration, constitutionally speaking.

Let me elucidate.  As described in their unilateral Declaration of Independence, 13 of the colonies / provinces to the south considered themselves “free and independent States” on or about July 4, 1776 – and they meant States, not State.  Over the next 11 years several wars among them almost broke out, one-on-one affairs IIRC, including New York vs. New Hampshire over the territory claimed by yet another one, the independent Republic of Vermont which everyone forgets, which wasn’t cooperating much with the other 13 at all, sought to exchange ambassadors with the Mother Country, and even to reunite with it!  So in 1787, when a mostly-secret “convention” proposed their “more perfect union,” one thing these “free and independent States” didn’t give up was sovereignty.  The new (written) Constitution merely delegated some of these States’ sovereign attributes or powers or rights to the Union, retaining all those not explicitly delegated.  In this arrangement, similar in species to the “pooled sovereignty” often referred to in connection with the European Union, these States and their Union were definitely co-sovereign (though the term isn’t used in the U.S., being of more-recent Canadian coinage), the Union in the areas delegated to it, and the States in every other way.  American law takes this very seriously, even though the States delegated to the Union powers the world usually considers primary reflections of sovereignty, such as international relations, defense, and currency … and even though there’s been some growth of Federal power due to Constitutional Amendments and court rulings down through the years.  Perhaps the best illustration of this is the fact that not just any case can be appealed to Federal courts; it has to be “a Federal matter,” otherwise the State courts have the last word.

(This came up after the 2000 Presidential Election.  As you may have heard, we don’t actually elect the President of [the Executive Branch of] the United States, Presidential Electors do.  And these Electors are State officers, not Federal.  Each State legislature is completely free to prescribe how to choose its Presidential Electors.  In the first place, as the mischievous Florida Legislative Republicans reminded us, Electors don’t have to be popularly elected; it’s up to each State.  [Though it’s debatable whether they would’ve gotten away with changing the rules after the fact. Would the U.S. Supreme Court have been that brazen?]  More importantly, how each State elects its officers is entirely its own business, and not normally “a Federal matter.”  Therefore, most of us considered that the Federal courts had no business hearing GW Bush’s appeal from the Florida Supreme Court regarding interpretation of Florida’s election laws and administration, by its own State courts.  To get around this, Bush had to concoct a laughable argument that his civil rights – a Federal matter – would be violated if every vote were counted in the counties in which Republican shenanigans were alleged by the Al Gore campaign and many others.  This was an argument of the proverbial “legal mind: the ability to think about something intimately related to something else, without thinking about that to which it is related”: Civil Rights, intended to protect Blacks from re-enslavement after the Civil War, used to deny many Florida Blacks and others the electoral franchise accorded them in this contest under Florida law!  [This is exactly the same area of law that supposedly bestowed human rights on corporations in the U.S., and of course the irony is identical. It’s also the kind of reasoning made famous by the medieval {Western, Catholic} Scholastic philosophers and theologians, now employed by a son of the Protestant Reformation, a Methodist: rationalizing about how many teeth a horse was allowed to have based on made-up prior principles … instead of opening his mouth and counting them!!!  Instead of rationalizing, Florida law provided that the winner of the election would be determined by counting the votes cast.  WHAT A F*CKING CONCEPT!!!]  In a tragic example of expansion of Federal power by court ruling, the Federal courts allowed Bush, and ultimately so did a partisan Supreme Court – although they sure didn’t want their ruling used against  Republicans, when they said, in flagrant violation of every legal principle and tradition this country – and all Common Law countries – supposedly stand on, that their ruling shouldn’t be used as a precedent in any future case.  So much for independent judiciary and rule of law … and the last 7 years of American and world history!  Yes, Canada, courts aren’t always legally correct.)

This is the opposite of what happened in Canada in 1867: the Fathers of Confederation delegated to the Provinces some powers, rights, and privileges, delineated others as shared by the Confederation and Provinces, with the rest remaining with the Confederation.  Arguably, legally, the Provinces are creatures of the Confederation – and hence Provinces – even though they antedated it!

For comparison purposes, in 1901 the drafters of the Australian Commonwealth constitution, fearful of a Canadian-style (theoretically) stronger center, went more with the American model again, on behalf of the federating colonies there.  And so Australia’s constitutive parts, like America’s, are sovereign States, not Provinces – and BTW, their State viceregal officers Governors instead of Lieutenant-Governors.  (Which brings up another illustration: Canadian Provinces have LGs because historically they are lieutenants to the Governor General, even Federal employees, appointed on Federal Advice, not Provincial employees, clearly subordinating the Provinces to the Federal Crown, in spite of the fact that they can have “Her Majesty In Right of” a Province … even suing “Her Majesty In Right of Canada”!)

This is not to say that a State can’t create additional sovereign States; in fact it’s alleged to have happened in a number of newer “federal” countries, essentially constituting their subdivisions Sovereigns in certain areas.  The Holy Roman Emperors even bestowed actual sovereignty on some of their subject principalities (while they remained subject).  I fully expect this century that some Canadian court will find Canada’s Provinces are, have always been, or have become, Sovereign States.  Whether this would require formally reopening the constitution, or could take effect by itself in the British tradition of uncodified constitutional evolution, I don’t know.  Or else Provinces will insist on (greater) involvement in nominating their LGs, and then, on the exclusive right.  Quasi-American Alberta might even be the first to declare itself a (Canadian[?]) State!

Nevertheless, the question before us for now is whether, as the words of the columnist quoted atop this post suggest, an American State would have to give up Statehood to join Canada.  (I doubt she had this question in mind, so I must take full blame myself!)

Before answering it, just for the record, let’s establish whether Maine and other things like it in the U.S. really are States.  After all, only 13 States formed the Union … Vermont joined having formerly been independent just as they … so did Texas, maybe California … that’s it.  The rest were carved out of Federally-controlled/occupied “Territories” (including Indian Lands), settled by Whites and others from elsewhere, then elevated to Statehood and “admitted to the Union.”  But if we accept that sovereigns can create other sovereigns, that’s OK.

So.  Could the Canadian Confederation include both Provinces and States?  Well apparently there’s such a thing as “asymmetrical federalism,” best illustrated by the Russian Federation at this time, the Holy Roman Empire previously (sort of).  But theoretically two ‘levels’ both claiming all but delegated powers would seem to cancel each other out!  Furthermore, Maine residents would be used to the theory of the 9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, saving an undetermined reservoir of rights to them even against the government of Maine … as well as the whole three centuries of experience with The Common Law of Maine (including Massachusetts before Maine’s separation from it).  Section 26 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms brings the 9th Amendment into Canada so to speak, but only insofar as it relates to “any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada”: here’s one place where the competing “residual powers” doctrines collide head-on, because Mainers might not want to give up U.S. or Maine Unenumerated Rights, especially if they don’t know the extent of what they’d be giving up – kind of like the reluctance to codify the Royal Prerogative for fear of leaving out something that’ll become important in the future.  Then again, not knowing might make it easier for the Mainers!  Aside from this perhaps academic conundrum, in terms of legal systems it might go OK, since each Province does have its own version of the Common Law already, we’d just be adding Maine’s to the mix.  Maybe even the Residual conflict could be finessed with words saving as much of what each side is used to already as practicable.

What’s Admission look like?  Several of the relevantly-named documents here convey an idea, although they all cover admission of British territories … without a lapse of 250 years! 😉

Does Maine remain a State in all this?  I don’t see why not.  The physics of the balance of powers between State and Federal might be shuffled slightly in the move from the USA to Canada, and some shared powers would probably be introduced that America isn’t used to constitutionally … but then again, in reality America has evolved some degree of sharing via Federal mandates and/or funding, it’s just that the method and tone are very different, less ‘interactive’ you might say!

Then there’s the matter of the 3 Indian Reservations and associated Trust Lands in Maine (our example).  I don’t believe Canada holds lands in trust for First Nations groups or individuals like the U.S. Federal government does.  Quite a bit of the U.S. is actually Indian Trust Lands!  The U.S. exploits the land, pursuant to Treaties, and is supposed to collect the revenues and forward them to the Tribes or individual Indians who own them.  (They’ve been screwing this up for years though – so bad they even had to take down their website? – and Indians suing the government allege they’re out 12 Billion dollars all tolled!  Maybe they’d have better luck going to the Chinese!)  Especially Out West, Trust Lands have farms or ranches on them, or mineral extraction, or even towns, counties, railroads, highways, etc.  I don’t know how much land we’re talking about in Maine, but they originally claimed more than 2/3 of the State on the basis of unratified Treaties before a settlement agreement in 1980.  There’s also the matter of the Reserves themselves.  I’m not too familiar with Indian Law in Canada, and it’s pretty rough down here, but there’s the potential to consider that Reserves and Tribes are in fact subject sovereign States themselves (the 1800s Supreme Court’s “domestic dependent nations,” as bad as that sounds!), and my impression is that Tribal self-governance and Sovereignty are farther along here than in Canada.  For that matter, there are also a fair number of French-speakers in Maine … and the theory that most of them are Métis, facing potential recognition under the Canadian constitution as Aboriginal North Americans, and whatever that may entail – adjudication of Aboriginal Rights, Land Title, Sovereignty, hunting and trapping rights….

Does Canada accept a State though?  Well, talks with Maine might “call the question” of the Statehood of the other Provinces anyway.  OTOH, constitutional sticklers might consider it too great a risk to the union; as I’ve said, courts aren’t always legally correct.

As for the columnist’s other comment, “we would need to change our system of government to Canadian standards,” the British North America Act 1867 presumes the kind of government the Provinces have now, ie, the Lieutenant-Governor appointed by the Governor General (on advice of the Prime Minister) in The Queen’s name, governing with the advice of a Ministry retaining the confidence of (in Maine’s case I guess the lower house of) the legislature; and a legislature consisting of the LG and its one or two houses.  ISTM any deviation from this would require a Constitutional Amendment.

Another way might be a Treaty of Union between all Canada and Maine, or USA and Canada with respect to Maine, which Canada could simply receive into its law as constitutional legislation.

Métis are Legally Aboriginal

I’ve just remembered why the Canadian Constitution Act 1982 says Métis are as Aboriginal as Indians and Inuit: Because Métis have Aboriginal and/or Treaty Rights of which Canadian Law is required to take notice.

I have said I think Indigenous is a better word for Métis than Aboriginal, because as I read the word in its plain meaning, Aboriginal means “here first” (or at least, before actual European-led settlement began) or “from the beginning.” Métis as such, being of Mixed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry by definition, wouldn’t be described that way.  But I was looking at the matter perhaps anthropologically (Heaven forbid!) or sociologically, even just grammatically.  The constitution is a legal document, addressing a special set of concerns not necessarily identical to or coterminous with those of the anthropologist, sociologist, or grammarian.

For centuries in the Anglo/American legal system, Aboriginal groups, and sometimes Aboriginal individuals, have been held by courts to continue to possess certain rights in tenure (Aboriginal Title) and/or use of territory and resources (Aboriginal Rights), to the extent that the rights in question are not incompatible with Crown rule “where The Queen’s Writ runs,” or have not been extinguished* by the Crown-in-parliament, ie, by competent, valid legislative statute.**  This ultimately goes all the way back to when the Welsh and Anglo-Saxons were the Aboriginals when William the Conqueror arrived in Britain in AD 1066, since the Common Law in England has been held to antedate the Conquest.  It also would have applied to Ireland if The Case of Tanistry had gone another way in the 1600s; the court ruling was that the Celtic chiefly or clan succession system (to lands) by that name, by a competent, previously-appointed, -nominated, or even -elected adult near relative (rather than strict primogeniture) was incompatible with Crown rule.  (I remember thinking when I read about it a few years ago that, in the light of more recent and diverse Imperial and Commonwealth jurisprudence and governmental experience – my gosh, India! Africa! – that the Irish practice of tanistry might have been upheld vis a vis British rule had the case only been brought today rather than 400 years ago.  I forget exactly why, though.)

Since the 1600s the Crown, its successors (eg, the USA) and its agents (eg, colonial proprietors or governors) have frequently tried to free-up lands and/or resources they desired, in the hands of Aboriginal groups outside Europe, by Treaty – not always accompanied by the threat or reality of violence as commonly in the case of the U.S. … nevermind broken Treaties.  It’s possible they thought relatively-voluntary relinquishment would be easier than by war, which would inevitably follow mere legislative extinguishment way off in London or Ottawa.  Even the U.S., I suppose, is to be lauded for not simply extinguishing – or trying to – all rights by a piece of paper on Capitol Hill, despite its mostly “warlike”(!) approach to Aboriginal peoples since the Revolution.

In any case, any land title or other Aboriginal Rights not ceded by Treaty (or sometimes equivalent negotiated settlement) remains in the hands of the Aboriginal possessor(s).  In what is now Canada many Métis groups and individuals in the past or even the present have lived “on the land,” occupied territories for centuries alongside or “in-between” Indian Tribes, hunted, gathered, fished, trapped, signed or “adhered to” Treaties ceding some but not necessarily all Aboriginal Rights – who knows, maybe even have mineral rights!  There are even a handful of Métis Reserves (reservations) in Canada.  And Métis living elsewhere may still hold unceded Aboriginal Rights or Treaty Rights, whether as Métis or even strictly as Indian/Inuit descendants.

In addition, like the U.S., Canada often offers benefits or assistance – never enough of course – to Aboriginal groups and individuals as part of (lobbied) social legislation or executive government functions.  While not technically part of the constitution or Treaties, these may be more available to Métis from lawmakers and Governments now that they’re officially recognized in the constitution as Aboriginal.  Métis in Canada suffer much from discrimination, poverty, and health problems, little different from their Indian or Inuit cousins.

Now how about other countries?!!

(*–I do not believe this use of extinguished is the same as when, in the 20th century, the United States Congress acted to “terminate a Tribe.”  Congress has since “unterminated” some “terminated Tribes,” but Aboriginal Rights “extinguished” are considered incapable of being “unextinguished” or restored, at least in Commonwealth Nations.  However, I am not a lawyer, just an amateur legal scholar!)

(**–The way I read U.S. constitutional documents, I’m not sure any U.S. legislative body is empowered to extinguish Aboriginal Rights without Treaties or similar agreements, like a Westminster Parliament probably is by Common Law, since U.S. lawmakers have only powers explicitly or clearly implicitly delegated to them by written Constitutions, Federal or State, respectively.  Thank God!)

Israel: a Mideastern country?

Has Israel become a Middle Eastern country?

I think we’re used to thinking of it as a sort of European / American island in that region, kind of a Jewish / semi-Anglophone version of the former French Lebanon.  But has it turned more into a Jewish version of, say, Syria, or Egypt?

Christians are certainly freer to be Christians in (secular) Ba’athist Syria, as they were in (secular) Ba’athist Iraq, than they are in Israel, or (Islamist) Bu’ushist Iraq for that matter.  But even generally, Israel’s treatment of dissidents, ‘liberals,’ peaceniks, or even Reform Jews, nevermind the overwhelming majority of law-abiding Arabs in Israel Proper and the West Bank (Gaza is clearly currently a special case, though even there, they’re way excessive), is really wanting.  “Democratic island”?  Sure, there are elections, and discos, and newspapers, and kibbutzim, and multiple political parties (in this last sense more democratic than America).  But not so much on human rights after all: ask Mordechai Vanunu.  [That’s Vanunu, not Sununu!]  Speaking of him, Israel is the only clear and present nuclear weapons danger in the region (besides the Bush regime), and (like the Bush regime) has frequently threatened to attack Iran (admittedly, no poster-child).  Conventionally, Israel has frequently invaded or attacked Lebanon, occupying its southern portion for a generation, accomplishing nothing while doing so.  And it has shown consistent bad faith in its relationship with the incipient Palestinian State, and with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem (Greek-ruled, but traditionally predominantly-Palestinian in makeup), the Mother Church of Christians.

Rogue state?  Typical bully, if a formerly abused bully?

In the end, very like many other Mideastern countries?

Huckabee crossed a picket line; Late night shows

…even if he doesn’t want to admit it.  When he went in a back door to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to avoid “crossing a picket line,” he either didn’t know or didn’t care that you don’t have to physically walk through a barricade of striking workers to “cross a picket line.”  All you have to do is help a struck workplace perform struck work.  IIUC, Leno, who is himself a Writers’ Guild member and theoretically still on strike, believes as long as he ad-libs and doesn’t “write,” he’s not scabbing himself.  But IIUC, the Guild – who are supposed to be his authority in such matters – disagrees, and was indeed picketing the taping of his show.  (If the Guild kicks Jay out, he’d be barred from writing for his own show!)  If Huckabee really supports the writers, he should’ve foregone the temptation to make political hay by going on Jay’s first new show since the strike began, on the eve of the Iowa straw poll.  But he either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t really care.

Catholic theologian David Tracy and sociologist Andrew Greeley have a theory that might explain Rev. Huck’s behavior.  They say Protestants have a congenital difficulty comprehending analogy – the idea that something is like something else – rooted in their Biblicism and centuries-long opposition to Latin-Rite Catholic material “sacramentalism.”  Thus, Huck wouldn’t have understood that the taboo against “crossing a picket line” isn’t necessarily literal.  It has nothing to do with a face-to-face challenge to the picketers on-duty at that moment, and everything to do with the total aim of the job action by all the employees.

Then again, maybe it’s just because he’s a Republican … which may be the same thing.  Greeley tells the one about the two old Irish-American ladies in Chicago: One says, “I hear Alderman O’Leary has become a Republican.”  The other replies, “Ridiculous!  Wasn’t I after seeing him in church just last Sunday?!”  😉

Of course, Leno calls himself a Catholic of some kind….  Conan O’Brien and Carson Daly, too.  (Daly even majored in Theology at Loyola Marymount … calling into question the Jesuit education available there!!)  So I guess we should boycott them and their advertisers!?  (I must confess that, last night, eating at a turnpike service area, their two TVs were blaring Fox News and O’Brien/Daly. Tough choice. I went with the latter, for which may God have Mercy on me! In Orthodoxy, we seek forgiveness even in a dilemma, rather than seek to justify ourselves before God – before Whom no creature can justify himself. But I saw it as the lesser of two evils!)

Catholic Dave Letterman* did the right thing, reaching an “interim agreement” with the Guild on behalf of himself and Craig Ferguson (aka Worldwide Pants Inc.), before returning to production.

(*–As Dave told fellow Catholic Ray Romano a year or two ago, “I have a season ticket, but I don’t make it to all the games.”)

Diabetes Blindness hope?

Speaking of Diabetes, this article reports an interesting-sounding theory about how people with diabetes sometimes lose vision, how this might be stopped, maybe prevented, maybe even reversed?

Maybe I should get my blood sugar checked, as my GP recommended a few years ago(!), ’cause needles in the eyes sure don’t sound pleasant!  I’m really weird about my eyes as it is, and always have been.

I wonder if this treatment could even be delivered orally?  After all, some meds go just where they’re needed on the basis of distribution throughout the blood, and so get concentrated somewhere because there’s lots of extra blood where needed, eg, anti-inflammatories.  One would have to work on the underlying cause(s) of the retinopathy too, I guess, including the diabetes….  Hmm….

I’m definitely not a doctor.

What about eyepatches delivering the treatment through the skin, one at a time even if necessary, to localize the effect more, versus body-wide via a pill?

But if they slow/stop new vessel formation, they don’t solve the “leakyness” problem….  I guess like that last quote said, this tackles just one aspect of the diabetic retinopathy problem.

Another take on Canada’s ‘conservative progressiveness’

from a Boston Globe writer who seems to just about ‘get it’!

I would just add a comment on this paragraph:

The differences between the two countries are captured in their founding documents. As Canadian textbooks often note, Canadian politicians deliberately avoided the eloquence found in the Declaration of Independence, which ringingly celebrates ”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Instead, Canada’s much more prosaic bedrock document, the British North America Act of 1867, promises ”peace, order, and good government.”

I wouldn’t call “peace, order, and good government” prosaic, or even excessively deliberately anti-demagogic vis a vis the Declaration of Independence.  Isn’t “POGG” the proper basis for “LLPH”???  Isn’t LLPH “a house built on sand” without POGG?  Couldn’t we use some POGG in America today, after all these years of so much of the opposite?!!!  As the writer says at the end, Canada’s progressive Classical Conservatism is “a conservative worldview – albeit a type of sober-minded conservatism that has few parallels in an ever more radically right-wing America” (emphasis mine).  And of course, most Americans have had to keep struggling for LLPH even since 1776: most Catholics, women, Blacks, non-landowners, the poor, workers, the disabled and elderly, the sick, Classical Conservatives, radicals, cities, immigrants, pacifists, progressives, gay people, Indigenous people/s….

Mixed-Blood/Mixed-Race artists

I.e., Young Indigenous and European and/or African.

Currently a show in Phoenix, moving to New York next summer.  They question the ‘required Indianness content’ of artificial Indigenous-of-the-Americas art, identity, etc.  Looks fascinating.

(Damn, Great-great-great-great-Grandma shouldn’ta slept with Whitey!!! 😉 )

Diabetes slams non-whites

Excellent Toronto Star series exposes non-white’s hugely greater risk, possible reasons why, and what you might be able to do about it.

Obit: First Nations “Picasso,” shaman

Norval Morrisseau, Ojibwa (aka Chippewa) from northern Ontario (which has been called Canada’s Alaska – and no, that’s not really redundant!! 🙂 ).  Sounds fascinating (NY Times link will break w/o $$$) … but this even more so.*  Do yourself a favour and Google himImages too, of course!

(*–Although note that the form of Christianity that devastated his people’s culture was Roman Catholic; Orthodoxy doesn’t treat evangelized peoples like that [the Church doesn’t, anyway…], witness the Alaska Native Orthodox! [LA Times archive fee required for this article]  Why did Catholicism have to destroy Native cultures of the Americas, when it didn’t destroy Irish culture, for instance?  Catholicism became Irish.  Why couldn’t it become Ojibway??)

Yes, even humor about Orthodoxy!

From OrthodoXCircle’s “Traditional” group – a little mean-spirited actually – not the humor group! (with some editing and rude comments by yours truly):

You Might Be An ‘Orthodox Fundamentalist’ IF…

10) Your parish church-school curriculum consists of: The Rudder.

9) You’ve not shaved in years, but are spending your child’s inheritance on hair conditioner.

{Actually I’ve let my beard go, though not for religious reasons; it’s still quite a mess and often literally a pain!!!}

8) Your church services are longer than the Super Bowl, but shorter than “Roots.”

7) You save toenail clippings in hopes of … well … you know … glorification.

6) Your daughter can play with Barbies as long as they’re wrapped in DuckTape, clothed in black, and referred to as “Barbara the Ballyhoo” (in Slavonic).

{Sorry, I almost got this one….}

5) Your priest wears a cassock all the time. (Mainly because even the “Big & Tall” clothes no longer fit him.)

4) Birkenstock is the only proper name — not ending in “us,” “os,” or “es”– not subject to suspicion.

{What, they’re “CrunchyCons”???}

3) Your favorite theologian’s name is: “Reader __________.”

2) You believe hair brushes, combs, tweezers, and mirrors are for sissies.

{That’s just scary!}

And, the number one sign that you might be an “Orthodox Fundamentalist” is …

1) There are no chairs in your home; you haven’t sat in years!


Top Ten Signs You Might Be an Orthodox Christian Fundaminimalist:

10) During the three-day Sts. Peter & Paul Fast (New Calendar), you did without meat (only).

9) Sunday’s Divine Liturgy lasts longer than the Nightly News but shorter than “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

8) When it comes to Confession, you believe: “All may, some should, none must.”

7) You think Antidoron is for the birds (literally), not to mention the non-Orthodox.

6) You’ve seen your priest vested with cuffs around bare wrists because he’s wearing a short-sleeve shirt underneath his rasson.

{And what did they wear under them in the old days exactly?!!!}

5) You ask questions like, “What’s a cassock?,” and, “Why is she wearing one?”

4) Your bishop eats meat. On Friday. During fasting periods.

3) You’ve seen your priest swimming. In a crowded pool. In a Speedo.

2) Your priest wears a Rolex. At the Altar. Over the cuffs.

And, the number one indication that you might be a fundaminimalist:

1) Your priest’s wife goes by the title, “Reader ______ .”

Genocide in Turkey

Now that the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has recognized the Ottoman Empire genocide of Armenians in the 1910s, how about the ongoing genocide of Greeks in the Republic of Turkey?!!!

For that matter, why is Ankara so upset?  Ataturk drew a firm line between the Empire and the Republic, right?  So they should be as condemnatory of the Ottomans’ genocide of Armenians as anybody.  In fact, they proclaim a French-like ethnicity-free Turkey, so such ethnic-focused politics as the Teens’ genocide of Armenians, and the continuing genocide of Greeks, should be repugnant to them, right?

Obviously, something else is going on in Turkey, something that unites the “secularist” military and the current “Islamist” government there.  What else could it be but… underlying ethnic Muslim Turkishness?  You mean Turkey really is all about ethnic Muslim Turks, and not some ethnicity-free egalitarian non-Fundamentalist paradise?  That the “secularist, modern, Westernist, EU-aspirant republic” is a sham?!!!  That there really has been, and is still, genocide against anyone NOT ethnic Muslim Turkish?!!!

Tell your U.S. Representative to condemn ALL the Turks’ genocides.

An Andy Rooney moment

(Upon further review, I’ve decided not to keep this post.  Too graphic, too curious, too frivolous, too unrestrained.  C-ya.)

Indian Lieutenant-Governor for British Columbia

I.e., First-Nation – a former Chief, actually, as well as a provincial judge.  Sounds like he’s already served both worlds, Native and Settler, exceedingly well, so representing the Queen in BC will crown – no pun intended – quite a career.

(Toronto Globe and Mail coverage [link will break, I think].  Photos/slide show from his inauguration in the BC Legislative Chambers in Victoria [I’ve been there!] omits the drummer!  The big fancy chair in the front of the room is the Provincial Throne, where you’ll see the Viceregal sits after he officially takes office.  Each Province has one, as does the Senate in Ottawa, and the House of Lords in the UK, from which the Lieutenant-Governor/ Governor-General/ Queen officially and ceremonially opens each new legislative session by informing lawmakers of Her Majesty’s respective Ministry’s plans for the upcoming session.  [Until very recently – during the term of previous GG Adrienne Clarkson – the GG or her Deputy gave the Royal Assent in the Queen’s name to Federal legislation in person by sitting on the Throne, having the bill presented to her, and simply nodding her assent to it, making it the law of the land.  As I understand it, Canada was the last place in the Empire/ Commonwealth Realms to do Assent by ceremony.  Now they all just sign bills like the U.S. President, or even have someone else sign them for them.  Too bad.  I would like to have witnessed that ceremony.  It was very meaningful and demonstrative of the Monarchical parliamentary-democracy.]  Later, outside, you see him wearing the official Viceregal uniform; not many in the Commonwealth still wear it, and there’s something jarring and/or profound to see it donned by an Indian Chief!)

Although I have to wonder if he isn’t being “kicked upstairs” with this appointment.  The First Nations Treaty process in BC has been raucus and very stop-and-go – though as the Globe points out, progress is now being made.  Even the involvement of the province at all, instead of just the Federal government, irks me as an Indian “encapsulated within” the United States, since in the U.S. constitutionally only the Feds are empowered to officially “treat with” Sovereign Indigenous Communities.  States have rarely been allowed a say, and IMHO for good reason, since they’ve usually been very anti-Indian; by my (admittedly scant) reading, the Canadian provinces have been generally similar, sad to say.  (This opinion is far from a complete picture of comparative Indigenous relations between the two countries: in some ways Indians and Inuit have it better in one country, in other ways, the other; though Canada now at least constitutionally recognizes its Metis, or Mixed-Blood [European and Native], communities, whereas in the States we have to disappear, if we can, into the White, Black, or Native communities – which isn’t always easy either!)

Just to be clear, I know nothing about His Honour’s involvement in the Treaty Process, so my concern may be groundless.

FYI, Canada has had a number of Aboriginal (or as I have said I believe is more inclusive, Indigenous) LGs.  Until recently Ontario’s – he just retired – was sometimes identified as Indian, sometimes as Metis.

Also, Point’s hope to make one of his emphases ethnic harmony is key because in Canada, Indigenous occupy the dubious position Blacks do in the States, as the largest oppressed minority, disproportionately arrested and imprisoned, poor and sick and discriminated against, and dying younger.  And this is particularly poignant in BC on the streets of the province’s largest city, Vancouver.  In addition, growing – and often wealthy – Chinese immigration to the Vancouver area irks some Whites.

Emblem for Anglicanism?

Again is a U.S. Orthodox Christian monthly mostly aimed at would-be and recent converts to Orthodoxy from Protestantism.  Its roots are in the former Evangelical Orthodox who joined the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America en masse beginning in 1987, as recounted in the book Becoming Orthodox.  Increasing ‘official’ “liberalism” in the Episcopal Church and Church of England are sending a number of their “conservatives” towards Orthodoxy… one thing I’m sure this particular issue is talking about.  I try to read Again occasionally, but find it mostly ‘too Protestant’ and uncritically (big-R) Republican for my Roman-Catholic-formed tastes, “progressive conservatism,” and Orthodox aspirations.

Be that as it may, as an Irishman I’ve had mixed feelings observing the use of the Celtic cross by Anglicans, in churches, in cemeteries, etc.  Is this like when they put on kilts, after outlawing them and other evidences of Highland life and culture for so long in Scotland?  Or like when White Americans “play Indian” after wiping out as many of us and our cultures as they could?

2008 Starts Now!

I can’t afford to give to the Democratic Party just now, but maybe you can, to support their 50-State “strategery.”  Just look at all those brown people, and attractive young women!  They beat the Repugs hands down!  Who would you like to “have a beer” with?!!

Still think Canada is like the U.S.?

Is there much quite like this combination of pictures, south of the 49th parallel and north of the Caribbean?!!

(BTW, I believe it’s skirl of the pipes, not swirl!  Google has over a thousand of the former and only 300 of the latter, so I think that settles it! 😉 )

Israelis upset about Lebanon War

Why?  Because they only bombed it back to the Stone Age, and not the Precambrian Era?!!!  Because they left some stones on top of other stones, when their goal was not to leave any two molecules stuck together?!!!

PLEASE!!!

Funny Canada

About a zillion Canadian jokes here.  Not all keeping with the Canadian stereotype of PC or sensitivity or apologeticness!

One of my faves, in the style of Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck jokes (which got him made a Kentucky Colonel* believe it or not): “You might be a Canadian if… 23. You know that Canada is the only country to successfully invade the US and burn its capital to the ground.”  (Not that I advocate the violent overthrow of the United States government or anything!)

(*–Which reminds me of another joke whose punchline is, “It’s like the ‘Honorable’ in front of your name, Judge: It don’t mean a thing!”

Which reminds me of a conundrum: If Americans have to call Harlan Sanders “Colonel,” why can’t Canadians call knights “Sir”?!!)

The one about the temperature scale reminded me of the scene in the recent cable movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, when Sitting Bull seeks refuge across the border, and the Mountie says, “I welcome you in the Queen’s name.  But I should warn you, the winters get pretty cold up here – this isn’t Dakota!”

The “Cultural differences” one about Americans, Australians, British, and Canadians is pretty good too, especially:

Brits:   Shop at home and have goods imported because they live on an island.
Aussies:   Shop at home and have goods imported because they live on an island.
Americans:   Cross the southern border for cheap shopping, gas, & liquor in a backwards country.
Canadians:   Cross the southern border for cheap shopping, gas, & liquor in a backwards country.

Hey, a little perspective is good, eh?  🙂

Political Correctness

See how long it takes you to decode the jargon this website is written in!

Now, I’m a pretty PC dude.  I’m also a little bit of a “mental health consumer,” I may be a “survivor”(?), you might even consider me “mentally ill”: I have Major Depression, Social Anxiety, and who knows what else.  But sometimes PC obscures communication even for me, and I have the equivalent of two Master’s Degrees, a couple years as a caseworker, several years as a journalist, and a lifetime as an aware, reading person!

Some use of PC seeks to improve how people – especially those not involved in whatever industry is being talked about from time to time – think about, or at least speak about, and treat, each other.  But if they don’t have Clue One what you’re referring to in the first place, you’re wasting your breath and their time, and not making any inroads at all… and probably p’ing them off too, which helps no one.

I’d rather PC were called something more common: politeness.  Would that simple politeness were “politically correct”!!!  (Maybe the American people could have their airwaves back, then!)  It’s also nothing new, as much as “conservatives” would have us believe that it is.  Human beings have been opposing being called names probably as long as they’ve had the power of speech!

But please, submit your website to a good technical writer for translation, OK?!

Speaking personally, I AM DISABLED.  I’m not “differently-abled,” or “minority-abled.”  One of the first things alot of people need to know about is me what I can’t be relied upon to do for them, so they don’t expect the impossible of me, disappointing us both.  Maybe I feel this way because most of my Disabilities aren’t “visible,” so people do expect the impossible of me sometimes, even family who should know better!  Maybe it’s different for the “visibly disabled,” when people try to do everything for them and think they’re totally helpless.  But I will defend my right to use language I deem appropriate in my own regard, and their right to do the same.

Speaking of Canadian “visible minorities,” first off, sure, some Aboriginals – Indians (“First Nations”), Inuit, and Metis – aren’t visibly so, because of the traditionally pale skin and/or plain features of some communities; but to call us all White is insulting, OK?  Second and ironically, some of the groups considered “visible” in the pie chart include members who also aren’t visibly so.  This is a case where O Canada sought a more PC term, but it falls short, and confuses.  Technically, for the same reasons, “people of color” as used sometimes in the States may fall short.  So how about “European Canadians,” “Aboriginals of Canada” (though I still think “Indigenous” is better: Metis aren’t aboriginal but are indigenous!), “African Canadians,” “Latin Canadians,” “Asian Canadians”?  Of course, then you run into the question of Other Indigenous of the Americas, not all of whom (like me!) qualify as “Latin” or “of Canada”!  (That’s not so bad though: In Irish Gaelic we still have to be called Red Indians, to differentiate from Asian Indians!! Why not “American Indians”?… “America” in the bi-continental sense, that is!!!  OH it’s so frustrating sometimes!  😉  )