Aboriginal Title: Today’s word is…

USUFRUCT.¬† (Sorry, I grew up too Catholic to pronounce it that way! ūüėȬ† )

This is the Common Law principle on which is based the occasional English and successor Settler States (USA, Canada, Australia, I know for certain, maybe others) practice of deigning, that is to say condescending,¬†to let Aboriginal Peoples in “their” countries retain (I say retain) certain rights with regard to their “former” territories and their tribesmembers.¬† It’s the theoretical basis of Reservations, remnant fishing / trapping / hunting / subsistence rights, regard for Tribes’ Sovereignty (to attempt to put it into European terms), Native Treaties, Lands Held in Trust (including royalties [at 18th-century rates]…if only Uncle Sam can remember where he put them!), etc.

The alternative might well have had to be full military defeat, actually wiping out all our ancestors … genocide in its simplest, bloodiest¬†sense — I’ll say it — ala Hitler.¬† And I deduce that conundrum is where the idea came from, IOW, Settler convenience, politics, occasional conscience.¬† The earliest case I know of — though I’m no professional historian — where English courts upheld native legal status is only The Case of Tanistry in the early 1600s.¬† Here the Irish lost by winning (300 years before they won by losing!): the court employed traditional Irish Brehon Law to cheat a rightful traditional clan chief of his chiefly lands in favor of English-Law inheritance previously unknown among traditional Irish … four-and-a-half centuries after first invading.¬† My current point being, the English certainly have become experts at riding roughshod over Irish culture (which is why 1998’s Good Friday Northern Ireland Peace Agreement was such a monumental reversal for them).¬† I guess they didn’t always enjoy how hard it was, and so decided to take a (slightly) less harsh approach in Quebec and North America beyond (to the frustration of the greedy and anti-Catholic eastern seaboard “Founding Fathers”), and Down Under.¬† (In New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi is even considered technically part of the national constitution!)

Anyway, as Merriam Webster reminds us, a usufruct is Europeanly-considered technically only temporary — in our case, until the “death” of each Native Nation, envisaged by (unconstitutional) Blood Quantum laws, mandatory dispersion and exogamy, ethnic/racial cleansing, culturecide, divide-and-conquer, even leaving Tribes with the worst-quality land around on which to survive, as well as what I compare to illegal and unjust “constructive eviction” in attempting to claim a Native Community “abandoned” a temporarily-disused right or plot of land.*¬† Conveniently, the U.S. has never recognized Mixed-Bloods as such, as Canada has in its M√©tis since just 1982, otherwise Native Nations¬†might never die!

(*–The Settlers of Maryland Colony did this to my Nanticoke people.¬† Once they interpreted an Abandonment Clause in a colonial treaty to mean temporarily going up the Susquehanna River for their traditional annual hunt relinquished one of their Reservations: But when they arrived to find one elderly man guarding the otherwise-empty village, they burned him alive in his home.)

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New Repug boss wants to be “Hip-Hop” Mussolini

I swear!¬† “Make the trains run on time“?!!!¬† “One-armed midgets”?!!¬† “Off the hook”: Does that mean he won’t answer his phone?¬† We can only hope….

Of course, the Republican Party isn’t “in the crapper.”¬† They just feel like they are because they don’t have (obvious) absolute power for the moment, like they have for most of the last 28 years.¬† But that’s true not because of “PR” or a dearth of young, Hispanic, or Black¬†“messengers” in Virginia and North Carolina, but because they put THIS COUNTRY, INDEED, THE WORLD, IN THE CRAPPER, INCLUDING YOUNG PEOPLE, HISPANICS, BLACKS, NATIVE AMERICANS, WOMEN, AND EVERYBODY ELSE, INCLUDING THEMSELVES!!!¬† (Ever hear of cutting off your nose to spite your face?)

To think it’s PR, that substance doesn’t matter, is the ultimate in self-serving cynicism.¬† It’s kind of like Big Tobacco getting us hooked all those years they knew they were killing us.¬† Or Big Energy “putting lipstick on a pig,” pretending to be “green” — Please, “Clean Coal”?!!!¬† Hitler* had Goebbels and Riefenstahl, PR geniuses, “hip” messages and state of the art, and even held on for a while; but win or lose, they were equally wrong.

They’re gonna do “beyond cutting edge”?¬† That worries me, after a decade of stolen elections, stolen airwaves, stolen bookstore shelves, stolen bandwidth, stolen cable TV space, stolen newspapers, hijacked websites and campaigns, lies, racism, sexism, pseudo-religious bigotry, lock-step churches, wedge pseudo-issues, government funding of “conservative” religion, corruption we haven’t even begun to investigate and prosecute and fine and jail, one or maybe even two fake wars with real casualties, etc etc etc.¬† If we thought we could rest a little after 12:01pm EST Jan. 20, we may have been sorely mistaken.¬† Like the man said, I guess democracy and justice really do demand eternal vigilance.

Maybe the GOP picked this loon because his last name¬†sounds like¬†steal….

This new ad campaign is gonna look like that tokenist national convention they had in 2004, where just about the only People of Color were on-stage in front of the cameras.¬† “Hip-hop” Repugs, can you imagine?!¬† They won’t touch us.¬† Now, if they cared about more than just the votes of youth, Blacks, and Hispanics, etc., we might be seriously worried.¬† But all they really want to do is make their next big stolen election look credible where folks don’t typically vote GOP — that’s what really concerns me.

(*–Don’t blame me, he started it by quoting Mussolini!)