Starving in the Land of Plenty: Hunger in Native America. Feeding America Blogathon

My father knew what it was like to go hungry.  

Even before the onset of the Great Depression, his family was intimately familiar with hunger.  Mixed-blood Indians living off the rez, in an area where cowards on horseback stalked the countryside in sheets and white hoods, were not the most “employable.”  Gramps traveled miles every day, on foot, looking for work.  Sometimes he’d find something; just as often, he’d come trudging home, late at night, with nothing to show for it but sore feet and an empty stomach.  If he was lucky, someone might hire him for 16 hours of backbreaking labor in exchange for a sack of beans, or a little rice – or on a really good day, a whole chicken (that Grandma had to pluck and dress).  Most often, the beans or rice were served without salt, pepper, butter, or anything else.

To his dying day, my father hated rice.

But to hear him tell it, they were still lucky compared to some kids at his one-room schoolhouse.  There were a pair of brothers who we invariably described as “dirt poor.”  He used to tell the story of how, one day as the kids were dropped off by the school bus, one of the wealthier white kids tossed an unwanted hard-boiled egg out of his lunch sack onto the ground (presumably so that his mother wouldn’t know he’d wasted food).  It landed in the dirt; already peeled, it was instantly covered.  One of the “dirt poor” brothers pounced on it, blew a bit of the dirt off, and stuffed it in his mouth.  It was the only food he’d had all day – indeed, probably for several days.

And, predictably, just like Dad, those two ragged little boys were ostracized and tormented by the other kids and the teachers.  For the crime of being poor.

I don’t intend to go into the casual racism here that allowed Dad’s first-grade teacher to fail him twice without cause; or his third-grade teacher to refuse to call on him when he knew the answer to question, telling the other kids, “We won’t ask him; he’s too dumb to know anyway); or the systemic privation and malnutrition that destroyed his health and his ability to learn, and caused him to drop out of school at the end of eighth grade.  Nor will I go into detail about the pre-diabetic hypoglycemia that plagued him his entire life, nor the fact that all three of my siblings were diabetic.  

But I do know what it’s like to wonder where your next meal is coming from.

I know my father’s humiliation when we had to use food stamps and he drove 35 miles to another town so no one we knew would see.

I know what it’s like to be hungry during the school day, and to watch my grades plummet because I couldn’t concentrate.

HUNGER – the real, true, gnawing, tearing, murderous kind of constant hunger that destroys lives – only one generation removed from me, remains a part of my ancestral memory.

I’m not talking about the sanitized popular term “food insecurity.”  I’m not talking about not being able to afford steak instead of ground beef.  I’m talking about the physical, psychological, and spiritual starvation caused by real poverty and real malnutrition.  And it’s something our peoples battle every single day, all over this country – mostly unnoticed by a comparatively wealthy population that wouldn’t care anyway.

HUNGER IN INDIAN COUNTRY

One of the most pernicious myths surrounding hunger in this country is the one that says that if you’re overweight, you can’t be going hungry.  to the contrary, one of the most obvious manifestations of malnutrition is obesity, and it’s rampant among our peoples.  It’s also killing us at a rate that rivals anything tried in previous centuries.

In 2003, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published A Quiet Crisis:  Federal Funding and Unmet Needs in Indian Country.  Pages 99-112 deal with issues of food and nutrition.  The numbers – or, rather, the lack thereof in terms of funding allocations to help Native communities feed themselves – are staggering.  

But it’s part and parcel of a larger dynamic of poverty, racism, and marginalization.  As I wrote a few months ago in an edition of Sage and Sweetgrass in SheKos:


As many of you know, I’m part of the Native American Netroots team, founded and led by Kossack navajo. Many of you participated in our diaries on the long-term winter weather emergency that hit several South Dakota reservations, and donated generously of your money, supplies, time, and support. We need your help again. Some background information follows; at the end, what you can do to help.

Pine Ridge – Some Numbers

During the winter, we focused on three South Dakota reservations where the weather and its effects were most severe: Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud. For purposes of today’s edition, I’m going to focus on Pine Ridge, but all three reservations – and many more throughout the nation – are in similar straits.

At Pine Ridge (like many other reservations), it is not unusual to find women as heads of household. Moreover, they’re often housing and caring for multiple generations: children, grandchildren, sometimes great-grandchildren, as well as elderly parents or grandparents. Frequently, they take in uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and distant cousins who are in need. Large numbers of women are de facto guardians of and primary caregivers for their grandchildren. None of this is particularly surprising, given that the average household income is less than $3,800 a year.

Yes, you read that right: The average household income on the Pine Ridge Reservation is less than three thousand, eight hundred dollars annually.

Further complicating the situation are the inhumane living conditions on many reservations. I’ve seen statistics estimating the life expectancy of the average man at Pine Ridge between age 43 and age 48 – equivalent to that of the average Somali male. At a life expectancy of 52, Pine Ridge women don’t fare much better. The reservation’s unemployment rate exceeds 80%; its poverty rate is one of the worst in the nation; both chronic illness, such as diabetes, and acute illnesses, such as certain forms of cancer, appear at rates between 100% and 800% higher than in the nation as a whole; and the adolescent suicide rate is 150% higher than in the general U.S. population. Alcoholism and methamphetamine addiction long ago reached epidemic proportions.

The USDA operates the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).  It is via this program that most reservations receive what we call “commodities” – a word that the government no longer considers “politically correct” because of the bad reputation associated with it.  Think “government cheese”:  generic Velveeta.  Generic canned foods.  Processed, refined, bleached flour, sugar, rice, pasta, bread.  Ground beef and other cheap meats from huge factory farms, riddled with growth hormone, antibiotics, and Spirit knows what else.  Dietary crap, in other words.  You can find a list of the foods available for 2010 here.  Someday, I’m going to devote a diary to the damage these programs have done – and yet, for many of our communities, they’re all that stands between our people and literally starving to death.

Today, I’m also going to crib shamelessly from an earlier diary of mine, In Our Blood:  The Diabetes Epidemic in Native America.  Because another major manifestation of hunger and malnutrition in our communities is diabetes – and it is an epidemic.

ETHNIC INDICATORS

Only in recent years has the federal government become interested in funding research into ethnic disparities in the incidence of diabetes.  Data are further limited by many of the same factors that skew research into any issue that affects underserved communities:  poverty, lack of access to medical, lack of access to studies and clinical trials, language and cultural barriers, distrust of governmental and/or dominant-culture endeavors, and lack of effective outreach to such communities.  However, the issue is now on the radar of the national Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, which publishes the following 2006 statistics:


   * American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 2.7 times as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes.

   * American Indians/Alaska Natives were almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes in 2006.

   * American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 1.6 times as likely as White adults to be obese.

   * American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 1.3 times as likely as White adults to have high blood pressure.

And an analysis of the 2005 patient population of the Indian Health Service produced the following statistics:


   *  Data from the 2005 IHS user population database indicate that 14.2 percent of the American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 20 years or older who received care from IHS had diagnosed diabetes. After adjusting for population age differences, 16.5 percent of the total adult population served by IHS had diagnosed diabetes, with rates varying by region from 6 percent among Alaska Native adults to 29.3 percent among American Indian adults in southern Arizona.

   * After adjusting for population age differences, 2004 to 2006 national survey data for people ages 20 years or older indicate that 6.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 7.5 percent of Asian Americans, 10.4 percent of Hispanics, and 11.8 percent of non-Hispanic blacks had diagnosed diabetes. Among Hispanics, rates were 8.2 percent for Cubans, 11.9 percent for Mexican Americans, and 12.6 percent for Puerto Ricans.

Got that?  American Indian/Alaska Native adults had a diabetes diagnosis rate of 16.5%. compared to 6.6% for non-Hispanic whites.  The Pima in southern Arizona led the rate of diagnosis, at a staggering 29.3%.  In practical terms, what these numbers mean is that Native Americans have the highest age-adjusted incidence of diabetes of any ethnic group.  And these are just those who have been diagnosed.  Thousands more go undiagnosed for years – often until they die from complications resulting from undiagnosed diabetes.  

In 2006, diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.  However, Native Americans constitute a disproportionately high percentage of members of that particular demographic:  Diabetes-related mortality rates are substantially higher in Native populations:  39.6 per 100,000, compared to 1.9 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic whites.  Keep in mind, however, that these number are almost certainly much lower than the reality:  A study of 1986 data found that, on death certificates, Native American ancestry was underreported at a rate of 65%.  The same analysis concluded that diabetes was 4.3 times more likely to be the underlying cause of death for those listed on their death certificates as Native American than for whites.

And the rates are getting worse, not better.  Part of this may be attributable to higher rates of diagnosis, but the largest part is undoubtedly higher actual incidence.  

CHILD AND TEEN GROWTH RATES

The American Diabetes Association reports that the decade between 1994 and 2004 saw a 68% increase in Type II diabetes among self-identified American Indians and Alaska Natives between the ages of 15 and 19.

Read that again for a moment:  nearly a 70% jump in diabetes among older teenagers – in one decade.

According to the Indian Health Service:


American Indian and Alaska Native children have obesity rates of 40%, four times the rate for the general population.

Obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for developing Type II diabetes – and obesity among children and teenagers is rampant among American society generally, as well as in Native communities particularly.

WHY NATIVE POPULATIONS ARE AT GREATER RISK

We are a mere 100 years removed from living as hunter/gatherers, our ancestral methods of sustaining our peoples.  Indeed, experts often describe us as coming from “hunter-gatherer societies”, and as having a “thrifty” genetic type, biologically engineered to store food as fat during times of plenty, to provide fuel and sustenance during extended periods when food was scarce, such as winter, drought, or migration.  In other words, our bodies had adapted perfectly to our physical environment.

But with contact came the reservation.

With the reservation came deprivation:  of our traditional hunting grounds, including the wanton destruction of the buffalo herds; of the environments where we harvested food, herbs, and medicine; of our ancestral lands when many of our tribes engaged in sophisticated farming and crop rotation practices; of access to many of our cultural and spiritual traditions and methods of healing.

And with the reservation came new dangers:  of previously-unknown infectious agents and disease; of tobacco (not the old asemaa of our medicine persons, consisting of herbs such as red willow bark, bearberry, and mullein, but the modern asemaa of tar and nicotine); of alcohol (not the fermented medicine and ceremonial drinks of our ancestors, but whiskey, rum, and moonshine); of a diet restricted to non-indigenous foods, that would eventually become a diet consisting almost entirely of refined, processed foods low in protein and complex carbohydrates but high in simple carbs and trans fats.

And residents of modern reservations, with median household incomes well below the federal poverty line (often well below $10,000 per year) and with staggering rates of unemployment (as much as 85%), often must rely almost wholly on government welfare programs, including refined and processed commodity foods.  Whole grains, fresh produce, and other healthy foods are far too expensive, and on many reservations, there are no grocery stores or markets that carry such items anyway.  And over the years, refined ingredients have infiltrated the recipes for our traditional foods, so that here in the Southwest, for example, people have for decades used bleached, refined white flour in their tortillas – because it is both available and affordable.  And thus is a staple of the traditional diet converted into an instrument of disease.

ACTION:  WHAT YOU CAN DO

On the personal level:


* If you’re of Native ancestry, get tested.  It only takes a pinprick on the end of a finger.

* If you have loved ones of Native ancestry, encourage them to do the same.

* If you or a loved one gets a diagnosis of diabetes, enroll in a diabetes management program.

* Eat right.  Exercise.  Don’t smoke; don’t drink.  Monitor your glucose levels, and take charge of your own health.

On the local level:  

* If you live on or near a reservation, encourage the development of tribal diabetes education and management programs.

* Support related culturally-appropriate non-profit efforts and local businesses that serve such populations.

* Encourage cultural education and sensitivity.

On the national level:  

* Contact your members of Congress; demand that they fulfill the nation’s statutory obligation to fund the Indian Health Service (IHS) fully.

* Lobby for additional funding for culturally-appropriate diabetes research and prevention programs through IHS.

* Lobby for federal funding for tribal initiatives to maintain diabetes management and traditional treatment programs, including tobacco and alcohol cessation programs.

* Lobby for federal funding for investment and development dollars to bring healthy food initiatives and businesses to reservations.

* Demand that federal assistance programs distribute healthy foods, such as whole grains, and provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

* Lobby for funding for research and development, through the National Institutes of Health, the Indian Health Service, and the Association of American Indian Physicians, dedicated to prevention, treatment, and education programs in Native populations.

And give to Feeding America (FA).  I don’t know yet whether FA explicitly provides funding to food banks and other groups that serve reservations and Native communities, but in the larger scheme of things, it doesn’t matter:  It serves Americans who are our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, children and elders, whatever their ethnicity.  And that’s worth supporting.

Chi miigwech.

If you want to donate money, here is the Feeding America donation page.

If you have time to volunteer, here are some handy tools to find out what assistance is needed:

–Plug your zip code into this search engine to find opportunities in your area to assist hunger organizations.

–Typing in your zip code and state in this search engine will locate food banks in your area.

–Clicking onto to your state on this map will return results for homeless shelters and soup kitchens in your area.


Feeding America Blogathon Diary Schedule (all EDT):

Saturday, Sept 25:

10:00a — rb137

 1:00p — teacherken

 4:00p — Patriot Daily

 7:00p — srkp23

10:00p — boatsie

Owls — Jay in Portland

KuangSi2

Sunday, Sept 26

10:00a — JanF

 1:00p — Aji

 4:00p — Timroff

 7:00p — Chacounne

10:00p — blue jersey mom

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

The Panic of 1837, Climate Change, & Hoping for Peace

( – promoted by navajo)


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Martin Van Buren was better at acquiring presidential power than using it for himself. Van Buren was elected president in 1836, but he saw financial problems beginning even before he entered the White House.

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Crossposted at Progressive Historians


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It turned out to be the worst economic depression that the young nation had yet known.


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First Depression in American history. Banks lost money, people lost faith in banks, and the country lost faith in President Martin van Buren.


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Thousands of people were out of work in a country that had never been through such an experience. In the cities, mobs stormed the warehouses for food, flocked to the poorhouses, and committed crimes so they could go to jail, where they could at least survive. Although prosperity began to return within two years, it came too late to save Van Buren politically. In the 1840 election, he was badly defeated by his former opponent, William Henry Harrison, and suffered what was to him the disgrace of being a one-term president.

The Panic of 1837 was part of the climate that led to the Trail of Tears. Have those lessons been learned yet?

(emphasis mine)


Climate change will lead to war

BALI: Global warming could lead to internal conflicts, regional unrest and war, with North Africa, the Sahel and South Asia among the hotspots, says a report issued at the Bali climate summit.

– snip –

“If global warming is not confined, fragile, vulnerable states which have already now fairly bad governance might implode under the pressure of global warming and then send shock waves to other countries so that you will have spill-over effects,” said one of the authors, Hans Schnellhuber, a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin, Germany.

If warming rose by five degrees Celsius “we might have something like a global civil war,” said Schnellhuber.

Not being any kind of authority on sociological beliefs, I can’t say for certain. However, I am inclined to think less so than more so. All I can offer are my thoughts that are based on a couple of historical events.

This is a paradox I’ll never understand: why is innocence not protected by itself, since the innocent are innocent? It eternally begs the question and leaves no satisfactory answers. Either the paradox is itself the answer, or there is something else? Yes, there was a hope for peace in the face of being exterminated –


Source

…despite broken promises and attacks on his own life, speak of him as a great leader with an almost unique vision of the possibility for coexistence between white society and the culture of the plains…

– which I think began coming true one century later after Moxtaveto’s death.


Moxtaveto (“Black Kettle”) at Washita: 11- 27, 1868 (Re-introduction)

A line was formed after the reenactment with the grandsons of the 7th Calvary, who obviously wanted to help in this healing, at the front of the line. Lawrence Hart, a Mennonite pastor, felt very angry as he watched the bones of the child being passed down it towards the front. A Native woman then put a blanket over the little coffin containing the child’s bones, which continued to be passed down the line to Hart. The blanket was then handed to him…The lady I spoke with said there wasn’t a dry eye left.

I see that as a “doorframe” and this as a door to walk through,


David Gabbard’s essay entitled “Before Predator Came” in“Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America” by editor Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs). p. 230

For European Americans in particular, we need to inquire into the history of our ancestors’ journeys across the Atlantic. Did they really leave Europe to escape religious persecution, or were the majority of our ancestors deemed elements of a surplus population whose deportation could help facilitate predator’s virulent spread to other corners of the earth? Did the enclosure movement and the subsequent deportation of the unemployed and “criminal” elements to the Americas, Africa, and Australia constitute our own “Trail of Tears”? Was it a forerunner to the reservation system imposed on the Indigenous People that predator would later establish? There and other questions abound. Seeking their answers is vital for the sake of remembering ourselves. First Nations scholars from the Indigenous Peoples of North America and elsewhere have shown us the door; it is up to us to walk through it. It’s the only path home.

for “coming home” and having the freedom to chose peace, just like the Sand Creek Massacre descendants and the grandsons of the 7th Calvary did.

Too many great leaders have died and given their lives for the answers leading to peace, that are now right in front of us, to not be used now. It can safely be said that economic collapse with dwindling natural resources, such as the following,


Source

We are witnessing the beginning of one of the great tragedies of history. The United States, in a misguided effort to reduce its oil insecurity by converting grain into fuel for cars,  is generating global food insecurity on a scale never seen before.

will require a willingness to acknowledge our connectedness as one human family.

I say that because dehumanization in one form or the other precedes a Trail of Tears, a being forced to an Auschwitz, or a lynching after a Middle Passage. Of course, acknowledging the connection between one another and Mother Earth may not make much sense –


Source

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

– and that is a very great thing.

Opinion: American Fascists or Christian Fascists?

( – promoted by navajo)

American fascism is the term used by Dr. James Luther Adams, who “was in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and worked with the underground anti-Nazi church.” He said that American fascists would dismantle the open society, using scripture, during “prolonged social instability or a national crisis.” Either of those conditions certainly meets the living conditions on many reservations of their social structure and their Nation. I argue from definition that “Christian fascists” or American fascists are appropriate to be applied to those who christianize Indigenous People as well as to be applied to those who committed  “the slaughters of yesteryear” for the following reasons:  

Duncan Campbell Scott, an Indian Affairs Superintendent, created the term “Final Solution;” Christianizing Indigenous People has historically destroyed cultures and languages, an activity still practiced; Baer before the U.N. said, “the international community should begin to view the violation of language rights as a crime against humanity;” and, the fact that Indigenous People exist in the post Extermination stage of genocide, while the general dominant culture practices the post Extermination stage of genocide, which is Denial. To clarify, the word genocide was not created until 1944 by Raphael Lemkin, “The term ‘Final Solution”‘was not coined by the Nazis, but by Indian Affairs Superintendent Duncan Campbell Scott in April of 1910 when he referred to how he envisioned the “Indian Problem” being resolved.” Hence, Christian fascism or American fascism by definition is appropriate when discussing christianizing Indigenous People, and is appropriate to be applied to those who committed “the slaughters of yesteryear” – strictly my own opinion. Lastly, I think both Christian fascism and American fascism should have two categories: violent fascism and non – violent fascism (for the post Extermination stage of genocide) with definitions fitting both categories and used according to the timeline. Let me explain.

I would say that Christian fascists were and are more motivated by Christendom. For example, Columbus’s first voyage in 1492 combined with his religious motivations for making it led Pope Alexander VI to issue a Papal Bull in 1493. Pope Alexander VI ordered Ferdinand and Isabella to observe and to do the following:  that the primary purpose of all future voyages and ensuing discoveries of land and people was to Christianize and “overthrow” any Nations who resisted; that Columbus himself be used for the next voyage, since there was consensus among Columbus, Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Papacy with regards to spreading Christianity to the entire world; that the Indians might have been good converts; that all this was to be carried out “By the Authority of Almighty God;” that it applied to the entire world; that any possible Christian rulers were to not be overthrown; that Ferdinand and Isabella had power over such possible Christian rulers, while the Papacy had power over them and any possible Christian rulers; that overthrown Nations would have a Christian ruler put in place; that anyone who traded with anyone who overthrew a Christian ruler would be excommunicated; and that anyone who went against the Papal Bull would “Incur the wrath of Almighty God.”


Source

From the moment of its birth Christianity had envisioned the end of the world. Saints and theologians differed on many details about the end, but few disagreements were as intense as those concerned with the nature and timing of the events involved…As word of these predictions spread, the most fundamental affairs of both Church and state were affected. And there had been no previous time in human history when ideas were able to circulate further or more rapidly, for it was in the late 1430s that Johann Gutenberg developed the technique of printing with movable type cast in molds. It has been estimated that as many as 20 million books-and an incalculable number of pamphlets and tracts-were produced and distributed in Europe between just 1450 and 1500.”

I think Christian fascists, which could be an international term, have more motivations from Christendom than do American fascists.

American fascists seem to have been conceived when Nazi War Criminals came to the United States after W.W. II, and one can answer the question of whether or not this classifies as the “redemptive violence” required for fascism or not for themself.



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“After World War II, countries that were generous in accepting immigrants from war-torn Europe; countries like the United States, Australia, Canada and England, which collectively took in hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, also took in thousands and thousands of people who were implicated in the Shoah and other Nazi crimes. We know that at least hundreds and perhaps thousands of them came to the United States.”

“The morality of the Cold War- anything goes,” states Bill Moyers.

Now let’s look what Dr. James Luther Adams said about intellectual snobbery.  

(bold and underline mine)


It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery.

Intellectual snobbery has a price attached to it, and the main media helps pay intellectual snobbery’s bill.


His critique of the prominent research universities, along with the media, was no less withering. These institutions, self-absorbed, compromised by their close relationship with government and corporations, given enough of the pie to be complacent, were unwilling to deal with the fundamental moral questions and inequities of the age. They had no stomach for a battle that might cost them their prestige and comfort.

“In the event of prolonged social instability or a national crisis,” as Dr. James Luther Adams said, “American fascists, under the guise of religion, (will) rise to dismantle the open society.”  Bullying and violence are not being openly perpetrated on American citizens by the state and the necessary intent is not with it to be applicable for the use of “American fascists” in the context I assume Adams used, which includes “redemptive violence.”


The Anatomy of Fascism

”A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Redemptive violence kept in mind, the lion of the energy crisis is stalking as the invisible line between natural resources and genocide has been made visible by events across the globe. That line and the implications thereof remain invisible to many Americans in the United States on this soil.

So, whether it is best defined as an American fascist or a Christian fascist for historical reasons, this much is certain.


THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932)

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere.

The sins of having allowed evil actions are manifesting. So one last time, whether it is best defined as an American fascist or a Christian fascist for historical reasons, this much is certain.


THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932)

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere.

Furthermore, it’s safe to say that one reason that Holocaust survivors speak to the public is so it doesn’t happen again.


“They came for the teachers first,” he said.

My mind blacked out as I saw the utility of that perverse logic.

He said that it began with bullying; first with forcing Jews to clean the streets with toothbrushes, and when it wasn’t “clean enough,” they stripped the Jews and beat them. He also talked about how all the Jews were given arm bands with the Star of David on them to identify them as Jews, so that among  many other horrendous things,  a curfew could be enforced.

They had to work for free from 7 till 7, and that being out after 7:00 P.M.  was punishable by death. He made that point before he talked about how his father courted his mother – breaking the curfew. His father literally risked his life to court his mother.

His father learned they were exterminating the Jews by following the Nazis from a safe distance to the suspected location after hearing some rumors about it; he’d spoken about the strong sense of community among the Jewish people. His father witnessed some of his Jewish friends and neighbors being stripped, being shot, and being put in a hole in the ground. He said his father couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Seems he also said that because the Nazis ran out of “room” to bury bodies, that bought him and his family some time.

I can’t remember how they protected him (the speaker as a child), seems they made a room for him. It’s coming back to me now.

His father took one brick a day from where he was forced to labor and hid the brick in his pants or coat some way, risking his life. He built a wall with those bricks to hide his family behind for the day when the knock on the door would  come early in the morning at 4 A.M., I believe he said. The speaker’s parents left him with a relative or a neighbor where he’d be safe at some point.

Memory fails, but the last thing I recall is the Holocaust survivor who spoke watched his parents be taken away in a railcar. I cried.

Palin: “F**king Eskimo’s” & “Arctic Arabs” (Update)

( – promoted by navajo)

Take a real good look at her face –  not at her fake smile, but look into her eyes.

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What do you see?


Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean”

“It was kind of disgusting,” Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the “lower 48” about life near the North Pole.

I see the eyes of a racist and a global warming denier. Sad indeed; and, her racism helps to clarify how climate disintegration is a human rights issue.

Update:

(Someone needs to cover the sexism of her having called Hillary a “b****” next)


Sarah Palin and Me September 6, 2008 by Charley James –

Anonymous sources are the bane of a reporter’s existence, and have been at least since Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein used them extensively to unmask Watergate and topple Richard Nixon.

Frankly, writing as someone who has been covering news since the late 1960s for everything from local newspapers to major market TV and radio stations to a major business newsweekly, journalists don’t like citing anonymous sources any more than much of the public likes reading pieces that quote people without attribution. Alas, more often than not, the reality is that in a highly-explosive story such as my piece about Sarah Palin published here on Friday, granting anonymity may be the only way to get a source to agree to be interviewed.

So I am not surprised that a number of readers who wrote comments about the article raised questions about my sources. It has happened before, especially when I tackled a subject that raises a lot of dust, and it will happen again. Although I won’t reveal any sources – I honor promises of anonymity – let me explain how the story unfolded and sources came to my attention as I did the reporting.

Here is how her racism helps to clarify how climate disintegration is a human rights issue. First, Palin denies that sooner than later, the ice is melting.


Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

“Last year we saw huge areas of the ocean open up, which has never been experienced before. People are expecting this to continue this year and it is likely to extend over the North Pole. It is quite likely that the North Pole will be exposed this summer – it’s not happened before,” Professor Wadhams said.

There are other indications that the Arctic sea ice is showing signs of breaking up. Scientists at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Centre said that the North Water ‘polynya’ – an expanse of open water surrounded on all sides by ice – that normally forms near Alaska and Banks Island off the Canadian coast, is much larger than normal. Polynyas absorb heat from the sun and eat away at the edge of the sea ice.

Inuit natives living near Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland are also reporting that the sea ice there is starting to break up much earlier than normal and that they have seen wide cracks appearing in the ice where it normally remains stable. Satellite measurements collected over nearly 30 years show a significant decline in the extent of the Arctic sea ice, which has become more rapid in recent years.

This has already had the dire consequences for Indigenous peoples who have had to relocate six years ago “in the remote Alaskan island community of Shishmaref,” yet all she cares about is drilling where ice has melted. Consequently, that and this aren’t in Alaska,

but this is.


Global warming: The Inuit were the first to highlight Alaska’s  Aug 19, 2005

The indigenous people of Alaska could become the first global warming refugees as their frozen homeland goes through the quickest defrost since the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago.


Source

Indigenous peoples from the Arctic have long argued that global warming was having a dramatic effect on their environment. In 2002, villagers in the remote Alaskan island community of Shishmaref voted to relocate to the mainland because rising sea levels threatened to overwhelm their community.

And just how does she feel about the Indigenous people that have had to relocate?


Racial and ethnic slurs may be “just Alaska” and, clearly, they are common, everyday chatter for Palin.

Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.

I still see the eyes of a racist and a global warming denier,

Photobucket

since “f**king Eskimo’s” and “Arctic Arabs” is how she refers to Alaska’s Aboriginal people at the same time as she refers to Obama as, “a Step-N’-Fetch-It, ‘darkie musical’ swipe.” Let’s discuss more how her racism helps to clarify how climate disintegration is a human rights issue by thinking about a fictional scene from a movie, The Dark Knight.


You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!

I caught myself substituting the people losing their houses who are in the public domain verses the Indigenous peoples from the Arctic who have had to relocate. Few have panicked in this election for Indigenous peoples from the Arctic who have had to relocate, because that’s “Part of the plan” of Manifest Destiny.


In 1823, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery was quietly adopted into U.S. law by the Supreme Court in the celebrated case, JOHNSON v. McINTOSH (8 Wheat., 543). Writing for the unanimous court, Chief Justice John Marshall observed that Christian European nations had assumed “ultimate dominion” over the lands of America during the Age of Discovery, and that–upon “discovery”–the Indians had lost “their rights to complete sovereignty, as independent nations,” and only retained a right of “occupancy” in their lands. In other words, Indian nations were subject to the ultimate authority of the first nation of Christendom to claim possession of a given region of Indian lands. [Johnson: 574; Wheaton: 270-1]

Palin’s racist use of “Arctic Arabs” spit towards Indigenous peoples suggests oil theft by overturning governments; or, in this case hoping the ice melts to steal the oil. In that same dark light, Palin’s use of “f**king Eskimo’s” suggests resentment over the fact theInuit have laid a claim in the Arctic region themselves.


“We are launching a claim in the Arctic only on behalf of the Greenlanders,” which would inherit any of Denmark’s Arctic territory once they become independent, says Svend Auken, a veteran Danish politician and former energy minister.

Why does Palin refer to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” and “f**king Eskimo’s?” Like the character played by Michael Cain states in “The Dark Knight” said.


Some men (people) just want to watch the world burn.

In other words, she wants the ice to melt,


May 08, 2008

This is a video journal chronicling a visit by Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times writer and Dot Earth blogger, to the drifting, cracking sea ice around the North Pole with a climate-research team. More on that trip is online at nytimes.com/revkin and nytimes.com/learning/globalwarming.

so she can “Drill, Baby Drill!”

But the “Arctic Arabs” and “f**king Eskimo’s” as Palin racially calls them are in her way while they have hope with Obama, who she racially calls “a Step-N’-Fetch-It, ‘darkie musical’ swipe.” How ignorant, arrogant, and racist of her.