29 May 2005

Honour the Warrior Spirit...

The Warrior Spirit
© Indian Country Today May 27, 2005. All Rights Reserved
Posted: May 27, 2005
by: Lance Zedric / Special to TodayC

Honoring Native soldiers

American Indians of the Alamo Scouts

Part Two

The Alamo Scouts were a top secret reconnaissance and raider unit that operated in the southwest Pacific during World War II and performed 108 missions without losing a single man, including two POW camp raids. They are recognized by the Army as a forerunner of the modern Special Forces. By some accounts as many as one-quarter of the enlisted graduates of the first Alamo Scouts training class were American Indian and served on operational teams, while the others returned to their units to utilize their special training.


Sgt. Byron L. Tsingine, a Navajo from the Deer Water People Clan from Coppermine, Ariz., and Ssg. Alvin J. Vilcan, a Chitimacha from Louisiana, graduated from the first training class but returned to their units despite being selected to operational teams. Tsingine served another year as a scout in the 158th and was wounded on Luzon in early 1945.
While with the 158th, Tsingine spoke with Navajo scouts from other units and passed on vital combat information, just as the more renowned Navajo code talkers of Marine Corps fame had done.

''Tsingine and other Indians were invaluable,'' said Earl Newman, of the Service Company of the 158th. ''They would speak Navajo and confuse the Japanese. A Navajo was placed in each company and Tsingine communicated using the Navajo language when he did reconnaissance work. The Japanese never knew what we were doing and we were always a step ahead of them.''

''I knew Tsingine well from our time in the 158th,'' said Thompson. ''He was an excellent fellow and a fine soldier. I voted for him to be on my team.''

Other Alamo Scout graduates also served as code talkers. Sgt. Guy F. Rondell, a Lakota from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, was a graduate of the second Alamo Scouts training class and returned to the 302nd Recon Squadron of the 1st Cavalry Division. He was one of only 11 Lakota Sioux B3 code talkers who served during the war. Six served in the Pacific and five in Europe.

''Pfc. Francis H. LaQuier of my team was a Chippewa from the White Earth Reservation in Early, Minnesota,'' added team leader Tom Rounsaville. ''He could draw a map that looked like an engineer production. His maps were so detailed and exact that they were part of our mission reports. He was an integral part of the team and was one of the finest soldiers I've ever served with.''

The unit assumed a central role in organizing large-scale guerrilla operations, establishing road watch stations, attempting to locate and capture or kill Japanese flag officers, and performing direct action missions, such as the Cabanatuan POW Camp liberation where they teamed with elements of the 6th Ranger Battalion and Filipino guerrilla units to liberate 513 POWs in a daring night attack. When not on missions, Alamo Scout teams provided bodyguard duty for Krueger and had specific instructions to kill the general if capture was imminent.
Near the end of the war, Alamo Scout teams were preparing for the invasion of Japan, where they were slated to conduct pre-invasion reconnaissance of Kyushu as part of Operation Downfall, but fortunately the war ended.

''Our perfect record wouldn't have lasted if we would have had to go to Japan,'' said Chief Zeke McConnell, a Cherokee from Bunch, Okla. who performed 13 operational missions in New Guinea and the Philippines as part of Littlefield Team. ''We would have lost a lot of men. It would have been near suicide.''

After the war, those scouts with enough service points went home, while others returned to their parent units or accompanied the 6th Army to Kyoto, Japan and joined the 6th Ranger Battalion for rations and quarters. Many former scouts remained in the military and saw service in Korea and Vietnam, and four went on to attain general officer rank. Until the mid 1980s, most of the Alamo Scout missions were classified top secret; the most recent was declassified in 1993.
The contributions of American Indians to the Alamo Scouts and their warrior spirit were further evidenced by the unit's distinctive insignia. In late 1944, a contest was held at the Alamo Scout Training Center on Leyte to design a unique shoulder patch. Krueger approved the patch for wear in theater, but it was not approved by the Institute of Heraldry and had to be purchased independently.

The final design featured a fully embroidered blue background with a red outer border and a wide white inner circle. Within the upper half of the circle appeared ''Alamo Scouts'' and within the bottom half, ''Sixth Army.'' The letters were fashioned in green, log-type script and symbolized the trailblazing nature of the unit. A depiction of the Alamo centered inside a white inner circle symbolized the bravery of the Alamo's original defenders, and an Indian head superimposed upon the Alamo represented silent reconnaissance.

Although the true extent of Native participation in the Alamo Scouts likely will never be known, their legacy of outstanding service, quiet professionalism and toughness is secure. Their contribution to victory in the Southwest Pacific and other theaters during World War II has forever cemented their place among America's elite warriors and set a high standard for future generations to meet.

''I'm proud to be a Native American and an Alamo Scout,'' said McConnell. ''But in the Alamo Scouts it didn't matter if you were Indian, Caucasian, Hispanic or Filipino. Our mission was to accomplish the mission, and we all did our part just like every other soldier. The men were tough, the training was tough, and the missions were tough. But I think our record speaks for itself.''

A record of 108 missions with zero casualties speak volumes.

Identified American Indians who served in the Alamo Scouts:
* Anthony J. Ortiz
* Zeke McConnell
* Virgil F. Howell
* Robert T. Schermerhorn
* Joseph A. Johnson
* Joshua Sunn
* Theodore T. Largo
* Francis H. LaQuier
* David M. Milda
* Byron L. Tsingine
* Alvin J. Vilcan

Lance Q. Zedric is the author of ''Silent Warriors of World War II: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines.'' He is a lecturer on military affairs and special operations forces, historian for the Alamo Scouts Association and co-founder of www.alamoscouts.org.

On Memorial Day, Remember the Ancestors...

Remember the Ancestors on Memorial Day.

Most people don't realize that Adolf Hitler got the idea for his "Final Solution" from America's treatment of the Original People...


ICT [2005/05/27]??Deer Island Indian Concentration Camp Victims Remembered
© Indian Country Today May 27, 2005. All Rights Reserved
Posted: May 27, 2005
by: Gale Courey Toensing / Indian Country Today

DEER ISLAND, Mass. - Standing on top of a hill on Deer Island where hundreds of Indians died of starvation and exposure more than 300 years ago, John Sam Sapiel recollected their suffering.

''I prayed in [my language] for all of them,'' Sapiel, Penobscot, said on May 24, following a commemoration ceremony to honor the Deer Island Indian concentration camp victims, who died on that desolate strip of land off Boston Harbor during the brutal winter of 1675 - '76.
May 24 marked the anniversary of the 1677 repeal of the law that established the Massachusetts concentration camp for Indians.
The law was signed into effect by the Massachusetts Council on Oct. 13, 1675, five months after the beginning of King Philip's War against the English settlers. The war was a devastating conflict that pitted tribes against each other, killed thousands of American Indians, and cleared the way for white settlement.

Sapiel, 74, organized the commemoration ceremony, which drew around 40 people including Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo. Arroyo placed a wreath on the site of a mass grave.

''I told [the attendees] what it felt like. I said, 'We're on top of this mound of bones here that was a mass burial ground for our people. You can imagine what our people went through when they were put over here on this island and left to starve to death. Today, we're just getting a taste of it,''' Sapiel said, referring to the slashing cold 60 mph winds.

The island, approximately one mile long by half a mile wide, was a smidgen of land cut off from the mainland by the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Until 1936, the only access to the island was by boat. At that time, the gap between Deer Island and the town of Winthrop, Mass. was filled and a road built. Now Deer Island is the site of a massive $3.6 billion sewer treatment plant and part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, open to the public for recreation.

King Philip, whose Wampanoag name was Metacom (aka Metacomet or Pometacom), had lived peacefully with the settlers for several years as had his father, Sachem Massasoit. But after decades of fraudulent land sales and growing conflicts with the colonists' takeover, Philip launched a war to drive the settlers from New England.

Many Indians in the area were Christian converts who had lived among the English settlers all of their lives. But, like a precursor of what would happen to Japanese-Americans during World War II, the colonial government believed the Indians could not be trusted to resist joining Philip's efforts.

The 1675 law ordered that all Christian Indians be rounded up and transferred to Deer Island for the duration of the war. Months later, the ethnic cleansing expanded to include all Indians, Christian and non-Christian.

''The only thing my people were doing [during King Philip's War] was trying to protect our lands. This is what the settler thing was all about - trying to get the tribes to sign away their economy, their land, and their resources. They're still doing it today in Palestine and all through that area - stealing their land and trying to get their resources,'' Sapiel said.

These stories from the past need to be told, Sapiel said, particularly the little-known history of the Northeastern tribes who were the first to be impacted by European colonialism.

''I feel great about [the commemoration ceremony]. We're starting to get some of our history in there - what happened to us a long time ago. That's the first part of it. Now we're going to be working on a lot of other things to bring the history of the American Indians into focus,'' Sapiel said.

Part of the story that may reflect one of the most ironic projections in the history of the colonial settlers and the Northeastern tribal nations is the depiction on the 17th century seal of the Massachusetts colony - an image of an Indian juxtaposed with a quote from Acts 16:9: ''Come over and help us.''

Just Like Mildew...

Just like mildew, the Klan keeps coming back every time the conditions get nasty enough. Another thing to thank Curious George for, enit...


Burning Crosses Signal Return of Ku Klux Klan
    By Andrew Buncombe
    The Independent UK

    Saturday 28 May 2005

    Police in Durham, North Carolina, have launched an investigation after three crosses were set alight in one night - triggering fears that the Ku Klux Klan may have targeted the city. Yellow leaflets, purportedly produced by the KKK, were found at the site of one of the burning crosses.

    While burning crosses have long been associated with the Klan, people in Durham said this was the first time for a generation that such an incident had been reported in the city. Students of the Klan also say that it is vastly reduced in its membership and influence from 40 years ago. It may be that the crosses were simply set ablaze by pranksters.

    "At this day and time, I thought we'd be beyond that," said the city's mayor, Bill Bell. "People do things for different reasons, and I don't have the slightest idea why anyone would do this."

    The first burning was reported at around 9.20pm outside one of the city's churches, the second 40 minutes later next to a construction site and the third half-an-hour later at an intersection in the city centre. Each cross was around 7ft tall and 4ft across. They had all been wrapped in sacking and doused with kerosene. "We're working with the FBI in investigating this, but right now we don't have any leads," said Kammi Michael, a spokesperson for the Durham Police Department. Durham's population of around 200,000 is evenly split between white and black and the city has long enjoyed a reputation for having little racial friction. Mr Bell, who entered politics in 1972, said that even after the assassination of Martin Luther King which sparked riots elsewhere across the country, the city was able to remain relatively calm.

    But observers say that even today the KKK retains a strong presence in parts of the US South, where there are said to be between 30 and 50 cross burnings reported every year. Many of them are known to be carried out by the Klan.

    Joe Roy, chief investigator for the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Centre, an Alabama-based campaign group, said that North Carolina had 37 active "hate groups", including neo-Confederate and neo-Nazi organisations. Of all of these, the Klan is most active.

    "You've got a lot of Klan presence in North Carolina - always have," said Mr Roy. "Something may have touched them off." In recent weeks there have been other reports of KKK leaflets being distributed across the South. In Philadelphia, Mississippi, where in two weeks the trial is due to start of an 80-year-old former Klan member accused of organising the 1964 killing of three civil rights workers, leaflets apparently printed by the KKK were discovered two weeks ago.

    In Durham, part of North Carolina's prosperous "technology triangle", local people have been holding vigils since the burning crosses were discovered on Wednesday evening.

    "I think that the community is bringing itself together. I've heard nothing negative, just shock from everyone," said Mayor Bell.

    Theresa El-Amin, director of the Southern Anti-Racism Network, which organised a community meeting, told the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper: "People in Durham are not going to let this go down. This is a mean and evil thing."


28 May 2005

Protect What is Sacred...

Canunpa - Protection of the Sacred Red Stone

The Sacred Red Stone of the Canunpa

... is in danger of extinction. Through acts of greed and mining by the u.s. and others, as well as lack of reverence for it's unique purpose and limited supply, the time for protection of the Sacred Red Stone has come upon us. The neglect of the Sacred Stones true meaning, through lack of basic and essential understanding of what the stone is actually for, continues relatively unchecked at this most important time of human existence. It is against Nakota Law, for example, to use a constructed Canunpa to hang over a mantle or for other type of display purpose, or to make jewelry, ornaments or other trinkets out of the special and sacred Red Rock. This rare stone was gifted to the Nakota People and is solely for the purpose of constructing the sacred Canunpa.

The Nakota Canunpa directs Seven Sacred Canunpa Ceremonies (sometimes referred to as the Seven Sacred Rites). The Canunpa is only to be cared for by a very few qualified Nakota caretakers, who are selected by their communities and who must conduct each of the seven sacred ceremonies within their communities throughout the year – a most difficult, time consuming, and dedicated duty. The Canunpa ceremonies come directly from the dream vision of a Nakota person many millions of years ago. The ceremonies were received and are conducted in order to maintain balance and happiness within Indigenous Nakota communities through a series of Thanksgiving /Appreciation ceremonial exercises. The spelling and pronunciation of the word “Canunpa” remains the same within all four language groupings as it has always been.

You may write congress and demand that exploitation and use of the Canunpa for anything other than its intended use be outlawed by the u.s. government. A petition calling for such measures appears at the following website address: www.petitiononline.com/wakan/petition.html

The Spirit of Peace...

Many thanks to the Creator...


White Bison Birth Causing a Stir
Last Updated: May 24 2005 04:10 PM MDT

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - The birth of a rare white bison – the odds of which are said to be one in 10 million – is creating some excitement on a ranch in North Peace Country.Spirit of Peace, a white bison (Photo courtesy Blatz Bison Ranch)The owners of the Blatz Bison Ranch, in Fort St. John, just across the Alberta border in British Columbia, say the white buffalo calf was born prematurely on April 17.

Native legend holds that the white bison is a harbinger of peace and unity.

In that spirit, owner Karen Blatz has named the male calf Spirit of Peace.

"To them, a white buffalo is a symbol of hope, rebirth or unity, and also peace. And because he was born north of Peace River, we thought Peace would be a good name," she said.

The calf is being fed from a bottle, and Blatz said that may have to continue for several more months. She said he was only nine kilograms at birth, half of a newborn bison calf's typical weight.

The calf started feeding from bottles shortly after his birth as he was having trouble getting milk from his mother.

Blatz said she was stunned when she saw the young creature for the first time.

"It was almost like we couldn't believe our eyes. We know how rare it is and we thought, how can this be on our farm?" she said.

Blatz said the calf will remain under her care for several more months, but she is considering selling him.

"We would definitely consider selling him. It could be to the native Americans, or even if a circus or a zoo wants something rare to put in there – to draw the crowds. That would be good too, but he definitely needs more exposure than where we live," Blatz said.

The calf is already drawing attention from curious neighbours and the media.

One authority on white bison believes only 19 others like Spirit of Peace have been born in the past 70 years.

Blatz attributed the odds of the birth, one in 10 million, to the National Buffalo Association.


Please Inform the Media...

The Silent Scream of Numbers
The 2004 election was stolen — will someone please tell the media?
Tribune Media Services
As they slowly hack democracy to death, we’re as alone — we citizens — as we’ve ever been, protected only by the dust-covered clichés of the nation’s founding: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
It’s time to blow off the dust and start paying the price.
The media are not on our side. The politicians are not on our side. It’s
just us, connecting the dots, fitting the fragments together, crunching the numbers, wanting to know why there were so many irregularities in the last election and why these glitches and dirty tricks and wacko numbers had not just an anti-Kerry but a racist tinge. This is not about partisan politics. It’s more like: “Oh no, this can’t be true.”
I just got back from what was officially called the National Election
Reform Conference, in Nashville, Tenn., an extraordinary pulling together of disparate voting-rights activists — 30 states were represented, 15 red and 15 blue — sponsored by a Nashville group called Gathering To Save Our Democracy. It had the feel of 1775: citizen patriots taking matters into their own hands to reclaim the republic. This was the level of its urgency.
Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don’t want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener’s eyeballs roll. So let’s not ask that question.
Let’s simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.
This, mind you, is just for starters. We might also ask why so many
Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don’t make sense (see, for instance, www.northnet.org/minstrel, the Web site of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, lead statistician in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results). Indeed, the movement to investigate the 2004 election is led by such people, because the numbers are screaming at them that something is wrong.
And we might, no, we must, ask — with more seriousness than the media have asked — about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a “shy Republican” factor as the explanation; and the media have bought this evidence-free absurdity because it spares them the need to think about the F-word: fraud.
And the numbers are still haywire. A few days ago, Terry Neal wrote in the Washington Post about Bush’s inexplicably low approval rating in the latest Gallup poll, 45 percent, vs. a 49 percent disapproval rating. This is, by a huge margin, the worst rating at this point in a president’s second term ever recorded by Gallup, dating back to Truman.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” asks exit polling expert Jonathan Simon, who pointed these latest numbers out to me. Bush mustered low approval ratings immediately before the election, surged on Election Day, then saw his ratings plunge immediately afterward. Yet Big Media has no curiosity about this anomaly.
Simon, who spoke at the Nashville conference — one of dozens of speakers to give highly detailed testimony on evidence of fraud and dirty tricks from sea to shining sea — said, “When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death.”
In contrast to the deathly silence of the media is the silent scream of the numbers. The more you ponder these numbers, and all the accompanying data, the louder that scream grows. Did the people’s choice get thwarted? Were thousands disenfranchised by chaos in the precincts, spurious challenges and uncounted provisional ballots? Were millions disenfranchised by electronic voting fraud on insecure, easily hacked computers? And who is authorized to act if this is so? Who is authorized to care?
No one, apparently, except average Americans, who want to be able to trust the voting process again, and who want their country back.
List info at: http://nativenewsonline.org/natnews.htm

26 May 2005

Calvin College...

Rejected! Reading this kind of thing gives me a glimmer of hope for our battered country. I wish I could take all of those good folks out for a beer...



By Bill Gallagher

"As Christians we are called to be peacemakers, and to initiate war only as a last resort. We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq." -- An open letter to President George W. Bush from concerned faculty, staff and emeriti of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.

DETROIT -- Hallelujah! It's time for rejoicing. When one-third of the faculty members of this distinguished Christian college sign the letter denouncing their commencement speaker, telling him bluntly, "We see conflicts between our understanding of what Christians are called to do and many of the policies of your administration," you know the Busheviks are seething.

Things like that are not supposed to happen to the most thoroughly scripted, supremely orchestrated and meticulously controlling administration in American political history.

The rule is simple: George W. Bush never, in any way, sees, hears or encounters those who disagree with him. Stalin faced and tolerated more public dissent than Bush.

His rare news conferences are a joke and cheap theater. He spouts out his memorized lines and the toadies in the White House press corps sit there like a reverential audience lapping up the lies, and then repeating them.

Would just one Democrat stand up on the floor of Congress and call Bush a lying criminal who should be impeached and indicted for war crimes? Why do so many Democrats find it impossible to accuse Bush of raiding the U.S. Treasury to rob from the poor and give to the rich, and burdening our children with unconscionable debt?

Calvin College is in Grand Rapids, Mich., deeply conservative ground that provides a rich motherlode for Republican fund-raising. It's home for the DeVos family and their Amway Corp. -- a cult-like enterprise that promises riches to all participants willing to climb the pyramid of success.

The DeVos crowd dominates Michigan Republican circles these days and they would drum out Grand Rapid's own Gerald Ford from the party. The former president's views are far too liberal and inclusive for the Bush-DeVos GOP, rooted as it now is in fundamentalism and intolerance. Given that environment, it's easy to see why Bush's "brain" Karl Rove selected Calvin College as one of two schools where the president delivers the commencement address this year. The other, the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., will provide Bush with his perfect audience -- guaranteed standing ovations and no hint of dissent. But to Karl Rove's unpleasant surprise, many of the folks at Calvin don't buy Bush's radicalism wrapped in religion. They're speaking out forthrightly, teaching the wimps in the Democratic Party a lesson they should heed, but will probably ignore.

In addition to the professors' proclamation, another letter to Bush from students, faculty, alumni and friends of the college published in a full-page newspaper ad protested his visit, noting they are "deeply troubled" by it. Kicking the sanctimonious president right in his political shins, they added, "In our view, the policies and actions of your administration, both domestically and internationally over the past four years, violate the deeply held principles of Calvin College."

The modern Republican Party has laid exclusive claim on conservative religious groups as essential to its base. Any defections threaten the dynasty and must be dealt with as grievous departures from the "true faith."

The only Republican religion is Bush's claimed Christianity. The Grand Rapids Press, noted for one of the worst editorial pages on earth, praised Bush as a "fitting speaker for the college and its graduates." In an editorial gushing over the "honor," the paper sings "Hail to the Chief," noting, "A conservative and deeply Christian man, Mr. Bush's outlooks overlap broadly on those of the college and its students." The implication, of course, is that those who differ with Bush must be "shallowly Christian" or, God forbid, secular.

Many who cling to the school's own mission statement do not accept the purported congruence of Calvin College and Bush Republicanism. The statement reads, "We pledge fidelity to Jesus Christ, offering our hearts and lives to do God's work in God's world."

The faculty letter, published in an ad in the Grand Rapids Press, takes on Bush's frequent evocation of the divine to brand his work. "While recognizing God as sovereign over individuals and institutions alike, we understand that no single political position should be identified with God's will." Those words alone should get them burned at the stake, with Karl Rove proving the wood and Jerry Falwell lighting the fire.

Bush's Robin Hood-in-reverse policies take an arrow. "As Christians we are called to lift up the hungry and impoverished. We believe your administration has taken actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor," the faculty members write.

They challenge Bush-flavored faith that nurtures wedge issues to cloud more important matters and carry out a cynical political calculus. "As Christians we are called to actions characterized by love, gentleness and concerns for the most vulnerable among us. We believe your administration has fostered intolerance and divisiveness and has often failed to listen to those with whom it disagrees." Amen.

David Crump, a professor of religion at Calvin, was one of the leaders of the faculty protest. He told the Detroit Free Press he felt compelled to speak out because "the largest part of our concern is the way in which our religious discourse in this country has been largely co-opted by the religious right and their wholesale endorsement of this administration."

I spoke with Crump and discussed the faculty letter and politicians who cloak themselves in religion. He struck me as a soft-spoken, committed person whose conscience led him to action. Crump has taught at Calvin for eight years and he's up for a tenure appointment this summer. Speaking out like he does requires more guts than Bush, Rove and a division of Busheviks have ever displayed.

Crump said he's tired of all evangelicals being lumped together and people "naturally associating us with the right wing." He admires Jim Wallis, another evangelical whose "moral values" differ sharply with the Bush administration's.

Bush used to seek the advice of Jim Wallis until he told him things he didn't want to hear. In a recent interview in "Mother Jones" magazine, Wallis said, "Fighting poverty is a moral value too. There's a whole generation of young Christians who care about the environment. That's their big issue. Protecting God's creation, they would say is a moral value too. And, for a growing number of Christians, the ethics of war -- how and when we go to war, whether we tell the truth about going to war -- is a religious and moral issue as well." No wonder Wallis got kicked-off the White House A-list.

According to ABC News, protesters outside the college wore buttons saying, "God is not a Republican or a Democrat." What kind of radical theology is that? Some of the students had "No War" taped on their graduation caps.

Bush has a certain nostalgia for Calvin College, the site of one of the debates among the Republicans running for president in 2000.

At the time, Sen. John McCain was seriously challenging Bush's bid for the White House. McCain used the forum to oppose Bush's plan to deposit the entire Clinton surplus into one shaky basket. McCain prophetically said, "For us to put all of the surplus into tax cuts, it's a mistake. We should put that money into making sure the Social Security system will be there, that Medicare is helped out, most of all, let's pay that $5.6 trillion debt we've laid on future generations."

Before the students at Calvin College, and the world, George W. Bush then uttered a lie for the ages. He twanged, "I have a plan that takes $2 trillion over the next 10 years and dedicates it to Social Security. My plan has been called risky by voices out of Washington. In my judgment, what's risky is to leave a lot of unspent money in Washington. It's going to be spent on bigger federal governments."

Bush has not dedicated a dime to Social Security. He has squandered the entire Clinton surplus and created unprecedented debt, including $300 billion for the war in Iraq. His fiscal madness brings great risk of economic collapse. Bush has significantly increased the size of the federal government.

The Calvin professors are speaking eloquently and courageously and they are exposing Bush's misuse of Christianity for his selfish and destructive political agenda.

He's not listening, but let's hope evangelicals everywhere are.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

'Bout Time...Enit?

Senate Panel Considers Apology to American Indians

May. 25, 2005 - A U.S. senator on Wednesday urged a Senate committee to pass a resolution apologizing on behalf of the United States to American Indians for centuries of massacres, broken promises and other injustices.

Indian leaders at the hearing said they would need more than an apology to overcome the poverty, substance abuse and health care problems that many of their people face.

The United States has never formally apologized for its treatment of the indigenous people who were living here before European settlement began.

Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who is spearheading the apology resolution, told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs it would be a first step toward healing deep wounds.

"Before reconciliation, there must be recognition and repentance," he said. "It begins the effort of reconciliation by recognizing past wrongs and repenting for them."

Brownback introduced a similar resolution in the last Congress. It was voted out of the committee but the full Senate never acted on it.
The closest the United States has come to a formal apology to Indians came in 2000 when an assistant secretary for Indian affairs apologized for the past conduct of his agency. He said policies of successive U.S. governments had "set out to destroy all things Indian" and left a "legacy of misdeeds that haunts us today."

Brownback's resolution says the United States must acknowledge "the broken treaties and many of the more ill-conceived federal policies that followed, such as extermination, termination, forced removal and relocation, the outlawing of traditional religions, and the destruction of sacred places."

The resolution apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all American Indians "for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on native peoples by citizens of the United States." It also asks forgiveness for massacres such as the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado, where as many as 200 Indians were killed, and the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota, where about 350 Indians died in 1890.

Indian leaders at the hearing said much more than an apology was needed to help deal with the many problems their communities are facing, including poverty, ill health and poor health care, alcoholism, drug addiction and unemployment.

"The president has proposed drastic budget cuts to many of the programs that are vital to the health and well-being of our people," said Tex Hall, president of the National Congress of American Indians.
Edward Thomas, president of the central council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes of Alaska, said it was clear that some in the U.S. government were sorry about the treatment of Indians while others were not.

"An apology to us while ignoring the Third World conditions of so many of our people just doesn't seem genuine," he said.

Collin Kelly

Beware, for Coyote can take on many shapes and forms...


Cemetery Thwarts Boy's Effort to Put Flowers on Graves
By Rob Haneisen / Daily News Staff
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

FRAMINGHAM -- Collin Kelly is a 9-year-old boy who simply wanted to honor his heroes by placing flowers on the graves of long-dead soldiers at Edgell Grove Cemetery in time for Memorial Day weekend.

     Instead, his would-be act of kindness has been thwarted by the Edgell Grove Cemetery Trustees who say the rules forbid strangers from placing flowers in the soldiers' lot where 156 veterans from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War are buried.

     "I can't believe the controversy we are embroiled in," said an incredulous Lynn Kelly, Collin's mother. "It's two marigolds! It's not like we're defacing the graves - we're honoring them."
    A story in Saturday's Daily News featured Collin's plan to raise money so he could plant two small flowers at each grave in the soldiers' lot. Collin, a second-grader at St. Bridget's, started collecting money from neighbors and teachers to buy the flowers and said last week that he needed about $75 more to finish the job.
    Collin's story sparked an outpouring of goodwill with checks arriving at the Kelly home, phone calls pledging support (including one from Rivers Edge Greenhouse offering free flowers) and even a few personal visits.

     "We had people knocking on our door, wanting to meet Collin, giving him $5 or $10," said Lynn Kelly. "I had a man in my driveway crying."

     According to Kevin Devlin, the Edgell Grove Cemetery superintendent, the board of trustees turned away Collin's effort because it violates cemetery policy that forbids anyone other than family members from placing flowers on graves.

     "This was a decision that they made and I just did what I was told," said Devlin, who initially welcomed the idea last week. "I still think it was a nice gesture on his part."

     The cemetery is owned by the town of Framingham but is run by a five-member elected board of trustees. Devlin said families buy the rights to the plots and expect that no one other than family will plant flowers around the grave site.

     "If you have a cemetery, you have to have rules and regulations," Devlin said. "To plant on other people's graves is not really the thing to do."

     Barbara Ford, vice chairman of the trustees, agreed that rules are rules, "no matter how thoughtful and charitable. Evidently this wasn't handled properly," she said.

     "You don't just go into a cemetery and place flowers on graves that belong to somebody else," Ford said. "Those are private lots."

     Trustees William Welch, Nancy Bianchi, Stanton Fitts and John Silva could not be reached for comment.

     Collin liked it that so many people wanted to help him but he did not understand why the trustees would not allow him to place flowers in the soldiers' lot.

     "These graves are so old that no one comes to visit them much," he said. "If people came - and they probably won't - and they want to plant flowers and don't want (my flowers), they can just rip them up."

     Collin thought of his idea when visiting the cemetery last week to put flowers on a relative's grave and noticed that the soldiers' lot did not have any flowers. A large memorial in front of the lot is decorated with flowers and a wreath on Memorial Day and each grave is marked with an American flag.

     After the story appeared in Saturday's newspaper, Lynn Kelly said they returned home to find 17 messages on the answering machine, including one from Sarasota, Fla.

     "At church, people came up to him," said Lynn Kelly. "You should have seen him. He was glowing."

     Collin said if he can't buy flowers for the graves he will donate the money to the Framingham Veterans Council to help them run programs to honor those who served.

     Mal Schulze, Veterans Council president who praised Collin's idea last week, had harsh words for the Edgell Grove Cemetery Trustees' decision.

     "I think the whole thing is a bunch of crap," he said. "It was absolutely thoughtless" of the trustees to turn down Collin's idea.

     To show his gratitude, Schulze has offered an invitation to Collin and his mother to join the Veterans Council on Memorial Day when they participate in wreath-laying ceremonies across town. Collin will also be Schulze's guest of honor at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Memorial Building in Framingham at 11 a.m. Monday.

     Ford said she admired Collin's thoughtfulness and hoped he did not have any hard feelings over the matter. She said it would be nice if he decided to plant flowers around the memorial in front of the soldiers' lot.
( Rob Haneisen can be reached at rhaneis@cnc.com )

Quote of the Day

"I praise you for my Children the Mountains and the Streams
I praise you for the Eagle, the Visions and the Dreams
I praise you for my People the Mountains and the Streams
I praise you for the Eagle, the Visions and the Dreams
The visions and the Dreams, the Visions and the Dreams..."

~~Bill Miller (Mohican)

25 May 2005

Seeing Double DOUBLE?

I don't Adam and Eve it!


Quads Against the Odds
By Lucy LAING, Daily Mail

Halfway through her remarkable pregnancy, doctors had heartbreaking news for Karen Myles.

They told her there was very little chance that all four of the quadruplets she was carrying would survive.

In fact they were so sure the babies would not last the pregnancy, they offered to terminate one or more to give the others a better chance of survival.

As she gazes at four cherubic faces and listens to their lively chatter each day, Mrs Myles is more than thankful that she never even considered that offer.

She was adamant that all four deserved a fighting chance - and refused a selective termination despite the risks to herself and the babies.

Against all the odds, Imogen, Emily, Hope and Oliver were all born healthy - and at 18 months, are enjoying every mischievous moment at home in Bolney, West Sussex.

Mrs Myles, a midwife, and her husband Dominic, 36, director of a computer software company, already have a four-year-old son, Joseph.

They were keen for a brother or sister for him so Mrs Myles, who had developed gynaeological problems, took one course of the fertility drug Clomid.


It was at 12 weeks pregnant, she discovered that the family was about to increase by four.

"The midwife told me she could see three babies on the scanner, and I was just trying to take this in, when she suddenly exclaimed, 'Hang on - there's another one in there'. I just went into complete shock - it was too much to take in. Being a midwife myself, I knew what risks there were in such a large multiple pregnancy, so it was terrifying."

At 18 weeks pregnant, Mrs Myles, 34, was referred to worldrenowned expert Professor Kypros Nicolaides at King's College Hospital in London.

There she was offered the chance to terminate one or more of her babies, to give the others a better chance of survival.

"I was adamant not to have it done. I wanted to give all my babies the same chance," she said.

Mrs Myles had a stitch put into her cervix at 21 weeks to keep her uterus intact and was scanned every fortnight.

The births

In November 2003, 32 weeks into her pregnancy, she started having contractions and was taken to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, Surrey for an emergency caesarean.

The quadruplets were delivered within eight minutes. Imogen and Hope weighed 3lb 15oz, Emily 4lb 7oz and Oliver 4lb 1oz.

All were taken to intensive care, where Oliver was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe.

"It was so amazing to see them all lying side by side in their cots," Mrs Myles said. "I couldn't believe that I had wanted another baby to complete our family - and here I was with four new additions."

After two weeks in hospital the babies were allowed home.

Now, at 18 months, they are in robust health.

"They have had the odd cough and cold, but nothing serious. I can't believe they have done so well," their mother said. "They all have massive appetites and love lots of home cooking. They are up to the normal height and weight for their age - although Oliver is a little smaller than the girls.

"Our family is definitely complete now - we won't be trying for any more."

Adam Bailon, spokesman for the British Fertility Society and professor of reproductive medicine at Leeds General Infirmary, said Mrs Myles was 'incredibly lucky'.

"We just don't see quadruplet pregnancies any more as now only a maximum of two embryos are put back in IVF treatment," he said.

"We are worried if we see triplets now, or even twins, as multiple pregnancies are risky for both the mother and the babies.

"It is extremely unlikely that if a mother is pregnant with quads, that she will go on to have four healthy babies."


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Barking Spiders!

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Barking Spiders


21 May 2005

Mr. Galloway Goes To Washington...

Damn! He gave them both barrels and a broadside!


AlterNet: War on Iraq: Galloway Goes To Washington
By , AlterNet
Posted on May 18, 2005, Printed on May 21, 2005

Editor's Note: While questions remain about British member of Parliament George Galloway's relationship with Saddam Hussein, his blistering indictment of U.S. foreign policy -- and its blatant hypocrisy with regard to Iraq -- before Congress on Tuesday is worthy of attention.

Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.

Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.

Now I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and I want to point out areas where there are - let's be charitable and say errors. Then I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false.

I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as many meetings with Saddam Hussein.

As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his.

I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.

You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.

Now you say in this document, you quote a source, you have the gall to quote a source, without ever having asked me whether the allegation from the source is true, that I am 'the owner of a company which has made substantial profits from trading in Iraqi oil'.

Senator, I do not own any companies, beyond a small company whose entire purpose, whose sole purpose, is to receive the income from my journalistic earnings from my employer, Associated Newspapers, in London. I do not own a company that's been trading in Iraqi oil. And you have no business to carry a quotation, utterly unsubstantiated and false, implying otherwise.

Now you have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad. If you had any of the letters against me that you had against Zhirinovsky, and even Pasqua, they would have been up there in your slideshow for the members of your committee today.

You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now realise played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq.

There were 270 names on that list originally. That's somehow been filleted down to the names you chose to deal with in this committee. Some of the names on that committee included the former secretary to his Holiness Pope John Paul II, the former head of the African National Congress Presidential office and many others who had one defining characteristic in common: they all stood against the policy of sanctions and war which you vociferously prosecuted and which has led us to this disaster.

You quote Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Well, you have something on me, I've never met Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Your sub-committee apparently has. But I do know that he's your prisoner, I believe he's in Abu Ghraib prison. I believe he is facing war crimes charges, punishable by death. In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Airbase, in Guantanamo Bay, including I may say, British citizens being held in those places.

I'm not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances. But you quote 13 words from Dahar Yassein Ramadan whom I have never met. If he said what he said, then he is wrong.

And if you had any evidence that I had ever engaged in any actual oil transaction, if you had any evidence that anybody ever gave me any money, it would be before the public and before this committee today because I agreed with your Mr Greenblatt [Mark Greenblatt, legal counsel on the committee].

Your Mr Greenblatt was absolutely correct. What counts is not the names on the paper, what counts is where's the money. Senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars of money? The answer to that is nobody. And if you had anybody who ever paid me a penny, you would have produced them today.

Now you refer at length to a company names in these documents as Aredio Petroleum. I say to you under oath here today: I have never heard of this company, I have never met anyone from this company. This company has never paid a penny to me and I'll tell you something else: I can assure you that Aredio Petroleum has never paid a single penny to the Mariam Appeal Campaign. Not a thin dime. I don't know who Aredio Petroleum are, but I daresay if you were to ask them they would confirm that they have never met me or ever paid me a penny.

Whilst I'm on that subject, who is this senior former regime official that you spoke to yesterday? Don't you think I have a right to know? Don't you think the Committee and the public have a right to know who this senior former regime official you were quoting against me interviewed yesterday actually is?

Now, one of the most serious of the mistakes you have made in this set of documents is, to be frank, such a schoolboy howler as to make a fool of the efforts that you have made. You assert on page 19, not once but twice, that the documents that you are referring to cover a different period in time from the documents covered by The Daily Telegraph which were a subject of a libel action won by me in the High Court in England late last year.

You state that The Daily Telegraph article cited documents from 1992 and 1993 whilst you are dealing with documents dating from 2001. Senator, The Daily Telegraph's documents date identically to the documents that you were dealing with in your report here. None of The Daily Telegraph's documents dealt with a period of 1992, 1993. I had never set foot in Iraq until late in 1993 - never in my life. There could possibly be no documents relating to Oil-for-Food matters in 1992, 1993, for the Oil-for-Food scheme did not exist at that time.

And yet you've allocated a full section of this document to claiming that your documents are from a different era to the Daily Telegraph documents when the opposite is true. Your documents and the Daily Telegraph documents deal with exactly the same period.

But perhaps you were confusing the Daily Telegraph action with the Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor did indeed publish on its front pages a set of allegations against me very similar to the ones that your committee have made. They did indeed rely on documents which started in 1992, 1993. These documents were unmasked by the Christian Science Monitor themselves as forgeries.

Now, the neo-con websites and newspapers in which you're such a hero, senator, were all absolutely cock-a-hoop at the publication of the Christian Science Monitor documents, they were all absolutely convinced of their authenticity. They were all absolutely convinced that these documents showed me receiving $10 million from the Saddam regime. And they were all lies.

In the same week as the Daily Telegraph published their documents against me, the Christian Science Monitor published theirs which turned out to be forgeries and the British newspaper, Mail on Sunday, purchased a third set of documents which also upon forensic examination turned out to be forgeries. So there's nothing fanciful about this. Nothing at all fanciful about it.

The existence of forged documents implicating me in commercial activities with the Iraqi regime is a proven fact. It's a proven fact that these forged documents existed and were being circulated amongst right-wing newspapers in Baghdad and around the world in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Iraqi regime.

Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.

Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Haliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.

Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own government.

Watch all 45 minutes of Galloway's testimony at the Information Clearinghouse.

© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/22038/

"The Strength of Indian Women"

Although it would be a truely painful and traumatic experience, I would love to see this performance...


Female Cast Unearths Pain Natives Suffered at Boarding Schools -
May 9, 2005
By JODI RAVE of the Missoulian

It is April 18.
After a full day's work, the women retreat to a room in the Missoula Indian Center where they practice lines from a script. Although the play is new to them, the actors have developed a natural cadence with the dialogue.

The women are reading from Vera Manuel's script, "The Strength of Indian Women," a story recounting the Indian boarding school experience and its effect on generations of Native families.

On this day, Patty LaPlant's character, Mariah, reveals a repressed memory from her years at a Catholic boarding school.

Now an elderly woman, light-skinned Mariah feels guilty because the nuns and priests treated her better than her darker classmates. She regrets never speaking up for them.

In this scene, she talks about the day she saw a nun throw a "dirty savage Indian" girl down two flights of concrete stairs.

"My screams were silent and my agony all consumin'," says Mariah. "I saw murder done in that school, and when they wrapped that broken body and sent it home to the mother, tellin' her it was pneumonia that killed her little girl, she unwrapped her and runnin' her grievin' lovin' mother's hands across her bruised face, shoulders, legs and back, discovered the neck was broken, screamed out in agony, ‘Why? What happened to my baby?' and I said nothin'."

(Church bells ring.)

"I saw little girls taken in the night from their beds, I heard the moans and groans and sobbin'.

" ‘Shut up, shut up,' I said, glazed eyes ravaged and torn bodies returned in a frightened, huddled mass beneath the sheets, and I said nothin'."

(Bells ring again.)

" ‘You're a good girl,' " they often told me. " ‘These girls are bad. They need to be taught a lesson.'

"I saw a baby born one night to a mother who was little more than a child herself. I saw her frightened, dark eyes pleading with me to save her child, and later on, when the grave was dug and the baby lowered into the grave, I said nothin'."

It's a gritty scene, one of many that have raised feelings among the actors where they didn't expect them to exist.

"Remember the day I cried?" said Darcia North Wind to her fellow actors. "I didn't even know where that came from."

Manuel's play focuses on a group of Native women, each of whom had life-altering experiences in a Catholic boarding school. It's a melodic script, said Sarah d'Angelo, the Missoula Indian Center alcohol substance abuse prevention and cultural specialist who is directing the play.

While d'Angelo has a master of fine arts degree, the other women's theatrical experience is minimal to zero. Yet they could be apprentices of the Stanislavski school of method-acting, where performers are encouraged not to act, but to be themselves and react.

North Wind, d'Angelo, LaPlant, Marilyn Zimmerman and Thelma Yellow Kidney have all related to the script through tribal experiences or familial episodes. Even the youngest cast member, 14-year-old Brandy Salway, has not escaped the lingering pain caused by the boarding schools.

"I get so angry," said Salway, whose character helps bond the women. But the play, she said, also "helped me understand the hurt those little girls went through."

Experts describe that prevailing hurt as historical trauma, a pain sustained today by Native people, one owed to the loss of land, language, culture and children.

Government policies forced Native children into Christian-based boarding schools throughout Canada and the United States beginning more than a century ago. Although children are no longer forced from their homes, 66 boarding schools still exist in the United States, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The United Nations Convention on Genocide describes the loss of children n sending them out of the home to strip away their ethnic identity and religious beliefs n as an act of genocide.

Although Manuel's script was originally based in Canada, it mirrors the boarding school experience in the United States, where Native youth were subjected to emotional, sexual, physical and spiritual abuse.
Many Native families continue to bear the memories.

"I didn't make up the stories told in ‘Strength of Indian Women,' " Manuel said. "They came from pictures my mother painted for me with her words; words that helped me see her as a little girl for the first time. Each time we staged a performance of the play, I mourned the mother missing from my childhood ..."

As Manuel's story unfolds, she reveals how abuse affected the women, and how they coped with it as adults. The characters range from a peacemaker n whose daughter feels unloved n to a domestic-violence-battered antagonist to a prostitute-turned-activist to a guilt-ridden woman.

D'Angelo said the cast was chosen for their easy rapport with one another, a mix she felt was needed to tackle a script permeated with so much malice and mistreatment. Yet, the story also opens the door for bonding and healing among the characters, who unite for a granddaughter's coming-of-age ceremony.

As the women rehearsed over the last three weeks, they continued to strengthen the play's hidden nuances.

It is April 24.
On a Sunday afternoon, the actors move to the University Center Theatre for rehearsal. The venue was chosen so the movie screen can be used to flash historical photos of boarding schools behind the actors.

North Wind and Zimmerman move center stage for a scene saturated with memories of drinking and prostitution.

From the back of the theater, d'Angelo watches, coaching them through movement and dialogue.

"I'm asking you guys to be comfortable with the silence," she said. "Use the time to reassure. This is about solidarity when you bring her back. Does that make sense?"

Do it again, she tells them.

After several attempts, they hit the mark. "When you walked back, that was powerful," said the director.

Before they leave, d'Angelo reminds the women about memorizing their script. "Use Monday and Tuesday to start swallowing these lines down," she said, punctuating her request with a long, soft "Pleeeeease."

May 2.
The women have been rehearsing daily for at least three weeks, and there are only eight days remaining before their first performance. It's another Monday evening and the women continue to dig into the script as they rehearse in the basement of the Missoula Indian Center.
Salway, who plays 13-year-old "Suzie," is feeling uneasy about what she's learned about boarding schools. She wishes she had the power to rewrite history and rescue little girls.

"It makes me want to do something," she said. "I want to get up and chew all those nuns and priests ... I want to go back in time and change things."

Her reactions are normal.

But they are feelings people need to understand, said Zimmerman, a University of Montana student who is majoring in social work.

For those reasons, she sought to bring Manuel's play to an audience. They are the same reasons d'Angelo chose to direct it.

"My dream would be to take this to all the tribal colleges to establish a dialogue," she said.

While the play can help establish a dialogue, the larger intent is to move toward healing.

"The responsibility we hold in passing on these stories is to role model a healthy lifestyle for our children, who are always watching us for direction," according to Manuel. "When we share our life stories, we must create a safe place for those who come and listen, in order not to hurt ourselves or others."

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

This show looks like it will be the highlight of the season. Don't miss it!


The Piestewa family is getting a new home from Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition! Be sure to watch on May 22 on ABC. Jessica Lynch,
the POW, who formed a close friendship with Lori in Iraq, contacted
EM:HE and suggested the Piestewa family. Lori was killed in the
same ambush that wounded Jessica and led to her capture.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of So. California is co-
sponsoring the new home with the Hopi and Navajo tribes from AZ, the
first time the show will feature Native American sponsors. Special
attention will be given to incorporating cultural elements into the
home. Several cultural events are being scheduled for the week of
building and will be included in the show.

The creator and Sr. Producer of this hit show is the one who looked
at the TV show, The Frybread Cafe, that my friend wrote and said it
could be a hit. It's currently before the Agua Caliente Tribal
Council for funding.

Be sure to watch!

Judy Bell
Co-Chair: Coachella Valley Film Alliance
Belle Starr Productions
Director, N.A.T.I.V.E. Inc.

18 May 2005

BBC NEWS | UK | England | 'Piano Man' identified in Italy

'Piano Man' Identified in Italy

A Polish man in Rome has identified the "Piano Man" as a French street musician called Steven Villa Masson.

The mystery man, who has been unable to communicate with police or carers, was found wandering the streets in Sheerness, Kent, in a soaking wet suit.

He stunned carers by drawing detailed pictures of a grand piano and giving a virtuoso classical piano performance.

Italian police said the Polish man, a street mime artist, said he had worked with the "Piano Man" in Nice.

The Pole, a 33-year-old immigrant, approached officers at the Trevi Fountain, after seeing a photograph of the "Piano Man" in a newspaper.

The pianist's social worker Michael Camp, said: "It is a possibility and we will follow it up.

"Until we get some really firm evidence where somebody can show us a picture of him or anything concrete then it is a possibility and nothing more."

If nobody can name this guy, then I don't see how we can possibly find out
Michael Camp

West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was unable to confirm reports that Mr X had been identified.

"The overwhelming response from the public, both in the UK and abroad, means there is a large quantity of information to sift through and this process will begin today," a spokesman said.

"We need to ensure we look at all the information people have supplied."

He said that several names and nationalities had been suggested and that due to the sheer volume of information, following up leads were take "some time".

"Mr X continues to be cared for by the Trust, and there has been no change in his condition," the spokesman said.

The man has not said a word since police picked him up on 7 April.

Mr Camp said earlier: "A lot of the calls are people suggesting what they think might be happening to him which is not really what we're looking for.

"We haven't got any definite leads... we need to sift through the information."

He said one lead that the man might be from Sussex had been investigated and discounted.

"I have followed that up and it is a definite no no.

"The person, at the time they phoned in, only had a verbal description from the radio. Once they saw a photo, that wasn't the person," he said.

Mr Camp said the man, in his 20s or 30s, is usually very anxious but "comes alive" at the piano.

Earlier, he said it was possible the man's identity may never be known.

"If nobody can name this guy then I don't see how we can possibly find out.

"The only other way is if we get expert people working with him who are able to use his music and get his identity."

We took him to the chapel piano and it really was amazing
Michael Camp

Orchestras around Europe are being contacted to see if they know the man.

His talent came to light after staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital gave him a pen and paper in the hope he would write his name. Instead he drew a piano.

The man shocked staff with a performance of classical music after Mr Camp showed him the piano in the hospital's chapel.

Mr Camp said: "When we took him to the chapel piano it really was amazing."

The man has since written music, which has been verified as genuine.

Several lines of inquiry have been followed, and the hospital brought in interpreters to see if the mystery patient was from Eastern Europe.

Labels removed

He is now being held in a secure mental health unit in north Kent while an assessment is carried out. Mr Camp said he was "extremely distressed" and may have suffered a trauma.

"We are aware that he is a very vulnerable man and we would be putting him in a dangerous situation if we let him go."

It was revealed that the labels had been removed from every item of clothing the man was wearing when he was found on The Broadway in Minster, Sheerness.

The case has drawn comparisons with the 1996 film Shine which depicts the story of acclaimed pianist David Helfgott who suffered a nervous breakdown.

The National Missing Persons Helpline has received more than 520 calls and over 100 emails. The health trust has also received calls.

Anyone who has information about The Piano Man is urged to call the helpline on 0500 700700 .
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/05/18 11:57:37 GMT


15 May 2005

Size DOES Matter...

...If you happen to be a fish, apparently it IS an issue of some import.


Fish Genital Size Matters for Sexual Attraction, Natural Selection
By Qingqing Ho
May 15, 2005, 11:04

New Haven, Conn. May 14 - For certain fish species to survive, the male genitalia should be large enough to attract the females, and small enough to escape predators, stated a study presented in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study was to find the female sexual preference and male swimming performance in two species of mosquitofish -Western and Bahamas mosquitofish.

In the study, researchers analyzed the gonopodia (modified fin) in the mosquitofish that transfer sperm to females. Mosquitofish can not retract their gonopodia and they swing them during courtship.

Researchers concluded that the females preferred to spend time watching videos of males displaying digitally enlarged gonopodia rather than those with average-size gonopodia. This indicates that a larger gonopodium is the female sexual preference.

However, larger gonopodia make the males more susceptible to predation, because the males with larger gonopodia swim slower.

"Our results suggest that both mating selection, favoring larger genitalia, and natural selection, favoring reduced size, may direct evolution and diversification of genitals," said Layman, co-author of the study.

The study was conducted by Craig A. Layman in Yale University, and colleagues Brian Langerhans at Washington University and Thomas J. Dewitt at Texas A&M University.

© 2004-2005 by foodconsumer unless otherwise specified.

11 May 2005

Police Brutality or "S.O.P."?

It's really scary sometimes when you consider who they choose to give badges and weapons to...


Pregnant Woman 'Tasered' by Police is Convicted

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


She was rushing her son to school. She was eight months pregnant. And she was about to get a speeding ticket she didn't think she deserved.

So when a Seattle police officer presented the ticket to Malaika Brooks, she refused to sign it. In the ensuing confrontation, she suffered burns from a police Taser, an electric stun device that delivers 50,000 volts.

"Probably the worst thing that ever happened to me," Brooks said, in describing that morning during her criminal trial last week on charges of refusing to obey an officer and resisting arrest.

She was found guilty of the first charge because she never signed the ticket, but the Seattle Municipal Court jury could not decide whether she resisted arrest, the reason the Taser was applied.

To her attorneys and critics of police use of Tasers, Brooks' case is an example of police overreaction.

"It's pretty extraordinary that they should have used a Taser in this case," said Lisa Daugaard, a public defender familiar with the case.

Law enforcement officers have said they see Tasers as a tool that can benefit the public by reducing injuries to police and the citizens they arrest.

Seattle police officials declined to comment on this case, citing concerns that Brooks might file a civil lawsuit.

But King County sheriff's Sgt. Donald Davis, who works on the county's Taser policy, said the use of force is a balancing act for law enforcement.

"It just doesn't look good to the public," he said.

Brooks' run-in with police Nov. 23 came six months before Seattle adopted a new policy on Taser use that guides officers on how to deal with pregnant women, the very young, the very old and the infirm. When used on such subjects, the policy states, "the need to stop the behavior should clearly justify the potential for additional risks."

"Obviously, (law enforcement agencies) don't want to use a Taser on young children, pregnant woman or elderly people," Davis said. "But if in your policy you deliberately exclude a segment of the population, then you have potentially closed off a tool that could have ended a confrontation."

Brooks was stopped in the 8300 block of Beacon Avenue South, just outside the African American Academy, while dropping her son off for school.

In a two-day trial that ended Friday, the officer involved, Officer Juan Ornelas, testified he clocked Brooks' Dodge Intrepid doing 32 mph in a 20-mph school zone.

He motioned her over and tried to write her a ticket, but she wouldn't sign it, even when he explained that signing it didn't mean she was admitting guilt.

Brooks, in her testimony, said she believed she could accept a ticket without signing for it, which she had done once before.

"I said, 'Well, I'll take the ticket, but I won't sign it,' " Brooks testified.

Officer Donald Jones joined Ornelas in trying to persuade Brooks to sign the ticket. They then called on their supervisor, Sgt. Steve Daman.

He authorized them to arrest her when she continued to refuse.

The officers testified they struggled to get Brooks out of her car but could not because she kept a grip on her steering wheel.

And that's when Jones brought out the Taser.

Brooks testified she didn't even know what it was when Jones showed it to her and pulled the trigger, allowing her to hear the crackle of 50,000 volts of electricity.

The officers testified that was meant as a final warning, as a way to demonstrate the device was painful and that Brooks should comply with their orders.

When she still did not exit her car, Jones applied the Taser.

In his testimony, the Taser officer said he pressed the prongs of the muzzle against Brooks' thigh to no effect. So he applied it twice to her exposed neck.

Afterward, he and the others testified, Ornelas pushed Brooks out of the car while Jones pulled.

She was taken to the ground, handcuffed and placed in a patrol car, the officers testified.

She told jurors the officer also used the device on her arm, and showed them a dark, brown burn to her thigh, a large, red welt on her arm and a lump on her neck, all marks she said came from the Taser application.

At the South Precinct, Seattle fire medics examined Brooks, confirmed she was pregnant and recommended she be evaluated at Harborview Medical Center.

Brooks said she was worried about the effect the trauma and the Taser might have on her baby, but she delivered a healthy girl Jan. 31.

Still, she said, she remains shocked that a simple traffic stop could result in her arrest.

"As police officers, they could have hurt me seriously. They could have hurt my unborn fetus," she said.

"All because of a traffic ticket. Is this what it's come down to?"

Davis said Tasers remain a valuable tool, and that situations like Brooks' are avoidable.

"I know the Taser is controversial in all these situations where it seems so egregious," he said. "Why use a Taser in a simple traffic stop? Well, the citizen has made it more of a problem. It's no longer a traffic stop. This is now a confrontation."


P-I reporter Hector Castro can be reached at 206-903-5396 or hectorcastro@seattlepi.com

10 May 2005


I still remember where I was and what I was doing the day, the moment I heard that Mandela was free...


"Never, never again will this beautiful land experience the oppression of one by another..."
~~Nelson Mandela

1994: Mandela becomes SA's first black president
Nelson Mandela has become South Africa's first black president after more than three centuries of white rule.

Mr Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) party won 252 of the 400 seats in the first democratic elections of South Africa's history.

The inauguration ceremony took place in the Union Buildings amphitheatre in Pretoria today, attended by politicians and dignitaries from more than 140 countries around the world.

As part of the ceremony he pledged his allegiance to South Africa and his determination to continue his work for reconciliation.

"I do hereby swear to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and do solemnly and sincerely promise to promote that which will advance and to oppose all that may harm the republic... and to devote myself to the well-being of the republic and all its people."

Jubilant scenes on the streets of Pretoria followed the ceremony with blacks, whites and coloureds celebrating together.

When the new president, flanked by First Deputy President Thabo Mbeki and Second Deputy President FW de Klerk, appeared on the Botha Lawn beneath the Union Buildings the crowd went wild.

More than 100,000 South African men, women and children of all races sang and danced with joy.

Addressing the crowd President Mandela paid tribute to outgoing president Mr FW de Klerk: "He has made for himself a niche in history.

"He has turned out to be one of the greatest reformers, one of the greatest sons of South Africa."

He also spoke of the "human disaster" of apartheid.

"We saw our country tear itself apart in terrible conflict... The time for healing of wounds has come... Never, never again will this beautiful land experience the oppression of one by another."

And urging forgiveness he said in Africaans: "Wat is verby verby" - "What is past is past"

Profile: Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela remains one of the world's most revered statesman, who led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy.

Despite many years in jail, he emerged to become the country's first black president and to play a leading role in the drive for peace in other spheres of conflict. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Since stepping down as president in 1999, Mr Mandela has become South Africa's highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and securing his country's right to host the 2010 football World Cup.

Mr Mandela - diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 - has also been actively involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other African countries.

He has also encouraged peace efforts in other areas of the world.

Mr Mandela, 85, explained his decision to withdraw from public life, by a desire to spend more time with his family and friends and engage in "quiet reflection".

Raised by royalty

Mr Mandela was born in 1918 into the Madiba tribal clan - part of the Thembu people - in a small village in the eastern Cape of South Africa.

Born Rolihlahla Dalibhunga, Mr Mandela was given his English name, Nelson, by a teacher at his school.

His father, a counsellor to the Thembu royal family, died when Nelson Mandela was nine, and he was placed in the care of the acting regent of the Thembu people, chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo.

Joined the ANC

He joined the African National Congress in 1943, first as an activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League.

1918 - Born in the Eastern Cape
1956 - Charged with high treason, but charges dropped
1964 - Charged again, sentenced to life
1990 - Freed from prison
1993 - Wins Nobel Peace Prize
1994 - Elected first black president
1999 - Steps down as leader

Eventually, after years in prison, he also served as its president.

He married his first wife, Evelyn Mase, in 1944. They were divorced in 1957 after having three children.

Mr Mandela qualified as a lawyer and in 1952 opened a law practice in Johannesburg with his partner, Oliver Tambo.

Together, Mr Mandela and Mr Tambo campaigned against apartheid, the system devised by the all-white National Party which oppressed the black majority.

Charged with high treason

In 1956, Mr Mandela was charged with high treason, along with 155 other activists, but the charges against him were dropped after a four-year trial.

Resistance to apartheid grew, mainly against the new Pass laws, which dictated where blacks were allowed to live and work.

In 1958, Mr Mandela married Winnie Madikizela, who was later to take a very active role in the campaign to free her husband from prison.

Goes underground

The ANC was outlawed in 1960 and Mr Mandela went underground.

Tension with the apartheid regime grew, and soared to new heights in 1960 when 69 black people were shot dead by police in the Sharpeville massacre.

It was the end of peaceful resistance and Mr Mandela, already national vice-president of the ANC, launched a campaign of sabotage against the country's economy.

He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government.

Conducting his own defence, Mr Mandela used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality.

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he said.

"It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Life sentence

In the winter of 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison.

In the space of 12 months between 1968 and 1969, Mr Mandela's mother died and his eldest son was killed in a car crash but he was not allowed to attend the funerals.

He remained in prison on Robben Island for 18 years before being transferred to Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland in 1982.

As Mr Mandela and other ANC leaders languished in prison or lived in exile, South Africa's black township children helped sustain the resistance.

Hundreds were killed and thousands were injured before the schoolchildren's uprising was crushed.

Release campaign

In 1980, Mr Tambo, who was in exile, launched an international campaign to release Mr Mandela.

The world community tightened the sanctions first imposed on South Africa in 1967 against the apartheid regime.

The pressure produced results, and in 1990, President FW de Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC, and Mr Mandela was released from prison.

The ANC and the National Party soon began talks about forming a new multi-racial democracy for South Africa.

Clashes with Inkatha

But violent clashes broke out between supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party, a Zulu group led by Chief Buthelezi, and ANC supporters.

Despite attempts to resolve the problems through talks, the violence escalated and the Inkatha targeted ANC strongholds, with support from the white police force.

Relations with Mr de Klerk grew tense as the violence persisted, but the two leaders continued to meet sporadically, in an attempt to stop the bloodshed.

In 1992, Mr Mandela divorced his wife, Winnie, after she was convicted on charges of kidnapping and accessory to assault

Nobel Prize for Peace

In December 1993, Mr Mandela and Mr de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Five months later, for the first time in South Africa's history, all races voted in democratic elections and Mr Mandela was elected president. The ANC won 252 of the 400 seats in the national assembly.

Mr Mandela's greatest problem as president was the housing shortage for the poor, and slum townships continued to blight major cities.

He entrusted his deputy, Thabo Mbeki, with the day-to-day business of the government, while he concentrated on the ceremonial duties of a leader, building a new international image of South Africa.

In that context he succeeded in persuading the country's multinational corporations to remain and invest in South Africa.

Steps down

Mr Mandela gave up the presidency of the ANC in December 1997 in favour of Mr Mbeki, his nominated successor.

He stepped down as president after the ANC's landslide victory in the national elections in the summer of 1999, in favour of Mr Mbeki.

Since his retirement he has continued travelling the world, meeting leaders, attending conferences and collecting awards.

Six years ago he married Graca Machel, the widow of the former president of Mozambique.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/06/01 13:07:22 GMT



We should never forget...


Berlin to Open Holocaust Memorial

Berlin to Open Holocaust Memorial
By Ray Furlong
BBC News, Berlin

Germany is due to officially open its new Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

The monument is a 2,000-sq-m site (21,520 sq ft) in the city centre covered with some 2,700 granite blocks.

It has been hugely controversial and construction has been delayed for years by disputes over the location, the design and the concept.

Critics say it is too big, too bombastic and too abstract. It has also been criticised for only commemorating Jewish Holocaust victims.

Dogged by controversy

The new memorial covers the size of two football pitches in the centre of Berlin, right next to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.

From now on, no visitor will be able to overlook the city's Nazi past.

The project has been dogged by controversy ever since it was first conceived in the early 1990s.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl vetoed the original design, and there were delays when a former Nazi bunker was found on the site and again when it emerged that one of the companies involved had once supplied gas to the death camps.

But on the eve of the opening, one of the organisers told the BBC that the biggest delay was caused by the concept - that this was a monument to national shame.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/05/10 05:32:03 GMT


05 May 2005

National Day of Prayer...

Today is America's so-called National Day of Prayer , but yet nowhere in the "official" proclamations and promotions are the Original Faiths of Turtle Island mentioned or acknowledged...

We offer these Prayers of the Original Peoples for the healing of Grandmother Earth, the cleansing of Grandmother Sky, for the safe return of our brave Warriors, for the return of Peace and Hope to our planet, for the Generations to Come...

All My Relations

Diné Nation:

In Beauty This Begins
In Beauty This Day Arrives

I Will Protect Myself With This Corn Pollen
I Will Protect Myself With This Eagle Feather
I Will Protect Myself With My Prayers
I Will Live A Beautiful Life

May My Children Be Raised In Beauty
May My Children Be Protected In Beauty
May My Thoughts Be Beautiful
May I Speak In Beauty

Beauty Before Me
Beauty Behind Me
Beauty Above Me
Beauty Beneath Me
Beauty All Around Me

I Am Beauty
I Walk In Beauty

It Is Finished In Beauty
It Is Finished In Beauty
It Is Finished In Beauty

Lakota Nation:

We turn to our Grandfather in the West, To your symbol color of black. To your symbol of thunder mighty and purposeful. To your lessons calling us to balance our emotions in the spirit of gentleness and honesty. To invoke your spirit of introspection, seeing within. Give us your strength and the courage to endure.

We turn to our Grandfather in the North, To your symbol color of white. To your animal symbol of the buffalo strong and nurturing. To your lessons calling us to balance our spirit in harmony with our brothers and sisters.

We turn to our Grandfather in the East, To your symbol color of red. To your animal symbol of the spotted eagle who carries sacred messages. To your lessons of wisdom and knowledge revealed to us. Help us to love you with our whole heart, mind, and soul.

We turn to our Grandfather in the South, To your symbol color yellow. To your animal symbol of the crane which brings us in touch with earthiness and growing things. To your lessons calling us to balance of our body in the spirit of a good sense of humor. To invoke your spirit of innocence, trust, and love. Help us to open our eyes to the sacredness of every living thing.

We turn to our Grandfather in the Heavens, To your symbol color of blue. To your animal symbol of the bald eagle, who soars ever upward and calls us to a high spiritual life as well. To your lessons of relying on your protection and calling on your help. To invoke your spirit of trust and hope. Help us to turn our hearts ever toward you in daily life.

We turn to Grandmother Earth, To your symbol color of green. To your animal symbol of the mole, who travels through you and is never separated from you. To your lessons of nurturance and harmony with all living things.
To invoke your spirit of nourishment and balance. Help us walk a good road upon you ever day of our life.

We look to Wakan Tanka who cleanses our earth and us with snow, wind, and rain.

Mitakuye Oyasin.


My Spirit is with you, Great Spirit,
You strengthen me day and night
to share my very best with
my brothers and sisters,

You, whom my people see in all of
creation and in all people, show
Your love for us,
Help me to know, like the soaring
eagle, the heights of knowledge.

From the four Directions, fill me
with the four virtues of Fortitude,
Generosity, Respect and Wisdom;
so that I will help my people walk
in the path of
Understanding and Peace


Let me walk in Beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy ---Myself--- Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.

Asquali, Kawquai


Let us know peace.
For as long as the moon shall rise,
For as long as the rivers shall flow,
For as long as the sun shall shine,
For as long as the grass shall grow,
Let us know peace.


Sa Lana, Power of the Shining Heavens,
I stand before you with clear mind and healthy body.
My heart is clear and open
My way is true to you
My life is to honor you

My people follow