Monday, October 10, 2016

Hello, Life! Goodbye, Columbus...

Today is officially Indigenous Peoples' Day in Vermont!


Vermont ditches Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples' Day!

A bit more information here in the CNN article:



40 comments:

  1. Wow! Only the second state, after Alaska, as far as I can determine.

    --Alan

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    1. I see that the news link above says South Dakota also celebrates it, but they celebrate "Native Americans Day," which is, at least literally, a different matter. Too bad it is only a single-year gubernatorial proclamation. Same in Alaska, evidently. Here's to staying power.

      --Alan

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    2. I believe that's because Governors only have so much power over national holidays. But I believe it's here to stay.

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    3. Poor Italians. But I guess the US isn't getting many immigrants from that country these days. (OTOH, St. Paddy's Day seems to be still going strong.)

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    4. At the risk of sounding like a bluenose, St. Patrick's Day seems to have evolved into an excuse for boozing, which Columbus Day has not. That may have something to do with their relative popularities.
      As well as a niggling sense of communal guilt about what happened after Europeans came to the Americas--although much of that depended upon the introductions of multiple diseases (the causes of which were attributed by both populations to divine will) coupled with the the exceptionally limited genetic diversity of the indigenous population, which severely limited their communal resistance to exotic diseases.

      --Alan

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    5. I don't think it was a matter of genetic diversity, although I would be interested to hear a scientific argument on the subject. As far as I can see it was a matter of nobody having previously been exposed, so everybody got sick at once. When a disease is endemic there are always people who are immune after having survived a previous exposure and are therefore in a position to provide aid and support to those ill now.

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    6. That was my understanding.

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  2. In honour of this day, here is the obituary for Grandmother Doris Minkler (Mourning Dove), who was for many years the spiritual leader of the Abenaki in Vermont. Grandmother Doris gave all five of our children Abenaki names when we visited her:
    Thundercloud, Raven, Little Bear, Running Elk, Three Feathers

    "Saturday Morning - May 10, 1997
    "Grandmother Doris Minkler (Mourning Dove) crossed over this morning.

    "An Abenaki Elder, Grandmother Doris was born in Monkton, Vermont and lived most of her life in Vermont. She had been ill for several
    years following an illness which left her with a inoperable-fungus
    in her lung.

    "Both a devout Christian and a traditional elder, Grandmother was known for her ability to heal both physical and spiritual ills. She was
    responsible for naming hundreds of the people. Her good sense and
    sense of humor went a long way in placating those frustrated with
    having to hide their native heritage and later, those who would follow
    the traditional ways of their ancestors and who were having trouble
    learning.

    "Many, encouraged by her wisdom, strength and compassion, are openly proud of their heritage and helping to rebuild the Abenaki.

    "Grandmother Doris, poor and humble, was world renowned. Her student and protege, Cheryl Bluto-Devental (Nanatasis), recalls how the phone in her shabby but humble shack would ring and it would be someone from Asia or Europe who had called to share or for advice. Nanatasis also points out how Grandmother helped so many find the Red Road and traditional ways."

    RIP Grandmother Doris. Would that you could have lived to see this day.

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  3. There was an article in this morning's Fresno Bee about the Interstate 89 crashes near Williston, VT [Click].

    Wow. Batshit-crazy driver. My sincere condolences.

    Alan

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    1. Yeah, everyone here is sad about this. I first saw the news report of an accident that had closed the southbound side of I-89, a few hours after we got home on Saturday. A few minutes later came the update that the northbound side was also closed, which seemed really strange. My husband drives the route every day and was dreading it this morning...just even thinking about those 5 teens who died for no good reason at all. Having just experienced the road death of our 16 year old grandniece, Jillian, we know the families are going through the same sort of horror. Only this seems harder, with respect to accepting the reality. Jillian simply made a mistake and didn't see a car coming. This was a deliberate act and the perpetrator didn't even stop there; in fact, made it harder for those responding, and injured more people as well. Plus, at least so far, the guy lived.

      I am mindful that I will want to check in with my neighbour whose 30 year old husband was killed at about that same place on I-89, 14 months ago, when a woman driver attempted suicide by crossing the median and striking his car. He died at the scene. She lived. He was on his way to pick up birthday party supplies for his daughter's 9th birthday, which would have been his 31st birthday.
      Strangely, when I checked the news story about his crash, to make sure I had his age correct, as I was reading it a new "related video" popped in showing Saturday night's crash. I found that a little creepy.

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    2. Forgot to mention that the date of this latest accident also marked 11 years since my neighbour's wedding day. Rough.

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    3. It is quite possibly irrelevant in this case, but California's graduated driver licensing law has very significantly reduced teenage driving deaths. A driver that age is forbidden to drive accompanied only by passengers of similar age (an exception is made for siblings). At a closing speed of 130 mph (roughly 200 feet per second) there is precious little time to think about what to do. I wonder if the visibility is restricted at that point, but it shouldn't be on an Interstate. I look forward to a report confirming that the person who stole the squad car was also the driver of the pickup--probably so. The behavior of the driver at fault sounds like methamphetamine abuse to me, which provides no absolution under Anglo-American law, if he took it willingly. Damn.

      --Alan

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    4. In the case of a trauma victim it is not always possible to draw a blood specimen for the police promptly--surgery has priority. But methamphetamine should be readily detectable for a long time. Verified lab test results will likely be some in coming; government labs are typically slow to get the work done. There may well be circumstantial evidence (e.g. drugs found on his person, in the truck or at his residence), but that is unlikely to be publicized because of the prejudicial effect on potential jurors.

      --Alan

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    5. It seems from the link you gave above, listener, that the fellow who stole the squad car has been identified as the driver of the pickup. I can understand the police officer being intent on giving aid rather than removing the key from his vehicle's ignition. It's a good argument for having the sort of key fob that activates the door locks and ignition rather than a conventional key. But the police cars would need to have the radios, cameras, etc. activated even when the officer is away from the vehicle.

      --Alan

      "lab test results will likely be some TIME in coming"

      And trauma "patient" might be a better choice of word than "victim."

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    6. The teen driver was in no wise at fault. The truck came up over the crest of a hill not at all far in front of them. There would have been time only to wonder What is that? before impact. :-(

      The state police sent an officer to the hospital to require a blood test...which is Vermont State law in event of a fatality.

      The guy who did all of this is already known to police. His jury was soon to be chosen in his trial regarding the time he threatened his girlfriend and their two year old child by speeding, threatening to drive off the road, and saying he would do it in a place that has no cell phone coverage. Apparently they used to live in Massachusetts, a few years ago, and he threatened his girlfriend there too.

      He had gone to the medical center on Saturday (surveillance shows him going in three or four times), and he was referred to the Howard Center. That would be the Howard Center for Mental Health. So that explains a few things. It has been said that whenever he ran out of marijuana, he would get violent. So I guess the issue may have been that he WASN'T under the influence of anything....except mental illness and anger issues.

      Tragic in every way.

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  4. Giving credit where credit's due:
    The History of Berkeley's Indigenous Peoples Day
    ipdpowwow.org/IPD%20History.html
    Berkeley replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992. The inaugural year was filled with ceremonies, and each year since then the city has

    I was actually there in '92, but only became aware because the parking meters list it as a day when the meters need not be fed.

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    1. I didn't recall it as having been that recent, puddle. [If 1992 is "recent," that loses me my honorary Millennial badge gained for supporting Bernie!] That must have been very roughly around the time Berkeley pioneered curb cuts for wheelchairs.

      Alan

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    2. Curb cuts came in Berkeley in the 1970's, actually (earlier at UC Berkeley):
      http://www.boomcalifornia.com/2012/06/the-peoples-sidewalks/ [Click]

      But the story goes back farther, to 1945, in Kalamazoo, Michigan:
      http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/smashing-barriers-access-disability-activism-and-curb-cuts [Click]

      --Alan

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  5. A few political items, starting with excerpts from politicalwire.com.
    --Alan
    ==============
    A CNN poll finds Hillary Clinton won the second presidential debate with Donald Trump by a wide margin, 57% to 34%.

    A YouGov survey also found Clinton the winner, 47% to 42%.

    ==========
    “Speaker Paul Ryan told House Republicans on a conference call Monday morning he is done defending Donald Trump and will focus on keeping an increasingly imperiled House majority, according to sources on the call,” Politico reports.
    Said Ryan: “You all need to do what’s best for you in your district.”
    ==================
    Clinton Now Favored In Ohio
    Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball moves Ohio to Hillary Clinton’s column:

    If Clinton wins Ohio, Trump has no path to victory. No Republican has ever won the White House without it, and, particularly in this election, Ohio’s demographics should make it relatively low-hanging fruit for the Republicans. So we now have Trump as the underdog in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, three electoral vote-rich states that he absolutely needs to have any chance to win.
    ==================
    After last night’s debate, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway suggested that some of the male members of Congress who are not supporting Donald Trump have sexually harassed women, according to CBS News.
    ====================
    ========================================================
    From talkingpointsmemo.com:
    =======
    Ryan Goes Full Weasel: Won't Drop Trump But Won't Campaign For Him.
    ============
    A just released NBC/WSJ poll puts Hillary Clinton 14 points ahead of Donald Trump (52-38) in a two way match-up and 11 points up in a four way match-up. The poll was taken after the video of Trump making lewd comments was disclosed but before last night’s debate.

    In the generic congressional ballot, Democrats lead Republicans, 49% to 42%.
    ===============
    The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Mike Pence has canceled his appearance at a fundraiser in New Jersey tomorrow.
    ===========================
    From alternate.org: "John Oliver Totally Destroys 'P*ssy Grabbing Warthog' Donald Trump" I must very strenuously object to such gratuitous defamation of warthogs by comparing them to Donald Trump.
    ====================
    From commondreams.org:

    On Syria Policy, Critics Warn, Both Trump and Clinton Get It Very Wrong [Click] Past is prologue...
    =============
    From The Guardian:

    The greatest snub of the debate? It was against Black Lives Matter Steven W Thrasher [Click] Hear, hear!
    ================
    From politico.com:
    13 times Trump was dead wrong at the debate, and 2 times Clinton was [Click] Plus a host other instances in which the candidates bent the truth.

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    1. Interesting. The BBC called the debate a draw, noting that such is probably sufficient from Clinton's POV.

      They also report HRC 50% to DT's 44%

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  6. Getting back to the theme of the thread:

    Indigenous Groups Are Way Ahead Of Everyone Else At Protecting Forests And they are turning the Dakota Access protests into a worldwide environmental movement. [Click]

    --Alan

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  7. Political stuff popping up online, not all linked.
    —-Alan

    It Begins: Trump Takes Swipe At Ryan After He Essentially Concedes To Clinton [Click]

    Ryan Goes Full Weasel As GOP Ship Is Battered By The Maelstrom [Click] Awwwww… Actually a fairly good read…

    Apprentice Transcript Hidden In Plain View: Trump Critiques Woman's Skin [Click] “Critiques” is not an accurate choice of word. Drip, drip, drip, drip…

    Warren Buffet Hits Back At Trump: I’ve Paid Income Tax ‘Every Year Since 1944’ [Click]

    The Best Mashups Of Trump's Creeper Looming At St. Louis Debate (VIDEOS) [Click] I have no stomach for watching such stuff, but it ought to have a significant effect on voters, men and women both (assuming human decency).

    “As Donald Trump’s campaign unravels, the Republican National Committee has gone dark — failing to give GOP vendors guidance on whether to keep working for the nominee or to move resources into down-ballot races, and not even returning calls from party members ahead of a critical late-afternoon meeting about the way forward,” Politico reports.

    Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) told the New York Times there was “a general sense in the House that more humiliating disclosures about Mr. Trump were likely to come before Nov. 8, Election Day.”

    Pro Athletes Say No One Talks Like Trump In Locker Rooms [Click] Told Ya so.

    CHECKMATE: Former Chess Champion Garry Kasparov Knows Exactly Who Donald Trump Sounds Like [Click]

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  8. Saw this quite late last night:

    So who are the women?

    Mr Trump appeared with Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who settled a sexual harassment suit against Mr Clinton for $850,000 in 1999 with no admission of guilt.

    Juanita Broaddrick, who claimed Mr Clinton raped her in a hotel room in 1978, also appeared with Mr Trump.

    Mr Clinton has denied the claim through his lawyer and no charges have ever been brought against him.

    The third woman was Kathleen Willey, a former White House aide who said Mr Clinton groped her in his office in 1993, but had previously said it never happened.

    Mr Clinton has also denied this claim.

    Kathy Shelton, a fourth woman who spoke, encountered Mrs Clinton in a criminal case when she was 12 years old.

    Early in Mrs Clinton's legal career, she was appointed to defend Ms Shelton's rapist, despite objections, and had his sentence reduced to a lesser charge.

    Years later, an audio tape emerged of Mrs Clinton speaking with a reporter, in which she can be heard laughing about the case.

    During one instance, she laughed after explaining that her client had passed a lie detector test, which convinced her to never trust them again.

    from US presidential debate: Trump launches ferocious attack on Clintons

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    1. Well, I don' know about all that, but
      here is something from today about Juanita Brpaddrock/ [Click]

      And according to this story from politico.com
      It is totally false to say that Hillary Clinton laughed about the rape of a 12-year-old. And it has been thoroughly debunked. [Click]

      So go figure. No matter what, I think she should appoint Bill Assistant Consul to Upper Volta.

      --Alan

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    2. Na, there are probably pretty girls in Upper Volta. How 'bout Assistant Undersecretary for Antarctica?

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    3. Definitely not; Upper Volta no longer exists.

      --Alan

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    4. Are you sure? Have you asked Gary Johnson about that? *smirk*

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  9. Solar Roads video [Click] I sent them a little love.

    Their main web site [Click]

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    1. I second the motion; was it taken with listener's new camera?

      Alan

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  11. What I wanna know is, how did Trump find these women so fast?

    I started out idly wondering why Monica Luinsky and Jennifer Flowers weren't with him at his Hate Clinton Fest. Then it occurred to me that it's all rather odd. How did he know who Broderick was to find her on Twitter and re-tweet her posts? And how did he assemble the others so quickly? In other words, who contacted whom and when?

    When you stop to think about it, Trump must have been planning to pull some kind of stunt involving these women for some time. Think about the logistics. Think about the celerity with which he pulled together that press conference.

    For that matter, do we know who leaked the initial obscene tape? It hardly seems credible that he/his campaign would have done so just to set up his sudden solidarity with BC's "victims." And yet, They're pretty inept. If the leak was engineered as a setup, it wouldn't surprise me at all that Trump underestimated the effect it would have on Republicans as a whole. One presumes such behavior would further glorify him in the eyes of his fanatic supporters. I hear through the grapevine that some women have expressed in public (presumably on social media) that they don't consider Trump's taped remarks all that bad. So one presumes there are men who feel similarly.

    If the release of the tape was in fact a setup, Trump and his campaign seriously miscalculated, though, which would account for his fury over the mass desertions.

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    1. Yes, it's likely enough that Trump has been planning this for some time. Rumors were being reported even before the tape came out. But it's probably misleading to think of the tape being "leaked." Access Hollywood discovered it just by looking and planned to release it as soon as its plodding legal department finished considering every imaginable angle. The leak to the Post just got it out a day or so earlier than would have otherwise happened.

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  12. Were it not for Columbus, not many of us would be here now. Just sayin'...

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    1. It would have been someone else soon enough; Portuguese fishing boats are believed to have been active off Newfoundland before that time, but they weren't telling where they were catching all those cod they came back with. I don't think there is any archeological evidence of onshore processing, and whether that took place remains an open question. The technology of sailing ships had developed adequately by the late Middle Ages to make the voyage practical, although the Gulf Stream wasn't known.

      --Alan

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    2. Well, and, of course there was Lief Ericson...

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  13. One last dump for the evening; back to work tomorrow morning--feeling much better. If not 100%, close enough to go back to work.
    --Alan

    Why paper road maps won't die. [Click] In an age of Google Maps and GPS, paper maps sales are on the rebound

    Gold prospectors in California [Click] This has historically happened when times are unusually hard.

    Pound brings less than one Euro at currency exchanges. Welcome to Brexit! [Click]

    Analysis of DT's hand gestures [Click] Oh, yes--I was raised in a (sub)culture in which people who engaged in such gesticulation were looked down upon as somehow wanting in intelligence or character; the analyst says it is common among New Yorkers. Thinking about it, I am immediately reminded of other New Yorker examples. Small wonder they seem so obnoxious!

    Analysis of HRC's hand gestures [Click]

    A different automobile power source. [Click] A bit difficult to understand because the writer seems to have a very tenuous relationship with Chemistry, but intriguing, if true. We'll see.

    Tame foxes. [Click] I had read about this experiment before; the speculation about what the results might mean in terms of human development are rather interesting…


    ESA Mars Lander due to touch down Wednesday. [Click]

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    1. Good grief! So now NASA is spreading misinformation?

      "The US space agency put out a release last week that raised the idea of an imminent storm, noting it could eventually evolve into the type that envelops the whole globe. In truth, it is unlikely to get that big for many weeks - if at all. "

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  14. Alan I have a copy of the video interview and yes, Hillary did laugh. Several times in fact.

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  15. A copy of the transcript, that is.

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