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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Home of the Barking Moonbat


 

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Gardening Journal, Day Unknown

It"s just gardening mayhem here right now. I haven't yet gotten a new raised bed built, and it's leading to all kinds of problems. The minute I get the essays gradd and my taxes done, though, that bed is getting built!!

Today, I transplanted some birdhouse gourd and Marvel of Peru plants into a large container out front. Mammoth sunflowers were transplanted yesterday and I direct sowed some loofah. Three out of four of the new grape plants went outside today, but are not yet planted. I"m trying to acclimate them first.

Last night, I transplanted about twenty tomato plants and a mess of basil into a large flat. I have GOT to get the new bed built ASAP. I'll do the same tonight with some more basil, and a bunch of flowers and herbs. Then I'll start the next batches of seeds, which will include more tomatoes, some beans and melons, and herbs.

Everything is coming up. About half my echinacea survived the evil bunny. Whew! The thyme and sage are coming back gangbusters, too. I have some other stuff coming up in that bed but I can't remember what it is. !!! The Niagara grapes I planted last year are also starting to leaf out.

Way too much to do. WAY too much. But once I get it all done and get to start eating out of the garden again, every minute of this work will be worth it.

Harjo on Ethnicity and Wannabes

There's a lot to say about this, but I'm simultaneously mowing and planting, doing my taxes and grading essays.

It's too good not to post, however. Besides, there's nothing she's saying that I have any disagreement with. IOW, she's pretty well nailed it. Again.

Identity, part deux
by: Suzan Shown Harjo, Indian Country Today

In l'affair Churchill, many non-Native people are amazed that there are non-Native people who take on the identity of a Native person.

Pseudo-Indianism is a well-known phenomenon in Indian country. Pseudo-Indians usually have some useful skills, but their real talent is their ability to con kind-hearted, trusting people into validating them as Indians.

Here are some familiar traits of pseudo-Indians.

Eager beavers

There are many legit Indian and non-Indian people who are enthusiastically, unselfishly, tirelessly helpful to Indian people and causes. These generous traits are welcomed by many Native people, especially those who are overworked, understaffed, impoverished, stressed out or under siege.

Educator Norbert Hill, Oneida, gave Ward Churchill his first job at the University of Colorado - even though Hill recognized him as an Indian ''wannabe'' - because Hill's program needed help and Churchill was an eager beaver.

Churchill and many pseudo-Indians initially act like eager beavers. The difference between Indian and non-Indian eager beavers on the one hand and pseudo-Indian eager beavers on the other is that the pseudo-Indians are the ones pretending to be something they are not: Indians.

There are people who don't think that lying about being Native is a serious matter, or even a lie. It's more like a white lie, a pen name or a hobby. Actually, lying about being Native is more like identity theft, using a stolen passport or falsifying sworn documents. It is not victimless.

Pseudo-Indians are masters of distraction. Churchill is a classic obfuscator, as evidenced by the way he has kept reporters in Colorado running in circles chasing his biography, which is an unbroken chain of white roots linking back to southern Illinois and northern Europe.

When pressed, Churchill plays the ''Indian'' victim and makes a bid for sympathy. When pressed harder, he goes on the attack. These are typical reactive traits of pseudo-Indians.

Weeping willows

When asked about their Native nation or relatives, the weeping willows duck the answers and sob on the shoulders of peaceful folks about the mean ''inquisitors'' who hurt their feelings, when all the weepers are trying to do is to help the Indian people (as opposed to the mean Indians who don't do anything to help the people).

Prickly pears

These pseudo-Indians are defensive to the point of offensiveness. When asked about their identity, they strike out against the ''accusers.'' The pricklies attack anyone who doesn't support their false claims about their Indian-ness, usually accusing the questioners of being pseudo-Indians.

Spies in disguise

This is a unique subset of pseudo-Indians. The spy's Indian persona is also calculated for effect, but the spy is on a particular mission and the non-spies are more random. All pseudo-Indians are mercenaries - adopting Indian disguises for profit - and it's often hard for communities to know what they're dealing with until and unless there is an unmasking.

In Churchill's case, he says he's 1/16 Cherokee, although he's not been able to produce any evidence to support any claim to being any Indian of any nation. His mouthpiece, activist Russell Means, has defended Churchill in recent weeks by condemning one of his detractors as ''only 1/8 Indian.'' Let's see, that would make Churchill's nemesis twice as much Indian by blood as Churchill.

Churchill is not a citizen of any Native nation. That is to say, he is not recognized by any of the various peoples he has claimed. Muscogee (Creek) Nation says he is not a Creek citizen. Cherokee Nation says he is not a Cherokee citizen. The Keetoowah Band says he's not a Keetoowah citizen.

When confronted with these facts, Churchill attacks the sovereignty of Native nations to determine their citizenship, much as Means has attacked the sovereign authority of Navajo Nation to prosecute him for abuse of Navajo citizens.

Means says that it's what's in your heart that matters. But he knows well that his own Oglala people would laugh anyone out of the room who used that criteria for stepping into treaty deliberations, voting in tribal elections or obtaining kidney dialysis treatment.

It is important for people who deal with affirmative action and the honor system in educational settings to understand that being a tribal person is not a matter of self-declaration or a racial matter. It is a political, legal matter. It is citizenship and only a Native nation can determine its citizens.

Churchill and his supporters would substitute themselves for Native nations in deciding who are Native citizens, but tribal and federal laws say they can't do that.

Churchill's lawyer is attempting to distract the University of Colorado faculty members who are examining this issue by raising the specter of Nazi racial purity. He, his client and Means are the only people talking about blood and pedigree, and Churchill is the only German in the debate. Cherokee Nation doesn't have a blood quantum standard for citizenship.

Let us review.

Churchill is not a citizen of any Indian nation, so he is not Indian by any known political standard based in tribal law, treaties, nation-to-nation dealings or federal Indian law.

Churchill is not Indian by family. This is not a situation where a person cannot qualify for tribal citizenship, but has an Indian mother or father, or even an Indian grandparent.

Churchill is not Indian culturally. He was raised by white people as a white person in white communities. No amount of bombast turns that into an Indian cultural background. At nearly 60 years of age, he has not connected culturally with any of the Native peoples he has claimed.

This, by the way, is usually what people mean by ''Indian at heart'' - someone who sings, dances and takes part in the cultural life of a Native nation, even if that person is not Native. In Churchill's case, he has done none of that.

Churchill is Indian by imagination. He is now concocting a tale that he believed he was Indian by family mythology, to which he applied zero critical examination. He then needs to explain how this thread became specific to varying Native nations and became a special tribal, cultural experience that gave him the edge in employment and publishing.

Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is president of the Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C. and a columnist for Indian Country Today.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Confessing my true feelings about turkeys

Okay, so admittedly, I just hate the domestic turkeys down the road. I find their "displays" and strutting around especially annoying. I can't figure out why these people keep them --- they never eat them and maybe, if they didn't have all these damned turkeys running around, they'd take better care of their guineas, which are always standing in the middle of the road and always getting themselves run over.

I have to say, however, the following brought a blush of pride to my cheeks --- and pointedly states the difference between those damned domestics and the wild turkeys. We may not have much going on here, but we got the meanest wild turkeys going.

Via Okiedoke:

Oklahoma Man Attacked by Turkeys:

46-year-old Will Millington says he was riding a dirt bike near the lake last weekend when he was attacked by two big toms.

Millington says he was riding through the woods when he stopped to keep from hitting the toms and a group of hens crossing the trail. The hens scattered but the two toms stayed and fought.

He says the turkeys began gobbling wildly, flaring their fans and then jumped up and slammed their bodies into him. Millington gunned the bike and the turkeys gave chase.

Fascism is The New Black

I had a totally eye-opening and relevatory and somewhat earth shaking experience the other day when a friend sent me some posts from a local forum, explaining the political landscape of the nearest large city. Tulsa, to be exact.

In essence, in wannabe chic Downtown Tulsa, it's the thang (to use the colloquial) to be a fascist, and not just a fascist, but a Left Behind Christo-Fascist (even if you're Jewish or Muslim or Whatever).

The friend who sent me this info has lived for years now in a very densely populated, extremely liberal city on the West Coast (hint: it's hilly). He's been considering a move back here, in part because of economics, but also because all Okies eventually get homesick and come back, despite whatever.

It's not such a bad idea for him, not really. Housing prices in Tulsa are currently running 10-20% and more below market, and you can pick up fab real estate for almost nothing. He could sell his place in the densely populated, extremely liberal West Coast city which I refuse to name, make a killing, esp. as he bought it years ago, move here, stuff the extra in savings and whatever, and clean up.

But he's been doing his homework, and doing it so well, he's come up with info even I didn't know.

In essence, in Downtown Tulsa, fascism is The New Black. Which makes an awful lots of things make sense, especially my extreme discomfort with any number of people (some close friends) I used to know and no longer am willing to even talk to. A few of whom I've quietly, surreptitiously and without fanfare dumped without a word.

My perception of the political landscape here doesn't match this at all. But my perception is colored by my residence in the far edges of the state, in the most rural of rural areas. Even yesterday, in my classes full of rural-ites, in response to completely unrelated topics, there were ongoing outbursts of anti-Bushism, anger about the war, fury at The Oil Barons and Robber Barons, etc. Completely unsolicited by me.

Not that the wingnuts aren't out here. Believe me, they are. But I just don't ever see them or talk to them. Instead, my daily experience leads me to constantly encounter people who are very upset about this administration --- maybe they're not necessarly as liberal as I am --- but it isn't uncommon at all for me to, mmm, let's say, stop in to fill up at a local store, go in to pay, get into a conversation with the shop owner about gas prices, tell them I've read they'll be doubled by next year and $3/gal. by summer, and see them worriedly rub their faces while saying this is why I didn't want Bush in office.

You know, before my friend sent me those enlightening posts, he'd asked me for my honest assessment of Tulsa. I told him I don't go there because the city stinks (refineries) and I have nothing to talk about with most people there. I blamed my interest in education, telling him look, I spent years in school, I teach now, I'm obsessed with frogs and toads and lizards and language and invasive plant species and stuff like that, and the people I know there only want to talk about hairdos.

The real truth is, however --- and I realize this now --- they've become fascists, even the most liberal of them.

Although, of course, Sister Scorpion is entirely exempt from this critique.

There used to be more Sister Scorpions there. I think they've all left. No wonder the city's dying.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Memed

Redneck Mother and MJ rise to the task.

Congratulations!

People who despise me



Last night, I realized how much time and energy I spend avoiding all the people who hate me.

There's a lot of them, too. There's the delicate flower Elizabethan poet at a university in Oklahoma who decided to accuse one of my students of -- of -- of --- well, I have no idea what, and have a nervous breakdown about it a few days after my father died.

She left all manner of hysterical messages for me at my sister's house and sent me tens --- twenties --- of panicked, crazed emails in a single afternoon, all obsessing over me and my dangerous student.

I read her emails, looked though the messages she left for me and responded to her quite simply that yes, you're right, I have no idea what's wrong with me but something must be terribly wrong. Although I knew good and well nothing was wrong with me, other than months of watching my father die.

I've avoided that half of the state since that incident. And she hates me not because of the so called incident with the student, but because I cut off her hysteria by responding to her that yes, there must be something terribly wrong with me, see you later. It really pissed her off and caused quite a scene in her department because she then had to dump her angst on the chair, etc. My response to all that? Silence.

There's the guy down the road who showed up on his tractor one day and informed me that he was a martial arts expert (yes, I believe that) and that yes, he knows Churck Norris (who?) and oooh, he thinks I'm sexy!

I threw him off the property. He's now in a huge snit about me.

There's the fanatical Christian student I had who I flunked for handing me a Rush Limbaugh slash Ann Coulter style screed against gays. He thinks I'm possessed by Satan and refuses to acknowledge my existence.

There's the ex-junkie, ex-groupie in Tulsa. Well, actually, there's about fifty people in Tulsa who hate me. Including the crazy woman who lived across the street from my father and decided he was the man for her --- but I was the one standing in the way. Huh? She's really crazy, too. And she has a real deal about me.

This all came up because I talked to a friend of mine last night. She told me about guy she met and was somewhat interested in, til she found out he's done a porn movie, etc. She wanted to know if I thought she was a prude. And I was honest --- I said no, and that I think those people are crazy. I've met people into being in porn movies before --- not a one has been anything other than whacked.

This got me thinking about all the people who hate me. One got her shorts in a bunch because she likes being Alpha female. She's a refugee from the East Coast who now lives in Arkansas and was quite determined that she knows what's best for the people there. She got in a serious snit because, after she noted that all her efforts at "bettering" the people and the town had been rejcted by local government and citizens, I told her she was likely perceived as an outsider. This got a real bee in her bonnet. Then, she decided to start telling me how to write grants. ? Huh? Problem was, at the time, I had yet to write a grant which hadn't been funded. She had yet to write a grant which had been funded. This pissed her off even more.

Etc.

I've been avoiding all these hundreds of people who hate me because I don't like confrontation. I'll do anything to avoid it in real life.

But the thought struck me last night that the majority of people who hate me are wingnuts. A few sandwiches short of a picnic. Picked a little green. Etc.

So somewhere around midnight last night, I decided this:

Fuck 'em!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Bumblers are Back

Okay everyone, stand back and watch out! The Bumblers are awake, up and running and looking for food.

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I like the smaller honeybees, too, but I have a serious soft spot for The Bumblers. I like it when they try to organize attacks because they're so, so easy to outrun. You get a little too close to their nest and here they come! Watch out! They must be going a good -20 MPH, because all their energy and flapping goes to just trying to stay up in the air.

Actually, from what I've seen of them, they're the gentlest of the bees. And fun, too. I really enjoy doodling around out back and meeting up with them. They're lovely little creatures. And funny.

Okay, Redneck Mother

Get cracking, missy.