Our Friends, Beloved Dogs

Actor and musician David Soul, co-star of the 1970s iconic television series, Starsky and Hutch, lends his voice to the growing opposition to end the dog meat trade in parts of Asia. Please watch David’s five-minute video, and then do what you can from the list of actions in the Animal’s Voice website (http://animalsvoice.com/dogs)

 

The Last of the Mard Gras “Indians” | A Story

Published February 10, 2016 

[Having grown up in a small town in Louisiana, away from New Orleans, our Mardi Gras celebrations didn’t incorporate all the nuances of typical French Quarter flair, Bourbon Street woes, or institutions like “Mardi Gras Indians,” yep, “Indians.” An umbrella classification identifying 38 organizations of black entertainers, that coin themselves as “tribes.” It turns out that the New Orleans’ tradition is rooted in the ever-present theme of slavery and indigenous removal.

Hundreds of African slaves that were freed after the Civil War, ultimately joined the “Buffalo Soldiers,” U.S. Cavalry Regiments of the United States Army comprised of African Americans (specifically 9th and 10th  Cavalry Regiment). You may have heard the term “Buffalo Soldier,” used in a song made popular in the late 20thCentury by Bob Marley. Sadly, these regiments had a significant hand in the mass killing, forced removal and relocation of the Plains tribes during the Indian Removal Act. Upon return to New Orleans, many former Buffalo Soldiers joined wild west shows. In 1885, it is recorded that about sixty Plains Tribesman marched during Mardi Gras in full regalia. Inspired by this, the black soldiers that participated in wild west shows, most notably Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, formulated their own entertainment troupes, eventually evolving into today’s “Mardi Gras Indians.”

Their exaggerated stereotypical dress, layered war paint, and beaded adornments of removal act scenes, are blatant evidence of, for lack of a better terms, misappropriation #OnFleek. A quick YouTube search and dozens of videos celebrating their “culture” are easily accessible, yet not one video calling them out for exploiting Indigenous traditions. Not one video testimonial of their unfortunate but traceable roots to the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples.

 

As a member of a tribe that celebrates Louisiana whole-heartedly, so much so that we incorporated the state into our name, the “Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana,” it is a hard pill to swallow when Louisiana’s most revered celebration of Mardi Gras is marred by such an ignorant procession of ill-natured Native Appropriation, based on foundations of Indigenous removal executed by former slaves. I’m not writing this as an exercise to point fingers at anyone, but rather, as an effort to wave my finger in disapproval of a society that allows this ignorance to be perpetuated. I like to think that once made aware of the offense, those that perpetuate it would rather participate in a dialogue to correct it. Add this one to the list Native America, lets end it.

“Today is a good day to die…” –Crazy Horse

Mardi Gras Indians

1885 – 2016]

The Last of the Mardi Gras Indians

Santiago X (Lawrence Santiago, M.Arch) is an Indigenous Artist, Architect, Singer/Songwriter, and Indigenous Youth Development Specialist. He is an enrolled member the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Koasati) and Chamorro (Hachamaori) People of Guam U.S.A. and currently resides in Chicago, IL.

Organ Harvesting, China and the Falun Gong

[Since the crackdown began in 1999, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been arrested and detained. Researcher Ethan Gutmann estimated that at least 15 percent of the population incarcerated in labor camps for the purpose of “re-education” is made up of Falun Gong practitioners. These findings are supported by the US State Department. According to human rights groups, detainees have been subjected to forced labor, torture, arbitrary execution and organ harvesting. In 2009, The New York Times reported that “at least 2,000” people had been killed since the crackdown began…..

During a Falun Gong rally in Taiwan in 2006, four demonstrators play in an action drama against what they said was the Chinese communists’ killing of Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps. China recently placed the outlawed group at the top of its list of terrorist organizations, despite no history of violence against others….]

Read the full story here | LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS

Falun Gong | WIKIPEDIA

Why is Falun Gong Banned? | NEWSTATESMAN

Organ Harvesting in China | New York Post

 

 

Evidence of Mathematical Structures in Classic Literature

Researchers at Poland’s Institute of Nuclear Physics found complex ‘fractal’ patterning of sentences in literature, particularly in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, which resemble ‘ideal’ maths seen in nature.

[Joyce himself, reported to have said he wrote Finnegans Wake “to keep the critics busy for 300 years”, might have predicted this. In a letter about the novel, Work in Progess as he then knew it, he told Harriet Weaver: “I am really one of the greatest engineers, if not the greatest, in the world besides being a musicmaker, philosophist and heaps of other things. All the engines I know are wrong. Simplicity. I am making an engine with only one wheel. No spokes of course. The wheel is a perfect square. You see what I’m driving at, don’t you? I am awfully solemn about it, mind you, so you must not think it is a silly story about the mouse and the grapes. No, it’s a wheel, I tell the world. And it’s all square.”

The academics write in their paper that: “Studying characteristics of the sentence-length variability in a large corpus of world famous literary texts shows that an appealing and aesthetic optimum … involves self-similar, cascade-like alternations of various lengths of sentences.”

“An overwhelming majority of the studied texts simply obey such fractal attributes but especially spectacular in this respect are hypertext-like, ‘stream-of-consciousness’ novels. In addition, they appear to develop structures characteristic of irreducibly interwoven sets of fractals called multifractals.”]

Read the full report here | THE GUARDIAN

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The Story of Palo Duro

[…. The Indians had fled on foot. Mackenzie marched his troops back to their camp, 20 miles away, and there on the following morning he ordered all the horses, except a few hundred spared for use, shot. “The infantry roped the crazed horses and led them into firing squads,” according to S. C. Gwynne’s book on the Comanche, Empire of the Summer Moon. “The result was a massive pile of dead horses”—1,048, the records say. They rotted there, and their bones bleached for years, “a grotesque monument marking the end of the horse tribes’ dominion on the plains.” Some remnant of the Comanche, led by their great war chief Quanah Parker, walked 200 miles east to Fort Sill, in what was then Indian Territory, and surrendered.]

Read the full story: People of the Horse | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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Also: Horses of a Different Color | INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

Amid Heroin Crisis, GOP Contenders Reframe Addiction as a Health Crisis

[Several Republican candidates have responded to the crisis with an about-face rarely seen since Richard Nixon launched the so-called war on drugs 45 years ago: a mainstream conservative movement calling for treating low-level drug use with health services instead of prison time. Last month in New Hampshire, GOP contenders unveiled several ideas — although few with detailed plans — to treat heroin addiction via rehabilitation, from placing more emphasis on drug prevention and targeting drug dealers instead of users to expanding recovery programs.]

Read the full article | Infographics | AL JAZEERA

Also, Drug Poisoning Mortality: USA 2002-2014 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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In a World Where Deep Memory and Knowledge of our Past is Optional -at best- or Unnecessary, How Significant is Respect and Preservation of Ancient Monuments?

A Navajo advocacy group has asked a federal judge to halt hydraulic fracking permits in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, claiming that drilling threatens a historic UNESCO heritage site considered sacred by Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo peoples.

Read the full story here, and watch the video | RT

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The 4,600-square-mile San Juan Basin of New Mexico’s Four Corners region is home to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which includes the Anasazi ruins and other archeological remains of structures that were among North America’s largest around 1,000 years ago.

Chaco and the surrounding areas, known as the “American cradle of civilization,” are considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization calls the area “remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings and its distinctive architecture – it has an ancient urban ceremonial centre that is unlike anything constructed before or since.”

Chaco is on top of the Mancos Shale, believed to harbor crude oil and natural gas supplies. The Diné – meaning ‘Navajo’ in their Athapaskan language – say the horizontal drilling and fracking could damage historic sites in the area, both inside and outside the national park, as well as contaminate the nearby groundwater.

The Diné – along with the San Juan Citizens Alliance, Wildearth Guardians, and the Natural Resources Defense Council – claim that BLM studies on fracking’s impact in the region have been shielded from the public. Without transparency, the drilling should not go on as planned, they said.

READ MORE: US geological agency calls for data sharing on fracking-induced tremors

To unleash oil or natural gas from shale or other areas, the hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – process requires blasting large volumes of highly pressurized water, sand, and other chemicals into layers of rock. Once used, toxic fracking wastewater is then either stored in deep underground wells, disposed of in open pits for evaporation, sprayed into waste fields, or used over again.

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