Blogging Cascadia – our new news site

I have been working on a new news feed for literature, arts, environment, and progressive politics in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been frustrated with the difficulty of finding good blog and news sources by northwest bloggers. Cascadia, for those who don’t know, refers to the Cascadia bio-region, which includes everything from the Siskiyous to southern British Columbia. There is a lot of good stuff coming from here, and my goal is to produce some consolidated feeds.

We’ve also included some feeds from Indian Country that aren’t necessarily tied to the northwest. You can subscribe to feeds by category, so if you’re only interested in arts and literature, you can limit your feed to bloggers who write about these subjects.

We haven’t gone public yet, but you can check us out at Blogging Cascadia.

The Corn Mother

Tsalagi Red in the Corn FieldSelu, The Corn Mother shed seven drops of her blood and from the spots where the blood fell grew seven stalks of corn to feed the people.

Then came the white Europeans, who took Selu’s corn and used it to feed their cattle and make plastic and sweeteners, while the people went hungry. Now they have decided to use it to feed their SUVs.

Selu, The Corn Mother shed seven drops of her blood and from the spots where the blood fell grew seven stalks of corn to feed the people.

Tsalagi Red in the Corn FieldThen came the white Europeans, who took Selu’s corn and used it to feed their cattle and make plastic and sweeteners, while the people went hungry. Now they have decided to use it to feed their SUVs.

The starving people of the world? Let them eat dirt.

America’s gas-guzzling greed will drive up the price of corn and all foods for the people of the world. Grain prices in the past year have doubled as drought has increased from global warming, and as more and more land is taken out of food production for “alternative” uses.

This is capitalism, where money determines the outcome, not the needs of people. This is insanity.

Is your Jeep Cherokee more important than your Cherokee grandmother? The fools who run the world think so.

Watson Bill, HR 2824, only compounds the injustice

As readers of this journal know, I have spoken out firmly against the banishment of the Freedmen from Cherokee citizenship, and I believe that racism had a heavy hand in passing that measure last March. But H.R. 2824, Congresswoman Diane Watson’s bill to withdraw federal funds from the tribe, only adds injustice to injustice.

After the Civil War, the Treaty of 1866 promised The Cherokee Nation certain rights, and demanded certain responsibilities, one of which was to take in our former slaves. There is no doubt that chatel slavery is among the most horrendous of conditions one group of humans can afflict upon another. Cherokee plantation owners were also slave owners, and because of this the Cherokee nation owes a debt to the descendants of those slaves, by accepting them into citizenship, as all other slave-owning nations have done.

However, there is also a big difference between the Cherokee Nation and other nations. Like the African slaves, the Cherokees also suffered a terrible tragedy at the hands of an oppressive U.S. government and society.

Is the Cherokee Nation abrogating the Treaty of 1866, as many claim? I don’t know, because I am not a legal expert, but two facts are very clear in my mind. First, the Treaty of 1866 was pushed upon a dispirited and beaten people, who had recently been forced on a journey of death and suffering, known as The Trail of Tears, and who had been further devasted by civil war.

Then, in 1877, the Dawes Act laid the groundwork for the theft of our new tribal lands by greedy white settlers. Let’s be clear, if anyone has broken promises, it is the United States government.

So, now, thanks to a couple of grandstanding politicians (I speak here of Principal Chief Chad Smith and Congresswoman Watson), two oppressed peoples are set upon each other, when we should be building alliances. I would like to remind progressives in Congress and elsewhere that it is white European ideologies and financial interests, and the complicity of the U.S. government, which has brought suffering on my people, as well as African-Americans.

Congresswoman Watson should be demanding that white America take responsibility for its role in this historical tragedy that is still unfolding today. Don’t use this ill-conceived decision by the Cherokee Nation as an excuse to take away programs for our poor. How will that help heal us?

Support free speech in academia – no to firing Ward Chuchill

The University of Colorado, with its right wing president, is set to fire Ward Churchill. It is time to stand up for free speech in the academy, and to stop the witch hunt against left wing professors.

Read the following article from Common Dreams, and my letter to Patricia Hayes, Chair of the Board of Regents. Then send your own letter.

The University of Colorado, with its right wing president, is set to fire Ward Churchill. It is time to stand up for free speech in the academy, and to stop the witch hunt against left wing professors.

Read the following article from Common Dreams, and my letter to Patricia Hayes, Chair of the Board of Regents. Then send your own letter.

University of Colorado Set To Fire Ward Churchill – CommonDreams.org

On Tuesday, July 24, the University of Colorado Board of Regents will decide whether to accept the recommendation of CU President (and former Republican senator) Hank Brown, and fire CU Professor Ward Churchill. It’s not likely that Brown, one of the shrewdest (and most conservative) politicians Colorado has produced, would recommend the firing unless he was already sure the Regents would back him up. So it’s a very good bet that the Regents will indeed give Churchill the axe. The only thing that might change their minds is an outpouring of public opinion supporting a professor’s right to voice unpopular views.

The Regents’ decision is not merely a local affair. It has enormous impact on the whole country. That gives you the right — and the responsibility — to let them know what you think. The chair of the University of Colorado Board of Regents is Patricia Hayes. You can write to her at:

Patricia.Hayes@cu.edu.

Why should you bother? It’s still a rare occasion when a tenured professor is fired because he is an outspoken leftist. But every time a witchhunt is successful, it encourages other right-wingers to go after their favorite target. It brings the next witchhunt closer and increases the odds that it will succeed.

My letter to Patricia Hayes:

Dear Ms Hayes,

I am writing to you in behalf of ending the witch hunt against leftist professors which is taking place across this nation.

Ward Churchill is a flawed human being, like everyone of us. But he has contributed substantially to the literature of oppression against native peoples. As an actual enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, it does not bother me that the unenrolled Mr. Churchill spoke as a Cherokee. Nor as an intellectual and a publisher, does it bother me that Mr. Churchill has made a mistake or two in his academic research. Name me one professor who has not!

What bothers me is that Ward Churchill is being punished for speaking an unpopular truth. Yes, his unfortunate metaphors have brought down the wrath of the right wing pundits, and a portion of the mainstream press. But Mr. Churchill has spoken much truth, and his opinions deserve to be heard. And they should not have a bearing on his academic standing.

Free speech has been, and should continue to be, a central pillar of academia. Please do not further undermine that principle by firing Ward Churchill.

Sincerely,

Duane Poncy, publisher
elohi gadugi / the habit of rainy nights press
p.o. box 12004, portland, or 97212

Wampum: No way, no how.

Hillary Clinton, Dick Gephardt and Peabody Coal? An expose from Wampum:

I vaguely remember the news last spring that Gephardt was setting up an “energy” lobbying firm. I had other things on my mind (the Griles and Federici indictments) so didn’t look into it much. Then this morning, Melissa reported that Hillary Clinton has now brought on Gephardt as a ” senior economic advisor”, and reminded us of one of his clients: Peabody Energy, e.g., Peabody Coal.

Hillary Clinton, Dick Gephardt and Peabody Coal? An expose from Wampum:

I vaguely remember the news last spring that Gephardt was setting up an “energy” lobbying firm. I had other things on my mind (the Griles and Federici indictments) so didn’t look into it much. Then this morning, Melissa reported that Hillary Clinton has now brought on Gephardt as a ” senior economic advisor”, and reminded us of one of his clients: Peabody Energy, i.e., Peabody Coal.

Read it on Wampum: No way, no how.

Stacy Leeds on bill to pull Cherokee Nation federal funds

Stacy Leeds blog:

A bill was introduced in Congress today to pull our federal funds, close our casinos, and terminate our federal recognition. It’s truly a sad day for the Cherokee Nation. The rash decisions and inconsistent legal arguments of our current administration bring us to this point.

Will the bill pass? Doubtful.

Does the introduction of the bill matter? Without a doubt.

Following is the text of Stacy Leeds’ statement:

A bill was introduced in Congress today to pull our federal funds, close our casinos, and terminate our federal recognition. It’s truly a sad day for the Cherokee Nation. The rash decisions and inconsistent legal arguments of our current administration bring us to this point.

Will the bill pass? Doubtful.

Does the introduction of the bill matter? Without a doubt.

In addition to this proposed legislation, a federal court case is pending and there is on-going review by the BIA regarding the legality of the March 3rd Special Election. Now all three branches of the United States government are fully engaged in the fall out of our decision to expel a class of tribal citizens.

Why is this happening? The Cherokee people, although certainly possessing the right to redefine citizenship, were not told the whole story by the current administration. The Cherokee people were not fully advised of the legal and political consequences of the special election. Instead, the decision was rushed and public debate and deliberations were suppressed.

Why was the federal bill not introduced earlier? Principal Chief Chad Smith has been in negotiations to delay the introduction of this bill so that it would not be introduced the week before the election. He didn’t want to allow the Cherokee people the opportunity to know the seriousness of our present situation. Instead, he attempted to negotiate some undisclosed deal to keep this out of the media.

My concern is two fold: (1) The Principal Chief does not have the authority to strike a secret “deal” with the Freedmen without discussing it with the Tribal Council; and (2) exactly what were the details of Chief Smith’s “offer” to the Freedmen?

The introduction of the bill was delayed for a week based on the Principal Chief’s promises. What exactly did he promise? How much would his promise cost the Cherokee people?

I will alway support the Cherokee people’s right to make decisions, good or bad. What must end, if we are to be a healthy nation, are the half-truths and secret dealings of our present leadership.
A positive change is just around the corner . . . . vote Saturday June 23rd.

Stacy Leeds blog