Category Archives: Native American

The best and the worst

A significant percentage of US voters believe Ronald Reagan was the best president in US history.  Despite Iran/Contra, arms for hostages, and trickle-down economics.  History is not the long-suite among high school graduates in the United States.

A significant percentage of US voters believe Ronald Reagan was the best president in US history. Despite Iran/Contra, arms for hostages, and trickle-down economics. History is not the long-suite among high school graduates in the United States.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Yahoo News conducted a poll of +-1400 voters and asked who was the worst president in US history.  The results were that 33% believe the guy in the White House now is the worst.  28% believe the guy who was in there before him was the worst.

The pollsters used subtle methods for determining what percentage of the voters believing the guy in there now is the worst did so because he was black.  They concluded +-5% simply could not stand the thought of a black man serving in the White House except as a shoe-shine boy.

Which leaves the question among non-racist voters precisely equal:  56% of US voters believe one of the last two US presidents was the worst in US history.  28% Bush, 28% wossname.

All of which should raise some alarming questions in the minds of everyone else.  When did they quit teaching children US history in school?

Sheeze! The freaking Civil Freaking WAR was fought during the watch of one US president!  Two were impeached!  One was responsible for the Trail of Tears and moving the aboriginal tribes east of the Mississippi the-hell anywhere west of the Mississippi and stealing their farms, barns, equipment, animals, crops for white people.  Even though those Cherokees and some other tribes were already doing their best to BE white people.  Hell, a few years later they even had a Cherokee general commanding troops during the Civil War.  Chreeeeeist!  They even owned slaves!  What the hell do you have to do to be civilized?

Then there’s Lyndon Johnson, faked the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and used it to justify carpet bombing of North Vietnam, had South Vietnam President Diem assassinated by the CIA, and did the Great Society.

There’s John freaking Kennedy, son of a damned bootlegging smuggling NAZI supporter during the pre-WWII years.  Responsible for the Bay of Pigs, among other fiascos.

Hells bells, there’s Clinton for Christs sakes.  Got a blowjob in the Oval Office.  No Jennifer Oneal, her, either.  Shot up Ruby Ridge, murdered a couple-score Branch Davidians outside Wacoi, and smuggled huge amounts of coke and crack into Arkansas on CIA aircraft.  Got almost impeached because of shady real estate deals he and the little woman were up to their asses in.

These two guys now and just before him are pikers.  Except where deficit spending and fruitless military adventures are concerned.  These two couldn’t find their asses with flashlights when it comes to real corruption.

Old Jules

Minneconjou Lakota Texan – another busted stereotype

Long memories

A few old guys of the same species sitting around Kerrville, Texas wondering where the world went.  Each too different from the others to guess which parts they missed.  Old guy the others knew walked up and sat down.

Silver gray hair in a ponytail, 70ish, shorts and sandals with athletic stockings, heavyset.  We shook hands and I studied his features.  In Texas he looked definitely out-of-place, though he could have been Hispanic throwback gene pool.  But something in the features and skin pigment had me suspecting he was a Navajo or Apache.  A curiosity because Native Americans aren’t much drawn to Texas as a home.

Finally my puzzlement got the best of me.  “Where are you from?”

He grinned at the others, then at me.  “I’m Swedish.”

Yeah, but what TRIBE Swedish?”

Minneconjou Lakota, it turned out.  Born in a US Public Health hospital on the Rez in Minnesota.  Mama a party woman, no idea who his pappa was.  Reared by his grandma, then sent off to Indian School.  Learned to be a welder and pipe-fitter.

By 1970-or-so he was up in Alaska on the North Slope a few years building the first Alaskan pipeline across the permafrost.  Had a few stories to tell about that, then all of us began picking his mind for all manner of details.  “How deep did they have to go setting the pilings holding up those pipe joints?” How were you housed?”  And so on.

Turned out all the oil from that field was shipped directly to Japan.  US refineries weren’t tuned to that sort of crude.  But the fields are still producing.

Guy has a tribal census number, but never went back to live on the Rez, but visited his grandma there until she died.  Brought tears to his eyes thinking about her.  Never used the free health-care/dental-care for life benefit available to him because of the tribal census number US Public Health Service offers.

“I worked hard all my life and settled here.  Paid my own way every step along.  Making a lifetime job of being an Indian didn’t appeal to me much.  When they quit shooting us they tried to offer that as the next best thing. 

“They’re still trying, got all those liberal white people to worship blanket Indians.  Better than getting shot, but not as good as kicking the whole damned mess.”  He shook his head.  “Damned white people and their congratulations for being victims will finish off all the ones left.”

Nice meeting him.  I hope I see him again before I head for the tall timber.  Being born into a trap doesn’t mean there’s no escaping it, I reckons.

Old Jules

Time to lighten up a bit – Communist hell on the Zuni Reservation

I wrote this after a weekend spent with a once-lady-friend who spent her career as a high school librarian on the Navajo and Zuni Reservations.

zuniland1a

Cataclysmic Doggerel
 
 
A schoolmarmish lady in Zuni
Had canines subversive and loony;
Her Communist felines
Made neighborhood beelines
With doctrines both outworn and puny.
 
The KGB cat was a lean
And speckled-nosed beauty serene
In appearance alone
For her countenance shown
Multi-faceted plots as she preened.
 
Her Weathercat history was tops:
She sprayed on dozens of cops
With a Commie aroma
But joined Sertoma
Cavorting with phonies and fops.
 
The ringleader hound was a red
And curly haired rascal it’s said
Whose Trotskyish leanings
And Maoish gleanings 
Were pondered curled up on the bed.
 
Princess Redfeather, they tells
Of this curly red bitch of the cells,
Forsook her fine lineage
To sip of the vintage
of Lenin, and Gulags and hells.
 
The worst of the felines, Bearboy:
Striped and cross-eyed and coy;
Politically weak, 
Had claws that could tweak
Bourgeois carpet, and bedspread, with joy.

The Uncle-Tom dog of the hut
Was Ernie, the gray-bearded mutt; 
Dog-tired, and dogmatic,
He thought,”Problematic:
dog-eared dialectic and glut.”
 
The Uncle-Tom dog she called Ernie
Began as a dog-pound attorney
Commuted from gassing
He pondered in passing
Discretion’s demand for a journey.
 
A calico hound lying dormant,
Most likely a police informant:
A capitalist clown
Took his food lying down
Resisting the commie allurement.
 
The Stalinish kittenish spies
Spread foment and torment and lies
To Indian curs
And mutts that were hers
And War-Gods high up on the rise.
 
Princess and Ernie and, Spot,
And Chester, the narc-dog; the lot:
For half a piaster
Would bring a disaster 
To Zuni, once called Camelot

shalako pot

Old Jules

Getting had by Indians – taking the long view

homeland security2

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Europeans thought they were getting a fairly good deal when the Indians snookered them into paying a bunch of beads and mirrors for Manhattan.  As historian John Wayne once pointed out, “The Indians were selfishly hoarding the whole continent.”  They were in a position to demand unreasonable prices for real estate. 

Later on they demanded even higher prices for the land east of the Mississippi River and so on, always pretending they didn’t want to sell.  Cheating white men and the government every time they turned around.  The Black Hills.  The Rocky Mountains.  Florida.  Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington.  New Mexico, Arizona, Texas.  Those aboriginals were shrewd businessmen, turning white people every way but loose.  Nevada.  Utah. Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, wheeling and dealing every step of the way.

Worse than a bunch of Chinamen.  Those Indians were taking the long view.  What they wanted was casinos.  Tricking white men into giving them choice spots along the highways where they could open up gambling joints.  Trinket shops.  Clay pots. 

And they got it, too.  They still have some nice real estate up in the Dakotas, down in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and other places.  And some of that land has oil, coal, natural gas and other things white people need to fire up the hair dryers, air conditioners and clothes dryers mornings. 

It’s time for white people to realize we’ve been had.  There are plenty of big power companies, mining companies, real estate developers and other white people who’d love to have that land if they could get it for a reasonable price.  Pay for it in slot machine tokens, maybe, or table chips. 

Time to cut off all that free health care and commodity cheese, break up those reservations right down to the pavement on the casino parking lots.  It’s time for white people to quit getting had by Indians.  Those corporations would gladly keep them from selfishly hoarding all the stuff nobody knew was there when the original deals were made to let them stay on that land.

And after all, we’re all Native Americans now.  If we’re not, what the hell are we?

When the Mexicans were selfishly hoarding the whole southwest US we had to shoot a lot of them before they’d give us a reasonable price.  How the hell are we going to stop all those illegal aliens from Mexico  sneaking into the land we took away from them if we keep getting had by other Native Americans?

We need to send some tanks and drones and helicopters to take care of our problems right here at home before we go off to places like Iraq and Afghanistan.  There’s nothing on those reservations and in those casinos a few thousand mercenaries and enough explosives won’t cure.

The Visionary President Ronald Reagan wanted to give all the National Forests, National Parks and Bureau of Land Management lands to the real estate developers, mining and oil companies.  But he didn’t go far enough and it serves him right he’s remembered as a failed lunatic.  He had the Army and he had maps of the US.  If he didn’t know where the reservations were he could have asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  White people could have finally gotten a good deal on something.

Old Jules

Hungry for heroes? Find a thief, a robber, a killer, or an aristocrat

 frank and jesse james

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I was thinking last night before I dozed off about what TV, movies and fiction have done for us that reality couldn’t.  I concluded it all boils down to mythology and self definition.  An attempt to bring little guys into a larger picture where, in fact, they don’t exist.

Consider this:  Can you name a single person involved in the American Revolution below the rank of Colonel other than Paul Revere?  Anyone between then and the War of 1812? 

From then until the Mexican War you might recall Nat Turner and his brief slave rebellion, or Davy Crockett, Travis, Sam Houston, et al.  The mountain men and the fur traders.  Meriwether Lewis and Clark, the Kit Carsons, Bridgers, the Coulters and Joe Meeks.  The wild and wooly.

And all the names from the lower paygrades you might recall from the Mexican War are there because they were colonels and higher during the Civil War.

Follow it right on through from then until the Wars and whatever else is happening today.  Where the hell are the lower-paygrade heroes?

Younger, Cole & James left to right

Well, the fact is, they were out there at the time.  They were the outlaws, the killers, the people most successful at taking what didn’t belong to them away from the people it belonged to.  The James Gang, the Daltons, Butch and Sundance, Billy the wossname, Kid, the Youngers.  Buffalo Bill, wiping a species off the face of the continent so’s the trains wouldn’t be troubled by them and cow men could use the land for cows.  Masterson, the Earps, Hickok.  Steely-eyed killers.

The US needed the genre fiction, the film industry and television to clean up history.  The country needed common people out there getting massacred by Apache, Lakota, Comanche, people with names.  People below the rank of colonel with names that weren’t John Jacob Astor and weren’t just getting filthy rich and powerful from it all.

So you want the heroes of the west today?  Well, there’s John Wayne.  Henry Fonda.  Steve McQueen.  Jeff Chandler on the generic Indian side.  Burt Lancaster.  Gary Cooper. 

All of whom also, by coincidence, became the heroes of all the other wars the US fought.  Became the common men of history where none existed before.  Winning the west from the people who owned it, whupping the Germans and Japanese, the Vietcong and NVA, the Chinese and North Koreans. 

All those heroes, frequently below the paygrade of colonel, helping us to understand our great heritage.  Because, after all, our heroes define us in ways we’d be too modest to define ourselves.  Most of us ain’t all that successful at taking shit that doesn’t belong to us, individually.

At least those of us who never got higher than the rank of major.  The aristocratic dynasties went to Washington but the heroes all came out of Hollywood.

Old Jules

Forgotten Lost Victories – The Modocs – 1852

shelf indian

Bringing civilization to Native Americans was never easy.  Almost every step of the way the tribes selfishly hoarded the lands they depended upon, frequently resorting to violence when whites who needed the land for farming, ranching and mining tried to run them off.

One example was the Modocs in northern California, 1852.  The US suddenly owned the land, having disproved the false claims by Mexico of ownership by invading them and killing as many as they could catch.  But the Modocs were spoiled by being owned by Mexico, being mostly left alone.  When whites came into the Tule Lake area the Modoc slaughtered 38 innocent people.

Ben Wright and a group of miners from Yreka, California attempted to peacefully resolve the situation by having a feast for the tribe, but almost to a person the Modoc unreasonably refused to eat the poisoned food. 

Wright and the miners were forced to fire into the mass  of tribal members, which allowed a third of them to escape.  That failure led to decades more of Modoc attempts to halt the march of civilization and disputing rightful white claims to the land.

hands_off_please[ KC Library

Not until 1873, after seven months of hard fighting and the loss of many innocent white lives were the Modoc finally subdued permanently and the leaders hanged.

A microcosm of the history of the western US where flawed and improper leadership and planning resulted in the needless loss of innocent white lives.

Mongolian Yahooan Wildfire Treasures

Okala

Now that Yahoo’s decided to protect us by making us agree to let them read, store, and use all of our emails any way they want to there’s not much point going over there.  Except to find out whether the sky’s going to drop some moisture.  But when a person finishes looking at drawings of clouds on maps it’s difficult not to peek at what’s going on in Mongolia, or Bongobongoland.

For what it’s worth, things appear to be okay in Mongolia.

But there’s a huge fire or two raging in upstate New Mexico.  As nearly as I can figure the Jemez Mountains might be getting another round of flames.  They mentioned Valle Caldera and some ancient sites threatened, which might mean it’s threatening the western end of Frijole Canyon upstream from Bandera National Somethingorother. 

That old guy in Santa Fe, wossname, Fenn, who hid a box worth some money if he’s to be believed, probably has those mountains crawling with people who believe him.  From Santa Fe north to Alaska.  The ones who know it’s in Colorado and New Mexico should be able to accidently start a few fires for their troubles.

If I find the time I might swing up that way and pluck the box right out from under them just to keep the townies out of the mountains for their own good.  I was going to have Jeanne’s kids swing by where it’s hidden and snag it when they go that way this summer, but it’s looking as though they mightn’t make the trip.

I can’t swear to it, but I’m fearful I’ve drifted a bit from my original intent with this post, whatever that might have been.

Learning handy skills while defending the US

1stcav2

When I joined the US Army in 1961 it had a lot of attractions for a young man of 17.  First off, it didn’t involve going to work in a moly mine in Questa, New Mexico.  Secondly, it was the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and I naturally hoped I’d get an opportunity to kill me some young Russians to defend this country.  Thirdly, the recruiter promised they’d teach me some skills I’d find useful in civilian life.

Eventually I learned that moly mine mightn’t have been a bad idea.  Never got to kill me any Russians, neither.  Never defended this country worth nuthun.  And thirdly, the only skill I learned that might have helped me as a civilian was how to kill a man by hitting him in the face with an entrenching tool.  A lot of years have passed since then, but I’m still hoping to put that entrenching tool thing to use.

Fact is, that like the US troops who served in WWI, the Spanish American War, the Mexican War, and all the US Army who fought the Apache, the Comanche, the Cheyenne along with dozens of other tribes, we were not ‘defending’ this country.  Until WWII a person would have to go back to the Civil War and include the soldiers fighting for the Confederacy to locate someone defending his country.

Well, I suppose you could say the Mexican soldiers who fought against the US in the Mexican War were defending their country.  And the Apache was defending his, and so on.

But those serving in the US Army were doing something else, entirely.

Care to guess what it was?

Where Were You When The World Ended?

When the world ended

The End Of The World by Archibald MacLeish

Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly to top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing — nothing at all.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.   I’m the more profoundly enlightened, severely evolved creature who used to be Old Jules before the Mayan calendar ended.

As for the Mayan calendar, I think we have to assume the ancient Mayans were referring to Greenwich time, midnight.  I can’t see any way around it.  It all had to begin somewhere and I think the ancient Mayans were sufficiently wise to begin it in a place where everyone in the future would be able to agree when it happened.

For the cats and me, that was Big Lake, Texas.  A city park there with dozens of RV connections and three free overnight connections, according to information online.  But when the Mayan calendar ended I happened to be walking on the pavement near a dim sign I’ll paraphrase as saying, “Welcome to Big Lake overnight RV connections.  $15 per night, enjoy, stay as long as you wish and come back often.”

Big Lake Park hookups

As the Coincidence Coordinators would have it, I’d been there a couple of hours, trying out a new harness and leash I’d bought in the Walmart store in Midland, Texas, on each of the cats.  I’d noticed I was the target of repeated scrutiny by a Big Lake City Police officer driving slowly by, me smiling and half-waving as he went by.  Him not smiling, not waving.

Big Lake Park

Then, cats all battened back down into the RV, I took a longer walk and found myself more informed about the Post Mayan calendar calendar and surviving the coming times with the least possible bullshit for all concerned.

So the cats and I celebrated the birth of the new era by topping off the gas tank and heading off down the road where the glow of headlights might shine on someplace free to sleep off the emerging shock of sudden evolution.

Ended up in a Rest Area somewhere between Ozona and Snora around 10:00 pm the Day the World Ended.

I’ve some retrospectives about the people and places of the previous several days, but I’m shooting this off just to suggest if you’re ever looking for a place to spend a hassle-free night parked free with cats purring on your chest, stay out of Big Lake, Texas.

But I’ve digressed.  About that photo at the top:

Very few white men have ever witnessed what honest-to-goodness, eat-it-down-to-the-rocks over-grazing looks like unless they’ve visited the Navajo Reservation in the four-corners area of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. 

Or Texas.

The New Old Jules

The Boy Captives – J. Marvin Hunter – Book Review

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming for a read.  I bought this tome in a thrift store in Kerrville before I knew it’s the hottest piece of literature to be had in TimeWarpVille [Junction], Texas. 

I suppose that qualifies me to brag I have a nose for cool, an instinct for hot, to boast that I was also country when country wasn’t cool, same as the song said. 

Over in TimeWarpVille every business in town has a stack of these with a $10+ pricetag.  And customers standing in line to buy soft drinks, potato chips, deer corn, and steel fenceposts will each answer verbal quiz questions about it, when asked. 

They likes it.  They likes it real good.  They know the family heirs to the publishing history.  This I know to be true because I asked and was answered.

I’m reasonably comfortable some of the other parts of this non-fiction book are also true.  There’s a fair amount of documentation and affidavits from people alive at the time of the incidents certifying various parts of the story they had personal knowledge about.

I’d guess the older brother, Clinton’s part of the tale he’d possibly be able to pass a polygraph on 75-80%.  Maybe higher.  Most of the details he gives don’t conflict with anything clearly different and known under more verifiable circumstances elsewhere.

Brother Jeff’s part of the tale, however, has a somewhat different air about it, to my suspicious mind.  I ain’t going to say he wasn’t traded to the Apache, not going to say he wasn’t adopted by Geronimo.  But if I had to stake any money on the truth or fiction of it I’d put my large bills on most of his story being lost in the dust of history because it ain’t on these pages.

Not that it matters.  Fact is, the book is a hoot, an interesting read, a flashback to a time when Brother Comanche still rode southeast under a Comanche moon, killing, taking captives, stealing horses.   Good descriptions from a couple of kids of settlers before their capture about their lives, the family.

And both brothers succeed in spinning yarns Marvin Hunter could put on a printed page well enough to keep the reader turning them, not putting the book aside for something with more potential for holding the mind in place.

You Texas readers would almost certainly enjoy this tome, thinks I.

Old Jules