Mentionable News

(M A Croft) #81

Yes! A very interesting look at the effects of “colonisation” as well as the importance of forestation and grasslands for carbon sequestration. The early contacts with Europeans continued to have a disastrous impact on indigenous populations right up until the 19th C. Not only were they decimated by the spreading of disease, to which they had no immunity, but the process of land confiscation and outright murder was shameful.
I live in a country which was the last to be colonised by Europeans, being the furtherest from England, and consequently a 6 month sailing away. By then, interestingly, some in England were becoming concerned about how settlers were treating indigenous populations. William Wilberforce and co got together after having forced through the abolition of slavery in the British Parliament and worked towards creating a better understanding on colonisation. The British had a track record of colonising with little regard for indigenous peoples. However, the influence of two key men in the Colonial Office in England the 1830s saw NZ follow a different path. Lord Glenelg, Secretary for the Colonies, and Sir James Stephen, was Permanent Undersecretary. Their fathers had been MPs in Wilberforce’s group that had ended the slave trade.
Lord Glenelg and Sir James were committed to seeing Maori interests protected in the colonisation of New Zealand. In fact they initially opposed colonisation and wanted to see an independent Maori nation.
However, they eventually realised colonisation was a tide they could not hold back. Instead, they opted to try to establish British law as a restraint on land-grabbing colonists. Their influence resulted in Lieutenant-governor Captain William Hobson being dispatched with instructions to seek Crown sovereignty on the basis of the ‘‘free and intelligent consent’’ of Maori and to ensure their land and political rights were protected.
The subsequent Treaty - The Treaty of Waitangi - was signed on 6 Feb 1840. It is the funding document of our country. We again celebrate the signing on Tuesday this coming week. :slight_smile:


I could talk about the intersection of race, colonialism, climate change and current politics all day. Thanks for sharing! Good story!

If you liked that piece you might also enjoy this mess that’s really about using technology to define race in America. It’s a bonkers DNA test deep dive story and a fascinating read.

My Favorite part is from Kim TallBear, who great to follow on Twitter BTW. It sums up the whole Native ancestry conversation that’s been brewing online because of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s debacle.

“It might be all these people have Native American ancestry,” TallBear says. “My question is: Who cares? If there’s a particular ancestor that is close enough you can find living family, then you can do that. If there’s nobody for you to find and no tribal community that’s going to claim you, it doesn’t really mean anything.”

Tribal-enrollment offices do use genetic tests to establish parentage. But ancestry tests are irrelevant for enrollment, despite their growing popularity. “Members of the public have been showing up to tribal-enrollment offices and showing them ancestry DNA tests,” says TallBear. “And they’re like, ‘I don’t know what this is. Who are you trying to link?’”

(M A Croft) #83

I’ve been following the issue wrt Sen Warren with some interest too because it reflects similar issues here, and I’m interested in how people are approaching the topic of mixed race in America. In NZ we have two separate rolls for elections. A Maori Roll and the General Roll.A person who identifies as Maori can choose to be on the General or the Maori Roll, but obviously not both. For the Maori roll their are a set number of constituencies (districts) which ensures that there will be a definite number of Maori in the Parliament. Maori can also stand for election in seats on the General roll - but again not both. Out of 120 Members of Parliament in the current Parliament, 29 are of Maori descent.
Just how does one decide who and where one fits culturally? My grandchildren have both European and Indian heritage and my grandson who was born in NZ has spent almost his whole life in Australia. To me kapa haka (song and dance) and Te Reo (the Maori language) are part of my life although I do not identify as Maori - my heritage is strongly Scottish. But my g’son speaks 'strine (Australian dialect) eg “seed knee” for Sydney :grin:. I can’t see him identifying as kiwi.
I have a friend from Australia who always thought that she had Aboriginal, heritage - at least that was what she was told. And then she had a DNA test and it was revealed that the dark coloured skin that ran in the family was in fact African. Further research on her family tree revealed that a whaler of African descent has traveled to Australia from America and had a child from which she was a granddaughter.
I can understand that Sen Warren has identified with Native American people. It may have be a very distant relationship, but the fact that she has identified with the culture and the practise of that Nation, however tenuous is - or has been - important to her.


That’s a pretty good ratio of Indigenous representation in government. They say the tipping point is 20% to be heard. Ours isn’t as good, only four representives in Congress out of 435.

I don’t know why Warren didn’t just let this go or hire a genealogist to trace her roots. The whole upset with the Cherokee is that DNA test. US tribes adopted a lot folks in the early days, so race becomes a bit meaningless to them. This blood-quantum issue is viewed as part of colonialism, in a time when tribes are still trying to decolonialize.

I did my genealogy back to the first settler that came to Jamestown in 1620. I got lucky though, my family was very well documented. They were free people of color, who were eventually pushed out of Virginia with the Natives to avoid the slavery. They moved to the mountains of Tennessee and formed a triracial isolation group called the Melungeons. They weren’t a governmental tribe but lived like indigenous people but who could vote and hold property. They told everyone they were Portuguese. In the 1800’s some moved west and “passed” as white folks like my family. Some of cousins moved out west and lived with the Cherokee there before the Trail of Tears. In fact the current Chief Joe Bunch, of The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a not too distant cousin.

So when I talk about my ancestral identity I claim, in no particular order, French, Irish and Melungeon. America is supposed to be the one place in the world it shouldn’t matter where your family is from but it seems like it’s one place where matters the most.


@macro I watch this documentary last night, I don’t know if it’s available where you are but go look for it, I think you’d really enjoy it. It’s about the intersection of Native Americans and popular music in America. Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World :grin:

(M A Croft) #86

Sorry for late reply - it’s now 8.30am Sunday morning here. That’s a fascinating story you tell, I shall look forward to watching that later, and thank you for sharing. My great grandparents on my mothers side only spoke Gaelic, and for generations never moved far from a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Nevertheless, one can appreciate the problems of other communities which are subject to oppression and dispossession from more powerful outsiders.

That’s a pretty good ratio of ingenious representation in government. They say the tipping point is 20% to be heard. Ours isn’t as good, only four representives in Congress out of 435.

It’s interesting that a mechanism set up to limit the number of Maori in Parliament would, in fact, be the means by which their representation is enhanced :slight_smile:āori-seats

I’m reminded of the song by Blue Mink “Melting Pot”

What we need is a great big melting pot Big enough enough enough to take The world and all its got And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more And turn out coffee coloured people by the score


I wish we tribal seats in government. Even if they were “limited”. I had no idea the Maori had so much representation in New Zealand. Thanks for sharing!


Acts of kindness in Chicago during the sub zero temps created a wave of people helping the homeless and getting them rooms to stay in and food to eat. Common decency and generosity was present…and thankfully so.

Candice Payne Got 30 Hotel Rooms for Homeless People in Chicago During Severe Cold Snap - The New York Times

The broker, Candice Payne, 34, said it was a “spur-of-the-moment” decision to help. “It was 50 below, and I knew they were going to be sleeping on ice and I had to do something,” she said on Saturday.

Ms. Payne contacted hotels and found 30 rooms available at the Amber Inn for Wednesday night at $70 per room. Temperatures in Chicago reached lows of minus 25 and minus 26 on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

After Ms. Payne paid for the rooms on a credit card, she asked on her Instagram account for anyone who could help transport the homeless people. Soon she had a caravan of cars, S.U.V.s and vans with volunteer drivers.



Using an open records request during a general inquiry, for example, The Post obtained Warren’s registration card for the State Bar of Texas, providing a previously undisclosed example of Warren identifying as an “American Indian.”

Wow, that’s far beyond the simple checking of a box. She was self indentifying as a Native American without proof of ancestry. This is really disappointing and strange. I really liked Warren and her policies.

I want to be clear, this is more than a faux pas, this is cultural appropriation. It’s fine to proudly claim indigenous ancestry if you have it but to self-indentify when you’re not a tribal member is akin to cultural identity theft. I’m glad she now realizes this wrong and has apologized but I don’t see this issue going away. What a mess!

If you want to hear what indigenous people think about this, take some time to listen to this podcast episode from Breakdances with Wolves.

Gyasi and Wes are joined by Last Real Indians’ Matt Remle and force of nature Rabecca Nagle to talk about Liz Warren, Native internal politics, media representation and controlling the narrative! It’s a deep dive into how Natives can take control of their stories and their future.


Screaming headlines from AMI’s National Enquirer, creating a scandal for Jeff Bezos and his GF. In response, Jeff Bezos says, yes they are my pix, and if you want to blast them over the internet, go ahead. I will not stoop to blackmail.

Why is this important? Why is it relevant?

Power of the media, the hope that Alt Right wants to bring down Libs and their Liberal Media, get at Bezos, because he’s powerful, wealthy and carries the Liberal message. And he’s in the midst of an amicable divorce.

And unfortunately, it is part of a bullying world, a highly politicized world (Breitbart), spreading rumor and disgust.

Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon and The Washington Post is going after T and T loves to denigrate anything about Bezos. Here are nude selfies that will hit the paper/internet

Bezos says - Bring it on.

Day 749


NYTimes: Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Jamal Khashoggi

Day 749

Chief Justice Roberts voted with the Liberal judges, and Kavanaugh, Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch did not want to give this a stay. And this being about abortion, am glad CJ Roberts did so. He was pivotal in this vote.

And for what Kavanaugh said to the Senate about upholding abortion rights, well, that is the big lie we’ll have to live with.


Granted this comes from the NY Post, more of a pro-T publication, but something like this will get a lot of buzz, when a column/review comes out, (Am an ex-New Yorker, and still check for their headlines as well as NY Daily News, which is by far a better paper.)

Mostly, my response to the Kushners is to say WTF…WTF…WTF.

And read this review on the book from Vicky Ward, who has covered NYC moneyed corridors, including an expose on the GW building which was bought from T. T panned the book.

This book comes out in Mid March, and it is sure to create a bit of blowback for the Kushners. :haircut_woman:

Kushner, Inc.: Greed, Ambition, Corruption” by Vicky Ward.

The publisher touted the presidential power couple known as Javanka, saying: “They are entitled inheritors of the worst kind; their combination of ignorance, arrogance and an insatiable lust for power has caused havoc all over the world, and may threaten the democracy of the United States.

Noteably, Ivanka was doing positive press today on Good Morning America, appearing almost-like teflonated royalty. She is getting patents from China up the wazoo…while simultaneously supporting the women’s movement. Oh, my.

Many think Kushner is going to get indicted, but he keeps his legal team all over any accusations, etc. Tonight on Maddow, she described that his legal fees were covered by the RNC.

Also there was a bit of a kurfluffle on twitter this am that Charles Kushner was visited by the FBI this am, and while I was searching to verify it, I came across this.


Praise to the acts of kindness and those who will help others,
no questions asked. They do it because it is right.:heart_eyes:


Does Trump have even one friend who is a decent human being?

Barrack showed his true colors here. His apology sounds insincere and is limited in scope compared with the breadth and severity of his original criticism. I believe he felt safe making these remarks because he was in a distant land at an obscure conference – he wrongly supposed his words would not make it back to his home country. It’s shameful the way he trashes the U.S. – the great country whose free and democratic institutions provided him the opportunity to make his fortune.

Is Barrack, in part, responsible for Trump’s withholding of the report on the Khashoggi assassination?

And let’s not forget that he was head of Trump’s Inaugural Committee which is coming under scrutiny for failing to account for millions of dollars.

Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a billionaire real estate investor who is one of President Trump’s closest confidants, apologized Wednesday after defending Saudi Arabia in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing and saying the United States has committed “equal or worse” atrocities.

Barrack’s remarks on Khashoggi, made Tuesday at a summit in Abu Dhabi organized by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Milken Institute think tank, were first reported by Dubai’s Gulf News.

“Whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal or worse to the atrocities in Saudi Arabia,” Barrack told the crowd at the Milken Institute’s MENA Summit, according to audio provided by Gulf News reporter Ed Clowes.

“The atrocities in any autocratic country are dictated by the rule of law,” Barrack continued. “So, for us to dictate what we think is the moral code there — when we have a young man [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] and a regime that’s trying to push themselves into 2030 — I think is a mistake.”

…He appeared to suggest responsibility for the killing should not rest on Saudi leadership.

“I feel strongly that the bad acts of a few should not be interpreted as the failure of an entire sovereign kingdom,” Barrack said, maintaining that “rule of law and monarchies across the Middle East are confusing to the West.”


A small ray of sunlight… :sun_with_face:

The Tennessee Valley Authority voted on Thursday to close two aging coal-fired power plants, including one supplied by a company led by a major supporter of President Donald Trump, who had urged the U.S.-owned utility to keep it open.

A few days ago Trump tweeted this:

Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and [the Tennessee Valley Authority] should give serious consideration to all factors before voting to close viable power plants, like Paradise #3 in Kentucky!

Why would Trump suddenly tweet to the entire nation this extremely specialized request to keep a particular ancient, coal-fired power plant open? – Especially considering that it is an abysmally inefficient plant that long ago was eclipsed by other plants using far more cost-effective natural gas or employing green energy? Why? Because the plant buys its coal from a major Trump donor, Robert Murray. This is a shameless act of influence peddling in plain site. Had Obama done this, the Republicans would have blown it up into a national scandal, but under Trump it has become just another day of ho-hum, in-your-face corruption.

The good news here is twofold. First, this dirty, inefficient plant actually is being shutdown – a welcome development for ratepayers and environmentalists. Second, and I feel this is even more important, government officials have had the courage to call out Trump and prevent him from fulfilling a publicly promoted quid pro quo. Let’s hope more of our agencies and representatives follow suit.

Here’s Rachel Maddow’s take on Trump’s tweet – this entire segment is worth watching or you can jump to 11:20 for the particulars on Murray Energy’s unabashed purchase of favors from the President:



Another ray of sunlight: :sun_with_face:

This is a follow-up to a previous post about how Trump was preparing to plow under the National Butterfly Center. Now, due to Democratic support in the budget negotiations, the center has received a reprieve.

Most of the reporting on this story has been a little off the mark, giving the impression that the center is now permanently protected – as Congressman Henry Cuellar, who crafted the relevant portion of the budget act, himself implies in this article. But the budget actually just states that no funds are provided for building a wall at the center’s location. If Trump secures funds elsewhere (via his unconstitutional “National Emergency” power grab), there’s nothing in this act that would prevent those funds from being used to build a wall there. However, this is certainly a giant step in the right direction and it should be celebrated – several other environmentally sensitive areas were also spared imminent desecration. Congressman Cuellar should be praised as well for his tenacity and vision in making this happen – there just may be a few more battles to wage.

Construction of a section of border wall through natural and historic areas in the Rio Grande Valley was blocked Thursday by a last-minute provision inserted in the budget deal by border-area Congressman Henry Cuellar.

“I know it’s been extremely important to a lot of people,” said Cuellar, D-Laredo, the only border congressman on the House-Senate conference committee that crafted the budget deal to fund the Homeland Security Department and other agencies and avert another government shutdown.

“This will stop any barrier from going within those areas, and that’s a huge victory,” he said.

Here’s the relevant section in the budget act:

Screenshot @akarl_smith