CRESCENT VALLEY (NEWE SOGOBIA), Nev. - Western Shoshone Mary Dann, upholder of Shoshone treaty rights and ardent resister to exploitive U.S. federal policies, died as a result of a ranch accident.
''With very heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that yesterday evening, April 22, 2005, Mary Dann, Western Shoshone grandmother and life-long activist passed away,'' said Julie Fishel of the Western Shoshone Defense Project.
''Mary was killed in an accident while working on her family's ranch. She died as she would have wanted - with her boots on and hay in her pocket,'' said Fishel.
Read about this courageous woman's quest for justice under the law for her people:
Even though for decades the people of the Western Shoshone indigenous nations have faced encroachment on their resource-rich traditional lands and seen tens of billions in gold mining revenue taken without a penny of royalties coming back to their communities, Western Shoshone tribal governments have lined up in opposition to a rapidly advancing federal bill that would provide every tribal member about $20,000.
Tribal leaders see the legislation as a threat to treaty-guaranteed traditional lands -- some 60 million acres they say have never been for sale.
"What they're asking us to do is accept money for something we don't want to sell. It's our mother. We can't sell it," said Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann. "If they force us to do it, it would be spiritual genocide as far as I can see."
The Western Shoshone have been litigating the territorial integrity of their homeland since at least 1951, when a claim was filed, purportedly in their behalf, before the Indian Claims Commission. A full statement of this history is in Elmer R. Rusco, "Historic Change in Western Shoshone Country: The Establishment of the Western Shoshone National Council and Traditionalist Land Claims," 16 American Indian Quarterly 337 (1992).
Suffice it to say that the United States government has endeavored for years to extinguish the territorial integrity of the Western Shoshone Nation. The U.S. offered money in exchange for land and, when the Shoshone refused to accept, presumed to accept on their behalf. This is an example of so-called "federal trusteeship" and "plenary power" over Indian affairs, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in United States v. Dann, 470 U.S. 39 (1985), stating that "the Shoshone's aboriginal title has been extinguished" because the U.S. accepted the money from itself on behalf of the Western Shoshone. That decision is attacked by the Western Shoshone in the litigation discussed here.
Middle Class 2004: How Congress Voted issues each member of Congress, as well as the House and Senate as a whole, a letter grade based on their 2004 votes on selected pieces of legislation affecting the middle class. We chose bills that, if passed, would have an impact on the squeezed middle class, as well as the aspirations of low-income Americans who want to work their way into the middle class.
Middle Class 2004 concludes that Congress did not rise to the occasion when presented with the opportunity to support policies strengthening and expanding the middle class.
• Neither chamber of Congress did an adequate job of supporting the middle class. In both the House and the Senate, about half the members passed, half failed and less than a quarter received As.
• Despite a more lenient grading system than last year’s report, Congress did significantly worse overall in 2004.
• While the vast majority—90 percent—of Senate Republicans received
an F, nearly half of Senate Democrats received an A for their support
of the middle class.
• The same partisan pattern is observable in the House, where 99 percent of Republicans failed to support the middle class and slightly fewer than half of Democrats received an A.
• Democratic support for the middle class dropped off most drastically when it came to the American Jobs Creation Act (HR 4520) and the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act (S 1920). In both bills corporate special interests lobbied heavily against the interests of the middle class.
• The Republicans showed the most support for the middle class on the
Pension Funding Equity Act (HR 3108), which was also championed
by large companies with pension plans.
• Out of the 14 votes considered, the middle-class position won out six times. However, even this feeble 43 percent success rate masks an even worse outcome, since bills like the Overtime Compensation Amendment —supported by the middle class— won votes in the House and Senate but never became law.
Homegrown American Stupidity: Priceless
Priceless to the elite, but it is costing every American in every way. It is costing the world. Our media fostered stupidity, morphing into complicity.
Last week, the House voted to repeal all inheritance taxes after 2010. Currently, estates worth $1.5 million for individuals and $3 million are taxed, affecting only a few thousand families. The repeal is going to cost the government up to $740 billion in the decade after 2010—a debt that the rest of the 295 million Americans minus a few thousand will have to carry.
Did I mention the article's title? Read the next quote and then guess.
And yet, as the Republicans rightly point out, polls show that most Americans—up to 80 percent—support the total repeal of the inheritance tax. It gets funnier: According to a poll last year by McLaughlin & Associates, 85 percent of those who earn under $40,000 found such a tax on "large estates" to be "unfair," whereas only 78 percent of wealthy people earning over $100 found the tax "unfair."
Imbeciles at Home is the title. Hearkens back to The 'S' Factor piece a year ago January.
And some folks are proud of our C student President:
"This is one of the most intellectually gifted presidents we've had." - Karl Rove, "Hardball," MSNBC, Jan. 19, 2005
the above is a useful link
He is proud of his mediocrity (video link).
Be countercultural. Think. For yourself.