It has been a busy day today mostly doing research for two posts. I managed a few small errands and came home to relax only to find my DVD player bit the dust. It is one of those "turn it off, it's fine, turn it on, it's broken" kind of deals. I wonder if Mr Negotiator (Trump) could get me a good deal for a new one? Tomorrow afternoon, I will be going to see my mother so there may not be a Squatch's Open Thread.
BuzzFeed — hat-tip Monka B, Care2 — So, it seems some non-Americans have a few questions about what’s going on in American politics today.
1. First things first: In an American accent, “Iowa caucus” is pronounced “Iowa cock-us” which is also kind of how it feels.
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“Cock us today at 6:30pm.”
2. Iowa is the first state to vote in the seemingly endless process of the two parties in the US choosing their candidates for president, which at this stage feels like it’s been happening for about 57 years.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
If the nomination process is like an army on a long, grim death march through a never-ending winter, this is the bit where they start eating the horses.
Click through for the rest of this hilarious take on the Iowa Caucuses as explained for the Brits.
University of British Columbia — Gustafsen Lake or Ts’Peten, a region close to 100 Mile House in British Columbia, in Secwepemec (Shuswap) territory, was the location of a stand-off in 1995 between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and sundancers and their helpers (Sundancers) conducting religious ceremony that lasted more than thirty days. Gustafsen Lake has been called the “largest paramilitary operation in Canadian history."
The Gustafsen Lake Stand-off stemmed from the longstanding conflict over Aboriginal land occupied by non-Aboriginal settlers without having first signed treaties. People who came to Gustafsen Lake for the Sundance chose to stay in defense of the land as events unfolded during the ceremonial period. They said the land is unceded and unsurrendered to the Crown. The RCMP and government representatives attempted to remove the Sundancers, or “Ts'Peten Defenders,” as tensions escalated between the Sundancers, a local rancher, government agents, and Aboriginal leaders who disagreed with the Sundancers' tactics and legal and religious views.
The siege at Gustafsen Lake has become a controversial event in Canadian history due to government militarization, RCMP smear campaigns, and successful efforts to spread misinformation about the Sundancers. The media were strategically excluded from all but official RCMP accounts of events, resulting in highly skewed reporting. Supporters of the “Ts’Peten Defenders” view the stand-off at Gustafsen Lake as symbolic of the continued efforts of the state to forcibly and violently assimilate Indigenous peoples. Gustafsen Lake is largely underrepresented in mainstream recollections of British Columbian and Canadian histories.
Gustafsen Lake occurred as another militarized stand-off was underway at Ipperwash/Aazhoodena.
- Image from "Showdown at Gustafsen Lake," First Nations Drum. Reprinted in Smoke Signals from the Heart (2004) and used with permission from Totem Pole Books.
Starting in 1989 as part of a multi-year period cycle of ceremonial commitment, Sundancers would assemble every summer at a specific site near Gustafsen Lake, or Ts’Peten, to conduct the Sundance. The site was in ancestral Secwepemc territories and was prepared and respected as sacred by the Sundancers under the guidance of the designated Faithkeeper and camp spiritual leader Percy Rosette. The site was encompassed by grazing rights held by a non-Aboriginal American rancher, Lyle James, who used the land as cow pasture. James and the Sundancers had reached an agreement that the Sundancers would assemble at the Sundance arbour area every summer for the Sundance cycle period, provided they would not erect any permanent ceremonial structures.
In 1995, however, tensions escalated between the rancher and the Sundancers. The Sundancers had erected a fence to keep James’s cattle from defecating within the Sundance ceremonial arbour site, and James was not happy. James requested that the camp occupants leave, to which they explained they were unable to do until the Sundance was complete. The Sundancers claimed that to breach or interrupt a multi-year Sundance commitment is a very serious matter. The Sundancers recall one night when cowboys on horseback rode through the camp and aggressively insulted and harassed them. Two RCMP officers, Native people chosen in keeping with the sensitive nature of the ceremony and prepared site, were then stationed at the Sundance to observe and keep the peace. The RCMP held the position that the conflict was of a personal nature between James and the Sundancers, and therefore they would observe, and not become directly involved. Approximately twenty to thirty of the Sundancers, which included non-dancing participants, stayed on: men, women and children. The Sundance itself went ahead without incident.
The conflict between James and the Sundancers raised larger questions about the land and outstanding Aboriginal title; The Sundancers declared the land unceded and unsurrendered, particularly as to the nature of the interest in the land that James had obtained from the Crown. As time went on, the RCMP observers suggested that the Sundancers should vacate the site to avoid any further conflict with James. The Sundancers responded that they would not leave until their rights to the land were recognized, some saying they were prepared to die if necessary to protect the land. The Sundancers were concerned about the need to continue to use the site for their religious and spiritual purposes so as to complete the commitment period and Sundance cycle.
Click through for the rest. Although this happened over twenty years ago, the issues raised have not been dealt with by the Canadian federal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as part of his platform, wants to bring about new relationships and respect with and for Aboriginal peoples. As such, the Ts'Peten Defence Committee has started a petition on Change.org calling for a National Inquiry into the Ts’Peten/Gustafsen Lake Standoff 1995. I hope you'll sign the petition with me.
For those on Care2, I have also posted this petition at Gustafsen Lake Standoff Petition.
Salon — Donald Trump gave an interview this week all of his potential supporters should watch. In his own words, Trump lays bare the very reasons why he would be such a disastrous choice for president. …
The topic turns to President Obama’s recent nuclear agreement with Iran. Trump unwittingly displays for all to see that he simply does not understand the most basic elements of the agreement.
Trump proclaims his familiar boast that he is the best deal-maker ever and the best negotiator ever, and that the Obama administration completely botched the negotiation with Iran. And then Trump graced us with an inside account of how he, as a master deal-maker, would have negotiated the agreement with Iran and obtained a much better outcome for America.
Primarily, Trump would have spared America from having to pay $150 billion to Iran. …
Unfortunately, however, there is one little problem with Trump’s entire analysis. And this problem is that the $150 billion was, in fact, readily available. The reason it was readily available is because all of this money actually belonged to Iran, not to America. This was Iran’s own money. This was Iranian money that America had seized and frozen.
Following is an interview of Trump by CNN's Anderson Cooper where Trump demonstrates his lack of knowlege of the Iran Nuclear Deal. You would think that a potential presidential candidate would be a little more knowlegable. Even I know that those were Iranian funds!
My Universe —