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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:49 PM
Number of posts: 5,049

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Letter from Leonard Peltier 6/26/2016

June 26, 2016

Sisters, brothers, friends and supporters:

June 26th marks 41 years since the long summer day when three young men were killed at the home of the Jumping Bull family, near Oglala, during a firefight in which I and dozens of others participated. While I did not shoot (and therefore did not kill) FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, I nevertheless have great remorse for the loss of their young lives, the loss of my friend Joe Stuntz, and for the grieving of their loved ones. I would guess that, like me, many of my brothers and sisters who were there that day wish that somehow they could have done something to change what happened and avoid the tragic outcome of the shootout.

This is not something I have thought about casually and then moved on. It’s something I think about every day. As I look back, I remember the expressions of both fear and courage on the faces of my brothers and sisters as we were being attacked. We thought we were going to be killed! We defended our elders and children as they scattered for protection and to escape. Native people have experienced such assaults for centuries, and the historical trauma of the generations was carried by the people that day -- and in the communities that suffered further trauma in the days that followed the shootout, as the authorities searched for those of us who had escaped the Jumping Bull property.

As the First Peoples of Turtle Island, we live with daily reminders of the centuries of efforts to terminate our nations, eliminate our cultures, and destroy our relatives and families. To this day, everywhere we go there are reminders -- souvenirs and monuments of the near extermination of a glorious population of Indigenous Peoples. Native Peoples as mascots, the disproportionately high incarceration of our relatives, the appropriation of our culture, the never-ending efforts to take even more of Native Peoples’ land, and the poisoning of that land all serve as reminders of our history as survivors of a massive genocide. We live with this trauma every day. We breathe, eat and drink it. We pass it on to our children. And we struggle to overcome it.

Like so many Native children, I was ripped away from my family at the age of 9 or so and taken away to get the “Indian” out of me at a boarding school. At that time, Native Peoples were not able to speak our own languages for fear of being beaten or worse. Our men’s long hair, which is an important part of our spiritual life, was forcibly cut off in an effort to shame us. Our traditional names were replaced by new European-American names. These efforts to force our assimilation continue today. Not long ago, I remember, a Menominee girl was punished and banned from playing on the school's basketball team because she taught a classmate how to say "hello" and "I love you" in her Native language. We hear stories all the time about athletes and graduates who face opposition to wearing their hair long or having a feather in their cap.

With this little bit of my personal history in mind, I think it is understandable that I would then, as a young person in the 1960’s and 70’s, be active in the Indigenous struggle to affirm our human, civil, and treaty rights. Our movement was a spiritual one to regain our ceremonies and traditions and to exercise our sovereignty as native or tribal nations. For over 100 years some of our most important ceremonies could not be held. We could not sing our songs or dance to our drum. When my contemporaries and I were activists, there were no known sun dances. Any ceremony that took place had to be hidden for fear of reprisals. One of our roles as activists for the welfare of our Peoples was to create space and protection for Native peoples who were trying to reconnect to our ancient cultures and spiritual life. This was dangerous and deadly. It meant putting our lives on the line because people who participated in these ceremonies, and people who stood up for our elders and our traditional way of life, were brutally beaten, killed or disappeared. Paramilitary groups and death squads ruled some reservations and each day was a battle. If an uninvited, unknown or unrecognized vehicle pulled up to your house, the first reaction was that you were being visited by someone who meant to do you harm in some way. This was learned behavior on the reservations. This was excruciatingly true in the 1970’s.

Hey, I don’t want to be all doom and gloom here. I see over the decades that in some important ways, life has improved for our Peoples. President Obama’s extraordinary efforts to forge a strong relationship with our Tribal Nations is good cause for a new sense of optimism that our sovereignty is more secure. By exercising our sovereignty, life for our people might improve. We might begin to heal and start the long journey to move past the trauma of the last 500 years. But what will we do if the next Administration rolls back those gains made over the past 8 years?

I often receive questions in letters from supporters about my health. Yes, this last year has been particularly stressful for me and my family. My health issues still have not been thoroughly addressed, and I still have not gotten the results of the MRI done over a month ago for the abdominal aortic aneurysm.

As the last remaining months of President Obama’s term pass by, my anxiety increases. I believe that this President is my last hope for freedom, and I will surely die here if I am not released by January 20, 2017. So I ask you all again, as this is the most crucial time in the campaign to gain my freedom, please continue to organize public support for my release, and always follow the lead of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do on my behalf.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse…


Leonard Peltier

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue Jun 28, 2016, 06:29 PM (14 replies)

Can they still dump Trump at the convention? If not Trump, then who??

I keep hearing noises that there will be an anti-Trump uprising at the convention in Cleveland. With Trump's campaign manager out, one wonders if the ship is taking on too much water. My questions to my fellow DUers who care about such things:

1) Can he be dumped at this point, or have things gone too far with the presumptive nominee?
2) If not Trump, then who? For example, Mitt Romney's name comes up -- but he's an insider in a year in which conservative voters have shown no stomach for insiders? Ted Cruz? I think most in GOP land see that he's a sure loser in a national election? Kasich? Rubio? Both hard sells, given their poor primary showings. LeBron? I think he'd be wildly popular in Cleveland, and he's electable -- but is he even a Republican?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jun 20, 2016, 10:43 AM (33 replies)

'There is no magic silver bullet': Nebraska State Senator on Whiteclay


She also would like to establish a drug and alcohol treatment facility for the area. The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha has already indicated an interest in studying the affects of fetal alcohol syndrome on the population.

KETV NewsWatch 7 reported on the seizures that a 4-year-old suffers because her mother drank on the streets of Whiteclay while pregnant.

An estimated one out of every four children on the Pine Ridge Reservation suffers from the alcohol-caused birth defect.

"I think people are starting to see it more as a public health issue now," said Esmeralda Bravo Ramos.

"If they decide it's time to declare a public crisis up there, that would be helpful," Brooks said.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue Jun 14, 2016, 09:17 AM (0 replies)

The Brexit

1) How do you feel about it?
2) Do you think it will/will not happen?
3) If it happens, what will be the impact on the US?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jun 8, 2016, 10:40 PM (72 replies)

Eight years ago this week, Sanders endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy

Whether or not a person buys into Sanders’ pitch appears to depend largely on whether or not that person wants Sanders to prevail, but there’s an important flaw in the senator’s argument: he used to believe the exact opposite of what he’s saying now.

Eight years ago this week, Sanders endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy after the Illinois Democrat clinched a majority thanks to a combination of pledged delegates and commitments from party super-delegates.

It didn’t matter, Sanders said at the time, that super-delegates wouldn’t literally vote until the convention – because the outcome was obvious and the results were clear. Obama, Sanders said eight years ago, had won fair and square.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue Jun 7, 2016, 01:50 PM (5 replies)

President Obama Ready to Endorse Hillary and Hit the Trail (As Early as This Week)

Daily Kos

We’re lucky to have a President who will be an asset on the trail and embraced by our nominee (something that John McCain and Al Gore did not have to their advantage).

With the President’s approval numbers consistently over 50% for quite a while now, he’s actually more popular than Ronald Reagan was at this point in his Presidency (interestingly, the last President who was succeeded by a member of his own party).

It was reported last week that President Obama is ready to ‘explode’ onto the campaign trail for the Democratic nominee.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jun 6, 2016, 11:46 AM (6 replies)

Young voters to DC: We don’t need you

Morgan Bettes started her downtown music-promotion company 11 months ago armed with business savvy and a lot of hope. She’s not relying on government policy, nor the outcome of the November election, to give her much help.

“I probably should be thinking about that, but I don’t,” said Bettes, who’s 27.

Just like so many others in her generation. Unlike their parents, younger people don’t regard Washington — or their presidential votes in the fall — as an important force behind their economic well-being.

“I don’t think the presidential race has anything to do with economics anymore,” said Tifini Hill, 36, a financial systems administrator from Brandon, Fla., near Tampa.

Full story at MSN
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jun 5, 2016, 01:26 PM (9 replies)

If you had primary season to do again, would you do anything differently?

Change rules? Change timeout policies? Purchase higher quality Bourbon?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jun 3, 2016, 07:44 PM (2 replies)

The "let there be peace and let it begin with me" thread

Next week and the week after, there will be voting. There will be a nominee. There will be an alternative to Donald Trump. I pledge now that I will vote for the Democratic nominee. I further state that I will make a real effort to behave better in responding to those with different views on who our nominee should be.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jun 1, 2016, 05:48 PM (4 replies)

SiriusXM Suspends Glenn Beck Over Guest's Extreme Comments About Trump

Source: NBC News

SiriusXM satellite radio said Tuesday that it has suspended Glenn Beck's morning show for at least a week and may not bring it back after Beck agreed with a guest who made comments widely interpreted as supporting the assassination of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"SiriusXM encourages a diversity of discourse and opinion on our talk programs," the company said in a statement.

"However, comments recently made by a guest on the independently produced Glenn Beck Program, in our judgement, may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone," it said.

Brad Thor, author of numerous best-selling thrillers — including one titled "Path of the Assassin" — likened Trump to a South American dictator on Beck's show May 25 and said that if Trump were to become president and turn out to be a tyrant, illegal means might be required to remove him from office.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/siriusxm-suspends-glenn-beck-over-guest-s-extreme-comments-about-n583501?cid=sm_fb
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue May 31, 2016, 08:59 PM (3 replies)
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