Thursday, 06 October 2022

Opinion

Holy cow! Secular Democrats are finding God. They say they are, anyway. Campaigning Hillary Clinton, shouts, “God bless you,” to cheering crowds all over Iowa. Her voice sounds like fingernails scratching on a chalk board but she does say the words. Another Democrat, Barack Obama, recently asked a church in South Carolina to make him an instrument of God and create “a Kingdom right here on Earth.” Here, on the West Coast, Republican leaders fell right out of their chairs when Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house, said she prays for President Bush every day. Apparently, God is no longer a stranger to Democrats. What’s behind the sudden conversion?


Political observers say the “conversion” isn’t a conversion. If they’re sincere, it really must be called a revival, say those who know the history of the Democratic Party. God was in the party from its very beginning (1792, when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison opposed the Federalists). They quoted the Bible in their speeches. God’s name often appeared in their letters, and sometimes even in laws. Party loyalists religiously demonstrated their faith, until fairly recently. It was only in the 1970s when faith in the Democrat Party began to fade. Until this year, it had all but disappeared.


In the 1970s Democrats began to openly support abortion clinics and homosexual marriages. That was also the time they made a strong move towards secularism and shifted a good deal further left on economic issues. Believing Democrats realized their party’s radical new politics had serious conflicts with God and the Bible. They were forced to choose between God and the party. They kept God and became Independents or switched to the Republican Party. Political scientists joke about huge traffic jams in the Bible-Belt-South caused by Democrats lined up at registrars’ offices trying to get out of the Democratic Party. Seculars were left in control. Geographically, the party moved north and west.


Secular Democrats believed God was dead or never existed and led the way to make Darwin’s theory a “scientific fact” throughout the entire country. There was a stampede to get prayer out of public schools and the Ten Commandments out of public buildings. Public school teachers were fired for suggesting intelligent design. Corporal punishment is a Bible remedy for unruly kids so Democrats campaigned, successfully in some states, to ban it. Until now, Democrats are embarrassed to mention God in their campaigns. Times are a changing, or are they?


Believing Republicans are happy to welcome Democrats back into the world of faith but will wait to see if they’re pretending. They know about such things as “fruits of repentance.” They recall former head Democrat, Bill Clinton, had trouble with the meaning of the word “is.” Conservative Christians suspect Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama may be having trouble with the meaning of the words, “God” and “Bible.” They know “God” doesn’t mean adultery, immoral homosexual marriages and the atrocities committed at sadistic abortion clinics. They also know “Bible” doesn’t mean evilution and unruly kids.


What’s more, they’ll ask recovering Democrats if God wants prayer out of public schools and the Ten Commandments out of public eyesight. God doesn’t mean Godless and church doesn’t mean secular. Bible readers will wait to see the “fruits of repentance” before they attend any election-year Democrat revival meetings with Clinton, Obama or Pelosi.


Believing Republicans are not only suspicious of election year Democrat devotion but, sorry to say, they’re beginning to be wary of their own party leaders. Somewhat comforted when President Bush kept God in his politics, they’re extremely disturbed to see Rudy Giuliani and John McCain go lukewarm on abortion and homosexual sins. They’re repulsed when they see GOP candidates promoting the same depraved ideas that caused them to leave the Democratic Party. Early Republican debates show purposeless, empty and soulless candidates, halfway converted to the secularism movement. They’re afraid this election year may show an entire country has fallen off its foundation of faith. Former Bible-Belt southern Democrats, who are now Bush Republicans, won’t know where to go next if there isn‘t a revival somewhere. A number, of course, will keep God and the Bible and may stay home on election day.


Bush Republicans know, houses that don’t have good foundations get washed away in the rain. Voting believers have already shown they won’t stay in political parties built on secular sand. They’ll wait to see if any Republican is serious about traditional American faith. They’re not totally against returning to the Democratic Party if it’s serious about renewal. They know they can’t pack up their Bibles and look for another Mayflower. There’s no place for the Mayflower to go. They may be left, like Christians in the Roman Empire; without a party, sighing, crying and vexing their souls, over the great evil men do.


One good thing about believing is believers have hope one day a Faithful Governor will come to power; one who keeps political promises. They hope that day will be soon. God is in His politics. His political party might be called the “Creationist Party” and will certainly be built on a good foundation of faith.


Darrell Watkins lives in Kelseyville.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

Occasionally, an issue comes before Congress that is so clearly aligned with American values that Members across the political spectrum come together to support a solution. Giving uninsured children access to health care is one of those issues. And the strong bipartisan House and Senate votes for the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program were examples of how Congress is trying to cut through politics to improve the lives of American families.


The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, known in California as Healthy Families) has a history steeped in bipartisanship. A Democratic president and a Republican Congress created the program, which today covers about 6.6 million American children – 800,000 of whom live in California. They are members of families that make no more than 250 percent over the poverty line – too much to participate in Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance.


This reauthorization guarantees that all of the kids currently enrolled in SCHIP will continue to receive coverage – and gives states the tools and the resources they need to find and enroll almost four million additional eligible children. California alone has identified 200,000 kids that would be immediately eligible for enrollment, if only it had the adequate resources.


This bill provides those resources. It gives states incentives for ensuring that only the neediest children are enrolled. And it is completely paid for. It has the support of 43 governors – including our own – in addition to the support of an unusual cadre of bedfellows: private insurance companies, organized labor, the pharmaceutical industry, and hundreds of leading health and children’s advocacy organizations.


Unfortunately, there is one person in Washington who can turn even this issue into a political football. This week, President Bush vetoed Congress’ reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. On the heels of his request for an additional $190 billion for the war in Iraq, he has told Congress to spend no more than $5 billion on children’s health care. If the president gets his way, SCHIP won’t be reauthorized – it will be downsized. This means 20 percent of the children currently enrolled – over 1.4 million kids – will be kicked out of the program.


These are real children who live in our communities. Today, in Lake County, nearly 1,700 kids are enrolled in Healthy Families. They get primary and preventive care – which means that they are less likely to end up in the emergency room. And if they do end up in the ER – they have insurance. Our parents and grandparents used to tell us to be “penny wise rather than a pound foolish.” Investing $35 billion in the SCHIP program today is an infinitely less costly proposition than providing no health care to uninsured children – because, one way or the other, as a nation, we will pay for it later.


Naysayers, with the president as their loudest voice, have concocted a variety of myths about the SCHIP reauthorization. I have long preferred facts to myths, so let me set the record straight: This bill does not increase entitlement spending, because SCHIP is not an entitlement program – it is a capped block grant. This bill doesn’t allow states to cover the children of “rich” parents, nor does it allow them to cover illegal immigrants or parents or childless adults. This bill opens the door to quality health care for 10 million of America’s children. And arguments to the contrary are dead wrong.


The president and his followers can say whatever they like about this reauthorization. But as Republican Senator Charles Grassley, a staunch supporter of this legislation, said on the Senate floor last week, “You can’t call a cow a chicken and have it be true.”


The truth is, the president’s veto of the SCHIP reauthorization is politicking of the worst kind. It directly contradicts the priorities and the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly support Congress’ efforts to extend this program. And it is a shameful move from the president of the richest country in the world – home to more than 9.4 million uninsured children.


In the near future, I will join a majority of my colleagues in casting my vote to override this veto – and we will continue doing so until we prevail. America understands, even if the president doesn’t, that reauthorizing SCHIP in order to expand health care for our children is a fight we cannot afford to lose.


Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) represents Lake County in the US House of Representatives.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}


 

I am an elected member of the Konocti Unified School District Board of Trustees, currently serving my fourth four-year term on that board and in my 13th year of service.


I am also a 30-year Lake County resident, and 35-year Lake County property owner. I have owned and operated a business within the City of Clearlake for 19 years.


I write the below comments based in large part upon my familiarity with the area in general and the school district in particular. My comments are not the official comments of the Konocti Unified School District. The school district shall submit its own comments at a later time.


The report states that the impact to school facilities is a “less than cumulatively considerable effect.” This conclusion is false and does not reflect the reality currently existing in Konocti Unified School District. The report predicts optimistically that approximately 30 percent of the 720 proposed units of the project will be households without school age children and the remaining 70 percent will have only one school age child.


These estimates are no more than wishful thinking and offer no assurances to the school district and the community of their accuracy. It is entirely feasible that the project may generate more than twice the numbers of students projected. Even in the unlikely event that the projected numbers prove to be close to accurate, a sudden increase of more than 500 students could prove disastrous for the school district.


Even accepting the optimistic projections of the report, there will be a 54 percent increase in the population of students attending Lower Lake Elementary School. This school year (2007-08) Lower Lake Elementary School was unable to accommodate approximately 10 students who attempted to enroll there in grades K-2, and was forced to send these students to attend other schools within Konocti District.


The projected additional students who will attempt to enroll at their neighborhood school cannot be accommodated by the addition of “portable classrooms” as the report suggests. Firstly, there is not a place to put additional portable classrooms at the Lower Lake Elementary School without encroaching on the play areas and other outdoor space that is already in use. What’s more the project does not take into account the school’s common use areas such as the cafeteria, playground, library and physical education facilities.


Also not accounted for are the office facilities and services such as school nurse, pre-school and other adjunct functions. Nor is there any mention in the report of facilities for any additional teachers that will need to be hired.


Students are not evenly distributed by age group and grade level. Therefore, although some grade levels may have available space for some additional students, others are overcrowded and cannot accommodate any. The report does not consider this and treats the numbers as generic. If a large number of new students all fall within the same grade level, a change in the entire makeup of the district's boundaries and student placement will likely result, causing hardship to numerous families and to the district itself.


Two Konocti District schools are currently designated as Program Improvement schools under Federal Guidelines for No Child Left Behind. Federal law gives parents the right to place their children in non-program improvement schools and to have them transported at district expense. The report assumes that the district will have the option to place elementary school students in any of the district’s four elementary schools. However, parents may refuse to have their children placed in one of the district’s Program Improvement schools meaning that the options for shuffling students around in order to find space for new students are limited.


Transfer rights also extend to parents who wish to opt out of program improvement schools and place their children in schools in other districts. In these cases as well, the home district is responsible for transporting the students.


Students sent to other districts under these provisions of federal law will therefore also need to be transported at the district’s expense.


The report makes reference to Konocti District’s construction bond and its facilities plan. All of the money from the sale of bonds is part of a pre-established budget for construction, improvement and maintenance. All these funds have already been allocated for specific projects. These projects include the repair and upgrading of existing buildings and infrastructure as well some new facilities such as libraries and a high school gymnasium.


The listed projects are being overseen by a Bond Oversight Committee as required by law and do not include construction to accommodate the addition of new students from the Provensalia project. Nor were the voters who passed the bond measure voting to subsidize this project by paying to mitigate its impact on the school district.


It is not unlikely that a new school will have to be built as a result of the influx of students from this project. The current costs of building a school are prohibitive and the district will not be able to pass another bond with the current bond debt still outstanding. The cost of construction of a new school and the supporting infrastructure is currently estimated at $25 million, which is well beyond the district’s financial reach. Neither developer fees, average daily attendance monies, local property taxes nor other funding mechanisms will be even close to adequate for this purpose.


California law places the responsibility on school districts to educate all students living within their boundaries without exception. The overcrowding of our schools will place an unfair burden not only on the district and its staff who are already under tremendous pressure due to increased educational expectations at the state and federal levels, but also on each and every student in the district. The quality of all our students’ education will be compromised if the district is forced to spread its already overtaxed resources amongst hundreds of additional students.


Also not covered in the report is the issue of congestion and traffic safety on Lake Street as regards our schools located there. The issue of students walking to school is mentioned briefly in the report’s traffic section, however the report does not seriously address the issue of added traffic during school pick up and drop off times. There are several distinct aspects to this issue.


Although the revised project plan proposes the construction of a new route to Provensalia which bypasses Dam Road and Lake Streets, the addition of 250 students at Lower Lake Elementary School, and an additional 100 Students at Lower Lake High School (again very likely low estimates) will have a serious impact on Lake Street traffic at drop off and pick up times.


At 8 a.m. when children are dropped off for school at Lower Lake Elementary School, as well as when they are dismissed from school at 2 p.m., there is already a serious congestion issue. School buses now numbering six or more (not including additional buses to accommodate special education students) can barely fit in the small area in front of the school. Additionally, approximately 100 cars drop off students in front of the school each morning and the same number picks students up at 2 p.m. daily.


A significant number of students also walk to school along Lake Street, which has no sidewalks. The resulting traffic situation at these times is already chaotic. Cars and school buses collect on Lake Street daily. Some parent drivers pull over to the side and quickly discharge students wherever they are able to stop and students must make their way through this maze of cars, buses and other students to get to school.


The small parking lot which serves both Lower Lake Elementary School and Richard Lewis School (a small alternative program) is located across Lake Street from the school. It is already filled to capacity and beyond each day at drop off and pick up times. The overflow cars from the parking lot now park on the street in front of Lower Lake Cemetery which is just north of the school, across the street for approximately a half mile along Lake Street and illegally in the red zone along the curb that stretches from the school entrance south down to Lower Lake High School.


The California Highway Patrol has already acknowledged that this is a dangerous condition and had previously been patrolling the area and issuing tickets to cars parked in the red zone. However, they have ceased doing so after acknowledging that there is not adequate legal parking available. A 50 percent increase in traffic would likely exacerbate the situation to the point of becoming unworkable and dangerous.


Lower Lake High School, which the report estimates will receive an additional 100 students and which is located next door to Lower Lake Elementary School, will also experience similar problems on a lesser scale. The compound effect of the two schools’ traffic and congestion problems will further cause danger and hardship to both schools and their students and staff.


Similarly, Oak Hill Middle school will be subject to similar problems due to the projected increase in student population that the report predicts will result from the project.


Also, despite the construction of the new access road to the project, some of the drivers may still opt to travel along Lake Street as an alternative route during busy commute hours.


Other district schools’ traffic and parking problems may increase when these schools are forced to accept Lower Lake Elementary School’s overflow. The nature and severity of the impact on these other schools in terms of parking and traffic is difficult to predict.


In conclusion, the report’s conclusion that Provensalia will not have a significant impact upon Konocti Unified School District is seriously flawed and disregards important facts.


Herb Gura lives in Clearlake Oaks.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

We could start our discussion examining controversial topics: global warming, political tyranny, religious fanaticism, etc., but there are more pressing issues at hand. The current industrial civilization considers itself an elegant experiment in progress and stability. In reality, it is a lunatic who defecates in its bed and demands the obedience of its subjects in a headlong rush toward global suicide.


Let's begin with water.


Much of the world is already experiencing a crisis obtaining potable water. Human beings are essentially animalized water. If we pour water into ourselves it immediately becomes us. It moves, it thinks, and it forgets that it is water.


98.25 percent of the world's water is saline. Of the remaining 1.75 percent, 80 percent is frozen. That means that less than one-third of 1 percent of all the drinking water in the world is available to all the life that needs fresh water to survive. No new water is being produced. Supplies are finite. Currently, human toxins and practices have poisoned a significant amount of that available water. In the U.S., 50 percent of our drinking water is from underground aquifers that are being pumped dry or poisoned from waste seepage. Those aquifers took 100,000 years to create. They cannot be replaced.


Technocrats insist that science will find a way to desalinate the oceans for our use, meanwhile local governments can't afford to fill the potholes in our streets, let alone balance the federal, state and local budgets. It's estimated that by 2015 many countries will face severe water shortages and in 50 years whole countries may be completely depopulated by the total absence of drinkable water.


How about soil?


It has taken about 100,000 years to build the world's topsoil. Due to the giant shift in agriculture and population growth over the last 5,000 years, 50 percent of the world's topsoil is gone. In 20 years, 30 percent more will have blown away. That's 80 percent of the world's arable soil, gone forever. There have been positive discoveries that could redevelop soils, but not even the slightest interest in actually paying for it.


North and South America have been devastated. Six billion tons of soil is lost per year in the U.S. A Soviet scientist once recommended that the Soviets stop the arms race because he estimated that in 100 years the U.S. could no longer grow enough food to survive. In Asia, 20 billion tons are now being lost annually. Millions of children starve to death annually in reach of this great and modern industrial civilization. Third world countries are encouraged to grow cash crops, harvest resources, or develop industrially so as to pay back their international debts rather than grow food to feed their peoples. In the face of deforestation, development, progress and lack of necessities (like water), 10,000 distinct and irreplaceable species are lost every year. The loss is permanent.


What could be a better indicator of the sanity of a civilization than its desire and commitment to protect the very resources essential to its survival?


Still not convinced?


Let's talk DNA.


The architectural elegance of DNA, the genetic material of the planet, is evidence of the vulnerable quality of creation. All of the DNA molecules of all the humans who have ever lived would fit into one teardrop. That is, 80 billion molecules in a teardrop. Everything that will happen to the future of human beings on this planet depends on the quality and protection of that teardrop.


War on Terror? Here is the real Terror!


There are 264 million tons of hazardous waste spread liberally around the U.S. each year in the form of 70,000 (mostly untested) chemicals and their by-products. To these, add 1,000 more untested chemicals each year.


DNA contains the information and intelligence at the root of an organism. It is known that chemicals can enter the body, and go straight to the cells, attaching themselves and disrupting, modifying, mutating or destroying that information and intelligence. This is damage that cannot be altered and will be part of the human species forever. Some defects can be carried, only to show up in later generations.


Serious birth defects in humans alone have doubled in the last 25 years. The worst effects are not expected to appear for another 10 to 20 years. We will spend billions to fight a war on terror yet to come, and only pennies to fight the daily poisoning of our children and the chemical threat to the DNA of our species. Sanity?


Population growth is the next issue.


Africa has 550 million people, many who lack food and water, as well as basic necessities. In one hundred years it will have 2.5 billion. What then? In hunter/gatherer societies, the ratio was three people per square mile. If we manage to protect our water and regrow our soils what can the land sustain? Endless population growth is not an acceptable formula. Which governments are committed to determining these ratios and demanding compliance?


Economic systems developed around an endless compulsion for growth are obsolete and must be abandoned immediately for systems which demand society be outfitted with artifacts that last centuries not days or months. Systems that judge their success by gross national product must be outlawed and replaced with systems that operate on renewable resources, recycle nonrenewables at 100 percent and produce no more waste than a local region can dispose of naturally.


The U.S., in order to survive, must cut production and use of resources at a minimum of 50 percent. Third world debt must be forgiven outright or traded for the establishment of wilderness systems. The present economic structures are based on a process that begins with the depletion of finite resources, proceeds to the manufacturing of disposable products which immediately begin to depreciate in value and quality, ending with their disposal as non-renewable wastes which are beyond the natural capacity of the earth to dissipate. Sanity? Common sense?


Each instant, one million new faces appear on the earth representing many species and forms. The vanity and arrogance of human beings in creating and expanding the role of potentially deadly toxins and weapons points not to a healthy society, culture, or civilization but to a scorched psyche that has become resistant and maladaptive, even sinister. Primary human bonds, which connect families and provide roles that incorporate citizens of all ages into familial relationships, have been replaced with the secondary commercial bonds of consumerism.


The new revelations of quantum science and universe cosmologies demand that those who believe in technology commit to a new understanding of the Universe as one entity inter-connected, inter-reliant and inter-related in every way. To separate humanity from this cosmology will result in a continued insanity that will bring about nothing less than the suicide of our species.


Scholars have long lamented the destruction of the library at Alexandria at the hands of barbarians who burned the manuscripts to heat their bath water because they were unable to grasp the beauty they cast into the flame.


Those who discount these warnings have only to examine themselves in a mirror to see the faces of those same barbarians.


James BlueWolf is a artist and author. He lives in Nice.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

 

It's almost that hated day when some Americans celebrate the myth of Columbus discovering an already populated continent.


In 1492, the big island of Hispaniola was one of the most densely populated areas of the known world. Unfortunately, the three million people on the island were native, non-European and pagans to boot! Within 49 years they had been reduced by their new Christian neighbors to 200. That's half of Hitler's body count. So today, we're going to recount the heroic history of Christopher Columbus and here we go!


It is 1492. The Taino Indians saved Columbus and his men from starvation and Columbus wrote in his journals, "I saw that they were very friendly to us ... They are all of a good size and stature, and handsomely formed, their eyes were large and very beautiful ... Weapons they have none, nor are acquainted with them. They are good to be Ordered about, to be made to Work, Plant, and do whatever is wanted, to build towns and be taught to go Clothed and accept our Customs. The air is as soft as April in Seville. Our Lord in his goodness guide me that I may find this gold.”


It is 1493. In January, 39 men are left behind to guard the fort at La Navidad in the "New World" while a triumphant Columbus sails back to Spain with parrots, gold, Indians. In November, Columbus returns, this time with a fleet of 17 ships and 1,500 men, as well as horses, dogs, armor and cannons. The 39 men who had been left to guard the fort are found dead ... the official Chronicler of the Indies, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, writes that the "natives could not endure the excesses, for the Spaniards took their women and used them as they wished and committed other violences and offenses ... " Sounds a bit like Andrew Kelsey, doesn't it?


The honeymoon of the "discovery" is over.


It is 1494. Columbus and company gather green wood to place under the feet of the same Tainos that saved him. The conquistadors string them up in groups of 13, representing Jesus and the 12 apostles. The burning is slow, methodical, torturous. "The weather is like April in Andalusia," Columbus notes in his journal ...


Columbus “discovers” the island now called Jamaica. Terrified Indians flee from soldiers and their crossbows. Dogs pursue the Indians. In the Old World they are trained to hunt wild game. In the "New World" they learn to savor human flesh. Columbus writes, "... So many vultures flocked there to scavenge on the bodies that they darkened the sky."


It is 1496. After only four years, half the native population of Hispaniola is dead. In 1498 Columbus wrote, "From here one might send, in the name of the Holy Trinity, as many as 4,000 slaves to be sold." The "New World," once the mother of countless peaceful and happy native peoples has been literally transformed into the Christian hell. Eleven years after Columbus pronounced the Indians as beautiful, loving, pliant and without knowledge of weapons or violence … he now described them as unfriendly, cruel, and hostile savage savages. I wonder why.


In 1542, Bartolome De Las Casas, champion of native peoples in the Americas, wrote: “The Indies were discovered in the year one thousand four hundred and ninety-two. In the following year a great many Spaniards went there with the intention of settling the land. And all the land so far discovered is a beehive of people ... there came some Spaniards who immediately behaved like ravening wild beasts that had been starved for many days. And Spaniards have behaved in no other way during the past forty years, down to the present time, for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples … Their reason for killing and destroying such an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits. It should be kept in mind that their insatiable greed and ambition, the greatest ever seen in the world, is the cause of their villainies."


When Taino Indians saved Christopher Columbus from certain death on Oct. 12, 1492, what occurred next was neither beautiful nor heroic. His diaries indicated he was greeted with the most generous hospitality he had ever known, yet he immediately began the encomienda system tying Indian slaves to their stolen lands, and was personally responsible for their slaughter.


Despite his murderous nature, his discovery came to symbolize certain civilized truths. Manifest Destiny justified theft. Assimilation or genocide was a reasonable choice for pagans. A successful violent campaign to destroy nations validated the superiority of European values and institutions.


You can not "discover" a hemisphere inhabited by 100 million people, yet Columbus Day, which this year falls on Oct. 8, perpetuates the myth that the "New World" was a wilderness with a few savages awaiting the blessings of civilization. Hardly mentioned is the fact that the Western Hemisphere was a virtual paradise of ecology and health, that Indians provided the model for U.S. constitutional government, that native agricultural advances currently provide 60 percent of the world's daily diet, and hundreds of medical and medicinal techniques are still used.


Today, in North and South America, Native people remain at the bottom of every socioeconomic indicator, are under continuing physical and economic attack, and are afforded the least access to political or legal redress. Despite this we refuse to ride off into a romantic sunset.


Europeans in the New World have always been afflicted with a long-term memory dysfunction. Now that we know what kind of man Columbus really was, let’s take these myths of the past and update them to reflect the truth. Rename Columbus Day to celebrate something we can all be proud of.


Officially proclaimed in 1971, this divisive holiday should be replaced by a celebration that is more reflective of the rich heritage of the Americas. How about Bartolome De Las Casas Day?


Until then, Indians of North America (including Mexica and descendant Africans), should be reminded that the wicked heart of Manifest Destiny still beats around the world. Natives still die daily at the hands of those, who in their quest for personal power and wealth, keep greed the one true lasting Institution of Progress.


Happy No-One-Discovered-Us Day!


James BlueWolf is a artist and author. He lives in Nice.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

The proposal to change the name of the town of Kelseyville appears to arouse strong reactions on the part of local residents.


Some present themselves as American Indians, and insist that they cannot understand why the Kelseyville high school mascot name, the "Kelseyville Indians," was changed. You will notice if you read their letters that they never specify their tribal affiliations, perhaps because they do not know

them or do not care, which would explain why they took pride in a mascot representing a generic 1940s "Hollywood Indian," and felt honored by such things as the "tomahawk chop" that was done by the audience, or by such encouragements for the other team as "Kill the Indians!"


Some residents say that history cannot be rewritten, and so the past should be forgotten ... If the past is to be forgotten, why remember Kelsey at all with a town named after him? Is not the point of naming a town after an individual to honor him or her? How can a murderer, a child molester, someone who abused, starved, provoked the Pomos to the point of driving them to kill him, be so honored?


It seems these people wish to forget the part of history that makes them uncomfortable, that is to say the mistreatment of Native people by Indo-Europeans. They want to replace this true history with the kinds of fairy tales they call history, educational establishments call history, our government calls history: Columbus was a "gallant hero," this continent was mostly "empty" when "discovered," it was "settled" by courageous "pioneers" who wanted nothing more than to practice their religion freely, and the Native people just "vanished"... apparently all according to "God's plan," since it is also said, even to this day, by some prominent Americans, that "God gave us this country." The stamp of "God's approval" is always very convenient to attempt to validate or whitewash the worse possible crimes against humanity.


This resistance to the name change is wholly hypocritical and irrational, based on the desire by the most cowardly and morally bankrupt among us to keep denying and burying historical truths. I would understand a logical argument about costs, such as the cost to businesses, school, etc. ... but to say that there is an emotional "attachment" to the name of Kelseyville that cannot be overcome, particularly by a woman who left decades ago after graduating from high school to live in the Carolinas (one of the letters recently published by the main Lakeport newspaper, whose advertisers seem to pressure the editors to mostly print letters that oppose the change) is completely ludicrous.


Let me explain: Indo-Europeans came to this continent uninvited, as "conquerors," took it by brutal force or by constant deception, whichever was cheaper and more expedient, as they took other continents such as Australia. They would have taken Japan, India, China and kept Africa if these continents had not already been quite densely populated, because they appeared by their actions to be the most aggressive, arrogant, dangerous and driven people in the world, having waged devastating wars against each other for many centuries, having depleted their state coffers, and thirsting for new riches such as gold, diamonds, and land.


Because their cultures were unsustainable, based on endless growth, they grew like cancer cells and

overtook the planet. The world we know today, with for example China having forgotten its own 1,000-years-old sustainable culture and polluting its own land and water to the point of national suicide, is the outcome of this cultural disease known as western civilization, which worships "progress" at any cost, even at the cost of the eventual death of much of humanity.


Read any book on history, and you will quickly notice the difference in the way the conquests of Mexico and South America are portrayed, as opposed to the conquest of North America. Simply put, Spanish conquerors "bad," Anglo-Saxon conquerors "good." The Spanish came for land, gold and slaves, and the Anglo-Saxons came for ... let me see ... oh, yes, they received the divine call of Manifest Destiny to relieve the "savage heathens" of their lives and their property. The Anglo-Saxons were of the "superior race," destined by "God" to conquer and rule the world and establish a "superior" civilization, while the Spaniards were merely brutal and immoral adventurers. This is how history is written. No wonder there is resistance to the change of the name of the town of Kelseyville, because there is much resistance to the truth.


The point of telling the truth, however, is not to inflict guilt. The past, the present and the future are directly and tightly connected. The native people of this continent were decimated by European kingdoms and empires, and later by America itself, because our western (and now global) civilization never has enough, being as unsustainable today as it was 500 years ago. Indigenous people all over the world are still loosing their cultures, their resources, their lands to what is still called progress but is nothing more than a pathology to consume all that can be consumed to extinction, so that an egotistical civilization can become ever more inflated and arrogant, like the Roman Empire, while it is progressively choking on its own wastes and toxicity.


The past is not only a matter of history but of culture. Simply put, we, people of European decent, are here, and everywhere else that is not our original native land, because we created cultures that were not sustainable on our own continent. America kept breaking all the treaties it signed with native people, that is to say breaking the law, and expended west because it could not sustain itself in the east, and was desperate to find gold and other resources to overcome numerous economic depressions, such as the one that occurred before Custer's last stand.


When the past is forgotten, there is no direction to our current path and no visible pattern of behavior, and we come to believe that we just invented the world, and that all knowledge of history is useless. And then we cannot understand why we have problems, such as the ones that occur as a result of having waged a brutal war against nature for centuries, so that we could keep growing forever, a truly

utopian, unrealistic and absurd concept.


This western civilization committed global genocide against indigenous people all over the world because is was unnaturally hungry, and still is. We are in the Middle East because we do not have sustainable technologies and a sustainable economy. The Pomo people of this area were targeted by an

official state policy of extermination because they were living on a rich land that an unsustainable American culture sought to acquire by any means.


Kelsey acted according to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, which conceptually and legally elevated Indo-Europeans above all other races and gave them license to commit the most abominable acts, with the blessing of land speculators, investors, bankers, politicians, other would-be settlers, slave traders or gold-seekers, and all in the federal government who wanted the so-called "Indian problem" to disappear. In the same manner, land in the Amazon basin of South America was sold, in the 1970s, to ranchers or investors as "clear" or "as is" ... "clear" meant that mercenaries, some of them Vietnam vets, had liquidated the Native Indian population, often with napalm.


An unsustainable civilization is a monster, like a cancer cell or a super virus, that destroys everything it touches. Failing to connect the dots between the past, the present and the future, there is no doubt that we will be doomed. To change the name of the town of Kelseyville might seem completely irrelevant to those who do not see a greater pattern in the crimes this civilization committed against the native people of this continent.


To change the name is, however and beside the many obvious reasons, also saying that these crimes were not unavoidable as is often postulated, that there is another way of life, of being, that we do not need to perpetuate the same patterns of conquest, of world domination, of the endless exploitation or destruction of the natural world and of those few who, not as demented as we are, continue to live traditionally in harmony with the earth.


Raphael Montoliu lives in Lakeport.


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