Saturday, December 27, 2008

Banholzerian underground zymurgy

Banholzerian underground zymurgy
For those interested in reading more about Banholzer ancestry the family also had a brewery in St. Paul, where they stored beer bottles in a mile and a half long cave they dug beneath the city:
“Frederick Banholzer, who was born in Wurttemberg, Germany, in 1824, had been since 1856 a busy St. Paul stone mason and contractor, working primarily around the Uppertown district. Described "as a man of great humor," Banholzer was less interested in brewing than was his son, and so after only six years in the trade he sold his interest to 30-year-old William.
A rotund man with a handlebar moustache, William Banholzer "was all business." Almost single-handedly, he turned a 1,000 barrel-a-year brewery into a 12,000 barrel-a-year operation. "Banholzer's North Mississippi Beer" became by the 1880s one of the five most popular brews in the city. The company's facilities included nine buildings and a one-half-mile deep, multi-chambered cave.
The cave was accessible from both the bottom of the river bluff (south of the brewery) and from the top of the cliff (right inside the plant's main stone building). Today this cave still runs from the river bank, under Shepard Road, to the vicinity of Butternut street and one can still see the old stone archway at the lower entrance - a lasting reminder of Banholzer's Brewery.
In 1886, William established "Banholzer's Park" in the empty lots north of the brewery. The park was to serve as a recreation area for neighborhood picnickers who drank at Banholzer's outdoor beer garden, and it provided barbeques, outdoor bowling, German band music, balloon rides to Lilydale and, of course, cold kegs of North Mississippi beer.
THE FINANCIAL SUCCESS of the North Mississippi Company can probably best be measured by the prosperity of its owner, William Banholzer. In 1885, he built a magnificent stone house at 689 Stewart Avenue for $10,000, a great expense for 1885. The still-standing mansion is one of the more impressive 19th century houses in St. Paul, a testimonial to the success of the North Mississippi Brewery.”
Evidently, spelunkers still explore the streets beneath St. Paul in search of an elusive Banholzer Beer. I can almost taste the foamy suds from one now…
Uh-oh! Just discovered some bad news about why the brewery began floundering: A worker fell into a hot vat of beer and was boiled to death!
Now, I’m not so thirsty as before.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

From Hermann Hesse's "Demian" (written in 1919)

The ending of chapter 5 – The bird fights its way out of the egg

"Frequently we also told each other our dreams. Pistorius knew how to interpret them. An example of this comes to mind just now. I dreamed I was able to fly, but in such a way that I seemed capitulated into the air and lost all control. The feeling of flying exhilarated me, but exhilaration turned to fear when I saw myself driven higher and higher, becoming more and more powerless. At that instant, I made the saving discovery that I could regulate the rise or fall of my flight by holding or releasing my breath. 

Pistorius’ comment was: ‘The impetus that makes you fly is our greatest human possession. Everybody has it. It is the feeling of being linked with the roots of power, but one soon becomes afraid of this feeling. It’s damned dangerous! That is why most people shed their wings and prefer to walk and obey the law. But not you. You go on flying. And look! You discover that you gradually begin to master your flight, that to the great general force that tears you upward there is added a delicate, small force of your own, an organ, a steering mechanism. How marvelous! Lacking that, you would be drawn up to the heights, powerless – which is what happens to madmen. They possess deeper intimations than people who remain earthbound, but they have no key and no steering mechanism and roar off into infinity.

But you Sinclair, you are going about it in the right way. How? You probably don’t know yourself. You are doing it with a new organ, with something that regulates your breathing. And now you will realize how little ‘individuality’ your soul has in its deepest reaches. For it does not invent this regulator! It is not new! You borrowed it: it has existed for thousands of years. It is the organ with which fish regulate their equilibrium ---the air bladder. And in fact among the fish there are still a few strange primeval genera where the air bladder functions as a kind of lung and can be used on occasion as a breathing mechanism. In other words, exactly like the lung which you in your dream use as a flying bladder’

He even brought out a zoology book and showed me the names and illustrations of these anachronistic fish. And with a peculiar shudder I felt that an organ from an earlier period of evolution was still alive within me."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The salty boat instructor

As I waddled up to Lake of the Woods pier point, I instantly saw that the man who was going to instruct me on how to power a speedboat was missing a leg. His name was Zippy Swainwright and he told me that an alligator had chomped it off down at Chicahominee Sea.

I didn’t believe him, but I climbed aboard anyhow, as he cranked up the Beach Boys, so we’d have something to hear over the Bladdy-Bladdy-Bladdy of the powerboat engines.

I stripped down to my shorts, as it was warm now on the boat deck and as we reeled in the tether, he saw the gouges in my leg muscle and blurted out, “So you’ve been in a boat wreck too!”

I replied, “I thought you said yours was bitten off by an alligator!”

As he handed the helm over to me, he said, “Yes but that was after they flipped it going 100 miles an hour, which disturbed the monsters of the id beneath Chicken Harmony Sea, ya see matey”

Scorching Sunspots

There’s an enlightening episode of the Simpson’s, where Bart and Homer are having a heated discussion about the Sun and Bart suddenly asks, “Dad is the sun, God?” Homer says, “Yes son” and leaves it at that.

With global warming spinning from both sides, I often think about our good friend Sol. If you hold him up next to an SUV, he makes the rig look rather infinitesimal.

Sometimes I find myself worrying that our orbit is not magically tethered to Mister Soul. How does his baking oven even work? The scientist with the longest beard pretends to know about who esoterically controls our sundials. And now we’ve isolated temperatures in the lab that are even hotter than Our Father’s Son (and off the charts like John Lennon). How much do we pay the sentries who guard those hellish gates?

When I worked a meter reader, there was plenty of time to contemplate the heat. But when I found myself thinking about it too deeply, I felt like I was getting burned. Five leap years ago, over on Highland Avenue, I found myself lost in dark thought. I had a strong compulsion that we were blindly heading for disaster by not watching our sun close enough and the lazy dogs in our government had become jaded, thoughtlessly basking in their cushy sun too long.

As I screamed about our insanity, I thrust my tools down into Highland Avenue’s shadowy gutter, next to where a sunspot had scorched the earth. It was an intense panic episode, as they label it; but still a large part of me thought it was called for. After this episode, I slowly returned to normal, and went on to finish my meter route that afternoon. Fortunately, nobody called in on me by reporting my sunny badge number to city authorities. They were inside their soul kitchens gazing at the sunset channel.

Little kids around the world ceaselessly paint smiles on the sun. I yearn for the day when I can eclipse these revolving bad feelings. A day when my beard grows out long again and I follow their lead by simply pretending to kiss the nutritious sun and display a sunnier smile.

Keep it simple stupid. Kiss the sun, to lick the dark, before you kick the can.

Icky CIA Germ

A few days ago, I unearthed a note about an old dream. It was a dream I had while living in a little shack over by Zaney’s. In the dream, a small brown rectangular package arrived at my doorstep. I picked it up and saw the return address was marked in thick black sharpie ink: CIA MIND CONTROL. To show that I wasn’t intimidated, I immediately tore open the package and discovered two small controlled fires burning inside! In the center of each fire was a spindly metal device. I took the package into work to show everyone, where the boss inquired, “Has anybody contacted the authorities about this yet? But by then, already 40 or 50 people had put their marks on the intriguing package.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Satchel Paige quotes

"Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move."

“How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?”

“Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.”

“If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.”

“I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain't never been seen by this generation.”

“Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.”

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A cool place

We had the best sledding hill in the world. It was right between the Smiths’ house and ours, in the snowy woods of Kings Park West. I always admired dad for investing in family homes on the edges of Virginia’s hilly wilderness.

Recently, I uncovered an old photo of Dad’s 49’er, stripped down to the bare metal. I wrote a brief story about it entitled, “Whitefield Street down to the bare bones”

Anyhow, back to the sledding hill: Some obstreperous teenagers built the path for it in the summer of ’70. They felled some ancient oak trees with their chainsaws to start a mini-bike path –which incidentally reminds me – I read that there are absolutely no acorns out east this year. I wonder if it’s a manifestation reflecting what the bankrupt eastern seaboard humans did, by not squirreling nuts away before their walled mart crushing frenzies.

Back to the marked trail: Smith and I still talk about those pathways every few years. On icier days, you had to dig your feet in deep before reaching the sharp hairpin corners, to keep from splashing into Rabbit Run’s icy waters, or cracking your head open like a young fragile eggshell mind in Jim Morrison’s American Prayer.

The upper part of the path branched behind Fonzie McKenzie’s property. He was from Lebanon and sometimes we bombed his house with crabapples. Once he called me on the rotary, just as I returned from one of our neighborhood bombing missions & like a rat, I squealed on another boy, seemingly getting off Scott-free myself.

A few years back, Smith bummled alone again through the old oak tree branching paths. As he sat, he began to well up, thinking about his old wet rosebud sled in those simplier days. When I think about my bad judgment of bombing the Lebanese family, I feel the same way. I feel lower than a clitellum.

Friday, November 28, 2008

News to Digest in the Year 2025

MMXXV was supposed to be the year for me to retire. However, President Jenna Blush’s impeccably developed scientific task force has shown that we industrious ape-evolvers thrive longer by not retiring. So now, for our own good, social security biscuits start at age 75.

Robbie is my reliable robot helper for delivering underground newspapers. Readers still prefer actual newspapers –now that they’re edible. It’s just that the soy ink doesn’t stick as well to the reader’s stomach when it’s bad news. The sidewalks stay clear of snow for our distribution Segways, since the city elders were wise enough in the 20-teens to invest in a new maintenance-free radiant heat development. One can of “depleted” plutonium mixed in cement goes a long way. Even the wolves feel safe warming their bellies on these sidewalks, knowing that every bullet has a number on it, so will be traced back to the owner via RFID tracking.

Last week we rode up the Baldy Gondola for the price of a Cheney dollar. Robbie and I looked down at the new buildings on the hill. I never thought that the definition of what a “hillside” is could be so easily amended. Well, it doesn’t look nearly as bad from the top as it does from downtown. Just hope we don’t get another avalanche like the Borah quake of ’09 when that slab of rock closed Trail Creek all summer.

Riding down the Greenhorn YMCA gondola, we intersect the airport tram that transfers to the Mackay area. Ten years ago, that town came alive to embrace the Chilly Slough airport /spaceport, where your tax dollars are shipped to astronomical places. Deicing’s no environmental problem for the reservoir downstream either. Microwaves do it all now. The reservoir is being transformed into a holding pond for the ILL (Idaho Lunar Lab). It makes perfect horse sense too, since farmers get all the rain they need from designer storms –seeded from that old slough naturally. These storms on demand are great backup systems for Baldy’s snowmaking and you even know when they’re scheduled -unless you’ve already munched on that section of the newspaper for lunch.

Think we’ll zip over on the tram to the Sacagawea Superdome this evening and catch the Frisbee Golf tournament. It’s retro day and players will be tossing discs the old-fashioned way –savages without remote controls. One back alley geezer, who resembles yours truly, tosses an Aerobie up into the ozone and lands it around the neck of an emerald dinosaur statue on his first try. Robbie enjoys this. I nudge him with my elbow pad, joking that his frothing mouth will rust his tin lips. However, he just stares entranced at the game and takes another bite out of the program.

We head over to the Salmon Interpretive Museum. Some kids are learning about what Salmon were. One whippersnapper holding a duzz-all device mentions he’s amazed that enough humans didn’t want to blast those darn dams. The HDTV on his wrist buzzes out a news report that the AFLAC duck has succumbed to avian flu. Well enough of this. At least the museum doesn’t yet have to display photos, to remind visitors of what a Tamarack was. That’s only on the other side of the cypress pond, where out of necessity, sharp inventors developed underwater chainsaws.

It’s time for the bus to take us back to our affordable cell. We insert our marked wrists into the holographic security harness to come aboard. Confirming we’re disarmed, it allows us through. Our driver dons an appropriate clown suit. Perhaps he’s the only unchanged thing about the valley! Even the elevation of the entire valley floor has risen five feet on account of all the garden mulch and earthly possessions hauled up from Twin over the years.

FEMA finally fixed that housing problem. The Timmerman Trapezoidal Manage-Mental camp rolls a Dash-Train up valley for us minimum wage workers. When Jeb Blush declared Martial law back in ’11, they netted anyone suspected to have spoken too fancy-free into a new workforce-housing program. There’s even a store on the train. Good thing since most of Ketchum’s old shops are now vacuous second homes.

So in the spirit of Maxwell Smart memorize these words under a cone of silence before quickly swallowing them. Back in 2005, the United States was rated 44th in freedoms of the press. (See: Reporters sans frontières - Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index - 2005 ) We’ve been spiraling down a slippery Timmerman slope ever since. We’ll print all the news that fits until Allen & Company week, when a high and mighty authority pops out from his protected penthouse, picks up a nutritious news wrap, deciphers what’s going on and then immediately tries to extinguish these blindingly brilliant underground points of light with all his force.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rainbow connection puddle

Prompt from Two Skies Idaho Conversation League

“What happened this afternoon?”

Pete & I were waiting to deliver furniture to a client, when I looked down at the driveway and momentarily thought I saw a rainbow puddle. It was next to a quaking aspen blinding me under the brilliant sun. But after a pause, I saw it was only children’s chalk coloring on their driveway.

Still, it reminded me of a similar dog day afternoon when I saw Tammy standing in front of an oil rainbow puddle by Nelson’s Lube. She was with her beagle and it was the last time that they would stand there, the two of them; because her dog always so obedient before, did something quite out of character and ran off the full length of Broadford Road.

After a few days, her beagle returned. The dog had been unwell and now it kept running off. When it returned the second time, she thought it was a ghost because she assumed it was a goner.

I tried to write a Haiku Poem about the incident. It sputtered some, but came out okay. Then I told her in person that the rainbow connection puddle had reminded me of my own dog, her final Broadford journey and her seventeen secret nicknames, sometimes still on the tip of my tongue. And the time she tried to save me when she thought I was drowning beneath a Wildhorse Canyon waterfall, while pawing my head in the brilliant wet sun.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reverse bank enrichment

I wish I could see the security video of me snatching out some twenties, struck in the bottom plate of my bank ATM, as the door began clamping shut. It all happened so fast. At first, I thought the machine had accidentally dispensed eighty extra dollars. However, after quickly examining the money, I saw that I was indeed short twenty bucks and the last twenty was ripe for plucking by the next man.

Although it was only twenty, I immediately went inside to report the odd incident. Sandra[1], the teller in charge, was on break, but came through to address my complaint. She inspected the machine with her special key; however, by then, the next man had already absconded with my twenty. I saw this as rich writing fodder and observed closely as the actions unfolded. Sandra, spoke quietly to a manager in the far corner about the dilemma and discreetly motioned my way. Perhaps I was a bit scruffy, but they could see I was not a lowdown shabster. After all, if I were trying to con them, why would I be asking for only twenty? Then I mentioned that we could file a police report.

Something like this had happened before, at an earlier incarnation of the bank. Years ago, one of the twenties came out as a five on a Friday evening. That next Monday, as I made my case, they told me that they would have to “inspect the tapes” before offering a refund. Inspect the tapes? What tapes? The video of my ticked of reaction for being short-shifted? This was almost funny, but I also sensed that seemingly small incidents like these are also, the types that trigger something deep within, making some people “go off.” In the earlier incident, the personnel inspected the tapes and credited my account, along with a written apology. One friend suggested that an apology from a bank is worthy of framing.

As we waited for resolution of the current ATM incident, I related this old episode to Sandra, which lightened our tension. I also wondered if I would have been so keen to report this, had the machine accidentally dispensed me an extra eighty, as I first thought it had. Last winter, when I found a bag of money in front of Telly’s Deli’s, I did not hesitate to call the owner, thinking that I would be richer for the story.

In other cases though, I wasn’t always so honest. Being a late night delivery person for many years, I found a number of interesting items, which had become separated from their owners. At one point after five losers in a row had expressed no gratitude for the safe return of their items, I thought, “For the next valuable item I discover, I shall keep it, and like a modern day Robin Hood toss the coinage to Poverty Flats children!”

However, this remains perplexing. After all, you’re either 100 percent honest or not honest at all, aren’t you? But, aren’t there some grey areas with a little nudge room here? As I relayed this story, it triggered interesting reactions within my colleagues. It’s easy to see how some would think, “With times this tough, now the bank is ripping me off too!” Some wanted to point out what a fool I was for not telling the man behind me in line to hold off, because there was a problem with the machine. I did not see a machine trouble button, nor were there any fire alarms nearby. Most folks who listened to the story seemed to clamp their minds tight around the elusive twenty, rather than focusing on extracting the broader aspect of the story or taking advantage of a unique situation to become better acquainted with those involved in the incident.

As I drove away from the bank, rightly compensated for my misplaced twenty, the incident reminded me of fabled basketball days. Like after playing with some people I’ve seen hanging around the courts, but never really knew that well; and then after sharing a sportingly good time, feeling a common bond, whenever we saw each other bouncing around town.

[1] Not her real name

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whitefield Street down to the bare bones

Whitefield Street down to the bare bones

I dreamt that David and I were back in our teenage years on Whitefield Street. Something was wrong with our VW and David helped me look at the problem. We saw that the roof had come loose from the side panel and hoisted it into the correct position. However, we would need two pins or rivets to secure it properly, so we set the frame back down with one corner of it leaning into the driver’s seat.
Suddenly, a pulley appeared and David inserted his neck within the four chains at the top of the pulley, to balance everything in place, so we could reset the top onto the side panel. I set up in a position at the front of the VW. From there, I could raise or lower the pulley as needed. As I made a slight adjustment, David became tangled in the chains bumping his head slightly on the underside of the beetle shell. Although it looked like he bumped his head hard, he did not complain.

I directed the pulley to lower, and even though I was certain that, I had pulled the chain in the correct manner; it rose, banging David’s head again. Again, he cowboyed up, by not complaining; although it certainly must have strung. In fact, the noise from his head kept ringing in my own and even though he was dozens of paces away from the vehicle, a mechanical noise resounded, repeating every five or six seconds from his forehead. The mechanical echoing reminded me of another dream involving David and as with that dream, continued ringing in my head upon awakening.

In the dream, as I went over to embrace him, he had become even younger. Now he was somewhere between 4 and 6 years old. The future Marine still would not complain about what hurt and I begin embracing him with a protective hug as an apology for every horrible thing that my young brother faced or would face in this wacky world. Suddenly I realized that I was apologizing to the David of all ages and wished that I could grow into a stronger brother for the David’s of young and old.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Projected image of Galena Cell Tower in 2012, after a healthy dose of Climate Improvement
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some unconnected game in this big field of SNRA and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around - nobody big, with cell phone reception I mean - except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the reception area cliff- I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the cell catcher in the SNRA and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Statesman should test market edible information products

draft 2

After delivering millions of sometimes-bland newspapers, I finally came up with a recipe ripe to compete with the Internet; via products you can simply eat, rather than wastefully toss out or recycle:

Start out small, like at the food mall, and then mix nutritious soy based ink with cellulose news columns. Wrap into hermetically sealed rice paper, stuffed with ads. Organically orient the A Section to include everyman’s essential waking vitamins, with a whiff of caffeine providing the Buzz for B. In winter, Lifestyles could supply Vitamin C, to lick the dark.

Occasionally articles come along that are so well written, such as Zimo’s Overlooked diving ducks, that they don’t need extra spices to whet readers hardy appetites.

To alleviate rogue dogs from snatching the tasty wraps from the ground, require home subscribers to maintain a sanitary Statesman box, modified in the form of a child’s toy oven. When neighbors see subscribers pull out steamingly nutritious news wraps, they, too, will greatly desire your munchable broadsheets.

Your first edible edition could proudly proclaim, “Newspaper naysayers eat their words.” To prove this is not a half-baked idea, you could swiftly upgrade your Internet version to include text-message toast. (This is credible)

P.S. When the day comes that you can strengthen your rice paper by bonding it with edible hemp fibers; that too, will be a newsworthy event unto itself.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Statesman should test market edible information products

After delivering millions of sometimes-bland newspapers, I finally came up with a recipe ripe to compete with the Internet; via products you can simply eat, rather than wastefully toss out or recycle:

Start out small, like at the food mall, and then mix nutritious soy based ink with cellulose news columns. Wrap into hermetically sealed rice paper, stuffed with ads. Orient the A Section to include everyman’s essential vitamins, with a whiff of caffeine providing the Buzz for B. In winter, Lifestyles could supply higher Vitamin C levels.

On rare occasions articles come along that are so well written, such as Zimo’s overlooked diving ducks that they don’t need extra spices to whet readers hardy appetites.

To alleviate rogue dogs from snatching the tasty wraps from the ground, require home subscribers to maintain a sanitary Statesman box, modified in the form of a child’s toy oven. When neighbors see subscribers pull out steamingly nutritious news wraps, they, too, will greatly desire your munchable broadsheets.

Your first edible edition could proudly proclaim, “Newspaper naysayers eat their words.” To prove this is not a half-baked idea, you could swiftly upgrade your Internet version to include text-message toast. (This is credible)

P.S. When the day comes that you can strengthen your rice paper by bonding it with edible hemp fibers; that too, will be a newsworthy event unto itself.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

“He Help Me” recover whispered-slur fumbles

Following NFL football seemed so important, when I was a kid growing up near Washington D.C. Dad had obtained some season tickets to the Redskins games at RFK Stadium, way back when Robert Kennedy was still alive. The sports teams there became so popular in part because they were a welcome distraction from the sausage making-like inner workings of our Gubmint. Even if you didn’t like football, you were obligated to follow along, as fully half the conversations in town were about how the team was doing.
Growing up in sports-enthusiastic Washington D.C., dad occasionally brought me to professional football games at RFK Stadium. The pride surrounding the local Redskins team was infectious and most autumns, it seemed healthier to talk about our cherished pigskin team, more so than it did to speak about political pork-barrel projects. Indeed, one year Richard Nixon even sent in a suggested play to Coach Allen; an optional play, which they ran in the playoffs, for a thirteen-yard loss!
The team had a marching band, some of whom would dress up in Indian garb and make corresponding war-whoops. The loud music ceremoniously drumming into children’s brains led us to believe that most everybody in the Metro area worshiped the competitive Redskins. 

Imagine my shock as a ten-year-old sports enthusiast, when I heard that some Native Americans thought that the term “Redskins” was not honoring Indian’s, but rather derogatory. Then my further dismay when a potential local baseball team started a contest actively searching for new names. I called up to suggest ‘The Washington Crackers’, which mom promptly informed me was also a racist term, this one meant for whites

This stuck in the back of my head for years. After I moved out to Idaho with another fair-weather Washington fan, it was hard to determine what new football team to root for. From a geographical standpoint, we determined that the center of the Shoshone Railroad Tracks was trilaterally equidistant between the Seahawks, Bronco’s and 49’ers. 

Nonetheless, my friend remembered what had been drummed in my head as a kid. Deep down, I still held allegiance to the old Washington team, though all the king’s coaches and Jack Kent’s cooked men could not break the curse to make them win again. So one Christmas he bought me a jersey from NFL shops. The order he made was for a jersey with former XFL star Rod Smart’s nickname ‘He Hate Me’ emblazoned on the back. Soon his order arrived. My friend opened the box to inspect the jersey and on the back in three-inch block letters stood out surprisingly, ‘He Help Me.’
Ya gotta love this guy
So, he called up NFL stores to complain. They told him that it is their official position to not sell any hate-oriented products. Yet right on, the front of the same jersey in ½-inch letters; smaller letters than you would ordinarily expect, there it was; Redskins
NFL stores eventually replaced the jersey with a different nickname.
Help us see humor
In time this policy got so out of whack that fans who wanted to order jerseys honoring New England Patriots defensive back Randall Gay had their efforts intercepted by NFL shops with Internet rejection mssgs that proclaimed, “This field should not contain a naughty word.”
This has changed and Gay is now permitted on official NFL jerseys.
For a while, I believed that those who quarterback NFL shops had adopted a sneaky policy of whispering some dirty racial epithets, rather than shouting them from the grandstands. But then, while tightly pacing along the editorial sidelines and exchanging my Redskins cap for a thinking cap, I encountered this David Yeagley Front Page Magazine article called:

An Indian’s Thanksgiving Proposal
Many Indians feel they’re being “true” Indians when they hate America. To them, any Indian with favorable sentiments toward the country is a “sell-out,” or a weak, damaged Indian. But the opposite is true. Their position of resentment is servile, and though it’s politically lucrative for the leftist, it’s psychologically inhibitive and harmful to Indians. Those who advocate dissatisfaction are doing the real damage.
Certainly, many Indians today have suffered horrible abuse from racial and cultural prejudice. They find solace, therefore, in racial, cultural resentment and hatred. But the plight of these wronged Indians should never be made into a national image, or a cultural model. To broker discontent, to encourage anger, insults the strong. Hatred suffocates every natural aspiration of the heart, and cuts off the avenues of true development in a person. Self-appointed Indian “leaders” who glorify revenge are deluded. Even protesting the “Washington Redskins,” a career focus for Susan Harjo, is merely a self-serving maneuver for profit, and exemplifies a fussy feminist, rather than a true warrior. These kinds of Indian “leaders” are quickly becoming passé, as more young people realize the burdensome and futility of professional discontent.
But how can Indians be thankful for America? America is a fabulous country, but it was indeed built on Indian land, in our faces. Wars were fought, treaties were made (and broken), Indians were displaced, and today many white Americans criticize Indians for profiteering at white people’s expense through the gambling business. How should Indians relate to such irony?
The answer may be in metaphors. Think of America as an abandoned child. The Pilgrims were an unwanted, impoverished waif, a bastard child of Europe, who washed up on our shores half naked, sick, and starving.

America was a helpless babe.

Indians took the child, fed it, cared for it, raised it, taught it how to get along with other people, and the next thing you know, the child began to outgrow us! It was from a breed of giants, of which we knew nothing. The child had the genes of greatness. He couldn’t help himself.
He soon grew too big for us, and began to push us aside. He stuffed us in cultural “nursing homes” (reservations), while he continued to flex his new-found muscles. He soon became a competitor in the world, and finally became the mightiest nation on earth.
As fate would have it, though, he’s now returning to the old Indian homes, and wants to encounter us again. Yes, it’s all about money. Never mind “rights,” and the other American ideals. This latest engagement is a matter of mean dollars.
Has he changed? Have Indians changed? Have either of us learned anything from the past?
I’ve learned that anger is a curse, and it’s often disguised as the pursuit of justice. Indians don’t really envy the white man, but Indians are intensely jealous of one another.
I can’t speak for the white man, but I believe he wants and needs validation from his adoptive father, the Indian.
America desperately wants the Indian’s approval.
America needs our blessing, not our resentment. He may not even know it, but what he really wants is our forgiveness. He wants acceptance, for in all of his greatness, there is great error. We both know this.

He has often wanted us to join him, and when we don’t, he thinks we are condemning him. But this really isn’t so. Indians simply love being Indian. When we don’t seek to emulate him, like virtually every other people in the world, it baffles him, and makes him feel insecure.
He needn’t feel thus. He should simply understand that Indians are content to be Indian. There is no accusation of him in this. He must be content to allow us to be ourselves. We can give him our blessing without imitating him.
I bless the Washington Redskins. Let the white man indulge in his deepest memories of the Indian. Let him celebrate the archetypes within his soul. Let him have his Indian, in whatever way is meaningful. We cannot dictate to his conscience.
People like Harjo confuse the white man, and imprison Indians with discontent. The Harjos represent weakness and slovenly spirits. This isn’t what the white man remembers of the Indian at all. He remembers a strong father, and a great warrior. Let it ever be thus.
Let Indians be proud of our adopted son, and bless him. Never mind the wrongs he did to us. Seeking “justice” takes the “noble” out of “savage.”

Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's keep things right-sized

Central Idaho Scrutinizer – Well View
10/31/08 - 18:12

Gee, ever since a handful of vacationers bought second homes down there, they have become quite uppity in Bellevue. Next thing you know, they will pass a pallet ordinance, to inspect everyones deck for quality woodsmanship.

So somebody please tell me; if you are secretly living off a well in Bellevue, connected to ancient waters spurting up from pristine Idaho batholiths, instead of attached to metered city services, does that make you an awful grid sinner? And that you should shift to sip meekly from the consecrated city waters?
Seems that living off the grid or being homeless now, is either against the law, or on the cusp of being against the law, in so many communities. In some areas, we now have more foreclosed homes than we do homeless people. Fortunately, community leaders in a handful of places have seen what a crisis our nation is in and have thus gained enough empathy to lighten the laws and/or enforcement of laws regarding squatter's rights, etc.

Of course, a few bad squatters, or actors portraying troublemaking destitute, could perceivable tarnish the name of every person trying to live in steadfast earth harmony.

And when did living in Tipis become more unsanitary than some of the trailers already trashing Bellevue? Does anyone see the underlying racism inherent in this propheteering gridmeister ordinance? Why not just come out and clearly say we don't want any dirty Injuns-types living in our town?
If this country continues on the path we are on, soon everybody will need to learn more off-grid living.

My gosh, why doesn't Bellevue just jump in and force shop owners who sell Tipis to make customers fill out a form, asking in great detail what the purchaser's intentions are and whether they propose to use the tipi to sleep and dream within city off-grid limits?

Better yet, hook into an international RFID chip-warning database, which red flags Tipis and yurts coming apart at every seam. Then hire Homeland Security to outpost Bellevue's ends. (Don't forget Muldoon and Broadford) with infrared tent auditing equipment, and utilize face scanning equipment that detects - without a doubt - suspected squatters intentions.

Or best yet, why not create an exemption for hemp woven structures, to assure every wikiup will meet building codes for structural integrity, snow and wind loads, and the 2006 energy code for insulation requirements.

Tony, For the sake of us living on the edge of society, trying our best to survive in Tipis, tents and storage lockers, we beg of you to write a story from our prespective.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Praise for shinier Lincolns

Many Idahoans do not realize that a Civil War battle actually took place in these parts. Not only that, but also numerous Civil War Veterans migrated straight to Idaho, immediately following that horrific war’s end.

Because Abe Lincoln helped establish our Idaho territory, it's refreshing to read that devoted curators will be refurbishing the Boise Lincoln statue and transporting it from its obscure, foliage-hidden-area at the State Veterans Home to a more prominent spot, in time to celebrate our Great Emancipator's 200th birthday.

This move follows the spirit of Washington, D.C.'s, Lincoln Memorial, in the sense that our ancestors deliberately installed that monument in a remote area of the National Mall. Although this tied in symbolically with the remote nature of Lincoln's personality, people wishing to honor our founding Republican did not accept his inaccessibility; and have made the pilgrimage to that isolated area so much that it is has now become a "destination monument" and one of the most romantic spots to visit in Washington.

For more about what our historic sites get right or wrong, check out James W. Loewen's groundbreaking, "Lies Across America." Dr. Loewen also authored the American Book Award-winner, "Lies My Teacher Told Me."

From the book: "More than any other marker or monument on the American landscape, it continues to speak of later times, even of our time. Its fascinating history offers suggestions as to why some historic sites 'work' while others do not.”


Foot marker: Lincoln’s image will also soon adorn the dollar coin. This will place him, on three denominations at once: the five, the penny and the dollar. As this makes six dollars and one cent, some Lincoln fans will probably start playing 601 in lotteries, however others say now is a bad time; it makes no cents to gamble away our nation’s money and our founding Republican would turn over in his Illinois wheat field grave, if he saw how badly things have added up here.

As all humans have two sides, so did Lincoln. Many historians have pointed out the inner struggles he faced in his epic balancing act to lead our fractured nation. In fact, there are more biographies on Abraham Lincoln than there are on anyone else besides Napoleon Bonaparte. Jackie Jura reveals two interesting faces of Lincoln in her Orwell Today series Lincoln’s Mirror-Image Omen, and the doubly illuminating Lincoln’s premonition dream about JFK’s funeral.

I would wager that there are bloggers out there who would now talk about Lincoln’s flipside. And I welcome those comments; as frank open discussion is fundamental to the type of cohesive nation strongly envisioned by Lincoln, the slaves he helped free, and their dynamic descendants.

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