Conservationists call for veto of wolf eradication bill
Talasi Brooks, Western Watersheds Project (208) 336-9077
Garrick Dutcher, Living With Wolves (208) 726-3987
Suzanne Asha Stone, International Wildlife Coexistence Network, (208) 861-5177
BOISE, Ida.—Today the Idaho Legislature passed S. 1211, a bill that seizes wildlife management authority from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and aims to reduce Idaho’s wolf population by 90 percent, largely on the public’s dime. Governor Little should veto the bill, which is a power grab by the Idaho Legislature eroding the powers of the Executive Branch and inserting politics in decision-making that should be reserved for science-based wildlife management by agency professionals. The bill will waste millions of dollars of public funds on killing wolves, and threatens to ultimately return the species to the endangered species list and federal management.
S. 1211 aims to reduce Idaho’s wolf population to 150 wolves, the bare minimum population to avoid re-listing under the Endangered Species Act. It does this by allowing for killing wolves by all methods used to kill coyotes and wild dogs, including night hunting and aerial gunning; allowing unlimited wolf trapping and snaring on private lands; and increasing funding for the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, among other measures. If the bill becomes law, there will be no margin for error. Conservationists stand ready to compel an Endangered Species Act listing if viable wolf populations aren’t sustained in the face of these heavy-handed new methods.
The Idaho Legislature’s lavish spending on wolf killing in S. 1211 vastly surpasses the value of the livestock lost to wolf predation. In 2018, for instance, 3 percent of reported sheep losses, valued at $154,000 were caused by wolf predation; meanwhile 74 percent, valued at $4,027,000, were due to natural causes including disease and bad weather. In 2020, of 2.5 million cattle and 300,000 sheep in Idaho, only 102 were confirmed lost to wolf predation. 93 of 1,500 wolves in Idaho–almost six percent of the state’s estimated population–were killed in response. And hundreds more wolves were killed across the state by hunters and trappers.
Nevertheless, for the past several years, the Idaho Legislature has directed $400,000 in Idaho tax dollars to fund the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, a war chest for killing wolves. S. 1211 increases that amount by approximately $190,000 annually. In total, the Wolf Depredation Control Board will now receive approximately $800,000 a year, earmarked for massive lethal control that doesn’t work.
Not a single dollar of this bloated budget for wolf killing can be spent on nonlethal methods that science shows actually work to prevent conflicts and save livestock. While recent science shows that killing wolves can cause more livestock deaths, the Idaho-based Wood River Wolf Project has a 13 year history of success preventing those by using nonlethal methods, losing on average just 5 sheep out of 20,000 grazing in wolf territory annually. These nonlethal methods are not only highly effective, they are less expensive than lethal control programs. Instead of taking advantage of improved protection for livestock, S. 1211 just continues dumping money into trying to exterminate wolves rather than helping local residents to coexist with them.
S. 1211 also newly allows Wolf Control Board Funds to be paid to private contractors, opening the door to feeding public funds into the pockets of extreme groups like the so-called “Foundation for Wildlife Management,” an organization that pays glorified wolf bounties to trappers. But, contrary to often-repeated false rhetoric, we don’t need to kill wolves to “save elk,” either. Idaho has had near-record elk harvests for the past several years, with the current stretch of stellar elk harvests inching towards the Idaho Department of Fish and Game-dubbed “best of all time.” Fish and Game also estimates the state’s elk population to be within a few percent of its all time record high and finds that elk population numbers are meeting management objectives across most of the state.
Research from Yellowstone National Park shows that wolves play a critical role in ecosystem health, affecting everything from birds, to scavengers, to willows and aspens in what has been called a “trophic cascade.” Wolves also help protect the health of elk and deer herds by culling diseased animals from herds. And, wolves are known to kill, out-compete and displace coyotes, a carnivore that causes far more livestock losses than wolves. To realize these effects, a healthy wolf population must be sustained over time. Heavy-handed targeting of wolves like what is occurring in Idaho prevents the full ecological benefits of wolf occupancy from ever being realized.
All S. 1211 will do is hemorrhage public funds and position wolves for return to federal management under the Endangered Species Act. This past year, over 500 wolves were killed in Idaho. Science is clear that wolves cannot withstand such heavy-handed annual killing without suffering population-level effects. And, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule delisting wolves in Idaho stated the agency would consider reinstating Endangered Species Act protection if “a change in State law or management objectives would significantly increase the threat to the wolf population.” Killing off 90 percent of Idaho’s wolves blows past that threshold.
This statement was delivered to Governor Little on behalf of Western Watersheds Project, The International Wildlife Coexistence Network, the Endangered Species Coalition, Predator Defense, Friends of the Clearwater, the Center for Biological Diversity, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Living With Wolves, The 06 Legacy, National Wolfwatcher Coalition, Wilderness Watch, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, and Christine Gertschen.
“The deeply rooted racial prejudice of the Anglo-white Americans against the Red Indians, virtually a national psychosis, is one of the strangest and most terrifying phenomenon in all history. It has no parallel throughout the Western Hemisphere.” Also: “The precedent was set by a Pequot massacre shortly after the Mayflower arrived. Of this Cotton Mather wrote proudly, “The woods were almost cleared of these pernicious creatures, to make room for a better growth.” A century and a half later Benjamin Franklin echoed this opinion when he wrote of “the design of Providence to extirpate those savages in order to make room for the cultivators of the earth.” From “Book Of The Hopi,” by Frank Waters (1963). These two quotes, and many more like them, reflect the basic opinion of the White Europeans who came to this land towards the Indigenous inhabitants of this continent, starting in 1492 with Columbus. The words creatures and savages pretty much sums it up. Not human beings. When I read his article, I realized that Mr. Chalk is just one more in a very long line of White people who still feel this way about the Indians. Of course, there are many hundreds of books that look at these last 500 years in great detail; I’ll list some of my favorites at the end of this article. I’m going to look at a few of the things he said here, and comment. Read Chalk’s original article on The Federalist.
First…the term “Land Acknowledgements” is a ridiculous, new agey, meaningless label that does not remotely reflect the real issue. Which is, that the whole continent was taken from the over 500 tribes/nations that have been here for uncounted thousands of years, and the inhabitants were forcibly transferred to what we quaintly call “reservations.” That simply means that the Europeans took their ancestral lands for themselves, and put the Indians on often the worst, most unproductive lands they could find. I’m betting many Americans have little, or no, knowledge of this history, but it’s easy to do some research and see for oneself that this is what happened. There were/are also many hundreds of treaties between the tribes and the US Government that were broken or ignored; also historical fact. Treaties between nations are legally binding. Which means the Federal Government is breaking it’s own laws. This is what needs to be acknowledged. Mr. Chalk also states “Like most new racial history exercises, Land Acknowledgements are less about a true reflection of the past than grievance politics and superficial gestures.” When I read this, my eyes popped out. Again, meaningless and confusing words that have nothing to do with the reality of the situation. Intellectual gobbledygook is my term for this.
This is not a “new racial history exercise;” it’s about the truth of who were the original inhabitants in N. America, many thousands of years before the Europeans arrived, so it’s actually very ancient. By stating it in this bizarre way, Mr. Chalk makes it seem like some sort of collegiate study program that recently came into being, rather than a 500 year nightmare for the Indigenous people. Using the terms “grievance politics and superficial gestures” is so bonkers that it’s difficult to understand where this man is coming from. No, it’s much simpler and real than that. It’s not about politics or superficial gestures. There’s nothing superficial about what happened to the Indians. It’s about their lands being taken away from them, and all of the horrors that came with that reality.
Many thousands of Indian children were forcibly taken from their families, and put into government “boarding schools.” Their hair was cut; they were forbidden to speak their tribal languages, forbidden to practice their traditional religions, and many, if not most, were sexually and physically abused by their Christian captors. This also happened in Canada and Australia. It was an attempt to destroy their Native cultures and ways of life. This is known as cultural genocide. It caused tremendous grief and anguish to all of the families involved, and destroyed many innocent lives in the process. You might ask yourself; by what mandate did the White people commit this crime? They invented a term called “manifest destiny,” which was the belief that their Christian God gave them the right to “civilize” the savages, and take their lands, “to make room for the cultivators of the earth,” as Franklin stated. Of course, this also happened all over the planet, everywhere the Europeans went. Africa, India, Australia, Southeast Asia; the Europeans believed they had the right to take the lands from the original inhabitants. The 10 million people of the African Congo who were killed by the Belgians under King Leopold are one of the most horrid examples. Again, all historical fact, but not something racists like to talk about much. They also tried to convert as many Indians as they could to Christianity, once again destroying their culture in the process.
Not only did the White people take the Indian lands and children; they also started on a campaign to exterminate most of the wild animals they found, and were very successful. At one point in the late 1800’s, millions of bison were slaughtered, their carcasses left on the plains to rot. This was partially done to deprive the Indians of their main food source. There were once millions of wolves here as well, but for some reason, the White people had a deep seated hatred of these beautiful animals, and they were almost wiped out. To this day, wolves are still being hunted mercilessly in many states. And the Government agency known as Wildlife Services kills many animals every year, in deference to ranching and livestock interests. According to nywolf.org, 1.3 million were killed in 2019, and over 400,000 in 2020. This has been going on for many years. Also, with industrialization came what we call “pollution,” but poison is a better word. This was a pristine land 500 years ago; now the rivers, land and air are full of deadly chemical poisons. Try drinking out of any river on this continent. Not to mention the deadly uranium poisoning on Navajo lands from mining operations, which exposed many people to radiation, causing much physical illness.
Another old racist tactic Mr. Chalk used was talking about how violent the Indians were to each other. As if to say that makes it ok to take their lands. I’ve looked into the history of many cultures around the world, and unfortunately human beings have been a very violent and warlike species for as long as we’ve existed. If there were any essentially peaceful cultures, it’s hard to find them; perhaps the Hopi should be mentioned. Again, this is all very well known, so…why single the Indians out? When I responded to this article on The Federalist site, I quoted from Karen Armstrong’s book “Fields Of Blood; Religion and the History of Violence:” The First Crusade was especially psychotic. From all accounts, the Crusaders seemed half crazed. “They killed all the Saracens and Turks they found,” the author of The Deeds of the Franks reported approvingly. “They killed everyone, male or female.” The streets ran with blood. Jews were rounded up into their synagogue and put to the sword, and ten thousand Muslims who had sought sanctuary in the Haram al-Sharif were brutally massacred. “Piles of heads and hands and feet were to be seen,” wrote the Provencal chronicler Raymond of Aguilers: “Men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgement of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers.” (p 214)
This is just manifest destiny under another name, the Crusades. For some unknown reason, Europeans have often used the name of God to justify their violence and atrocities, as have many other cultures. And that is the mentality they brought to this continent as well. Yes, Indians were tough and vicious warriors, no doubt. Compared to the wide spread horror and carnage the Europeans brought to every culture they conquered, however, they were amateurs. Check the Catholic Inquisition and the slaughter of the Cathars as well, not to mention the many thousands of pedophile priests and criminal popes. What the racists rarely do, however, is look into the spiritual teachings of the Indigenous people, which were very profound, and often on a level beyond the understanding of the White people. They had deep reverence for the land and animals, and a connection to the Creator that was usually incomprehensible to Christians. It’s so much easier to justify genocide if the people you’re destroying are savages and creatures, like calling Vietnamese “gooks” and worse during the Vietnam war. The Indigenous people everywhere were human beings who did all the things humans do, and that included violence against each other. But, they were not savages and creatures. As I read Mr. Chalk’s article, I was constantly reminded of the great lengths racists have gone to “prove” Black folks were inferior to Whites; like measuring their craniums to show they weren’t as intelligent. I was actually surprised Mr. Chalk did not resort to this reasoning as well. There were scientists who dug up Indian graves, took the bodies to their laboratories and boiled the flesh off to “study” their physical characteristics; look it up.
BTW…the original title of this article was “Why it’s ignorant and racist to pretend U.S. lands still belong to Native Tribes.” Something very strange happened; as I mentioned, I put the Crusades quotes on the Federalist thread; this was on the Tuesday the article appeared. Much to my surprise, on Wednesday my comment had been deleted and the article was gone. Then, it reappeared with the current title, but my comment had vanished permanently. Which leads me to think someone in the Federalist organization didn’t much like what I had said. I can see why. I also wonder why they changed the title of the article, or why The Federalist would even print such a bigoted article as Mr. Chalk’s.
As far as books, here’s a few, and there are plenty of others as well. These are simply some that I’ve read over the years. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee,” by Dee Brown, is the history of how the Indians lost their lands. Extensively researched, it’s all there, and a very painful read. “Book Of The Hopi” should be read by every American. Frank Waters lived with the Hopi for 3 years, and with his translator, Oswald White Bear Fredericks, talked to 30 Hopi Elders. The book goes into great detail about their history and mythology, their migrations across this continent many thousands of years ago, their deeply profound mystery plays/ceremonies, and their prophecies. Their ancestors came to this land long long ago, after a great flood, which is of course mentioned in the Bible and in other cultures as well. They say this is actually the 4th world, and that there were two other catastrophes before the flood. The late Lakota Vine Deloria Jr wrote many great books; “Custer Died For Your Sins” is probably his best known. “God Is Red” goes into great depth about Indian concepts of spirituality, and “Red Earth, White Lies” is often very funny in it’s dismantling of many incorrect scientific ideas about Indians, such as that the Indians came from Siberia via the Bering Strait . “Black Elk Speaks,” by John G. Neidhardt, is a legendary book about the life of the great Lakota sage/healer Black Elk; and “The Sacred Pipe,” by Joseph Epes Brown, describes the ancient sacred rituals that the Lakota perform with the Pipe, which was brought to them 2000 years ago by the White Buffalo Calf Woman. Black Elk wanted Brown to write about these before they were lost forever. And both “Crazy Horse, the Strange Man of the Oglalas,” by Mari Sandoz, and “The Killing Of Crazy Horse,” by Thomas Powers, offer a look at the life of one of the most remarkable men that has walked this Earth. And there are countless books regarding the hundreds of other tribes.
I watch a lot of the TV station First Nations Experience (FNX), which has a great many shows about Indigenous people, including their long history, and what’s happening in Indian country today. I find it very encouraging that, even after the hundreds of years of repression and hardship, many Indians are keeping their ceremonies and traditions alive, passing them onto the younger generations, and looking to a better future. Trying to keep a balance between the old ways, and being part of modern society, has always been a difficult process. Some tribes have built casinos, some have invested in energy projects and other businesses, many young Indians have left for the cities, and some reservations are still in deep poverty. The problems that have come with being dispossessed from their ancestral lands have been many, but they are proving to be a very strong and resilient people. They have not given up. Just being who they are, however, is still very difficult in this country.
What I find darkly fascinating in this time of BLM, and now the rising awareness of racism against Asians, is the fact that Mr. Chalk kind of casually writes such a racist article against the Indians. Unfortunately, I believe that’s because this racism is so ingrained among many White Americans that’s it’s taken for granted. One woman on the Federalist site actually mentioned that Ms. Deb Haaland, now Secretary of Interior, may have been a wife of Crazy Horse; wowie. And that’s how Mr. Chalk’s article started out; as a protest against Ms. Haaland’s appointment. Of course, I believe that’s why he attempted to once again paint Indians as the savages and creatures he appears to think they are. As if to say, how dare this savage be Interior Secretary. Ms. Haaland’s confirmation to this important position is a very bright spot for future changes in the way Indians have been treated by the United States. It’s not surprising to see people like Mr. Chalk attacking her in this way, and unfortunately, I believe she’ll be dealing with more racists during her tenure.
Because of this, I wrote this article to say, enough. When civil rights are discussed, the rights of the Indigenous people are rarely, if ever, mentioned. Since Americans of all races and religions walk their ancient lands, I believe it’s time to acknowledge the tragic history of how America actually came to be, and begin to find the way to right this terrible wrong. Which is actually simple; start by honoring the broken treaties, and returning these lands to the people that were appointed by the Creator to be the caretakers many thousands of years ago. Both morally and legally, this is the only correct path forward. Of course, this would involve a great deal of change to the landscape of this country. I am not optimistic this will happen, but with the political will to correct these historic wrongs, steps can be made right now to start this process; perhaps Ms. Haaland’s confirmation is pointing the direction. If these actions are not taken soon, and this travesty is allowed to continue, then we may do well to pay heed to the ancient prophecies, which speak of what is referred to as the Great Purification, which the Hopi say has already happened 3 times previously. In a 1976 talk to the United Nations Habitat Forum in Vancouver, B.C., the late Hopi Spokesman Thomas Banyacya said, referring to the Hopi heartland in the Four Corners area: “This desecration of our spiritual center must not be allowed to continue for if it does, Mother Nature will react in a way that almost all men will suffer the end of life as they now know it. All we ask is that this place be respected and protected by all nations who have sacred duty and responsibility. Every measure must be taken to preserve this spiritual center.” There are many other such warnings from the tribal people, all over the world, and they have been totally ignored. In the last few years, we have seen a huge increase in record setting fires, hurricanes, floods, temperatures, and other natural disasters. Perhaps this is what Mr. Banyacya was referring to. There may not be much time left to act.
“The entire Hopi prophecy takes many days to tell, and many lifetimes to fully understand.” Thomas Banyacya
I read this article on the Federalist site on Tuesday afternoon. I thought it was the most blatantly racist piece I’d seen against Indigenous people in ages. Kind of strange; after all of the unrest around the BLM movement issues, and then somebody says all of this about Indians? I plan on writing about this soon. After I read it, I put 2 different comments up. When I went back on Wednesday, the article was taken down, and could not be reached. My second comment had also been deleted from their thread. Then, the article came back on their site with a yes, new name. And my comment was still deleted. I believe it hit a nerve with them. I hope you’ll take a look at this, and realize this man is, once again, trying to present the over 500 tribal nations that have been here for countless thousands of years, as some sort of insignificant roadblock in the way of manifest destiny. Their lives are meaningless to him, and the others like him. This should not be allowed anymore. When will people start standing up to this? I wish to write him, but can’t locate his email. If anybody can find it, would love to have it…all bestest…HHH
I’ve been thinking about writing this for quite a while, and with the landing of the Perseverance rover, well, now’s the time. I’ve been fascinated by all things outer space since I was 5, and still am. When I was a little one, I used to fantasize fleets of flying saucers coming over the Western horizon at sunset; still waiting, ha. I also started reading science fiction very early, mostly Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles” is my favorite sci fi book to this day, followed closely by the Frank Herbert masterpiece “Dune,” which I’ve sometimes thought is a thinly disguised book about ancient Mars. I’ve long thought Bradbury must have spent time on Mars in some past incarnation. The way he describes it in “Chronicles” sounds…right, somehow. The book was actually a collection of short stories he had written about Mars, later collected into the book. The story “Night Meeting” is my single favorite piece of writing to this day. Bradbury had a very poetic writing style, and could invoke mysterious vistas with just a few words. I should also add that I’ve never believed that science fiction was “fiction;” I figured that anything they wrote about had happened somewhere in the Universe, or was going to happen. Which opens another subject; where do artistic ideas originate in the first place? Another time.
I also have been a huge follower of the space program since that early age. I remember seeing a timetable in a magazine, which said they would land on Mars in, yes, 1985. I realized I’d be 34 then, and could maybe be one of those first people to go there. Didn’t make it, but hey, that’s ok. My dad had been a Navy pilot on a carrier in the Pacific during WW2, and I’ve always thought that may have spurred my interest in flying in the first place. In 8th grade, I wrote a term paper, the “Race To Space.” I started with all of the experimental planes, the X-1 through the X-15, followed by the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Of course, by spring of 1965, only Mercury and Gemini had flown, and Apollo was a bit in the future. But, NASA also had most of Apollo designed at that time, and when it started flying shortly after, including the 1969 Moon landing, much of what I had written about went exactly as planned. I still have this paper, all written in longhand, and I get a hoot out of showing it to young folks. But…what about that 1969 Moon landing? To this day, there are people who think it was a “hoax,” as the saying goes, and the whole thing was filmed by none other than Stanley Kubrick, who produced the great masterpiece “2001, A Space Odyssey,” which he wrote along with Arthur C. Clarke (and blew the shorts of a whole generation when we saw it). The question I always ask is: what about the 5 other Moon landings, ending with Apollo 17? And where was the ill fated Apollo 13 flight going when disaster struck? No one ever has an answer for that, and we’ll leave it there for now. And for a bit of trivia, I’m betting few people know that Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man on the Moon, and also a 32nd degree Freemason, claimed the Moon “as being in the territorial jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas.” Ez to look up; check the Tranquility Lodge 2000, and “The New Age Magazine,” November 1969, a Masonic publication. Kenneth Kleinknecht, the manager of the Apollo program, was a 33rd degree Mason. Interesting stuff. Does the Moon belong to the Masons?
Speaking of Mr. Clarke, here’s a quote from the February 2001 issue of space.com: “I’m fairly convinced that we have discovered life on Mars. There are some incredible photographs (from JPL), which to me are pretty convincing proof of the existence of large forms of life on Mars! Have a look at them. I don’t see any other interpretation.” Thank you Mr. Clarke. And that’s the subject of my article. I started doing some Mars research over a year ago, and discovered a vast world that I had no idea existed. I started by just looking around on the Internet for Mars pictures; I found a zillion of them, and some very serious people who had been looking into this for years. There are at least 3 NASA satellites that have been taking hundreds of thousands of pictures of the Martian surface, as well as the Rovers; all of these are online, and available for anyone to look at, all public domain. What the researchers are doing is simple; they look at pictures that cover a wide range of the surface, called Gigapans, and then through recently developed software, they can zoom in to look at very small areas in great detail. And they have found, as far as myself and Mr Clarke are concerned, convincing evidence of a past civilization (s?). Of course, this is where the fun begins, as there are plenty of folks who do not agree with this premise. Including NASA, who often state that they are only looking for “microbes” on Mars. Yet, they themselves speak very confidently of ancient riverbeds and oceans on Mars, and the reality that Mars also had an atmosphere at one time, now reduced to very little. They have also found recent evidence of water coming out of Martian cliffs, and those pics are ez to find. Vast bodies of water can mean life. Not just microbial.
I find it somewhat amusing that in today’s world, we have many movies about superheroes, time travel, space vehicles, and events in galaxies “far far away.” Yet, if someone dares suggest that there was life on Mars, for real…well, that’s a fantasy, tin foil hat stuff, “ancient aliens,” conspiracy theories. Which leads me to ask simple questions, such as; why couldn’t there have been (or still be) life on Mars? Or on zillions of other planets? Plz give me a sensible reason, and I’ll believe you; I cannot think of any. In a Universe with 100 billion galaxies (a conservative estimate), which means trillions of planets, it seems absurd that ours is the only planet with life. Beyond absurd, actually. I’ve reflected on this phenomenon a great deal, and it seems to me that there has been, and still is, a kind of bizarre narcissism with people that cannot conceive of life anywhere else; as if human beings are the pinnacle of achievement in life forms. This was never demonstrated more explicitly than in the position of the Catholic Church hundreds of years ago, when men of science were in danger of being burned at the stake for stating the truth about the many new discoveries they were making. It is still being demonstrated today by many scientists themselves, who, as I just stated, are only looking for microbial life on Mars. And ha, they use a very new agey word, “pareidolia,” which means that humans see “what they want to see,” such as faces in clouds or life on Mars where there are only rocks. I refer to this word as paradiddle, and would also say…if paradiddle exists, then that means NASA scientists are also vulnerable to having it happen. They cannot see what’s right before their eyes, and invent ludicrous explanations that make no sense. Which opens yet another door; why are they hiding what they know about Mars? There are many people discussing this. BTW, Indigenous people all over the world have spoken of “Star People,” and say that they have been aware of these beings for millennia. It seems to be mostly people of European descent that don’t acknowledge this reality. Watch “Indians And Aliens” on the FNX channel.
While doing my ongoing research, I have found some very reputable folks, which means that all of their pictures have direct links to the original NASA photos. Anybody can connect to these links, and see for themselves. I avoid any pics that do not have these links. I got fooled once or twice early on, but no more. I recommend Jean Ward (Mars Anomalies), Keith Laney and Neville Thompson’s Gigapan sites, and Martine Grainey (Martian Genesis), who has found many unusual pictures. There are surely others as well. I am still learning, but have found many many artifacts (or “anomalies”) that are mighty difficult to identify as “natural.” I have also found some repeated phenomenon, things that I’ve seen numerous times, such as what look like statues, columns, heads, animals that may look somewhat familiar to Earth critters, walls with right angles, giant ribbed tubes that are all over the planet, and other things that are as far from natural as we can get. I’ve included some of my favorite pics; I could have chosen many others. And hey, I’m up for intelligent and serious discussions about any of this. Unfortunately, many people resort to childish and goofy comments, which doesn’t help anything. Except to show a great lack of depth on their part.
With all of the artifacts being found, the question arises; what happened on Mars? One thread that runs through the many comments I’ve read is that there was a catastrophic war on Mars long ago, and we are seeing the wreckage of that event. Dr John Brandenberg has stated that they have found traces of elements in the thin atmosphere that could only have come from nuclear weapons. He thinks there was indeed a nuclear war up there (and he wrote a book about it). Others suggest a large comet hit the planet, destroying the atmosphere and life. There are also folks who think that the survivors of that long lost civilization migrated to Earth, and we are the descendants of those people. And that we are very close to destroying this planet as we did Mars. Which does not sound far fetched to me at all.
As far as the narcissism I mentioned; well, recall how the Air Force would always say UFO sightings were weather balloons, swamp gas, Venus, and a host of other ludicrous explanations. Now they are releasing videos of their own pilots having encounters with strange craft, and admitting that they were looking seriously into this area for years. Remember also how the CIA denied the existence of Area 51 for many years, only to finally admit that it did, in fact, exist. The book “Blank Spots On The Map,” by Trevor Paglen, looks into a number of top secret government programs that are hidden from the public, as does “Body Of Secrets,” by James Bamford. And when Harry Truman became president, he was astonished to finally learn of the Manhattan Project, which he was not even told about as vice president. There are many things going on inside governments around the world that they hide from their citizens. I believe the existence of a previous civilization on Mars is one of those. I am having a hoot with my personal research, and as Mr Clarke said, “I’m fairly convinced that we have discovered life on Mars.” I believe that if our governments finally admitted this fact, it could have a very positive effect on humanity in general, to realize that yes, we are indeed just a very small part of a vast network of intelligent life all across the galaxy, and Universe. We crave this in our movies, books, and TV shows. To accept it in real life could be the greatest step humanity has ever taken, and open doors to a vast and infinite reality. I am hoping this will occur very soon.
Hey all…Neela and I did these 5 Christmas tunes in 2011, and have sent them out every year since. She chose the songs, I arranged them (with her input), and we think they came out pretty well. Some of you may not celebrate Christmas; hope you can enjoy the music anyway. If you already have them, hope you don’t mind seeing them again. To me, this time of year is about the Winter Solstice, and the Sun coming back, heading for spring/summer. It’s one of the most ancient holidays in the world. However you see it, hope it has deep meaning…all best…Hstick
Hey all…I’m going to be on the KGNU Kabaret show this Tues, Dec 8th, from 7-8 PM Denver time, playing 5 of my compositions; one each in 12, 19, and 34 tone equal temperament, and two on electric 7 string fretless guitar. This is usually a live show, but this time we recorded it in advance, and I am indebted to several people for their help and expertise. First, Richard Townshend did the filming/audio at his casa. A very comfortable environment for me to play in; then figure in the great pizza he made for us before we got to work, and it was a perfect evening. Dan Wilging (aka Big Daddy) from KGNU, was on hand for between song chats. Dan and I have done many shows together over the years, and he’s the best DJ/interviewer I’ve ever worked with. He asks perceptive questions that allow me to dig in and explain just what I’m doing with the various microtonal tunings, which can help folks with the unusual tonalities they’re hearing. Then, KGNU’s George Figgs, engineer extraordinare, did the editing from Richard’s videos to get the show on the air. Can’t imagine anyone I’d rather have at the controls. I had 4 songs from various Kabaret shows on my latest CD, “Radio Waves,” the quality is unmatched.
And yes…we filmed the pieces for a possible future DVD, but we’re just using the audio for the show. I’ve also included a link to KGNU’s Facebook page: https://fb.me/e/1FG4pqoX4 I’d be delighted if you shared this with FB friends. This is my first show since last January at Swallow Hill, and I practiced aplenty. I’m amazed that I can find new ideas in pieces I’ve been playing for years. Music is a never ending story; always new mountains to climb. Hope you can tune in, and wishing all the bestest for 2021…HHH
Listen at 88.5FM Boulder/1390AM Denver/98.7FM Fort Collins/93.7FM Nederland and online at kgnu.org and afterfm.com.
I’m sure this may sound naive, but I mean it: after 68 years of life, I don’t understand racism. Yeah, I know it’s real; I just don’t know how someone can think they are superior to others because of their own race, or skin color. And it can be a complex phenomenon. While we usually associate racism here in America with whites feeling they are superior to blacks, it is also the reason the Europeans tried to commit cultural genocide against the over 500 Indigenous tribes they found in the “new world,” starting 500 years ago. “The deeply rooted racial prejudice of the Anglo-white Americans against the Red Indians, virtually a national psychosis, is one of the strangest and most terrifying phenomena in all history. It has no parallel throughout the Western Hemisphere.” (Frank Waters, Book Of The Hopi). I also know racism exists in other parts of the world as well, but it’s not a subject I have studied. The reason I’m writing this as the 2nd Stick Speaks is, of course, because of the recent explosion of protests and riots, following the murder of George Floyd. I watched some of the video; very difficult. The scariest part, for me, was how nonchalant the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck looked…he wasn’t breaking a sweat, and seemed rather uninterested that he was killing him. I don’t believe anybody could have predicted what would happen because of this killing, and it’s spread all over the world, surprisingly enough. Obviously, this was the straw on the proverbial camel’s back. There are many years of pent up anger and frustration being expressed through the many protests.
I always like to understand root causes of things. With racism, I’m not sure just how/where it started, but here’s a couple of ideas to consider. There is a strange concept in Christianity, referred to as “The curse of Ham.” This involves Noah, from the Old Testament. His son, Ham, apparently found him in a drunken stupor; Noah took exception to this, and cursed both Ham and the land of Canaan. “Although there is no mention of Noah’s actual spell, it was somehow decided in the Middle Ages that the curse of Ham conferred dark skin. This became a justification for enslaving those who were not white.” (Betsy Quammen, American Zion). I have heard of this for years, and plan to look a bit closer. Since the Europeans who were slaveholders were mainly identified as “Christian,” this seems to make some sort of sense, bizarre as it sounds. Of course, many European nations went around the world, taking the lands of dark skinned people, killing many, and trying to also convert them to the Christian religion. This is well documented. “We must, with unquenchable ardor, propagate our sacred religion.” Pigneau de Behaine (Stanley Karnow, Vietnam, A History). Behaine was a French priest who spend decades in Vietnam in the 18th century. “He had come to France to lobby for an ambitious scheme-the creation, under French auspices, of a Christian empire in Asia.” (Karnow). Indeed, everywhere the Europeans went, they tried to destroy Indigenous religious beliefs, and convert them to Christianity. The results, as we can see around the world today, were disastrous, and were responsible for misery and horror on an incomprehensible scale.
Perhaps there are other deeply rooted reasons for racism. My own personal spiritual beliefs lean towards the idea that racism is the perfect way for the dark forces that exist (lucifer to me) to cause the biggest ruckus they can among the human race. And it has certainly done that. Without racism, there would have been no slavery in the south, or destruction of Indigenous people. The whole world would have evolved in a much different way; we can only wish that would have happened…and it could have. I am not racist, and my daughter is not racist. Her kids will also not be racist. Because of this, we have broken the chain that keeps racism alive. When I see old footage of the many racial protests in the south in the 1950’s, the insanity on the faces of the white people is astonishing…they were really really crazy. The problem is, many of them had kids, grandkids, and on and on. Who, I am thinking, were most likely raised to be racists as well. Maybe some pulled away from it, that would not be surprising. But, racism must be taught; we are not born that way. Which brings us to an interesting crossroads, as far as the current situation with the protests. Yes, statues are being torn down; police departments are possibly going to be re-organized, although I believe that’s going to be more difficult than people are realizing. And there are many discussions going on about how we as a society can best deal with the institutional racism that defines America. There are good things coming from the protests (and some bad ones as well).
The real issue is, though…the people that are racist are most likely still going to be just as racist after the protests die down. They aren’t going to magically change because of what’s happening. I heard a video of a crowd chanting “1-2-3, fuck the police.” Ok…do people really believe that is going to help with serious change? Hey, that’s deja vu for me…folks started calling the cops pigs in the 1960’s, and yet…here we are again, with the same infantile chants. The same with the $500 million in damages to buildings. I’m sure many younger folks are thinking they’re onto something; but again, I remember the Vietnam protests, Watts, the destruction after MLK was assassinated, and many more such events. I’m watching the Ken Burns Vietnam series; if you wanna see some serious protesting, check it out. I surely understand the anger behind these actions; I just don’t believe, overall, it’s going to do much good. The Denver City Council was overrun a couple of weeks ago by protestors. They actually cancelled the next meeting out of fear it would happen again. Meaning, they capitulated to a mob of angry people. And again, there’s plenty to be angry about. Coming up with long term, meaningful change though…that’s perhaps not easily done by destroying things.
And of course, there are other profound issues besides racism. Economic equality is certainly another deeply entrenched issue that has also affected millions and millions of people over the years. While folks at Amazon struggle to pay the bills at $15/hour, the stock market is enjoying record profits, and Jeff Bezos has a $165 million mansion. He could easily pay his workers $30, but does not. Health care in America is a disgrace, and rents are soaring ever higher, making landowners a very wealthy bunch indeed. This situation too is old news; the founding fathers were mostly white, wealthy slaveholders, so the template for what America is today was set from the beginning. And be assured that many millions of Americans like things exactly the way they are. I am not so sure many of the protestors and their allies are taking this into account, either. For every statue toppled, I believe there are many folks becoming very angry about that. And I do fear a backlash may be on the way before long. A statue of Frederick Douglass was also toppled recently.
Completely by accident, a whole new door opened up for me about the protests the other day. A FB friend posted a short video of the founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Cullors, talking about her political beliefs. The thing is, although I had first heard of BLM some years back, when it first started, I had no knowledge of who started it, or what they were like. Ms. Cullors started BLM in July of 2013, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, after the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. In this 36 second segment of the video the host, Jared Ball of Morgan State University, asked her about her political beliefs; she responded “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers, we are trained Marxists.” I didn’t know anything about her of course, but I thought that was a pretty strong statement. I decided to look a bit deeper into who Ms Cullors is, and found a few things. She was a Fulbright scholar, and has a degree from UCLA. She has been an activist for many years, and has formed numerous organizations and won awards for her activism. In another video (a site called Dazed; April 5 2018, Rianna Walcott interviewer), she stated “I identify as an organizer versus an activist.” She also said she was at the National School for Strategic organizing for a year studying with a man named Eric Mann. Mann has a long resume, ez to look up. He was an SDS member and also part of the Weather Underground; he did two years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. Ms Cullors also said ” We spent the year reading, anything from Marx to Lenin to Mao.” She told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now (Jan 16, 2018) “Yes Eric Mann, that’s my mentor.”
I think all of that is very significant, for a number of reasons. First…because of her Marxist leanings, is BLM then a Marxist front for her political beliefs? I wonder how many people carrying BLM signs and wearing the shirts know of this? Would it make a difference? Should it? Well, what if Ms Cullors was to be on CNN/Fox or another national network, being interviewed, and spoke of this? I’m thinking it may well start a very large discussion…perhaps it should. I tried to read a bio of Mao, and could not finish it. He was one of the most horrid human beings I’ve ever heard of, and that was long before he took control of China, where he was responsible for the deaths of many millions of his own people, perhaps up to 70 million. Marxism didn’t work out too well for the Russian people either…also many millions of innocent deaths. None of this has been mentioned, as far as I know, in the national news outlets covering the BLM movement. In fact, I was surprised that Ms Cullors, or one of her associates, did not make an appearance over the last month to give a speech. That’s rather unusual for such a large movement. Are there individual BLM chapters, under her supervision? Who controls those? Hey, I do not know…and that’s why I’m asking these questions. Ms Cullors also self identifies as “queer,” and is a big supporter of the trans-sexual movement as well. I was starting to see those signs in the protests too.
OK…here’s a thought. Are several differing agendas now being mixed together in the BLM movement? I can see where some people would be fine with supporting racial equality, but maybe not Marxism, or the sexual orientation. If they do, that’s their perogative of course. But…if the BLM supporters are not aware of their founder’s personal ideas, then there could be big problems in the future with this movement. Personally, I’d be up for some serious discussion around the views of Ms Cullors. It’s one thing to protest for racial equality…perhaps another altogether to change the political system in America to Marxist. But…if this isn’t brought out into the public view, then how will we know where BLM really stands? I also happened to see on Democracy Now a brief and very angry speech by an activist named Tamika Mallory. Also ez to look up, she was brought up by her parents as an activist, connected to Al Sharpton. In the Democracy Now piece, she said “I don’t give a damn if they burn down; I don’t give a damn if they burn down Target.” Wowie. First…who gave her permission to call for buildings to be torched? Then, if a Target, say, is destroyed, who will suffer? It won’t be the owners, whoever they are. Their insurance will cover it; hell, they may actually wind up making more $$$ off of it. No…it will be the hundreds of neighborhood people working there, for little money, who really need the jobs. If Ms Mallory is truly concerned for her people, then why would she want to take their only source of income away? In reality, she’s a pawn in the hands of the very people she claims to be protesting against. And seems to have no idea of this. Burn it? Her casa too? When the speech was over, one of Goodman’s associates commented on the “powerful speech,” but said nothing about the morality of burning down a Target.
And yes…these are rather negative issues connected with the BLM movement. And they need to be discussed widely. In the 1950’s and 60’s black folks were being killed, bitten by dogs, beaten in the streets, and hosed with giant water cannons…so they could eat at restaurants and send their kids to school. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and others were larger than life figures to me as a young white kid. I could not believe their grace, dignity, and unwavering commitment under these awful social conditions. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing any leaders in the BLM movement, as of yet, who come anywhere close to what these legends stood for. Maybe that’s not surprising; leaders like that are rare enough at any time. Where this all goes from here, I do not know. I believe there’s a possibility that, after all the protests die down, it may be back to business as usual. Again…tearing down statues and yelling at the cops are minor compared to changing the hearts of racists. We need to find a way to achieve that for truly lasting change. Maybe the current social unrest will indeed start something of great value; I would like to see that. We’re only at the beginning.
Thnx for reading…Hstick
“Our goals are not to gain political control, monetary wealth, or military power, but rather to pray and to promote the welfare of all living beings and to preserve the world in a natural way.”
Hopi Elder and spokesman Thomas Banyacya Dec 10 1992
To all that are reading this…I have been planning on writing what is often called a “blog” for a long while, and this will be the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series. I don’t like the word blog, so we’ll just say Stick Speaks instead. If you don’t wish to receive these, just hit the unsubscribe tag, and you won’t see them anymore. I thank you in advance for your time.
Following my words here, you will see an email from my longtime compadre Martha Yordy. Martha is a keyboard player, a musical director for plays, and is one of the best musicians I’ve known in my career. We started working together at the Arvada Center in the early 1990’s, doing plays, and we always had a hoot. We’ve kept in touch over the years, and this letter follows a recent phone call from Martha. She read this to me over the phone, and it touched me deeply. I told her I wish I had written it, and I am glad she did write it. She was hoping to get it to Al Sharpton’s organization, as he’s very involved in the current BLM situation. She couldn’t reach him through email, so we’ll see if that happens. As I thought about it the last week, I decided I’d finally start my Stick Speaks series with her letter, as well as my own feelings about the Native American situation in the US. Martha and I feel the same about this. I’ll let her letter speak for itself. Here’s some of my thoughts.
I knew since I was a kid that I had an Indian great grandma; my mom mentioned her many times. Her name was Sabra, and she was Choctaw. The Choctaw lived in Mississippi, and were one of the tribes that walked the legendary Trail Of Tears, when Andrew Jackson (and the US govt) took their ancestral lands illegally. I only saw my grandpa once, when I was about 10. He came by our tenement to borrow some money; my mom slammed the door in his face, as she hated him. Before the door closed, I saw him, and thought “wowie, he’s Indian.” Which he was. She didn’t speak much of her dad, but I know he was a mean man, and treated his kids badly. Sabra was his mom of course, but I never knew much about my great grandpa, who’s last name was Penly (John Bell Penly), my mom’s maiden name. Throughout most of my life, I thought he may have been white…maybe he was. But, fast forward to a few years ago. My late cousin Ron, got in touch, and it turns out he was also very interested in his Indian background, and had done a great deal of research. It’s very difficult to get accurate info from tribes 150 years ago, but he did his best. My thoughts on this now are that John Penly was also Choctaw, making my grandpa a fullblood. It’s well known that the US govt forced the Choctaw to use white names for a while. And Ron told me he know of a Bell clan in the Choctaw. My grandpa’s death certificate also says Indian for race, so I’m going to go with that, unless new info appears. I also don’t know if my grandpa’s wife, Estelle, was Indian or white. So my mom was half tribal, possibly all. She never talked about that with me. I wish we had.
I know there is Choctaw DNA in my system. Perhaps that’s why I’ve grown up to be very interested, and deeply concerned, about what has happened to the 500 or so Indigenous tribal nations since 1492, when Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere. I read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee,” by Dee Brown, in 1976. I was enraged for months after. This book looks at the takeover, and colonization, of what is now called America, by the Europeans. It is a very difficult book to read. It is very well researched and annotated, and is essential reading for anyone that wishes to know how we got where we are today in relation to Indian issues. It’s actually really simple; this continent is Tribal land, all of it. There are over 400 treaties that the US govt has largely ignored, not enforced, or just blown off. Treaties are legally binding on a government; so America is basically breaking 400 of it’s own laws, to this day.
As far as racism, here’s a quote from “Book Of The Hopi,” the masterpiece by Frank Waters: “The deeply rooted racial prejudice of the Anglo-white Americans against the Red Indians, virtually a national psychosis, is one of the strangest and most terrifying phenomena in all history. It has no parallel throughout the Western Hemisphere.” What has happened to black folks, since they were brought here against their will as slaves, is a tragedy of untold proportions, and it’s about time that ends. What Martha is saying, and I agree with, is that the Indians need to be included in this process as well. They have had all of their ancestral lands taken, and have been forced to live on what we know as “reservations,” which can also be called concentration camps. Conditions on reservations are usually very bad. They are often very poor lands that the white people didn’t want, because they thought they were useless. Of course, later on when uranium, coal, and other resources were discovered on these lands, the story changed. That’s the subject of another article. Indians are, as Martha says, the forgotten people, overall. Most Americans know virtually nothing about them; most of their impressions of Indians were formed by Hollywood movies, which were rather biased towards the white man, to say the least.
But, they are a helluva resilient race of folks, and are still here, right now. I watch the FNX TV channel a lot (First Nations Experience), and around the country, many tribes are rediscovering their ancient traditions, and passing them onto their young people. This gives me great hope for the future. But, a lot more needs to be done. Namely, their cause needs to be as widely recognized as that of black people, and Americans need to realize that we indeed live on their lands; every one of us, black and white alike. We also need to realize that the racism against Indians is as bad, or worse, than towards blacks. They were thought of as subhuman by many whites through the years, and if you’re interested, there are many many books available on this subject. What to do? Well, we all do what we can. I am writing this to get things started for myself, and Martha. Feel free to forward this, or just Martha’s letter, to anyone you think might be interested. Will people ever march in protests in support of Indians, as they are doing now for black people? I would like to see that day happen, hopefully very soon. Just to get folks to be aware of the problem is a great start. The Hopi, and other tribes, have numerous prophecies. One of deep significance is referred to as the Great Purification. The Hopis (and others) speak of previous civilizations on this Earth that became very corrupted, and were destroyed by Creator to start over. The Hopi say this is the 4th world, and that there is the possibility that this world, too, may need to be cleansed as well. I personally believe that is not out of the question. I’ve also considered that the Covid pandemic may be the door opening towards this. I hope not. Perhaps if we realize our responsibility towards the original inhabitants of this continent, and take the proper action, things could change much for the better. I also include tribal people all over the world in this prayer, from the jungles of S. America to the Aborigines in Australia. Thnx for your time in reading this. Perhaps it can interest you in starting to think of what we are saying; maybe there’s a way to move forward in the race discussion, including the Indigenous people around the world as well…go safe and wise with Creator…N. Haverstick
My name is Martha Yordy, and I reside in Littleton CO. I grew up in Espanola NM as a white minority. My father was a doctor, and my mother an artist. When I was three years old, my parents adopted a newborn Navajo. We were good friends growing up, then during the teenage years we rebelled, and during our adult lives, we grew apart. In 2003 when our mother died we reconnected, and sadly he died of acute alcoholism in 2005.
In these “dark night of the soul” times, we have been forced to review our relationships with humans of a different skin color. We have also had to review how we as white people have always felt superior to those humans. Speaking for myself, there have been many times in reviewing our history that I have to say I’m ashamed to be a member of the white race.
There is thankfully a new world on the horizon with (hopefully) true equality among whites and African Americans. This nation will accomplish unheard of things in all areas when this is achieved, and the fear on both sides will slowly turn to trust. I am grateful to be a part of this change in history.
However, we have forgotten a whole race of people that need acceptance, and compassion. White man hasn’t just mistreated them, he has killed, maimed, raped, and displaced the indigenous people of this country. We continue our cruel acts by ignoring them during this pandemic. Yes slavery is completely unjust, but taking a whole population (if they survived) and transplanting them where we don’t have to deal with them is a continuing atrocity. We put them on land where there is no running water, or fertile soil, and we perceive of that as fair?!
It is my feeling that we need to make extreme reparations to our native Americans. Our speeches across this country need to include them.I would hope that the changes coming to our country will help them, but it looks to me that we are ashamed of our conduct, and trying to forget our injustices to them.
In closing, the new world needs to include us all. We need to ask these people what would fix what we’ve done to them. Whether it be monetary compensation, relocation, or both, we need to fix this in order to be on a true loving path that includes us all as equals.
Hey all…like many other music teachers, I now have Skype set up to do lessons over the Internet. It’s working out great…so, with all the free time most of us have, maybe this is the perfect time to start guitar lessons. Stay wise and cautious during this challenging time…but unafraid…Hstick
Hey all…greatly looking forward to ringing in the New Year at my January 25th Swallow Hill show in the Tuft Theatre. I have a new CD, “Radio Waves,” and I’ll be playing music from that, as well as some other goodies I’m working on. I plan on playing 12, 19, and 36 tone guitars, fretless guitar and banjo, as well as Oud. Maybe I’ll bring some others as well. I’d love to see a bunch of you there, I promise a rather interesting and unique evening of modern music. Thnx for all the support over the years…till soon…Hstick