The Local Crank
Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
- Name: The Local Crank
- Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States
Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Supporting the Troops?
Soldiers recuperating at Walter Reed are apparently being punished for "causing trouble" and are being ordered to avoid the media. A similar press crackdown is underway at other bases and facilities. Reprehensible. Idiocy like this makes me sick to my stomach. Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, the former commander at Walter Reed who knew about this problem IN 2003 should be immediately brought up on charges of dereliction of duty. And Jim Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, should be fired on the spot, especially after his smarmy, unctuous, ass-covering appearance on "Good Morning America."
But that won't happen. Nothing will happen, because this Administration has the average two-year-old's understanding of responsibility and consequences. At best, the Bush White House has shown criminally negligent ineptitude in caring for the soldiers it claims to support; at worst, it has demonstrated unvarnished contempt for those wounded in this catastrophic trainwreck of a war. Nothing will happen; Dubya will never face justice. He will not be impeached. He will leave office, make tons of money pimping for assorted corporattions, and operate his Library/Fascist Twit Think Tank squatting at the edge of the SMU campus. Since there will be no justice done (in this world, at least), all we can do is pray that January 20, 2009, gets here as fast as possible and that Dubya manages not to completely destroy the country in the meantime.
UPDATE: Soooo...they fire the commander at Walter Reed (a good start) and replace him with...General Kiley? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What, was Nurse Ratched not available?
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
And Speaking of Parental Rights...
Republicans LURVE Terrorist $$
The National Republican Campaign Committee will be holding onto money from one of its major contributors, Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, who has just been arrested on "charges of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism, and international money laundering, as well as additional charges of conspiracy and wire fraud."
Aaaaaaaaand....cue the Right Wing outrage!
UPDATE: The National Republican Senatorial Committee (of which Al Alishtari was an "Inner Circle Member for Life") is donating the terrorist money to charity (I vote for the Twin Towers Orphan Fund or the Anti-Defamation League, just to savor the irony).
Monday, February 26, 2007
Your Liberal Media At Work
A solid majority of Americans support Cong. John Murtha's plan to require units to be properly outfitted before being deployed to Iraq. But that's not what the Washington Post thinks, so they just ignored their own polling data.
In other news, John Gibson of FOX thinks reporters who eschew wall-to-wall Anna Nicole Smith coverage in favor of reporting on Iraq are "snobs." Seriously.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Republicans vs. Indian Country
I have always thought that Conservatives, by the very definition of the term, should be among the most ardent supporters of Indian Rights. After all, Indian issues include some of conservatives' prime issues, such as local control (tribal sovereignty) and religious freedom. Heck, you could even toss in gun ownership rights (see Wounded Knee). Yet, the Republic Party is paralyzed by its' love affair with racism's ugly twin, endless bleating and mewling about "reverse discrimination." "Reverse" discrimination, of course, means any program anywhere that benefits historic and ongoing victims of blatant discrimination, but which has the side effect of mildly inconveniencing some whites. So it is, that Conservatives are now attacking tribal sovereignty via the Trojan Horse of opposition to the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.
From Our "Scary If True" Department...
...the Times of London says "some" of America's "most senior military commanders" are threatening to resign if President Bush orders an attack on Iran. For such an incredible scoop, this story is very short and lightly sourced, referring only to "highly placed defence and intelligence sources." This fact alone makes me suspicious that it's anything more than the same sort of scuttlebutt that's been going on in the Pentagon for as long as the Iraq War has been trending south.
Hat tip to Shakespeare's Sister.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Freedmen Vote to Proceed as Planned
US District Judge Henry H. Kennedy has refused to block the March 3 election to kick the Freedmen out of the Cherokee Nation. As much as I sympathize with the Freedmen, I have to say this was the right decision. Yes, it's true the petition drive was riddled with fraud, but the Cherokee Supreme Court has already spoken on that issue, however much I might disagree. Tribal sovereignty is eroded when the Federal Courts are treated as courts of appeal when litigants don't like the results in tribal court. Unfortunately, any victory for sovereign tribal rights might be short-lived; Judge Kennedy made a point of noting that if the referendum passes, he may be drawn into the conflict. No matter how that ends, tribal sovereignty will suffer by having a Federal judge act as referee or nanny. Consider what happened to the Seminole under similar circumstances. Apparently, though, the anti-Freedmen forces are willing to risk the sovereignty of the Nation to keep one group of people, descendants of those who walked the Trail of Tears, out of the tribe.
Stupid White Man of the Week: Robert Novak
Dear Mr. Novak:
Thank you for your thoughtful opinion on how a prancing white boy in redface doing splits at halftime is really a way of "honoring" the "valor, ferociousness and indomitable spirit in the face of overwhelming odds" of Native Americans, if only we would shut up and appreciate it.
I respectfully suggest, however, that your talents are better served in your traditional role as ventriloquist's dummy to the Bush White House's COINTELPRO operation.
P.S. You are cordially invited to kiss my rosy Cherokee ass.
Labels: Stupid White Man of the Week
Texans' lungs granted temporary reprieve.
Merely a coincidence! Pay no attention to the shifty-eyed lame excuse for a faux cowboy governor behind the curtain!
Republicans in the Legislature plan latest "conservative" "small government" plan to ignore the State Constitution and destroy the budget. Says Speaker Tom Craddick, "It's just a bunch of whiny poor sick kids!"
Joe Lieberman threatens to abandon all pretense.
White House calls withdrawal of (some of) Britain's and all of Denmark's troops from Iraq "proof of success." In a related story, Britney Spears also denies loosing all touch with reality.
Republicans fund terrorists!
John "Maverick" McCain boldly shows his straight-talkin', common-sense, independent style by calling for the repeal of the Enlightenment.
All in all, it's just another brick in the wall...
Labels: News Round-Up
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
NPR Misses the Point Entirely
Today's story on the Freedmen controversy completely failed to mention the paradox of the "Indian blood" argument in relation to the "one drop" rule imposed by the Dawes Commission. It falsely implied that none of the Freedmen have "Indian blood" and intimated (in spite of a surprising quote from Chad Smith to the contrary) that this was all about casino money. Overall, a really sloppy job of reporting.
Hat tip to Voice of a Native Son/Intelligenta Indigena.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sam Johnson: Two-Faced Hypocrite
My Right Honorable Colleague Right of Texas approvingly notes this impassioned speech by Cong. Sam Johnson warning that "defunding" the Surge is a "slow bleed" that would result in "taking away the lifeline" of the troops "when they are in the middle of a war zone" (ignore, for the moment, the fact that the Murtha Plan so despised by Right and Johnson would do absolutely nothing of the kind).
Now, let's set the Wayback to 1995 and hear what Cong. Johnson had to say then...
P.S. Read the comments, too.
Labels: Conservative Hypocrisy Watch
"We Are Human Beings and Not Mascots"
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Supporting the Troops?
If you want yet another comparison with Vietnam, the US Government is systematically ignoring and warehousing wounded (in mind and body) veterans. Where's the Right Wing outrage? Who on the Right is complaining as Bush prepares to slash Veteran's funding yet again in order to pay for tax cuts for multi-millionaires?
Hat tip to Shakespeare's Sister.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Just In Case...
...you were under the impression that only Conservatives can be bigoted, narrow-minded and clueless, comes this from John Aravosis at AmericaBlog. Some of the comments are very well thought-out, the ones that don't just consist of screaming obscenities at John, who is otherwise about as liberal as they get. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, being from the South, that football can sometimes be thicker than water, but John's arguments, especially that Indians have to "prove" that a particular image is offensive, is asinine. In case you aren't interested in scrolling through 400+ comments to find mine, my point was this: the question boils down to, who gets to decide whether depictions of Indians and Indian sacred artifacts are "offensive" or not? Indians or white people? We would never EVER in a million years tolerate these kind of depictions of ANY other racial or ethnic group or their use as "mascots," whether they were intended to "honor" them or not. Why then are Indians held to a different standard? Not far from my home, we have the Alvarado Indians and the Sq**w Valley Golf Course; does it matter what the intent of Alvarado ISD or the Sq**w Valley Country Club was? Alvarado is still using a stereotypical picture of an Indian in a feathered headdress as a good luck fetish for teenage football players and the Country Club is still using a sexual and racial epithet to encourage people to play golf.
Hat tip to Wampum.
UPDATE: Pandagon suggests this is a cyclical phenomenon, like a plague of locusts, perhaps.
UPDATE 2: And that's all folks...
UPDATE 3: Avarosis has disabled the link to his original post and has evidently been deleting comments left and right. Fortunately, Wampum has preserved the comments at her site.
Let God Sort 'Em Out!
Orcinus has a typically thoughtful piece on how the recent imaginary Lincoln quote spewed on the House Floor by Cong. Don Young ties into his overall thesis on "eliminationist" rhetoric on the Right. And that pretty much fits in with my recent column on the ongoing degeneration of the Republic Party into an unholy combination of Peronism and the John Birch Society, only less charming.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Ga Li E Li Ga!
Congratulations to the Mashpee Wampanoag on their successful fight for federal recognition. The tribe that met the Pilgrims now rejoins the ranks of sovereign nations. And, in a startling contrast to the truculent anti-Indian bigotry of nearby Connecticut, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and local Congressman William Delahunt all called Chief Vernon "Silent Drum" Lopez to offer good wishes.
Labels: Native American
Warren Chisum: Medieval Troglodyte
Paleo-Conservative Warren Chisum was recently voted Official State Laughingstock of Texas (replacing Rick Perry) for handing out flyers for an organization that believes the sun revolves around the Earth and that evolution is an evil Jewish plot. No, seriously.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Artists of the People
Roy Boney, Jr. is an extremely talented Cherokee artist. His claymation short on one family's experience in 1838 is absolutely heartbreaking in its simplicity and the raw emotions it evokes. His artwork, often very symbolic, is likewise very moving. I predict great things for this young man. Special thanks to my friend Rob over at Newspaper Rock for bringing this to my attention.
Just So You Know...
Monday, February 12, 2007
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
A thousand Texans of all persuasions (supported, bizarrely enough, by Bob "Swiftboat" Perry and the Baptist General Convention of Texas) rally against TXU's bold Nineteenth Century solution to our energy needs. These Texans are not to be confused with the "astro-turf" anti-coal lobbying by the gas industry that hates competition.
Obamathon, Part 2
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Okay, first Tucker Carlson (who gets my vote for the whitest man in America) criticizes Obama because his church is "too black" (not to mention "not Christian"), then some other white guys decide he's "not black enough" for the African-American community (to the astonishment of Gwen Ifill, the lone black person in the discussion). And William Kristol (who is also evidently white) says Obama is nothing like Abraham Lincoln and would've supported slavery! Then the blowhard Prime Minister of Australia chimes in with the "Osama lurves Obama" meme (though Obama smacks him down hard). I love how white people are not content to be the guardians of who can be "white" (at one time, they even excluded the Irish and Italians); no, they also have to be the ones to decide who can be sufficiently "non-white." I get this crap all the time when I am asked "How Indian are you?" (to which I always reply "Indian enough"). So Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were "too black" for whites and Obama is "not black enough" (which I assume means "too white") for blacks. So who exactly would you prefer, yonegv? Don "No Soul" Simmons?
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Leininger Holds Children Hostage
"Give me vouchers or it's bye bye kiddies!" vows multi-millionaire.
This is easily one of the most despicable, cynical ploys I have ever seen in the sick, sorry world of Texas politics. And it is proof positive that this arrogant blowhole never really gave a crap about poor children in the first place; it was nothing but a political bargaining chip from the start. I wonder how many people at the pro-voucher rally in Austin realize how badly they are being used?
More Shocking News!!!
Column for 11 February, 2007
“’You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.’”
I miss the Republican Party. No, seriously. I remember back in the eighties there was a political television ad featuring some actor pretending to be real live homespun Texas voter saying, “The way I figure it, I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; they left me” or words to that effect. The same thing seems to have happened to the GOP; somewhere along the way, the Party I remember, the party of grownups, the “Daddy” Party, disappeared and was replaced by a political clown car packed to overflowing with a variety of subtle and unsubtle racists, closet monarchists, religious hucksters and tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists. It’s hard to say when the change happened. Maybe it was right after the Oklahoma City bombing, when the primary concern of the Republican Congress was that the general public might assume that all paranoid overweight losers in home-made camo were somehow psychotic, so they actually invited these “militia” idiots to testify about secret weather-altering satellites and CIA mind-control experiments. Maybe it was later in the Clinton Years when Republicans like Sam Johnson could stand on the House Floor and claim that the President was a Soviet agent, and not be immediately carted off in a sport-jacket with no sleeves for an extended stay in a padded room. Maybe it has been the influx of tele-Pharisees, blasphemers and outright frauds like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who have anointed the Republicans as “God’s Own Party” and can pretend that Jesus really wants a cut in the capital gains tax. These, of course, are the same zealots who are complaining that Governor Rick Perry has mandated HPV vaccines for young girls, since under their hideous theology, God would prefer women to die in agony from cervical cancer as punishment for having sex. Thank goodness Perry appears to be motivated solely by Merck’s campaign contributions; otherwise I might be forced to concede he has a conscience. At least I can still rely on Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to spew his half-baked, ignoramus revisionist history about the Civil War having “nothing to do with slavery,” a view that has only been debunked since the 1870’s. Maybe it has been more recently, as the Republicans abandoned all pretence of having any sort of governing philosophy more sophisticated than “It’s MINE!!!” A balanced budget, lowering the Federal deficit, restricting the reach of the government; all these ideas have been tossed out the window, treating like quaint relics from a bygone era you might encounter in some dingy roadside museum. Nowadays, the only definition of “Republican” that counts is how quickly you can kiss the hem of George W. Bush’s robe and pledge absolute, unwavering loyalty to anything and everything he and his pack of Nixon Era rejects happen to stand for that particular week. It’s frankly embarrassing to watch parades of politicians parrot the line that the President is all-knowing and all-powerful. Everything he says or does is always right. Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. Anyone who says otherwise is a traitor. Which brings up another cringe-inducing trait of the current warmed-over Falangists who constitute the GOP; their pathetic tendency to sling words like “treason” at anyone who dares to question any utterance of a leader they are about one giant statue away from worshipping like the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il. Precisely the same Republicans who did everything short of endorsing Slobodan Milosevic for President when Bill Clinton finally intervened in Bosnia, now screech that anyone who has any doubts about the bloody fiasco in Iraq is in cahoots with Al Qaeda. Under this twisted logic, embodied in Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, the same liberals who are usually denounced as anti-religious secular humanists nevertheless secretly long for the iron hand of Sharia law. This willful denial of reality is just another example of how the Republican Party has systematically abandoned everything it ever stood for in a blind rush to deify George W. Bush. Now that the Bush Presidency has collapsed, the party is collapsing with him.
Franklin D. Roosevelt used to say that he thought America should have two political parties, one liberal and one conservative. He said that in a time when the Democratic Party was anchored by the “Solid South,” a terrorist state ruled like a dictatorship by brutal racists, and the Republicans still could count on remnants of the Progressive movement. Even though liberal Republicans died with Nelson Rockefeller, FDR had a point that is valid even today. America needs a conservative party, because not every idea is a good one just because it’s new. And not everything that is old is automatically bad. America needs a conservative party to, in the immortal words of William F. Buckley, stand athwart the tide of history and shout “Stop!” America needs a conservative party to cast a skeptical look at the wild-eyed plans of liberals and ask hard questions like “Is this really a good idea?” and “How much is this going to cost?” In the post-Cold War Era, America needs a conservative party to restrain the natural tendency of some people to make America the world’s policeman and primary caregiver. America needs a conservative party fundamentally dedicated to the rule of law and absolutely unwilling to see it bent, circumvented or ignored by anyone for any reason. America needs a conservative party, but all we have now is this tottering ideologically bankrupt sham. Some Republicans have taken their loss of Congress as a good opportunity to stand back and have a serious debate over just what “conservative” means. More power to them. I miss the Republican Party.
Friday, February 09, 2007
From the Federal Department of DUH!
I'm Shocked! Shocked!
Apparently, liquor lobbyists have the Legislature bought and paid for! Who knew?
Certainly, I never suspected it when the Booze Brothers had the state take over liquor regulations from every muncipality, or allowed developers to sue the handful of cities (including Cleburne) that were grandfathered in if they dared to refuse them a license (the only instance I know of where you are allowed to sue the government simply because you don't like their decision).
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Folsom Prison Blues
Lou Dobbs is Full of Crap
Lou Dobbs is rapidly becoming like Pat Buchanan for me: an unsubtle racist who occasionally says something about the economy that makes sense, but is otherwise crazier than a shithouse rat. Now, he's parroting the RW Noise Machine smear that Nancy Pelosi is demanding round-the-clock access to a luxury jet tricked out like Austin Powers'. It's a bald-faced lie and Think Progress calls him on it.
UPDATE: Lou Dobbs is STILL full of crap and the MSM STILL refuses to admit that this story is false.
UPDATE 2: Cong. Jeff Flake is my new favorite Republican. Hat tip to the Carpetbagger Report.
UPDATE 3: Cong. John Carter, now filled with 25% more crap than Lou Dobbs!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
State of Confusion
A good deconstruction of Rick Perry's State of the State Fairy-tale from the fine folks at Somervell County Salon. Additional snark courtesy of PinkDome.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Our Valiant Iraqi Allies
A terrorist convicted and sentenced to death by Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the US and French Embassies is now a member of the Iraqi Parliament and part of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ruling coalition.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Rick Perry Develops the Appearance of a Soul
Orders mandatory HPV vaccination despite the wishes of the Tele-Pharisees that women be forced to die slow and painful deaths from cervical cancer rather than increase the odds that they would have sex by even a little. For those of you who are worried that Rick Perry having a soul is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, fear not! He probably only did it because he is bought and paid for by Merck. Feel better now?
Friday, February 02, 2007
Shut Up & Eat Your Cement (Or Else)!
Yet another foreign toll-road company (this one with ties to the foreign toll-road company that is building the Trans Texas Catastrophe) is buying up small local newspapers along the path of destruction. I'm sure it's merely a coincidence, right?
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Freedom of Whose Religion?
So, let me see if I have this right; the Forest Service considers dumping wastewater (a polite euphemism for human excrement) on the sacred peaks of Arizona's Snowbowl to be a proper use of public land, but a small group of Navajo attempting to pray there need to be escorted off "for their own safety"?