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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

articles-september 29

Cesspool Of Greed' D.C-Style
WASHINGTON, Sep. 29, 2004
This Against the Grain commentary was written by CBSNews.com's Dick Meyer.

"In between running a restaurant, starting a private school, and helping his wife raise five children of their own and seven boarders, Jack Abramoff has somehow found time to become one of Washington's most sought-after lobbyists and political strategists,” gushed The Hill, a close chronicler of these things.

Today, Abramoff took the 5th in front of a Senate committee. He did it lots of times actually.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is investigating allegations that Abramoff and a colleague, Michael Scanlon, who once served as House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s press secretary, fleeced several Indian tribes looking for help on casino issues out of at least $50 million. Abramoff and Scanlon were renowned for their ties to Delay; Delay is renowned for trying to make paying clients use friendly, Republican lobbyists.
. full article

Indians told they will win land lawsuit

Ron Jackson
The Oklahoman
BOONE - A Washington attorney Monday told nearly 100 beneficiaries of American Indian trust land that they will win an eight-year-old class action lawsuit against the U.S. government.

"We will win this case," said Keith Harper, whose Native American Rights Fund is representing more than 500,000 Indian trust land beneficiaries nationwide. "We have the facts and the law on our side, and that's everything."

The lawsuit, commonly known as the Cobell case after lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, was filed in federal court in 1996 seeking two basic remedies: an accounting for individual trust accounts and reform of the government's management of the accounts.

Congress established the accounts in 1887, and the largest number holds the proceeds from mineral and grazing leases on land owned by Indians. Congress, accountants and the federal judge presiding over the lawsuit agree that the accounts have been mismanaged and there's no telling how much money Indians have lost. full article

The National Museum of Ben Nighthorse Campbell
The Smithsonian's new travesty.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004, at 8:24 AM PT

The disappointing new National Museum of the American Indian Last week's opening of the National Museum of the American Indian is shaping up to be the museum world's gaudiest belly flop since the disastrous 1964 debut of Huntington Hartford's anti-modernist Gallery of Modern Art. Edward Rothstein of the New York Times scorned its "self-celebratory romance." Paul Richard of the Washington Post lamented, "The museum doesn't nourish thought." Post city columnist Marc Fisher was blunter, calling the museum "an exercise in intellectual timidity and a sorry abrogation of the Smithsonian's obligation to explore America's history and culture."

The mere fact that Washington, D.C., persists in calling its favorite sports team the Redskins is reason enough to put a National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall. The case becomes overwhelming when you note further that the monuments and museums of Washington, collectively, presume to tell a reasonably complete story about this country; that the Native Americans settled this continent long before anyone else; that they were subjected by later arrivals to mistreatment that we can plausibly label genocide; and that most Americans today have little or no familiarity with the various Native American cultures. I'm glad we finally have a National Museum of the American Indian. But why did it have to be this one? full article

Maya Indians Fight for Rights in Guatemala
Catherine Elton
Guatemala City
29 Sep 2004, 13:51 UTC
Eight years after Guatemala's peace accord laid out ambitious goals for battling the discrimination and exclusion suffered by the Maya Indians, many say scant progress has been made. Now, however, there are many signs that this long-postponed issue may finally be making its way onto the national agenda.

The live music and sleek design of this bar in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood have made it a hotspot for nightlife. So when a colleague of Maya Indian Maria Tuyuc passed his exams to become a lawyer, they came here to celebrate.

"The bouncer said, 'look, you can't come in. These kinds of places aren't made for people like you, especially not dressed like that,'" she recalls. She says it made her feel totally humiliated. full article

Boundless and Winless Wars

Disrupting America's Fateful Non-Debate on the Roots of Terrorism


On September 11th, nineteen hijackers commandeered four airliners and guided three of them into important symbols of American power with lethal precision. An unsuspecting citizenry, quite unaware of events outside the national purview, suddenly found 3,000 of its countrymen killed at the hands of a few fanatics from a far off part of the world. One would expect that, in a democratic country which prides itself on freedom of speech and press, wide-ranging diversity of opinions, and quality of intellectual debate and scholarship, one of the responses to the horrific attacks would be a rigorous and reflective discussion of why they happened. Three years on, what we have instead is the ceaseless, unchallenged mass production--and consumption--of a core set of noxious lies about September 11th that form the foundation of a perpetual, bloody, boundless, and winless war.

The right-wing answer as to why the attacks happened was unequivocal: the problem is inherently within Islam and Muslim society, which is warped and defected in various ways. Thus one prominent conservative commentator, Ann Coulter, called for invading all Muslim countries, murdering their leaders, and converting the people to Christianity. The notorious Bill O'Reilly brushed off civilian deaths resulting from American bombs in Afghanistan by offering that they deserved to die anyway since they failed to overthrow the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime. The prestigious rightist journal National Review mused that in the event of a "dirty bomb" attack, America should drop the atomic bomb on Islam's holiest site, Mecca. Upon further contemplation, they reconsidered and offered up the more tasty idea of depositing a nuclear bomb on the capital of every Arab country. full article


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