NOTE: Let’s see if we can get away from the round-the-clock news re the Boston Marathon and the Texas plant explosion. The first was–whatever else–a state-power exercise in total control over the mass-population of a major American city. You can bet that lesson was not lost on our ultimate rulers. “A new normal…”
Texas was a conservative opportunity in the diversion of blame regarding their continuing destruction of “big gov’t,” to wit: all corporatist responsibility in addition to any regulations regarding public safety and service.
Perhaps the former is simply serendipity, but the latter? Direct causality. In both cases, adding ethnic and class alienation, we can expect a whole more…
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Back in the summer of ’00, when Big Bubba Clinton was wrapping up his quasi-Republican two terms in la Casa Blanca, I filed a commutation/pardon request with the Justice Depts’ Office of the Pardons Atty.
How much are we gonna take?
I didn’t really expect a positive result. But as I was already helping put together one for my cellmate at the time, Peter MacDonald, former Chief of the Navajo Nation, friends urged me to also put one in for myself.
Pete had resisted applying for several years despite the support and urging of his Nation and a number of interested political figures as disparate as Barry Goldwater (deceased in ’98) and Jimmy Carter.
Aside from denying any criminal role in the “reservation” uprising, he also argued that the US Gov’t had no jurisdiction in the first place. As a matter of sovereign Treaty and even US law, he was correct…not that that ever bothered the US gov’t. more…
One of the fringe bonuses I got out of 20 years in the federal prison system (there were many), was the year I spent as a cellmate with Peter MacDonald, former chief of the Navajo Nation.
Peter MacDonald & Friend
Pete led an interesting life: From starting at his grandfather’s knee learning to be a medicine man, forced into a Christian Mission school, being a Marine Code-Talker in WW-II, to Oklahoma University on the G.I. Bill, to Hugh’s Aircraft as a Polaris Missile project manager, and back to his Navajo roots.
I spoke previously of this experience. Here, I’d like to deal with another aspect of my education from celling with Pete.
Among intensive discussions and readings, I studied a variety of Indian lore, including the Iroquois Nation, a confederacy of six tribes in what later became the greater New York area.
Arguably, the Iroquois laws and political composition became influential to some of the Framers of the US Constitution, if not so accredited. Clearly, the Iroquois had a significant level of socio-political organization. I suspect it had a lot to do with the family formation. more…
As the rest of the nation commemorates Memorial Day, some 300,000 military veterans mark the event thru the impress of razor wire and prison walls.
Chief Peter MacDonald
The American Correctional Association (ACA) and the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) indicate that fully 83% of that number are veterans discharged under honorable conditions. The Veterans Administration (VA) reports that 20% reported combat experience, 18% were homeless prior to their arrest, and 70% were arrested for a nonviolent crime.
It is clear that many military veterans start out with non-criminal issues, such as, PTSD/SS, drug and alcohol problems, and homelessness. These situations sooner or later lead to criminalization if not effectively resolved thru mental and social health programs. more…