Monday, February 13, 2017

Looking At My Feet

Winter 2017
The editor switches direction. Reality at last has become to harsh. So I looked around. My house is steeped in nature...stepped as well. Nature is the boss around here. I often go out and look around with one of the cameras. It can change the direction of my spirit from a place of stress to one of many imaginings, in particular when we have bright moons.

So looking around, I find:

©2017 Turtle Heart All rights reserved





That stone heart was one of the first things I made when I came here. I made it as a gift for someone back in the states but could never bring myelf to part with it.







©2017 Turtle Heart All Rights Reserved.







Winter flowers. Stone wall. And old piece of Italian glass.
















©2017 Turtle Heart. Everything carved from local stones. A gathering around the garden, just above the morning fire. A few days ago. Abiding. Stone Dreams.


©2017 Turtle Heart. All Rights Reserved. Undertakers stones in old carved bowl.



























The winds of the world blows our souls and our lives into knots. For every one that is untied, another is clinched so tightly by so many that confusion is inevitable. Sometimes even desirable to those who know the knots and follow the winds. I don't think everyone gets it.

Living like an Old Eagle in a fine nest, I see the grey skies and orange new face of agitation and sorrow. Like an unleashed fury. That's in the Distance. yes. nearby I have what I have.

February 2017
Pantelleria Island
























Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trumps Expanding and Exploding Head





Nothing would please me more than to write eloquently about our beautiful lives, our great country, all the noble deeds of its citizens and the honour of its leaders.

Those things have all be hijacked. Replaced with gold curtains and alternative facts and the suppression and silence imposed upon our service agencies all across the Federal workplace. Looking back on the events that placed Donald John Trump at the head of the US Government:

The Concert:
Jon Voigt? Robbie Drums? What a yellow, dull cloud rises over the nation. This plastic drummer in his mohawk haircut gave us the perfect musical opening. Voigt’s speech in particular is so perverse, he is such a disgusting, yellow man. Carrying water for gangsters and telling us about God’s prayers and Lincoln’s Joyful Spirit? Let us rejoice in knowing that the most disgusting posture by the most disgusting white people in America….begins. Jon Voight, fuck you from the bottom of my shoes. Everyone appearing at this inaguration is cursed, disgraced and exposed as cowards….and desperate for attention, which is about the same thing. Sam Moore stumbles over his muttering song about America, a stumbling, mumbling, mediocre imitation of a junkie names Ray Charles. An Uncle Tom for the ages, perhaps. Then the country music. Of course. Country music goes with everything. The Frontmen, they were pretty good actually. With their god bless the usa.

Will DJ Trump break 300 pounds before one year? The LV gambling odds give him 4:1 fro impeachment in 6 months.

4 guys who played a stripped down piano tell us everything is going to be be be be OK. Yay. No matter if you think it is all falling apart. There is something suspiciously jesus in this part. And no fruit was thrown. Really talented schmucks. It is hard to believe in nay of these performers. Really hard. I can only watch it in pieces. “Sound and Fury signifying nothing”…come to mind.

Eventually Trump shuffles/waddles forward. And talks gibberish, with no subtitles. Impossible to watch this pffy face, listen to this anality of human speech. I went to mute. Study how this gross person actually walks. His head thrust forward, well past the centre of gravity. His jacket open. His little, tiny feel, holding up the huge pig of an obese frame, kind of stomps forward, slow,  sort of exactly like the way Frankenstein's monster used to amble across the big screen.

The Inauguration:

The most empty speech perhaps ever given. By the most absurd white man ever elevated to a position of power. It started raining the minute “he” opened his mouth. What a disgusting speech. What do “his” words even mean? His speeches are all gobble-de-gook and hand-waves, completely empty of actual meaning. As dumb as old George Bush was, you could see him struggling for an actual idea. With Trump it is all jabberwocky. And still no fruit was thrown. I could not find a single word with value or hope. I noticed GW Bush applauded not once, this speech. Obama gave him a few. During the many prayers “he” glared straight ahead, closing his eyes only to open them again quickly. He could not do it. Could not close his eyes. Could not hear or understand these prayers. These empty prayers. Not a single word from a single heart. Only the manufactured words. The schtick of the con. It was all concluded by a screeching of the anthem by a young woman who could not fully form her words, and who sounded drugged out and shrill. So here we go. Good luck everyone.

….it is an exercise in gross revulsion to write about this disgusting man and his cronies. Now we know he has silenced the EPA, silenced the USDA, silenced the National Parks, ordering government agencies funded by our taxes to go to silence, blacking them out, forbidding any kind of public statements on any media…a move which seems illegal and a violation of law to my perceptions. Putin would be so proud.

It is literally impossible for this bloviated caricature of a human being, Trump, to hold this office. Impossible. The fall begins today. It needs each of us. 

The American Indians expect nothing good from Hater Trump. We know he hates American Indians. He hates their casinos (5% of tribes have a casino) because they drove his own casinos into failure. We know he is a grudge holder, a bully, a coward who strikes from behind (and happens to be POTUS).

And next week he will nominate a SCOTUS.

America whither goest thou in thy dark hood in the dark night? And who will speak for you now? The media is cowed and lost, not knowing how to call a lie a lie or an idiot an idiot. I don't know how to make this news elegant or inspirational. From here it feels like a dark age has fallen.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Trump: Vomit On Demand





It disturbs me that China pounds on all the tables and scowls every time someone wants to visit with Taiwan or Tibet. I like China in many respects. I like Chinese food and Chinese people on a very general but thorough level. On the other hand Fuck China. On the other hand DJT is showing dangerous signs of agitating the Great Chinese Money Machine.....this is a Machine that touches nearly every pocket.

Even so, and without apologising for the sentiment, it seems almost certain that Trump is going to really agitate China and something crazy will come about. From here it looks like Trump is going to stumble and lie and buffoon his way. He and his merry comrades. They are going to bring shame, disgust and possibly disaster into the world in entirely new ways.

Just around 25%, possibly less, of the voting population has foisted this debacle upon us. The true villains here are the 75% who did not get off their dead ass and vote, make a choice. You are probably also the very ones who would never read this blog. Yet I know you are out there and the innocent, what few of them there are, will pay the cost of your folly and indifference.

Then there is Putin. He has been insidious. He has managed to insert his fingers all over the world, most Americans, being so poorly informed, have no idea. He is having the time of his life. Vlad is stealing souls and bells are ringing all over the USA in the halls of the GOP and the new US Presidency. The demise of reason, with frequent commercial breaks, live, everywhere. On your TV, in your newspapers, on your mobile, deep inside your portfolio and the altars of your church. This: the rise of something vile, vulgar, and false.

A new US President who can be baited to folly by a random fart from far away. A man whose brain is filled with cockroaches. Cockroach that will grab your pussy if you have one, or ridicule your other parts if you do not. He will laugh at you if you are sick. Spit upon you if you are poor and step upon you if you have something he thinks he wants. He has a long history with prostitutes, gangsters, criminals, manipulators, hucksters, fixers, procurers and other members of the elite scum that feeds the darkness of the golden tower. Just think about that for a moment.

This week, like many people all around the world, I have watched the debacle of a bum’s rush at confirmation of one of the most vile circles of “cabinet” members ever proposed for an American President, ever. I have watched how people without souls, for their own self-serving reasons, like Condalesa Rice, have sold integrity and truth down the sewer to gain points with their GOP overlords. It seems the only rats who have not spoken from their holes in the dark ground are Dick Cheney and un-indicted war criminal Kissinger.

It is almost impossible to imagine, at this moment, how this disastrous election and the rise of a man as vile as Donald Trump is actually going to play out. Coupled with the stranglehold the GOP has on the government, it seems we are all in for an unprecedented journey through the sewers and shadows of the darkest kind, to Americas’s shame and the instability of a reeling world population.

Yes, maybe it will “all be OK”…..but I have never doubted that truth more than I do at this moment. He is a joker and a midnight poker. A fancy bird with wild feathers. People are so happy.


The only good that can possibly come in the next few years is how people with actual souls, consciousness and integrity fight back, push back and resist this incoming wave of invective, denial, suppression of basic human rights and decency. Pick a side? American voters are perhaps the most lazy, indifferent voters in the world, so I remain skeptical. There is some encouragement in the near certainty that millions of people all over the world are going to express their outrage on 20 January 2017.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

From the Elegance of Obama over to Dumpster Trash of Trump



Editorial views of Turtle Heart, Ojibwe Artist and Writer
Copyright 2016 © Turtle Heart. All rights reserved.

I have not been able to speak or write coherently since the election started with 17 Republican Clowns declaring themselves, what seems like an eternity ago. The entire process was so ludicrous, so absurd, so depressing to engage my mind constructively. I felt only despair and disgust. I realised at some point, days before the actual election, that Trump had in fact a good chance of being elected. My spirit began descending into a long slump that shows no sign of recovery. That the United States would move from the elegance, dignity and hope of an Obama Presidency all the way over to the white trash dumpster fire of a nationalist, criminal-inspired Trump administration is the single most depressing transition of my entire adult life.

It cannot possibly stand, this presidency. Will someone kill him? Will he be arrested for being found out as a criminal? Will he humiliate himself and the nation into impeachment? Will he just collapse and die from toxic ass-hole-ness? Disaster is the new watchword as the entire world holds its collective breath.

There is, at least presently, a “hopeful class”. However, my feeling is that this is one of the most dangerous and unstable moments in American history. That the nation contains so many clueless and stupid people is a heart-breaking revelation…these “voters” have in a sense betrayed the world. The rest of us are prepared to flinch and duck, like an abused partner. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is less surprising to me is not Trump…it is the actual so-called human beings who vote in these far right anti-human beings. How can one such prosperous and long established democracy in fact become so lost, so dark, so senseless, so quickly?

Facts? Real facts, the real and actual facts no longer matter…they are in fact considered undesirable or irrelevant. This is the one aspect of the rise of Trump that is truly a disaster. Almost every word that comes out of this ridiculous man is false, but no one cares. His base is indifferent. This sickness is spreading throughout the white man’s cultures in particular, through Europe, America.

Choking, poisoning, murdering, selling of the earth, its animals, plants and minerals will now be the new religion of the Trump Right. Just look at the collection of moronic, self-eating lunatics he has appointed thus far. Shaping up to be the most predatory, self-interested band of lunatics ever to be gathered together to sack and pillage a modern nation.

A sudden new age of darkness may in fact be here upon us, right now. 

Putin is controlling gasoline prices worldwide, a new development barely seen or commented upon by the world’s media. Putin and Russia (fighter pilots) are driving the horrific war in Syria. No bullet to the domed head and smirking face of Assad this year. In every direction Putin has his middle finger firmly inserted in the world’s collective face. And Donald Trump admires Putin to an almost perverse level of envy and aspiration. Not to mention that Putin went from a salaried administrative job to building a house that cost over a billion dollars with no clear perception as to where all that sudden wealth came from. Trump aspires. Not to be a great American but to be a great power personally, absolutely and without restraint.

The GOP is disgusted by Trump… yet like foolish little ducks they are lined up, quack, quack, quack, in his shadow. A party that has rigged, rewrote, redrawn, lied, manipulated and fixed its way into controlling the government of the country and a majority of the states, the New Mafia. Sustained by the majority of white voters. Celebrated and appreciated by ISIS, AlQuida, Iran and Syria….as China sharpens its knives and stacks its gold.

All the evil these men do is in the shadows. If revealed it is denied, spun, redirected, sent twirling on a chorus of dog whistles and the toxic silence of millions of winks. The Monster is fashionable, entertaining, savvy and ready to rumble. The voters have gone back to sleep, if they were ever in fact awake.

And winter (copyright, trademark), my friends, is coming. There is no place to hide.


I have wept, tears rolling down my cheeks as I watch and listen to the morally and ethically corrupt, lying, disgusting words and actions of the republicans in America. That such stupid and faithless people could control so much of the American Experience at this moment in history is heart-breaking. I no longer live in America. I have in fact become a citizen of another country. I have not, however, given up my American rights and my love of my native country. But I am ashamed. Trump is the most vile, disgusting and morally corrupt person to perhaps ever be in a position to lead a western democracy. It is a sad and dangerous moment. That so many millions of clueless, stupid people actually exist and agree is even more depressing than the rise of a single dirty, fake, perverted little white man. Donald Trump. Human trash.

TH for sacredpipe.org

Friday, July 01, 2016

Solstice Summer : A Great Human Heart

Solstice: ©2016 SacredPipe.org


Just after midnight I gathered with friends and relatives near to the precise moment of the summer solstice. Together we made songs and used old indian rattles and sttod with our feet on the mother earth, around a stone medicine wheel, drinking blue corn and water. Passing through the sky, the old timers called it. 

Passing through the sky, singing in my middle.

For 3 days prior, before, we made drumming and songs, ate together ceremonial foods, and talked about the mystery life of sacred pipe, eagle feathers, drums, songs, names and human hearts.

The Moon was full and round, a “Ripe Berries Moon”. A moon good for wild goats and strong songs. For looking up at the sky, for seeing Mars and Jupiter. A brief alignment, a portal perhaps, at least from within a state of mind…projected and focused through the ceremony.

Alignment is the entire practical point of a ceremony. The root of the ceremony you could say. The Ahnishinabeg suggests there are eight levels of consciousness possible in ceremonies like this. One level is the root, alignment. Another level is the “passing through”. Alignment in machines, in ideas, in mathematics, in the complex movements of people and history and events is very important. Its presence or absence is very informative in understanding many things.

Given these consideration I have always done all I can to make solstice and equinox ceremonies at the moment in real time. In modern times it is easy to find out well ahead of time the hour and Second of the solstice. This occasion we find out that Full Moon is happening also at the same moment in calendar time as solstice.

All around the world, even after these tens of thousands of years, there are human beings seeking to stand with the mother earth at the solstice. In ancient times, thousands of people worked very hard to erect circles, stones, pyramids and other markers to measure and note the solstice and equinox. Today, no one really remembers why we did that.

For me it is direct and simple: alignment. You say that and sometimes people give you that look, that what are you talking about look. But that’s it. Alignment. If you take your breath, your body, your posture, your consciousness, your eyes, your ears, your toes, your sense of smell, touch…gather them all up into a single moment, in alignment with the sun and stars and earth…and something will happen. Ceremonies, at their very very least, are opportunities to focus all your senses into a single intention. This may be the most important fact about them. I consider at least a good starting point in the ceremonies of the four directions unity bundle.

Far Away. Friends who are keepers of other fires called in, sent messages. There were several other fires. In the original time there were tens of thousands of fires, of ceremonial alignments. These Morning Tobacco Fires. 

the greatest wonder       
the greatest surprise     
is in your heart                
right there                       
in your heart                    
great wonder                 
a great surprise             
a great human heart    
it could be                      
right there all along   

(based upon something said by Muhammad Ali)

Summer Solstice : 00:34 CET : 21 June 2016




Monday, March 21, 2016

Genius of the Old Indians : 8-Sided Character


©2016 Turtle Heart : Sleeping in the Bed We Made


Interlude: A Spring Equinox : 0530 20 March 2016 CET

the sky gate opens
just before the sun can rise
sacred water flows in 8 directions
I have found dreams in that water
with songs rising up from the middle

just before the sun can rise
the silence of the moonlight
falls across an ancient drum, drumming
into the sacred night

the enchanted door opens again
for seven heart-beats
one long breath that comes in
and goes back out
all of its work, all of its potential
all of its hope in just that moment

there is a rhythm that opens
from the heart of the mother earth
i heard the old indian say

when sky gate is open you can pass through
with that song you made
when you were in the middle
drumming into the night
into the sacred night


Genius : The Old Indians
Editorial Opinion : © 2016 Turtle Heart

2016 : Right Here :

I use the term “old Indians”, my own term I believe, as a term of Art. It is intended as an honorarium that identifies those people who remember, and act upon, what we called “the original instructions”. The condition of normal from inside their own history, past and future. It was a time that actually existed for the North American Indians. A condition of their cultures that produced a balanced society and empowered individuals…of movement onto 8 planes of consciousness, for example. A good situation whose history, to the modern world, is very poorly understood even within those few circles of interest that care at all, about the American Indians.

This American Indian internet narrative was the actual and very first narrative on the American Indian to appear on the Internet. Via MIT circa 1988-1991. The American Indian Computer Art Project, 1986 (AICAP).

We see the rays of our most important star as having 8 rays. We Ojibwe like the number 8. Our sweat lodge has 8 poles (8 arches and 4 rings). We think an important leader should have, for all to see, an 8-sided character. 8 sides to our drums. 8 sacred ceremonies disguised as 8, since one of them is a twin of the other. 8 degrees of initiation into our most important society. (Sometimes called The House of Dreamers).

Every good question has 8 good answers.

At some levels of consciousness, there may exist no negative conclusions, no doubt, no disagreement. A careful consideration of the 8 answers produces a solution, an answer, called a “correction”. No compromise required, only agreement. I have seen it happen that way.

The 8-sided life is a journey from ignorance to wisdom. From noise and screams to silence. From selfishness to compassion. This journey passes from pure light to sincere darkness and back again into the light. There is no posturing. No adjustment of positions. No secret agreements made in smoky rooms. The 8-sided life is honest. No one, perhaps, knows what real honesty is in this modern age. One need only look at the American GOP, the so-called Republicans, to see how little facts and truth are important to the actual leaders of the country. In dictatorships and totalitarian regimes we are used to, we even expect that the leadership will not tell the truth. In a functioning democracy, there is always, every day, the expectation of transparency. The expectation that facts will prevail. Under the decades long rise of the GOP this expectation has been shattered. It is easy to see the consequences. From a political machine that cares nothing about the truth on any level we see what we have gotten. Under a US President, GW Bush, we changed the world, the entire world, into a far more dangerous place based upon lies, based upon an absolute emptiness of character.

The present political race being conducted by the Republicans, from Ted Cruz, to Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, all the way up to one Donald Trump reveals with alarming clarity what the world looks like when put forward, and allow to prevail, men without character.

As a much younger man I listened to the lessons of the old Indians. I observed with my own eyes the character and nature of their lives. Though many lived in poverty and simplicity unknown to most Americans, it was easy enough to see their polished and sterling souls reflected in their choices, in their behaviour, in their legacy. It was easy enough to compare what they were teaching me, there on the humble earth, with what I was learning on TV, in American textbooks, and in listening to American political leadership. The difference was staggering, sobering. That difference was why I devoted my adult life to being on the side of those old Indians.

Narratives about the real truth, about our real hope for an honest future, are often not as dramatic, as entertaining as the hyperbole and sizzle of liars like Donald Trump or George Bush. The plain truth is often boring in its simplicity. Yet the plain truth remains our most valuable treasure and the only key that can unlock a noble future.

Mean-spirited people dominate our leadership. Everywhere. In politics. In business. In religion. Gentleness seems impossible and that quality is among the eight sides of honour. The Gentlemen of the Honourable Opposition are hardly gentlemen. Meaner things could be said about them. Leadership in the modern age is no longer defined at all by character, but by a much more shallow measure. I wish I could look somewhere and offer an example of fine eight-sided character. I cannot. President Obama comes close, but he also comes up short. He has failed to stand up to the mean-spirited dead world minions of the political right…often making calculated moves to appease them. His recent appointment to the vacancy on the SCOTUS is a clear example of this defect.

Fiction. Fantasies. Hero stories in our literature retain the crumbs and lingering threads of our hope and understanding about leadership with real character. In reality, such hopes seem futile. Yet, for me, starting as a young man listening to the teachers and ideas of the world, I was moved to change my life to support those old American Indians who, possessed of absolute clarity, revealed to me this idea: The Eight-Sided Character.

The sad truth we must face right now; that such men and women, where they exist, are in hiding. The people we most desire to assume leadership refuse to subject themselves to the process. That leaves us Donald Trump.


This is just an idea. Something to think about as we approach Easter.

Turtle Heart 
Ojibwe Artist
Pantelleria Italy






Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ojibwe Rule of 8-sided Character : Scalia (Fail)



Symbol: Native American Church

©2016 Turtle Heart
Editorial Opinion

(Gluttony)
If we follow the history of the judicial majority and minority rulings and opinions stated the the passing life of the reprehensible justice Anton Scalia,we find nowhere in those tomes what the constitution might hope to be blind justice. In fact, looking at his record there is a very precise matching up of his works with the political right in particular. There is no question about this. His obvious zeal for the right was and remains reprehensible. One needs only look at the hysterical panic of the GOP leadership when the news of his death arrived. In mere minutes the highest voices of the GOP establishment yelled out “hell no”.

Most reasonable people I believe are somewhat, and perhaps even greatly relieved that Scalia is gone from the court. Very hopefully we might conclude it is unlikely that such a zealous and biased justice could ever be confirmed at this point. Whomever is put forward will be assailed with historic vigour.

65% of Republicans in office right now were elected in opposition to and during the Obama presidency. The moronic, obstructionist, self-destructive and irrational comportment of republicans has produced a generation of possible the most stupid politicians in American history…by the actual voters. Even today, given the horrible candidates putting themselves forward, Republicans are still being voted into office. One could ask the question, in every corner, how is this possible? I have yet to hear a satisfying answer. That some voter could so despise another politician as to vote passionately against his or her own interests? It is just incredible.

8 sided character. One of the most fantastic elements of the spiritual teachings that were the backbone of Ojibwe culture was the ethical and moral guidance of the mide-wian sacred society. Inside this dedicated body of teachers, scholars, healers and philosophers were anointed/appointed Keepers and caretakers of the most advanced and important ceremonies and their associated objects. This includes drum keepers, pipe keepers, and other objects and offices of the tribal sacred. It was required by strident mide-wian tradition that any person appointed to high office should have what we Ojibwe call “an 8-sided character”. The largest Ojibwe tribal groups all have appointed judges that serve in tribal courts. This 8 side character rules applies to every one on them. Did Scalia have an 8-sided character?

Scalia. An effective bastard? Yes. Quite influential. Honourable Justice? Not by the most artful press of any truth could Scalia be considered an honourable public servant.

The funeral: Senator Mike Lee. Ted Cruz. Both prominent. Both with all the character of empty cardboard boxes, giving faux dignity to faux ceremony, officiated by 100 priests and a son of the late Justice. Crux was taking selfies, revealing in profile the body of an ancient curmudgeon, even though he is still a young man. A tortured and worn-out visage in an ill-fitting cheap black suit. A candidate for President of the United States.

 From David Wilkens (Lumbee Nation) writing in Indian Country Today:

 “… Justice Antonia Scalia was one of the most rabidly anti-American Indian  
 justices—closely aligned with former Chief Justice William Rehnquist—ever to serve   on the High Court.

 Petra Shattuck and Jill Norgren wrote a wonderful book in 1991 titled, Partial
 Justice: Federal Indian Law in a Liberal Constitutional System. The central
 question they posed was this: “Whether the law ought to be praised or cursed what it has done to Indians.”

 While acknowledging that the Supreme Court occasionally hands down decisions on a   lower level that  
interpret treaty language in favor of Natives and even some that have   guaranteed compensation for the
unjust taking of recognized Indian lands, by far their   research showed that on a higher level federal courts
have long given the political  branches virtual carte blanche authority–plenary power defined as virtually
absolute–to do whatever federal officials think is in the tribal interest.

 Over time, the trust doctrine has consistently been defined by the courts and the
 political branches in a way that normally benefits the federal government rather than
 the beneficiaries of the alleged trust, Native peoples.

 This two-tiered system of justice leaves Native nations extremely vulnerable and in an
 inferior legal and political position because the occasional judicial victories on the lower  level of treaty i
 interpretation have never been used to breach the higher-level plenary   and trust power of the federal
government.

 Justice Scalia’s Indian Law opinions between 1986-2016 both reaffirmed federal
 superiority over Native peoples and also dramatically elevated state power vis-a-vis
 tribal governments in most of the opinions he wrote or joined. Lawrence R. Baca, a
 Pawnee lawyer, published a useful article last year that covered the last 40 years of
 Supreme Court cases dealing with Native issues. Important for our purpose is that
 Baca also did a statistical analysis of how individual justices voted in each case and
 whether the case “favored” or was “adverse” to Native interests.

 Of the more than 115 Indian law cases delivered between 1975 and April 2015
 five justices “have perfect records of their opinions always being against Indian
 interests:” Clarence Thomas (six opinions), Antonia Scalia (five opinions), Samuel
 Alito (three opinions), and Chief Justice Roberts (one opinion.) Let us look quickly at
 the five Scalia anti-Native cases that he authored and see if we can tease out his
 underlying ideology regarding Native peoples.

 Employment Division v. Smith (1990)
 This was a devastating blow to the First Amendment religious freedom rights of Native   American Church
(NAC) members. Two men had been fired from their counselling    
 jobs in Oregon and denied unemployment compensation because of their use of peyote, deemed a
“prohibited drug” by state law.

 In denying NAC members the right to freely practice their religion, Scalia, a devout
 Roman Catholic, wrote this remarkable sentence: “It would doubtless be
 unconstitutional, for example, to ban the casting of ‘statues that are to be used for
 worship purposes,’ or to prohibit bowing down before a golden calf.” Vine Deloria,
 analyzing Scalia’s opinion, observed that worshiping golden calves had been
 reprehensible to Moses. He went on to say “That it would now be the primary form of
 religious activity protected by the U.S. Constitution seems ludicrous.”

 Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak (1991)
 In this case the Noatak Village sued a state official in federal court seeking payment of   funds of money that
the village believed was due under a state revenue sharing plan.   The state claimed that it was immune from
suit by the Village under the Constitution’s   11th amendment. Scalia, for a 7-2 majority, sided with the state.

 County of Yakima v. Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation (1992)
 Here, Scalia wrote that the General Allotment Act of 1887 permitted Yakima County to   impose an ad
 valorem tax on reservation land that had been patented in fee and owned by individual Yakama’s or the
Yakama Nation itself.

 Nevada v. Hicks (2001)
 Scalia, for the court, wrote that tribal courts lacked jurisdiction to regulate state game
 wardens who were executing a search warrant on the reservation for an incident that
 had happened off the reservation. This case contains the devastating line: “State
 sovereignty does not end at a reservation’s border.”

 U.S. v. Navajo Nation (2009)
 Writing for a unanimous court, Scalia said that the Navajo Nation’s complaints against
 the Secretary of Interior for allegedly violating its trust responsibility by having colluded
 with a coal company did not rise to a claim under the Indian Mineral Leasing Act and
 that the Nation was not entitled to compensation.

 Each of these opinions caused great consternation in Indian country, especially the
 Smith ruling on peyote and the Hicks case on state jurisdiction on tribal lands. In a few
 cases where individual Native interests conflicted with those of their nation, Scalia,
 usually ruled for individuals against Native national interests. For example, in two
 cases involving land consolidation, Hodel v. Irving (1987) and Babbitt v. Youpee
 (1997), Scalia sided with individual Indian property holders who challenged a
 congressional law that would have had their small interests in land revert to the tribal
 government upon their death without compensation.

 And in two important Indian child welfare cases, Mississippi Band of Choctaw v.
 Holyfield (1989) and Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (2013), he showed support for the
 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). He joined, in Holyfield, with the majority which held
 that Native parents could not avoid ICWA’s provisions by simply giving birth to a child
 off the reservation. And in Baby Girl he filed a dissenting opinion that stressed that
 biological parents had legal rights and even if they had no custody of a child in the past
 they might secure it in the future.

 These three cases were solid victories for both individual Indian property rights and for
 the right of tribal governments to be directly involved in the adoption of Native children.
 Although the Baby Girl case was a terrible loss for the biological parent and a blow to
 ICWA, the decision clearly outlined Scalia’s support for the rights of Native parents.

 Given his history of scornfully brushing aside most questions of Native rights, this
 position is most puzzling. I would speculate that his views might have been based
 more on strong feelings in support of private property and parental rights—especially a
 father’s rights—rather than those of Indigenous Peoples.

 On balance, however, the vast majority of Scalia’s jurisprudence was dismissive
 or denigrated indigenous religious rights, reduced tribal powers vis-à-vis state
 governments–i.e. jurisdictional, voting rights, taxation, criminal matters, and hunting
 and fishing rights–and accorded the federal government even greater leeway to define
 the trust relationship in a way that benefitted the federal government rather than Native
 peoples. His opinions, in short, reaffirmed the two-tiered level of justice that Shattuck
 and Norgren wrote about.

 The next Supreme Court appointee will be immediately besieged by a bevy of
 constituencies hoping that the jurist will look favourably on their requests. But given the
 High Court’s historic track record on Native issues we should be wary about what to
 expect. That said, let us hope that Obama is successful in having his judicial candidate
 confirmed by the Senate. His two previous nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena
 Kagan, already have established a much more favourable stance on Native issues t  
  than Scalia ever did.”


All of this news unfolds for the informed reader as the New York Times proclaims in large type, at his funeral, Scalia’s Funeral Reflects the Justice’s Life of Faith !!  Is that ironic or just condescending?

One can be rightfully suspicious of men in authority, white men in authority, who affirm with passion their own faith while denying that privilege to all others. What part of blind justice is that? What part of the real and actual truth is that? This is the essential problem with the so-called legacy of Scalia. A true legacy for the ages upholds all people, uplifts all of society. If we examine the opinions of Scalia, over and over we see how the anointed, the corporate, and the political right are upheld at the actual expense of everyone else. Reprehensible is the word that resonates inside my spirit every time I think of Scalia.

When he died, he was sleeping in a free bed, in a free resort, after having imbibed free wine and free gourmet food. Top dollar. Golden plates of free food in a polished tower of a hand-.made bed. He died in a rich man’s Texas resort, provided the repast and accommodations of a Prince, by people whom had had business before his court.

Every person who ascends the golden arch of fame, in the end must be measured and weighed by it. There is no measure in the obstinate and condescending life of this little Sicilian of honour or of history. All that remains is the meanness of his person and the graceless, corrupt manner of his passing. The only good signal to come out of this, is that this may be the beginning of the end for the dominance of the extremist and obstructionist stranglehold the GOP exerts in national politics.

Animal life. As a parting note, I confess I love all the animals. Scalia was a sport shooter. The shooting of animals for sport by fat, rich white men is just gross. It is a filthy and pointless pastime, indulged in by the absolute vermin of politics, such as Dick Cheney. Scalia was in Texas to eat free food, drink free wine and kill innocent animals with free guns firing free bullets. And then he died: perhaps in fact from Gluttony. 








Blog Archive