October 20, 2010 archive

Back from Canada with some canadian views

So I just returned from a quick visit to Toronto, more precisely Etobicoke and the Muscoka lake area.  It was my uncles 80th birthday and all but one of his kids were there with husbands, wives and kids.  Needless to say as most large(ish) family gatherings go it was in turns fun, stressful, disheartening and uplifting with to much eating and drinking thrown into the mix.  Being the avid DD reader, news and political junkie and lefty I am lots of my conversations wormed their way towards Left and Right, Tea baggers, environmental issues, taxes, religion and all those topics mothers tell you not to discuss in polite company.

In the main most of my northern family has a rather dim view of our nation, not our people individually but our nation as a whole.  I’d venture to say they look at the U.S. in much the same way as many of us here at DD do.  What gives us the right to play big brother to the rest of the world and whats more does anyone with more than two brain cells communicating with one another really believe in manifest destiny, divine right etc. etc. they are tired of us.  China they believe is or will be the dominant nation for the foreseeable future.  They see massive upheavals ahead for all of mankind as well as life on earth as a hole.  Melting glaciers, rising waters, increasing population and demands on food resources worry them as well as any number of other issues we all worry about.

Open Howl



If we could see it as the most obscene example of the hijacking and theft of government revenue in American history, there would be historically high turnouts in the midterms and for every election after that for at least a generation.

Making Veterans a Priority 2007-2010

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the Communications Director of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Kristal DeKleer. Thank you Kristal for sending this out to the e-mail list, will be passing the information on as I’m sure others will as well.

Also yesterday I used the following in a few posts as related to recent Veterans Administration press releases:

Let me tell ya folks, if the so called repubs, still haven’t met one true one in a couple of decades, pick up Any Seats let alone take the House what Shinseki and his Great Admin have been doin will come to a Screeching Halt on many and curtailed on others! This is the Most Pro Active VA in my lifetime!

When they’ve had to re-act, what with trying to move everything into the 21st century as well as catch up to What Wasn’t Done Nor Mentioned As Two More Wars Were Waged, they’ve been Spot On and Quick, pretty much getting up to speed in a very short time span or getting rid of the contractors holding it back and bringing in new!

And I would suggest, strongly, that any and all Democratic Candidates running in this election download, print out, study them and start using the points made as this Op-Ed is suggesting as to the lack of mention in this election cycle.

Shit Town


When they tried to name the place, some wanted to call it Dawn City or New America or New Phoenix (like mythical bird rising from the ashes.) But the more folks thought about it and realized our circumstances and understood the reason we were huddled here in this remote area protecting ourselves from the elements and marauding bands of sadistic skinheads, was because the world had gone to shit, well, the name might not be what some Madison Avenue type would have called it, but the naming was easy.

Shit Town.

Remember The Good Old Days?

Neglecting the Emotions Neglects the Solution

We often think people are motivated to do something solely by facts alone.  Instead, they are spurred to action by the feeling these facts produce.  People make choices and decisions based to some extent on figures and concrete details, but it is the emotional impact these soberly presented bits of information create that really matters.  It has been noted many times before that polls and other human-made means of discernment have limits because no one can truly understand what lies inside a voter’s heart.  This, in part, is what I mean.  Unlike the typical columnist, I do not intend to use this introduction as a segue-way to rip into President Obama and the ineffectiveness of the (for now) Democratic-controlled Congress.  Rather, I’d like to go well beyond.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.

–Margaret Mitchell


Late Night Karaoke

About that “Green” Lt. Gov Candidate- You’ll Find This Interesting

Jimi Castillo, the Native American  Green candidate for Lt. Gov, is affiliated by name with a tribe is on the verge of getting official recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on whether they are about to get official recognition so they could build a casino.  That decision was supposed to be made Oct 4th, but it’s been delayed post election to Dec 15th, no doubt to see how the election plays out plus this state is so amazingly crooked with this Casino lobbyist money flying like confetti everywhere at this time of year.

I don’t know of any Southern CA Indian tribes (or even the ones up here) with official tribal recognition which support Democrats.  

That being said, Mr. Castillo himself is an honorable person, other than his bio on his website is a bit sketchy,  but I am now pretty sure after my little side trip thru the archives that he definitely being backed by unseen business interests that would prefer to keep it that way.  THAT is also typical so that tribes can gain public media name recognition.

Hopefully his candidacy will not result in sticking us with Maldonado for a full term.  I really don’t think the anti climate change and anti women’s reproductive rights Maldonado is a net improvement over Newsom.  

Jimi Castillo is called, or refers to himself in interviews, as a Tongva, a Tongva Achjachemen (spelled several ways),   Gabriellino / Tongva ,   a Gabrielino – Tongva.

He is also mentioned on the Kumeyaay Tribal website news pages.

This site already did a background check on him http://www.newagefraud.org/smf…

The Achjachemen are also called the Juaneno.

Here’s the webpage for the Gabrielino – Tongva tribe  http://www.gabrielinotribe.org…

Here’s the webpage of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians Acjachemen Nation


They all fall into the category of the Mission Bands of Indians who lived on the coastline of Southern CA from LA to San Diego area at the time of the invasion of the Spanish, 1769, when the Spanish re named them after whatever Mission they were living near.  

The fight over Federal BIA tribal recognition is of course, splitting off tribal factions.

He (Jimi Castillo, the Lt Gov candidate)  worked as an employee for the Herman G Stark Youth Prison for 20+ years until they laid him off last year.  He conducted weekly sweat lodges for the inmates.     They changed it over to an adult prison.  

Kumeyaay News

Sweat Lodge tradition ends at Stark site in Chino


Castillo is outspoken about his troubles with drugs and alcohol. This is his 28th year being sober.

“I had a troubled youth,” Castillo said. “I would go to psychologists, priests, ministers….They would seem to give up on me just when I was ready to open up and spill my guts.”

Born and raised in Whittier, Castillo is a member of the Tongva tribe and now lives with his wife, Jeanette, in Rancho Cucamonga. Before being hired at Stark in 1998, Castillo worked as a cabinet maker. As a spiritual leader, he volunteered at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and began volunteering at Stark in 1989.

I think working as a woodworker is also an honorable profession and I don’t see why that isn’t also mentioned on his campaign website.

I can find NO campaign finance filings with the state of CA for this candidate, not even who is his campaign manager and treasurer, which is typical of all the CA Greens I’ve looked at this cycle. (  We have one here in this district which has nothing I can find filed with the Federal EC, either.  )

Federal Recognition for Juaneno (Acjachemen) Tribe is pending, fr Sept 9th



SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – After nearly three decades of seeking federal recognition, a divided Juaneño Band of Mission Indians could get a final answer in the next few weeks.

R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgment, said in a letter to one of the tribal leaders that the office is making a final determination and that a decision is anticipated on or before Oct. 4.

If the Juaneños – also known as the Acjachemen Nation – become a tribe in the eyes of the federal government, the group will be recognized as a sovereign nation. This means it would be allowed to buy land anywhere in the United States for a reservation, where it could govern itself, get federal aid for things such as education and health care and, under federal law, be allowed to build a casino.



Final decision on Juanenos now expected by Dec 15

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – A decision on whether the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians will get federal recognition is now expected on or before Dec. 15, a ruling pushed back more than two months since it was originally anticipated.

R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgment, informed petitioners of the new decision deadline in a new letter dated Sept 24

“… the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs need this extension to allow for review of the recommended decisions,” the letter said in part.

The petitioning groups had expected a decision, called final determination, on or before Oct. 4, which was the date set in a previous letter by Fleming.

The divided group has been seeking federal recognition for nearly three decades.

In 2007, the Bureau of Indian Affairs dealt the Juaneños a setback in their continuing effort to become a federally-recognized American Indian tribe, saying the group did not meet four of the seven criteria required.

The negative finding indicated that if the group cannot provide more evidence, it will not be considered a tribe under federal law, a status that would allow it to own land, build a casino and get federal aid for things such as education and health care.

The lobbyists working this routine in DC  are not using the tribe’s name “Juaneno Band of Mission Indians” in this Casino tribal recognition wrangling, but calling them by the client name of a Texas lobbying company called “Hard Count.”

This is a BIG SH*T money deal to try to get a Casino opened in Los Angeles.  You see how it says Connecticut below ?  That’s Abramoff related,  and it even is Doolittle related, altho that’s another story.   You even have SoCal Rep. John Campbell(R, CA 48 ) chiming in, but he’s just trying to protect the turf of already established Casinos that are already funding Republicans.

Lobbyists spar over unrecognized tribe  9/9/2007


Two prominent Washington lobbying firms are representing rival factions of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians.

On one side is David Belardes and a Texas firm called Hard Count. Their lobbyist is Barbour Griffith & Rogers, a Republican-heavy firm with ties to the Bush administration and a firm that recently represented anti-recognition foes in Connecticut.

On the other side is Anthony Rivera, whose lobbyist is Paul Moorehead of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Moorehead was the Republican chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Belardes and Rivera both claim to control the Juaneno Band. Whoever is in charge could land a lucrative casino near Los Angeles.


Suspicion is fueled by Hard Count’s contract. Its president, Billy Horton, is in line to receive 5 percent of the tribe’s business revenue for seven years if, at any point, the annual revenue exceeds $10 million.


Rivera’s lobbyist, Paul Moorehead, a former chief counsel to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, reported being paid $20,000 in his 2007 midyear disclosure form. Rivera denied having any connection to gaming but said he would not disclose the identity of donors to the tribe.

The lobbying firm Barbour Griffith Rogers (BGR) worked to REVOKE tribal recognition for 2 Indian tribes in Connecticut in 2005.  

Haley Barbour used to be a lobbyist with Jack Abramoff a long time ago.

Barbour Griffith Rogers also has a client list that would make your liberal head explode.  This includes the Iraqi Kurds, the same foreign government who use the Republican PR firm King Media aka the Russo Marsh/ Move America Forward / Tea Party Express.

Yes, I said Kurds and Tea Party Express, those swiftboating nuts who are currently running Tea Party candidates Sharron Angle against Harry Reid and Christine O’ Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska.  Or at least doing lots of “independent expenditures” for them.

This Shinnecock Nation Indian Casino feud in the Southhamptons of Connecticut has been going on for years, from 2003 – .    This year 2010 the Federal govt. finally recognized them as a tribe.

Another other tribe which was unrecognized was the Schaghticoke.  Also the Pequot were tossed out.

September 27 2009


NEW YORK – Almost five years to the date after the BIA issued a devastating reversal of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s federal acknowledgment, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the nation’s ongoing quest to restore its federal status.

The BIA recognized STN in a Final Determination Jan. 29, 2004, then reversed its decision on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 2005, in an unprecedented Reconsidered Final Determination, taking away the federal acknowledgment of both the Schaghticoke and Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.

In addition to direct contact with officials in the White House, Interior and the BIA, the lobbying was so fierce that it included the first termination bill in Congress since the 1960s, sponsored by a former Connecticut congresswoman, and a threat by a Virginia congressman to go to the White House and have former Interior Secretary Gale Norton fired if she didn’t reverse STN’s federal acknowledgment.

Jimi Castillo’s bio on his campaign website does not mention the Juaneno tribal name, nor any of the ongoing efforts by the two rival factions to get the Juaneno Acjachemen tribe official BIA Federal recognition.

This is just sort of ….. odd.



Jimi Castillo (Tongva / Acjachemen), a respected Native American spiritual leader, has served as a mentor for young men at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility.  Born and raised in Whittier, California, Castillo is a Pipe Keeper and Sun Dancer for the People. He is also a proud member of the statewide Bear Clan Society and a Marine Corps veteran (1960 to 1965).  Jimi participated on the Board of Directors and also contributed as a counselor for the Southeast Area Counseling Center in Santa Fe Springs, California, actively helps plan and staff  UCLA’s annual Graduation Powwow and Youth Leadership Conference and donates much time to work with the UCLA Native American Student Association. Jimi is married to Jeanette Castillo and has four children and nine grandchildren.

Mr. Castillo has done much good in the world with his prison counseling work and in his efforts to protect Native American burial grounds in the Southern California area.

This does not mean on November 5th, because the Greens drew away so much support, that  I want to see the state of California with an ex e Bay executive billionaire Republican who bought the seat as Governor, a global climate change denier Republican as Lt. Governor,  and the woman who outsourced Hewlett Packard and never missed a photo opp with John McCain as Senator.   Especially with McCain being on the Senate’s Dept of the Interior Committee for Indian Affairs.    

Hard to compete for attention with this-

Be An Abel Fan   –  Abel Maldonado ’10 for Lt Governor

Fundraiser in Highland, California

Special Guests Gloria & Emilio Estefan

Where: San Manuel Casino

When: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 5:00 PM

Hosted by:

Alex Meruelo and Luis Armona

Special Guests Gloria & Emilio Estefan

VIP Dinner and Concert

$10,000 Per Couple

Solidarity Placing People Before Profits

Cross-posted at Progressive Blue.

I watched Paul Solman’s Making Sense on the PBS NewsHour and while putting a human face on foreclosure the story of a support group devoted to making foreclosure litigation too expensive for the banks is told. If you need to feel good about something going on in this nation, this was must see TV!

(Also viewable here or you can see it at the Progressive Blue diary.)

may not be visible here in some versions of IE

This support group called City Life/Vida Urbana has the motto “Organizing For Racial And Economic Justice” and this mission statement;

“City Life/Vida Urbana is a grassroots community organization in Boston committed to fighting for racial, social, and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power through direct action, coalition building, education and advocacy.  Through organizing poor and working class people of diverse races and nationalities;we promote individual empowerment, develop community leaders, and build collective power to effect systemic change and transform society.”

These community activist devoted to forcing banks to give up on eviction and offer homeowners a new mortgage have even more power now with all the fraudulent documents. But the story of power is people power, real people power.

Watch how those American walk into City Life/Vida Urbana just broken and feeling hopeless with no place to turn. Then they walk out not necessarily keeping their home but feeling like they have a voice and becoming community activist themselves.    

China stops our Green Revolution in its tracks

  The news media and the political blogs are enraptured with handicapping the political races. No one has time to worry about real issues anymore. This is the silly season, when immigrant nannies and comments from comedians become “important”. When shady television hucksters are inexplicably taken seriously and hold huge political rallies.

 Yet the real world, the one that operates on tangible things that make an actual difference in our lives, keeps chugging along.

  While all of you were busy obsessing about political trivialities, the governments of the world were entering a global trade war. This development entered a scary stage yesterday when Brazil decided not to attend the coming G20 summit.

 However, that was nothing compared to China’s latest move.

 China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted shipments of some of those same materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said on Tuesday.

  “The embargo is expanding” beyond Japan, said one of the three rare earth industry officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity for fear of business retaliation by Chinese authorities. They said Chinese customs officials imposed the broader shipment restrictions Monday morning, hours after a top Chinese official had summoned international news media Sunday night to denounce United States trade actions.

  China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of diverse products including large wind turbines and guided missiles. Any curtailment of Chinese supplies of rare earths is likely to be greeted with alarm in Western capitals, particularly because Western companies are believed to keep much smaller stockpiles of rare earths than Japanese companies do.

 American officials had announced on Friday to investigate if China was violating trade laws by subsidizing their clean energy industry. China responded on Sunday with the statement that Washington “cannot win this trade fight.”

 The war of words ended today. The trade war is on.

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