Feb 02 2008
Cross-posted from the Daily Kos.
(my original post at Kos needed a huge update because I inadvertently left out a big chunk of Obama’s proposals. This is the updated essay)
Even though I have a very strong personal opinion based on my position as an anti-war voter, I want to present both Obama’s and Clinton’s policy proposals on Native American issues.
I believe that Amnesty International did a lot through its report, United States of America: Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from violence, and follow-up work with State and National legislators to give these issues more national attention.
So, whomever you support right now, all of this is great news. Below I have blockquoted each set of proposals from the Clinton and Obama campaigns. They are long, but I wanted to give you the complete statements.
Jan 31 2008
Cross-posted on the Daily Kos under betson08
First of all, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all the Kossacks and other members of the netroots community for your commitment to the survival of the Pretty Bird Woman House. Helping this shelter has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done, and some of that has to do with the outpouring of caring and compassion that I witnessed while I was doing this project.
This morning I received an email informing me that the McLaughlin City Council had unanimously approved the shelter’s petition to operate in the house it wants to purchase. This was a wonderful accomplishment given some initial misgivings that some of the City Council Members had expressed.
A complete update on that and the fundraiser is below the fold.
Jan 10 2008
I want to update everyone who has been involved in the Pretty Bird Woman House fundraiser on the situation with the house purchase.
After you read this you might also ask: Why isn’t anything easy in Indian Country?
While we were running this fundraiser, the City Council of McLaughlin, which exists as a separate entity within the boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation, passed an ordinance requiring that any nonprofit wishing to establish a boardinghouse or shelter in a residential area get the approval of the City Council first.
This means that even though Pretty Bird Woman House could have closed on the house on January 4th, they had to wait for a Council meeting on January 7th.
Everyone was certain that after hearing about the shelter, the City Council would just say “of course you can.”
Dec 30 2007
This is a diary by AndyT, cross posted from Big Orange and the Pretty Bird Woman House blog.
Dec 07 2007
I thought I’d give you an update on what was going on with the fundraiser for this shelter. Georgia Little Shield, the director, has used the money we have raised so far to place a bid on the house you see in the photos below.
We need donations urgently right now since there was only enough money for a really low bid, so that makes things still a bit tenuous. And then there will be closing costs and a security system. But even though we haven’t sealed the deal yet, we’re coming very close!
The amazing part of this project is that the individual efforts of a bunch of bloggers are making such a big difference to a group of women. This is what a community is really about. And were else can you see donations doing something so huge so fast?
Nov 13 2007
I know the Docudharma community exists because of some of the frustrations people have had with some aspects of the culture over at Big Orange.
So, I want to tell you about something special that went on over at the Daily Kos last night that will remind you what the DKos community has at its heart – underneath some of the sniping. Yesterday at 3pm, AndyT posted what is probably the definitive diary on the Pretty Bird Woman House, partly because he did a lot of extra research on the shelter itself. Devilstower then Front Paged it around 4pm. Well, then something amazing happened. People were touched. Momentum Happened. A matching grant happened. We went from having $3600 at 4pm to having about $11,500 at 10pm, when the challenge expired. We now have $12,800 at 1pm EST, and this isn’t even counting the match.
Because this community is derived from that community, the same kinds of big hearts are over here as well (minus the candidate wars :)). Both communities are really special.
Of course, if you haven’t chipped in yet (and it doesn’t have to be a monetary contribution if you’re short on cash), this is an invitation to do so. But read this diary first.
This is Andy Ternay’s diary, cross-posted with his permission.
If you are a progressive, odds are you want to make the world a better place – not just for you and your cronies, but for everyone. This diary gives you a concrete chance to do exactly that – to make the world a better place for families.
The diary below the fold largely comes from an interview with the Director of Pretty Bird Woman House, Georgia Little Shield and from the Amnesty International report Maze of Injustice – The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA, published in April 2007. When I have drawn from other sources I have provided a link or citation.
If you already know you want to contribute, donate here.
Nov 04 2007
I often find discussions about Cuba frustratingly polemic. On one side are the demonizers, who see everything the Cuban government does as evil, even if it’s providing free healthcare, education, or inculcating equality as a value in Cuban society that is not going to be erased by any infusion of capital.
On the other side are the romanticizers, who have such tight blinders on that they cannot see anything wrong with anything the Cuban government does. They refuse to admit that the central management system in Cuba suffers from severe bureaucratism, and they rationalize away the human rights abuses that certainly do take place on the island with a Bush-like excuse of, “we’ll they’re under constant threat, so they have to take tough security measures.” What, so it’s OK to torture somebody if you’re a Cuban government official but not if you’re a Bush Administration one?
Really, the only way we’re going to get a better perspective on any of this is to get rid of the idiotic embargo and restore full diplomatic relations between the two countries. That’s when the dirty laundry will also come out. Like Cuba’s relationship with the Stasi.
Oct 25 2007
Cross Posted at the Daily Kos under betson08
In late April, after Amnesty International released a report on the problem of sexual violence against Native American women that included a story about the how the Pretty Bird Woman House was in danger of closing its doors, this community rallied to its support. I did too, and then joined a team of volunteers to support the long-term viability of the shelter. On that front, I have some good news, some bad news, and a request for help.
The good news is that this fall Georgia Littleshield, the shelter’s director, procured a 3-year Federal grant for the program to pay salaries and travel expenses. This means that during the summer, the shelter would not have been able to assist women in danger or advocate for a woman in court had the netroots not provided interim support.
The bad news is that the building they were in was broken into so many times by people who smashed through exterior walls to gain entrance that it became unsafe safe for anyone to stay there. So, the Pretty Bird Woman House lost its house. To add insult to injury, somebody torched the building the day after they moved out.
Oct 16 2007
Cross posted at the Daily Kos under betson08
When the military junta in Burma began its outrageously brutal crackdown on the monks, students and other pro-democracy activists last month, I had a feeling that this time it had gone too far. For one, Buddhist monks are way too important in Burmese society for the population to acquiesce to the junta striking out at the very soul of the society.
In this light, there is an interesting news report today in Truthout based on an interview with a pro-democracy activist, whose identity is being kept a secret for his own safety, that shows some interesting things about the extent of the internal organization of the movement and how its nonviolent nature will be the final downfall of the junta.
Oct 16 2007
Cross posted at the Daily Kos under betson08
Blog Action Day coincides with Wolf Awareness Week. So I thought I’d startle you into noticing an issue that has been really bothering me since I first heard about it a month ago, and diaried it over at the Daily Kos here.
There have been important recent developments, so I thought I’d take advantage of the environmental theme of Blog Action Day to pass them on.
Who in the world would go up in a small plane and slaughter these majestic creatures, and how can we stop this?