Comfortably Insane
Causes & Opinions

 

Causes: Arctic drilling | Gypsies | Sioux | Philanthropy      Opinions: Politics | Religion

 
 

Caribou and Arctic Drilling

The caribou and the people are as one, and the culture is completely tied to it. In their mythology, the Gwich'in were derived from a heart shared with caribou, so each will always know what the other is doing. "The Gwich'in of northern Canada and Alaska have lived in their Arctic homeland since the last ice age. ... There is direct archaeological evidence that the Gwich'in have depended upon the Porcupine Caribou Herd for at least 12,000 years. They still depend upon the caribou for their subsistence needs as well as their cultural survival.--ccp

" The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is the home of the Porcupine Caribou Herd's calving grounds, located in the Northen coastal plain. This coastal area referred to as ANWaR or the 1002 lands by the oil companies, is to the Gwitchin Vadzaih googii vi dehk'it gwanlii - or "sacred place where life begins," and is *exactly* where the U.S. Republicans want to drill for the *possibility* of oil. "It would be like drilling in a hospital nursery," states Norma Kassi, Gwich'in spokeswoman. President Bush's family is closely tied to the oil industry, and the Vice President, Dick Cheney, is closely tied to Haliburton, the oil drilling company in Alaska. The Alaskan Governor is on the side of the Republicans and thinks that the Vuntut Gwitchin could learn to change their lives to be like the Inupiats in Prudoe Bay. He also thinks that the Gwich'in people are only holding onto a romantic notion of their culture, fueled by some radical environmentalists. He has no idea what is at stake, and doesn't care about the Canadians.

Therefore, the Gwich'in and their supporters have had to try to fight the issue themselves, by going to Washington D.C. and to make as much of a case as possible.

In August 2002, the Caribou Commons Project from Yukon, held a trek across America, The Walk to Washington D.C. for the Arctic Refuge. Led by Ken Madsen, it was kicked off in Seattle with the support of the Canadian Consulate General in Seattle and several other leaders. I was lucky to be involved, even if in a small part, with the kickoff event. The walk ended last November in D.C.

View my website on this topic


Roma (aka Gypsies)

Please read the Patrin website.  This is an important issue.

Like my experience with Old Crow and the Gwich'in, I discovered the reality of the Roma while studying indiginous music styles for my personal research. The more I read and learned of their true history, and what they've lived through and have to endure to this day....well, my heart cries for them. Here's some excerpts from the Patrin Web Journal website:

Since time immemorial Roma have suffered from hate crimes and discrimination. They are still being treated with "contempt, hatred, fear and loathing"

Czech citizenship law effectively renders the Roma stateless, forcing them to live as foreigners in their own land. At least 20,000 Roma, about a tenth of the Roma population, have been excluded from Czech citizenship since 1993.

‘Ever since our arrival in Europe, we Roma have been victims of society’s animosity. Banishment and pogroms, as well as mistreatment and discrimination, have always been part of everyday life for the ‘Gypsies’. (Kawczynski, 1997:24-25)

‘… forced evictions from homes; expulsions from villages and towns (often with the support of local Mayors); physical assault and murder by skinheads, policemen, neighbours; exclusion from public places; widespread legal discrimination; unduly harsh prison sentences and extortionate fines for petty offences; and endemic racial abuse.’.

Many Roma women have gone into hospital for minor operations only to return home sterilised.

Another 'fear factor' that causes Roma to shield their ethnicity from outsiders is the continuing legacy of 'O Baro Porrajmos' ('The Great Devouring' - Roma Holocaust). Grandparents today recall the numerous censuses which were conducted during World War Two in order to identify and locate Roma groups for Nazi concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Dachau, Mauthausen and Ravensbrück (Kenrick and Puxon, 1995:125-150). Again, estimates vary enormously regarding how many Roma were murdered between 1933 and 1945. Most reliable estimates suggest half a million, though some figures have gone from the ridiculous (zero - 'it never happened' according to the revisionists) to the exaggerated (anything from 3-4 million upwards). It can be seen that in relation to the Porrajmos the political and economic significance of numbers are also important and contested. The number of both victims and survivors has a crucial bearing on any future compensation award that might eventually be paid out by the German government. At the time of writing progress is being made but no end is yet in sight (The Guardian, 6/4/98).

What is very clear to Roma in Europe is the fact that the gadzhe [non-gypsy] search for the 'final solution' to the 'Roma problem' is determined and ongoing. In Britain, English Romanichals, such as Peter Mercer and Charlie Smith of the Gypsy Council, talk about the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, 1994 in this light: to criminalise nomadism in the UK is to literally 'ethnically cleanse' Gypsies (Hawes and Perez, 1996:x-xi).

Roma Student Beating the Odds - RomNews Network

Romani Information:

The Patrin Web Journal: Romani Culture and History

Myths, Hypotheses and Facts Concerning the Origin of Peoples: The true origin of Roma and Sinti

News:

RomNews Network Community | Romani Yag


Sioux

Lets face it folks — the "indians" of this country were the custodians of this land, its resources, natural plants and animals for 25,000 years before the European Americans decided that they were in the way. I am absolutely in awe of idiots who actually have a problem with NATIVE American nations that wish to stay banded, to live amongst each other, to have the opportunity to live traditionally and to pass down those traditions to their progeny. Which they could NOT do if they were assimilated into the alien white culture which they did not invite to live on their land in the first place! But I digress.....

Here's a quote from a website that sheds a lot of light on the extermination of those who were here before us.

"As a high school student I was always annoyed by students who would ask: Why do we have to learn this stuff [history] anyway? We learn history so we don't repeat our mistakes. This is the common answer that my teachers, my father, and just about any other adult would give. This answer made perfect sense to me then, and I easily accepted it. In high school, students learn about the Nazi-Holocaust, and rightfully so. Information abounds regarding this topic. However, my teachers never taught me that our country has a Holocaust of its own (actually there are two; one killing 40 to 60,000,000 Africans, and one killing 100,000,000 Native Red Peoples). Hitler himself often expressed his admiration for the expediency in which the American Christians removed the Native Americans and gave them mass graves like the one in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Have you ever heard the words American Holocaust(s) before?" [ Read the rest of this moving article ]

One hundered million! HELLO!! Did you learn about that in school? NO. Hell, I grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma where one of the worst, most violent acts against blacks in our coutnry took place, and didn't find out about it until recently. But the 1992 race riot and the false American history being taught in schools is for another discussion.

There is one band in particular, the Oglala Sioux of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, that is suffering hellishly from the extermination of its people and the ersaure of their culture.

From Wikipedia:
"Unemployment on the Reservation hovers around 85% and 97% live below the Federal poverty level. Average annual family income is $3,800 as of 1999.

Adolescent suicide is 4 times the National average.

Many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water, or sewer. Many families use wood stoves to heat their homes.

The population on Pine Ridge has among the shortest life expectancies of any group in the Western Hemisphere: approximately 47 years for males and in the low 50s for females.

The infant mortality rate is five times the United States national average."

 

This generation is not responsible for what happened in the past, but we are certainly obligated to helping our American brothers and sisters suffering right now. Learn how to help: Sioux Nation Relief Fund


Philanthopy


Foundation for Sarcoidosis Reasearch

 

The Sarcoidosis Center

Some Gross pictures.
(gross is right)

Sarcoidosis

This one is on the top of my list because I have this one. (Diagnosed 7/2001)

It's rare, no known causes or cures. Can kill, but in 80% of cases it just goes away. Mine has not gone away.

Mine is in stage one (meaning no pleural effusion). My types are lymphatic, cutaneous, and ocular.

My types:

My Lymphatic System: lymph nodes and spleen
Mediastinal adenopathy with no pulmonary parenchymal involvement. Enlarged pre-tracheal and right paratracheal lymph nodes (with calcification). 7x2 cm Peri-aortic lymph node. Peri-hilar fullness. Bilateral hilar adenopathy. Retro-peritoneal lymph nodes. Several enlarged lymph nodes in the hilum of my speen.
Info from my pathology report

My Cutaneous: skin
Lupus Pernio on upper arms and nose, presenting as large purpleish lumps which are hard underneath the skin. Also several lesions.

Wanna see my skin sarcs? Brace yerself. OK - look.

My Ocular: eyes
Iritis is a kind of uveitis in which the iris becomes very inflamed. It can cause visual damage or loss --
Bood-shot eye, extreme light sensitivity, blurry vision and pain. Treatment involved ocular steroids (which can cause cataracts). Also dilation drops to keep the iris still, because the inflammation made my natural dilation adjustments excrutiating. Lasted a couple of days.

Aren't I lucky?!?!

Research must be supported and that takes donations. Remember, there is no known cause or cure for this. They need help to find answers.

 

In memory of Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Muscular Dystrophy

I've always donated to this cause. Partly in due to guilt for not turning in some March of Dimes donations I collected when I was in 4th grade. But mostly, I donate because it is a good cause.

After I saw Mattie Stepanik for the first time, I was an instant fan of his. He was a poet and a peace maker, and his passing was a loss to us all.

Multiple Sclerosis Society National Multiple Sclerosis Society

I have 2 friends with MS. I haven't contributed to this foundation, but support them, and hope to be able to add this to my list in the future.

 

aidswalk.net

Seattle AIDS walk

 

Aids Walk

When you know someone with HIV, it sure makes it hard to sit by and let others do the worrying and helping.

I participated in my first AIDS walk in Seattle, but have also donated when I was not able to walk.

Another disease without a cure.

Don't wait until it gets personal to help.

 

 Spirit Walk

Spirit Walk

This is a walk put on by the Seattle Indian Health Board. The procedes help fund after-school and substance-free programs for local native youth.

I was part of the top fundraising group 2 years consecutively, before I had to move back to Tulsa. When I return to Seattle, my participation will resume.

 

 Link

 American Red Cross

I've donated to them during almost all major disasters that I can think of.

I really like that you can ear-mark your donations for a specific area or leave it for general distribution.


Politics

 If you know me at all this Democratic show of support shouldn't surprise you...

  • After the economy took a dive and I got laid off along with thousands of others and couldn't find work for a year and a half, do you think I'm happy with the current economy?
  • After my disdain for the war was validated when the 9/11 commission said that there were no WMDs and that Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, do you think I want this slaughter in the desert to continue?
  • And knowing what I know about the my friends, the Gwich'in, living in Old Crow in the arctic circle, and knowing exactly what caribou means to their culture, and knowing what would happen to them if the caribou stopped coming, do you think I can stand by and watch this cowboy go into yet another wilderness (specifically, the porcupine caribou's calving grounds) to plunder its riches at the expense of an entire First Nation?
  • Being that I'm single, would I support a president who punished taxpayers for not being married, or who tried to tell people who they can and can not marry, as well as making rules affecting women's uteruses and placentas?

Say no to the Republican party as a religion and to their dogmas being mandated upon The People.
This country wasn't founded because of or based upon one religion. It was founded on religious FREEDOM.
Take back your country! Vote it back into being the home of the FREE, as it was intended.

 


Religion

My prayer

All the praises and thanks be to God, the lord of all that exists.
The most Beneficent, the most merciful.
The only ruler of the Day of Judgement.
You alone we worship, and you alone we ask for help.
Guide us to the straight way
The Way of those on whom you have bestowed your Grace,
not (the way) of those who earned your anger,
nor of those who went astray.

Inspirational passage:


And of His signs is that He created you of dust; then lo, you are mortals, all scattered abroad. And of His signs is that He created for you, of yourselves, spouses, that you might repose in them, and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely in that are signs for a people who consider. And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and the variety of your tongues and hues. Surely in that are signs for all living beings. And of His signs is your slumbering by night and day, and your seeking after His bounty. Surely in that are signs for a people who hear. And of His signs He shows you lightning, for fear and hope, and that He sends down out of heaven water and He revives the earth after it is dead. Surely in that are signs for a people who understand. And of His signs is that the heaven and earth stand firm by His command; then, when He calls you once and suddenly, out of the earth, lo you shall come forth. [30:20-25]

The Creator has blessed me with a comprehensive religious experience in this world—and at the end of the day, this is my rock).
That's all I'll say.

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