Saturday, January 28, 2006

The MS Empathy Kit

I found this on one of my message boards, and thought I would share:



THE MS EMPATHY KIT




Now Family, friends, and Care Givers can have a better understanding of what you live with on a daily basis.

The MS EMPATHY KIT contains everything you need to simulate the effects of living with MS.


Each kit comes with the following:
1pr. 10lb wrist weights
1pr. 15lb thigh weights
1pr. 20lb ankle weights
20 2x 2steel wool pads 1pr. extra thick gloves
1lb sand
1pr. extra shirt thick sleeves
1pr. extra thick pant legs
1 bag small pebbles
1 syringe of saline solution
1 2 wide belt
1 tens unit
1pr. foggy glasses
bungee cord assortment
(comes in choice of colors)
1 pr ear plugs
box of nats
(when in season)
1 sit and spin toy
1 bottle of Jack Daniels
1 remote controlled .5 liter
water bag complete with drip tube
.





DIRECTIONS



DEPENDING ON YOUR CONDITION, YOU CAN USE ANY OR ALL ITEMS IN THIS KIT.


FOLLOWING ARE "APPLICATION SUGGESTIONS"
FOR FAMILY MEMBER, FRIEND OR CAREGIVER TO EXPERIENCE MS.


..1 PAINFUL HEAVY LEGS:

SIMPLY APPLY TIGHTLY TO PARTNER
20LB ANKLE WEIGHTS
15LB THIGH WEIGHTS


..2 PAINFUL FEET:

PUT EQUAL OR UNEQUAL AMOUNTS OF SMALL PEBBLES IN EACH SHOE.


..3 LOSS OF FEELING IN HANDS AND/OR ARMS:

PUT ON EXTRA THICK
GLOVES AND SHIRT SLEEVES.


..4 LOSS OF FEELING IN FEET AND/OR LEGS:

PUT ON EXTRA THICK
PANT LEGS, AND SAND IN BOTTOM OF SHOES.


..5 UNCONTROLLABLE ITCHING:

GLUE OR SEW SMALL STEEL WOOL PADS TO THE INSIDE OF PARTNERS SHIRT, PANTS AND
UNDERGARMENTS.

..6 TINGLING:

APPLY "TENS" UNIT ELECTRODES
TO PARTNERS SKIN AND TURN ON TO DESIRED INTENSITY.
(recharge daily)


..7 TIGHT BAND:

PUT 2 WIDE BELT AROUND PARTNER AND DRAW SNUG.


..8 TAKE A SHOT:

ALLOW PARTNER TO SELF INJECT SALINE SOLUTION.


..9 TROUBLE LIFTING ARMS:

SIMPLY APPLY 10LB WRIST WEIGHTS TO PARTNER.


..10 SPACTICITY:

HOOK BUNGEE CORDS TO REAR BELT LOOPS AND REAR PANT LEG CUFFS, FOR ARMS HOOK BUNGEE CORDS TO SHIRT COLLAR AND CUFFS ON SHIRT SLEEVES.


..11 POOR VISION:

HAVE PARTNER USE FOGGY GLASSES.


..12 POOR HEARING/BUZZING IN EARS:

HAVE PARTNER PUT A NAT AND EAR PLUG IN EACH EAR.


..13 BALANCE AND WALKING PROBLEMS:

WHILE PARTNER DRINKS JACK DANIELS, HAVE HIM/HER RIDE SIT AND SPIN FOR 30 MINUTES,
NOW HAVE THEM TRY WALKING THROUGH A CROWDED MALL!


..14 URGENTLY NEED TO PEE!:

HAVE PARTNER PUT .5 LITER REMOTE CONTROL WATER BAG AND DRIP TUBE IN THEIR PANTS, POINT OUT 2 REST ROOMS IN THE CROWDED MALL, TELL THEM THEY HAVE 30 SECONDS BEFORE YOU ACTIVATE THE WATER BAG (by remote control) TO GET TO A RESTROOM!


To make this effective, partner IS UNABLE remove any item for at least 24hrs.

AFTER THIS, THEY MAY WONDER HOW YOU MANAGE TO KEEP YOUR SANITY!

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Parrot "Sqawks" on Secret Love Affair

Parrot Blamed for Ratting Out Cheater


A talking parrot in the UK has been blamed for breaking up his owner's relationship.

For a year, Chris Taylor had been living happily with his partner Suzy Collins in the city of Leeds in northern England.

But his girlfriend and his pet parrot Ziggy never really got along.

Looking back Mr Taylor remembers Ziggy once made kissing noises when the name Gary was mentioned on the TV.

But he did not become suspicious until Ziggy began saying "hello Gary" every time his girlfriend's mobile phone rang.

Then, one night, when he was cuddling his girlfriend on the couch, the feathers really flew, in a voice identical to his girlfriends, Ziggy the Parrot said loudly: "I love you Gary".

From his cage in the corner, Ziggy had witnessed secret liaisons between Suzy Collins and a man called Gary.

The parrot had squawked.

This is not unusual according to Greg Glendell, the UK's only full-time consultant on parrot behaviour.

"I have birds that need retraining, and they will often come out with things in the owner's voice," he said.

He says Ziggy's breed is particularly good at mimicking people's voices.

Chris Taylor's girlfriend has moved out, but so too has Ziggy.

The computer programmer told The Times newspaper in Britain, it was too much hearing his pet constantly call out Gary's name in the voice of his ex.

Ms Collins has also spoken to The Times - she is surprised her former partner got rid of Ziggy because, she says, during their relationship he spent more time talking to the bird, than he did to her.

She was quoted as saying: "I couldn't stand Ziggy, but it now appears the feeling was mutual."

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Nutbag Judge "Sentences" Rapist

Rapist's Prison Sentence Triggers Outrage



There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a Mark Hulett, 34, who raped a little girl many,many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven. Prosecutors had been seeking an eight to twenty year prison sentence.

The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation.

Judge Cashman explained that he is more concerned that Hulett receive sex offender treatment as rehabilitation. But under Department of Corrections classification, Hulett is considered a low-risk for re-offense so he does not qualify for in-prison treatment.So the judge sentenced him to just 60 days in prison and then Hulett must complete sex treatment when he gets out or face a possible life sentence.

Judge Cashman also also revealed that he once handed down stiff sentences when he first got on the bench 25 years ago, but he no longer believes in punishment.

"I discovered it accomplishes nothing of value;it doesn't make anything better;it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger,"Cashman explained to the people in the court.

The sentence outraged the victim's family who asked not to be identified.


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I have no words for this. None at all. Ok, maybe a few: ASSHOLE. NUTJOB. UTTER BASTARD.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

What Condition My Condition Is In

This is a copy of a bulletin I sent on MySpace this morning. Please take a moment to read it over. Thanks.


Important Announcement: What Condition My Condition Is In

I've decided just to send a bulletin, and write about this on my blog (Zen Pretzel Trick), rather than email and call everyone seperately. This is partly out of laziness, and partly because I just don't want to do this more times than I absolutely have to.

It appears that my multiple sclerosis, which has followed a definite R&R course for the past ten years, has turned to secondary-progressive. This means no more attacks and remissions....just a steady progression of the disease.

No, it isn't a "for sure" thing...but I haven't had a remission now in more than a year, so it's a pretty safe bet at this point.

Yes, this is freaking me out.

No, I am not dying.

Yes, I can still walk, although most days I need my cane to do it...more so than I ever did before.

No, I don't want to talk about it....yet.

I know I hurt the feelings of many of my close friends when I kept the fact that I had MS at all a secret for many months after my diagnosis....it was with that in mind that I decided to make this bulletin (my first on Myspace). I don't want to keep these things a secret anymore. I've known about this for a couple of weeks, and I didn't keep it to myself to hurt anyone....I just needed a little time to get used to the idea.

I still need that time, so I am asking everyone to be patient with me. I'll be happy to answer any questions about this...but I just need a little time, and understanding.

Thank you for that time, that understanding...and for just being there for me. You know, so many of you have asked me, "What can I do?" You want to help, and I appreciate it...but you don't realize that you help the most by just being my friend. By laughing with me, or debating with me, or just looking at me and seeing Angel, not some woman with MS. You have no idea how invaluable that is. I don't want my whole life to be about this....and if you want to help me, you'll just be you around me, and let me be me. Let me have that bit of normalacy in my existance. Let me have a life outside of this.

And for now...respect that I need some time to come to terms with this. Maybe I am not as strong as others, I don't know....but this feels just like when I got my diagnosis in the first place. I feel like I need to throw a small pity party for myself, so I can get over it and move on with my life, like I did back then when I first heard the words "multiple sclerosis" and realized the doctor was talking about me. I'll be stronger in a week or so, once I've had that party and let myself feel disappointed and hurt and angry over this...let myself be thrown for a loop once more. Then I can recover, and be Angel again. It may sound odd, or self-indulgent, but this is how I deal with these things. Putting off dealing with those feelings has never been a good move for me. So I'm going to have those feelings now, so I can move past them and continue to fight this.

I will continue to fight. It's not in me to give up. This is nothing more than a setback....one I knew I had a 50% chance of being dealt from the get-go. And it's not without its pros as well as cons....I have to admit, not worrying about attacks coming out of nowhere anymore does have its appeal....

I want to thank everyone who made it this far for listening to my ramblings. A simple "the course of my disease has changed" probably would have sufficed....but if I can't be a drama queen at times like this, when can I be?


With all my love,


Angel

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

NDN NEWZ: Gay Marriage for the Cherokee

My comments follow the article. Please take a moment to read them; I know they are lengthy, and I apologize in advance.....



Gay Marriage in Cherokee a "Pioneering Case"


SAN FRANCISCO- The top court of the Cherokee Nation has declined to strike down a gay marriage in what is seen as a pioneering case in American Indian country, the couple and officials said on Wednesday.

Cherokee tribal members Kathy Reynolds, 29, and Dawn McKinley, 34, married in May 2004 in Oklahoma, just weeks after the city of San Francisco ignited a national debate on gay marriage by briefly allowing same-sex couples to wed.

Gay rights advocates say the pair are the first registered same-sex marriage in Indian country.

Because tribal law at the time allowed same-sex marriages, a tribal clerk gave them a wedding certificate. But members in the Tribal Council sued, saying the marriage would damage the reputation of the Cherokees, and the law was later changed.

In a December 22 decision announced on Wednesday, the Judicial Appeals Tribunal of the Cherokee Nation, the tribe's highest court in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, rejected the request for an injunction against the marriage.

"Members of the Tribal Council, like private Cherokee citizens, must demonstrate a specific particularized harm," the court ruled. "In the present case, the Council members fail to demonstrate the requisite harm."

Historians say Native American culture before the arrival of European settlers tolerated homosexuality, although the settlers' religious teachings ultimately turned the tribes against it.

"Since the tribe has become so Westernized and adopted Christian religions and European ways, they strayed away from traditional Cherokee values of indifference, " Reynolds told Reuters. "Cherokees are very private where they respect each other and respect how they live."

Reynolds, a graduate student, said she had lived together with McKinley, who works in the retail industry, for four years before they opted to wed. Both women said their friends and family welcomed their decision although tribal officials disapproved.

------------------------
I have strong feelings about this.

But first, some background information to prevent confusion and to educate: I should point out that while I am in fact Cherokee...I am not of this Band. Many people have the mistaken notion that all Cherokee are of the same Tribe, and are all governed by the Tribal government in Tahlequah. We are all Cherokee, that is true....but the Cherokee of the Eastern Band in North Carolina (of which I am a member) and the Cherokee of Oklahoma are, for all intents and purposes, seperate people (also please note: there are three federally recognized Cherokee tribes -- the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians, and the United Keetoowah Band). We have different governments, and one is not ruled by the other. When I first visited Oklahoma in 1994, I even discovered that our common language, Tsalagi (whose written form was invented by our famous scholar, Sequoyah), is different now, after the many years of seperation. The language is the same...but there are minor differences, noticable to the life-long speaker. We easily understood one another, but there were slang terms I did not recognize and inflections and pronounciations that were somewhat different. This is really only to be expected; we have been seperate for over a century. It took less time than that for the American colonies to "bastardize the King's English," after all. But to get back to the point....this ruling has no effect on the Eastern Band. It does, however, have an effect on all Cherokee....we may be seperate, but we are still all Aniyunwiya, and so it does have an effect on me, as it does bind some of my people.

Another important piece of background information lies in our beliefs concerning homosexuals, beliefs which pre-date European settlement. Now, many Cherokee beliefs cannot be discussed with "outsiders," and it is strictly forbidden to commit some of these beliefs to writing. This is not one of those beliefs covered by the Taboos, so I may speak freely of it here...and I feel it's important to understand this belief, in order to understand WHY gay marriage is such a hotly-debated topic in Cherokee country. It's also important to note that this concept is not relegated to Cherokees alone: many Tribes believe in the idea of the Two-Spirited person.

So what is a Two-Spirited person? "Two-Spirit" refers to a belief that some people manifest both masculine and feminine spiritual qualities. Many tribes once revered Two-Spirits, viewing them as a third gender, seperate from purely male and purely female genders, and just as natural and normal. Two-Spirits were often counselors, storytellers and healers (this is different than the role of the bedarche in other Tribes: a male who embodied female characteristics and took on a female role in Tribal society). Two-Spirited people were not ostracized, and homophobia was an alien concept. That changed, of course, with the coming of the missionaries and the fundamentalist Christian view of homosexuality as sin. Sadly, Two-Spirited people began to suffer discrimination and worse at the hands of their own people, people who once accepted them and welcomed them. This is beginning to change now in many areas, as Tribal peoples work towards a more pre-Columbus tolerance, and as the Two-Spirited people themselves work for rights and recognition.

One of the portions of the article above that gives a really unique insight into the Cherokee mindet is this: "Since the tribe has become so Westernized and adopted Christian religions and European ways, they strayed away from traditional Cherokee values of indifference, " Reynolds told Reuters. "Cherokees are very private where they respect each other and respect how they live." This live-and-let-live sort of philosophy is really at the heart of so many issues facing the Cherokee today: where do we draw the line between public issues and private matters? Our concept of privacy tends to be much more evolved and crucial to daily life than the general American one. "Indifference" is probably not the best word to describe it...that gives the reader the idea that we do not care. We do care, we just don't think the private matters of others should be public fodder for the masses to chew upon. It all boils down to the basic precept of our spiritual and cultural beliefs: that every person has their own individual Path, and no one else can walk that Path or judge it accordingly. That is at the heart of why the Two-Spirited people were so accepted in Cherokee society. We truly felt it was none of our business; it was their Path, and between them and the Creator. The idea that we would turn them out or legislate against them was unthinkable.

Another quote from the article explains just WHY we would not legislate or condemn the Two-Spirited people in pre-contact Cherokee society is this: "Members of the Tribal Council, like private Cherokee citizens, must demonstrate a specific particularized harm, " the court ruled. "In the present case, the Council members fail to demonstrate the requisite harm." The Two-Spirited people harmed no one. And in our beliefs, the only reason a person's Path could ever be questioned or scrutinized is if it caused harm to others...that is unacceptable. That would be impeding on the other's Path. In today's lingo: your rights end where the next person's begin. You cannot allow your quest to adversly affect another's. This is at the heart of our spirituality, our culture, and our laws. It's not a bad way to live.

But centuries of European conquest and often forced religious conversions and adherence have left their mark on Cherokee Tribal peoples, and perhaps it is no more evident than in the case of the Two-Spirited. Traditionalists and adherents to the "old ways" believe that we should once again embrace the Two-Spirited into our communities; the predominately Christian modernists believe that gay people are in fact sinning against the Creator, and to embrace them would be to embrace sin. The traditionalists argue that homosexuality is a private matter; the modernists argue that to allow gays to marry would be to erode male-female marriage. It is not too different from the gay marriage debate anywhere else in America, with one group arguing that rights are meant for all, and another claiming that gays should not have "special rights for their alternative lifestyle."


That brings me, finally, to the article.

I question the motives of the Council members who sued, claiming that the marriage of Reynolds and McKinely would "damage the reputation of the Cherokee." HOW would it damage our reputation? And why do we care what others think of our Tribe and its laws? So often, I have heard other laws in Tribal lands defended by claiming that the misunderstandings of others is not our concern. We live by OUR laws, and have fought hard to do so. So why now are we caring what others think of those laws? After fighting so hard to gain our rights, why do we wish to throw them away so that others won't think less of us? And truly, those who WILL think less of us....aren't they going to think badly of us, one way or the other, these people who are standing by to judge the Cherokee? How many times have I heard it said that since we will be misunderstood and misrepresented in any event...we should simply follow our own laws, our own beliefs, and leave it to the Creator to judge? How many times have we in NDN Country defended not only our right to have our own laws, but those laws themselves, by strongly insisting that we are in fact different from the American government and we need our own laws, as our legal system and concepts are different from those of mainstream America? Now, suddenly, we want to change our laws to fit those of mainstream Conservative America? Now, suddenly, we fear the judgement of others on OUR laws? And who exactly ARE these people, standing by, waiting to judge us by who we allow and don't allow to marry? Most of what happens in NDN Country is ignored by mainstream America....why this should be any different, is beyond me.

I fear those who sued were motivated not by concerns for our "reputation" (which is certainly contrary to our usual live-and-let-live attitude), but by their own discomfort with gay marriage. And that is unpardonable. They used their power as Council members to attempt to impede another's Path. It's abominable. It goes against everything that we as a people stand for.

I am pleased that the injunction against this marriage was refused. I am disappointed that the law has been changed, and such marriages are now impossible....for the time being.

People of the Cherokee, listen up! We cannot allow the beliefs of others to dictate our own. We cannot allow the scrutiny of others to impede us from doing what is right. We cannot allow our ancestors, who fought so hard for our right to rule ourselves, to have fought in vain. Now is the time to stand firm. If we wish to have a reputation, let it be one of tolerance and acceptance. Do not stand in another's Path...let him walk through and find his way as the Creator intended. And let us not stand in the way of love. For that is the Creator's greatest gift....let us not be known as those who would abhore it.

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Nutbag Security: 4-Year-Old on No-Fly List

4-year-old turns up on government ‘no-fly’ list


HOUSTON - Edward Allen’s reaction to being on the government’s “no-fly” list should have been the tip-off that he is no terrorist.

“I don’t want to be on the list. I want to fly and see my grandma,” the 4-year-old boy said, according to his mother, Sijollie Allen, after the pair had trouble boarding planes last month because someone with the sane name as Edward is on a government terrorist watch list.

“Is this a joke?” Allen, a Jamaican immigrant, recalled telling Continental Airlines agents Dec. 21 at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. “You can tell he’s not a terrorist.”

She said it took several minutes of pleading and a phone call by the ticket agent to get on the plane to New York. And workers at La Guardia Airport were even more hard-nosed before their Dec. 26 flight home. She said a ticket agent told her: “You’re lucky that we’re letting you through instead of putting you through the other process.”

The Transportation Security Administration’s “no-fly” list was established immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to prevent people who may have terrorist ties from boarding commercial flights.

TSA regional spokeswoman Carrie Harmon said the agency tells airlines not to deny boarding to children under 12 or select them for extra security checks even if their names match ones on the list.

“We do not require ID for children because there are no children on the list,” Harmon said. “If it’s a child, ticket agents have the authority to immediately de-select them.”

Other people with common names who have encountered “no-fly” list problems at airports include Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and actor David Nelson from “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., has said he had to make several calls to federal officials before his name was separated from the one on the list.


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Nutbag Judge Sends Armed Rapist to Live in Day Care Center

Gun-rap rapist gets sprung to live with ma - at day care



A convicted rapist, Cornelius Phillips, busted two weeks ago on weapons charges was freed yesterday by a Brooklyn judge to go live with his mother, who runs a day care center at her home.

Phillips, 21, had been detained since Dec. 23 for allegedly violating his probation by getting charged with possession of two guns and resisting arrest, officials said.

At a hearing yesterday, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Anne Feldman refused to keep Phillips behind bars, instead ordering him to go live with his mother, who operates a day care center on Pine St. in City Line.

"This is outrageous," said city Probation Department spokesman Jack Ryan. "He is a sex offender living in a nursery school with guns!"

Feldman had sentenced Phillips to probation in 2003 after he pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in a gang assault on a 15-year-old girl, law enforcement sources said.

Yesterday, Feldman scolded Phillips but ordered him to live in New York at his mother's home.

"We have an objection to him even staying there!" Kuziw said, referring to the day care center. "This defendant is on probation for rape!"

"I know more about this case than you do!" Feldman snapped back.
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I don't even know where to begin here: the fact that this nutbag judge sentenced a man to PROBATION for gang-raping a 15-year-old girl, or the fact that this same judge then sent the man, after being busted violating parole by buying guns--home to live in a day care center.

Lady, you might know more about this case...but you don't know a thing about common sense, or common decency. And I hope there isn't a single parent stupid enough to keep or enroll their children in that nursery school. But more than that...I hope the next judge this gun-toting rapist sees has the good judgement to keep the fucker in jail.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Nutbag Parents: Sitter? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Sitter!

Parents Accused Of Leavings Kids Home Alone While Partying



San Ramon police are investigating the case of two young children, 10-year-old Joshua and his 5-year-old autistic brother Jason, left home alone while their parents went to Las Vegas to ring in the new year. The boys are now with their grandmother. Their father and step-mother still haven't made it home.

Police found the children home alone and asleep in their beds after their maternal grandmother called. She had asked officers to check on them. She was afraid the parents had gone to Las Vegas and left the kids behind.

The grandmother says the boys' father and step-mother had asked her to watch them so they could go to Vegas, but she told them she wouldn't be able to. They told her they couldn't find anyone else to take care of them.

Libbey Holden: "I said, 'why don't you take the boys with you?' She said, 'because we are newlyweds and we work hard and deserve a break."

Police got into the house through an unlocked second floor sliding glass door late Saturday night. They say the gas fireplace was on and the boys were safe. But they had been there by themselves since Friday.

Police say the children acted as if this has happened before, and the grandmother says it has.

Investigators left several messages for the parents on their cell phone over the weekend, but didn't hear back from them for two days. They finally called Monday night to say they are still in Las Vegas.

The family's next door neighbor says the couple never contacted her about watching or checking on the kids.

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You fuckers work hard and deserve a BREAK from your kids? I hope you get one...permanently. You assholes don't deserve to have children. You don't even deserve to have hamsters. I shudder to think what could have happened to those kids: both young, one autistic, alone with an unlocked door....

I hope Vegas was worth it, you bastards. No, I don't. I hope you lost your shirt as well as your kids. You could have lost their lives....for your asinine "newlywed break."

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When Tiny Little Dogs Attack!

Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer



FREMONT, California - A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home following a traffic stop, authorities said. The officer suffered minor injuries including bites to his ankle on Thursday when the five Chihuahuas escaped the 17-year-old boy's home and rushed the officer in the doorway, said Fremont detective Bill Veteran.

The teenager had been detained after the traffic incident, Veteran said.

The officer was treated at a local hospital and returned to work less than two hours later, Veteran said.

It was the third time this month a Fremont officer was bitten by a dog while on duty. Neither of the other officers were seriously injured.

Fremont is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of San Fransisco.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Neat Link: Who Do YOU Look Like?



Apparently, I look like Stockard Channing.
I can live with that.


Face Recognition

NDN NEWZ: Homeless for a Century

Homeless for Over a Century, a Tribe Awaits U.S. Redemption



GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Here at the base of a rise called Hill 57, a steady, cold wind blows on a cloudless day as James Parker Shield and Russ Boham tell of life for the landless Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

James Parker Shield helps lead an effort by the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians to win federal recognition, which would mean money to buy land.

The tribe, its land taken away more than a century ago, squatted in Great Falls and elsewhere in north-central Montana through the late 1960's, living as many as 12 to a tar-paper shack without plumbing, and scavenging at the dump for scrap metal, rags and food. Parents often ran afoul of state child welfare officials. "They'd see you sleeping in a car body and take you away from your family," said Mr. Boham, who, like Mr. Shield, was among those shipped to the state orphanage when he was a child.

Today, with most of its members living in public housing around Great Falls, Mr. Shield and Mr. Boham are leading a protracted fight for government recognition of the tribe. Recognition would allow their people to gain control of federal money to buy land here for a tribal headquarters and housing, and to win back a measure of dignity.

The 112 families led by Chief Little Shell lost their North Dakota homeland to the government in 1892 when a chief of the Pembina Chippewa signed away their rights to it, without their authority and in their absence. The Little Shell had left home, in the Turtle Mountain area, to go hunting, and an Indian agent forced the other Chippewa to accept the Ten Cent Treaty - so called by Indians because it bought about 10 million acres of Chippewa land, including that of the Little Shell, for a million dollars.

Ever since, the Little Shell have known only diaspora.

Most came to Montana, where they lived near dumps and on the streets of Great Falls, Helena and other towns. In 1896, angry whites asked the government to do something about them, and the Army rounded them up at gunpoint, put them on boxcars and shipped them to Canada. "Most of them made their way back," said Mr. Shield, the vice president of the tribal council, which Mr. Boham serves as assistant.

The three other surviving Chippewa tribes from the Turtle Mountain area - the Turtle Mountain, the White Earth and the Rocky Boy - were all less scattered and received federal recognition over time; they now have reservations. But the 4,500 or so Little Shell still await official recognition from the Office of Federal Acknowledgment at the Interior Department, a quest for which they have gained the support not only of other tribes in Montana but also of the Montana governor's office, the State Legislature and Cascade County, which includes Great Falls.

The recognition process was created by the government in 1978 to make reparations to tribes that had been forced to move from place to place throughout American history. There are now 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States.

Roughly 220 others have expressed interest in recognition, but such efforts are often strongly opposed. Some of that opposition comes from tribes, already recognized, that are eager to protect their vast casino gambling income, and from states that do not want recognized tribes within their borders, because a bid for recognition is occasionally a ploy of relatively few Indians with dubious historical ties simply to open a new casino.

"We're running into the ripple effects of gaming and politics," Mr. Shield contended. "But the gaming has nothing to do with us. If you take a hard look at the gaming opportunities in Montana, there's no market and no population. We want a home."

James E. Cason, an associate deputy interior secretary who oversees Indian affairs, denied that the gambling issue had been a factor in the case of the Little Shell, who first applied for recognition in 1984, who received preliminary approval in 2000 and who have spent much of the time since then engaged in assembling the documentation needed for final approval. (The final draft of their petition was sent to the government earlier this year.)

"It doesn't have anything to do with gaming - it's a nonissue," Mr. Cason said, adding that the Little Shell had been "in control of this process the last five years and have asked for extensions."

With the final draft now in hand, "we will try to do it as expeditiously as we can," he said.

But the recognition process has long been criticized by Indians as unwieldy, partly because of a requirement for extensive documentation that proves they have acted as a tribe politically and culturally over the last two centuries.

"It's extremely onerous, almost prohibitively so," said Kim Gottschalk, a lawyer for the Native American Rights Fund, a nonprofit law firm based in Boulder, Colo., that is researching the Little Shell claim. The fund estimates that it has spent more than $1 million in out-of-pocket expenses on the petition, not counting lawyers' pay.

Kevin Gover, a Pawnee Indian who was assistant interior secretary for Indian affairs from 1997 to 2000 and is now a law professor at Arizona State University, is also critical of the recognition program.

"They've been around for 30 years," he said, "and they've never managed to approve more than two a year."

Professor Gover said the Office of Federal Acknowledgment demanded far too much documentation, "and that is especially a problem for tribes like the Little Shell," who lived in a remote area and have no written records from the period.

The Little Shell band is not claiming land. But with $3.5 million held in trust for it by the federal government until recognition is achieved, it would buy 200 acres of farmland here in Cascade County, where most tribal members live, and build a headquarters, a clinic and housing.

In November, Cascade County commissioners passed a resolution calling for the county to be the home base of the tribe, even though that would mean the removal of 200 acres from the tax base.

"We support them moving forward with official recognition," said Commissioner Lance Olson. "But if they aren't going to recognize them, they should tell them."

Federal recognition would also allow the Little Shell to apply for minority contracts and to have a government-to-government relationship with Washington.

"That means they could no longer treat us," Mr. Shield said, "like someone they don't want to admit they fathered."

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Friday, January 06, 2006

~~**~~NUTBAGS OF THE YEAR: 2005!~~**~~



Yes, ZPT fans, it's that time of year again...time for us to look back with shock and shame at the nuttiest of the nutbags for the year 2005 (to read 2004's list, click here.)


How does one qualify for Nutbag status? It must be an individual (not a group or organization, although many Nutbags belong to questionable groups or organizations) who defies such human traits as sympathy, empathy, logic, intelligence and common sense. Nutbags are often heinous persons with no care whatsoever for the harm they wreck upon themselves, innocent victims and society at large. We all know Nutbags in our day-to-day lives...these Nutbags "distinguish" themselves by becoming famous or semi-famous for their horrendous (or just plain stupid) activities.


And now...on to the list!





~*~NUTBAGS OF THE YEAR: 2005~*~





NUTBAG FATHER OF THE YEAR:
Harley Quint Young


A former Garfield County man, Harley Quint Young, sentenced to prison for 30 years for beating his four-and-a-half-month-old daughter to death after reportedly coming home from work in "a bad mood" is upset that he was given jail time.

According to deputy district attorney Gretchen Larson, Young told her, "We're one of the better American families. We don't beat our kids and we don't do drugs in front of them." He also stated that the whole thing "sucks."



NUTBAG MOTHER OF THE YEAR:
Lakeisha Adams


Adams allegedly placed her 3-month-old son in a clothes dryer...and turned it on. The infant, who did not survive, suffered third-degree burns and blunt force trauma to the head.



THE MARY KAY LETOURNEA NUTBAG TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Lindsay Renee Allen


A teacher's assistant at Wicomico Middle School, Lindsay Renee Allen, has been charged with 96 counts of sexual assualt, child abuse and perversion and stands accused of having sex with six male students between the ages of 12 and 16 over a period of more than eight months, according to Wicomico County law enforcement officials.

Most of the sexual encounters allegedly occurred at Allen's home, where the special education aide resides with her 2-year-old daughter and a roommate.



NUTBAG CHEATER OF THE YEAR:
Wayne Brightly


Bronx teacher Brightly allegedly paid one Rubin Leitner, who is developmentally disabled, $2 to take his state certification exam, which he needed to pass or risk losing his $59k-per-year job. Brightly had flunked the test repeatedly. In fact, that's how he got caught: the illegal stand-in (who looks nothing like teacher Wayne Brightly) not only passed the high-stakes test, he scored so much better than the teacher had previously that the state knew something was wrong.



CELEBRITY NUTBAG CHEATER OF THE YEAR:
Jude Law


For shame, Jude. For shame.



NUTBAG LAWYER OF THE YEAR:
Richard Phillips


British media reported with glee the tale of Richard Phillips, who e-mailed the secretary to ask her to pay a four-pound ($7.30) dry-cleaning bill after she accidentally spilled tomato ketchup on his trousers, oblivious of the fact that the secretary was not able to answer the email...as she was attending her mother's funeral.



NUTBAG COACH OF THE YEAR:
Mark R. Downs Jr.


The T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hit an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate in the head with a baseball so he wouldn't have to put the boy in the game.

"The coach was very competitive," state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said. "He wanted to win."



NUTBAG PARENTS OF THE YEAR:
Ronnie Paris Sr. & Nysheerah Paris


These Tampa-area nutbags are truly deserving of this award. The father is accused of abusing thier 3-year-old child, Ronnie Paris Jr...beating the boy to death so he wouldn't be a "sissy." And the mother? She never called authorities to report the abuse, beause she was "scared someone would take her baby away."

``He was trying to teach him how to fight,'' said Shanita Powell, Nysheerah Paris' sister. ``He was concerned that the child might be gay.''




NUTBAG BULLY OF THE YEAR:
Rev. Fred Phelps


Now, there are so many reasons to dislike Phelps. His "God Hates Fags" website. His picketing of funerals of gay people, American soldiers killed in Iraq, and even the West Virginia miners who recently died in an explosion. All good, sound reasons. But this year, Phelps wasn't content to simply attack the dead...he wanted to bully elementary schoolgirls, too.

His Kansas-based evangelical group planned to picket Englesby Intermediate School after a 12-year-old student won a "Women In History" essay contest writing about openly gay comedienne Ellen DeGeneres. A flier produced by the group includes a photo of the school and a grotesque devil. The diatribe attacks the staff, labeling it a “homo-fascist regime,” among other things. No word as to whether or not he demanded the child's lunch money, too.



NUTBAG GRAVE ROBBER OF THE YEAR:
The unidentified thieves of the bones of "Masterpiece Theater" host Alistair Cooke

I usually don't give Nutbag Awards to nameless persons...but these jerks so plainly deserve it.



NUTBAG HOMOPHOBE OF THE YEAR:
Gerald Allen


Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. Under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."



HOW THE NUTBAG STOLE CHRISTMAS AWARD:
Ransford George Perry


Perry, a Wal-Mart Santa Claus, was arrested for allegedly exposing himself to a 15-year-old boy and attempting to have the boy engage in oral sex with him at his home. Mrs. Claus was unavailable for comment.



AUCTION NUTBAG OF THE YEAR:
Terri Ilagan


For legally changing her name to GoldenPalace.com to the tune of $15,199 after an online auction...this mother of five takes the cake. Or the fortune cookie. Or what have you.



NUTBAG HAS-BEEN OF THE YEAR:
Gary Glitter


Former British glam rocker Gary Glitter was formally charged with committing obscene acts with two girls aged 10 and 11 at a Vietnamese resort town. Glitter, 61, who won fame as a flamboyant glam rocker in the 1970s, is accused of kissing and engaging in other physical acts with the girls at his rental home in the southern coastal town of Vung Tau.



NUTBAG GRIM REAPER AWARD:
Randall Terry


You remember Mr. Terry...he's the force behind the media circus that became the last days of Terri Schiavo's life. But he's not through yet, folks. Now he wants to make sure that NO ONE can die with dignity...even those who have left specific written instructions. He's backing legislation currently before the Wisconsin Senate that allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical personnel who morally disagree with the guidelines regarding feeding and hydration tubes to ignore living wills and advance directives. Because after all, when you are in pain and dying...the medical staff's feelings should be your first consideration.



THE EBENEEZER SCROOGE NUTBAG OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Alisher71


Many people looking for a good deal on the holiday's hottest items turned to eBay and found...one hell of a scam artist. Meet Alisher71, who to date has swindled eBayers of more than $130,000. Bah humbug.



NUTBAG AUTHORS OF THE YEAR:
Daniel Rosenberg & Richard Kirshenbaum,
authors of Closing the Deal: Two Married Guys Take You from Single Miss to Wedded Bliss.

By treating marriage like a lottery and women like cattle, these guys are on a two-man mission to bring back the 1950's. Read my post on these nutbags here.



NUTBAG MANAGER OF THE YEAR:
Unnamed Manager of Loews Theater in Wallkill


Seven-year-old Anthony Pratti, who has cerebal palsy and autism, was thrown out of a matinee showing of the G-rated documentary "March of the Penguins" for laughing too loud.

Anthony, who uses a wheelchair, was with his parents, his sister and his grandmother at the Loews Cineplex theaters in the Galleria at Crystal Run when the incident occured. The family sat in the wheelchair section provided by the theater. Anthony was having a good time, said his mom, Gina Pratti. "He was laughing, but he really wasn't much louder than any of the other kids," she said. About 15 minutes into the film, one of the theater's managers approached the family, and told them Anthony was laughing too loud. They offered to try to quiet him, but the manager brusquely told them the boy had to go. Outraged, the family followed the manager to the lobby, where they were told they all didn't have to leave – just the boy in the wheelchair.

"I said to him, what are we supposed to do, wheel him outside and leave him there?" she said.



NUTBAG EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR:
Dean Wooten


Wooten, a 65-year-old Wal-Mart greeter, was fired for welcoming customers with a computer-generated photograph of himself wearing nothing but a plastic Wal-Mart sack.

Wooten applied for unemployment, but a judge ruled that "a reasonable person would know the act of showing a naked body wearing a Wal-Mart sack would not be good for the employer's business."



NUTBAG WEATHER FORECASTER OF THE YEAR:
Michelle Kosinski, the "Today" show


During a live shot about rising waters in Wayne, N.J., reporter Michelle Kosinski appeared in a canoe on a suburban street – attempting to dramatize the severity of the flooding disaster.

A few seconds after she went live, however, a pair of men walked in front of the camera – the waters barely covering the tops of their boots. Oops.



NUTBAG BRIDE-TO-BE OF THE YEAR:
Jennifer Wilbanks


Georgia's Jennifer Wilbanks, better known as the "Runaway Bride," disappeared just before her wedding, hopped on a bus to Las Vegas, and turned up days later in Albuquerque, falsely claiming to have been kidnapped. A media circus ensued.

Many speculated cold feet was to blame, which Jennifer denied.

"I had a host of compelling issues which seemed out of control," she said.
Obviously.



NUTBAG IN NEED OF A SEXUAL-HARASSMENT SEMINAR:
Saeed Akbar


Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that Saeed Akbar, a manager at an interpreting and translation company, "had wanted a bit of excitement". And he sought it, while conducting an interview with a potential employee. Akbar, 35, left the interview room and came back in to speak to his female victim naked and clutching a clipboard.
When the job candidate refused to strip as well, he put his clothes on and attempted to continue the interview as normal, the court was told. The woman, however, fled and contacted police.

Akbar, from Fife, said: "I wanted a bit of excitement that afternoon, that's purely all it was."

He initially told police his strip was a consensual "role play" as part of his "tough interviewing technique".
I'd hate to see how he handles terminations....



NUTBAG PEEPING TOM OF THE YEAR:
Larry Gold


Lawyer Larry Gold says he installed a minicamera in the bathroom at his law office, where his three female secretaries work, to "catch people smoking pot."

Instead, the camera caught a secretary using the toilet. She spotted the camera and went to the police. They charged Gold, a lawyer since 1989, with three counts of unlawful surveillance, a felony.



WHEN NUTBAGS ATTACK AWARD:
Lorlie M. Gatenbein


This Idaho woman was charged with felony injury to a child after dousing a 2-month-old baby girl with pepper spray while feuding with the infant's family in a Wal-Mart.

Gantenbein in a telephone interview on Wednesday denied using the pepper spray. She said her 16-year-old daughter used the spray, but did so in "self-defense." The baby has not been charged with assualting anyone in the Gantenbein family.



NUTBAG RACIST OF THE YEAR:
Judge Barry Tatum


Meet Wilson County, Tennessee Family Court Judge Barry Tatum, who is fond of telling immigrant mothers who appear in his court to "learn English or else."

Take a recent case involving a woman from Oaxaca, Mexico, who had been brought before Judge Tatum after she'd refused to immunize her kids or show up for Children's Services appointments. At the custody hearing, Judge Tatum instructed the mother to learn English and use birth control.

Tatum made another such order to a Mexican woman appearing before him on charges of child neglect. He set a court date for six months, denying her request for counseling and instructing the woman to learn to "speak English at a fourth-grade level" by that time or lose custody of her daughter, according to the woman's attorney, Jerry Gonzalez. He's made such orders at least five other times. Gonzalez said the judge was setting the mother up for failure. "She probably doesn't have a sixth-grade education. I daresay the judge himself, an educated man, could not learn to speak Spanish to a fourth-grade level in six months," Gonzalez said. "He gave her an impossible task."



NUTBAG BABYSITTER OF THE YEAR:
Juan Reyes


37-year-old Reyes was charged with child endangerment after one of two toddlers he was baby-sitting was found drunk, authorities said. Deputies peered through the window of a New York home and found the extremely intoxicated Reyes passed out with the two children, ages 2 and 3, wandering around the house. He was the only adult in the home.

The deputies also noticed the 2-year-old was having difficulty standing, had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol and was lethargic.

The toddler was taken to the hospital, where tests revealed he was legally intoxicated, with a blood-alcohol content of 0.094 percent, the sheriff's office said. In New York, a driver is considered drunk with an alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater.

At the time, the children's parents were at a hospital, where the mother was giving birth.



MORNING TELEVISION NUTBAGS OF THE YEAR:
The Hosts of "The View"


"The View" isn't fond of breastfeeding...and they're happy to let everyone know it. Barbara Walters seems to lead the pack in this: she has complained about being seated near a nursing mom on a plane and commented that "you can't breastfeed triplets," which came as a pretty big shock to the thousands of moms breastfeeding multiples (including triplets) every day. Star Jones added, "That's not what breasts are for!" "Disgusting" is another term the ladies on this show have used to describe nursing, they've called members of La Leche League "nuts" and applauded fellow commentator Elizabeth when she gave up nursing after only one month.

A nurse-in was held in front of ABC studios to protest the anti-breastfeeding comments. Instead of apologizing, or even conceding that her statements may have offended some people...Barbara Walters chastised the women for "making a big deal out of a little comment." This is the same woman, you'll note, who makes people cry on national television for "little comments" for a living.

In response to the nurse-in, the ladies at "The View" agreed to address the issue in an upcoming show...but decided to talk about Madonna instead.



NUTBAG CON CARNE:
Anna Ayala


Ayala claimed to have found a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili in San Jose. Turns out it was a hoax, and and the finger came from a deceased relative. The the scam cost the fast-food chain millions, and made people all over America quesy. Bon appetit.


SEXIST NUTBAG OF THE YEAR:
Larry Summers


Harvard president Summers said women might not have the "genes for science" and caused such an outcry, he's been forced to try to make up for his sexist rubbish with tenure offers, study commissions and millions in recruitment funds.



NUTBAG DEFENDANT OF THE YEAR:
Michael Jackson


He dances on the roof of his SUV outside the courthouse and wears pajamas inside it. Remember when people thought the term "Wacko Jacko" was a bit harsh?



NUTBAG DIVORCE COURT JUDGE OF THE YEAR:
Paul A. Bastine


In Seattle, Shawnna J. Hughes was granted a divorce. But barely a week later, the 27-year-old medical assistant was back before a judge, who rescinded the order after learning Hughes was pregnant by another man.

"Not only is it the policy of this court, it is the policy of the state that you cannot dissolve a marriage when one of the parties is pregnant," Superior Court Judge Paul A. Bastine told Hughes.

Experts said there was no blanket prohibition in the laws of this or any other state against pregnant women getting divorced; several Seattle-area family law practitioners said that they had obtained divorces for pregnant clients. "I cannot think of any policy that would require this woman to stay married to a person who was in prison for abusing her," said Carol Bruch, a law professor at UC Davis.

Further roiling controversy in the case, Bastine told Shawnna Hughes that she had forced a prolongation of her marriage on herself with the "intentional act" of getting pregnant.

"You have created the situation by your own actions that delay your opportunity to dissolve your marriage," he said in the hearing.



NUTBAG FAMILY COURT JUDGE OF THE YEAR:
Cale J. Bradford


An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals." The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that emphasizes a balance in nature and reverence for the earth.

Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court, kept the unusual provision in the couple's divorce decree last year over their fierce objections, court records show. The court failed to explain how exposing the boy to Wicca's beliefs and practices would harm him.



NUTBAG FOOT-IN-MOUTH AWARD:
President George W. Bush


"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

U.S. President George W. Bush to Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown, during his first visit to the region devastated by hurricane Katrina. Brown was later blamed for the federal government's inadequate response to the hurricane.




AND THE WINNER OF THE NUTBAG
OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR 2005 IS....



TOM CRUISE!



Could there be any doubt as to WHY Mr. Cruise deserves this accolade? He's been a busy little nut all year long: from jumping on Oprah's coach and sucking face with his girlfriend, Katie Holmes, whenever a camera is in the vicinity to calling interviewers "glib" and telling them to "put their manners back in," he's been the nut to end all nuts these past twelve months. And then there's his attacks on Brooke Sheilds and anti-depressants, the creepy Scientology weirdo he has following pregnant Katie around, the completely psycho reaction to being squirted in the face with a toy microphone and the sonogram he bought for "home use." Yes, Tom...we all loved you when you danced around in your underwear or were telling us we complete you. But now? We really, really wish you'd stop jumping on couches and consider lying down on one.





Thanks to everyone who has made this list possible...YOU'RE ALL NUTS!

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!





My Resolutions:

1) Give Up Soda Entirely
2) Get Two New Tattoos


I'm hard at work on the 2005 edition of NUTBAGS OF THE YEAR. I hope to have it posted by week's end.


Also, if you get a chance...come vote in my WORST Bad Baby Names of 2005 Poll for my other blog, Bad Baby Names!

I hope everyone had a great New Year's!