Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the category “cultural commentary”

D.N.A. Does Not Define Ethnicity

Elizabeth Warren proudly referred to the results of her recent D.N.A. test that revealed she had an ancestor who lived six to ten generations ago and who might have been from North America or South America or Asia and passed to Senator Warren between 1/64 to 1/1024 of her genetic make up.  Consequently, she believes that proves wrong those who question her claim to be Cherokee.  Those law schools who hired her and bragged of their diversity based on Senator Warren’s heritage have similarly been vindicated, I suppose, even though they did not hire her because of her Indian heritage.  They just listed her as being a Native American faculty member.

Of course, the senator never met that ancestor, so sharing some genes is not the same as being family.  Nor is it the same as being raised in a particular culture.

My wife, Sugar, recently did a D.N.A. test.  She too expected that she might be “part-Indian.”  In particular, she had heard that some relative in the 1800s was Shoshone.    We still do not know whether that is true.   The test is so vague that it cannot specify Shoshone.  It imprecisely indicates a tiny percentage of unknown D.N.A. that could be Peruvian or Asian or Native North American.    Just like Elizabeth Warren.  They could be related.

Sugar found out something that disturbed her father, who is, he believed, 100% Italian.  He actually knew all four of his grandparents, who were each, he believed, 100% Italian.  So, one might expect that  his daughter would be 50% Italian.  The test results showed that she is merely 39% Italian and 11% “Iberian,” which must refer to the Iberian Peninsula, occupied by Spanish and Portuguese people.  (For purposes of this post, I will not describe the other 50% attributed to Sugar’s mother except to say it did not confirm the Shoshone theory,)  My point is that my father-in-law, regardless of the D.N.A. test, is indeed Italian.  He was raised in an Italian family by Italian people who, by the way, were all born in America, so by definition of citizenship, were Americans who identified as Italian-Americans.

Elizabeth Warren did not, as far as I know, grow up in a Native American culture, nor is she a member of the Cherokee Nation or any other particular tribe or tribes.  Tribal groups have their own rules for enrolling as a member of a tribe.  I doubt 1/64 is enough and I am even more certain that 1/1024 is not sufficient for membership in the Cherokee Nation.

Now let’s talk about me.  I am affiliated with the Omaha tribe.  My Grampa, who was a rural mail carrier on the reservation shared by the Omaha and Winnebago tribes in Nebraska, was the son of Swedish immigrants, yet he took me to the Macy Pow Wow, where I played with little boys who lived there.   One of them wrote to me after he read my blog about the pow wow.  He remembered.  We would play under the bleachers and out in the woods.  The boys there treated me like a friend, despite my lack of tribal enrollment.  Grampa and I learned a little about the Omaha culture by having friends on the reservation.  That is more of a connection than high cheek bones.

To the best of my recollection, I did not see Elizabeth Warren at the Macy Pow Wow.  That proves that I am more American Indian than she is.

 

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Mothers’ Day Differences

My mother raised  her children in a stable, fun, and loving home.

The TV and print ads about Mothers’ Day feature smiling mothers with adoring families.

Of course, there are other maternal situations that are not so heart-warming.

Not all mothers are good mothers who deserve praise and recognition.

Not all good mothers are appreciated.

Today can be an emotionally painful one for some women.

Some wanted to be mothers but are not.

Some regret  having children they mistreated or abandoned.

Some are mourning children who died before them.

Some are good mothers whose children ignore them, even today.

Some are missing mothers who are deceased.

If you have been blessed with a loving mother, show her some love.

 

 

 

The Cesspool in LaLa Land

They were acting

in Hollywood

that it was okay

But rumors

of the casting couch

have been confirmed,

The powerful

manipulating

the naive

whose ambitions

made them vulnerable.

And romances

among the stars

were not so glamorous

 

Do You Want Cheese With That Pizza?

Miss Sugar and I visited a car dealership, where we met an interesting sales person, who was very entertaining.

He is, he told us, 47 years old and does not run out to nab prospects “like the young spider monkeys” who are also part of the sales team.

We asked about a certain vehicle, a Lexus RX350.  Miss Sugar said she would like leather seats.  I said that I think all Lexuses (Lexi?) come with leather seats.

The car salesman confirmed my assumption.  He said, “When you order a pizza, you get crust and cheese without the cheese counting as an extra.  You don’t have to order cheese, but you might have to pay extra for sausage.”

This was a fitting analogy because the salesman has a very Italian name.  Sugar understood immediately because her father is Italian.

I just liked being right.

Russian Allies

I have heard in the news that Russians have hacked into some voting machines across the nation and altered the outcome of our presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. It sounds very complicated and is even more nefarious if voting machines are not connected to computers into which to hack via the internet, also known, appropriately, as the worldwide web, which, as we know, was invented by Al Gore, who was cheated by hanging chads in Florida, prior to the involvement of Russia in our American presidential elections.

I, for one, am suspicious that the election fraud was not caused by computer hackers from afar but rather by Russian spies among us, who have wormed their way into the offices of election commissioners across the land, posing not only as Americans, but as election workers in the highest positions with access to counting ballots, or I should say, miscounting ballots.

These serious allegations do not trouble me. They teach me. In prior blog posts, I have announced my plan to skip traditional election campaigning to focus on obtaining votes in the electoral college from faithless electors. I have revealed my strategy of raising money by selling influence and using donations with strings attached to bribe electors to vote for me regardless of who wins in their respective states.

Now I see an alternate strategy. That is, I should recruit Russian spies and hackers to help me win the election in 2020.

I have a few years to learn the language in order to make friends with Russian spies and hackers.   It is all falling into place.

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

I am grateful to Hillary Clinton and her minions for explaining how to win an election.  She can really teach.

Campaign Finance

This is a sequel to my prior blog concerning my path to the Presidency.

You will recall, if you read that blog post, that I plan to bribe electors in the Electoral College to vote for me.  I estimated $1 million per elector would be sufficient.  I need 270 electoral votes.

Some might criticize my plan by questioning how I can raise $270 million. I am glad that you asked.  The answer is simple:  selling influence.  Admittedly, I am not the first to come up with the idea.  Some other political candidates have used the technique without always admitting it.  I am being transparent.

So here is the deal:  Pay me money, which I will use to bribe electors, and when I am successful obtaining 270 electoral votes, I will use the office of the Presidency to do favors for you.  The size of the favor depends on the amount of money contributed.  You scratch my back, I will scratch yours (in accordance with your generosity).

Some have used the term “pay to play” in connection with the Clinton Foundation, inferring some sort of access to the power couple for those donors.  I do not need huge donations.   I will provide small access to me for small donations.  Win/Win.

If 270,000 people donate $1,000 each, I will win the Electoral College.  Those donors will get VIP tours of the White House and a commemorative coffee mug.  For just $100, you get the mug.  For $10, you get an autographed photo of yours truly, suitable for framing.  We can do this.  Together.

Thank you in advance for your support.

robuststache

 

 

A Modest Proposal For My Path To The Presidency

A couple days ago, I was talking to my friend, Kent, about the pressure being put on electors in the Electoral College, and I came up with a path to win the presidency on a reduced budget.

Kent is something of a Constitutional scholar.  He explained the concept of “faithless electors” voting contrary to the popular vote in their state.  I thought it was automatic that electoral votes, at least in “winner take all” states, automatically go to, well, the winner.  Apparently, Hillary Clinton supporters believe the electors should vote according to one’s “conscience.”  Presumably, it follows under their view that anyone with a conscience would vote for Hillary in the Electoral College.  That is, unless one’s conscience has to do with honoring the American system of electing our President.  At any rate, pressure is being put on electors to be “faithless” to their commitments to honor the popular vote.

And that is when I came up with my plan.  It is an improvement on Hillary’s campaign because it saves money by ignoring the costly campaign to win the votes of regular voters, who matter less than electors in the Electoral College.  You see where this is going.

My plan is to win the hearts and votes of electors regardless of any popular vote.  It is very costly to run television advertisements.  It is costly to travel to rallies around the country.  It is costly to put on a nominating convention.  My plan is to focus on bribing electors to vote for me.

As I recall, it takes 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency.  Let’s budget for $1,000,000 per electoral bribe to persuade electors to be “faithless.”  I would use the budget to heelp these people of conscience feel good about voting for me as a matter of conscience.   Who cares about nominated candidates and votes in the general election?  Let’s let 270 electors “do the right thing” by benefiting themselves and America as well.

My advice, dear readers, is to look into becoming an elector in 2020.  Then you can look forward to meeting me to discuss voting your conscience, unhampered by the votes of the deplorable voters in the general election.  It will be worth your while.

Now I just have to come up with $270,000,000.  I’d do almost anything for that amount of money.  Let’s talk.

Hey, I know, you could contribute to my foundation.  That’s the ticket.

Me, Colin, and the Constitution

Colin Kaepernick and I have never met, although we have some things in common.  He is an NFL quarterback  and I am an NFL unsigned free agent.  We share many of the same physical attributes.  (See post entitled Quarterback Material).  If I meet him at an NFL activity, such as a game or NFL Player Association meeting or party, I would probably like him.

Watching him sit during the national anthem, I don’t like him so much.  It seems disrespectful.  Actually, he himself says it is intended to be disrespectful.  He says:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

He has the right to say whatever he wants, of course.  The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech.

We Americans have other amendments in our Constitution too.  The Fourteenth Amendment says:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

I, like most of you, am opposed to oppression and racial prejudice, and unfairness of any kind.  It appears that the authors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were opposed to the same things to which Colin is opposed.  Not all the same things, of course.  As far as I know, they were not ashamed of our flag.  We probably did not have a national anthem yet.

I, like Colin, and all of you other Americans, have the right to freedom of speech.  That includes the right for me to say I don’t agree with Colin’s symbolic  speech by him sitting during the national anthem.  I don’t agree with disrespecting our flag.

I think his sitting does not make his message clear.  Many football fans who see him refusing to honor the flag have not read his words of explanation.  I have read those words and still do not understand.  He himself does not seem too oppressed.  He could do more to improve our nation by positive example than simply pointing out the obvious that racism still exists, despite such progress as the election of a mixed race President, who has appointed two black Attorneys General.  There is racism even in Denver, where we have a black mayor and a black chief of police.  My point is that, despite progress in fighting institutional racism by changing laws to ban discrimination, there are people who are still prejudiced.  Ironically, Colin is one of them, apparently, because he has judged from afar whether cases in which he did not participate are being handled under due process of law.  Colorblind law.

Colin seems to be saying that Black people have been killed by police who, in his opinion, should not get paid leave during an investigation because he already knows somehow that the police were not justified in using deadly force.  Maybe he doesn’t want the police to get due process of law per the 14th amendment.  Maybe he wants to be the one to decide from afar, without participating in the legal process.

Colin’s example of sitting has nevertheless influenced me to emulate him.  My wife has requested that I mow the lawn.  I mean no disrespect towards her, but it does not seem right for me to blissfully mow the grass when there is crime in our nation.  Sure, we have  passed laws against crime, but people still commit crimes.  Until there is no crime, I refuse to mow.  Oh, and until there is world peace too.  I will make the world a better place by sitting.  It would be selfish on my part to mow during these troubled times.

Would someone please explain my constitutional rights to my wife?

 

Cowboy Gathering

Folks from across the West

From Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas

From Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah

From South Dakota, Montana, Nevada

And even from California.

Open microphone on the stage in the park

Later taking turns singing around the campfire

Or saying poems or telling tales

My kind of crowd

Gathered at Encampment, Wyoming

For three days

The fourteenth annual cowboy gathering

Of which I have been to five

Attending with Miss Texas

UsSantaFe

Town Tour

Small Wyoming town with no sidewalks nor stoplights

A three story mansion across the street from a mobile home

Propane tanks rather than gas lines from public utilities

A horse and two mules in one backyard

With a view of the tavern

One paved street

300 people

200 dogs

No zoning

Plenty of free parking

 

 

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