Columbus Day Injun Spectacular:
Let's face it: it took some kind of cojones to jump on a sailboat 500 years ago, shove off into the big ass ocean, and hope for the best. Shit, back then, motherfuckers thought sea monsters might eat 'em, they might just fall off the earth into nowhere, or pirates'd gut them and take their ships, keepin' the pretty cabin boys for pleasure once Long Dong Pegleg pulled their teeth out. 'Course, it helped to be bugfuck insane, drunk, and so greedy that you'd sell your prettiest cabin boy for a gold chain. (And, c'mon, most of world history is about the deeds of people who were some combination of sloshed, stoned, or screwy.) But let's give props where props are due: when Columbus sailed that fuckin' ocean blue lookin' for that gold, it was a leap of faith, man, the kind of crazy-ass mission we associate with snowboarders or Unabombers.

And what's one civilization's hero is another civilization's terrorists, and Columbus and his band of merry genociders slammed into these shores with all the force of a jet into a skyscraper, full of God-decreed bullshit that the white was right and all others must be enslaved and/or killed. So, in honor of the mass slaughter, torture, and destruction of indigenous peoples all over the entire American land body, first popularized by Christopher Columbus in his book Ten Habits of Highly Successful Cultural Annihilators (Habit Number Three: Torture efficiently -- A cudgel on the nuts is more effective than burning down a village), the Rude Pundit offers a day of news from American Indians, who, strangely enough, give a shit about many of the same issues as non-Indians, but who, strangely enough, view things through the lens of being Indian. Let's hope this makes up for half a millenium of rape, bloodletting, plunder, disease, broken treaties, and cigar stores.

On Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers: Miers' time as George Bush's Texas Lotto chief is cause for concern and relief. The concern is Miers' possible support for shutting down a Texas reservation casino in the late 1990s, the Tigua tribe's Speaking Rock Casino, because of the fear that casino spending was taking away from Lotto gambling. The relief is that she has been praised for fairness in that position in standing up for gaming in Texas, even against an evangelical Christian onslaught. Indeed, as one article discusses, both Miers and John Roberts have experience with defending gambling in one form or another (Roberts's work was in Vegas, baby), which makes one wonder if Indian gambling screwer extraordinaire "Black" Jack Abramoff had any say in the choices.

On the environment: Over in Navajo country, the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency has declared that mercury and selenium concentration are so high in the catfish there, it's issued fish consumption health advisory for two lakes in New Mexico. In Tuba City, Arizona, former Navajo uranium miners, suffering from a variety of ailments, met to discuss the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, and how to make it easier for victims to file claims. Also discussed at the meeting was how open mines not only create blowing uranium dust, but affect grazing areas, thus affecting the cattle, thus affecting, maybe, perhaps, the rest of us.

On religion: In the Mohawk area of New York, in September, the board of education of the Salmon River district banned the recitation of the Mohawk Thanksgiving Address, which had been done every Monday morning for the last three years. The high school there is 65 percent Mohawk. The address thanks a "Creator" for all kinds of stuff, like water, and a school board member saw it as breeching the separation between church and state. "Several hundred Mohawk students conducted rallies and civil protest against the decision while the board denied any redress. Five sixth-graders were suspended. Things got a bit hot. Mohawk families sued, arguing that a reference to a 'Creator' does not define the address as a prayer." Although, you know, cultural erasure issues aside, it's a prayer, as the editors of Indian Country point out, although it does beg the question of why the Bush administration, flamin' Bill O'Reilly, and others don't get involved in the debate.

There - feel better and a little more white and a little more liberal? Now, go eat some pasta, you ever-lovin' Italians, with your crazy Spaniard-lovin' seaman.