HDIMT? Alvina Begay Represents in Boston Marathon; Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Time in Seminole Country

Navajo runner Alvina Begay showed her Olympic-caliber abilities recently by clocking an impressive time at the Boston Marathon.

My cousin Ray Sixkiller and I join Native News Online congratulating Navajo runner Alvina Begay on finishing the Boston Marathon in 2:44.05. Alvina Begay did not run with the Kenyans, but that time is not too shabby. The top ten women ranged from 2:21.52 to 2:33.26

Begay wrote on Facebook:

I wasn’t going to give up! It was hot out there & I kept telling myself to fight, fight, fight! Always proud to represent Natives, Navajo Nation & Ganado.

All the British newspapers and the Daily Mail too carried notice that the Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland would be escorting two Russian warships, Steregushchiy-class corvettes Soobrazitelny and Boiky, traveling with a support tanker and ocean-going tugboat, through the English Channel.

The last time the Royal Navy had to bird dog the Russians though the Channel was when Vladimir Putin deployed the Admiral Kuznetsov—the only aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy—to the Syrian coast. The Kuznetsov, too, traveled with a tug. Russian ships need a tow so often they travel with their own tugs.

This time, the tensions were even higher, with the Channel transit coming just days after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, denounced Russia for casting a veto to protect Bashar al-Assad from UN Security Council action.

I didn’t have a snappy comeback when Cousin Ray asked me to defend a process that allows using poison gas on children if a permanent member of the Security Council will protect you.

“The Security Council,” Cousin Ray rubbed it in, “isn’t making me feel secure.”


Speaking of security, the Times of London reported on April 15 that President Trump had demanded a traditional state welcome that includes being transported in the Queen’s gold carriage.

When President Obama made a state visit in 2011, he traveled in a bullet-proof car. A source from the London Metro Police said of the Queen’s carriage, according to the Evening Standard:

It would not be able to put up much resistance in the face of a rocket propelled grenade or high-powered ammunition. Armour-piercing rounds would make a very bad show of things.

The British police were already concerned about security for President Trump because 1.8 million Brits signed a petition asking their government to rescind the invitation to visit and there had already been public demonstrations against hosting the POTUS.

Later the same day, the White House gave a statement to People denying the Times of London report. People quoted a White House spokeswoman saying the report was “false.” She added, “We have not even begun working on details for this trip.”

Readers will have to decide whom to believe. It probably depends on who is deciding, but the Times of London has a track record and so does Donald J. Trump.

Jim Hightower, writing in the Lowdown, credited Charles Blow of The New York Times with taking the time to look up these numbers. How long did a POTUS serve before a majority of the voters disapproved of him?

Ronald Reagan—2 years

George H.W. Bush—3 years, 1 month

Bill Clinton—1 year, 7 months

George W. Bush—3 years, 3 months

Barack Obama—1 year, 3 months

Donald Trump—8 days

The New York Post reported on a hilarious video that went viral when freelance news reader Natasha Exelby was applying lipstick during a commercial break. When she looked up and realized she was on the air, the look on her face was priceless and a good laugh was being had by all until ABC24 informed her that they would not require her on air services in the future. So far, both full time news readers and most TV viewers have been defending her. One full time anchor even sent in tape where she was caught in the same situation, but her expression was not as amusing.

There’s no way you missed the gaggle of thugs working at the request of United Airlines beating up a doctor who did not want to give up his seat because he was scheduled to see patients.

“There is no truth to the rumor,” Cousin Ray claimed, “that the United Airlines frequent flyer program is called Fight Club.”

I reminded my cousin that the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club. In response, he showed me a couple of things that happened within days on United flights that did not involve Fight Club.

KHOU reported that Michael Hohl and his bride-to-be were kicked off a United flight to Costa Rica, where their wedding was to take place. Their sin was not waking up a guy who was asleep across their assigned seats and inadvertently moving from “economy” to ‘economy plus” when they sat elsewhere. The couple said they moved when told after asking if they could purchase an upgrade. United said they refused to move.

By coincidence, KHOU uncovered an impending trial setting in a lawsuit filed by another United passenger. She claimed that she had an argument with her ex-husband and he hit her. In response, United told her to leave first class and take a seat in economy. She refused to give up her first-class seat and was set upon by two men who secured her hands behind her back and carried her to the back of the plane. United subsequently filed an unspecified criminal charge against her, but she was acquitted by a jury and then filed her own lawsuit.

CBC reported that Richard Bell, a passenger on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Calgary, was stung by a scorpion that fell out of an overhead bin. United had to admit that one because it arranged to have a doctor meet the flight in Canada and treat Mr. Bell.

A graphic threatened to go viral that used the Southwest Airlines logo with the motto, “We Beat the Competition—Not You.” Somebody was trolling United but it was not Southwest, which disclaimed the graphic and had no comment on the event.

Another on line comment used the United logo and suggested the motto, “Not Enough Seating? Prepare for a Beating!” Needless to say, that was not authorized by United.

If fighting off the trolls in the U.S. were not enough, United is getting hammered on social media in China, where it has more of the market than any other U.S. carrier, and is in a business partnership with Air China, and has 20 percent of the traffic between the two countries. Dr. David Dao, who got a concussion and lost teeth and had his sinuses rearranged for refusing to surrender his seat, is inconveniently Chinese-American.

Italian Emma Morano, 117, walked on this week. She was the last surviving human being born in the 19th century. Her birthday was Nov. 29, 1899. She passed quietly, sitting in her armchair, having disregarded doctors’ advice all her life when she ate three eggs every day.

Associated Press reported that she left her husband when she was 38 because he beat her. She had gone to work making jute bags at age 16. Then she went to work for a hotel and worked long past normal retirement age. She lived in a one room apartment with her caregiver and two nieces.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, the oldest person alive is now Violet Brown of Jamaica, who was born there on March 10, 1900. Neither Morano nor Brown appeared to have a lot of money, and when asked by a television reporter what she ate, Brown answered “whatever fills me up.” When she and the reporter quit laughing, she allowed that she does not eat pork or chicken, but she does eat everything else.

HuffPost reported that Nick Bruce was unhappy when somebody gave his daughter Abigail a goat for her tenth birthday. The goat got the name Speedy and house privileges while dad grumbled.

He quit grumbling when Speedy roused the household only two days after they took him in. What had upset Speedy was that the garage was on fire and smoke was coming in the house. The family, goat and all, was able to evacuate from windows on the other side of the house.

Everything in the house sustained smoke damage but the Weiner, Arkansas Fire Department saved the structure. Dad has changed his mind about Speedy.

“Well,” Cousin Ray observed, “now the little girl won’t have to worry that anybody will get her goat.”

For Florida residents with interests in animals more exotic than goats, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is going offer their Free Teacher Tour again in the month of July. The tribe’s objective is to gin up field trips for Florida students during the school year by impressing the teachers with access to four eco-systems, a colorful history that includes a war with the U.S. never ended by treaty, and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum full of cultural information for teachers wishing to get beyond stereotypes.

The Seminole website is still displaying the poster from 2016, but if you scroll down you can see they are doing it again this year.

Why notice this where so few Florida schoolteachers are likely to see it? Because lots of people will see this with plenty of cultural information on their tribal lands to support a field trip. The Seminoles have a great idea. Throw the hook in the water for the teachers and reel in the kids.