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How did I Miss That? Cherokee Verbs Tamed—But Not Ducks

The Cherokee Phoenix reported that John Standingdeer, Jr., a citizen of the Eastern Band, has been awarded Patent Number US 9,158,762 B2 for a “new and useful invention” for the “Deconstruction and Construction of Polysynthetic Words for Translation Purposes.”

Cherokee verbs can do a lot more than English verbs, and conjugating Cherokee verbs is for those of us not native speakers only slightly less intimidating than rocket science. Standingdeer claims to have found a way though the language thicket of Cherokee and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agrees that his method is original. He’s set it up on the web for those who want to give his method a try.

Within a week of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson endorsing Ted Cruz, there was dissention in the duck blind. Willie Robertson endorsed Donald Trump.

“The winner,” Cousin Ray suggested, “will be the one who gets his ducks in a row.” 

Outside the political duck blind, CNN caught the Teflon Trump campaign releasing a video that blasted the VA for its treatment of U.S. soldiers illustrated by pictures of Russian soldiers. The mistake has been corrected without comment, but in an earlier contretemps where the campaign tweeted men in WWII German uniforms, the Trumpers blamed the error on a “young intern.”

USA Today reported that Omo, a white giraffe, has survived her first year in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Omo is not albino but merely leucistic. An albino has no melanin at all, making characteristic red eyes because all you can see are blood vessels. According to Derek Lee of the Wild Nature Institute, her color puts her at greater risk of becoming a victim of poachers.

Cousin Ray started to say that in the U.S., white things are at less risk rather than more…but he quickly piped down because in the U.S. the shooting victims are human beings.

Mother Jones reported on the mostly southward migration of U.S. gun manufacturers, pulled by state and local subsidies in addition to weak labor laws.

Remington Arms moved from a union plant in New York to a nonunion plant in North Carolina for almost $70 million in subsidies.

Sturm Ruger opened a new plant in North Carolina in spite of $15.5 million in subsidies lavished on an existing plant in New Hampshire.

Berretta USA moved from Maryland to Tennessee for over $14 million in subsidies.

In a bit of regional poaching, Smith & Wesson decamped New Hampshire for Massachusetts and over $6.5 million in subsidies.

It doesn’t always work. Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed in 2011 he had poached Colt from Connecticut with an incentive package, but Colt backed out and has now declared bankruptcy, leaving Florida holding a $1.66 million bag.

The Pearl County, Mississippi Picayune Item reported that two father and son teams had a shootout over a repair bill at a gun shop, leaving one father and son dead and the others “seriously injured.” Early reports did not give names or specify which pair “won” the gunfight.

“Not to worry,” assured Cousin Ray, “everybody knows the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I asked him if he meant that whoever died was wrong in the dispute over a $25 repair bill? “Something like that.”

KPRC reported that the DeLorean is about to go back into production in Humble, Texas. The new DeLorean Motor Company is refurbishing old DeLoreans since purchasing the original parts stock in 1987. Refurbished models sell between $45,000 and $55,000 and they have sold “new” models made with old parts for $57,500.

The new DeLoreans will be virtually identical to the 1982 originals and the target price point is under $100,000. How far under depends on what modern engine will be used for the new cars. The originals were infamous for being a bit pokey.

I thought even just under $100,000 sounded pretty steep, but Cousin Ray disagreed. “What do you expect to pay for a car that will time travel?”

In less happy auto news, Land Rover is ending production of its iconic British answer to the Jeep. Land Rover has taken Brits all over Asia and Africa and Australia since 1948. It was thrown on the market to keep the company afloat long enough to ramp up production of real cars.

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The British auto industry, like the U.S., had been focused on war needs during WWII, and new civilian automobiles had to start from the drawing board. In the case of Land Rover, the temporary placeholder became a runaway hit, outlasting many “real cars.”

KXAN reported that engineering teams from around the world will be traveling to Texas A&M University for “Design Weekend,” focused on building a Hyperloop in Texas. The logical routes would be the same ones that birthed Southwest Airlines, the triangle comprised of Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Arlington-Ft. Worth, with routes crossing the middle of the triangle to hit Austin.

The Hyperloop was first proposed by Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. It involves a low-pressure tube containing capsules for transport of people and cargo on a cushion of air powered by a magnetic linear accelerator. Hyperloop advocates claim it would make a 330 mph commute between Austin and Dallas in 15 minutes.

Two of the teams are from the University of Texas at Austin, and one draws its name from the traditional mispronunciation of the street that borders the campus, Guadalupe. The team calls itself Texas Guadaloop.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts has promised to hold up the appointment of Eric Fanning as Secretary of the Army until President Obama leaves office.

Roberts claims he’s keeping the Army from having a voice and the people from having a fully staffed command structure in the Department of Defense because President Obama wanted to close the torture chamber or detention facility or prison or political freak show or whatever you choose to call it at Guantánamo BayCuba.

He says it’s “nothing personal.”

“I’m guessing,” Cousin Ray said, “that the fact Fanning is gay is just coincidence?”

In other fundamentalist news, the Mirror reprinted a social media rant by Umm Isa Al Amrikiah, an American woman who has joined ISIS and has been seeking to recruit western women on line. She was exercised at a continuing flow of messages from young men “seeking advice” in a manner that she took to be cyber-flirting. She ranted in part:

What has become of the Ummah that you think it is acceptable to randomly message a sister to say salam? Why are you imitating the kuffar? Why can’t you follow some simple, basic rules?

Even a dog can be taught basic commands like sit, walk, bark and be quiet. Yet some men cannot even learn simple rules like “go away”. Do you need a doggy treat every time you learn to obey commands? Where has your intellect gone?

Cousin Ray was chuckling. “Since when does that gang care about anybody’s intellect?”

One of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first visits to Europe made possible by the lifting of sanctions in the deal to limit Iran’s nuclear capability turned into a social media circus as Italians protested Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s decision to cover up classical nude statutes in the Capitoline Museums of Rome. Italian companies landed business deals with Iran worth 17 billion Euros ($18 billion dollars) but ordinary Italians questioned whether the business justified disrespecting ancient Roman culture.

Cousin Ray said he had heard that argument about disrespecting culture to do business “every time a mining outfit trashes a reservation.”

ESPN reminded us that Michael Oher, “Big Mike” in the book and movie, The Blind Side, is about to go for his second Super Bowl ring when the Carolina Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals for the right to meet the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on February 7. Oher got his first ring with the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.

Oher has never been a fan of The Blind Side, but he remains close to the adoptive parents with whom he shares the story, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in the movie version of The Blind Side.

The NFL has christened this year’s championship Super Bowl 50 rather than Super Bowl L and its other claim to fame is that Bronco quarterback and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, 39, has said this Super Bowl may be his “last rodeo.”

In college ball, The Tulsa World reported that Cherokee citizen Mason Fine, the Locust Grove High School senior who holds the record for all time passing yardage, has verbally committed to play for the Mean Green at the University of North Texas in Denton.

While Fine ranks eighth nationally in all time passing yardage and ties for fifth nationally with 166 touchdowns, conventional wisdom says he is too small to play in Division I. Fine turned down scholarship offers from nine colleges in lesser divisions to try for the collegiate big time with a team that was 1-11 last year and has had only one winning season in the last 11 years.

Cousin Ray expressed the opinion of many Cherokees when he said, “If heart counts, Mason Fine is the biggest player going to college next year.”