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How Did I Miss That? Scalping Columbus; Putin as Gretzky

James Loewen published an appreciative review of Adam Fortunate Eagle’s book, Scalping Columbus, on History News Network, reporting that Fortunate Eagle “ends with an appendix that tells the curious reader the proportion of bullshit in each chapter. This innovation other authors, especially of US history textbooks, might emulate.” That LOL leads me to tell the truth about the entire title and subtitle of Fortunate Eagle’s book: Scalping Columbus and Other Damn Indian Stories: Truths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies. This spirit of tolerance for exaggeration continues below.

In the greatest athletic feat by a head of government since Chairman Mao swam across the Yangzi River at age 72, Russian President Vladimir Putin played his first hockey game at age 61, scoring six goals and registering five assists. Slow-motion video showed the goalie diving away from Mr. Putin’s smoking slapshot, and his devastating speed on the ice took him though his first game never touched by a body check “And to think,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller marveled, “he did all that with his shirt on.”

Fox News editorialized that Putin’s prowess on the ice was “another demonstration of President Obama’s weakness in the face of the Russian threat.” When it came out that all US TV stations had not run the Putin video, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) promised hearings into “the cover-up of Obama’s surrender of our national pride.”

The first big story in the NFL draft was how long Johnny Football had to wait for his ticket to Cleveland, but The New York Times had an interesting sidebar about how the NFL manages to inscribe a player’s name on the correct team jersey between the time his name is called and when he hits the stage. Turns out, they do two jerseys for each pick, and one goes to a trading card company to be cut into tiny pieces and stuck in a set of commemorative cards. Cousin Ray was wondering about jerseys not taken, but he was out of luck—the NFL donates them to charity. “Shucks,” said a disappointed Ray, “free is the only way I’d ever get a jersey from the Washington team unless they change the name. Then I’ll buy one for the tribal museum.”

The second big story in the NFL draft came when the St. Louis Rams took Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam as the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL. Sam was caught on camera giving his boyfriend a celebratory smooch, leading some bigots to throw a flag for excessive celebration.

When the Rams were in Los Angeles, they were also the first NFL team to sign an openly black player in 1946. Indian players broke in much earlier, and the first President of the American Professional Football Association, which later became the NFL, was Sac & Fox great Jim Thorpe, who served in 1920 and 1921.

“The NFL may use Indian players,” grumped Cousin Ray, “but they’ll have to do something about the Washington team to be Indian-friendly in this day and age.” On that front, Richard Sherman, the colorful Seattle Seahawks cornerback, cited the Washington team’s name as evidence that the NFL would not move decisively against racism like the NBA did when the racist remarks of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling became public.

On May 12, Sterling finally commented to CNN that his girlfriend made him do it. His wife suggested that it was dementia. Cousin Ray, commenting that Sterling did not help himself on CNN, speculated, “Sterling has a terminal case of mic-in-mouth disease.”

USA Today reported on the National Guard’s effort to recruit soldiers by sponsoring a NASCAR team. The cost was a mere $88 million, but consider the results. Potential recruits inspired by NASCAR numbered 24,800. Of those, 20 met the qualifications for enlistment. Of those, none enlisted. When I told Cousin Ray that other services had quit NASCAR over cost-effectiveness, he claimed they “got tired of spinning their wheels.”

Foreign Policy reports that the Pentagon has spent over a billion dollars developing a hypersonic “boost glide” weapon, informally known as Dyna-Soar, without a mission for it. Apparently because “hypersonic weapons just sound cool.” Cousin Ray understood cool, but wondered if we could be cool for less than a billion and counting.

The Verge reported that Star Wars: Episode VII will bring back Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker played by the original actors.

The makers of Five Fingers Shoes, which Cousin Ray told his granddaughter “have separate places for each little piggy,” agreed to pay substantial damages for false statements about the health benefits of the shoes without admitting that the claims were false. Cousin Ray is waiting for them to get sued for patent infringement by whoever holds the rights to Eldridge Cleaver’s pants, which, ah, had a pocket for your junk on the outside. Those pants were immortalized in the Townes Van Zandt song, "Pancho and Lefty," where the bard wrote that Pancho “wore his gun outside his pants, for all the honest world to feel.” I believe that no matter what my old bud Townes said.

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If you don’t believe that, Cousin Ray refers you to the infamous infantry rhyme about the distinction between a rifle and a gun.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that a corporate person can sue for defamation just like a human person can, opening up human persons who complain about corporate persons to lawsuits. “What’s the big deal,” asked Cousin Ray, when the US Supreme Court is considering whether corporate persons have freedom of religion?”

The El Paso Times reported that an unnamed 54 year old woman from Lovington, New Mexico, settled her lawsuit against the El Paso County Hospital District for subjecting her six hours of body cavity probing, an observed bowel movement and a CT scan after she was “randomly” selected while returning across the international bridge from Ciudad Juárez. The hospital then sent her a $5,000 bill for these “services.” The terms of the settlement were not disclosed and the case is still pending against the two Customs and Border Protection agents who selected her.

The New York Times carried a profile of the Nordhaus brothers. Bob, 77, wrote the Clean Air Act. Bill, 72, developed the algorithm to price carbon. Cousin Ray pointed out that these guys are defending the environment the hard way. “Too bad they can’t be like the Koch Brothers are in defending the interests of oil. You know, just buy some Congresscritters.”

Timothy Egan reports that the Koch Brothers have spent $61 million to convince people that the earth is not warming, and they have convinced 44 per cent of the GOP and 70 per cent of the Tea Party.

In other crime news, Vox reported on 2013 hedge fund manager income that 0.00000008 per cent of the US population made 0.13 per cent of the total national income. The top 25 hedge fund managers made more that twice as much as all the kindergarten teachers in the country combined.

On May 9 Morning Joe, Willard Mitt Romney came out for raising the minimum wage. “I guess that settles whether he’s running for President again,” said Cousin Ray, “that position will never make it out of the clown car.”

In an interview on ABC, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) reserved an early ticket for the Republican Presidential Primary clown car when he denied that human activity has a role in the climate change that will eventually submerge some valuable property in the state Rubio represents. Cousin Ray claimed he has some Florida real estate he’d like to sell Sen. Rubio and promises it’s nothing like that swamp he was peddling when he ran Sixkiller Vacation Properties.

The Wichita Falls TimesRecordNews reported police answered a “check on welfare” call and discovered that a woman had stopped at a Murphy’s Gas Station, gone to the restroom, and delivered a baby…claiming she never knew she was pregnant. Cousin Ray observed that she made it in time for Mother’s Day, “even if not exactly on purpose.”

The Obamacare “death panels” have finally shown up. If the figures for the Romneycare model in Massachusetts hold up nationally, Obamacare will save about 24,000 lives a year. The death panels are in the states that refuse to expand Medicaid for political reasons. The body count is expected to be about 6,000 a year.

Dr. Raphael Warnock is the current pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, MLK’s church. Interviewed May 9 on All In, Dr. Warnock pointed out that the Governor of Georgia signed a law denying the expansions of Medicaid and another authorizing a monument to MLK. “If Dr. King were alive today, I guarantee he would rather have Medicaid than a monument.”

David Brooks published an op-ed in The New York Times that quoted a book by an African telling white people how to write about Africa: “Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.” Cousin Ray was amazed. “That’s exactly the same method they use to write about Indians!”