Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


February 21, 1996

Governor Arne Carlson is “firmly opposed to any increase” in Minnesota’s poverty-level minimum wage, according to the Tuesday, February 20 Minneapolis Star Tribune.  (If Arne thinks the minimum wage is that great, he should be paid $4.25 an hour for being Governor.)  The Strib also reported that Republicans explained the increase would put rural businesses at a “competitive disadvantage.”  But, rural businesses are not all small businesses, and some of the “rural businesses” which pay minimum wage are major, multi-national corporations.  The minimum wage for small-town Ma-and-Pa stores which have a high school kid helping out after school is one thing, and a livable-wage minimum wage law which exempted rural businesses with less than ten employees could be fair.  But big businesses which sell stock on the New York Stock Exchange paying the minimum wage to their 39-hours-per-week (and no benefits) employees, and million-dollar bonuses to top-level executives, is exploitation—sanctioned by the State, and subsidized by tax breaks for the wealthy and condoned with meager poverty-programs for the “working poor.”  But, then again, the imported European Capitalist, Communist, Social­ist, etc. philosophies advocate the concepts, “greed is good” and “exploitation is healthy,” although the people who are being exploited have never had a forum to air their grievances and broadcast how they feel about it.

BLOWING SMOKE: Since Grassroots Party leader Arlin Troutt’s eloquent speech at his conviction on drug charges, the contro­versy over the Government’s role in “morality legislation” has become more public.  If the government is using selective prohi­bition to “protect the citizenry,” why don’t they also prohibit sugar, tobacco, coffee, chemical food additives and alcohol other than untaxed moonshine and Crazy Horse Malt Liquor.  I detect a more than a hint of hypocrisy—it looks like the Great White Father is using drug laws as social engineering: to keep the class system intact, to tear apart inner-city communities, to divert attention away from the shenanigans and rip-offs done by the elite and their henches the “democratic leaders,” and to make money for the good ol’ boys through economic opportunities created by the criminal justice system (like sweetheart prison contracts).

In the 1960’s, some of the Hippie Generation used a mild form of marijuana as a religious sacrament.  The Generals in the Drug War are afraid that a new religion will become formalized, something like the “Peyote Cult” of the Native American Church.  If prohibition continues, that’s proba­bly what will happen... schisms from the Grassroots Party could form outdoor churches and little cults like “Rope-a-Dope,” “Heap-Big-Smoke (but no fire),” and “The Congregation of the Church of Good Shit,” to name a few.  The Good Christians use alcohol as a sacred drug, burn incense, and have canonized some far out visions described in their Bible, so this kind of “new religion” would be Constitu­tionally protected.

Marijuana is a medicinal herb, and like all medicines (even aspirin), can be abused.  Just as the British promoted opium abuse in China, and rauwolfia in the water supply in India, the U.S. Government is tacitly promoting certain kinds of drug abuse to keep non-white communities subjugated in a re-run of the same kinds of exploitive colonial thinking that they’ve been using for centuries.  The present prohibition “drug laws” are intended to create criminal behavior and social disintegration—and to fragment communities into powerless nuclear families.

THE “GOOD GUYS:” According to the social science textbook, Theories of Deviance, edited by Stuart H. Traub and Craig B. Little, “Crime is a definition of behavior that is conferred on some persons by others.  Agents of the law (legislators, police, prosecutors and judges), representing segments of a politically organized society, are responsible for formulating and adminis­tering criminal law.  Persons and behaviors, therefore, become criminal because of the formulation and application of criminal definitions.  Thus, crime is created.  ... Crime is not inherent in behavior, but is a judgement made by some about the actions and characteristics of others. ... Crime is seen as a result of a process which culminates in the defining of persons and behaviors as criminal.  It follows, then, that the greater the number of criminal definitions formulated and applied, the greater the amount of crime. ... Criminal definitions describe behaviors that conflict with the interests of the segments of society that have the power to shape public policy.” [emphasis theirs]

From an Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way perspective, many of the ac­tions and values of these powerful “segments of society” are those of criminal con-artists.  If the European culture and values which have been imposed on this Continent had been balanced and harmonious, then the Europeans would have never had to cut themselves off from their roots and leave their homeland.

BROWNSHIRTS: Using innuendos and allegations, the young Republicans are demolishing each other with “negative campaigning;” the anonymous alligators need to come forward and act responsibly.  When all the bashing is done, and the primary melée is over, will there be anybody left?  How about Newt?

To solidify his constituents in the New Hampshire primaries, perennial presidential candidate and former Nixon speech­writer Pat Buchanan reluctantly suspended militant right-winger Larry Pratt, who was adept at rabble-rousing, and getting out the riff-raff and redneck vote.  Four years ago, Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and neo-Nazi David Duke was suspended by the Republicans, and because of his “tainted blood” suddenly dropped out of politics and went back to selling insurance in the Aryan Nation.  Both parties want the reactionary vote, but don’t want their enthusiastic public support or “kiss-of-death” endorsements.

Buchanan is extremely sensitive to the mood of the disenfranchised lower classes, and is effectively promoting issues which attract and motivate them.  But, he is also attracting another element—and creating scapegoats to blame for the economic woes of blue-collar workers.  Remember the last time such a charismatic and expedient leader got involved in politics: the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930’s was accelerated by his apparent sympathy to the woes created by high German unemployment, and the urgent need for scapegoats to protect the upper classes and motivate the working people.

Can you hear the faint cadence of hob-nailed jackboots marching through the distant night on cobblestones, to the strains of Richard Wagner.  They say that music “soothes the savage beast,” but Wagner’s is a wake-up call for the beast; it stirs nationalism and ethnic cleansing, pseudo-morality based on judging others—creating unhappy groups and thus legitimizing hate.

As long as the Westerners are prisoners of their hierarchical, disconnected and violent language, their history will continue to repeat itself.  Rodney King said, “why can’t we all get along?”  But then again, it’s not a level playing field.

My telephone number is (218) 679-2382 and my mailing address is P.O. Box 484, Bemidji, MN 56619.

Wub-e-ke-niew


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