Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Russell Means 1939 – 2012

What’s Wrong With This Picture?
International indigenous people and Native American civil-rights leader, activist, politician, actor, writer, artist, and musician, Russell Charles Means died of cancer, Monday October 22, at home in Porcupine, South Dakota.

He was 72.

The above pictures, of the multi talented man were taken February 2, 2007 at the New Mexico Capitol

An Oglala Sioux, he was born in Wanblee, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. He was baptized, Oyate Wacinyapin, which in his native Lakota language means, "works for the people".
The reservation covers all or part of three counties in the southwest corner of the state. It represent some of the poorest area of the country, yet the landscape is magnificent.

Means was one of the main American Indian Movement leaders during the 71-day Wounded Knee occupation, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D., which began February 27, ending May 8, 1973.

He was charged with a number of felony crimes along with fellow AIM leader Dennis Banks for the siege at Wounded Knee. Both were represented by ACLU lawyer William Kunstler and after eight months of trial, US District Court of South Dakota Judge Fred Joseph Nichol, dismissed all charges citing prosecutorial misconduct. The ruling withstood an appeal.
This triptych, is of the church at Wounded Knee, the central gathering point during the 1973 occupation and siege. The upper left is the view of the church and cemetery from across the road, BIA 27 also known as Big Foot Trail, as seen through a cut-out in the door of an outhouse, just in front of the stream bed where the massacre at Wounded Knee took place in 1890. The upper right picture is of the cemetery from the church looking towards the site: it is also where the artillery pieces were located. The bottom picture was a neighboring girl who sold me a raffle ticket in support of her softball team. The picture below left is of a memorial at the grave of the 1890 victims.

Means participated in several other AIM occupations and eventsHe joined AIM when he participated in the 1969 take over of Alcatraz island in San Francisco Harbor. He also protested: Mount Rushmore, S.D. in 1970, on Thanksgiving Day 1970, on a replica of the Mayflower at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs offices in Washington, D.C. in 1973.

Means had a mainstream political history, he ran for the presidency of the Oglala Sioux tribe in 1974. He was defeated, but due to massive voter fraud, a federal court ordered a new election. The fraudulent government refused, and the court did not enforce its ruling. He had failed efforts at national politics when in 1984, as a vice-presidential candidate, he joined Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flint’s presidential campaign. In 1988 he made a run for the Independent Party’s presidential nomination, which went to Texas Representative Ron Paul.

A part time resident of San Jose, New Mexico, Means failed to get on the 2002 New Mexico ballot as an Independent candidate for Governor, because the Secretary of State claimed he’d missed a deadline for filing by ten-minutes. However, unlike this year’s election cycle, the State Supreme Court upheld the rejection.

He wrote a 1995 best selling book: “Where White Men Fear to Tread, the Autobiography of Russell Means.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

George McGovern 1922 – 2012

Former U.S. Senator, D – South Dakota and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, George McGovern died Saturday October 13, 2012.

He was 90.

McGovern, was defeated in the landslide re-election of incumbent President Richard Nixon in 1972,

A harsh critic of the Vietnam War, McGovern only carried the State of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia by the greatest plurality in history.

Burglars working for Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), were arrested June 17, 1972, while planting electronic listening devices in the National Democratic Party Headquarters in the Watergate office and hotel complex.

The Watergate scandal was not widely reported until after the election and would lead to the resignation of Nixon. A number of his White House and campaign staff were: indicted, convicted, and sentenced for numerous crimes.

These pictures were taken during a June 5, 1972, McGovern primary campaign stop at Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque.

Senator Fred Harris, D-Okla., left, sits with 1972 McGovern and Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz., at a press conference at the Hacienda Restaurant in Old Town.

Harris, now a New Mexican had also been a primary candidate in 1972 receiving two electoral votes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

George Buffett

What’s Wrong With This Picture? 
Former 12-term New Mexico State Representative, Republican National Committee member, and candy-maker George Buffett died Saturday, October 9, 2012 of kidney and heart failure. He was 83.

He was also known for being a cousin of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

As a representative, he was known as a conservative’s conservative. He produced a newsletter between January 1989 and June 2008 called Buffett’s Bullets. In the 99 editions he was known to rail against political inside dealings, calling many CROOKS. He also gave sage advice along the way.