5 December 2016   Leave a comment

Relations between the US Federal government and Native American Nations have always been strained.  The Supreme Court decided in 1831 that the Native American Nations were not “sovereign” in the sense of international relations.  Rather, the Supreme Court ruled in the case, Cherokee Nation vs. State of Georgia that the Native American Nations were “domestic dependent nations”:

“Though the Indians are acknowledged to have an unquestionable and, heretofore, unquestioned right to the lands they occupy until that right shall be extinguished by a voluntary cession to our government, yet it may well be doubted whether those tribes which reside within the acknowledged boundaries of the United States can, with strict accuracy, be denominated foreign nations. They may more correctly, perhaps, be denominated domestic dependent nations. They occupy a territory to which we assert a title independent of their will, which must take effect in point of possession when their right of possession ceases. Meanwhile, they are in a state of pupilage. Their relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian.”

The tension has been apparent in the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Now, key advisers to President-Elect Trump wish to privatize the lands that the Native American Nations currently occupy.   According to Reuters:

“Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves.

“Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

“The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership – a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.”

The distinction between national and international could not be more stark.

Image result for native american reservations


China has responded to President-Elect Trump’s tweets concerning the telephone call he received from the President of Taiwan.  The editorial was published in the People’s Daily which suggests that it represents the official position of the Chinese government.  The editorial is quite measured, but also quite firm.  First, it gives Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt:

“Given that Trump hasn’t yet been inaugurated, this incident can be counted as nothing but a despicable and petty move. Nevertheless, political influencers in both the U.S. and Taiwan intend to blow it out of portion. DPP [the Democratic Progressive Party, the pro-independence party in Taiwan which is currently in power], pro-independence citizens and U.S. conservatives couldn’t wait to resume the old ruse of ‘manipulating Taiwan to influence China.'”

But that paragraph is followed by one with a clear warning to Mr. Trump:

“Though petty moves can change nothing in the big picture of China-U.S. ties, a growing number of such moves can hinder the bilateral relationship in a major way. This is an issuethat Trump and his transition team should take very seriously.”

We will see if Mr. Trump takes the warning seriously.

The Guardian has an absolutely chilling story on how information is manipulated on the internet and how that manipulation affects the search engines we often use to find information.  I recommend the article in the strongest possible terms.  As one who relies heavily on internet resources, I now find myself second-guessing everything I read, even from sources that I traditionally regarded as responsible.  I am not sure how democracy can survive the pollution of information.

Posted December 5, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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