Thursday, February 28, 2013

Someone On The Internet Is WRONG


If you're on Facebook, and possibly even if you're not, you may  have seen the unedited version of the above meme floating around. The big red X is mine, because ....

... What the HELL was the creator of this thing thinking? Wounded Knee? School shootings? All they have in common (that I can see) is the fact more than 10 shots were fired in each and innocent people died. I can't imagine what possessed anyone to make a further connection.

To start, that "meme" is a  mash-up of total lies and fabrications. Yes, this photograph may be of an Indian school, but it is just as apt to be Christian missionaries among whatever tribe they were working to convert. At any rate, the photo is entirely random. Secondly, the incident in 1890 was on a frozen patch of prairie beside Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota - which was most definitely not a school. And finally, there was no "deadliest school shooting" in 1890 - by anyone.

It. never. happened.

Here is where I get angry. I was in my early teens when I learned about Wounded Knee, and it struck me as profoundly as learning about the Holocaust. Are you unfamiliar with the massacre at Wounded Knee? Let me give you the thumbnail version.

By 1890, the American frontier was closed and the last Native tribes were pretty well shoved onto the reservations. Their way of life was dying, the buffalo were all but gone, and many of their children were being forcibly removed to boarding schools far from home. (Where, I must point out, no U.S. gov't agent or agency ever fired a shot.) In their despair, some of the People seized upon a new home-grown religion, the Ghost Dance, whose Messianic prophesies promised resurrection of their dead and a great rebirth that would restore the old ways.

The Ghost Dance swept through the Dakota reservations and when agency powers-that-be saw their Native charges fervently pounding drums and dancing in the snow, they grew afraid - and they called for backup. The U.S. gov't responded and its first casualty was the great chief, Sitting Bull, shot during an attempted arrest.

Upon learning of Sitting Bull's death, a Minneconjou chief named Spotted Elk, also called Big Foot, , led his people on a march towards hoped-for safety at the Pine Ridge agency. US cavalry intercepted them en route, where they surrendered peaceably and the commander ordered them to camp at Wounded Knee Creek. This they did and posted a white flag of truce. The next morning, the commanding officer demanded the surrender of all weapons and soldiers began a search of the Sioux encampment, some 350 people.

(Please note the utter absence of any "school.")

Accounts differ as to what happened, but a shot was fired and the close-quarters struggle devolved to shooting, and then the rapid-fire Hotchkiss guns surrounding the camp opened up and rained hellfire. The shooting continued until between 150 to 300 Sioux (estimates vary widely) lay dead or dying, including men, women and children. Some of the dead were found two miles away - chased and shot down as they tried to escape. A blizzard blew in shortly after and so the Native bodies were left to freeze for several days, before being gathered up and buried in a common grave.

And there you have it. So, when I turn and look at the unthinkable tragedy of Sandy Hook, I have to ask, what in blue hell is that meme talking about? What does Wounded Knee have to do with any school shooting?

Sad thing is, I can guess. I mean, Sandy Hook and Wounded Knee both have the word "massacre" appended to them, right? Innocent people and little kids died in both, right? So, somewhere out there in Internetzland, some myopic twit looked at Wounded Knee, spat tobacco in his paper cup and said, "Well, ya see? If you give up your guns, that's what the Gummit does to ya."

But ... I'm still confused. Schools?  How much tequila did this guy have on board when he decided to connect Wounded Knee to school shootings? The plain fact is, the U.S. government had NO PART in any "deadliest school shooting in US history." Ever. Forever. Period.

I can't even begin to grasp how that silly bastard came up with this. What is he trying to say? That Sandy Hook wasn't so bad, because the U.S. Government did worse? That because a horrible thing happened at some point in history, it's less bad if a similar thing happens now?

Except the horrible thing he's using as his example never ever happened, and to say it did is not only wrong, it's just plain sick. Like, please-don't-have-children-because-your-gene-pool-scares-me sick. It's a stretch of logic that hurts my brain to even attempt.

Look, I own guns, I have a CCW and I have no intentions of giving up either. But when someone vents their dissatisfaction with, or their distrust of our government by spreading blatant lies and bald displays of gross insensitivity ... brother, you've lost me. That someone needs to take the tinfoil off their head a little more often.

So, if you, gentle reader, have however-innocently stuck this thing to your Facebook wall or blog page, please consider taking it down. Whoever made this was one twisted, insensitive puppy, and you don't want to rub against his stink.

 Know your history. Know your facts. And don't be a Facebook lemming.

~ * ~
Here is what Wounded Knee really looked like. (And it still had NOTHING to do with school shootings.)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy birthday, Jesse-dog!

I am such a bad dog mom!!! :( While everyone was eating chocolates and posting pink hearts, my good old dog, Jesse, was having his 14th birthday.

Yup, Jesse turned 14 on February 14, which was Valentine's Day this year. (Somehow I was thinking his birthday was the 17th.)

My, how the years have flown. From the handsome 2-year-old who lived tied to a tree at Reds Meadow Pack Station, until we took him on, to the rather neurotic young fellow who PEED on everything and who, under any perception of pressure while training, would quit the field and run to find the nearest human friend, to the steady good boy who could handle anything from lambs to recalcitrant ewes to silly heifers ... he has been my dog.

If I knew then what I know now, I don't know if he would have made an Open dog. Pro-Novice, sure, but he wasn't about the big outruns and flashy moves. He just wanted to work. Give him a job, show him a task and he soon made it his own. He was a darned good farm dog, a pretty decent cow dog and, over time, he and I got pretty handy at local arena and farm trials. In fact, eventually we started winning them. It wasn't due to my minimal skills: it was Jesse, who knew what I wanted better than I did - even if he didn't always believe that Stop meant Stop. ;)

He's old, now, about 97% deaf and going out in the hind end, and little things distress and upset him. He's happy sleeping around the house all day, but when the sun starts to go down, Jesse wants his family indoors and within his sight, or he barks his protest at full volume. Actually, being deaf, his bark only *has* one volume, now. But that's okay. It also tells us when he's happy, when he's out frolicking with the young dogs and falling on his butt and getting back up again to frolic some more in his tangle-legged, arthritic, bark-barking way.

Jesse is a happy old dog. He has what he always wanted, a place to belong and a family to call his own. He's the last of our old string, the last of the cow dogs, the trail dogs, the dogs who savvied the mountain trials and knew the high country camps. The sands in his glass are starting to run low, but his days are gentle and warm and well-fed. It's going to hurt when he leaves us, but he's raised our puppies and taught ME more than I can ever say.

I do love you, Jesse, you funny old man. Happy belated birthday.