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California Slaughtered 16,000 Native Americans. The State Finally Apologized For the Genocide

June 19, 2019 in History

By Erin Blakemore

Assemblyman James Ramos, of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, (fifth from left) opens a meeting with tribal leaders from around the state, as well as California Govenor Gavin Newsom (fourth from left),undefinedat the future site of the California Indian Heritage Center in West Sacramento, California on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Enslavement. Exploitation. Discrimination. Violence. Forced removal. Genocide.

Despite inhabiting California for thousands of years, Native Americans faced all of this and more at the hands of California’s white settlers and the state’s government itself. Now, California governor Gavin Newsom has made a first-of-its-kind apology to the state’s Native peoples.

“It’s called a genocide. That’s what it was. A genocide. [There’s] no other way to describe it and that’s the way it needs to be described in the history books,” Newsom said at a blessing ceremony for a Native American heritage center. “And so I’m here to say the following: I’m sorry on behalf of the state of California.”

Up to 16,000 Native Californians died in the genocide, which took place from the 1840s through the 1870s. Most of the deaths occurred during hundreds of massacres during which state and local militias encircled and murdered Native peoples. The genocide was facilitated by discriminatory California laws and the outright support of state officials and Federal authorities who condoned and supported the attacks.

READ MORE: California’s Little-Known Genocide

The apology comes in the wake of centuries of mistreatment of Native Californians. Before white settlement, at least 80 languages were spoken by a variety of Native peoples in what is now California. Animosity toward Native Californians predates the state; during California’s tenure as a Mexican province from 1804 to 1848, Spanish missionaries seized Native lands and pressured them into living in and laboring for missions. Epidemics wiped out tens of thousands.

Illustration depicting Sutter’s Mill, where New Jersey prospector James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, sparking the California Gold Rush.

Once California was handed over to the United States at the end of the Mexican American War, things became even worse for the new state’s Native population. The man who discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill was led to the precious metal by Native people under the control of John Sutter. But despite making the Gold Rush possible, the state’s Native peoples were enslaved, displaced and discriminated against.

Indeed, the very foundation of the state was built on a …read more


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Is It Time to Cut U.S. Losses in Venezuela?

June 19, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

A few months ago, the Trump administration and most members of
America’s foreign policy community had high hopes that the fall of
Venezuela’s radical left-wing government was imminent. The United
States and more than 50 other countries promptly recognized Juan
Guaidó, leader of the National Assembly, who claimed to be
the country’s interim president, replacing Nicolas Maduro.

The United States and its allies clearly assumed that the
Venezuelan people would quickly dislodge Maduro from power. He was
already highly unpopular due to economic mismanagement and
increasingly autocratic behavior. But Maduro has not been deposed,
and the Trump administration needs to reassess its policy.

The anticipated uprising against Maduro failed to materialize in
January as Venezuela’s military remained loyal to him, despite U.S.
inducements and pressure to switch sides.
Guaidó and his followers then tried to revive the
rebellion’s flagging fortunes, organizing anti-regime demonstrations on April 30 and May 1.
After a few days, the new offensive fizzled as well. As the summer solstice
approaches, Maduro remains in power. The insurgent faction that the
United States regards as Venezuela’s lawful government has yet to
control any meaningful portion of the country. Guaidó
himself appears to be an increasingly marginal, even pathetic figure, and the opposition to
Maduro shows growing signs of disunity.

U.S. leaders are reluctant to admit that their policy has
failed. Instead, the excuse-making machinery is working overtime.
After the disappointing outcome of the spring demonstrations, U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even asserted that Maduro was on the
verge of fleeing to Cuba when the Kremlin assured him of
continued assistance from Russian and Cuban security forces
operating in the country.

Nevertheless, some governments that had followed Washington’s
policy lead now appear to be hedging their bets. When
Guaidó’s diplomatic envoy to Brazil arrived in that country,
the Brazilian government ostentatiously snubbed her. This was a significant action
given that not only is Brazil an especially important country in
the hemisphere, but its current right-wing government has been
openly hostile toward Maduro.

Any government facing a probable, high-profile policy failure is
always tempted to escalate rather than cut losses. The Trump
administration appears to be considering that course. It already
has intensified economic sanctions against Venezuela, including
targeting the beleaguered country’s oil sales. More worrisome, Trump himself once
flirted with the option of a direct U.S.
military intervention. It is not comforting that John Bolton, a
notorious hawk, is the president’s national security adviser.
Trump’s decision to appoint Elliott Abrams as a special envoy in
charge of Venezuela …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Conservatives Lose Their Friends in the Countryside

June 19, 2019 in Economics

By Alberto Mingardi

Alberto Mingardi

MILAN — The cleavage between the country and the city is
as old as politics itself — but is particularly worrisome
these days for one set of political ideas: those that aim to free
markets and reduce government intervention.

Last month’s European Parliament election illustrates a
disquieting trend. Unsurprisingly, liberal, cosmopolitan forces did
better in urban pockets (and in better-off regions in the West).
More remarkably: Big-spending populists did well in rural areas
(and in Eastern Europe more generally).

That rural areas voted for parties promising to open the taps of
public money is bad news for believers in small-government
restraint. It points to the possibility that conservatives in the
countryside — once the bastion of fiscal prudence —
have become accustomed to assistance from the state and switched
sides, offering their votes to those who irresponsibly promise to
keep the cash flowing.

To understand why that’s so worrying, we need to go back to the
work of the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, a giant of the
social sciences.

In the 1910s, Pareto argued that people could be divided into
two groups: rentiers and speculators. The first care deeply about
the stability of their possessions, favor routine, save steadily
and eschew debt. They are unimaginative, conservative-minded people
who have a strong preference for security.

The cleavage between the
country and the city is as old as politics itself – but is
particularly worrisome these days for one set of political ideas:
those that aim to free markets and reduce government

Traditionally, these are the people from the countryside.
Rentiers plant trees, they save for the next generation, they tend
to trust real estate more than banks. They tend to see government
interventionism as an enemy — a threat to their holdings
— rather than a profit opportunity.

They greet each new spending proposal with the same question:
Who’s going to pay for all of this? Past experience provides the
mostly likely answer: them. As voters, rentiers have tended to
favor parties that promise to protect their savings from the fast
fingers of the state.

Speculators, on the other hand, are the city slickers —
ready to take advantage of anything, including reckless public
finance initiatives. They are the ones, in Pareto’s time and ours,
who benefit disproportionately from state intervention.

They’re ready to exploit opportunities in new regulations, to
supply authorities with what they need for the latest public
project — especially if taxpayers can be lined up to pick up
the bill for their failures. At the ballot box, speculators are
happy to support big spenders — politicians whose
interventions in the economy will provide them with opportunities
to profit.

Rentiers …read more

Source: OP-EDS