Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bizarro world . . .

These days you have to pick and choose your outrages. So first, this is from my friends at the North American Indian Center of Boston:

President Bush has proposed zeroing out Urban Indian Health Programs from the FY 07 budget of the Indian Health Service. The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH), a Washington DC based urban Indian controlled organization, has issued a statement on behalf of the 34 urban Indian health programs asking Congress to restore funding in the amount of $34,054,000. . .Please contact your Senators and Congresspersons asking them to support restoration of urban funding. At this writing, the FY 07 Appropriations Bill is scheduled to go to the House floor on May 18, 2006 for a vote. In the Senate, the Indian Affairs Committee has recommended restoration of funding for urban Indian Health programs. There is no date set for a Senate vote but one is expected before Congress goes into August recess. . . .

Urban Indian Health Programs offer culturally-competent services including access to Traditional Healing Practices. Behavioral Health/Alcohol Substance Abuse programs provide service treatment/intervention models mirroring Native beliefs and values. Urban Indian patients seek treatment and follow through with service plans at a rate far exceeding those Indian patients who access treatment from non-Indian providers.

The 2000 U.S. census data shows that 61% of the American Indian/Alaskan Native population reside in urban centers. The 1970 U.S. census showed 38% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives living in cities. Targeted government initiatives at assimilation and acculturation of Tribal citizens have been ongoing since the beginning of Federal/Tribal relations. Tribal citizens have been displaced from their homelands, sent to federal Boarding Schools, endured adoption of Indian children at a rate almost 40% higher than the general population, had Tribal religions, and ceremonies banned by government initiatives and were relocated in massive numbers to cities during the 1950’s and 60’s as part of the Relocation Policy. The government’s policy was a ruthless attempt to force American Indian/Alaskan Native people into the melting pot. Courageously, this did not happen and the 34 urban Indian Health program are housed in cities where the Indian community banded together to created local non-profit agencies serving the interests of Indian people.

Okay then, they can just damn well start being white! And the Republicans have a way to help them get started: $100 to buy gas for the uh, Winnebago. Yup, I thought this was satire, but it's the absolute God's honest truth:

Most American taxpayers would get $100 rebate checks to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday. . . Our plan would give taxpayers a hundred dollar gas tax holiday rebate check to help ease the pain that they're feeling at the pump," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced Thursday. . . .

Frist said the rebates would go to single taxpayers making less than $125,000 per year, and couples making less than $150,000. Republican senators said they hoped soaring gas prices would inspire Democrats to support their proposals.

"A lot of these other things we're talking about today, supply, like ANWR, have had Democrats oppose them in the past, when gas was $1.25, $1.50. Gas is now $3," said John Thune, R-South Dakota. "I would expect that there would be a lot more bipartisan support for proposals that would increase supply in this country."

Now, this is so completely fucking nuts that my usual talent for invective fails. Cost of the $100 bribe to shut up and keep driving, and pretend that the party will never end? I dunno how many adult taxpayers there are in the U.S. offhand, but it's gotta be over a ten billion dollars. $34 million for urban Indian health would disappear into a billion dollars like a fact into a Republican's brain. Write your own caption.

1 comment:

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