Tuesday, November 1, 2011

REALLY? it's been THAT LONG???????

Oh believe me, there have been more times than I can count in which I thought, "OH I WILL BLOG THIS" for you and I know, once it's in blog, it's FOREVER:-) right?

This Saturday is the memorial and some Indian namings...

What does this mean?
In my Indian world (it might be different in YOURS) when we lose our loved ones, we wait in mourning for a full year...one full dance around the sun before we take up our practices again - those of us who hunt must put down our rifles; if we are a pow wow dancer, we must hang up our sparkly laughing dresses and if we are a stickgamer (my love and fun forever) we must put away our songs and bells. Our year is almost over and on Saturday, we'll have our memorial for our mother. The mother of William (deceased); Victoria (deceased), We'eke Eykse We'eptes Aayat, Xunanpee, Twiepietit, Bill, Lonnie, Jolie, Heyuum Asa Kii, TukWyash and Waptas Timine passed away Nov 3, 2010. Although we didn't all follow traditions, we all had our way of passing the year and on Saturday we'll gather together, have a giveaway, dance into the longhouse in one long line; sing a few songs and remember our mother's smile and wise words...THEN comes the namings!
Names are what identifies us as Indian. I don't know about other tribes but that's how it is here at home.

I'm looking forward to AND dreading Saturday...but here it comes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 1924

Life has been SO busy. Barely time to sleep much less time to share - but coming back to this site has been one of those "ahhhh" moments. I've missed you, my good online friends!

This is irony personified...just wanted to share a moment in history today:

Native American Citizenship

1924 Indian Citizenship Act

Until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, Indians occupied an unusual status under federal law. Some had acquired citizenship by marrying white men. Others received citizenship through military service, by receipt of allotments, or through special treaties or special statutes. But many were still not citizens, and they were barred from the ordinary processes of naturalization open to foreigners. Congress took what some saw as the final step on June 2, 1924 and granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States.

President Calvin Coolidge with four Osage Indians after Coolidge signed the bill granting Indians full citizenship. Source — LOC, LC-USZ62-111409 DLC.

The granting of citizenship was not a response to some universal petition by American Indian groups. Rather, it was a move by the federal government to absorb Indians into the mainstream of American life. No doubt Indian participation in World War I accelerated the granting of citizenship to all Indians, but it seems more likely to have been the logical extension and culmination of the assimilation policy. After all, Native Americans had demonstrated their ability to assimilate into the general military society. There were no segregated Indian units as there were for African Americans. Some members of the white society declared that the Indians had successfully passed the assimilation test during wartime, and thus they deserved the rewards of citizenship.

Dr. Joseph K. Dixon, an active proponent of assimilating the "vanishing race" into white society, wrote:

"The Indian, though a man without a country, the Indian who has suffered a thousand wrongs considered the white man's burden and from mountains, plains and divides, the Indian threw himself into the struggle to help throttle the unthinkable tyranny of the Hun. The Indian helped to free Belgium, helped to free all the small nations, helped to give victory to the Stars and Stripes. The Indian went to France to help avenge the ravages of autocracy. Now, shall we not redeem ourselves by redeeming all the tribes?"

So, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 proclaimed:

"BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and house of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all non citizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided That the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property. (Approved June 2, 1924)"

Not all Native Americans viewed citizenship as something wonderful. Their experiences in dealing with Washington and the states did not give them much confidence in the government or desire to participate in it. Some tribes feared they would have to give up their own sovereignty and the federal government would deny its treaty obligations. In the words of one Native American:

"United States citizenship was just another way of absorbing us and destroying our customs and our government. How could these Europeans come over and tell us we were citizens in our country? We had our own citizenship. By its [the Citizenship Act of 1924] provisions all Indians were automatically made United States citizens whether they wanted to be so or not. This was a violation of our sovereignty. Our citizenship was in our nations."

On the other hand, there were Native Americans who saw voting as a right that had been denied to them too long. Maine was one of the last states to overturn state legal barriers to Indian voting. That rankled Henry Mitchell, an Indian canoe maker:

"The Indians aren't allowed to have a voice in state affairs because they aren't voters. All they [the politicians] have to do out there is to look out for the interests of the Indians. Just why the Indians shouldn't vote is something I can't understand. One of the Indians went over to Old Town once to see some official in the city hall about voting. I don't know just what position that official had over there, but he said to the Indian, 'We don't want you people over here. You have your own elections over on the island, and if you want to vote, go over there.'"

Did the 1924 Act really mean the end of the journey in the Native American's march to equality or was it merely a rest stop? By the time the 1924 Citizenship Act was passed, two-thirds of all Indians had already gained citizenship. And while all Native Americans were now citizens, not all states were prepared to allow them to vote. Western states, in particular, engaged in all sorts of legal ruses to deny Indians the ballot. It was not until almost the middle of the 20th century that the last three states, Maine, Arizona and New Mexico, finally granted the right to vote to Indians in their states. And the policies of the federal government towards American Indians continued to change and evolve.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ohhhhhh I don't want to WOOORRRKK TODAY!!!!!!!

You can't see them, but up in those hills are many of our traditional foods, for women such as I to go and gather...Piyaxi, Luuksh, Xoush to name only three...it's such a beautiful day outside and my kupn is sitting right by the door along with my rootbag!
OR I could just go upriver and explore...that's another favorite on such a day as this....but there it is...

Deadlines await:-)


Monday, May 9, 2011

Honor Song...

On Saturday my brother, #1 son and I loaded up in our van and off we went to a small pow wow in a neighboring town. We'd been told they would do an honor song for our "dad" (actual foster dad to my brother, and quasi-adopted dad to me, we both called him "Pa" and loved him dearly) who had passed away last year. Off we went.

The drive over was interesting enough, the trees seem to greet us as we went by, "hey - good to see you guys again, drive safely!" and we saw a lot of beautiful sights on the way over...small tendrils of mossy growth wistfully climbing aged rock walls; tree nurseries full of baby fir trees laughing, playing and falling over each other as fat baby beings will do...it was a nice drive.

We got to the Pow Wow and actually none of us were really "feeling" it but as we walked in I could see my son getting that "ohhhhh yeah, I missed this" look on his face. We visited and laughed with people around us in line for the nice dinner hosted by the Pow wow group then it was time for grand entry.

We watched grand entry, snapped a few shots of different people we love or look up to then it was time. We admired the hard work and artistry that went into many of our friends and relatives outfits and we especially took in the elder women as they danced in with all their dignity and experience in their traditional dresses. Our sister Jacky called us over and we trotted off obediently and got in line with the "family."

The emcee started talking about the honoring...how do you "honor" these two people who had left us? Atway Jay, a leader and historian, one who carried with him traditions and knowledge unfathomable in depth, Atway Jeri, the richly magnificent mom of a beautiful family and the core of our gatherings, the one who laughed with us when we were happy, and gently patted us when we were sad, who would say sharp things yet with a smile and gentle voice.

I had only met them in the 90's when working at an urban arm of tribal government. I had been hired as the receptionist and Atway Jay had greeted me with a handshake and smile, asking who my family was, then telling me "oh I know all about you." Then came Jeri who finding out my background, took me under her wing without question. From that day forward they would look in on me everytime they were around and they would expect me to be a part of their lives.

There's no way to express the importance of this connection because as the story goes, I was raised pretty much without anyone who would do this. Later, I went home to my own family, my mother, brothers and the whole huge extended core of my being. Long story short, coming home was as rough as being away were it not for the patient guidance of a few of my brothers and cousins.

In retrospect I understand my biological mother had a rough life. So rough, it's truly astounding that she survived. The lesson learned here is that each individual deals with adverse situations differently.

Upon coming home to stay within one year I'd lost my cousin, auntie and other parts of my being. I planned on diving into this amazing family and started with my "dad" who then passed away with cancer...I turned to my mom who had chosen a life path of brusque harshness with which to shield her soul from the paralyzing blows life had dealt her. She stood tall up to the end with her snapping eyes and quick retort, but the strength in her made me speechless with awe; For some reason she never "took" to me. For many reasons actually. I am the spitting image of my father whom I'm told was a laugh a minute and as kind as you could ask for when he was sober...and the utter and absolute opposite when he was drunk - which was more often than not. In many ways, I represented what she once was and no longer could be...although to myself I often feel old and used up, to her I must have been the picture of vitality taking the world by the tail and spinning it at whim...for whatever reasons, after her passing, I found that she had not even acknowledged me in her will as her offspring...something I continue growing used to without pangs of that young child standing in the cold...

Atway Jay and Jeri took the sting of my mother's treatment of me away. Where she degraded me and scoffed at my hopes and dreams, they sheltered me and advised me. Where she scratched at my psyche and poured salt into exposed nerve, they loved me and poured healing rosewater songs into my wounded soul. The world was a shaky place and they made it safe.

All of these things zipped through my mind as I danced around the pow wow floor with this amazing extended family. I wondered how I could ever express these things to those to whom it matters. I realized I just can't. I couldn't get the words out because as I recalled Jeri's gentle voice urging me forward I started to cry...when I remembered Jay's words after I ran for a particular office and lost, he took me aside and told me "don't you be ashamed, you did a good job, a damn good job, you be PROUD of yourself." He always expected our best...it would never have occurred to him that what we attempted we might not achieve. When we tried to take a step back he would just laugh at us and push us forward...if he didn't laugh we would actually JUMP forward:-)

No, there aren't enough words, not enough songs to honor these two who are now gone, but often I see them; I see Atway Jay's smile in his grandson, and Jeri's affectionate touch in her daughter...I see his determination and grit in his grand daughter's eyes, and his quick smile in my own son's dance. I often hear her voice, our Mugg, when I question "should I do this or not?" and she would just look at me and say "GET OUT THERE" or "YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO" and then just smile and shake her head...I miss her delightful little gifts she would bring me from time to time, a little purple picture frame, a purple flowered bag, a richly colored purple barrette.
When I look at my brother as he moves forward to what is expected of him I remember how Jay always used to tell him "it's YOUR turn now"

Honor...the legacy these two left is that there are many younger people with a vision...two of us are working in our way towards this vision. Everything they stood for was about honor...and as long as there are songs to sing, causes to fight for, issues to resolve, the legacy of these two will stand.

Friday, April 22, 2011

relying on the kindness of strangers

It's so easy to get jaded in this world. A rude bus driver, that one woman who incessantly yells at her children in the most nasal, whiny yet raspy voice you've ever heard; the close "friend" who steals your cashed paycheck right off your desk while you're finishing a last minute chore. These are examples of why we finally throw our hands in the air and say "that's it, I'll not trust another living soul as long as I live."

For awhile this works out well. We go along in our lives as though in our human hamster wheels...go to work, go home, go to the store, go to the bar...go home, go to work, on and on...we don't touch anyone and we certainly try our hardest not to let anyone touch US!

Every now and then someone comes along to shift our perspective back and we can once again breathe a sigh of warm relief and realize that bitterness makes one brittle; unforgiveness makes one tired and ill.

I was running late yesterday on my flight home from a week-long conference. Tired, broke (really REALLY broke) and physically sore I waited in line behind a long line of people from another country who try as they might could not fit the required weight limit in their stainless steel luggage and who in broken english were trying their hardest to dissuade the counter worker from keeping the rules. Time ticked by and although I'd arrived at the airport in ample time, my little margin was wearing thin. I finally got to the counter, got my boarding pass, checked my luggage and was told HURRY boarding starts in 25 minutes.

Off I hurried to get to what I thought I had heard was gate D6. My legs were hurting and I know I probably looked pretty pitiful when the dulcet tones of a beautiful airline goddess said to me "Miss, please come this way" and she ushered me through a delightful gate from the long line of those awaiting security checks to being the second in line. Bless her heart. I was relieved and my carry on and I sailed through.

I got to gate D6 and realized I had made a mistake, it was actually gate D26 I was supposed to be at so I hurried to my correct gate, got on the plane and for the rest of my trip everything was amazing.

Thank you kind lady in Las Vegas, you have restored the balance of my reality!!!!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

this moms view...

i hear horrific news from afar
and on the winds i hear cries of mothers
searching for children long lost in
the tumult

my spirit weeps when a child i see
picking through
piles of rubble in tears
once home

far away or right next door
mothers arise to
battle the horrors
of night

creatures of prey
rustle through walls
each day more terror
is wrought

and one day soon
the songs will arise
sung from mothers of forever
woven of the sun
and harmonized
by light

yes one day soon
when songs arise
sung by mothers
notes of justice
on wings of laughter

Not that I believe moms are always right because if you walk down any aisle in any supermarket it's clear they're not, but I'm reminded of mothers such as the mom of Chief Joseph, or Yellow Wolf, any of the courageous men who fought for our tribes' sovereignty and I'm reminded even of battles long before us...there is always of a mom who taught a warrior the right way...if you listen closely you can hear them singing in the background when any world trauma happens...or any world joy...or even just if its a clear sunny day...

Wild n Woolly!

OMG such a weekend it was...

My granddaughters arrived in shifts...the two youngest arrived first, as princesses ought, tiaras awry from the long drive however nothing daunted, they stepped from the chariot with due dignity giving way to screams of adoration over the two "Fats" (Buttons and Sussy the dogs).

The oldest granddaughter arrived late at night carried in on a litter of soft blankets and her dad's jacket...

Oh yes, and my daughter J and son D also arrived with their significant others in tow...

The raucous laughter at bawdy jokes...amazing food prepared by daughter-in-law who's in culinary school...sleepy songs sung to restless toddlers...an impromptu bonfire (actually, this was a "Tom Sawyer-ish" scheme I thought of on the fly...something like this - "I love this big fire out here...it's fun because I just keep finding things to BURN in it" and viola! my yard was cleaned!)...FINALLY some time to catch up on "girl" talk with my two daughters...

I am rich and my life is BEAUTIFUL.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I've been trying UBER hard to work...oh, I've done this little chore and that little presentation, but the actual WORK I need to do? Not gettin' done...

It's not exactly a lovely day, it's pretty chilly and grey outside - the kind of day one might build a nice fire and perhaps do some necklace making? Or even just curl up here with King Sir Chitten Chat and read a good book...
OR I could go outside in the brisk, fresh Spring air and play with my two little fats...oh, you might know them as puppies, but if you'll check them out it's clear to see they are merely called "fats"
Weaving and sewing always call my name on a day like this, so I'm not sure what to expect but I do know it's going to be amazing because here's the truth: A DAY IS WHAT I MAKE IT and I choose to make today AMAZING...
I hope you all have amazing weekends!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

this river carries my thoughts

twilight moments of lingering memories
twinges of pain amid cool smiles
swirling fingertips in pools of magic
this river carries my thoughts

once youthful bouncy saucy flitting
nary a pause given to future
save flawed moments of dour ponder
the murky floods of dark abandon

fortune flows through golden haze
heat and cold, the wax and wane
contralto aria woven through
eyes closed to taste time's juice

gracious years unfold their wings
emerging gently spirit glows
deepened shadows ride the song
and smiles rise with opened heart

no less grateful than at dawn
twilight beckons, ever warm
take a moment...a sigh...a bite
for now in depths - you are truly aged

twilight moments and memories linger
twinges of pain amid cool smiles
swirling fingertips in pools of magic
this river carries my thoughts


lithe tendrils pushing through
spots of color bravely new
wafts of scents flit by on breeze
Spring is waking up

loamy soil breathes strong and warm
dainty bulbs bloom yellow form
gentle rain sings hopefully...
Spring is waking up

smoky ashes flickering ember
fire warm with chill remembered
build just one more fire?
Spring is waking up!

Monday, March 14, 2011

confront to resolve...

One of my dearest friends told me this once - and throughout my life, I've had a few people who were willing to step out on a limb and tell me when they thought I was going the wrong way. One, I'll share because it still poignantly reminds me to be REAL.

In fifth grade it was determined I had enough of a lisp to be considered a speech impediment; I was chosen along with a fellow student Annie B to attend speech therapy. Annie B was a little different that "the rest of us" and as you well know, fifth graders are particularly unforgiving of quirks and differences. To the rest of the world, I don't believe I'd have ever admitted that I actually loved Annie B...we'd laugh and joke and talk during our speech therapy. One day after school she ran up to me and said something all happy and smelling like a fresh spring afternoon - I looked at her like I'd never seen her before and said something particularly odious - the smile melted off her face and for a flash of time she looked unutterably sad then she got angry and said to me "you're nothing but a fair weather friend Shawna, and it's worse than not HAVING a friend, having a fair weather friend!"

I didn't think so much about it until later in life but she was speaking the truth to me...DEEP truth.

It's so much kinder in the long run, to speak the truth at the beginning of "something"...when my sister and I are in an argument I will now just tell you, "when you do THIS, I feel THIS..." and I believe we will both be stronger for it. When my friend is rushing headlong down a path that ends in a steep and unforgiving cliff, I will call to her "stop or you're going to run off a cliff!" instead of HOPING she figures it out...

I will always be grateful to the one who told me "confront to resolve"

POSTSCRIPT: I later in life met up with Annie B in a more loosely structured time, she'd chosen a path not taken by many and her life was full of light and love; I apologized to her at that time because I knew I had been wrong, she readily forgave me and we've been friends since. This brings out another point in the confront to resolve topic. APOLOGIES ARE SOMETIMES NECESSARY. I hear a lot around me about "NEVER BE SORRY FOR YOUR ACTIONS, YOU ACTED FROM THE HEART" and I just do not believe this to be the most productive response. An apology though, coming from the repentant heart goes a long way in restoring a wounded trust.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

home to stay...

Next week I'll be out all week on biz...and that's a good thing, I thoroughly anticipate an adventure whilst on my way - because I've learned that if you seek an adventure, odds are, you'll find one.

No, before I go I have home things to attend to and this is exciting too, kind of a warm smell of homemade bread excitement. This coming Sunday is our annual Celery Feast. I wrote about it a year ago (or maybe two) but it's really one of the most amazing holidays to me. For truly, being at home on this land has changed the meaning of the word "holiday" I no longer think of pink candy hearts or plastic grass laden baskets...no, when I think of holiday, I see our treaty signatures which line the wall in one of our buildings, for Treaty Day is a day of rememberance here at home; I don't look with longing at tinsel strewn trees (although I do love their smell) or with wondrance at the brightly wrapped gifts beneath (and again, don't get me wrong, I love a good gift during Christmas) but I do think in the Winter time, December 21 is one of our holidays "Indian New Year"

Celery Feast is awesome and here's how it goes: on friday, we diggers (women) all gather together at the longhouse for a hot breakfast together then, dressed in our "work wings" and anything else that might be needed for the day off we go out into our gathering places. This particular feast is for the wild Celery which when you bite into it tastes like the most delightful shade of green with undertones of wisdom derived from many rains.

We'll spend the day digging the Celery then on Saturday will spend about half the day preparing Sunday's meal. Saturday night will be a giveaway for those who need one and then Sunday morning will be the service (longhouse style) and then the FEAST.

All of these idyllic moments add up to  HOME...and of course as with any universe, there are those charred moments of burnt hopes, there are moment frozen with hopelessness that one can only stand in for a minute maybe two...

It's all good though because FINALLY I feel like I'm

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

have you EVER?

Do you ever pause and go back, way WAYYYY back in your blogs and read some of your posts? I did so today, I was looking for something specific, and I have to say this, thank you for your faithful encouragement - I read some with embarrassment and some with this feeling of "wow I can't actually believe it was ME who wrote that!"

I read some of YOUR blogs that way, I love the depth of your character...your perception of the world around us...

It's a crazy world this blog-iverse we live in!

Hope you're all having a good day

Friday, February 18, 2011


Okay I do apologize for the long absence...I've dropped by a few times on some of your pages but to tell you the truth, I've been rendered utterly speechless for a month or so now.

We all dream our dreams...though crushed and tattered the human spirit forges ahead with indomitable strength in the face of absolute hopelessness in the ever elusive wisp of dreams.

As a young child my dreams weren't big. I wanted to be a nurse - in my youth nurses still wore white and had hats, if these hats bore black stripes, she was an RN, if not, she might be an LPN or trainee...I can't tell you how many reams of paper I drew dark black lines across starting of course a little squiggly then as sophistication grew I learned to use a ruler...many a kitten, puppy, WATER DOG (can I just interject here, EWWW), calf, horse, doll...was rendered sickly then at the tender mercies of my hands WELL...

For awhile in my tweens I dabbled from medical to medical - staying at the outskirts, never diving in...then one day out of the blue, whilst living in Bonners Ferry Idaho, a tribal member from the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho walked into my home and offered  me a job as a file clerk. In all my years, I'd never worked in an office. EVER. I timidly accepted the position, explaining to her as I have you, that this was brand new to me. She assured me they would train, so off I went to my new office job only to find that upon hiring me, she went on a two week vacation. For two weeks I came faithfully to work on time, sat for eight hours not doing anything productive, not knowing a soul in the office and then went home...finally she returned from her vacation and without actually "training" me, she began to train me. Little did I know this was my "thing" and off I went, within six months of being hired having been promoted to Executive Assistant...

While working there I had a few contacts with the outer realm of the Indian political world...it was dazzling and sang out to me in siren song and somehow I just knew this was even MORE of my thing...

Fast forward. I moved to the city armed with my few years of experience and fast track training. I got one job and then immediately saw another that not only paid more but seemed more related to what I STILL loved, the health world. Stayed there for a bit and got even more training...served as staff to a Board of Directors consisting of tribal leaders from 43 tribes. It never occurred to me then that I would one day sit at THAT table but almost within months of returning home I was elected to the position within my tribal government that lead me where? TO THAT TABLE...

I've always listened with awe to the leaders around this table...speaking with authority and ease of rememberance, they talk about annual budgets and policies as though discussing grilled cheese and tomatore soup. They rub shoulders and shake hands with others from the nation who also sit at the table in THEIR regions...at the head of our table, a smaller table with five people called "the executive committee" and when THEY spoke I would listen closely...these are the ones with the REAL authority...

I will tell you truthfully it never occurred to me to even dream of sitting at that smaller table but in January, I was elected to the executive committee...and I've been speechless ever since.

I'm thankful because not everyone gets to live their dream; I'm grateful beyond words to those who taught me and nurtured me. I'm somewhat trepidatious because I want to make sure I never bring shame to those who believed in me...I'm excited because I believe I will learn to make decisions that will have an effect on even my grandchildren's generations and yet here I am, still a little speechless that this is where I am...

Friday, January 14, 2011

delightfully freezy

It's been delightfully freezy around here...I will share with you via photo because although I've been busy and away I never can quit takin' pictures!

No picture story would be complete without King Sir Chitten Chat...here you see him lounging in his new paper sack...which he was totally offended about when I threw it in the stove...he literally looked at me askance as if to say "we, the royal Chitten are NOT amused"

 Auntie Umatilla showing off on a chilly morning on my way to work...lookin' FINE!!!!

would you LOOK at the sky? I mean REALLY...
I was quite taken with the textures in this picture...hope you enjoy it too

You know me...always a sucker for a sunset!!! 

 this one was taken on a snowy morning...interesting how the snow photographed

King Sir Chitten Chat doesn't really like the puppies...can you tell? The white one is called "Sussy" because she was rescusitated at birth...the one with the brown head is called "Snoopy" for now although he's quite bossy and will likely have another name soon!

Have a good weekend all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Education is important, that fact has long been recognized and is not key to this discussion. Oh don't get me wrong, I give my deepest respect and loudest applause to those who follow their dreams and ambitions through the many years, hard work and struggles it takes to acquire that coveted piece of paper upon which is written in the most stylish of calligraphy that indeed So and So has earned Such and Such Degree...

What I want to discuss today is how one individual with what has been said to be a sixth grade education has honed her narcissistic power hungry ability to genius form in political manipulation. A brother whom she treated as a distasteful oaf can be seen fawning after her opinions in a most pathetic manner..another relative having aspiring to and achieving a higher position on the ladder can be seen in daily conferences with her...many of the community at large can be heard speaking her name with disdain and suspicion and yet although well aware of her many financial indiscretions - payment of her husband out of committee funds...oh the list goes on and on. I've pondered this for quite some time now because although this person is rarely spoken of with respect, although for the most part she gets her way by lies, deceit and blackmail and without the benefit of higher education she has found a way to "crack the code" as it were while my young educated friend bangs her head on the proverbial brick wall on a daily basis trying to move forward progressively and with innovative policies...

Neither is right. Uneducated and manipulativ vs. educated and proud...both are doomed to eventual failure.

Politics are fun.