June 12, 2009

Looters "outraged" over indictments

Anti-fed fury sweeps through Blanding after artifact sting

By Christopher SmartEven before news late Thursday of James Redd's death, residents of this town south of San Juan County's Blue Mountains were furious about a federal sting that netted some of Blanding's prominent citizens for allegedly trafficking in antiquities.

"Everybody in Blanding is outraged," said 69-year-old Joy Holliday. "Why aren't they out stopping things that hurt people."

The undercover operation--which took two years and recovered more than 250 American Indian artifacts allegedly swiped from federal and tribal lands--yielded federal indictments against 24 people, most of whom are from Blanding.

In the Four Corners area, pre-Columbian ruins, potsherds, arrowheads and other relics are nothing out of the ordinary. Thousands of sites dot the landscape around Blanding.

"You can't walk two miles in any direction without running into an Anasazi site," Holliday said. "In San Juan County, [collecting relics] is a hobby for many people."
Residents decry artifact-theft indictments

By Aaron FalkThe remnants of a people who lived in the cliffs surrounding this small southeastern Utah town are not hard to find here.

Stumbling across pieces of pots and arrowheads is commonplace, locals say.

So, too, is keeping them.

With the federal indictment of 24 people, most of them from Blanding, accused of taking ancient American Indian artifacts from public lands in the Four Corners area, people here say officials have made much ado about nothing.

"A majority of homes probably do have artifacts," said Holly Shumway, whose in-laws were among those indicted. "I don't know how they pick and choose the few that got arrested. It's just so common in this town to have things like that. It's not like just those 24 people have been doing this. These people have just been doing what everyone does."

Mitch Barnett, a Blanding resident, recalls his grandfather receiving Anasazi blankets as pay for work he did. "Nobody thought it was a big deal," he said.

Sandy Strom, whose husband, Aubry Patterson, is accused of stealing artifacts from caves in the La Sal Mountains and selling them to an undercover dealer, said she has a display case full of American Indian artifacts.

Otherwise, they would just be on the ground, she said.

"We weren't out grave-robbing," Strom said outside a Moab courthouse.

It's a sentiment shared among a number of people in the area.

"That's the word I just can't stand: stealing," Shumway said. "Anyone can walk out their back door and probably find something. Most of the houses in this town are built on old Indian ruins. It's everywhere. It's not like these people are going into someone's home or a museum and taking these artifacts. They're just outside on the ground."

But items taken from federal land could mean up to 10 years in prison for the "collectors."

The crime is not about property being destroyed, said Blanding archaeologist Winston Hurst, it's about preserving a priceless record of history.

"It's not about who gets to own something," Hurst said. "It's about the archaeological record. It's the only record we have of the huge majority of people who have ever lived. It's tremendously fragile, and it's being looted on a worldwide scale. They rip the guts out and leave us with nothing but objects to sell on eBay."

Whether it's pocketing an arrowhead or pillaging a ruin, "the net effect is, it all destroys evidence," said the Bureau of Land Management's Canyon Country district manager Shelley Smith.
Comment:  Shumway can't stand the word "stealing"? I can't stand her "stealing" attitude.

"It's not like these people are going into someone's home"? Blanding's people are living on Indian land and going into Indian homes. They're taking artifacts that belong to Indian people or the American people as a whole.

So the looters don't think taking Indian artifacts is a big deal? Try walking into a Smithsonian museum and taking some old Euro-American artifacts. Let us know how it goes.

While you're at it, try lifting the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives or the Liberty Bell from Independence Hall? Why not, since they're only a piece of paper and a hunk of metal? They don't have any intrinsic value.

Oh, you say those are different? Why...because white men created them? That's kind of the point, isn't it? White men say everything they do is important while everything anyone else does is unimportant.

And spare us the sob stories about the crybabies didn't know they were violating the law. The media has reported often on the looting of Indian artifacts. As usual, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Besides, these people obviously aren't sorry for what they've done. They're fudging the difference between artifacts taken 50 years ago and artifacts taken recently. Between artifacts taken from private land and artifacts taken from public land. That they're trying to obscure the facts suggests that they know they're guilty.

I wouldn't be surprised if most of these people are conservatives and Mormons. No doubt they bray about the "rule of law" whenever some minority gets thrown into jail for a minor offense. Meanwhile, they're cheating on their taxes, dumping pollutants into the water, and stealing Indian artifacts.

For more on the subject, see America's Exceptional Values.

Below:  A worthless old scrap of paper. Useful for lining a birdcage if you find it on the ground.

18 comments:

Xanthippas said...

Absolutely infuriating. It's just some arrowheads and blankets right, just laying around for somebody to take, right? I mean, so what if it's the only record we have of an entire culture of people? You already kicked out the people who lived there and stole their land...what's a little obliterating history to go with it?

Stephen said...

"I wouldn't be surprised if most of these people are conservatives and Mormons."

Here we go again, anyone you dislike is automatically stereotyped as a 'right winger' in your idiotic world view. Let me remind me you that left wing new agey types have had no trouble at all bastardizing and exploiting Amerindian cultures.

Also your lil' essay is complete crap:

"They did exactly as Nazi Germany later did with most of Europe and Israel did with Palestine."

It's anti-semitic and offensive to link Jews to Nazis not to mention it's a perfect example of Godwin's law.

"Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge"

Nothing wrong with that, having researched the facts I can

"He confirms that Americans are ignorant or shortsighted about the world around them."

Ah a bigoted generalization that includes Indians of course, how nice, also in one of his other essays Rob complained about a letter that generalized Muslims as terrorists, nice double standard eh?

"such as its longstanding racism and imperialism."

Name me one country on earth that doesn't have a history of racism or a government that hasn't committed acts of imperialism. Also he agrees with this lil' gem from wardo:

"America's indiscriminately lethal arrogance and psychotic sense of self-entitlement have long since given the great majority of the world's peoples ample cause to be at war with it."

Nice to see Rob approves of justifying terrorism.

"Arab Americans with no connection to terrorists were vilified, threatened, and attacked."

A minority were see the links below:

thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/
AmericanAttacks.htm

Riddle me this anti-Arab hate crimes were that high why did CAIR have to inflate their stats?

http://www.danielpipes.org/2627/cairs-hate-crimes-nonsense

"it's quintessentially American: myopic, self-serving, spurning anything that might affect its pocketbook."

Congrats, you just described every government on the planet. Not to mention he also agrees with justifications for anti-American bigotry such as this:

"Is it any wonder that there's anti-U.S. sentiment throughout the planet? Unilateral U.S. policies since Bush took office have alienated friends, allies and much of the American public."

Stephen said...

Also I almost forgot this:

" There is a huge amount we can learn from Islam in its social solidarity, its appreciation of the collective good and the generosity and strength of human relationships."

So there's a huge amount that we can learn from a religion that allows slavery, commands it's believers to emulate a man who raped a nine year old, treats women and non-muslims as subhuman etc? And Rob don't bother posting those stupid pro-Islamic pages that you did before, especially the one that claimed that Islamic oppression of women is a myth.

"Islamic societies are grappling with exactly the same challenge as the west -- how to balance freedom and responsibility -- and we need each other's help, not each other's brands of fundamentalism."

Hahahaha! If he believes that about countries that hang homosexuals, flog women for getting pregnant for rape, kill people for sharing their non-Muslim beliefs with children and don't allow equal rights for non-Muslims he's incredibly deluded. Also note the disdain he has for Americans and the lack of disdain that he has for 'governments' that beat women for wearing what they want.

Stephen said...

Also some other things I missed (mainly because I was multi tasking):

"The most notable thing about McIntyre's "revelation" may be that he didn't realize the situation until he left home. He confirms that Americans are ignorant or shortsighted about the world around them."

That's a very poor guilt by association argument, by that idiotic 'thinking' would you also say that the murder of Mona Mahmudnizhad confirms that Iranians are intolerant, cruel and murderous? More info on Mona (may that poor girl's soul rest in peace) here:

http://www.dhimmi.com/victimsgallery.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Mahmudnizhad

"And, since they live happily while the rest of humanity suffers, that their much-vaunted compassion and charity extend only so far."

Including prosperous European or Asian countries? Do you what nation sent the greatest amount of aid to Armenians during the Armenian genocide? America.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:They_Shall_Not_Perish.png

Stephen said...

Here's some info on American aid during the Armenian genocide:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
American_Committee_for_Relief_
in_the_Near_East

A few interesting quotes:

"Between 1915 and 1930, the American relief organizations raised $116,000,000 of assistance, delivering food, clothing, and materials for shelter. ACRNE distributed goods worth nine million dollars in the first half of 1919 and dispensed much of ten million dollars in grain and other commodities. The Near East Relief placed thousands of orphans in mission facilities in the USA, with the expectation that these orphans become manhood and womanhood"

"In its fifteen years of existence, ACRNE eventually spent over ten times of initial estimate, see original estimate, that amount and helped an estimated close to 2,000,000 refugees. ACRNE cared for 132,000 Armenian orphans from Tiflis and Yerevan Constantinople, Beirut, Damascus, and Jerusalem, Sivas."

In July 1918, James L. Barton, (the chairman) said "$10,000,000 had already been raised and distributed from the onset of the program, the need would continue into the postwar years".

Stephen said...

Even more info:

JANUARY18, 1916
GENEVA, Jan 17, (via London.).-- Thirty Armenian refugees, some of them formerly wealthy, have arrived here by way of Egypt and Italy, and others are to follow them.
The Armenians say that it was solely owing to the energetic action of the American Consul at Aleppo, who adopted a strong attitude with the Turkish military authorities, that thousands of Armenian lives at Aleppo and in the surrounding regions were saved. They assert that the German Consul, Herr Roesseler, took no action to stay the Turks.
One of the Armenians, a man eighty years of age, said: "America saved us from death, but there are many thousands in our country who are waiting to be saved from slavery. Only America can help us. Thousands of Armenians have crosses the frontier into Russia, but the Armenian national has virtually been annihilated by the Turks."

Source:

http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Saved_By_American_Consul_-nyt19160118

Anonymous said...

I think steven needs to keep on topic. The article is about looters (WHITE PEOPLE) violating the antiquity laws, getting caught and WHINING about it. What's so hard about that!

steven's off topic rants are becoming a little tiresome.

dmarks said...

"The article is about looters (WHITE PEOPLE)"

That's another topic change. The article is about "looters". Not "white looters". No "racial profiling" necessary. I easily searched and found references to the Japanese engaging in the dubious trade of Native American artifacts.

While that is a change of subject, it is not near as substantial as Stephen's mind-boggling insertion of the Armenian Genocide into a discussion of antiquities-theft laws. Without even any pretense of a segue from existing topics.

Stephen said...

"While that is a change of subject, it is not near as substantial as Stephen's mind-boggling insertion of the Armenian Genocide into a discussion of antiquities-theft laws."

Actually it has to do with that bigoted factually challenged article Rob posted at the end, the sheer amount of aid to Armenians and other numerous examples of aid that Americans have given over the years disprove this little lie of Rob's:

"And, since they live happily while the rest of humanity suffers, that their much-vaunted compassion and charity extend only so far."

"I think steven needs to keep on topic. The article is about looters (WHITE PEOPLE) violating the antiquity laws, getting caught and WHINING about it. What's so hard about that!"

What does their skin color have to do with it? Oh that's right: NOTHING.

Stephen said...

I just realized I made a mistake by posting that wikipedia entry, wikipedia is frequently edited by pro-turkish morons who try to remove anything that casts Turkey or their butcher ataturk in a bad light. Even Amazon is filled with those idiots, you can't look at reviews of books about the Armenian genocide without finding at least one 'this is anti-turk propaganda' rambling. However that doesn't change the fact that Americans gave the most aid and saved countless Armenian lives, only one of the numerous examples of American charity and compassion.

More info on the denial campaign here:

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?pid=1606

dmarks said...

I have more to say about the Armenian genocide, but I'll wait for a post here that actually involves the event (if that ever happens).

Anonymous said...

Hey Steven, what does Islam, Arabs, Armenians and Turks have to do with this article? Oh, that's right: NOTHING!


Anonymouse

gaZelbe said...

These days I find that I really miss Rob's running battles with Russell Bates. Regardless, of what one thought of Bates' positions on particular issues, he was a clever and inventive writer.

Stephen's unending white-pride diatribe is like having Sean Hannity crash your weekly community potluck.

Stephen said...

"Hey Steven, what does Islam, Arabs, Armenians and Turks have to do with this article? Oh, that's right: NOTHING!"

Actually it has to do with the ignorant essay on the end of this post.

"Stephen's unending white-pride diatribe is like having Sean Hannity crash your weekly community potluck."

And how exactly are my posts 'white pride'?

dmarks said...

I'm curious if Hannity has ever espoused "white pride".

Anyway, back to the off-topic Armenian genocide. Yes, this was honorable. But at the same time, Jim Crow was in full flower, the cultural genocide against Native Americans was also well under way (boarding schools, language and religion bans, etc). The Hiawatha Asylum (which ran like a gulag for political prisoners) had already been in operation for a decade or two. Between 1880 and 1920, an average of two African-Americans a week were lynched in the United States, with enough approval by the government to count it as official US domestic policy.

This was also an era when US foreign policy was at its worst imperialist aspect. Shortly before the Armenian genocide, the US killed close to a million Philipino civilians in the suppression of the Huk rebellion. People who never threatened the US in any way, and only wanted their country free of foreign empires.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Steven, what does Islam, Arabs, Armenians and Turks have to do with this article? Oh, that's right: NOTHING!

Actually it has to do with the ignorant essay on the end of this post."

Sorry steve-o, just not making the connection, I just don't see it.

Again, what has Islam, Arabs Armenians and Turks have to do with this article??? Can anyone else try to connect the dots?


Anonymouse

dmarks said...

Anonymouse: Throw in ships, sealing wax, cabagges, kings, and Stephen Colbert. Then perhaps we can piece it together.

Stephen said...

"Again, what has Islam, Arabs Armenians and Turks have to do with this article??? Can anyone else try to connect the dots?"

*Sighs.* It ties into that crappy anti-American essay on the end of the article entitled 'america's exceptional values', if the article wasn't included in the post I wouldn't have brought any of that up.