Monday, February 20, 2017

History and Culture on this President's Day.

Environmental health is a key part of human development. When I was a child, I had asthma. I had to take allergy shots throughout elementary school. I had to take medicine after having an episode of asthma problems. Today, I don’t have symptoms of asthma anymore, but millions of people in America and worldwide suffer asthma and environmental health issues. Therefore, this issue is very personal with me and I desire our environment to be better. Environmental health deals with the survival of humanity and the rest of the ecosystem plainly speaking. Therefore, we believe in dealing with human health in progressive ways and building up the ecosystem. With the recent flooding in California, it is important to invest in infrastructure in California and nationwide. We want affordable housing for humanity. We have a problem of childhood lead poisoning that must be addressed. We want noise pollution control. We don’t want hazardous waste released in the environment. We believe in regulations that promote food safety involving agriculture, transportation, food processing, etc. Recycling is important in building our lands and we want the quality of life enhanced among the human family. The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) is a comprehensive toxicology and environmental health web site that includes open access to resources produced by US government agencies and organizations, and is maintained under the umbrella of the Specialized Information Service at the United States National Library of Medicine. TEHIP includes links to technical databases, bibliographies, tutorials, and consumer-oriented resources. It has databases too that give people information on important environmental issues. The organization Truth is one of the greatest organizations that fight smoking and air pollution. For decades, activists have exposed the corrupt policies of Big Tobacco. We not only fight smoking, but we believe in investing in helping people with smoking addiction and those who suffer illnesses and diseases as a product of smoking. We know that low income neighborhoods are more likely to have tobacco retailers near schools (some tobacco companies even came into the Supreme Court to maintain advertising near school grounds). Drug companies in America target cigarette ads in black communities more than in other communities (in about 10 times). That is profiling and it’s wrong. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission said in a report that the Flint drinking water crisis has its root causes in historical and systemic racism. It exposed the problem as a complete failure of government and wants a rewrite of the state’s emergency manager law and bias training for state officials. "Would the Flint water crisis have been allowed to happen in Birmingham, Ann Arbor or East Grand Rapids?" the commission asks in the 135-page report.  We believe that the answer is no, and that the vestiges of segregation found in Flint made it a unique target." "The people of Flint did not enjoy the equal protection of environmental or public health laws, nor did they have a meaningful voice in the decisions leading up to the Flint water crisis," it said. Some want emergency managers to be repealed to be replaced with more democratic processes.

The first Native Americans in Phoenix were the Native Americans. They were hunters and gatherers. They hunted Pleistocene animals like mammoths, mastodons, and giant bisons. Back then, there were ancient horses, camels, and giant sloths in the area whose remains were discovered in the Salt River Alley. The Native Americans lived in the southwestern American region and northern Mexico for tens of thousands of years. This existed in 9,000 B.C. By 7,000 B.C, some Native Americans left the area to be replaced by other Native Americans. This era lasted from ca. 7,000 B.C. until 1 A.D. These human beings were hunters and gatherers. They travel the area too. By about 3,000 years ago, the culture changed into an agricultural lifestyle. Maize around this time was cultivated. The agrarian culture grew. Farming spread. Groups started to show their cultural differences. These differences in the ancient Southwestern territories were among farmers, villagers, and the nomads. The farmer culture was dominated by a tribe called the Hohokam. The Hohokam peoples used petroglyph or writings on stone. They came from Mexico. They were agrarian in their civilization. They traveled as north as the Salt River basins. For more than 2,000 years, the Hohokam peoples traveled into Phoenix.  Hohokam is a present-day name given to the occupants of central and southern Arizona who lived here between about the year 0 and 1450 CE (current era). It is derived from the Pima Native American (Akimel O'odham) word for "those who have gone" or "all used up. The Hohokam travel into the valley has been divided into 5 periods by paleontologists. The earliest period is known as the Pioneer Period, which lasted roughly from 1–700 AD, and was categorized by groups of shallow pit houses, and by its end the first canals were being used for irrigation. Alos, the period saw the first decorated ceramics appearing. This was followed by the Colonial Period (c. 700 – 900 AD), during which time the irrigation system was expanded and the community sizes grew, as did the size of the dwellings. Rock art and ball courts began to appear, and cremations became the usual form of burial. 900 to 1150 AD, referred to as the Sedentary Period, again saw the expansion of the settlements and the canal system. Platform mounds began to be built, and plazas and the ball courts which began to appear in the last period, became more prevalent in the larger settlements. The final period, the Classic Period, lasted approximately from 1150 A.D. until 1450 A.D. The number of villages declined during this period, but the size of the remaining settlements increased. Their canals were about 135 miles which made the desert land arable. Many of these canals are used for the model day Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. By 1300, the Hohokam peoples became the largest population in the Southwest. They traded with the Aztecs and other nearby peoples like the Anasazi, Mogollon, and the Sinagua. Some believed that the Hohokam witness a supernova of 1006. They disappeared from the area by the mid 1400’s possibly either because of drought or flooding. Afterwards, many people came into the area. They were the Akimel O'odham (commonly known as Pima), Tohono O’odham and Maricopa tribes began to use the area, as well as segments of the Yavapai and Apache. The O’odham especially dominated the Phoenix area with irrigation systems, crops, etc. They worked to protect themselves from the Yuma and Apache tribes. The Yuma people traveled and they lived in the Arizona state.

The pre-Columbian era of the Americas is important to be made known. Indigenous societies spread in the Americas. There were the flourishing, complex cultures of the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Mixtec, Aztec, and Maya civilizations. The Inca Empire, the Moche culture, the Muisca Confederation and the Canari existed in the Andres. The Norte Chico civilization of Peru existed around the same time as ancient Egypt. In North America too, there were the Mound cultures. These cultures had urban settlements, agriculture, civic organization, and monumental architecture. They had complex societal hierarchies. Oral traditions were common and written languages existed. Many European colonists burned many pre-Columbian written records, which was wrong. Native Americans made great contributions in human history. For instance, the Aztecs built one of the largest cities in the world, Tenochtitlan, the ancient site of Mexico City, with an estimated population of 200,000. Ancient American civilizations also displayed impressive accomplishments in astronomy and mathematics. The domestication of maize or corn required thousands of years of selective breeding, and continued cultivation of multiple varieties was done with planning and selection, generally by women. Inuit, Yupik, Aleut, and American Indian creation myths tell of a variety of origins of their respective peoples. Some were "always there" or were created by gods or animals, some migrated from a specified compass point, and others came from "across the ocean.” European colonization in the Americas existed since the Vikings. This changed the Americas forever. Scholars estimate that the Native American populations diminished by 80 to 90 percent within the first centuries of contact with Europeans from the 15th century.  Epidemics ravaged the Americas with diseases such as smallpox, measles, and cholera, which the early explorers brought from Europe and which spread quickly into new areas even before later explorers and colonists reached them. Native Americans suffered high mortality rates due to their lack of prior exposure to these diseases. Conflicts between colonists and indigenous people exacerbated the loss of lives. Colonists frequently perpetrated massacres on the indigenous groups and enslaved them.  According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1894), the North American Indian Wars of the 19th century cost the lives of about 19,000 whites and 30,000 Native Americans. By the 15th and early 16th centuries, Spanish and Portuguese colonists were most of the colonists in the Americas. Columbus encountered 250,000 Taino Native Americans in Hispaniola. Their culture was dominate in the Greater Antilles. Many Tainos died by 70 percent after 30 years of Columbus' arrival. Many Tainos were forced to work in encomiendas, forced to do labor, and some died out of measles and smallpox. Many Tainos fought back too. The Laws of Burgos, 1512-1513, were the first codified set of laws governing the behavior of Spanish settlers in America, particularly with regard to native Native Americans. The laws forbade the maltreatment of natives and endorsed their conversion to Catholicism. In distant colonies, conversion was more difficult. Smallpox and other diseases killed a large portion of the Native American population in the Americas.  Smallpox killed millions of native inhabitants of Mexico. Unintentionally introduced at Veracruz with the arrival of Pánfilo de Narváez on April 23, 1520, smallpox ravaged Mexico in the 1520's, possibly killing over 150,000 in Tenochtitlán (the heartland of the Aztec Empire) alone, and aiding in the victory of Hernán Cortés over the Aztec Empire at Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City) in 1521. The English, the Dutch, the French, and other Europeans spread into the Americas for colonization as well. The Age of Exploration grew and it was filled with religious deception, violence, and genocide. The exchange of animals, plants, culture, etc. from the post 1492 era is called the Columbian Exchange. Spanish conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado explored northern of Mexico. By 1600, Spain dominated Florida and New Mexico. The English colonies were in the East Coast of America. The Dutch had colonies in NYC and the Caribbean. The other colonial powers of Sweden, Russia, etc. had territories too. Conflicts arisen in the Americas among Native Americans, colonists, pirates, and other peoples. Also, there was the influx of kidnapped Africans who came into the Americas. This event of the terrible Maafa changed the landscape of the Americas forever.

The Trump regime has ironically enough grown a progressive movement. In just one week after his inauguration, millions of people worldwide protested against him in the Women’s March. They or the activists abhorred Trump’s agenda of immigrant bashing, misogyny, bigotry, and his reactionary agenda. The antiwar movement is still in existence. The Black Lives Matter movement has been forthright in opposing racist police violence. Black Lives Matter is a historic movement that has expanded and caused more people to address racism, economic injustice, and police terror never seen since the 1960’s & the 1970’s. There have been protests in London, Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt to oppose fascism including injustice too. Neo-fascists like Richard Spencer will be defeated of their agenda in the end. Steve Bannon being a chief strategist and senior counselor of the White House is a disgrace. Crowds of courageous, progressive people have been in meetings to stand up for health care and to oppose evil policies. The Republican dominated Congress is clear on what they want. They believe in privatizing health care, cutting taxes for the super wealthy, removing and ending environmental regulations, depriving voting rights, and using other repugnant policies. Also, the leadership of both major parties have funded more military spending and an aggressive, imperialist foreign policy. This is not new. Lee Atwater admitted that Republicans used race baiting and other bigoted tactics under the guise of talking about “forced busing, states’ rights, tax cuts, etc.” We reject the myths that the wealthy alone create jobs or that rural towns alone represent the only component of America. Rural, urban, suburban, and other peoples represent America. While deportations are in existence now, many people are resisting such policies. Trump deserves no conciliatory tone. He deserves our opposition. A ban on refugees, a scapegoating of Muslims, a proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, and support of stop and frisk by Trump is totally wrong. Also, it is important to support the rights of the Black working class and the black poor. There is no total human freedom without addressing the social and economic needs of black people. Political independence is a necessary too. We won’t ally with a party of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. Also, many people are tired of another party that focuses on neoliberalism and compromises to please GOP extremists. There is something wrong with capitalism with record income inequality and massive poverty. There is something wrong with that. That is why race and class must be viewed together in forming solutions. You can’t defeat racism without ending economic inequality and you can’t end economic inequality without ending racism. Unity, collaboration, and coalitions must be instituted in order for us to see the Dream of justice and equality to be made real. We shall overcome.

Basketball expanded rapidly during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The YMCA helped to spread basketball throughout America, Canada, and the world. By 1893, Mel Rideout created the first European basketball game in Paris in Montmartre. At the same time, Bob Gailey sent basketball in Tientsin, China. Duncan Patton came into India to spread basketball. There were Genzabaro Ishikawa to Japan, and C. Hareek to Persia to send the sport of basketball to those nations. When World War I came about in 1914, the U.S. Army soon fought in Europe by 1917. The American Expeditionary Force in WWI took basketball wherever it went.   Together with the troops, there were hundreds of physical education teachers who knew basketball. Naismith also spent two years with the YMCA in France in that period. The first professional league was founded in 1898. Six teams took part in the National Basketball League, and the first champions were the Trenton Nationals, followed by the New York Wanderers, the Bristol Pile Drivers and the Camden Electrics. The league was abandoned in 1904. Then, many small championships were organized, but most of them were not as important as some teams who played for money against challengers. There were the Original Celtics who were famous back during the early 20th century. They played until 1928. Some viewed the team as the forerunners of the Boston Celtics of the NBA. Yet, the team is not. The Boston Celtics was created in 1946.  In 1922, the first all-African American professional team was founded: the Rens (also known as New York Renaissance or Harlem Renaissance). The Rens were the Original Celtics’ usual opponent, and for their matches a ticket cost $1. They took part in some official championships and won the first World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1939. The team disbanded in 1949. In the 1920's and 1930's, Eastern Basketball League (founded in 1909), Metropolitan Basketball League (founded in 1921) and American Basketball League (founded in 1925) were the most important leagues in America.

By Timothy

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