Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Brain that Wouldn't Die


That Brian Giovannoni. You can't keep him down. Just when you thought he'd faded forever from the casino celebrity pantheon, there he is.

This time he's quoted in the Enterprise (naturally) disputing some of the information in the James Lynch report recently presented by the town of Halifax.
Giovanoni said one point is in direct contradiction to the tribe’s federal recognition, which found continuous tribal ties dating to first contact with European settlers.
Brian, I don't know if you realize this, but the idea that the Mashpee Wampanoag's Federal recognition might not exactly be the paragon of truth and accuracy has been bandied about for quite some time now.

In fact, Lynch's report is dismantling, brick by brick, the information in that very report provided by the Mashpee's during the federal recognition process.
Lynch is also “saying this tribe has never asserted political authority over any residents within the town of Middleboro, which is untrue,” Giovanoni said. “There are voting members of the tribe living here today.”
Now look, I don't have as big a brain as Brian, and it's certainly not like I'm some sort of water engineer, but aren't the Mashpee supposed to exhibit "continuous" political authority? Not just modern day political authority. Middleboro area Indians may have moved out and down to Mashpee - but they didn't appear, according to Lynch, to move in the other direction.

Lynch also says this about political authority (emphasis mine):
The Mashpee tribe has never asserted political authority over any residents within the town of Middleboro who are of Indian ancestry.
He then gives us an exhaustive run-down and a who's-who of centuries past, leaving us with this tender link to what might have constituted a Mashpee-Middleboro alliance:
This research has also argued that a single marriage between a purported Mashpee Indian, who previous to this marriage removed from Mashpee, ceased his tribal relations with Mashpee and had settled at Middleboro with a fourth generation descendant of the then defunct (c.1791) Massasoit/Tispaquin Pokanoket leadership lineage does not constitute a meaningful or significant historical or cultural event. If, on the other hand, this purported expatriate Mashpee, Silas Ross (Rosier) was the son of a politically viable, living Mashpee sachem, and Phebe Squin was the daughter of a politically viable, living, Pokanoket sachem or sunksqua, a definite political significance could be attributed to such an event. But this was clearly not the case. As was noted earlier, the center of gravity of political leadership of the remnant of the Pokanoket had shifted years before to the reserve at Fall River. Even then the extent of that political authority was, like Mashpee, restricted to those who were living in tribal relations on the reserve. It did not extend to Middleboro.
And furthermore,
It was in essence a marriage between two individuals, both residents of Middleboro, a marriage that left no descent progeny. An active descent line would be through Phebe’s second marriage to Brister Gould and through their seven children. We know nothing of Gould’s ancestry other than he was a Revolutionary War veteran and his occupation was a teamster. The family resided at East Weymouth, Massachusetts where Brister Gould died in 1823. She was still residing there in 1878.
So there you go. But perhaps Brian knows something we don't.

Still, rest assured, the Tribe has apparently cut a another check to Christine Grabowski, author of the report Lynch is disputing, to dig up some 'new' historical information which, I have no doubt, will attempt to help the Tribe conform to the Federal definition required to get that land in Middleboro. Land which they're still not going to get anyway, because of the Carcieri and Hawaii decisions. It's just a good year to be an ethno-historian, I guess.

But in other news, the Enterprise (always with their finger right on the pulse) may have finally started to see the light on the dead casino issue - as it has actually printed another article which reads
Now, two years since the deal of July 28, 2007, was struck, the chances of a casino coming to Middleboro appear increasingly slim.
Hey, ya think?

24 comments:

peg said...

Gladys, you've laid out a well organized and sensible argument for most of the issues that seem to have escaped KoolAid consumers.The Whiners will begin to appear disagreeing without facts.Some are so vested in "their" outcome that they will never hear the facts.

Carl said...

As a reminder, both Phebe and Silas lived in the part of Middleborough before Silas' death, now Lakeville. They together had NO surviving decendents after the third generation.

I would be curious as to how Ms. Grabowski will explain away how her own initial research material, Maurice Robbins' History of Titicut which contradicts her assertion and confirms Mr. Lynch's that the Massachuset Tribe had ownership over the land specific to the casino site as early as 1661. The Mashpee were only a fledgling Indian Praying Town with no political influence.

Thanks Gladys for your continual well thought out work.

curious said...

The 'colonists' brought with them a legal system that included recorded land ownership, inheritence information and written records.Since those archives are readily available and predate Plymouth County as Mass Bay Colony this goes beyond "He said.She said."Surely Phebe and Silas were known and had documents recorded in their names especially if they owned land and he predeceased her.It would be expected that Maurice Robbins has thoroughly footnoted his works and verification is easily obtained.What is interesting in the discussion is that those unfamiliar with the availability of the documentation are defending their historical claim.Sounds like more PR from a Tribe more concerned about casino profits than heritage.Where can the Lynch report be found?

Patricia Urbansky said...

The Tribe was openly soliciting membership to anyone who wanted to join like a social club at one time when membership dwindled and we're arguing about history?How about geneology?

Anonymous said...

Impresed with his own briliance of which he will inform you within the first 10 minutes of conversation no one should expect subtance and acuracy, should they?

Anonymous said...

The brain that wont die?The one filled with misinformation and opinions formed without the basis of facts?Or do you mean the one pretending to be unbiased who had already formed an opinion which was the reason he was put on the casino comittee?The one who put together a hack job of a report that any author would be embarased to put his name on?You couldnt mean the Brian who wouldnt know critical analasis if it bit him on the butt, do you?Wonder what his vested interest is.What job did he see in his future?

Betsy said...

I always wondered if it was Wayne Perkins who picked Brian to force that casino deal onto the town. What say you, Wayne?

an anonymous person said...

I had a few conversations with this person if you could call them taht because it was more like you know him preeching to me.I'm not sure I even remember him listening to anything I said he just kept talking for what felt like a few hours.I'm not sure anyone listens to him and dont understand his name in the newspaper.He didnt even recognise me when he saw me last week.

Anonymous said...

Your extensive research and linking to previously posted assesments is appreciated. I hope everyone else will stick to the facts and the research since Brian isn't capable of same.

Anonymous said...

Dynamite post!

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing supporters like BG continuously have something to defend since the project is indefensible.It keeps 'em busy!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone watching the 'casino hearing'?We know the casino catastrophe won't play out in Mboro,but that BOS doesnt seem capable of walking and talking at the same time.

marylou said...

Lynch seems to have pronounced another legal reason that "It isn't coming."
Listening to the Middleboro Bd of Selctmn's meeting this evening,little has changed.
I thought Al Rullo had his brain organized and understood the issues.Im sorry I was wrong.Town Planner criticized OMG!IT!Does anyone hear?Marcia?How come Pat hasnt resigned?I understand there might be reasons he should.

carverchick said...

Gee Gladys,

Your wee, little anti casino brain has somehow managed to TKO the Big Brian Brain.

Gee -- I guess size really doesn't matter!

Smoking Owl said...

Actually, this whole discussion of whether or not the tribe has continuous ties to Middleboro is pointless.

If the tribe had continuous ties to Middleboro, they would know it, the people in Middleboro would know it, everybody would know it. How can I make such a statement, you ask?

Because if the Mashpee Wampanoags had continuous ties to Middleboro, they would have been in town creating issues and wreaking havoc with town politics long before 2007.

The fact that we have to debate their claim of historical ties to Middleboro, in a way, is evidence in itself that those ties do not exist. Even tribal vice chairman Aaron Tobey is uncertain about the tribe's ties to Middleboro, because as he said in the Enterprise article, he hasn't read Lynch's report yet. As Carverchick pointed out in her blog, shouldn't the tribe's vice chairman already know the tribe's history without the need to read any reports?

Glad to see Brian "The Brain" Giovanoni is so certain about facts that the tribe's own leadership is uncertain about.

Anonymous said...

Political presence????I'll never forget the newly registered couple I called to remind about TMFH,who had lived in Mboro for many years,were elderly and who couldnt be bothered to participate in the democratic process till that time.The gentlman yelled at me that the reason he registered was to vote for the casino money so he could get out of this "Hell Hole of a Town" because he was Wampanoag.It said a lot about the importence of heratage and comunity conection.

Anonymous said...

You must at least aplaud Brian that he has digested and researched 92 pages of Lynch's report,compared it to Grabowski, Maurice Robbins,BIA,Weston and all other sources so quickly.That guy sure is SPEEDY!Just not accurate.

history lover said...

If I'm reading Lynch correctly, the Mashpee Tribe didn't exist historically and is a recent creation of Christian Indians, circa 1675 from 2 Cape Tribes (Manomet and Cotachessett).Is that correct?Doesnt a Tribe have to exist "historically"?Why are the Mashpee recognized and not the Massachusetts and Pokanoket?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anon. 2:38, I believe an amalgam of Indian tribes which became a new tribe, under some conditions, can be legally recognized - but they would still need to prove all sorts of historical and modern ties to the land in order to have that land taken into trust under the initial reservation exception.

But at the moment, the criteria for such a tribal melting pot is beyond my scope - and so perhaps we should ask Brian.

Anonymous said...

Gladys, your followers/commenters are getting smarter and smarter every day.

Anonymous said...

Lynch indicates that in 1661, Josias Wompatuck, a Massachusett tribal sachem had control over the property the casino investors now own.That seems to substantiate the statements made by the Massachusett Tribe at the EIS hearing about their historical ties to that area.

Anonymous said...

In 91 pages, Lynch refuted Grabowski statement by statement. Before his report is dismissed or his reputation impugned, Brian and others need to read it and do their own research. Would I actually expect casino supporters to consider facts when they never have?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anon. 8:20, you hit that nail on the head. Even at the State level, Therese Murray and other casino supporters are ignoring the fact that expanded gambling is not an economic panacea, won't lower taxes, but will bring crime, addiction, social issues, hurt children and families, as well as local businesses, hand a lot of power over to gambling interests, and be extremely costly to regulate. And yet... the beat goes on. Hmmm...

initially neutral..... said...

Before the group of you began bloging, we were prety much neutral on the casino and gambling issues.You made us think about it and discuss it with friends and do some of our own research, not only on the internet, but we boght a few books and called the towns in CT.Once you begin to discuss the topic and just stick to the facts of the mess that was created in CT,you cant be neutral.Among many other things the casinos refuse to adrress - 24/7 drunks on the road!

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