South Dakota governor tries to crush Native American efforts to contain the coronavirus

In hopes of minimizing the spread of coronavirus in their community, the Cheyenne River Sioux have established a series of checkpoints on state highways that run through tribal reservations in South Dakota. As Truthout explains:

Commercial drivers and South Dakota residents are being allowed to travel on tribal lands, but non-state residents are only allowed entry onto the reservations if they can provide proof of tribal membership or proof that they live there. Non-state residents are also being banned from hunting or fishing on tribal lands.

These, of course, are far more active measures than anything that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has done so far in this pandemic. And this clearly made her upset, or possibly embarrassed, because she wrote a letter to tribal leaders stating:

I request the Tribe immediately cease interfering or regulating traffic on U.S. and State Highways and remove all travel checkpoints. If the checkpoints are not removed within the next 48 hours, the State will take necessary legal action.

Under normal circumstances, there may be a valid argument about what some would consider the vigilantism on display here. However, when it comes to Native American land rights and legal jurisdictions, things get complicated. But they've been putting up with this shit for a while now, and many of them have a keen understanding of how things with the US government — namely, that it won't do shit to help them, except when it wants something, which usually ends up hurting the members of the tribe. Read the rest

Behind the velvet rope hierarchies of NYC restaurant reservations

Not surprisingly, getting a reservation at the hottest Manhattan restaurants is easier if you're rich, famous, an influencer, a media bigshot, or all of those things. But even within the realm of restaurant reservation phone lines, there is a hierarchy of velvet ropes. According to former reservationist Foster Kamer, at his job the people calling were placed into one of the following four groups. There is also the PAB (Punk-ass bitch) group that included individuals known in the restaurant scene to be rude, bad tippers, or always late for their reservation. From Gossamer:

No Status PROFILE: Plebes. Normies. In binary, zeroes. The largest of the four groups. On average, well over half the calls. Almost never got what they wanted. Almost always pissed.

PX (or: Person Extraordinaire) PROFILE: Magazine editors and food writers, gallerinas, flacks, fashion girls, low-D-to-mid-C-list celebrities. Sometimes got what they wanted. Often felt they deserved better. Often annoyed.

PPX PROFILE: A rare, exotic bird. Important. Memorable. At least one person in the restaurant knows who they are on sight, sound, or name. An A-to-high-B list actor, editor in chief or of note, a Times writer or Page Six gossip, a novelist, artist, or top-tier chef. Tina Brown, Graydon Carter, a Gosling, a Hemsworth, a Bushnell, a Rushdie, or (groan) a McInerney. Maybe a regular or neighbor. But mostly, bona fide celebrities. Maybe 10 percent of the calls. Usually got whatever they wanted.

PPPX PROFILE: The 99th percentile. Royalty. No, really: actual, literal royalty. Wills and Harry. People who only need first names: Anna, Bono, Hillary, et al.

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