Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apology Not Accepted

We are already beginning to hear the litany of excuses from the Congressmen representing the Western New York districts around Native communities. I hope none of our people buy their bullshit when they claim, regarding their House votes for the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, that they didn't realize how devastating shutting down retailers that use the mail for delivery would be. Brian Higgins tried that line on us when he voted as a New York State Assemblyman to try to shut us down with State legislation. We need to clearly draw a line in the sand for these guys. You are either with us or against us. As the private sector economy of the Seneca Nation is destroyed by these arrogant, self serving career politicians, we need to hold them accountable. This goes for Schumer and Gillibrand before the Senate votes as well. These Democrats want to wear their human and civil rights credentials on their shirtsleeves all while they crush any success our communities have. Oh, they'll stand in lock step with us when we serve their needs. Get out the vote, endorse our candidate, help us with our census, help us secure the borders, create tourism for us, give us slot dollars. These guys will travel the world preaching the virtues of democracy and private sector development while not just promoting, but dictating, Socialism in Indian Country. It is no small coincidence that gaming has been legislated and shoved down our throats. These enterprises are only run by the tribes. The powers that be don't want to have to deal with Indians. We have heard this constant chorus of Nation to Nation and government to government relations for so long that we now sing it more than them. In doing so the individual Native person, the private sector of Indian Country, is taken out of the picture. It is much more convenient for Rahnatakias Obama and his minions to deal with a handful of tribal leaders than 1,000,000 Indians. In Oneida and Onondaga only the "Nation" is in business. The State and the feds only have to wheel and deal (or drag into court) a couple of guys to get their way with them. How many remember the look on the face of Judith Hard (from Governor Pataki's office) when she had to face only a roomful of angry Indians during our last go-around?
We need to also hold some others accountable. Those who claim to be leaders or representatives for Native people and Native issues also need to be dragged out on the mat. NCAI and USET cannot be allowed to continue to promote themselves and their usefulness to Native people if they only serve the needs of a few bought and paid for tribes, the Indian gaming industry and the state and federal governments. As NCAI meets in Seneca territory, in a couple of weeks, they need to be put on notice. If NCAI and USET can't support the Seneca people, the Seneca people should be done with them. While we are at it, perhaps someone should produce a tally on how much money goes to these organizations from our communities and do an honest cost benefit analysis. Not just what have you done for me lately; what have you ever done for us?
It needs to be made clear that the PACT Act is legislation aimed at specifically shutting down Native businesses. An argument can be made whether or not it violates our sovereignty or some overstated "treaty rights", but there is no question about the negative impact it will have on the economies of Native communities and no apologies will be accepted from anyone who helps make this happen.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think that polititians like Brian Higgins and Chuck Schumer realize the devastating effects the PACT Act will have on
Native territorries. And maybe they don't care. I am old enough to remeber the days of the beat up ols rez car with loud mufflers and bologna skin tires. But with stricter rules for car maintanence, it will be hard to keep even a rez car on the road if you cannot not afford to pass the inspection. If this legisltion passes, those of us just getting by will have to resort to hitchhickin, or walkin down the roads again. Some peolpe say "get a job". Well thats easy to say, but you forget there are tough economic times we face, and those who have jobs are just glad they have them and are trying hard o keep them. If this legislation passes, tough times are ahead for many here, and I just can't help but feel that these politicians just don't like seeing Indians prosper here on our own lands.

Anonymous said...

With that last comment, I can't help but picture Hummers and Cadillac SUVs with mufflers dragging and rusty spinners with balogna skins and a 22 inch doughnut. Look now people, it won't be long if this passes.

Anonymous said...

If you look back into history then you will see that white are for themselves not Indians they claim this is theirs so why do or anyone fall for their shit any how ???? Have to be stupid to fall for that same shit time and time again and I said b4 that the saying goes to be true then good for any of you all to fall for this shit they dish out and deserve everything that goes with it so take a good look and reap what you sow! Ya better get in tune here and get with the program ? when this shit starts to hit the fan many of you ndns are going to be showing that your white after all.

Anonymous said...

Indians have the right to prosper.
There are groups in NY CRYIN FOR EQAULITY. Now that we have our own economy now we are equal. When they destroy our economy, then we will be unequal.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange that there is such support for our sovereignty to bring gaming off the reservation, but not our products?

pridebourne said...

Nice race baiting, you got them all riled up. This is not an attack on Our sovereignty, this is the USA using some good ol' market protection. It will not be illegal for US citizens to drive to our territories and purchase a few cigs. What will be illegal is the exploitation of the US postal service by foreigners. Imagining that we have the right to extend ourselves into the american market without following their domestic laws is detrimental to our sovereignty. Gee, why hasn't Mexico or Canada figured out that they can skip NAFTA regulations by shipping their products through the mail? (Because they realize that they are exporting to the US, not domestics.)

pridebourne said...

What many have 'fallen for' is easy money. History shows how they have taken advantage of the effects of poverty and dangled welfare in front of us. Now that famines have subsided, lynch mobs have settled down, and bigotry no longer prevents them from buying our products, blaming the exploitation of the Indian System on Dwhite Mann is a rouse to distract the rest of us from freeloaders. Our people are investing careers to make a few privateers rich; our driving-age youth are sacrificed to beat-the-odds of loosing a load of cigarettes; Our territories are uses as tax havens by American-indians and aboriginal-Canadians. There are many people who wear indian costumes to take advantage in our neighborhoods. Once disrobed, they are proven to be as white as the man they keep pointing their finger at. Even though they may be under the influence of a white man, charlatans and saleman should not be let off the hook because they flash a rez card.

ohnkwe ohnwe said...

I don't make the argument that the PACT Act is an attack on sovereignty or even the Seneca Nation. It is, however, a deliberate attempt to crush the private sector economies of the Seneca Nation as well as Tuscarora and Tonawanda. Pridebourne and Rob Porter, if they aren't the same, seem to be the only ones in the area that defend the action and suffer from the illusion that some how only a few rich Indians will be affected. When retail sales lose 80% of their volume how secure does anyone think the supply to the brick and mortar stores will be? The Big Tobacco brands have no interest in supporting our sales and the Native brands will struggle to survive on a fraction of their wholesale sales. Tobacco sales will return to an "every man for himself" scenario and will find it difficult if not impossible to comply with the ATF/IEC laws. The isolationist policies of the Seneca Nation that have tried so hard to distinguish the commerce that they control to that of other Native communities will diminish. Tobacco traders will have to depend on collaborating with people from the other communities to survive in spite of the SNI laws. If Philip Morris wants to stop its product from coming to our stores all they have to do now is refuse to submit to the SNI fire-safe laws by not paying for and application and refusing to provide their lab tests. The Pact act provides the perfect storm to not just wipe out mail order but to cripple the entire trade. As suggested in a previous post, the tobacco trade will slip back into the shadows or die completely. For the Pridebourne Porters that believe we either should concede or have conceded to American and Canadian citizenship, they should speak for themselves. All this blog attempts to do is encourage everyone else to do the same and stop letting the few misrepresent the many. My views may be in the minority, but they might just be in the terribly silent majority. Thanks, Rob, for encouraging the debate.

ohnkwe ohnwe said...

By the way, who are you referring to as charlatans? The business men, the lawyers or just anyone like me with an opinion different than yours? I do believe the majority of Native people find more quacks in the political and legal professions than the tobacco business.

Anonymous said...

So the truth comes out. Rob, or Pridebourne or Odawi or what ever he calls himself, believes that retailers that use the mail are jeopardizing Native sovereignty. So that is the rationale for sleeping with the enemy. Oh yeah, Mexico and Canada may enter into all kinds of treaties with the U.S., but the 16 - 20 million border crossing Mexicans and the 75% of Canadians that smoke black market cigarettes don't exactly follow the rules laid out before them. I guess you could say they execise their individual sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

How could anyone approve this kind of legislation. It is obvious "Pride Bourne" does. He even praises it as "USA good ol market protection". This is just a recent Bill that was made up in he last 2-3 years. And it is obviosly made up to kill off a private sector of native business.
"Pride Bourne" is in the minority.
And he is in the guise of an Indian who also supports anti-Indian legislation!

Anonymous said...

Saw pictures of Brian Higgins with Rob Porter and others in the Seneca Nation Newsletter. How quaint!

Anonymous said...

Ok guys stay the course who gives a crap on who knows who the point is being missed here we need to network not get jealous because someone knows people those people work behind the scenes here. That is the problem with you Indians . all are to jealous of one another stop the idiocy. Now get knowledgeable and use tact as well as diplomacy and turn your weaknesses into strengths to overcome , improvise, and adapt to the ways that were taught to these people by our own people don't know how to be a warrior yet???

Anonymous said...

Does Robert "Odawi" Porter Think this legislation is good for the Indians??? I mean it appears he thinks its good for the USA. But what about the Indians? It will as somebody says, kill Indians business, and it appears, what, that he doesnt care? What the hell is up with this guy. He cant be Indian , is he??? From what Ive read about him, he seems to have a lot of influence in a lot f SNI Nation business affairs, and maybe as much if not more than Barry Snyder(not jealous, just sayin). So how and why does he think that this is great legislation for Indians???
His picture is in the Seneca news letter with Brian Higgins?? They must have dinner and luch together,(not jealous, just sayin, I wouldnt want to have dinner with Brian Higgins cause hes so anti-Indian), but maybe Higgins has Robert"Odawi" Porter snowed here. And why does he got that middle name like that if he supprot anti-Indian legislation. If this legislation kills or cripples Indian business, why is he for it??? Does this legislation make him happy???

Anonymous said...

I think Robert "Odawi" Porter should buy his "buddy"(not jealous also) Higgins a big steak dinner, and tell Higgins not to vote in support of this anti-Indian.(that they both seem to support)

Anonymous said...

Well if your not jealous and just saying why r u not up in their businesses finding out the next move??? As it goes true and holds to it that when you go against your people for another nation then terrible things stem from it! It goes to your family first the ones you love the most! If this is true what you say then we shall smoke the pipe to find out this is not playing this is seeing! One saying stands true the most Keep your friends close but keep your enemy's closer this way you know what they are doing at all times!stay strong for your people and be a leader not a follower many shall turn to you in the time of need and quicker than you think that time is about to befall us so make preparations for this time. In the end all Indians should prepare for other types of business not just gas and tobacco there are tons of listing pick one and just give her? Besides what type of skills does it really take to sell, stock, or pump gas any how ??? Technical skills our people are full of tech skills.now is the time to take back and cram that into their faces.

Anonymous said...

I think Ohnkwe Ohnwe is right. It is going to get ugly around here. It is not like everyone is just going to go out and get new jobs when the shops close. Adlais is already half shut down. Who is next? People will find ways to support themselves and it won't necessarily look like the path to the American dream. There are less regulations on the Seneca rez' for drugs than tobacco. As the feds make it more criminal to trade tobacco, the leap to "other" trades won't seem so bad.

Pommawolf said...

I have a hard time buying any sincerity from those that post behind the "Anonymous said", and question the motivation behind it.