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, March 31, 2010

The 44th Rahnatakaias signs the PACT Act into Law 3/31/10

Well he did pretty much as we expected. Oh! And that seat at the table he promised..., well, let's just say we were promised a seat, but no one said we would be allowed to sit in it. We didn't hear too much out of Kimberly Teehee or Jodi Gillette either. I suppose they are only interested in posing as the White House token Indians to add diversity to the Obamacare campaign. They slipped this one through before the Jobs Bill starts being batted around. After all, how can you talk about stimulating jobs and addressing the "historically underemployed when you just signed into law a measure that will either kill 2000+ jobs or criminalize them. I guess Jodie and Kim will be kept out of the photo ops for this one. Indian Country has the highest unemployment rates on the continent but I can't help thinking that the historically under-employed that the Congressional Black Caucus obsessed over in this bill, does not include Native people or Native lands. Congress and the President made it clear once more that we are not a part of their system nor do they want us using any part of it. They don't speak with us, they don't respect us and they don't represent us or our concerns. We are still as much in their way as the day they landed on our shores. We don't have to look at a bunch of bullshit 200 year old treaties that offered false promises as our land was being stolen. We only have to listen to the bullshit uttered over the last couple of years by Mr. "Hope". I have hope too. I hope that all those Native people who bought into the Obamania will finally recognize him as the 44th to earn the title: Rahnatakaias. I don't care how many aspiring Indian girls he packs in the White House, he is still just another Town Destroyer in my book.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Republicans Abandon Principles to Hold Hands with the Dems on the PACT Act

We have certainly come to expect the paternalistic, ward-custodian, we know what's best for the under privileged attitude from Democrats. But where were all those anti-socialist, pro-freedom, fight for liberty, keep government out of business, free market, leave it to the states, fiscally responsible Republicans on this one? Only 20 out of 178 House Republicans voted against this bill.
The states were quite capable of shutting down remote sales on their own with one exception; Native sales. This is the whole reason the Feds acted; because the states have no legal authority over us. And frankly the Fed don't either. That is why they had to regulate the US Postal Service to get to us.
The Congressional Budget Office determined that the 2003 version of this bill would cost $140 million in enforcement and implementation. I suspect the cost has risen since then. This law has no funding in it so how will it be paid for?
The USPS will lose between $150 and $200 million in the revenue that remotes sales generate. Teetering on the brink of survival, the Postal Service will have to take this hit and find dollars to enforce the law. Prevention of mail fraud, kiddie porn and shipping of hazardous materials like anthrax and explosives will have to shift resources to intercepting otherwise legal tobacco products.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), only 1% of their case loads and 2% of their budget is attributed to alcohol and tobacco. They received no additional funding in this law so firearms and explosives will have to wait. Bomb sniffing dog will have to be retrained to search out cigarettes and chew instead.
So neither the do-gooder Democrats nor the less government intervention Republicans got this one right. They were both bought and paid for by the Marlboro Man and threw the Post Office and ATF under the bus along with another freedom of the American people.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Making A Visible Impact Magazine Hits Stores Today



MAVI Magazine is in distribution starting today. By next week most Native retailers should have it available. The magazine is free as is the conversation and thought we hope it stirs. Articles from Native Pride will be featured as well as features from other contributors. The magazine's website, mavimag.com will feature additional articles, photos and information. Readers can submit comments and photos for future issues and to be featured on the website. Ask the retailers in your community for MAVI Magazine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The US Senate Passes the PACT Act

Well the "good ole boy's club" finally got it done. By unanimous consent, without a discussion, debate or even a comment of concern, the Senate managed to come to one voice on an issue they could all agree. Make no mistake about what they agreed upon because it wasn't underage smoking, it wasn't tax avoidance, it certainly wasn't concern about funding terrorism. What was stated clearly by this chamber, just as it was in the House, was that Native jobs, the economy of Native territories and in particular the private sector of Native lands mean shit to them. Anyone who believed for a second that representatives from New York could give a rat's ass about the Native People or Native communities that affect their districts should finally get the message; They don't! Schumer is a pompous ass who thinks he knows what is best for everyone which is really laughable since he doesn't care about anyone or anything but his camera time and air time. Gillibrand proved herself just as untouchable as Schumer and is so busy licking his boot heals that she can't make a decision for herself. Not to mention her ties to Philip Morris who practically wrote and paid for this legislation. On the House side is our old friend Brian Higgins. You remember him; he is the one who tried to apologize for voting against our businesses in the late 90's when he was a State Assemblyman. He told us he was new on the job and didn't read the bill back then. This time he votes for a Federal law to kill our businesses and then says he changed his mind when it is too late. When are we going to learn that these guys don't represent us. They don't even represent the non-natives who live around us; they get thrown aside with us. The Senators from New York might just as well call themselves the Senators from New York City. The rest of the State matters little to them. There are a few wealthy people scattered throughout the State that command a little attention but New York only matters when it is said twice; New York, New York. The House Representatives in our areas pay lip service to us but know their responsibility is to people like them; wealthy and white, not us. They don't mind posing for a picture with us, at least those of us that look like them, but they know we can't get them elected and once they are in only their own self destruction takes them out. You certainly won't hear any of these guys challenge a Peter King or any other down-State bigwig when they are accusing us of supporting terrorism or organized crime. This type of governance is based on posturing for the future not actually governing for the present. What ever current problems we have with the State or the Feds, these politicians know there is no future and certainly no benefit in going out on a limb for us. So when the PACT Act wipes out a couple of thousand jobs from our communities, many of them non-native jobs, they can just blame it on the recession and claim they had no idea their actions would cost jobs. We have plenty of non-native support in and around our communities but we must acknowledge when it comes to the State and Federal representatives; the lines have been clearly drawn. It is us against them!