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  1. My favorite author once said "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity". I tend to agree with this, but do not place myself above any of my fellows. I have said and done stupid things in the past, and probably will again in the future. All of us have done the same. Okay... (I clipped the quote for sake of brevity) I would tend to agree with this, for most of the reasons you've cited. Okay... I don't buy into this. While I believe that Bush et al were aware that something big was about to happen, and I base this on the fact that most Washington VIPs were told not to fly on 9/11, I do not think that Washington and-or the CIA actually engineered the fall of the towers. The internet has led to a huge proliferation of conspiracy theories, and those that buy into such theories. I simply do not buy into most of these. You choose to do so. Your prerogative. I don't recall the tv show I watched which debunked this train of thought, but having a fairly good grounding in science, I found nothing they said on that show to be out of order. (Notice I haven't called you "stupid" or any other names yet??? So far so good:) I think a lot of this is over the top. Corporations have lobbies, which are a big deal in US politics. Saying the country is governed solely for the sake of those corporations is taking it too far. The fact that those corporations do have the money and power to put forward powerful lobbies does have a great deal of influence. That being said, great influence has also been put forth by ordinary people acting in groups to protest various issues. To some degree, it balances. To me, at least, I despise attacks against innocent bystanders, whether they are committed by military or insurgents. As for attacks against military targets, I consider such acts to be underhanded, but not nearly as despicable as bombings of nightclubs, churches, mosques, or any other civilian target. (Clipped again....same reason) For sake of efficiency, if nothing else, there has to be some sort of agreed-upon currency. In fact it could be argued that civilization needs a currency to survive. Very few people will do something for nothing. If we go back to the barter system, then only those who produce material goods will have anything to live on. Even so, there will always be some with the smarts to wheel and deal and come out on top of their fellows. As a question to you, how would you propose a modern infrastructure would be maintained without some sort of economic regulatory system in place??? Who would pay for roads, schools, water and sewer systems, etc??? What would keep companies in research and development without money??? How would there be any forward progression in technology, medicine, etc??? Freedom has never been free. This I dispute. If I write a song, and am able to make some money via sales of that song, I feel I am perfectly entitled to protect this claim, that the song, as intellectual property, belongs to me. If I invent a device which can make your life nicer, I should be able to reap some rewards for coming up with the idea. OTOH, if you were to write a great story, one which could easily sell gazzillions of copies effectively making you rich, then why should I have any right to share in your profits??? I can certainly enjoy the story you've written, but what gives me any right to profit from it, or to feel that I should be able to enjoy it for free??? Not me, but not for the reasons you've cited. I view medecine's role as that of damage control, rather than preventative. Medecine itself, I agree, should not be the preventative measure. Our own common sense and good habits should fill that role. However, "sense" is not common. See my comment above regarding the power of human stupidity. Well, my friend, there you have it.....what I have to say in reply to the points you've posted so far.
  2. My solution is simple. I frequent second-hand stores when shopping for clothing and most consumer goods. The items I buy may be made in China, but buying them 2nd-hand virtually guarantees that the money I am spending on the product stays in Canada, and in most cases right here in my local area's economy. For those things that I must buy new, I try to go to locally-owned shops/stores/franchises first. Big box stores are not even on my radar. Costco, Wal-Mart, Future-Shop, Bestbuy, Home Depot, etc never have my shadow darken their doors. Actually, that is untrue. I did once go into a Wal-Mart.......to return a DVD-player I had been given, which I promptly replaced with another, far better one, which I bought at local 2nd-hand store.
  3. For years I've said (in a tongue-in-cheek way) that there are two kinds of men in the world; those who admit to being pigs, and those who are liars. I've always qualified myself as an honest pig.
  4. SHWA: I'm just checking in here briefly as I have to leave shortly to go to work, and so do not have the time to type out a long post. But I wanted to say this much, that was a GREAT post. Possibly the best I've seen from you to date. Instead of calling me silly names and making personal attacks (well, a couple LITTLE ones, but what the heck....), you've brought up a lot of great information. This is what I'm looking for. Information. I never claimed to know everything, and I'm always willing to learn. I'll look into the data you've posted when I have the time (I work a short week, but my workdays are VERY long hours), and will reply accordingly. But in the meantime, you've given me more to think about. Good job. Keep it up.
  5. First off, Griz, this is, I believe, our first exchange of views. Before I start I want to say this is a great post. You got all your points across respectfully. You addressed my post intelligently, and without any personal attacks. If all posters behaved this way, this forum would truly be a pleasure. There are many FNS people who live off reserve--75% in total. Some FNS have done very well, others struggle. Some may actually visibly appear FNS while others don't. It is my belief that it is a personal issue one that is far too senstive for some to even discuss. I don't know who your friends are, but my "hats off to them" if they know how to fair well in different situations in the white and indian world. Please don't try to make an assumption on the impacts of the Indian Act because in many situations it is sad. My hat's off to them, too, as I made plain in a earlier post. Regarding my assumptions on the impacts of the act, you're absolutely correct. Obviously it's impacts are felt differently by different people, and I have to agree that I cannot judge what those effects may be on all those different individuals. My error was in seeing several successful transitions from reserve life to the mainstream, and drawing broad conclusions from them, a mistake I'll try not to repeat. I accept your correction. Good point, well spoken. I'm getting some education here, from you as well as others, and I appreciate information which is new to me. "The White Guy Act". We have it already, it's called the Constitution. As for the department in charge, it's called Parliament, and as departments go, it's pretty sad . As for the media, that is where I've got most of the negative information about reserves. On a few CBC news programs which spring to memory, there were investigations into many reserve-based problems. Everything from lack of good water, housing issues, sewage issues, substance-abuse issues, etc etc etc. Most of the information on reserves that I get from the media reflects only the negatives. I cannot recall a single news or affairs program that came out saying "reserve life is wonderful", only the contrary. So, from that viewpoint, at least SOME of the "propaganda" has actually been in your favor. Here you suffer from what historians call "present-mindedness." There's no way of knowing what "may have," or "could have," or "should have happened" so don't even go there. The same could be said of those Native people who claim their lot in life would be better now if the white man had not come. We can speculate based on how history has unfolded elsewhere, but if you want to leave that aside, then I will happily concur. I see we'd both rather discuss issues than sling mud or deal in "might have beens". Your comments also show ethnocentric bias. In as earlier post, you point a finger of guilt at "Whitey". If that's not biased, I don't know what is. So both of us are guilty of that crime. We cannot help it, either of us. We are raised in a certain environment, indoctrinated with everything we've seen and heard all our lives, and at this point we must muddle through to find the best answers we can. But being intelligent beings, we can both LEARN. You've taught me some things here. I hope to learn more. Hopefully I can bring something new to the table for you, too. The saddest part of the Oka crisis to me anyways, was when Mohawk women and children and elders were crossing the Mercier bridge and were pelted with rocks as the cops and army watched. Agreed. I saw some of that clip well after the fact, and it pissed me off royally. In fact it made me feel ill. It's one of the few times I've been ashamed of my countrymen. Taking the high ground. Good job. I've seen some argue that the Mohawk warriors could have held them off indefinitely. Luckily, both sides showed admirable restraint under very tense circumstances. I don't think I have the self discipline to have stood there amongst the brave men on both sides and kept my cool. I can't speak to the thing about trying to get the Mohawks to fire first, but I'm very glad it didn't turn into an all-out shooting war. I commend you on this and when you learn the truth, please spread your new found land oopps I mean newfound knowledge to the conservative narrow minded little kid thinkers of this world Ooops??? I don't think that was an "oops". LoL. I understand your need to take at least one shot, and that one was pretty mild. Seriously, I think both sides need to communicate more. Perhaps that would de-polarize the entire issue, and allow progress to be made. If two people like you and I can do so on a grass-roots level, then maybe there's hope for both nations after all. Next time I'm faced with that fallacy, I'll be happy to de-bunk it. So nepotism is not a whites-only disease. Nice to have some common ground. To bad it has to be something like this. According to some research, it doesn't just stop with favoritism, but extends to election fraud, thievery, blackmail, and fraudulent misappropriation of funds originally earmarked for medical care, which end up as very fancy fixtures in some Band Chief's bathroom. Sad, that. Playing politics with peoples' lives is bad enough. Stealing, quite literally, their health care simply so you can have a fancy toilet to sit on is beyond despicable. At no time did I ever deny that Canada's Aboriginal People have got a raw deal. What I HAVE done is questioned whether things are as bad as some make them out to be. I've also pointed out that in some cases, in some issues, there were more causes than the presence and/or laws of the white man. Whatever. Griz, you and I seem to have found a starting point here. I'd appreciate further discussion, further education, and more importantly I'd like to see a discussion looking into possible solutions to many of the existing problems with the relationship between Canada and her Native people. Thanks again for a great reply.
  6. You cite Bizarro, you cite Bugs Bunny. You must have a penchant for fantasy fiction because the single line "No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse" in no way praises the white man for his efforts on the Aboriginal's behalf. In fact, it acknowledges the fact that things ARE bad, and in context of the paragraph from which it was taken, implies that this is due to the incursion of Europeans. Perhaps some more realistic reading than Bugs and Bizarro would bring you down to earth a bit. You've already attacked that particular line, and I've already responded. You've not acknowledged that response, but simply attack the same line again??? Poor play, my friend. If you want to debate a point, then please do so. If you simply want to try score cheap points, then you're wasting my time. Perhaps it might be more useful if you stopped deliberately taking things out of context for no better reason than trying to score cheap points. Perhaps it might be more useful if you stop trying to put your words into my mouth. Perhaps it might be more useful if you actually READ what you are responding to, and the replies to those responses, rather than continuing to pick on the same feeble point like a little kid who cannot stop picking their nose. Better yet, come up with a reply that is on par with what GRIZ posted, which I will be replying to next.
  7. Ok, I'll cite you. In the very next paragraph of your "rebuttal" no less! Perhaps you'd care to explain how that sentence is propaganda lauding the white man for favors to Aboriginals??? Personally, I see it as a statement of fact applicable to all people in all walks of life. Evidently you missed the line in that paragraph that pointed out that many of the "tries" were misguided, the implication being that they caused harm. My bad for not clarifying more fully as you're not the only one who took umbrage with that sentence. Two thumbs up for quoting Bugs. He's always been one of my favorites. But to counter quote, for taking a couple sentences out of context, I have to address you with a line from the same cartoon......what a gulli-bull.
  8. ....Which has evolved over the years, and continues to do so. But this hardly touches on day-to-day living. The friends I spoke of earlier have gone through their lives taking, quite literally, no notice of anything in the act, but have been smart enough to avail themselves of the advantages provided for them by the act. Evidently you've not read through the entire thread. Yes, I can see how driving a snowplow would require two languages. A second language would be equally important to someone who walks down the street stuffing mail into your mailbox. My point was not that this land was "vacant", the point was that in a time of colonization and expansion of empires, SOMEONE was bound to come here and set down roots. In a land with no organized government or military, it was bound to happen. Spain and Portugal had already taken South and Middle America and were working their way north, bringing their violent, genocidal version of Catholicism with them. I never claimed we did them "favors". I asked for a cite to back up a claim that had been made in the post I was addressing. Go back, look again, then reply in context. Rather than arguing your assertion that my assumption is incorrect, I'll let this one lay, if you will, as such speculation would be futile. It would simply be the two of us going round in circles until doomsday. And do you seriously think they would have held off the troops if there had been an actual order to attack??? You seem to have totally missed the word "misguided", which I used in that paragraph. "Trying" whilst using means which are not appropriate is still "trying". Hence the word "misguided". "It's for their own good". People actually believed themselves when they said that. Arrogant bastards, I'll grant that, and the type that provide the pavement for the proverbial road to hell. Why does everyone on this board take everything at face value, and in such stark black-and-white ways??? I made it plain at the beginning of this post that I was posting for sake of debate as the post I addressed had been begging, literally, for rebuttal for several days, and yet been left untouched. As an individual I am far more open-minded than most, and am more than willing to educate myself further on any matter which I enter into. I would say that the most progress could be made by people from BOTH sides of the debate who are also willing to look at the issue FROM BOTH SIDES. I am in absolute agreement with this. Again, I agree absolutely. Please provide a cite to back this up. I suppose the perceived truthfulness of this would depend on the individual. Ah yes, the familiar cry of many people who are faced with an opposing viewpoint, "You're part of the problem". Some of our native people are as easily identifiable as an African American. In the case of a few others, when refusing the favors which were asked, I was berated as being "Racist against Natives". I was informed all post secondary education was free for native peoples. Admittedly, I had not verified this before posting. I'll research that further when I have time. For the moment, I'll concede the point with an apology for posting something on which I am not fully informed On the contrary, I am very happy for them. In fact, I helped wiring one of their houses during construction, which I would certainly not have done if I held any grudge. My point was that these two guys have used the best of both systems to their benefit and made a very good life for themselves, and that there is no reason why many, if not all, others cannot do the same.
  9. Things go well beyond that. Some people want the world handed to them on a platter. We live in a culture of entitlement, where many seem to think it's their "right" to have what everyone else has. Many of these same people do not feel it is their responsibility to EARN those things they want. You gotta work for what you want, and if you want a civilized child, then raising the kid is going to require time and effort, not to mention a lot of luck. IOW, it's a job. If you ain't up to doing the work, don't take the job.
  10. I would disagree. Alcohol is not the only intoxicant at play here. Many kinds of drugs, in addition to sniffing gas, glue, felt-tip pens and just about anything else that can give a buzz is coming into play. But they are the symptom, not the disease. All of these substances exist outside of Native communities. If the substances themselves were the problem, then the entire nation, if not the whole world, would be in dire straights. In the communities where these problems are running rampant, I would point my finger at a lack of education, lack of leadership and lack of good parenting.
  11. RAD79: a suggestion.....if you're not actually going to address the particular post you are "replying" to, then either delete the post that is being quoted, or use the "Add Reply" button that appears at both top and bottom of the page. It's far too ponderous looking at your posts when you have a HUGE quote in there, and you're just make a short, generalized remark which is in no way related to the actual quote you're including in your post. Peace.
  12. Well, seeing as you asked for rebuttal, but no one else seemed willing, and you can't have a debate if no one is willing to question your points, so here goes....... That would depend on the issue in question, and the viewpoint of the observer. Those who you consider to "not have a clue" may feel the same way about you. Please cite example of how aboriginals are "legislated from birth until death". Among many native friends and acquaintances, I have heard complaints, but nothing about how their life is "legislated". As for the second part regarding smoking laws and those complaining about them, why do such complaints make a person a "moron"??? If such a law affects their lives, they have the same right to bitch about that as you have to bitch about aboriginal issues. I could say the same about the white anglo male in Canada, and much of it comes from minority groups who complain about "whitey" both in personal conversation and in the media. I can also say that for the white anglo male, getting a government job is near impossible as most such jobs are reserved for Francophones or biligual people. Perhaps you don't consider this complaint in the same league as some of your gripes, but it is a valid point nonetheless, and shows that a member of the majority can also face discrimination. Again, please cite examples of propaganda glorifying whites and their "favors" to aboriginals This seems to have a bit of substance to it. I'll counter by asking this; if the Europeans had not arrived when they did, or not at all for that matter, do you not think that someone else would have arrived, possibly from the other direction??? Do you think the Aboriginal peoples would have fared better if this land had been discovered by China or Japan or Russia or any other number of nations??? Do you think these nations would have simply "squatted", or perhaps they would have done something worse. History holds many examples of genocide. No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. Think of how the Inca and Aztec people fared under the tender mercies of Cortez. Ultimately, this land was bound to be discovered by some nation or other. Being that the population here was divided into smaller tribes/nations, the land would be easy pickings for any hostile force. Lack of technology would exacerbate this vulnerability. Perhaps the Europeans who colonized this land did not do everything in a manner that one of our aboriginal peoples would consider to be picture-perfect, and granted that many mistakes have been made, but Canada has TRIED to do right by Aboriginals. Many attempts were misguided, and some resulted in cruelty and abuse, but such abuse largely came from individuals within the system rather than the system itself. But we have learned, too. The residential schools did not work, and now they are no more. Other measures, also well intended but equally misguided, have also been taken off the table. As of now, the genie is out of the bottle, and cannot be put back. No matter how much you may not like it, the country is now what it is and time will not reverse itself. I would rather see discussion on how to improve matters in the future. This statement is confusing and non-specific. Please clarify. I agree with this to a point. On a personal-discrimination level, I can honestly say that I have told "Indian jokes" that would be considered to be in bad taste. But I have also made Italian jokes in equally poor taste, and my ancestry is largely Italian. In that regard I am an equal-opportunity arsehole I can also say that I have personally been accosted more times than I can remember by drunken aboriginals who are stumbling around the downtown streets of Sudbury, asking me for money, for smokes, and on more than a few occasions been cursed out soundly when I refused them. When I see large numbers of aboriginals in this state, in my opinion it gives me cause to have some reservations (pardon the pun) about dealing with them, and gives anyone who sees them behaving this way reason to have a bad opinion. Flipside, many of my aforementioned aboriginal friends have made successful careers for themselves in trades, in teaching, in mining, in forestry and in music, proving that there is nothing stopping a First Nations person from taking advantage of the free education offered to him, and making a successful life for himself. This free education is readily available to any Aboriginal who cares to avail himself of it. If you deem this a small thing, bear in mind that many people come out of a university education with debts that take them decades to pay off. This single perk allows an Aboriginal, if he so chooses, a headstart of tens of thousands of dollars when he finishes college/university. No small beans. Two of my friends, brothers, as it happens, live on the Whitefish reserve, just outside Sudbury, and ply their trades in the city. When I asked them why they chose to move back to the reserve after having left some years earlier, I was told that by choosing to build on the reserve, they got subsidies to help pay for the cost of building their new homes, and no cost for the land on which they built their homes. VERY nice homes, I might add. Neither of them seems to suffer from "lack of culture". They both attend sweatlodge regularly, participate in many ceremonies (which I readily admit to knowing nothing about), and one of them teaches native drumming to kids in his spare time. They are very happy with their lot in life, and I often ask myself why they are the exception rather than the norm. That it is. I look forward to your reply.
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