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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Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Mr. Paterson

Mr. Paterson, you should be ashamed of yourself. I can appreciate that you were not elected into the position you now hold, but don't be so limp about it. You are a blind, black man that managed to become the governor of New York State. How could you crumble into being the legislature's lapdog? Did somebody tell you that the State's checks and balance system disappeared when you took the oath?
There is a reason that most Native territories within the State won't sit to negotiate a "deal" like other states have with their Indians. We aren't your Indians. We will not allow you to take anymore from us. We stopped being pushed around by New York over thirty years ago. Hell, we pushed back against Rockefeller on I 81. Only Attica prevented a major conflict between us. We fought to carve out a small piece of the tobacco trade; a trade we originally developed through respectful cultivation, incorporation into our customs and trade with other nations centuries before the white man prostituted our sacred medicine. We are not going to dance for you on this. We are in this business to stay.
Even if you illegaly stop finished products from making it to our territories for resale we have enough Native manufactured product to carve out a significant business. Perhaps you are doing us a favor by drawing the line in the sand. I believe we can take more market share from big tobacco so more of our revenue stays at home. Of course you will lose more MSA funds but hell, this isn't about money any way. Right? It is about your concern for the public health and safety. You certainly would not try to use a public vice to raise money for the State budget; oh yeah there is that "Crack Draw" thing you want to expand and the increase on tax and availabiliy of alcohol. On second thought, maybe you and Elliot can figure a way to tax postitution. Just remember to pay your fair share and pay tax on all that you use and consume in the State.

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