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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Friday, November 20, 2009

What next?

Well it took all of about two minutes for law makers in Washington to push the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act through committee and on to the full Senate for vote. I have written extensively on the PACT Act already so I won't belabor the point again.
Native People are right to be pissed. The racist attitudes that prevail in Albany and Washington are consistent and historic in their nature. All those Hope and Change Indians who fell in love with Barack Obama will have an opportunity to see their confidence betrayed when he signs the bill into law, eliminating jobs and crushing the Native economies that have depended on the USPS for delivering legal products for their customers. The reality is that this 44th Rahnatakaias should at least make a token gesture and veto this bill. The Senate has enough votes to override it anyway. Failure to do so will demonstrate how meaningless our lives are to him and his agenda.
So where do we go from here? Do we take any lessons away from any of this? I hope as we go forward that our people can set aside our differences to stand together and fight for our issues. This time we saw Philip Morris standing side by side with health organizations to endorse and, in some cases, literally write legislation against us while we couldn't demonstrate enough unity to pull Marlboros from our shelves. To all those who expected someone else to fight for them, whether it was their Nation or tribal council or their richer neighbor down the road, I hope the next battle pulls you in. We don't need leadership, we need participation. A room full of tribal councilors and prominant businessmen can't compare to the 5,000 who marched on Albany in '97 and why not 10,000. The next time I hope that rather than criticizing how the battle was fought by others or anyone thinking that they knew far too much to consult with others, that we can work together for a common cause and recognize who the enemy is.


Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

In the normal legislative process, once a bill makes it out of the various committees the Senate deems appropriate for consideration before going to the full Senate, a bill is discussed and debated before going to a vote. The PACT Act is being ramrodded through the Senate without even a discussion. A process known as hot lining is being attempted by the strong proponents of the bill. This process assumes such easy passage that the discussions and concerns over the bill are skipped over. This allows the vast majority of the Senate to play dumb after the fact and simply say they had no idea that hardships would be created by its passage.

Anonymous said...

I say fuck the PACT Act. Just keep mailing smokes. The post office and the ATF have no money to investigate or enforce this. Make them charge us. The shops should just maintain their current customers and only those referred by customers to avoid entrapment.

Anonymous said...

Just the beginning if we ignore this. I live in the area, can say that in my opinion cigarettes and soda aren't where this will stop. What started as a nudge has become a push. I agree, these bills fly through to approval and can be devastating in a short time.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Arizona and love the indian tribes. They are to be honored as this nations true AMERICAN along with the rest of us. Our government has continued to hurt the indian. The government took away their food, their land, and now they must live like the government forces them to? They are supposed to be protected. STOP this government and WE THE PEOPLE need to take our honor back. We have become WEAK, no back bone to vote the jerks out. We have the power to get the government back for the people. This government is a money hungry society. I HATE the fact that the government has control over health care and NOW taxes and things taken away that, because they want their kick backs from higher cigarette cost? The jerks! I have the right to make a stand. I am an AMERICAN AND SO ARE INDIANS! Stop treating us like children by slapping us with your stupid bills and demands! I stand up with you; ALL AMERICANS!

Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

What you may not realize is that not all of us consider ourselves Americans. In the 20's the discussion began over declaring Indians U.S. citizens. It was clear that the reason for this had more to do with diminishing our autonomy and to ultimately grab more land. There are many Native people that embrace U.S citizenship and try to resolve all conflicts through U.S. courts and agencies. But many of us know we will never get a fair shake through systems that are still focused on assimilation.