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, April 2, 2010

Brian Higgins and Chris Lee Have Turned Their Backs on Western New York

On March 17, 2010, Congressmen Chris Lee (Republican) and Brian Higgins (Democrat) voted in favor of a measure that will cost thousands of Western New Yorkers their jobs, that disgracefully interferes with the inherent rights of sovereign peoples and threatens the economic stability of one of our region’s largest employers, the Seneca Nation of Indians. An attack on the economy of the Seneca Nation and its People is an attack on the economy of all of Western New York.

Before the end of June, approximately 140 Seneca Indian owned businesses will be forced to close their doors resulting in the immediate loss of close to 3000 jobs in the Western New York area; most of these jobs are held by non-Indian residents of New York State. This figure does not include the job losses that will be experienced by non-Seneca businesses either directly or indirectly from the virtual collapse of the Seneca Nation’s private sector economy. The overall impact will be felt by Western New York’s accountants, marketing consultants, advertisers, postal delivery personnel, internet service providers, attorneys, restaurant owners, and the countless non-Seneca vendors that provide services to Seneca businesses.

Congressmen Lee and Higgins were advised of the dire economic consequences that a bill that makes tobacco nonmailable through the United States Postal Service would have on Western New York communities and jobs. Congressmen Lee and Higgins were advised that Seneca businesses had no delivery alternative to the United States Postal Service because New York State had previously strongarmed all private delivery carriers into discontinuing delivery of tobacco products for Seneca businesses. Please do not listen when Congressmen Lee and Higgins tell you that they were unaware of the consequences. Either they just didn’t listen or they just don’t care.

Congressmen Lee and Higgins are part of what is currently wrong with the political culture in Washington; these men are part of the “politics as usual” mentality running rampant in federal, state and local governments today. Republicans and Democrats alike are to blame. Politicians must learn that they are accountable to their constituents and that there will be consequences at the polls for turning their back on their communities.

Congresswomen Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, among others, stood up in support of Indian Tribes and jobs in her state by voting NO against the bill supported by Congressmen Lee and Higgins. Congresswomen Herseth Sandlin had this to say in opposition to the bill – “I believe the bill threatens the government-to-government relationship with Native American tribes set out by our founders in the U.S. Constitution.”

In stark contrast, Congressmen Lee and Higgins said nothing.

Congressmen Lee and Higgins your silence was deafening. We are still listening; do you have anything to say to Western New York? No more excuses.

Friends of the Seneca People and nypoliticiansunveiled

1 comment:

Jeni said...

Not sure if this occured before the PACT act, but was totally astonished to see the Post Office embarking in public advertisements on Amazon:

What I'd like to know is if public funds are going toward these ads and if so, how much? Wonder if Congressmen Lee and Higgins would know the answer to that.

As a regular old taxpaying citizen of this country, I'd like to know how these two can support this bill that hurts so many in the Seneca Nation AND has a ripple effect that hurts untold numbers across the entire nation as a ripple effect.

I'd also like to know how a SERVICE (as in not a business that requires adverts) that my tax dollars pay for, can have any restrictions on a LEGAL product.