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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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Governor Cuomo? It has a familiar ring to it.

For many of us that have been putting up the resistance to New York State as they encroach on Native lands and liberties of Native people, we always look at these new governors with more questions than expectations. Will Andrew take advice from his dad on Native issues? And will his advice come from the Mario that showed skill and integrity in the handling of the Ganienkeh stand off or from the State's Chief Executive that was responsible for "Gallant Piper"? The senior Cuomo was the first governor to tackle the "problem" of Native retailers marketing their regulatory advantages. He took a State licensed wholesaler all the way to the Supreme Court to prove he had authority over him and laid the groundwork as he and future administrations who would attempt to choke off our supply or tax our wholesale purchases.
It turns out that our resistance convinced the tough talking Republican that replaced him to do a complete about-face on the subject. As it would turn out, George Pataki would prove to be the most diplomatic State executive we have faced and properly addressed the issue politically rather than through force or courts. It is worth noting that Governor Pataki paid no political cost for respecting Native sovereignty.
So now a second generation Governor takes the helm. This one faces challenges the others couldn't have dreamed of; anemic revenue from Wall Street and a billion dollars a week going out to Medicaid. Even the conservative estimates have New York facing a $10 billion deficit next year. The question is: will Cuomo the younger do as others have and use us as a distraction from his real issues or will he ignore the racist clamor from morons like US Congressman, Peter King and his new found Republican majority which will now put him as a chairman of the Homeland Security Committee? How close will this one push us to the brink of an all out conflict before he becomes another humbled governor.
Wouldn't it be a pleasant surprise to start out with one of these guys as a human being instead of so much of our energy going into forcing him to be one?

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