Saturday, December 09, 2006

Get Out of Africa!

Last Saturday a week, I attended the African Dance program presented by my son and daughter’s USU African Dance Class. Scheduling challenges had relegated the performance to a few minutes duration before a Contra Dance in the converted gym of one of those old three story elementary schools, in Logan.

The first to enter were the drummers, it seems Africans have no other musical instruments. All were white skinned men, some old, some younger, with costumes reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Afro centric period. Most had long hair done up in Rastafarian dreadlocks like the Jamaican witchdoctor from *Predator Two*. Their drums were hourglass shaped wooden tubes, larger but otherwise exactly like the Thai drum I had bought at the bazaar held at the Buddhist temple here in Layton; goat skin tied down with nylon cord.

The lead drummer addressed the audience; I couldn’t really call it a crowd, as at least half present were our family, or friends from camp. The drummer said some things about the drumming. I believe he previewed the upcoming dances and thanked all for attending. One comment did stick in my memory, he claimed that all music began in Africa, as did human life, and that Africa is the source of all culture.

“Ya like the Parthenon!’ I wanted to yell, but didn’t. I was playing with my grandsons.
The roar of the drums began.

After several false starts the beat enticed the dancers down the ramp from back stage to fill the floor, a small basketball court. One boy, my son, and three lines of young women, including the “professor”. My son assures me this instructor has actually been to Africa and learned the authentic dances.

As I watched the interesting gyrations, the room throbbing to the repetitive cadence of the drums, I was reminded of Elizabeth Taylor’s triumphant parade in the movie *Cleopatra*. I have never understood what possessed the director of that Hollywood marvel to insert the Watusi into the show. After ten minuets of very athletic and somewhat erotic bouncing, swaying, weaving, and jumping, the drums paused and we were invited to join in for a final shake and shimmy. I played with my grandson.

As the African Dance Class and its drummers beat a hurried retreat to make room for the violins and guitars of the Contra dance band, I kept thinking I’d seen it all before. Then it came to me; O.A. Indian dancing. Mahonri’s painted face – half black, half white -, Scott Hinrichs in full head dress, the Leaping Lemhi, David Maughan’s fire hoop, Paul Harris making balls, Doug Hopper’s bare chest, Jody in baggy leather pants, Trent’s Vigil Ceremony the night the bear came, tee pees in the mountains, Chingachgook and Uncas, secret ceremonies underneath the stars of Heaven.


When I was a boy and well into my young manhood, I was very active in the Order of the Arrow (O.A.), and honor fraternity within the Boy Scouts. One of the aims of the O. A. is the preservation of American Indian culture and traditions. A Point of interest, Boy Scouting – still the world’s largest youth organization – had its beginning in the emulation of American Indian culture. Baden Powell with his South African wood beads was a rather late joiner to the program.

When I was a boy, to enable me to join in the ceremonies, my mother made me an “Indian” costume out of burlap sacks. Other than putting the fringe on backward, so that it stuck up along the top of my arms rather than hanging down, I thought the outfit a right on stunner. Never much of a dancer, I couldn’t even master the box waltz back in MIA, I spent my Indian days building fires and reciting lines in the woods.

As a Professional Scouter my activities with the O.A. were second only to Camp in degree of pleasure obtained and commitment given. Many of the young men I worked with spent a great deal of money and endless hours of their time authenticating, constructing and decorating buckskin Indian shirts, loin cloths and leggings, and working on the even more elaborate feather covered “fancy dance” costumes. Along the way they learned about a noble culture and invested a good deal of heart and imagination, their souls, into becoming part of it. Imagine our frustration when the PC backlash began to build against white boys “playing” Indian.

There had been hints of this strange bigotry years earlier. Once on a field trip to the site of the Bear River Massacre, my USU Professor of American Indian History had thrown a little cold water on my love for Seton’s Indians when she said that Boy Scouts using Indian symbols, ceremonies, and costumes was considered inappropriate. It seemed too silly a prejudice to give credence to at the time. I had a staff member, blond with a handsome face and muscles; he looked like Peter Pan dancing with Tiger Lily’s band as high chief, or like Hiawatha’s friend Mondamin. However, as the years went by memos and directives began to come out from the National Council and the National Lodge recognizing, if not acquiescing to the mounting pressure of some on the BSA to curtail its usurpation of Indian traditions.

It had long bothered me that the Federal Government had restricted eagle feather ownership to “real” Indians, but to see even the BSA begin to draw a line between “whites” who admired and copied Indian traditions and “reds” who had a natural right to this culture.

I am not as connected to the O.A. as I once was, but I do not sense in their present activities the burning passion and pride in Indian culture that my young friends once possessed. The entire view point seems to have shifted from one of proud, even amorous immersion, to a somewhat embarrassed and uncomfortable observation from the side lines. Even more discouraging is the “You white people keep your hands off Indian customs, traditions, artifacts, and culture” attitude that has developed among some Indian and among many white University professors, such as erstwhile wanabe Indian and full time bigot, Ward Churchill.

I look back with some nostalgia to the day when the two most culturally immersed Indians I knew were Red Tail and Lone Wolf. Racially they were both white men; Red Tail with long blond braids wrapped in otter fur, Lone Wolf looking like Dustin Hoffman with a button nose. They both lived in teepees up Teton Canyon, and spent their time collecting and brain tanning hides off the road killed deer they gathered from the local highways and building authentic costumes, reading up on Indian traditions, and perfuming themselves with sage brush smoke.

Once, Red Tail convinced me to loan him my station wagon to take a bunch of white Indian camp staff members to the Sun Dance at Fort Hall Reservation. It was raining “cats and dogs” when they left camp; the clouds stretching unbroken to the western horizon. But they had faith. The rain at Treasure Mountain did not let up all day, but the Indian boys returned late that night. They had a miracle to tell. All swore that when it came time for the Sun Dance the clouds over Fort Hall opened and the sun shown till the ceremony was complete. It seems the Great Spirit doesn’t, or at least didn’t, check the skin color of his worshipers.

For generations, my camp crew has performed the Maori Hucka at the flag ceremonies. It was taught to me by a friend who had gone to New Zealand on a Mormon mission. It had never occurred to me that screaming and gesticulation to a South Pacific beat might be a culture crime, but recently I was told that the BYU football team was under onus for allowing white players to Hucka, and I was warned to be careful.

As I left the African dance program, walking through the playground turned parking lot, I looked up to the white topped towers of the Logan temple. They were bathed in electric light. Christmas music played on the CD in the car. I wondered at the roots of ceremony and music all around me and wondered how long it would be before the PC police would stop an athletic and rhythm driven, but painfully white, professor of African dance from contaminating African traditions by teaching dance to white kids in a snow covered Utah valley? I wondered when the drummers will be asked to shed their Nehru Jackets and multicolored Eisenhower caps and comb out the dreadlocks because the skin beneath them was not properly colored by some accident of DNA.

In the face of this silliness I feel to call for a new consciousness, a realization that all cultures past belong equally to all peoples of the present. Let’s recognize that pluralism and cosmopolitan lives are only feared by fanatics and fools. Let’s rejoice in our common humanity and choose our cultures by our interests, not our ancestors.

110 comments:

truth to power said...

See, you can spell if you put your mind to it! But seriously, preach on, brother!

It's a weird notion that a group somehow "owns" its traditional culture. The Mapuche tribe of Chile has recently filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for daring to produce software translated into the Mapudungun language.

Maybe we should sue foreigners for square dancing!

Lysis said...

Or Mapuches for using computers!

Lysis said...

Not to mention lawyers!

Anonymous said...

From the Vegimatic,

Lysis! Greeting from Tokyo. In the past two weeks I have been in Ogden, Monterrey Mexico, Washington DC, Tokyo and will be in Manila in about 5 hours.

You are right. We should speak of togetherness. The issue is that when we speak about it, we loose it.

As with humility, once you recognize diversity, you have lost it. When you let it happen naturally, you find it.

God has put a spark in each of us, I can honestly say now that I have traveled the world and have seen that spark in many faces of different colors and locations.

That spark is a love for each other, as children of god.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Vegimatic,

What a life you lead! Be safe in your many journeys and keep us informed on your adventures. Thank you for the unique perspective you are able to add to our otherwise rather domestic site.

I agree with you. I strongly believe that, as Cicero said, all men are one commonwealth with the gods; that nothing in the world is more alike another thing than the soul of one man is like that of another.

Come home safe!

Anonymous said...

The PC world just drives me crazy.

Recently SeaTac Airport removed all of their Holiday Trees (it wasnt enough that they stopped calling them Christmas trees) because a Jewish Rabbi was upset that Holiday trees dint do enough justice to his religion.

A lawsuit has been filed and a federal judge has ruled that the US paper currency is discriminatory to blind people.

A suit has been filed claiming that the Internet is discrimatory to blind people.

The ongoing debate over school mascots continues to rage. Seems that if your school makes enough money or donates enough to aboriginal tribes then those tribes are not offended. Everyone else of course IS offended.

Ive heard the same arguement regarding scouting and its honoring the native culture. I scratch my head in puzzlement every time that argument is brought up. We ARE honoring the culture. Its not like we teach "run amok like savages!" In point of fact what we teach is far more sterile and complimentary to the aboriginal history than is the actual history. We leave out all the negative stuff and ignore all the contradictory stuff. So...wheres the beef?

I mean...c'mon...if todays 'indians' (at large, and the majority...not that there arent SOME who do) wont respect and live the life they claim their ancestors did, what is the harm in me teaching kids to at least respect and honor that part of their history?

Does this not also bring up the tendency in schools to honor women, blacks, native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and every other minority group, while never once celebrating the European American?

Oh...wait...Ive heard the answer to THAT one as well..."we ALWAYS teach white history...its what gets taught every day." Ummm...well...yeah...but how often is that taught in the same light as is all of the rest?

Not that I am complaining. I dont treat anyone less than I expect to be treated, I dont allow my children to, and I expect them to be judged by their actions and not others. Still...what kind of a PC world is it when HONORING people is seen as an insult?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the theatre of the absurd (PC World)...can anyone explain to me how the 4 year old in Texas is being accused of sexual harrassment of a 37 year old teacher???

Anonymous said...

Lysis posted:

"FLACCID . . . demonstrated by your ARTIFICIAL ERECTION of a POSITION to PLAY with."

And then posts later:

"You defend these words with a "straight face" as if you had no other intent than their most benign interpretations."

Well, OF COURSE, THAT is why I chose "ejaculation" -- it is a term counterpoised to "flaccid", et al; with all of the SAME equivocal connotations.

I am delighted that Lysis, for once, recognized the PRETENSE, LIES, and HYPOCRISY of the charade of claiming the "clinical" rather that the "notorious" side of his obscenities.

No, it wasn't a "straight face" at all -- It was a wry SARCASTIC expression!!!!

I know something about Indians too!

However, I didn't receive my lessons from television, comic books, or the movies. I was a paid U.S. government Indian FIGHTER -- not an Indian MOCKER!!!!

Most the Indians I know (excepting a few Eskimos) want to be or are COWBOYS, work in rodeos, and ride bulls.
I know a couple "wind-talkers" too.


Funny, when I was a kid I loved playing Cowboys and Indians. It's disappointing that you can't tell the difference now!!!!

Order of the Arrow? Isn't that white man hokum, made by white men, for white children? What self respecting Indian would belong to such a parody -- maybe a few Lamanites or "APPLES", but no REAL Indians!!!!

Anonymous said...

I took advantage of this to brush up on the Maori (did I say "brush up"? I meant, to learn about...). My wife and I are considering different place to travel and this is a region on my list...so...bonus!

Seems that the Maori have recreated much of their traditions in the glorious name of tourism (and hey, why the heck not?). Authenticity is a relative term. While at a Maori site you will be shown the warriors atire and dance, its meaning, significance of tattoo's, and if you are one of the lucky chosen males, will be brought up, taught the steps and asked to perform the Huka with the Maori warriors.

So...in New Zealand, tourists participate in the Huka for fun (and of course, profit). In America, if a university athletic team chooses the inspiration and power of performing the ritual, far from honring the culture, it is an affront.

I think I'm starting to figure out how this stuff works...

In the words of one of Mr Obvious's favorite caller...

"oh....so its one of those profit deals..."

"I never made the connection..."

Anonymous said...

Order of the Arrow? Isn't that white man hokum, made by white men, for white children? What self respecting Indian would belong to such a parody -- maybe a few Lamanites or "APPLES", but no REAL Indians!!!!

but of COURSE it is. And? Is there something inappropriate about white men teaching white children some of the positive values reverred by some of the aboriginal peoples?

You yourself say it that most of the Indians you know want to be cowboys. (I'd disagree somewhat...most that I know that are involved in reservation life dont know what they want...just that they are miserable.) Why then is it considered disrespectful for youth of today to learn the parts that assist in character building?

I met with a counterpart at the Indian Walk-In center in Salt Lake a while back. A counseling student nervously approached the PC question asking the Navajo panel what they liked to be called...native Americans, Indians...etc. They all looked at each other and one kind of shrugged and said "cant speak for the others, but me...I like to be called 'Joe'." I instantly loved that man.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Your right, I did say, "FLACCID . . . demonstrated by your ARTIFICIAL ERECTION of a POSITION to PLAY with."

I can see no PRETENSION, LIES, or HYPOCRISY – I was merely describing the facile nature of your arguments. You are the only one playing word games and reading anything but benign interpretations into either your own or others words. What ever are you talking about????? As I tried to explain to you, sarcasm requires some truthful foundation. In your self flagellation, I see only your guilty conscience and consciousnesses.

Of the O. A. you say: “Order of the Arrow? Isn't that white man hokum, made by white men, for white children? What self respecting Indian would belong to such a parody -- maybe a few Lamanites or "APPLES", but no REAL Indians!!!!”

No. (And here I disagree with Mindmechanic.) I don’t think hokum (which means claptrap, garbage, and humbug) is a term that correctly or justly describes the level of devotion to which most of my young friends mentioned above went to learn about the culture they so respected, and in some cases were assimilated into.

What do you mean, “Most Indians want to be cowboys?” Is this the kind of cowboy you pretended to be when you were a little bigot, the ones you are disappointed in not being able to tell the difference in now? Does race have something to do with working in rodeos and riding bulls? You’ve flopped again Flaccid.

What are real Indians anyway? I am afraid your racism is more evident in this bigoted display than any knowledge of past cultures or present dedication to them. You have obviously never gotten past your childhood games.

Mindmechanic;

Joe’s word’s are an excellent example of learning to see people in their individual present, not lumping them together by race or occupation, or ancestral designation. It’s too bad the Anonomy can’t see this.

In a current topic: I note that today the President of Iran, over the shouts of protesters, declared the Holocaust either a hoax or an excuse for the evil Zionist take over of the Levant. With no reference to the man’s race or religious, I’d just like to say he is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I know an Indian or two that have participated in OA. Put that in whatever file you need to.

I have to agree with Anonymous called Flaccid on the whole double entendre thing. Lysis claims to have meant only the most specific, or as Anonymous posts, clinical definition of the word Flaccid and the many characterizations that he has posted over the last year or so that go along with it. The phrase Anonymous/Flaccid used containing ejaculation could be interpreted in exactly the same "clinical" way. Someone else read it as crude, and Lysis was quick to agree and claim that only Flaccid would read Lysis' remarks this way and then, in the way many of did as children, claimed that to do otherwise was because one (specifically Flaccid) had a dirty mind. Seriously Lysis? You may have meant them innocently but surely you were aware ALWAYS of the double entendre present in their meanings. They are too carefully phrased for you not to. I would also guess that most regular posters and readers of this blog are aware of the double entendre as well. Do all of your fans and foes alike have dirty minds? I would not portend to claim you meant those terms in any way other than the way you claim, but I would also caution you not to be silly by thinking only your Anonymous friend has seen a double meaning in your words. It seems heavy handed to say the least and a bit beneath you really.

Anonymous said...

I can think of nothing below the rationalizing of Lysis whenever he believes the reactionary political cause of the day may stand to benefit.

And having read of his "teaching" techniques I am suprised that he is able to lift his heavy hands to even type here!

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

I accepted the Hokum definition primarily because I'm just tired of little word games and unapologetic for my appreciation of the OA and its message. I served my ordeal as an adult leader in Nevada. I still remember everything about those two days and I still have the wood carving I made. I dont care what others think of it. Their loss, from my perspective.

I would say that I am entirely interested in just what any of the anon collective DOES find honorable and valuable...but to be honest, I'm not.

Anonymous said...

"And having read of his "teaching" techniques I am suprised that he is able to lift his heavy hands to even type here!"

And yet every day you have evidence of examples of his teaching...young men that think independently, that argue logical circles around the vast majority of the anon collective, and that even dare to enter into disagreement with the heavy handed master.

You talk about blind...I say none so blind as those that in their anger refuse to see.

truth to power said...

I'm an Eagle Scout, but OA was further than I ever wanted to go. So I'm not initiated into their esoteric lore. But I don't see how anyone could possibly think it disrespectful of Indian cultures.

As tribes throughout the Americas dwindle, I should think the few Indians who still care about preserving their dying traditions and languages would be happy to teach them to those willing to learn, regardless of ancestry. Anyone who says different is probably looking for money.

Anonymous said...

Truth...

I agree...money, or a cause.

My understanding is that the University of Utah has a longstanding and very comfortable (and lets not forget profitable) relationship with the Ute indian tribes regarding the use of their names. It involves certain endowments, scholarships, etc, but the Utes (feather, not academic) are quite happy with the arrangement. So of course, some rebel without a clue comes along trying to force the Utes (academic, not feather) to stop 'disrespecting' the Utes (feather, not academic).

I suppose there COULD be a happy settlement. the U could appease those that are upset. Issue a direct and immediate apology for using the name. Wipe the Ute name from the campus. Rename the streets. Take down every homage and tribute to the indians. Eliminate and/or alter any record that now or ever has born a mention of the Utes. Show their total respect by never so much as mentioning their name. That should do it.

Anonymous said...

T . . .TP posts:
"I don't see how anyone could possibly think it disrespectful of Indian cultures . . . "

I believe that you don't!!!!

Would you be equally open minded to Indians, who were to parody certain parts of sacred LDS TEMPLE ceremonies for the "edification" of THEIR young.

Would you feel that the "Sacred" had been defiled and God offended by people incapable of real devotion to God?

Order of the Arrow seeks to MIMIC what to OTHERS is unspeakably SACRED in a vain attempt to mollify a few bored teenagers with a cultural religious devotion that they can NEVER attain -- wood carvings and "Indian" paraphenalia NOT with standing.

Yes, that is the WORST kind of cultural BIGOTRY!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Young men who think independently . . . who argue circles around . . . ."

Yes, independent of logic or sense and arguing in tautological circles describes the ACOLYTES and their 'master' very accurately.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

When I first thought to post this log
I thought to myself, not even Flaccid will advocate dividing cultures along racial lines. Not even Flaccid can be that bigoted. Well, Flaccid you have finally, FINALLY, proven me wrong, you are just such a bigot.

You can’t even see that the Mormon Church actively recruits peoples of all races to participate in its most sacred ceremonies. Nor for that mater does the Mormon Church disparage the Catholics for receiving communion, (the most sacred of all Christian Sacraments) nor do Mormons take issue with the ceremonies preformed by the members of other Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or other religion or congregation. For you to condemn the sincere efforts of people of any color for attempting to connect with a culture which is the common heritage of all human’s because of their skin color shows the depths you will go in defense of a political correctness agenda.

Culture has nothing to do with race – everything to do with interest and sincerity. To condemn scouts for emulating THEIR American Indian heritage or college students and their professor from attempting to participate in their African roots because of racial bigotry is a painful example of the narrow mindedness and ignorance that continues to divide the commonwealth of humanity. You’re so in character Flaccid; I will never make the mistake of underestimating the depths of your perfidy again!!!

truth to power said...

"Would you be equally open minded to Indians, who were to parody certain parts of sacred LDS TEMPLE ceremonies for the "edification" of THEIR young."

So first I got called an atheist, and now a Mormon. I guess Anonymous assumes that everyone who disagrees with him here is Mormon (although he sure comes off like an angry ex-Mormon, doesn't he?).

The key word that makes me answer "No" here is "parody". Do you think the Order of the Arrow is making fun of and disrespecting things sacred to Indians? I don't think so.

Lysis has already made the point that the Mormons proselytize everybody. You don't have to be a descendant of Brigham Young to participate in their ceremonies. They want to include, not exclude. An honest Indian would do the same.

Anonymous said...

"what to OTHERS is unspeakably SACRED"

Really? Which ones? Seriously...if the OA is mimicking unspeakably sacrd ordinances I think we SHOULD know about it and address that.

Now...by unspeakably sacred do you mean the same ones they teach at oh say...the Navajo gathering held two weeks ago? See...because to me...if you are TEACHING it or profiting from it...I dont know that it is UNSPREAKABLY sacred.

AND BTW...how many OA youth have you met? Those that I know that put in the time to learn the dances and rituals are as converted to their practices as any convert can be. Do you mean then that because they arent blood born they are incable of becoming and feeling the tribute to the great spirit?

I'm not 'indian' (nor are my ancestry Siberian)...does that mean the Shaman training I recieved to help counsel Peruvian and American native individuals was invalid or disrespectful? please dont tell my spirit guide...it will devastate him.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, independent of logic or sense and arguing in tautological circles describes the ACOLYTES and their 'master' very accurately."

As opposed to bitter angry rhetoric and word mincing from the anonymy.

Your response proves my point.

Anonymous said...

"Nor do Mormons take issue with the CEREMONIES performed by members of Christian, Jewish Muslim or OTHER religions or congregations." -Lysis

No, I do not find the LDS church supportive of ALL religious ceremonies (really few, if any)-- there are a number of WICCA ceremonies that parody the Holy Sacrament with the drinking of blood and fornication with virgins that I think Mormons might have a problem with.

However it depends on what "flavor" of Mormons we're choosing. Some NEW cult under a LaBarron, Jeffs, Singer or Rump might spring up with a NEW revelation from God that has WICCA sympathies. Stranger things have happened -- read about the Morrisites of Weber county -- cannoned to oblivion for THEIR religious ceremonies.

There is talk that GAY MORMONS might create NEW Temple Ceremonies to seal their marriage partners, because traditional ceremonies are denied to THEM. (I see cannons in their future too.)

Would the LDS church approve those ceremonies, also????

There are PLENTY of ceremonies for which MORMONS and Protestants DO disparage Catholics -- can we say REFORMATION????

It is a provoking question though! Can people acquire and discard CULTURE like a new pair of levis? Or even swap and parse cultures with cost benefit analysis and EVOLVE oneself or another into some kind of cultural hybrid????

Being Indian is a distinct CULTURAL identity AS WELL AS being a distinct RACIAL identity. Are they the same thing? Of course not!

BUT, I am not so naive to belive that some adolescent can acquire an INDIAN CULTURE by carving pseudo Indian artifacts and listening to pseudo Indian "white men" speak pseudo Indian lore!!!!

MM
What? You believe only YOUR ceremonies are sacred and that everyone elses are "up for grabs"?

Which Indian ceremonies are similar to OA ceremonies?

That OA leaders seek to emulate what they THINK are Indian qualities is at least an ignorance bourne effrontery and cheapens the whole ceremony even more!!!!

a quiet listener said...

i don't agree with that last statement. you obviously don't know anything at all about OA except for what google can afford you in a few seconds. without the hours of dedication that most OA members consecrate you assume that they make a mockery of incredibly sacred things, truth is that you don't know at all.

you state as evidence: "That OA leaders seek to emulate what they THINK are Indian qualities is at least an ignorance bourne effrontery and cheapens the whole ceremony even more!!!!"

with the above statement you prove that you know nothing or very little about OA. besides how does emulating what we think to be correct cheapen it? let's look at another example. christ's church. what jesus would think of what's being done in his name now would certainly give him pause. for example in argentina where i lived for two years there were any number of crooked preachers who fed like parasites off the poor, uneducated yet faithful. the people that would offer up all they had and then some trying to emulate christ and acquire his divine attributes were certainly misguided but you cannot say that they won't be blessed for their effort. is the ceremony as christ left it? no. but they become true christians even if their pastor is a criminal. how is their trying to emulate such qualities an "ignorance bourne effrontery and cheapens the whole ceremony?"

i'll tell you. it isn't. when people dedicate themselves to a culture, religion or idea that's the whole idea behind consecration. to make sacred.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

There are certain “Indian Ceremonies” and certain aspects of Indian Culture I despise; human sacrifice, slavery, endless war over hunting grounds, torture, and more. That does not mean I do not admire and choose to acquire many aspects of Indian Culture that I like. Most USU students would not espouse cannibalism; that does not mean they cannot participate in African Dancing. Fortunately your disapproval does not affect other’s choice of culture.

I find the groups you choose to champion and ally yourself with in your bigotry interesting.

You say:

“There is talk that GAY MORMONS might create NEW Temple Ceremonies to seal their marriage partners, because traditional ceremonies are denied to THEM. (I see cannons in their future too.)

Would the LDS church approve those ceremonies, also????”

So here, Flaccid, you are saying that because you perceive Mormons to be homophobic bigots it is alright for you to be a raciest bigot.

You then go on to claim that Protestants and Mormons are anti Catholic bigots, therefore it must be Okay for you to be a racist bigot. You beg us to agree with your chop logic as if we would naturally accept any kind of bigotry as acceptable. You claim that you hate people who copy Indian ceremonies and therefore everyone else must hate people who copy “their” ceremonies. But you’re just wrong. This “one group has the inherent right to a culture and one group does not” dilution you hold is a sad and hopefully unique form of hatred. You choose as your role models protestants killing Catholics (and vice versa) in the war riddled Reformation as if you accept their abhorrent behavior as the plan of action you would recommend to American Indians. Let me quote your totally ridiculous position:

“There are PLENTY of ceremonies for which MORMONS and Protestants DO disparage Catholics -- can we say REFORMATION????”

So here we have you advocating a Thirty Years war in which Indians arm them selves and mass murder boy scouts to keep pure a culture that is no more theirs than mine or yours.

Anonymous said...

ANON...

"What? You believe only YOUR ceremonies are sacred and that everyone elses are "up for grabs"?"

Come now...dont dance. 1-You have heard NOTHING about my opinions re ceremonies. 2-YOU made the bold statement that the OA was being disrespectful of their most sacred ceremonies. I ask...which ones? What is your authority that states ANY are actually upset? Which ceremonies that the OA perform are so sacred?

I am not arguing the point at all...yet. YOU state the OA is parodying most sacred rituals...again...which ones?

I dont see the OA making a mockery or parody of ANY of the rituals. Their intent is nothing but honorable. If the ceremonies are such (as so, the Huka) that they are being taught to tourists and in culture classes to rich whites in London and New York City (do a little research) then again...I would have to assert they werent really 'sacred.'

The 'rituals' performed in the temple are held sacred and therefore not put on public display. Though I doubt you would admit it, I KNOW you can see the difference.

But...for the record...

If homosexuals want to make their own ceremony mimicking the LDS marriage ceremony...fine. Have a ball. It is not an afront to me and I'll let God worry about if it is an afront to him. It will have no power, no authority, and on me personally...no impact. I WILL feel sad for the individuals, but only because they go through their life thinking that if others accept them it will finally validate their own feelings...a totally useless pursuit.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

So now I am not only the new Chief Magistrate in Davis County, there is revelation that I can start my own cult?

My first official act will be to canonize the owner’s manual of the Mormon Assault Vehicle as scripture. All members will be required to know that book backwards and forwards. It is only through such knowledge of travel that omnipresence can be obtained!

The next act will be to require a two year supply of “the Grape” (Kool-Aide) in every member’s home. Omniscience can be obtained only through “imbibing” in that nectar of the gods.

Finally, all will be required to participate at the Agora. Where else can the necessary omnipotence be obtained to “IMPOSE TRUTH on others with BOGUS authority!!!!”?

Here is a serious question, Anonymy. In the process of recruiting new members an interesting problem is bound to arise. How will new members who prefer the Suburban to the Assault Vehicle be assimilated? What about those who prefer Orange to “the Grape”? Can this cult possibly be assimilated through, say some sort of “melting pot” like process so that all members can be accepting of either Orange or “the Grape”, Suburban or Assault Vehicle, and not feel truth has been imposed by bogus authority?

It seems to me it is possible. It can’t be legislated. What it will require is maturity, responsibility, civility, and respect.

truth to power said...

"Can people acquire and discard CULTURE like a new pair of levis?"

Of course! Don't you get it, Anonymous? Just what do you think "culture" is? The patterns of belief and behavior of any group are continually changing. It's interesting that you should choose that precise simile; how many people have traded old forms of dress for jeans?

Lysis said...

Rumpole;

The culture you describe is truly fascinating and frightening; maybe you need to contact Mel Gibson about a movie!

Truth to Power;

You nailed it this time. I have long been offended by Frenchmen in Levis! (That’s sarcasm Flaccid.)

Anonymous said...

I dont want to appear (or perhaps BE) overly simple...but lets see if I understand the argument as presented by the anyomy...

1-Culture is sacrosanct
2-The ideas, arts, or skills of a given people (as 'culture' is defined) are to be employed and celebrated only by that given people. Profit...good. Respect and honor...bad.
3-The given people in this situation dont exist anymore...the indians all just want to be cowboys
4-That given people can sell their culture at fairs or festivals, can teach their culture for fun and/or profit, can sell ceremoniel dress, garb, instructions, to tourists
etc.
5-White males that see value and honor in the traditions CANT emulate them because...well...they are white. Whites that prohibit others from engaging in white practices are bigots. Minorities that prevent others from honorably engaging in ceremony and rituals that they themselves have mostly forgotten are NOT bigots.
6-White adult leaders that seek to teach values that are reveered and honored by SOME section of the indian culture (the ones I guess that do NOT want to be cowboys) should NOT teach those values because they only apply to indians. well...some indians. Errr...they USED to apply to indians. I mean...the ones that dont sell them or put them on display at casinos. errr....ummm...never mind...skip this one...
7-The great spirit that the indians pray to does not recognize white young men. The great spirit only recognizes indians that want to practice the ancient and lost ways (the non cowboy, non profit group. All 8 of them...)

OK...so as I said earlier...Anon...You win! I will join your side. Let is immediately remove all trace of the indian names in our society. Let us not disparage them by naming buildings, universities, heck...whole cities after them. lets not put their history and heritage on display. Too sacred. lets not attend their ceremonies because really...all we are doing is encouraging them to cheapen their sacred rituals. Let us wipe away all public recognition of the indian culture and allow it to go safely back into the hidden rituals practiced only by the 'real' indians.

Furthermore...lets stop shaming them by the creation of reservations 'allowing' them to live their life in the traditions of their ancestry (THAT part isnt working too well anyway). Lets stop paying them an annual salary just to be an 'indian.' Lets stop the set-aside programs for tuition, for education, for economic development. lets end the tax free status because after all...it promotes capitalism and that concept is directly in opposition of the 14th century indian ways so lets force...errr...I mean allow them to return to their honored past without the burden of the white mans money.

Anon...you should run as honorary chief of all the native tribes.

Anonymous said...

Lysis made the generalization:

"Nor do Mormons take issue with the CEREMONIES performed by members of other religions or congregations."

To contradict Lysis' generaliation I provided MANY MANY, MANY examples of CEREMONIES by religions or congregations with whom the Mormon church DOES, DOES, DOES "take issue".

I chose "extreme" examples that Mormons would surely find egregious in their CEREMONIAL offensiveness.

Rather than clarify or ammend his original nonsensical generalization that . . . Mormons "do not" take issue with ceremonies performed by members of other religions", Lysis chose to attack me personally as being ALLIED somehow with persons and ceremonies that Mormons find "abhorrent" -- the examples I used that put his WITLESS generalization to shame.

RUNNING from stupid generalizations by making personal attacks has ALWAYS worked for Lysis at the Agora -- it is his forte and much appreciated among the easily deceived howling acolytes!!!!

But,what about the generalization and my examples offered in contradiction? Do I have to remind you one more time what it was????

Anonymous said...

For more fun...try this link...

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/

The message is all about the 'real' identity of the modern native. Without all the ugly reality...you know...the rampant drug and alcoholism, the risng trends to gang involvment, the 60+%child sexual abuse (male and female), and the incredibly high unwed birth rates, rape rates, etc.

And of course...the authors...self described WASPs.

Anonymous said...

MM
1. Culture is sacrosanct???

Never said it.

2. I haven't written a THING about economic benefits of OA. Is OA a money-making ceremony too!!!!

3. Various Indian cultures exist for SOME Indians. Some Indians are ignorant of the culture of their ancestors.

4. I do not think that culure is a commodity or something that CAN be bought OR sold.

More to come

Anonymous said...

good night nurse...Anon...grab a tissue.

You site all these examples...tell me...just what has the Mormon church done that indicates they are intolerant of those ceremonies? Does the church leadership issue edicts condemning the catholic sacrament? Do they issue edicts filing lawsuits to ban the free religous practice and ceremonies of others?

How does disagreement with something equate to condemnation? And why the HECK would you insert religion into the argument?

you mentioned dancing wiccans...big freakin deal! Dance naked, howl at the moon. Drink blood on ice and have sex with virgins...party away, provided that the virgins are of legal age and willing of course. Now...you say in your example they do it as a mockery...FINE. It speaks to them and their methods, not to me, too my faith, or to the LDS church leaderships foundation. Now...are they bound to embrace it and celebrate it? Why?

You claim that Lysis engages in personal attacks and that feeds the apetites of his acolytes. 2 points...

1-What do you do that is any different? i have never seen you offer a substantive debate on an issue without immediately jumping to your "I hate Mormons" rant. It magically comes up in EVERY topic. You CONSTANTLY use name calling in your arguments.

And you label others acolytes? I have yet to see a topic debated here where those 'acolytes' have not challenged lysis in some way shape or form. I guess you missed the earlier post in THIS THREAD where Lysis' maintained innocence regarding the double entendre of the Flaccid commentary was challenged. It happens ALL the time. NOT a behavior of an acolyte...is it?

The ONLY person here that can be counted on to perform as if someone pulled their string is the anon collective. Some things are certain. Your hatred for Lysis GUARANTEES that if he posts the moon is round, you will 1-find a way to prove it is square, 2-Blame the Mormon church leadership for some conspiracy in forcing the definition of the shape round and 3-ridicule other Agora posters that question your argument against the roundness of the moon. Oh yes...and one more thing. Another of the borg...I mean anon collective will chime in and cheer the anonymy on in their argument.

Anonymous said...

Anon...if your answer is "more to come" then please...by all means...actually take the time to engage.

1-YOU stated the OA was mocking their most sacred ceremonies (you dont need help with the definition of sacrosanct do you?)

2-You twisted that argument into the suggestion that it was the OA that was profiting from what you describe as their "most sacred" ceremonies? Ridiculous. Forget about missing the bullseye, you arent even throwing the darts at the target. If the indians sell their ceremonies for profit, how does it follow that they are "most sacred?"

3. "Various Indian cultures exist for SOME Indians. Some Indians are ignorant of the culture of their ancestors." Ahhhh! These must be the 'apples' you refer to...people that are native by blood but have dared to move off the res and try to make a life for themselves. Indian Uncle Toms that teach culture to others out of the misguided and mistaken notion that others might benefit from the practice of their ancestry...dont worry...calling them apples doesnt make you a bigot. Or Does it....hmmmm.

4. you dont think culture can be bought or sold. Wow. Ok...fine. Selling the dances in schools to the rich kids in New York and London is a GOOD thing then. right? Using it as a floor show at
a casino is a good thing. Demonstrating it at the indian tribal gathering to raise funds for elderly tribal member and teaching the dances and selling the ceremonial garb at those festivals is a GOOD thing then.

But young white males incorporating the messages, dances, and lifestyle as a means of enhancing their lives and of those they influence is wrongheaded and disrespectful.

B. I. G. O. T. Bigot. A person that holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc. narrow minded and prejudiced. Bigot.

truth to power said...

Anonymous, how about one single example of something the Order of the Arrow "seeks to MIMIC" that "to OTHERS is unspeakably SACRED"? I've already confessed my ignorance of OA rituals. You've made a bold claim; have you anything to support it?

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

Your first mistake in dealing with Flaccid was to use an “as yet unassimilated” vocabulary word, the word sacrosanct. As Flaccid does not know what the word means he cannot understand how that is what he has been claiming without using the word.

By-the-way; double entend – what????

One of the signature tactics of the neo-libs is to ignore what they have said as if they never said it when past claims come into conflict with present expedience. When honest people are proven wrong they admit to it and grow in their search for truth, but since neo-libs never really believe what they say, they can easily ignore what they have said in the past while learning nothing. Their frustration comes from having their flipfloopers exposed in public.

I have maintained throughout that cultural bigotry based on race is wrong. Flaccid tries to appeal to examples of cultural bigotry based on religion to support his race based prejudices. He put forward Mormon homophobes and protestant roundheads as examples in support of his own skin-headed attitudes. When called on it, he denies he ever said it and attacks the Boy Scouts.

I restate my unchanged and unchallenged, position through out this discussion:

“In the face of this silliness I feel to call for a new consciousness, a realization that all cultures past belong equally to all peoples of the present. Let’s recognize that pluralism and cosmopolitan lives are only feared by fanatics and fools. Let’s rejoice in our common humanity and choose our cultures by our interests, not our ancestors.”

What’s your problem with that?

Anonymous said...

MM
You have a mistaken belief that an artifact is equal to a culture. Indian culture, or any other culture, CANNOT be BOUGHT or SOLD -- even by Indians.

Sacred and "Secret" Temple ceremonies have been public documents for years. If I own such a document does it mean that I now "OWN" the ceremony or the Culture that produced it? OR, That I UNDERSTAND or APPRECIATE or can PARTICIPATE in the ceremony if I choose to replicate it in my kitchen for the edification of my children? Yes, I can "own" the physical attributes of the ceremony in an abusive tawdry fashion, but I can NEVER "own" the CULTURE. To confuse one with the other is the height of BIGOTRY!!!!

Anonymous said...

just a few notes from some of things the OA does provide...

2005 statistics...

Service-1,444,418 man hours,

2005 Order of the Arrow Contributions
$22,509 in support of the NLS/NLATS/LLD programs
$35,000 in matching service grants to 11 lodges
$57,323 in support of OA high adventure programs
$23,660 in support of the 2006 camp promotion materials
$10,155 in direct contributions for support of the Boy Scout Division
$16,045 in contributions to the Maury Clancy Indian Campership Fund
$16,000 in college scholarships



$15,138,263 The amount given by OA lodges to local councils
throughout the nation during the last ten years.

Add to that the teaching of "leave no trace" principles, etc etc etc.

I'm sort of nearing my final thoughts on this thread...

1-It is NOT ironic that the great majority of the few complaints that I have seenregarding the OA are voiced by non indians.
2-The service provided is outstanding. the issue cuts both ways. if there ARE actual real live honest to goodness native Americans that see this group and disagree with them, my greatest hope is that they would embrace them, get involved, teach 'appropriate' values, etc.

You have a cadre of individuals that WANT to feel the connection with those values that are promoted as desirable. EMBRACE it...dont destroy it.

But honestly? I think the vast majority of natives either 1-really dont care about who or what the OA is or 2-believe as does Larry Johnson, Chief of the Caldwell Nation near Ontario. "The indian spirit is not found in the blood. It is found in the soul." Those words were spoken to me in an interview with him two years ago. i have seen those same words written by other tribal leaders and spoken by leaders of Salt Lakes Navajo community. Legal rights aside...who can argue with such logic?

I know who...

;-)

Anonymous said...

Six more silly insuportable generalizations do not make the previous insupportable generalization go away.

I would be embarrassed too!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good lord Anon...who ever suggested that the OA was "owning" native culture? They emulate it. They LEARN from it. They EMBRACE it. Have you some model or example that says the OA has become Americas new Indians???

You say culture cant be sold? Why not? It can be loaned, it can be borrowed, it can be forgotten...all by your own word/ So why not sold? If I have 50 'sacred' rituals and they are the foundation of my culture, and then I sell them for profit, have I not SOLD my culture?

I am still waiting to hear of the most sacred rituals...ones that are sacrosanct and not for public consumption that the OA has stolen.

Reality? My guess is that without your google you cant produce a single dance or rite performed by the OA. THATS why you turn to your standby...religous bigotry.

Reality? I think you argue against for no other reason than because Lysis argues for.

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

"Your first mistake in dealing with Flaccid was to use an “as yet unassimilated” vocabulary word, the word sacrosanct"

I am obviously not as familiar with the anonymy as you. I apparently made the mistake of assuming at one time that at least on of the borg was a teacher. I guess I made another mistake in assuming that they at least have a basic vocabulary.

Heck...I dont know every word out there but when I hit one I dont know I at least take the time to look it up!

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

It seems that if you flop around enough even you can come up with something. I quote you:

“Yes, I can "own" the physical attributes of the ceremony in an abusive tawdry fashion, but I can NEVER "own" the CULTURE. To confuse one with the other is the height of BIGOTRY!!!!” End quote.


Here you, Flaccid, are absolutely right. No one can own a culture. Shoshones can’t own Shoshone culture, Zulus can’t own Zulu culture. Americans can't own American culture. Culture is indeed held in common by all human beings.

It is nice to see your conversion to this truth! Or do you even realize what you have said?

Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

Thanks for the information on the O.A. Makes me proud of my long affiliation and continued support. It is only right that this information should come forward.

Anonymous said...

What kind of a culture are our "leaders" engendering in Iraq anyway?

Wolf Blitzer: "The other sensitive issue that people want to know is your position on, because this has come up often, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rejection that there was a Holocaust. Do you believe that there was a Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were killed?"

Al-Hakim: "I am currently thinking about the Iraqi issues."

-- CNN's Wolf Blitzer, interviewing Iraqi Shiite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who was in the U.S. for a meeting with George W. Bush. Al-Hakim repeatedly declined to answer the Holocaust question.

The Bush administration's Iraq adventure is beginning to remind me of that section in Catch-22 when mess officer Milo Minderbinder buys up the entire Egyptian cotton crop. At first Milo thinks he's getting the deal of the century, but in the end he just gets stuck with a shitload of cotton that he can't sell. Next thing you know, he's covering raw cotton with melted chocolate and trying to serve it as a dessert to the guys in the mess hall. People are choking everywhere, throwing up, and Milo just keeps smiling, pretending it's delicious....

The Iraq war is sort of the same thing. Bush and Rumsfeld and all of those clowns went into that country with their heads full of idiot fantasies -- Arab kids joyously throwing flowers at GIs, liberated Bedouins buying Dockers slacks in bulk and quoting Thomas Jefferson in cyber-cafes, young Muslims packing meeting halls in Mosul and Tal Afar to hear Tom Friedman preach about globalization. That didn't exactly work out, and now four years later George Bush is in the unenviable position of having to invite to the White House a Holocaust denier and proud love slave of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and then shake his hand, smile and sell him as America's best hope for democracy in "free" Iraq.

A pessimist would call that a real shitty situation, but I'm counting on Bush to balk at that suggestion and take the optimistic course, the obvious chocolate-covered cotton move. Which is this: instead of making some craven apology for getting in bed with a Holocaust denier, Bush should just deny the Holocaust himself!

I'm not saying there's no downside to this move for Bush -- he'd never be rid of Abe Foxman, for one thing -- but if he made Holocaust denial official U.S. policy, just peevishly said something like "Heck, it's not like it's ever been proven" at an afternoon press conference, then he could at least have pretended that he wasn't forced into this devil's alliance with al-Hakim. Throw your arm around him and smile: Things are going exactly as planned! Nothing is fucked here!

That's what the old Bush would have done, anyway. The old Bush, the guy we all learned to love in the early part of this decade, he and Karl Rove would have seen this situation as an opportunity, an intellectual challenge. The pre-indictment Rove anyway would never have backed down. He would have issued the appropriate Holocaust talking points, and after three weeks of Rush and Hannity and Savage taking shots at Hamptons liberal Steven Spielberg and the big-foreheaded Irish Kinsey-lover Liam Neeson and the sexually ambiguous pickle-slurping creep Adrian Brody -- and everyone else who's ever been in a Holocaust movie -- the polls even on that issue would have come around eventually, no doubt about it.

Because the old Karl Rove understood that there's only one real sin in American politics, and that's apologizing. You act like you know what you're doing, people in this country will buy whatever you're selling. They'll eat chocolate-covered cotton. They'll eat worse. They'll crawl on their knees to eat wet dogshit and beg for more. You just can't ever flinch as you ladle it onto their plate.

The old Bushies understood this, but this newest incarnation is too broken and demoralized to remember the strategies that got them to the top. They are being held back now, ironically, by the tiny, anemic quotient of restraint and decency parasitically embedded in their policies. If Bush had simply invaded Iraq, ransacked the place in search of WMDs, seized its oil wells, captured Saddam Hussein and impaled him on a pike, and then declared victory and pulled the troops out, leaving the non-oil-producing regions of the country to tear themselves apart in an insane chaos of civil war and religious violence, his approval rating would still be in the high sixties, maybe even the seventies.

Instead, Colin Powell's "You break it, you own it" prophesy has sadly come to pass -- but why was that inevitable? Why couldn't we just break shit and then saunter out of the store, both middle fingers trained at the cashier's face? After all, we're America! Who would stop us? The world would have been horrified, but to hell with the world; here in America, all people care about is American casualties and American taxes. If our soldiers were out of Iraq now and we weren't still spending a billion bucks a minute on this war, most of America would still be on board with the original decision to go in -- even if the Iraq we eventually left behind was a Rwanda-like, smoldering-cemetery of a state. After all, the American population has successfully blown off plenty of massacres before -- even ones we helped cause, like Indonesia in the Sixties and Guatemala in the Seventies and Eighties. Iraq could have been the same kind of easily ignored little coffee stain on the American conscience.

But that train has left the station, and the reason for that is that this administration apparently really is wedded to its nutty dream of building a Switzerland full of happy neo-capitalist Muslims in the middle of Asia Minor. If Bush had been just a little more evil, just a little more of the cheap, vicious fuckhead we all thought he was for so long, we'd be out of Iraq right now and engaged in the next policy "success" -- i.e. a "Tehran Spring" and a subsequent taxidermy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with the "Mission Accomplished" money-shot cued up for the first Monday in November 2008.

Instead, it's Ahmadinejad who is toying with us, as the Bush administration flounders in the lethal middle ground between mindless military bravado and reluctant, halfhearted consideration for the constraints of civilization and international law. Having entered Iraq without any semblance of an occupation plan, our blockheaded leader is belatedly acting like a man concerned with his legacy as a nation-builder, a Dr. Frankenstein who cannot bring himself to kill his monstrous dream of Iraqi democracy. And it's this fatal weakness that is producing perhaps the very worst consequence of this war, the stunning international political victory of Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying Iranian reptile.

Last week, two things happened. The first is that Bush received al-Hakim, a leading Iraqi Shiite cleric who has very close ties to Iran and Ahmadinejad. Bush is cozying up to al-Hakim because he can't afford to kiss Ahmadinejad's ass publicly and al-Hakim is the next best thing, a person whose cooperation will be necessary if the security situation in Iraq is to be improved. By itself this was a kind of humiliation for Bush, a recognition that he can't provide for Iraq's security by himself, even with the world's mightiest army, and still needs to play supplicant to some prehistoric ascetic in a beard and cape.

The second thing that happened is that the nation of Iran hosted an "academic conference" to consider the "scientific question" of whether the Holocaust took place. Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, opened the conference by attacking what he termed Western restrictions on "scientific and scholarly study," saying that the West did not allow Holocaust denial because it would lead to questions about the nature of the Israeli state. Following Mottaki was our own David Duke, who claimed that the West had a "Holocaust mafia" that squelched dissent on the issue.

Let it be noted for the record that one very good reason that the United States did not recognize this excellent event by dropping a MOAB in the middle of it is that our President Bush was more or less exactly at that moment meeting with an important Iranian ally to beg for help in untangling America's hopeless political mess in Iraq. And while we can't give Ahmadinejad credit for planning this sequence of events -- the Holocaust conference was announced long before al-Hakim's visit -- there's no doubt that the general trend of his diplomacy in the past years, as opposed to Bush's anyway, laid the foundation for this incredible political checkmate. Conceived as a blow to the heart of Islamic extremism, Bush's insane pursuit of the Iraqi democratic mirage has instead forced the United States into the role of a formal appeaser of some of the vilest state ideology seen on earth since Hitler's time. And it couldn't have worked out any better for Ahmadinejad, who in just four years has not only seen the United States take out his most dangerous military enemy in Saddam Hussein, but has seen the conditions laid for both a Shiite resurgence in Iraq and the dealing of a crippling blow to American geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East. It makes one wonder how much the Iranians helped us along down this path to begin with, whether those reports of Ahmed Chalabi chilling in Tehran in the weeks before the war might actually be true. Perhaps future historians will find an alternate source for some of our original "solid information" about Iraqi WMDs.

Who knows. What we do know is that as of last week, we have officially been played like a fiddle by one of the world's all-time evil bastards. And we also now can say for sure that the famed cold-blooded ruthlessness of the Bush-Rove-Cheney crew has been proven to be a crock. Those guys are ruthless when it comes to winning American elections. But when it comes to war and diplomacy, they're a bunch of kittens. You can't Swift-Boat Moqtada al-Sadr. (That campaign was bitchslapped by the FEC today for illegal activities during the '04 election. The FEC for Pet's sake.) When it comes to real enemies, our "leaders" are useless. Where have the heros gone?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a feast this week and his main course was George W. Bush with an apple in his mouth. Has it ever been more embarrassing to be an American President?

Lysis said...

Oh Flaccid;

What a pitiful dodge. Having lost the argument, you’d have hoisted yourself on your on petard if you had had one; you now try to change the subject with a string of lies pirated for the latest neo-lib talking points page. I’m sure someone will provide reference documentation soon, but no matter, everything you have said is a perfect example of the hate America at any const culture you represent. I chose to neither honor or emulate it.

If anyone serves anything up to our enemies on a silver platter it is the neo-lip haters who will hand over their country and the truth if they think it will win them an argument or an election.

Cameron said...

Another day, another plagiarized post from Anon.

Talk about "stealing" culture.

Dan Simpson said...

In most of my dealings with culture/indians and the modern day, those tribes and groups that wish to keep their culture sacred make an effort to do so. I.E. the Hopi Kachina ceremonies done on the plateau with no camera's or recorders allowed, the Xuni language, central to their sacredly held observances, taught to no outsiders. There are a few other examples, but more will not convince the unconvincalbe, and these few make my point to those willing to read.

Anyway, most of the most wonderful learning I had on North American indian culture came from a short, wrinkled white lady that taught at Weber State. Dr Eaton is/was an amazing professor able to pass on a love of culture.

She had lived in Tanzania/Uganda right as the Hutu Tutsi war began. She had lived with the Xuni, and had been taught their language.

We can always rechew the gristle that is past mistakes of the U.S. (and doing so has value otherwise I wouldn't have gotten my other degree in history), however, it does nothing for the discussion of current problems facing indian groups, or the discussion of indian culture.

The whole idea is an interesting one as 'indian' culture changed immensely over the last several centuries as population movement pushed groups out onto the plains that had never been there, then following the introduction of the horse, whole new cultures sprang up. This is but one of a myriad of examples that show that culture is so fluid, so dynamic, that it is silly to proclaim one group has the sole claim to 'a' culture.

It is absolutely impossible to find a culture that is 'pure' that has not taken from others, and it impossible to associate with a culture without becoming, at least, marginally integrated.

I would answer MM's question for the anonomy, as he is unwilling to answer it. There are no OA dances, or rituals that I know of that are sacredly held beliefs, or ceremonies of any Indian group.

Now, I have my own set of beefs with the OA, I think the organization in the town I grew up in was exclusionary, and elitist. I took issue with most of the OA members that I have ever known (with the exception of many individuals I worked with at camp) they were haughty and proud. In short, my experience with the OA showed it to be everything that the Boy Scouts wasn't. An elitist organization creating separation, not inclusion.

I know many here have had the exact opposite experience, I believe that, and am glad you had the wonderful experiences you did. And I fully believe that the organization could be used for good, just that those weren't my experiences with it.

Finally, I am dissappointed Lysis, that you use the term Homophobe in the current PC, liberal way. People who disagree with homosexuality are not homophobes, people who fear homosexuals are homophobes. There is a difference.

Anonymous said...

Cameron...be fair...His post did include the Tagline atributing the article to Wolf Blitzer.

Anonymous said...

And BTW...you may recognize the tactic this anon employed...it is the same one often employed...when you have no argument, attack Bush, the LDS church, or level personal attacks. It is called a smoke screen.

Easy for someone like anon that stands for nothing to be critical of others. There is no personal investment.

Dan...I knew the answer too...I also knew he hadnt clue one.

I understand your comments...I've even seen it myself though not to the level you have because I was an adult leader at the time. Its like all programs...some good and some bad. Far more good than bad. I think leadership goes a long way towards teaching that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the humorous post Anonymous. What do you expect from someone who is in such a state of denial? The empowerment of a culture of denial in Iraq of course. Nothing shocking there.

Cameron said...

Actually, the tagline is Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com.

It apparently was posted yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan!

In your dealings with indian cultures that wish to keep their culture sacred you should tell them to make a better effort to do so. I.E. keeping books like "Zuni Language Learning Manual," "Classic Hopi And Zuni Kachina Figures," and "Dancing in the Paths of the Ancestors: The Culture, Crafts, and Ceremonies of the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, Laguna, and Rio Grande Pueblo Indians" (among MANY others) off BarnesandNoble.com.

And what do you mean by "those who disagree with homosexuality?" Could you be more vague please?

MM,

Of course you attack President Bush. He is the Decider dummy. That means he is personally responsible for the public bending over Iran is giving the U.S. right now. Living in denial of the facts only makes you lost, and confused. I would be confused to find you any other way.

Lysis said...

Dan,

I understand your challenges with the OA. Please note the role the OA play’s at camp, at least the ones I direct, and you will see to what level I empathize with your concerns. But these challenges of individuals are not unique to the Order of the Arrow. I have heard Mormons described in the same way, even by President Hinckley, but I would not want to throw that baby out with that bathwater.

I am grateful for your instruction on homophobic, gay-basher is probably a more appropriate term.

Cameron; Thanks for the fair assessment and referencing on Flaccid’s post.

To the unknown Anonymous;

We are all laughing at Flaccid.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"Of course you attack President Bush. He is the Decider dummy"

In an argument about Iraq, you should of course feel free to attack whoever you want. In an argument regarding PC attacks, Indians, theft of sacrosacant ceremonies, and values, your smoke screen is obvious and apparent. You have continued to do nothing but blather and so you divert attention from the argument.

And of course..."there you go again" assuming I DONT hold Bush responsible. Find any post here or on my personal web site where I have EVER blanket supported Bush or not pointed out what I believe are obvious errors.

I dont mean to be crass...but seriously...you suck at this.

Dan Simpson said...

Anon: You mistake several portions of my post. First, I never said that every aspect of Hopi or Xuni/Zuni culture is secret, or kept from outsiders. Of course there are materials on these groups.

As far as the language manual, that genuinely surprises me, although it would not be the first time a culture had several tiers of language, with one being used for the sacred, another for everyday.

You are arguing against the wrong thing. Just because there are ceremonies that are open and known, does not mean that all ceremonies are openly shared. Efforts are made by the Hopi for some of their ceremonies to keep out the profane, and the worldly. In the same way some things about the Temple are openly discussed, and some are not. Because some are, does not mean all are, or that there is no effort to keep it sacred, and away from the worlds eyes, hands, money grubbing publications.

MM, I assumed you knew the answer, but felt it needed to be said.

Lysis, the only reference to Mormon's and homosexuality I can find is anonymous referencing the refusal of the church to perform marriage sealings for gay couples, which you then reference as mormon homophobia.

Gay bashing wouldn't be accurate either. It would be moral judgement. And that is what I mean but not agreeing with anon. To have made a moral judgement about an action. To have judged an act/action to be morally wrong is neither bigoted, nor phobic. Nor is standing by that stance bashing.

There is surely bashing in the mormon community, but the examples that had been given surely did not bring them up, you affixed those labels Lysis.

Anonymous said...

Cameron...

Gotcha. I saw the part in the article attributed to Blitzer and assumed it was all him. I knew it had to be someone other than the anons writing. That part is becoming easier to see.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Dan;

You misunderstand. My references to gay bashing and homophobia were simply attempts to encapsulate Flaccid’s use of Mormon’s not allowing homosexuals to receive temple sealing. I never meant to imply that such actions were indeed either. I did affix labels to fix the foolishness of Flaccid’s equating his perceptions of Mormon’s attitudes with his own raciest bigotry and then use that link to prop up his position.

Anonymous said...

I hope no one gets whiplash if I return to the Indian topic.

There would be NO PROBLEM with OA
if the "presumably" GOOD things that were taught were not offered by white men as, what HAVE to be, phony "endorsements" or "validations" FROM some INDIAN culture.

If you want to convince me to buy a Ford or Chevy it's important for me to know that you ACTUALLY own and drive one yourself -- even adolescents deserve THIS courtesy.

Nothing wrong with studying various Indian cultures, rituals, and ceremonies. However, it is a disrespectful cultural ripoff to depict and emulate a culture as a MEANS or commodity -- no matter how "respectful" "sincere" or "worthy" the END justification!!!!

Likewise, when bloggers choose to "drag" what is personally near and dear to them into the Agora; especially wearing the "aint I neat" target on their chest, I am shocked by their SELFISH need for self-congratulation and self-validation.

Feel free to attack THIS anonymous all you want.

Pay no attention to my 85 year old father who is partially blinded from a stroke, nor my dear children -- my son just enlisted --nor my elderly mother who has always voted straight Republican. My best friend is a Stake President, but he drives a Honda Civic -- AINT I NEAT!!!!

Sarcasm with a twist of irony.

Sacrosanct? Is that the "sanct" from sanctified or the "sanct" from sanctimonious?

Anonymous said...

Dan:

How nice!

Just out doing your semi-annual "drive-by" at the Agora?

I would like to comment on what you've posted about the secrecy and sacredness of Indian culture and about what IS known and what CANNOT be known about some Indian ceremonies.

"We know there are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know that there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But thee are also UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS -- the ones we don't know we don't know." -Rummy

The unknown Indian ceremonies that could be disgraced by OA IGNORANCE "could be" the unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.

Even the ones DAN doesn't know!!!!

Anonymous said...

I personally see no problem with the organization conducting "true life" indian ceremonies. It does a great honor to the culture to relive these traditions, even if they are approximates, or based on widely held beliefs and not actual fact. It's kind of like when people where black face. Now what's the harm in that? Tell me.

Lysis said...

Flaccid,

Ya, just think of all the people who were offended by that black guy playing the Duke in Kenneth Branau’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, or that black kid that played Giles Cory in our school’s production of *The Crucible*. I told you the evil of college students of Utah taking an African Dance class would soon be laid bare. Just think of the cultural theft going on every time an Indians rides horses or a black man demands due process in courts. That’s a Roman principal – stolen by those dirty Birts to stuff into the Magna Charta. I’ll bet it makes you really mad when some Asian guy converts to Christianity; I mean that’s only for Jews isn’t it? That was what Peter said, why did that turn coat change his mind? What was he dreaming? I’ll bet it just gravels you, Flaccid; every time a Chinese kid using the telephone or some culturally insensitive Dr. gives penicillin to some Polynesian baby. Look at all this cultural pollution going on; no wonder you’re so angry all the time. I’ll bet you can’t sleep at night? Get out there Flaccid and decry it all save the world for the P.C. brigade.

Note I being sarcastic, I bet Flaccid was to, he just didn't know how he was. He tired one way, the truth got it right for him.

Anonymous said...

The telephone is not a part of our culture. I am not bothered when a person in China uses a telephone. (I am bothered when a person in China uses technology pirated from the U.S. without paying due copywrite however. And I am not alone. It is what Bush's trade delegation to China will be discussing this coming week. The Chinese stealing of U.S. technologies without paying due for them. Is there a parallel here?) AND despite your Roman fetishism Lysis, neither are "Roman courts" a part of our culture. We practice U.S. law in the U.S. and we are clear about that. We do not dream up a system based on common beliefs about Greeks and call it Greek justice in our courtrooms. That would justly be called poppycock and thrown out of court. The O.A. does this kind of poppycock though. It dreams up rituals based on commonly held stereotypes of Indian rituals and presents those as authentic Indian rituals. All fun and games for children to play but not a fraud that the "largest youth organization in the world" should be perpetrating on generation after generation. This type of "Indian play" can only be embraced by those who never grow up.

The other examples you provide are equally silly. There is nothing "American" about the use of peniscillin, the telephone, DVD's or being a Christian - though I understand that your religon does believe there is something distinctly divine in being American, or at least in America. Rather, all of these examples are designed specifically to share with others, across borders and cultures. That was the message of Paul. That is the purpose of a telephone. Being an indian, is something you are or are not. Claiming to be one when you are not one is a precocious situation. You run the risk of offending by relying on hurtfull stereotypes in the portrayal or of portraying lies even when you are well intentioned. That is the situation with the O.A. and with more sinister and flagrant portrayals. It should be noted though, that being offensive is not against the law. For all of your complaining about "PC Police" you are still free to be as offensive and as much of a butthole as you want.

As far as the USU dancers go, I have heard no one complain of their class and performances. Is this really a concern? Are you making it one? This must be more of the made up world you choose to live in intruding onto reality again Lysis.

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Anonymous said...

Your on the spot reporter Vegimatic here....

Today I watched an amazing thing. My company here sponsors an orphanage consisting of boys ages from about 6 to 17. These boys have been orphaned by nature or by choice (of the parents) and lived on the street.

To look into their eyes at such a young age and see the thousand yard stare that one see's from a battle hardened veteran of battle opens the bowels of compassion instantly.

Then a wonderful thing happened. As a right of passage each age group specialized in some sort of talent. Some sang, some danced, and some played the 12 string guitar.

The performances were outstanding. While performing, the stare went away. Smiles and happy faces to everywhere to be seen.

Then Kris Kringle came. Same beard and red suit. Thinner though, it's 86 degrees with 85% humidity here. They sang Christmas songs that I had never heard before. They danced a Christmas traditional "Boom Tarat, Tarat" dance. A version of the macarana.

Then it was dinner! Chicken shiskabobs, Spagetti, and of course rice.

Then Kris Gave them a present and danced the dance with them again.

My point..... To me, your discussion is much to focused. You are pole vaulting over mouse turds......

Does it matter that they call Santa Kris? Do the kids not have joy?.. Does it matter that the songs and dances are really different. No, everyone laughed and had a great time.

Does it matter that the Christmas traditional dinner here also includes Hot dogs on a stick shiskabobed with marshmellows and not a ham or a turkey?

No, what matters is they had happiness and went though a "rite of passage" for another year.

So the OA is not "Indian" enough. Do the boys learn respect, honor, leadership and hard work like a real "Indian"would? Yes.

Each culture has ways of accomplishing passages thoughout life that teach and provide a sense of belongingness.

When you choose to live outside a culture, you are choosing to create your own new rite.

Don't make the Mormons change their temple ceremony because you choose (or were born to) homosexuality. I choose (or was born to hetrosexuality. That means I naturally should screw anyting female I come in context with.

They wouldn't let me in if I did that either.

The rightness and wrongness of a culture is in the long run judged by the outcomes of that culture.

If you don't like the one you are in....start a new one....it's still a free country.

Enjoy the cold and snow..:-)

Dan Simpson said...

Anonymous: At least you can make me laugh.

I suppose the fact that I don't post as much as others does make my points less valid, you got me there.

As far as knowns, unknowns, and the constant repitition of words, I never claimed to know all ceremonies. I did specifically say that no sacred, closely guarded ceremony that I know of, is copied by members of the OA. That is not an absolute statement, you may want to read it again to get the point, as you are not prone to use non-absolute statements.

I am stating a claim based upon my current knowledge of the situation, and proclaiming that it is based on such, and as such is open to being corrected, and may be flawed.

You should try it sometime, it makes your whole argument carry more weight.

So far, I haven't seen you work on correcting it, or pointing out anything that is false in it. But then that would be productive argument.

Anyway, Lysis thanks for the correction.

The one thing that seems to still be missing in Anonymous' dislike for the OA's observances is the understanding that their is no such thing as 'indian' culture.

The Navajo cannot go to an OA ceremony were they are decked out in full feather headresses and buckskin outfits and say, "That isn't us, that is a stereotype". Because guess what, just because Navajo didn't do it, doesn't mean it wasn't done by someone.

Lakota, Apache, Iriquois, Algonqiun, Shoshone, Pima, etc. There is no overarching 'indian' culture.

They are as varied and as different as any group of cultures you may come up with.

Having spent a lot of time, both in school and out, studying the various groups of indians in N. America I have been able to learn a lot of the complaints that they have had over the years. It has been incredibly instructive, and I completely agree with many of the complaints I have heard.

That being said, because one has a valid reason for complaint about treatment does not mean every complaint you can come up with is valid.

I haven't heard an indian nation's reasoning behind not wanting OA members to wear regalia and perform dances, kind of telling that I am pretty sure they don't need others to speak for them. However, even were they to be the ones with the complaint, they would have to give more of a reason than, those kids are white, and the people teaching them are white as well.

Anonymous said...

The new bold Anon...

"There would be NO PROBLEM with OA
if the "presumably" GOOD things that were taught were not offered by white men as, what HAVE to be, phony "endorsements" "validations" FROM some INDIAN culture.

2 points...
1-Why, if the intent is to teach positive values, is there ANY problem? WHO has the problem? Again I say...the OA is not abut CREATING SOME NEW INDIAN...it is about teaching values and specifically values that can be found in parts of native culture. What kind of bigot do you have to be to think that ANY of what is taught is a BAD thing??? OH...wait...I know...a lilly white liberal that thinks they speak for natives.
2-If it helps...as I understand the history, the OA was formed by two men with counsel and guidance of leaders from the Lenae Laepe (sp) nation. Of course, as an anon stated, ANY self respecting indian that would teach culture to white boys must be an apple...so no problem with judgement and bigotry there...

if you want me to "buy a Ford or Chevy it's important for me to know that you ACTUALLY own and drive one yourself"

Answer-If we want people to live the values taught in the OA we better live by them. I dont think anyone is suggesting OA member BECOME indians. They are asked to become role models and they use (among other tools) indian ceremonies to help reinforce the message.

You want a better sales tool? Judge them by the fruits of their labor.

"it is a disrespectful cultural ripoff to depict and emulate a culture as a MEANS or commodity"

RIIIIGHT. Those ceremonies should be left to the indians to teach at tourist gatherings for fun and profit.

"especially wearing the "aint I neat" target on their chest, I am shocked by their SELFISH need for self-congratulation and self-validation.

Feel free to attack THIS anonymous all you want"

Ummmmm...no....never mind. Its too easy. Oh, what the heck...Talk about self congratulating and self validation!

"Sacrosanct? Is that the "sanct" from sanctified or the "sanct" from sanctimonious?"

Aaaaaaand another Anon hits the floor. No...Anon...Sacrosant as in Most holy, most sacred, as in the definition of the word as given BY the anon ("OA is ripping off their most sacred ceremonies") when they started the argument. Geez...if you are going to play with the class, at least TRY to STAY with the class.

Sarcasm doesnt work if it isnt even related to the topic. If your arrogant implication is that the OA is being sanctimonious...well... hogwash. Individuals, maybe, but the organization? Please...it is a service organization that is meant to inspire good works. And OBTW...it DOES just that.

Now of course if it is directed at others here...like, oh...say...me...then once again...you miss your mark. Pompous...arrogant...those would be closer to the mark. Then again...considering your diatribe about yourself...I wouldnt throw TOO many bricks in your little glass house.

Anonymous said...

"It's kind of like when people where black face. Now what's the harm in that? Tell me"

I dont know...you tell ME. The democrats have had it occur twice at recent fundraisers were they used blackface makeup to ridicule secretary Rice and senate candidate Steel. Apparently liberals dont see any harm in it.

But I think once AGAIN you folks are missing a little somthin somthin...

INDIANS teach their native dances to WHITE KIDS in very rich and exclusive schools in New York and London. INDIANS teach their dances at tourist locations around the country. INDIANS teach their dances and ceremonies to during fund raising events right here in Salt Lake City. The Maori teach their "most sacred" war ritual the Huka as a tourist event to every man from the crowd they can entice to participate.

The Ute Indians agree with and approve of the U of U using their identity as a 'mascot.' Who has a problem? White liberals. You know...the same ones that laugh uproariously when blackface is used to ridicule black conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

WOW...talk about your whiplash!!! Such a direction change right in the middle of the very same post!

"to be one when you are not one is a precocious situation. That is the situation with the O.A. and with more sinister and flagrant portrayals."

Please clarify...are you suggesting the OA or any of its members declare themselves to be natives? This I HAVE to see. Please cite SOME sort of a source on this!

And then...

As far as the USU dancers go, I have heard no one complain of their class and performances. Is this really a concern?

SNAP! Well...let me just ask, Anon...where the heck are YOU on this? Since you are MOST OFFENDED by the actions of the OA regarding native American ceremonial dance, why in the HECK are you not up in arms about pasty white kids using the ceremonial dances of Africans??? Where is your consistency? Where is your integrity? Or is African culture not important enough for you to defend?

Anonymous said...

Liberals in blackface...

“Hamsher's blog provided Lamont with an uncomfortable moment last week and a lesson on how bloggers can become part of the daily news coverage in this new era. A contributor posted a digitally altered photo of Lieberman in blackface. It was in response to comments on Hamsher's blog about Lieberman's campaigning in the African American community.”



But Steele, one of the Republican Party's most successful black politicians, is under attack. He has been depicted in black face and labeled a "simple Sambo" on a liberal Web site. He has been called an "Uncle Tom" by the Democratic leader in the state Senate.

“Members of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a group headed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), illegally obtained copies of Steele’s credit report. Steele has been called an “Uncle Tom” and one liberal blog even posted a distorted picture
of him as a white minstrel in blackface. For a while, some high-profile Democratic operatives shrugged off the incidents and suggested Steele should expect such tactics”

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/08/democrats-take-off-mask-paint-moderate.html

“In truth, any African American who turns his or her back on the victim mentality and rises to the top of American society is no more than an Uncle Tom like Clarence Thomas by definition. In fact, if you rub their faces really hard, the blackface will probably start to come off.” Marjorie Field Harris, Vice Chair, DNC

And on and on…of course…when it’s Ted Danson, liberal hack…no one really cares…right?

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is fun!!!!

"That means I should screw anything female I come in CONTEXT with.
followed by:
THEY wouldn't let me in if I did that either."

Veg. Your last post was the CLASSIC of ALL, ALL, ALL Agora postings!

I wanted to post some responses this morning, but Veg. made that IMPOSSIBLE!!!!

I am baffled, stunned, amazed, and laughing so hard I spit all over my new monitor.

Anonymous said...

MM
"By their fruits ye shall know them."

I know that the flowers of many fruits have sexual parts and that the flowers of many/most/all plants in general have sex -- male and female -- EVEN vegetables.

My question here is that I wonder if the FRUITS of plants ALSO have sex -- most have seeds, but I wonder if those seeds are sex specific; you know, male and FEMALE seeds?

In the light of Veg's above confession and proclivities, do you think that someone should call 911 to alert grocery store "produce" as to what MIGHT be going on????

Sorry. This began as a legitimate post.

Veg. you've made my day, but ruined my blog.

Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

Thank you for your careful debunking of the Anonomy’s drivel this morning. The selective and politically motivated nature of neo-lib bigotry is continuously exposed to all who take the time to observe their malicious machinations.

Of course, the African Dance Class at USU was initiated in an effort to help folks who dwell in the tops of the Rockies to understand the culture of Africa and its beauty. That they are not only taught to make dance moves but to aspire to add the positive features of that culture to their own lives shows the value of the program.

Ernest Seton, who first envisioned a youth organization based on the noble attributes of American Indian culture, sought to do the same sort of thing. He saw the need, indeed the aching hunger of many boys, to connect with Nature and enjoy life in the out-of-doors in a way that many Native American peoples enjoyed. He hoped that by immersing boys and girls in the “Indian way” the virtues all loving adults seek to instill in their children would be made a real part of “growing up”. Goodman and his assistant sought to reignite that same force in their camp ceremonies. More importantly they placed the study and preservation of American Indian Culture as one of the fundamental goals of their organization, the Order of the Arrow.

Now come the neo-lib P.C. crowd, so driving by the need to maintain victim status for their subservient special interest groups, that they attack attempts at cultural enrichment and understanding. They fear that as all peoples add the positive aspects of many different cultures to their own the divisions between peoples that they need to maintain power well diminish. To maintain their power they direct their attacks along the most pernicious of divisive lines imposed on the Commonwealth of Man, racism.

It is particularly painful to see Flaccid mimic the DNC in using racism as the basis for attacking others while claiming to be against racism himself. It is the Devil’s lie. “I will make you free by keeping you slaves.”

Vegimatic;

Thank you for your report and for the excellent examples of cross cultural exchange you are witnessing. It is telling that Flaccid’s only response to the real world experiences you relate iis to get sick. I can only imagine how shocking it must have been to have you deflate his falsely erected position with a splash of cold hard fact.

Dan;

Your observation on the “nonexistence” of any overarching Indian Culture is of course easily and properly expanded to universal application. All cultures are mixtures of unnumbered twists and accidents of life on the basic and driving forces that make us all human. That Flaccid can see how foolish it would be to deny technologies developed by one group from another, but cannot see that stories and ceremonies can also easily cross racial and geographic boundaries; reveals the curious nature of his bigotry. He tries to draw lines that don’t exist, while fudging those that do. The only line we should concern ourselves with in choosing our actions or our beliefs is the line between right and wrong. Here your examples, which Flaccid cannot answer and therefore mocks, are most instructive.

Anonymous said...

MM,

Nice to see you have a heart after all. Such racial insensitivity is enraging. Honestly, I thought putting yourself in another's position was beyond your capacity. Now imagine what it must be like for someone make up a history for you that discounts any of your actual accomplishments and struggles and instead cons thousands into believing in it and the happily ever after twist it paints of your current situation. Hurtful.

While the members of the O.A. do not profess to actually be Natives they profess to be members of a sacred indian boy's club that represents tribes in service. It is a complete fiction - based on the fiction of James Fennimore Cooper. In this fiction, the boys are entreated to act as as indians, dress and talk in that halting and solemn cadence of Alowat Sakima and Meteu - you know "how" indians talk - while relating the (fake) history of actual indians. Is there a difference between this approximation of indian behavior the disgusting and outrageous examples of the use of black face you point out? They are both symbols meant to tap into a stereotype in the viewer to communicate a deeper message. In the cae of the O.A. it is a symbol for a simple people, noble and uncluttered of modern fixations that distract from loyalty and cheerful service that all indians were apparently born to give.

Again, this fine play for children and others that refuse to leave Neverland. But promulgating the hoax should not be the role of the "largest youth organization in the world." Why not just be truthful and let the boys know that the O.A. is an honor society that is not based at all on indian ceremony but born some sixty years ago in Philadelphia? It is hard to fulfill the first point of the Scout Law when you can't be trusted to tell the truth, even to the people you are entering a secret brothership with.

I remember a friend of mine once criticizing the idea that science had to be made "sexy" with programs like "Beaker's World" and "Bill Nye the Science Guy." The learning itself should be fun, he said. The service and leadership opportunities the O.A. provides are the exciting part of that organization. Those opportunities do not have to be made "sexy" with bare chested boys standing around a campfire at night capering in their immitations of what indians are supposed to act like or promulgating the belief that all there assembled are now part of some secret league that these includes these noble savages - presented in buckskin leggings, feathered head dress, and pelt hat before you.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

I know this will only make you angrier, so I do hesitated to post, but the truth must be made available to all.

The O.A. ceremonies are not the ceremonies of other Indian Tribes; they are the ceremonies of a tribe called the Order of the Arrow. Many Masonic forms are found in the O.A. ceremonies, but that does not make them any more “Egyptian” or any less Indian. The Delaware people were the inspiration for the O. A. Ceremonies. But the people who inspired Goodman no longer exist. The members of the O. A. like the members of the chartered Delaware Tribe are people living in the 21st century, and have no more or less legitimacy in the ceremonies they perform, and share, then the scouts in the woods. The important cultural force of the O. A. is its commitment to preserving and studying cultures of the past to enrich the culture of the present.

I have, in fact, made bear chested Indian ceremonies for another Indian tribe I started in Wyoming. We are not imitating anyone; we are enjoying our common culture and take freely of all past cultures that interest us. We have an interest in the people who once lived in the land we now call our own and have a shared our interest in the American Indian history. We eagerly invite all races and both genders to participate freely in our ceremonies. We use Shoshone words and cultural artifacts because we admire those people and some members of our tribe have hereditary links to them; we all share mutual cultural links. The ceremonies practiced by groups emulating the Shoshone at Fort Hall have different origins but are no more or less sincere, and the people who participate in those ceremonies neither more nor less human.

Your inability to see the world in any way but through the divisive prism of your racism is frightening.

Anonymous said...

If it is important to promote "outdoor" values and respect for Nature, might I recommend the Sierra Club or some other "legitimate" society not burgeoning with lies and deceptions perpetuated on children and adolescents -- perhaps even the boy scouts minus the war hoops, war paint and fethers!!!!

Anonymous said...

And homophobes! Don't forget the homophobes - they should go too.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

Re fruits, flowers, and sex...

I simply have no response to that...

I dont know if he has responded yet or not...I'm glad it has provided you at least some humor. Laughter is always good.

I am pretty sure his point would be sexual promiscuity is as verboten as is homosexuality. Funny how we focus on the one and not the other.

Anonymous said...

war-whoops and feathers. Sorry

Anonymous said...

Anon...

Nice to see you have a heart after all. Such racial insensitivity is enraging. Honestly, I thought putting yourself in another's position was beyond your capacity.

Perhaps thats because you read selective parts and make your judgments. If you had been paying attention you might have learned over the course of the...of...about a year now that I have been frequenting the Agora that in many ways I am more liberal than most liberals.

"Now imagine what it must be like for someone make up a history for you that discounts any of your actual accomplishments and struggles and instead cons thousands into believing in it and the happily ever after twist it paints of your current situation. Hurtful."

Hogwash.

Make up what you will about ME. As for my heritage, my ancestry is from Denmark. Ive never been to Denmark. I know little about my heritage in Denmark and to be blunt...could care less. I am 5th generation Native American. THIS is my history.

As to your comments re the made up parts of native history...

sometimes...really...you just blow my mind.

The OA engages in service and also teaches values enhanced by dances, rituals, etc. I have read several interviews over the last few days of young men...memebers of the OA that interview dierctly with Indian tribal leaders. They discuss dress, dance, markings, etc. They are very direct conversations. A common question asked is how may we learn more about the authentic dress, the authentic dances, etc. To a one the response was the same...attend PowWows, attend tribal gatherings...ASK QUESTIONS and most importantly LISTEN to the responses.

Disagreement about some aspects? You bet. Some believe the paint should not be used, some believe it is OK since it is spirit driven and the spirit speaks to us, some believe it is fine but only in special ceremonies. Same goes for war bonnets, etc.

But in all the interviews I have read there was a genuine appreciation expressed by the indian leaders toward the scouts for asking the questions.

Mutual respect. Reverenced learning. Indians offering opportunites to teach authentic dances and their meanings.

The OA is not out to steal anyone's identity.

As for the 'history' of natives in this country...you REALLY want to dig that up? Do you hear a lot of talk of cannibalism, wars, slavery, games and competitions that result in murder, etc. being taught mainstream about native culture?

The OA has been incredibly respectful. They teach Indian based values. They arent stealing anything. They arent usurping anything.

You want a real cause? Try to get a lot of the 'real' indians you mentioned earlier to study and live their own history.

Lysis said...

The Sierra Club was actually a pretty good organization until they were taken over by the neo-libs more interested in political agendas than in conserving natural resources or in educating people about the truth.

Anonymous said...

The "Sierra Club"???

OK...THAT was funny.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy et al HAVE the non-elitist unbigoted political bias of appreciation and care for the environment as an END in itself, even for atheistic and gay children/adolescents or the children of atheists and gays (even available to Mary Cheney whenever she gives birth).

MM would rather have children soliciting Indian gimcracks, and gewgaws in the interests of making PROFITS -- you see it's the NEW American Indian way of funding OUR deep respect for Indian culture.

NOW, GET TO THOSE WALMART PARKING LOTS BEFORE THE REAL INDIANS DO -- AND DON'T LET THOSE WELFARE BUMS OFF THE RESERVATION HOG UP ALL THE GOOD SPOTS!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Once again, you’re backwards on this one, Flaccid. You are blind, as has been said, because you choose not to see the truth.


We are studying Islam in my World History classes. As we discussed the Hajj, I thought of Malcolm X, once the great proponent of drawing imaginary lines of separation between cultures based on race; and how he had journeyed to Mecca. There he witnessed people of all races sharing in a common cultural phenomenon. I don’t know if he actually believed in Islam any more after his pilgrimage than he did before he made the trip, but I am reminded that when he returned to America, he sought to remove the lines imposed by racists and bring all people to be as one. Of course his pronouncements cost him his life. He was murdered by the raciest bigots he had once led; those who choose to remain blind.

My seniors and I are in the midst of a Civics discussion on the Supreme Court. I showed them a clip from Spielberg’s movie, *Amistad*. The slave lobby of 1840 America, championed by the Democrat party, had drawn some very interesting lines. First there was the line that only blacks can be slaves. Then there was the equally abhorrent line that said slaves were property not humans. Whenever we start to draw lines around groups, as the Anonomy are determined to do in this discussion, we set the stage for the most horrible injustices. In class we discuss the abominable line that allows the murder of children just because they have yet to be born. The parallel between slaves as property and pre-birth babies as meat was not lost on my students.

It interested me to watch the movie, to see a Black Frenchman play an African, while a Welch actor preformed the part of a former U.S. President. It is a good thing that Flaccid didn’t get hold of that casting director, poor Spielberg would have had to wait for computer generation to assemble his actors from culturally neutral pixels.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary Mullah Omar Lysis, I would not stop nor ever condone stopping someone from expressing themselves, be they Welchmen playing U.S. presidents or overgrown children pretending to be Chingachgook in the Wyoming wilds. (Djimon Hounsou who played Cinque in the movie IS actually an African.) It is a very precocious position to be in but one that everyone is allowed to put themselves in all the same. You still have every right to be as much of a butthole as you like. So what's all the sad crying about? Would rather take everyone else's right to have an opinion on the situation? To suggest that you should give up the lying to children? The only person suggesting that we take away anyone's personal choices in this forum is you: Mullah Omar Lysis.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Djimon has lived in France since he was a little boy, but then you don’t allow people to choose their nation or culture do you. This is another painful example of your stupendous bigotry for all to consider. I would point out that although you continue to call others liars you have never provided any evidence to support that claim.

What I cry about are folks like you, the whole P. C. crowd, who are in positions to influence others and dwell continually on drawing lines that enable prejudice.

I long ago discovered that the last futile action of a defeated foe is their turn to name calling. Again you provide us with hard evidence, this time of your failure, to examine. You didn’t need to concede the point otherwise, but I accept your resignation in that, and I quote:

“I would not stop nor ever condone stopping someone from expressing themselves. . .”

We will go on expressing our selves and our love for our American Indian Culture and for our African dances, for the juries-prudence of the Romans, and the poetry of the Greeks. I only wish you would reconsider your agenda driven segregation of humanity by the color of their skin and the place of their birth.

Anonymous said...

"What I cry about are folks like you."

Thank you for crying for me, Lysis. I must admit, it does bring me great satisfaction to imagine you at your computer, heavy hands with sweaty palms mugging the keyboard, eyes wide, mind reeling, and my words bringing you to tears.

You could pay me no greater compliment.

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

Don’t worry; I’ll be here for you.

Rumpole said...

Vegimatic,

I really enjoyed your post. I am jealous that you have seen first-hand many things that I can only read about.

Anonymy,

The “education” you promote saddens me. You post: “I remember a friend of mine once criticizing the idea that science had to be made "sexy" with programs like "Beaker's World" and "Bill Nye the Science Guy." The learning itself should be fun, he said. The service and leadership opportunities the O.A. provides are the exciting part of that organization. Those opportunities do not have to be made "sexy" with bare chested boys standing around a campfire at night capering in their immitations of what indians are supposed to act like or promulgating the belief that all there assembled are now part of some secret league that these includes these noble savages - presented in buckskin leggings, feathered head dress, and pelt hat before you.”

Pardon me, but you seem to have a general lack of understanding of the mind of a twelve year old boy. Can history only be taught in your sterile classroom, based on what you believe to be the unquestioned truth?

Many years ago I attended National Camp School for the BSA. Among the many tenants of scouting, it was promoted that the program exists to promote “fun, adventure, and romance.” I’m certain that you understand the difference between “sexy” and romance in this particular connotation.

Your friend’s advice to you was unwise. To suggest that truth can only be taught in a sterile classroom under the control of a liberal institution is foolhardy. Perhaps reading the history enlightens, but living the history inspires!

I do not suggest that James Fenimore Cooper’s version of historical fiction is accurate. I do suggest that many of those who participate in the OA are in possession of truth and impart that truth to willing participants.

I do agree with your implication that the organization you so willingly denigrate (the BSA) is, indeed, in decline. I disagree as to why.

At that same National Camp School, it was promoted that the purpose of a Scoutmaster is to provide a positive, adult male role model for the adolescent boys. Scouting existed to have good, honest men teach boys how to become good, honest men. Unfortunately, your world of “political correctness” has even crept into that organization to the point that we no longer hear such “heresy.”

To suggest that the Sierra Club is better suited to teach such values is lunacy. As Lysis pointed out, the Sierra Club is far more interested in “political agendas (rather) than in conserving natural resources or in educating people about the truth.”

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here for you Anonymi

Today I had lunch in a brothel. I didn't realize it at the time, but nonetheless I did.

I wanted to take my co-workers out to lunch and let them pick the place.

The food was very good, but the service was awful. The worst I have ever had in my experiences here.

Then I looked around and noticed that the majority of the customers were above the age of 45 and were in the company of local girls between the ages of 13 to seventeen. After asking my hosts what was going on they said that the morning after companionship was part of the price.

I went street vendor shopping last night in a local area where there are not very many ex pats (I was it).

They sell everything you can imagine and it is a lot of fun.

What I noticed about my experience was that every dvd vendor I passed, when they saw me, an American pass by they would grab me by the arm, pull the box out from under the table and say "Look Sir I have triple X.

After reading your spitting on the computer rant I wanted to share with you how our liberal selfish culture has mixed with the local culture here.

Every other experience that I have had with the people here has been extremely pleasant and respectful.

Except when you add the culutre that you represent. Godless, selfish and if it feels good do it.

If you want the address to the Brothel I can send it to you. Especially if you like girls the same age as my teenage daughters.

This is what I have experienced as the outcome of the culture you aspire to.

It should make you sick to your stomach. But maybe you don't have daughters.

Please don't spit too much this time......

Anonymous said...

I was tired of this a few days ago...

So...I side w/ the anon collective. I move that immediately all universities, schools, cities, municipalities etc, remove every name record or history that can be attributed to Americas natives.

Their 'culture' should be returned to their keepers.
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/aic02.pdf

Anonymous said...

MM
I never look to you joining "MY side" -- whatever that means -- I could never offer anywhere near the amount of SELF-VALIDATION from "others" that you need on a given day.

Hell, get your own "side" and quit trying to reduce EVERY ISSUE to some simple minded black-white, good-bad evil-spiritual, my way or-Armegeddon, scenario that is Lysis' rhetorical REFUGE too.

You know it is IMPOSSIBLE to have even the SLIGHTEST variance of opinion with either one of you without INSTANTANEOUSLY being strapped on some facile bobsled and SHOVED down the "slippery slopes" of argumentation to the hypothetical complete destruction of either GOD or MAN or "KICK BUTT AMERICAN PATRIOTISM" through the agents of the "neo-libs" or the "relativists" or the "ungodly" or the "racists and bigots".

Lysis confuses my postings with other Anon postings all the time --I have believed for a long time he did so just to be "combative".

However, these last two weeks I have come to realize that he REALLY doesn't discriminate ANYONE'S postings -- he reads a few words then cranks out the same attacking or complimentary bunk no matter what the topic!!!!


-

Anonymous said...

"May we discuss Indian culture or Order of the Arrow for five seconds without we land in hell Mr. Putnam?" ????

Anonymous said...

Anon...

This is you once again at your finest. I have expressed my side time and time again. Quite often it conflicts with you and quite often it conflicts with Lysis. You and yu'rn? Fuggedaboudit...All you EVER do is argue for arguments sake. And when your side has no argument you attack religion or throw out some other smokescreen or non sequitur argument.

Not EVERY issue is black and white. This one? If the anon were so committed to the principles they speak of they would recognize that the American Indians are threatened by MANY things...but 'loss' of their 'culture' is not one of them.

There ARE real issues facing Americas Indians. Rape, child abuse, violent crime. Alcoholism. Drug abuse. Gang Violence. In EVERY crime stat category the American Indian is FAR more likely to be a victim than ANY OTHER group in America. THATS a real problem. It is a SURE FIRE indicator (symptom) of a greater problem.

Young white men are being taught and benefiting from the experience, wisdom and culture of Indian society. It could be something powerful. Scratch that...it IS something powerful. And instead of engaging real problems, educated white liberals decide to tackle the really important stuff...banning Universities from the mutually agreed on honor of Indian names, and stopping young men from strengthening morals and values using those traditions. Way to get involved!

Your own contradictions and hypocrisy's are glaring. Because we are talking OA...a Scouting org that you know Lysis is attached to, then their use of generic (but as authentic as they can make it) Indian culture is wrong, yet, you really dont see any big deal about the use of the African culture.


Oh...but YOU talk of black and white...

truth to power said...

"Lysis confuses my postings with other Anon postings all the time --I have believed for a long time he did so just to be "combative"."

Or maybe it's your own fault!

Do you think everyone can always unambiguously identify your posts by your opinions or writing style (plus the CAPS and exclamation points!!!!)? Nearly every thread has a complaint from someone that they don't know which anonymous is which.

If you're bothered that people mistake other anonymous posts for yours, then stop posting as "Anonymous". Pick a handle and announce it. You won't lose your anonymity, just this particular excuse to insult Lysis.

Lysis said...

Truth to Power;

I appreciate your suggestion to the Anonomy. They should know I have no more knowledge of who you are then who they are – and yet your courage in identifying yourself enables a consistent assessment and legitimate response to your posts.

Flaccid;

It is impossible to tell your arguments from those of the other Anonomy. Although there is a certain depth and quality to much of what you say, even the feeblest of your cheering squad occasionally have a flash of brilliance. As for the vulgar and irrational attacks you occasionally launch, they are indistinguishable for the misguided missives of all the others.

But blame it on my lack of discrimination if you will. Help us all more clearly benefit from your wisdom through the power of organization and unification that choosing a “Blog Name” would provide. If you choose not to, your comments will still be very welcome, but don’t blame me if I can’t recognize your “footprint” in the trampled sands of the Agora.

I would think it unfair if I posted on the thread anonymously without identifying myself so as to distance my opinions from my record or to be able me to deny my past statements. I’ll even stop referring to you as Flaccid if your show enough starch to take a name and the corresponding responsibility for your posts.

Your opinions are valued here, but if they are at variance with others I can’t think you would expect them not to be challenged. If I am bound in the “same attacks” it is because they are the responses called for by the SAME “variances”.

Let’s review the course of our debate.

I posted my concern for the dangers of political correctness and used examples of African Dancing and Scouting’s Indian tradition. I pointed out that P.C. forces have attacked the O.A for its interest in Indian culture and said I feared the day would come when African Dance classes would be attacked as well. I then called for all “to recognize that pluralism and cosmopolitan lives are only feared by fanatics and fools. Let’s rejoice in our common humanity and choose our cultures by our interests, not our ancestors. “

The first Anonymous response: “Order of the Arrow? Isn't that white man hokum, made by white men, for white children? What self respecting Indian would belong to such a parody -- maybe a few Lamanites or "APPLES", but no REAL Indians!!!!”

The next “on topic” Anonymous post: “Would you be equally open minded to Indians, who were to parody certain parts of sacred LDS TEMPLE ceremonies for the "edification" of THEIR young. Would you feel that the "Sacred" had been defiled and God offended by people incapable of real devotion to God?
Order of the Arrow seeks to MIMIC what to OTHERS is unspeakably SACRED in a vain attempt to mollify a few bored teenagers with a cultural religious devotion that they can NEVER attain -- wood carvings and "Indian" paraphenalia NOT with standing. Yes, that is the WORST kind of cultural BIGOTRY!!!!”

You then take the argument into an attack on Mormonism. “There is talk that GAY MORMONS might create NEW Temple Ceremonies to seal their marriage partners, because traditional ceremonies are denied to THEM. (I see cannons in their future too.) Would the LDS church approve those ceremonies, also????”

You continue your attack on the O. A. with: “I am not so naive to belive that some adolescent can acquire an INDIAN CULTURE by carving pseudo Indian artifacts and listening to pseudo Indian "white men" speak pseudo Indian lore!!!!”

I could go on Flaccid, but again, the evidence you have thus provid is adequate to make my point. You jumped down the slippery slope, no one pushed you, and the only knee jerking and butt kicking responses were your own.

I maintain, as I have throughout, that drawing racial lines around culture is the wrong thing to do. It is therefore natural to talk in terms of right and wrong, or false and true. We have all waited throughout this discussion for some reasoned argument to the contrary, or some deepening support and insight if you had chosen to agree. Instead we get angry and false information along with undistinguishable personal attacks, and irrelevant name calling from someone posting as Anonymous.

If you disagree with those who choose to post anonymously as you do, then you should first speak out against them and secondly help us to tell the difference between you and them.

Anonymous said...

TP
If my postings are not DISTINCT enough in their PRESENT form, then I have no hope that you will EVER discriminate the arguments therein any better than their authorship.

I HAVE chosen a "handle" and in EVERY POST it is as OBVIOUS as yours. If you are angered and confused because it seems "unconventional", and "nonconformist" it is because I've chosen that MEDIUM to be the MESSAGE!!!!

I can respect that "some" choose non-attributable Anon postings -- I am as sure that they have legitimate reasons as I am sure that those posting are OBVIOUSLY different and discriminated from my own.

You have accurately identified my "signature" on each and every posting, but now you want authentication of "unambiguity" --
Next you'll require an embossed notary seal!!!!

Lysis:

By "reasoned arguments to the contrary" you must mean ARGUMENTS rather than ASSERTIONS.

However, EVERY LYSIS posting consists of ANECDOTAL ASSERTIONS proped up by ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE that amazingly you somehow want everyone to accept as ARGUMENTS; ie, "Pluralism and cosmopolitan life are only feared by fanatics and fools."

THAT is either a conclusion or a thesis, but there is NOTHING of what is necessary, before or after, to be considered an ARGUMENT, even by the loosest reckoning -- because it is NOTHING MORE THAN A MEANINGLESS ASSERTION!!!!
I have read over the original posting -- there is not ONE Argument -- interesting assertions and anecdotes always -- but,never pretend that they are ARGUMENTS.

At best, clumsy analogies are sometimes present.

I am not a betting man -- unless it's a SURE THING.

I'll bet everyone at the AGORA that Lysis DOES know who this ANON is!!!!

If I win "we" will meet in Uintah next to the infamous Cannon that formally spelled the destruction of so many Morrisite victims -- to mourn their unjust passing.

If Lysis' words are TRUE and JUST then I will offer supplicants to Divine Jupiter and plead forgiveness -- to ammend all offenses.

Anonymous said...

Let us all celebrate that the death penalty has been suspended at least in two of the most populous states of OUR country.

Anonymous said...

Huzzah! Let us rejoice!

The state of Florida currently has 374 men (no juveniles and no women) on death row. Those 374 have been convicted of 1st degree murder of 474 people, and literally thousands of additional crimes ranging from 2nd degree murder to rape to assault to armed robbery.

The case that caused Florida to halt the death sentence proceedings was of one Angel Diaz. His execution took 34 minutes instead of the normal 15-16 minutes. It is likely the needle went through the vein...the autopsy will show for sure.

This line catches the eye...from Mr Diaz' attorney...
"When he was still moving after the first shot of chemicals, they should have known there was a problem and they shouldn't have continued. This shows a complete disregard for Mr. Diaz. This is disgusting."

Disregard? Disgusting? Disgusting is the disregard Mr Diaz had for human life other than his own.

"The same Angel Diaz who, with two accomplices, robbed and shot Joseph Nagy on Dec. 22, 1978, when Diaz and his two accomplices robbed The Velvet Swing.

The same Angel Diaz with a long criminal history, including a second-degree murder conviction and escape in his native Puerto Rico.

The same Angel Diaz who, in 1981, also escaped from the Hartford Correctional Center in Connecticut. He held one guard at knifepoint while another was beaten as he and three other inmates escaped, according to court records."

I'll find it hard to shed a tear for Mr Diaz.

Many argue the death penalty is not a deterrent. I totally disagree. I bet anyone GOOD money that Mr Diaz' criminal career is now over, permanently deterred. I bet good money he wont be escaping again to continue to kill.

Truth be told...I would not be in favor of the death sentence if they can find a way to ensure that the individuals never escape to harm another soul. My opinion has nothing to do with the criminal...it has everything to do with the victims families. When the death sentence is enacted the families are often stuck in the vengeance mode and have a far more difficult time healing and moving forward in their lives.

But...since they cant guarantee that these people will forever be kept from society...I have no problem with the death sentence. It is a fair consequence for their own actions.

Anonymous said...

Not to overgeneralize, but the reality is that the anon arguments here are related.

1-As long as they don't have to actually engage a real problem, liberals can ridicule scouts and scouting. They can focus their energies on a global young mens program that teaches value and do everything in their power to destroy that organization and they can focus on banning school mascots. Why...think of it...grown men and women at the DNC convention booing and ridiculing on scouts at a flag ceremony that the DNC invited them to attend...what a great cause. What honor.

Then they congratulate each other because they really really really CARE about the plight of the American Indians and prove it by attacking boy scouts.

2-Death sentence is BAD and WRONG and UNFAIR...they CARE about all human life...
Sure. Ban the death sentence and the inmates are stuffed into a cell for the rest of their lives. And what then is the liberal obligation? None. Zero. Out of sight, out of mind. What is their life like? Dont know...dont care...time to move on to the next cause...because we REALLY REALLY REALLY care...

Same argument applies for many of the issues we have discussed. Complain mightily about the efforts engaged to fight terror. But offer a solution? Oh...no...cant go on record actually having a POSITION.

Illegal immigration? Same thing. Everything the other side does is wrong...but don't ask for a position or plan.

Social security? same...

I think we can safely call that a 'pattern.'

The anon complains that there isn't enough discussion and debate...kind of hard to debate when you don't have two sides.

(and for the record..."I hate you" doesn't qualify as a side)

Lysis said...

To the Anonymous poster who celebrates the end of the Death Penalty; I add my own CELEBRATION!!!!!! There can be nothing but shame in the execution of helpless prisoners. I would much rather pay for their upkeep in this world than to have to live with their blood on our collective hands through the next.

Mindmechanic;

I do not believe that Capital punishment is any deterrent other than the final one you have referred to. But the danger of murdering an innocent, particularly given the questionable and human nature of our judiciary seems to outweigh any supposed advantage. Even more; as I despise the destruction of human life, I must despise the unnecessary killing of even the most depraved. I do not wish to “disregard” anything, but more blood, shed unnecessarily, does no one any good. Vengeance so infinite in impact is not within man’s prerogative. Murderers should indeed be punished, perhaps we can even dream of rehabilitation, but there are too many factors in the transformation of an innocent child into a murderer for any man or group of men to play God on this one.

Flaccid;

I do not know who you are. References to a favorite Ogden bookstore have made me wonder, but you have never risen to any of the baits I have thrown in that direction; so I am totally in the dark. If our last face to face discussion was on retirement, then I have guessed; if not then you must forgive my inability to read the signs you leave.

I cannot see your handle, or put more pointedly, I cannot distinguish your signature from the many forgeries on the record. Sorry – I would like to do you justice. I would never require a notary’s seal, not even your real name – but neither am I inclined to play word detective. The just recognition you say you seek is yours to achieve with no danger of reveling who you are.

As for ARGUMENTS and ASSERTIONS;

If I miss your secret clues to your identity, you sure missed my arguments. Anecdotal means a story one hears. The silly racist incidents I deplored in my original post are empirical experiences. Mindmechanic has added well documented examples of bigotry over School mascots, your own bigotry against “bear chested white boys” has surely added to the strength of my position; won my argument. The ASSERTION I made, and which I invite you to support or ARGUE against as you please, is that we should rejoice in our common humanity and choose our cultures by our interests, not our ancestors. You either stopped reading my words too soon or chose to ignore the. You might not find this an argument but it surely disagrees with the P.C. agenda driving the Neo-libs in this country. With your wordsmithing you surely know that a disagreement is at least a type of ARGUMENT.

Skin color is an accident of DNA and peoples of certain colors have no more right to any unique slice of the past than any other color combination. That you find it impossible to justly and intelligently argue against these assertions shows YOUR claims are the pretend ones here.

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

My own opinion regarding the death penalty has changed dramatically through much conversation and debate. I mentioned...I would now greatly prefer they find a way to ensure that these people can never again harm society and then I would be 100% opposed to the sentence.

I give no pretense of caring about the individual...at that point it is between them and whatever God they answer to. I spend several hours a week working with the youth at some of our correctional facilities and I can easily see the circumstances that lead to some very bad choices and I know they are often very ugly circumstances. I work very hard to not judge individuals and try instead to teach understanding.

However...for whatever the cause some choose a path that is often unalterable. That choice comes with consequences.

I repeat...my position of concern is far more for the survivors of the victims. I agree...vengeance is a horrible place to come from. It isnt healthy.

Anonymous said...

I am in the OA, and our lodge actually goes out and invites people from the local tribes to come watch and make sure tha we are as accurate as possible in our ceremonies. If not, we ask what we need to work on and then we fix it. So far so good.