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Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:10 PM

RIP Houston


A couple of days ago, I posted an appeal for DUers to support the Onondaga Nation. The overall response was very encouraging. This is consistant with similar requests that I have made, over the decade-plus that I've participated on this forum. I always appreciate that.

I think that any time something important is posted, there will be at least one or two responses from people who are not here because they advocate liberal or progressive agendas. They are insignificant, and not worth responding to. One could have as meaningful conversation with a house fly stuck in the glue of a fly strip.

More important, there were some responses from people who have sincere questions about the issues involved with the Onondaga. For example: isn't this issue from a couple centuries ago? And, if so, why is it important today?

It is actually about as old as the Constitution of the United States. Now, that's not a coincidence; in fact, the issues involved have to do with violations of the Constitution. And we should always be concerned when the very document that gives America promise is compromised by greed and theft.

That legal issues involving the Constitution are involved in what are known as "land claims" cases was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1974, and again a decade later. These were the first two of three cases involving the Oneida Nation -- the younger sibling of the Onondaga within the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. More, the Onondaga are known and respected outside of the United States, including at the United Nations.

I would dare to venture that there are reasons why the powers-that-be inside the USA would prefer that our people remain uninformed about the Iroquois, and to consider these issues to be ancient history. Indeed, most Americans probably know less about the Iroquois than they do about the Constitution -- and that's saying a lot.

Back around the time of the first USSC decision per the Oneida, Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons spoke in Binghamton, NY. He told the audience that, in time, the government would do to US citizens the same times of things it has done to Native Americans for centuries. In that region today, energy corporations -- persons, don't you know -- are preparing the "Constitution Pipeline," to export gas to foreign lands. It is obscene that this proposed pipeline -- which would take all of the landowners' rights from them, to benefit private business -- intentionally mocks the Constitution.

The hydrofracking operations in Pennsylvania, where the pipeline begins, have more "rights" than those people who have had their land, air, and water severely polluted by the energy industries. Of course, that's not an entirely brand-spanking new experience for some populations in the United States. Indeed, if one looked at a map of Onondaga territory pre-1492, and considered the number of toxic industrial waste dump sites found there today, quite a few people have been victimized by industries.

Those unfamiliar with the Onondagas' case are at risk of believing the Onondaga only recently began the struggle to reclaim what was once their territory, and that they literally seek to recover the entire amount of land stolen from them. Such errors in perception depend upon being either uninformed or misinformed about both history, and more current events. For example, one DUer noted that the US defeated the Onondaga in a war, and hence took their land. In fact, the USA and Onondaga have never been at war with one another, and it was not the USA that stole the lands in question. Such errors in thinking can keep good and sincere people from understanding both what is at stake, and why it is important.

Likewise, the idea that the goal of the Onondaga is to recover the huge territory, through the center of the state, is incorrect. Certainly, in a legal case, one documents exactly what was stolen from you. There is a process. But that doesn't translate into what you either hope or expect to recover. (Years ago, when Chief Paul Waterman and I were on a speaking tour, people would ask, "Are you after our homes?" Paul would ask, "How many bathrooms in your's?" One person actually answered, "Two." But Paul was trying to reassure these good people that Onondaga was not their enemy.)

As I've noted previously on this forum, a primary goal is for Onondaga to get both the state and federal government to enforce environmental protection laws on this land. This includes forcing industries to clean up their messes, to the fullest extent that current technology allows. More, this needs to be on the responsible party's dime -- not the tax-payers. This goal does not target the loss of a single inch of soil from any home-owner. None. Zero. In fact, just the opposite: it improves the property (and value).

Any land compensation would involve state land, and thus not impact New York's tax base. That land would be used not only for the Onondaga, but for progressive, green energy programs that benefit everyone.

One of the more pathetic replies to my previous OP rambled on about cheap cigarettes, etc. Besides incorrectly identifying where the Nation is located, its author displayed equal ignorance concerning Onondaga's methods and goals. A good way of illustrating this might be found in the manner in which NYS sought, in the 1990s, to resolve some of the land claims. At the time, casino interests wanted to locate a center for gambling in the cntral upstate area. As Onondaga is located near Syracuse, this was their first choice.

The Council of Chiefs was willing to investigate their options. After Chief Irving Powless, Jr., went to a casino, I remember him reporting that he saw people who were poor and desperate gambling. The Onondaga were not interested in taking the quarters of people who really could not afford to spare a quarter.

In closing, I'd like to say that in supporting Onondaga, non-Indian people with open minds actually can learn ways of organizing, to better help themselves in the struggle to protect things like the environment and their Constitutional rights. You can't put a price tag on that. More, you can witness how the last traditional Native American government in North America works. It is refreshing to see people in leadership roles, who recognize their duty to serve the people. It's the same form of government that impressed several of this country's Founding Fathers, in their effort to create a more perfect union.

Peace,
H2O Man

20 replies, 3428 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply RIP Houston (Original post)
H2O Man Apr 2014 OP
pangaia Apr 2014 #1
H2O Man Apr 2014 #5
cantbeserious Apr 2014 #2
H2O Man Apr 2014 #8
catbyte Apr 2014 #3
H2O Man Apr 2014 #13
eppur_se_muova Apr 2014 #4
H2O Man Apr 2014 #14
panader0 Apr 2014 #6
scarletwoman Apr 2014 #7
Catherina Apr 2014 #9
countryjake Apr 2014 #10
LineNew Reply ^
Wilms Apr 2014 #11
chervilant Apr 2014 #12
H2O Man Apr 2014 #16
chervilant Apr 2014 #18
G_j Apr 2014 #15
discntnt_irny_srcsm Apr 2014 #17
whistler162 Apr 2014 #19
Sunlei Apr 2014 #20

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:29 PM

1. Thank you so much for posting this.

I read your other post and made a short reply.
Without giving away exactly where I live (does it really matter), I drive past Ganondagan on the way to and from work most days and have attended many events there.

I was a member of Friends of Ganondagan for several years but, let my membership lapse.

Do you know if the construction underway on Boughton Hill Rd is the new Seneca Art & Cultural Center ?

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Response to pangaia (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:58 PM

5. Thank you.

Very much appreciated.

I do not know about the construction.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:34 PM

2. Thank You For Sharing

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:38 PM

8. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:48 PM

3. Chii megwetch for posting, H2O. I'm Ojibwe & the state of Michigan tries to

erode our treaty rights on a regular basis, so we must remain vigilant & get support where we can.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:09 AM

13. Thank you!

It's curious how so many good people do not understand the significance of Native American issues. That there will not be social justice for some, when injustice defines US/state policies towards others.

I had an uncle, by marriage, who was a good liberal democrat. He taught at a university in PA, and President Carter gave him an award for his skills in science. In the early 1990s, there were "protests" in Seneca Territory, that included burning tires on a highway. I remember my uncle asking, seriously, if Paul and I were involved. I told him that Paul said, "They burn tires; we burn Sacred Tobacco."

My uncle said that he thought it was time for Native Americans to think of themselves as US citizens. He was Catholic, and so I asked if he thought that Jewish people should have thought of themselves as Roman citizens? He said, "That's different." I said it was the same.

We debated for about an hour; my aunt wanted to head back to PA, and kept trying to get my uncle to go. He said he couldn't go, until he "won" our debate (he was Irish Catholic). My aunt said, "Well, you can't win this one. He's right."

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:48 PM

4. K&R. Hope more DUers will read this.

I have some catching up to do on your recent posts, myself.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:09 AM

14. Thank you.

I'm hoping the same thing!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:43 PM

6. Another thoughtful and well written post.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:52 PM

7. A kick for more visibility.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 10:10 PM

9. DU rec for an important post n/t

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:32 AM

10. A big KICK!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 03:46 AM

11. ^

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:09 AM

12. Would you please list ways we can help?

Also, why RIP Houston?

(Do you think the Onondaga Nation can encourage unity among the propagandized, fearful hedonists in this deteriorating democracy? I am skeptical...)

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Response to chervilant (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:16 AM

16. Yes.

I'll post more on Onondaga, soon. (A friend died this morning, and I'm not up to too much right now.)

Yesterday, I was starting my crop of sun flowers, while watching a movie I like, "The Body Guard." I love that lady's voice. And I was thinking about her death, and how she had suffered in her last phases of life. I don't know if that makes any sense. But I wrote the OP as my own tiny tribute to Whitney Houston.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:43 PM

18. oic

Death is such a difficult transition for those of us who remain.



I always read your posts. Thank you for all your erudite and relevant observations.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:25 AM

15. K&R

Thank you taking the time and patience to help us all to learn our history as it manifests itself in the present.
Not only is this very compelling in it's urgency, but the background history is truly eye opening, and fascinating.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:22 AM

17. K&R thanks

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:48 PM

19. Another attack thread.....

DON'T AGREE WITH ME THEN YOU AREN'T LIBERAL!!!!!!!!!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:09 PM

20. reced, This is an important post.

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