Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 16:02
Written by Al
When is NASA going to finally admit Apollo and the moon missions were faked? Maybe a lot of you employees at actually believe the official NASA line that you went to the moon (you have to believe to keep your jobs - I get it) but a lot of you know the truth. More than half of educated people and general skeptics in the west believe the lunar missions were faked. Why fake it? Because the technology just wasn't ready. Radiation risks are real. Political realities forced you to fake it. I think people could have accepted the Hollywood stuff (see Capricorn One) if you had come clean a few decades ago, but it’s not too late yet.
The 60’s Cold War is over - the reason Apollo was started in the first place. Sooner or later (Google?) will get there (see Dec 2017 deadline for a big prize) and prove there is no evidence of human visitation. No landing sites. No lunar modules. No laser reflectors. No tracks.
And don't give me the LRO (Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter) https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/...
as evidence, please. These laughable photoshopped pictures showing some barely visible dots you claim are lunar modules are lame and you know it - you have to admit that. You resized certain original photos down so details are severely pixelated then superimposed dots even showing 4 shiny foot pads. Clever. OK. Good try. It fools some. But most people know and have seen that you have satellites in earth orbit that can make out cars and people and easily recognizable features and details from 250 miles up and through our murky atmospheric haze and the best you can do from 30 miles above the moon with no atmosphere is show us little black dots the moonscape passed off as modules. Sorry, no sale. This does not cut the mustard of the scientific detail possible with your half billion dollar mission - what did you use, an Apple iPhone 7? I doubt it. Your cameras could clearly take beautiful pictures showing the lunar modules in detail - all six locations - if you wanted, but you clearly can’t and won’t because there’s nothing up there man-made to see so you create this illusion that the black dots are it.
Time to come clean NASA. Don't wait till your last astronauts are dead and gone hoping that's it. You retired them off 40 years ago with nice rich multi-million dollar pensions to keep their mouths shut and killed the honest ones off (Gus? Where are you?) with arsenic and oxygen-filled capsules and others in planes by crashing them or blowing them out of the sky, maybe? - I guess they forgot how to fly? Top guns can forget too, or so you would like us to believe.
I was taken in by your lies for sure - six impossible mythical launches - one every six months - all seemingly successful - plus one bonus to get our attention, #13 just to show you're not perfect and to keep us glued to your fantasy. I really was suckered but I wasn’t alone.
We now know that by 1967, six years after JFK proclaimed America would be on the moon, NASA had nothing to show, a report described NASA in chaos and going nowhere, Congress got upset and held Congressional Hearings then, poor Thomas Baron https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoma...
the report’s author “stupidly” makes a bad call at a railway crossing - unlucky guy and his wife and kid, boom, gone. Then his home was ransacked for anything with hints of NASA on it and the actual report simply disappeared. Wow. Then suddenly, new director gets appointed, and boom, 1969 we have lift-off, two years later and by 1972, three years later six successful moon landings. Huge undertaking and technically and scientifically, not to mention from the industrial feasibility perspective, impossible.
How you designed, fabricated, assembled and blasted off six missions is miraculous. Seriously, the world was taken with it. I was.
Don’t you think it's time to come clean? Look, I'm behind you in principal - space exploration and all that - I think it’s great - the true parts that is - once we sift through and figure out fabrications vs reality. No, I don't believe everything you guys say. Your photoshopped planet shots can be a bit much, but I think you have potential. Some of your interplanetary missions were actually real and impressive.
You're a different generation now. The original instigators at NASA are all retired and many have left us. Get a director with guts and go to confession. Spill it. You're not doing yourselves any favours with the never-ending lies.
I think the world can probably accept that NASA fabricated the Apollo moon hoax for good purpose. The world was imperilled and both sides, America and the Soviets, were each pulling fast ones on each other. Chest thumping. JFK gave a bold mission statement that was meaningful and achievable but unrealistic given the technology of the day. At least ten years shy of technical possibility. As a politician and not a scientist he provided a dream for America, a great nation we can all accept, to meet and surpass. His end-of-decade target was slightly optimistic - he should have added ten years. Unfortunately lying crooked Nixon decided it was politically expedient to keep the big lie going. So Hollywood was brought in to film the hoax and the world believed it. Let’s stop this now.
I think many people will accept the folly of those times. We survived. But the lies - they're not working now. You will be found out by Google or others. Don't wait.
Then plant your next mission for a first visit to the moon. Practice there then to Mars.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 16:01
Written by Al
Harold R Johnson recently published ‘Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours)’. It’s a good read and will open your eyes, it did mine, to alcohol and how it is destroying people in every society and Indian reserves.
Johnson’s focus is on alcohol but he also talks about how Canadian society, non-Indians, are unable to deal with talking about “Indians and alcohol”. As he describes it, we are so politically correct we can’t say the two words together in one sentence without gagging.
In my opinion, this isn’t just a Canadian non-Indian problem, I think it’s actually a western civilization problem. We are scared to say “black people” (two syllables) so we say “African-American” (seven syllables) clearly a clumsy and phoney term, or “coloured” (gives me the impression of multi-hued skin) or others such as “non-white” now that’s creative. Black is the new n.....r word. White people around the world have psyched themselves into extreme political correctness. We did it with “visually impaired” for blind, “handicapped” for crippled or paralyzed, “mentally impaired/handicapped/challenged” for, he’s a bit slow.
Last year CBC removed the comment section at the bottom of it’s online articles on any story remotely about Indians. It was prompted by racist fool’s remarks, not good, however, the heavy hand of CBC’s PC department had options - it could have put it’s online editors on high alert or use commonly available online editing apps to filter out the garbage. CBC is consciously blanking out our ability to talk about Indian affairs. And that’s a problem. The problem didn’t go away. We just pretend it did.
There seems to be a fear in society at large, I find, that people are just afraid to say anything they feel off-limits - race, religion, Muslims, blacks, immigration controls, lazy people on welfare, etc. I can just see some left-leaning over-educated liberal-minded readers cringing at these few topics.
Harold R Johnson, a Swede-Cree who lived in both worlds, reserve and society at large, himself a self-confessed alcoholic and now abstains. He’s in a position to judge. His observation is that even within Indian society you can’t talk about alcohol. And if you’re an abstainer on reserve (35% of Indians on reserves abstain vs 19% off reserve - surprised?) you can’t tell or “lecture” someone not to drink. That’s part of their culture and a big problem when you think about finding solutions to a major scourge). Drinking, Johnson says, is the root of 95% of crime on reserves, which is shocking enough, he knows because he was a lawyer and prosecutor in Saskatchewan. He says usually there wasn’t a crime being committed but a drunken Indian making some bad decisions. That’s why he decided to start talking about it. For Johnson, saying Indian and alcohol in one breath is exactly what Indians who drink need. So he wrote “Firewater”.
Lots of comedians - Seinfeld among others - don’t do universities any more because they are so PC now that comedy on campus just has no point. Millennials, it turns out, are the new moral voices who take moral stances on just about everything so discussion about important topics - abortion, homosexuality, race - are totally off-topic.
Russell Peters, Brampton born comedian, actually is a breath of fresh air and has formed his career around anti-PC comedy. And guess what - his audience are 90% non-white - Muslim, black, Chinese, gay, you name it - they love Peters because for a couple of hours they can hear honest dialogue about the quirks of various cultures without being offended (and knowing there are probably no millennials in the audience except those that are protesting outside).
Comedy connects people because it explores and probes our fears and hates and helps us discover commonality between cultures. Millennials don’t get that and the future with them in charge starts feeling, well... Orwellian?
Canadians aren’t unique in PC or self-stifling their inner-most feelings. It’s a big problem in the EU, UK, USA and many other places. And without dialogue, open dialogue, without fear of being demonized or out-cast, society loses its ability to bridge the, mostly, small differences between whites and blacks and Christians and Muslims and everything between.
Harold R Johnson has hit upon a solution to alcohol and Indians on reserves. He’s going to keep talking about it. We should take note. He’s onto something for us all.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:59
Written by Al
If you’re reading this, so do you. With Facebook I’m reaching people on the other side of the globe. Twenty five years that would have been unbelievable. You can get on Facebook with a smart phone from anywhere in the world. You can do it on your iPad or laptop. It’s connected us. We know about people we’ll never meet in person. We connect like never before.
I do like my smart phone and could not live without it. I have an iPad and laptop that I conduct my worldly business from. My office is everywhere. Just ten years ago, without a landline, you were not connected.
Yet, when I walk down the street or inside a mall, what do I see. Lines of people sitting, smart phones in hand, thumbs scrolling, faces lit up by the screen. Sometimes almost every person in a line of twenty or thirty people are transfixed by their smartphones.
Once, I was curious and eavesdropped over some people’s shoulders at what they were doing on their smartphones. Some were playing games - and not just guys but grown up women. Others were emailing, texting or reading articles. Some seemed to be just aimlessly scrolling up and down seemingly hypnotized. Maybe thinking if they scroll enough something interesting will pop up. Who knows. Maybe it does.
The great global connector, thanks to the internet and wifi, was actually isolating people in places that are surrounded and packed with other people. Couples sitting there on separate smart phones absorbed - maybe she was texting her other boyfriend and he was texting his mistress. You never know. They would never know either. They can sit side by side and share sweet nothings with other people at the other end, unaware of the dalliance taking place in each of their secret little worlds.
You can see families in restaurants all sitting there on their smart phones. Each self-absorbed on their phones texting or whatever with someone else probably sitting with their family in some other restaurant. The traditional family meal was now a place to collectively connect to others. There is no speaking. No conversation. No sign of connection between parents and children. Something seemed strange and wrong about this. And it’s not isolated. Wherever you go you’ll see people staring into their smartphones. It’s world-wide.
Some restaurants ban smart phones. Some schools are doing the same. I say good. I hope its a trend. I say it’s time to put the phone down and start communicating with the people around you. Real deep connecting with your family and friends.
I’ve seen people at sports venues on their smart phones while their kids are playing. The parents are not watching and the kids know it. One parent was wisened up. She told me her child complained that she wasn’t paying attention to the game. Kids notice. They glance up at their parents and see them on their smart phones. Kids want their parents to watch them and they know when they’re not. Kids are proud of to perform in front of their parents. And when the parents are caught once, twice not paying attention they are deeply disappointed. It’s like the parents have better things to do. It’s not helping your parent-child relationship. You can’t simply be present at your child’s event, you have to really be there. Participating in your child’s excitement. Paying attention is a conscious effort. You can’t multi-task presence. Being there in mind as well as body. That’s what your child wants.
You can see playgrounds full of mothers on their smart phones while their kids play. How easy for the child to disappear. It happens. It’s so easy. What a horrible thought, just because you had better things to do browsing your smart phone. Even a two year old knows you’re “there” or not.
We’ve lost the human connection because of smart phones. They possess us and we are powerless to resist. I know because I fall victim to this too. It’s easy to fall prey to the lure of the smart phone. I consciously do not have it out when I am with others.
I have gotten adamant enough that if a friend starts diddling with his or her smart phone while we are walking together or at a restaurant, I leave. Usually they’re shocked and put their phone away. By then I’m upset at insult of being usurped by the smart phone I’m not much company thereafter. But they got the message. Maybe more of us should do that. Make no exceptions. It’s me or your phone. Choose and forever hold your peace.
I think people do this, ignore their friends while they play on their phones, because it’s become acceptable. We’ve all become patient by-standers to our family and friends. Second-rate company. What would Miss Manners say, I wonder. What would her rule be about using smart phones while in the company of other people.
There is a lot to be said of the sheer power of smart phones. Sitting by yourself on a train or bus you can catch up on emails and other stuff. People used to read books or newspapers by themselves while travelling or waiting somewhere. That’s entertaining and knowledge enhancing and helps bide the time. Staring out a window as you whiz by the world that’s just a blur isn’t exactly mind stimulating. So reading or entertaining yourself on the smart phone can be productive and fun. No question.
It’s in the company of other humans that this becomes a problem. We’re becoming unaware of the world around us as we instantly get absorbed by whatever we watch on our phones. We don’t people watch. We don’t day dream. Let our minds wander. Plan. Think. Imagine. Remember.
Our minds need that down time when we have a spare moment in a mall or a bus or train or airport terminal. Or a park bench. Why bother being in public if all you do is play with your smart phone. You miss the beauty of people and trees and swans in the pond and just life all around us.
I like technology. But I’ve decided to rein it in. I will control it - not it me. I promised myself that when I have people around me that becomes my focus. Business is business so my phone gets a good work out through the week as needed. But I use it when I need it, not when it beckons me with a beep or a ring. Not every message or notification needs immediate attention. Smart phones make us more productive and provide entertainment and company when we’re alone. So it’s not evil. Just something you need to understand. Who’s the boss, it or you? I keep asking myself that all the time.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:58
Written by Al
Hoaxes and lies. There is a difference. A hoax is like a trick or a joke. It can be malicious or done in fun. An April Fools trick is a hoax or joke. Usually meant in fun. But can malicious too depending on how you feel about the recipient.
Lies, on the other hand, are deceptions. These can be done to spare someone getting hurt such as telling your wife the dress looks great on her, no matter how it looks. Or to mislead someone or lots of people.
Politicians, for example, are great liars. Governments are made of people, so lying comes by nature of simply being government. Democratic countries have multiple party systems designed to keep the liars in check. Every elected member of government will lie sooner or later and many will get caught and have to publicly apologize. Some stoically and some teary-eyed, or what seems teary-eyed, which depends on how sincere they are and how good actors they are. The most teary-eyed apoologists are the best liars, having perfected the art of lying and apologizing, when caught, both done quite convincingly.
Everyone lies every day. I do. You do. It’s our nature. Most of our lies are to protect feelings. Some lies are to protect ourselves when we get caught doing something we shouldn’t.
Some of the greatest, biggest lies, of course are by governments. Here I’m going to make a short list of famous lies that are known globally - by known I mean we heard the lie but we’re not necessarily aware it is a lie.
- Pearl Harbour: A big lie planned by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to allow this US naval base to be attacked by the Japanese (who were known to be planning an attack by US intelligence) but not to be defended by US forces. This enabled the slaughter of thousands of US Marines and the destruction of the US naval base and dozens of US naval vessels. FDR had been under pressure by allies to join the war effort but the American public wanted no part of any war. So FDR used the Japanese attack premise to justify entering the war. The words “This is a day of infamy...” are etched in history books. FDR lied to the American public. He did not let on that he knew the Japanese were planning the attack but decided to allow the attack to happen as a ruse for the US to enter the war.
- 911: This more recent event was completely planned and executed by US government officials in the Bush administration (Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, the Bush family including George Sr and Jr and Jeb, Israeli Mossad agents, Larry Silverstein who just a few years earlier had bought the WTC buildings to collect insurance, and a small army of co-conspirators hired to make 911 a success. There were no muslim terrorists. Anyone interested in learning about the 911 event can find hundreds of Youtube documentaries that destroy any notion that planes were involved. There weren’t. This was another “Pearl Harbour” designed to shake up the American public, to once again, join another war, this time in the Middle East. And, like Pearl Harbour, it was a success. It was a lie perpetrated to feed into the emotions of Americans, and indeed the world, to go to war. Thousands of innocent New York lives were lost directly in the controlled demolition of the three buildings and tens of thousands more New Yorkers died from the poisonous gas and dust from the collapsed buildings. This was a big lie but also a war crime and a crime against humanity. Nobody has ever been prosecuted. This was almost a perfect lie. Not because everyone believes it but because when liars don’t get exposed, they win.
- False Flag Terrorist bombings (Paris, Charlie Hebdo, Sandy Hook, recently Manchester, London trains, Berlin truck attack, Nice truck attack, etc.): There are too many to go into each in detail. These are now flavour of the month events and we’re getting used to them. And yes, they are all faked events. There are dozens of websites and Youtube docs explaining and analyzing these as theatrical events that have no basis in fact. As hard as it might to believe something like one of these can be orchestrated in full public view, it is true, these are planned events. And the planners are a mixed bunch working together to make each a success. In no particular order these involve local and national police forces, armed forces, a theatrical production group that uses actors (yes the same faces can be seen over and over again at different events), the media, politicians and national governments. So what is the motive? Well, mostly political. You will notice that Muslims are the “cuprits” doing the shootings and bombings. This is the idea by forces such as Israel which has a vested interest in perpetuating the idea that Muslims are responsible and cannot be trusted. Fomenting hate against Muslims through planned terrorist events helps keep the public on edge and the hate for Muslims fresh. The events are carefully planned and carried out with military precision. Do people actually die? Some deaths do occur but not as much as the media shows. Remember, these are staged and cleverly designed for maximum emotional effect.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:56
Written by Al
Yes problem. Indigenous people, First Nations People, Aboriginal people, Indians. Ok you get the point. The first problem is that there are lots of different names for a supposedly singular culture. So, for our purposes, let’s call these people, Indians. Everyone knows this was the original name Christopher Columbus called the natives he ran into on North American shores, Indian, because he honestly thought he had reached India. So Indians is what the vast majority of the world thinks of when they see a picture of a native North American person. Indian it is. “Indian” is what you will see on signs on the highway when you enter a Reserve i.e.: Okanagan Indian Reserve. So I think it’s safe to assume that “Indian” is a good safe name for the people we’ll be talking about here.
We do have a serious problem with our Indians here in Canada. Many call it a crisis. Not war or anything like that. More like Indian self-determination to extinguish itself. And government determination to let that happen. Let me tell you what I’m talking about. I will be touching on many aspects of the Indian problem but we’ll start with some facts about Indians here in Canada that will help set the context.
Canada has 3100 Indian Reserves housing 1,400,000 Indians. Simple math tells us that’s an average of 450 people per Reserve. There are, however, large Reserves with several thousand residents and some with just a few dozen. Most deeply isolated and cut off from modes of transportation most Canadians take for granted. Canada is 99% undeveloped. Fly across it from Vancouver to Toronto and you will see endless empty tracts of land and water and forest. Reserves, for the most part exist in those isolated areas that are only accessible by plane or ice roads or by ship, when the ice is not there. Indians inhabit the areas most people cannot imagine exist. None of these Reserves is new either. They all exist since they were created 150 years ago. And as they were created, this is where 1.4 million call home.
By a quirk of historical decision making 150 years ago, our forefathers decided to settle land disputes between the immigrating (mostly) white Europeans by assigning specific land areas spread across the country to Indian-only people.
The immigration of European settlers into North American and South America seriously disrupted the millions of Indian peoples already living here and clashes were the result. The immigration wasn’t going to stop as it hasn’t stopped since 100,000 years ago when the first people left Africa seeking new lands. The original settlers were Asians, among others, who came here first and thus became our de-facto Indian, now claiming to have the first and rightful claim to these lands. To contain clashes, governments here in Canada and also in the United States, created Reserves (aka Reservations in the US).
The Indian people, for the most part retired to their respective Reserves and Reservations and settled into a basic subsistence existence. The governments, however, did not intend this to be long term and did not expect that 150 years laters the same peoples would be inhabiting the same, more or less, Reserves. But that is what it is. The original forefathers would roll in their graves knowing this insane reality exists today.
The idea was that by granting Indians Reserves this would lend time for the whites and Indians to get used to each other and eventually merge as a single united population down the road. It obviously did not happen. Here in Canada or in the United States.
Another fact is that a big mistake was made by the governing parties of both sides, whites and Indians by allowing the Reserve concept to proceed on the basis that the Indians would not actually own the lands contained within the Reserves. That land was decreed to continue to belong to the ruling governments of Canada and the United States.
This, by nature, and legal reality made the Indians tenants on the Reserves. They would not actually own the land they lived on. They could not hold title, build, buy, sell, develop or any other right everyone else had in the country at large. The same is true here and in the US. The same mistake, and I will say, tragic and highly consequential decision effectively determined that the future of Indians in both countries was doomed to stagnation and complete and utter lack of hope of providing any sliver of ability for Indians to enjoy self-determination. Which is what every other citizen of Canada and the US enjoys as a basic right.
This might have been a deliberate plan based on the intended short-term aspect of the governments of the day, to rent out the lands for free to the Indians assuming they would soon find other places to live. Who could imagine people living two thousand kilometres from the nearest road in the 1850s would still be living there. It would have seemed logical that most people would move off Reserves and integrate into mainstream society. But that did not happen.
The other possibility is that the Reserve idea was simply not well thought out and allowing people to live on what was essentially, mostly wilderness, did not seem to matter. Considering the massive logistical problems of surveying out the land and building basic infrastructure and cities, Reserves might simply have been low priority. A nuisance.
That is not to fault either scenario. In a primitive world without cars, trains or planes or even electricity, many decisions would have been made for purely practical reasons. Deal with the big picture. Find the best solutions for problems as they arise. Reserves that Indians did not own or directly control, was the outcome.
They say, when you’re on a sinking ship, save yourself and your loved ones. Get off as best you can. That mentality does make sense. Our forefathers, had real serious political and practical issues to deal with and decisions were often not always perfect or even close.
The Reserve, as it was designed, I don’t believe is what was intended. By either the governing parties, or the Indians themselves. I don’t think anyone understood the ramifications of giving people the right to live on their own Reserve but not owning it or controlling it. Today we can see it has been a tragedy almost from the start.
Indian Reserves today have the shortest life expectancy, highest suicide rates, highest substance dependency rates and the highest poverty rates. In short, Reserves are a disaster. They are a disaster socially, culturally, economically and morally.
Who is to blame? There’s no point in blaming people now dead for a century and a half for their half-baked ideas. After all, half-baked ideas are what governments do routinely to this day. Half our lives are spent correcting idiotic ideas from brain-dead and corrupt government officials, who if you asked them, are convinced they are doing the right thing.
Next column we’ll talk about how the current system generally works (or doesn’t work). We’ll see how both sides - government and Indians - are messing things up. We’ll look at why the Reserves are a failure and why nobody seems to know why. We’ll talk about politically correct well-meaning left-winger who are helping destroy the people they are trying to save. We’ll cover all that next time.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:55
Written by Al
Imagine yourself living in a community 500km from the nearest town or city. You are isolated by wilderness. There are no roads in or out. All travel is by plane or boat. Your community consists of about 500 people. Most are children under 16 years of age.
Your community has no industry. No commerce. No banks or even bank machines. A few grocery stores might exist. There are schools but finding qualified teachers is difficult. Finding qualified professional of any kind - doctors, engineers, mechanics - is impossible.
There are lots of kids running around the village but it’s mid-week. And it’s not recess. Which means the kids are actually not in school. Many kids miss over 100 days of school each year.
So what kind of community are we talking about here? It’s not a resort with people flying in and out for a short holiday. It’s not an oil company work camp.
This is a typical Indian reserve you can find across Canada (and the US) numbering in the thousands. About 1.4 million people live in communities such as this in Canada alone. Isolated and in trouble. The trouble actually started a long time ago. It’s just getting worse.
Now ask yourself. Could you live in a community like this, day in, day out, year after year. Few people can or want to. Yet these reserves are a reality.
Because of the sheer isolation of such reserves (there are a few exceptions) it’s easy to see the problems that face the people living here. The cost of living is high. Food has to be imported by plane or ship or ice road transport in winter. No matter how you bring it in, it’s going to cost dearly, which it does.
The isolation also means job opportunities are limited. Globalization means that most countries rely heavily on international trade. Connections between cities and states and provinces are vital for a strong and vibrant and productive economy to take hold and maintain a standard of living for everyone. Reserves, by design, do not participate in this vital inter-city trade. Reserves simply have nothing connecting them to the economy at large.
Businesses do not set up on reserves for a couple of reasons. The isolation is one and very important. Businesses need infrastructure to get products and services to market. Being located 500 km from the nearest town or city completely disconnects the reserve from any possibility of economic participation in the greater national economy.
The second reasons businesses will not set up on reserves is that there are no property rights on reserves. Thanks to laws passed a 150 years ago, reserves are crown land and the occupants cannot own any land within the reserve. Lands can be leased but Canadian law does not apply on reserves. This puts businesses at risk that they are not protected by statutes that protect the rest of Canadians. Things like the right to security on your own property. There is no such thing as a registry office on a reserve. There is no such thing as land titles where your property is registered proving ownership by individuals or corporations. Land ownership and protection under Canadian law (and the majority of countries around the world enjoy the same kind of protection on land ownership). Property rights is a basic human right put in place hundreds of years ago and is the basis of modern civilization and economic performance.
That lack of property rights and lack of protection under Canadian law on reserves makes doing non-cash business on reserves risky. Few businesses venture to do business on reserves and most have policies to not do business on reserves because of the lack of protections under normal Canadian law. Unless it’s by cash in full up front, you have no legal recourse to collect money for services or products rendered.
The few reserves that are close to major urban centres (Kelowna and Calgary area reserves for two) still have major difficulties creating jobs on the reserve. Any Indian who wants to work on a reserve will find it in federal government offices, the usual casino and maybe a gas station located near the edge of the reserve selling tax free gas and cigarettes to off-reserve motorists. The rest have to rely on off-reserve employment. Most reserves contain thousands of undeveloped lands, all owned by the federal government that even the most determined Indian individual with entrepreneurship running through his or her veins cannot overcome as a major impediment to setting up a viable business.
A business minded Indian setting up shop, say a store or gas station, has to pay in cash for all supplies to outside vendors. There is no banking facilities to allow debit or credit card transactions, the most basic form of economic activity in place today. Without that, you cannot operate a business.
Any Indian who does manage to set up a business, say a small shop making furniture, has to deal with the burden of difficult cash management. But another important aspect is that he or she will never own the property outright. So let’s say our entrepreneur wants to build a small 20 unit townhouse complex in the middle of the reserve to house young Indian families. This is impossible. Because the land itself is not owned by anyone but the federal government and there is no title available to purchase anything, financing the project becomes impossible. Banks will not lend money for projects on leased land.
Even if our entrepreneur and determined Indian managed to put together the cash to build the apartment building he or she can rest will never be able to sell the property on the open market. Therefore it has no real value as a property or business. It cannot be sold for its true developed value and it cannot be passed down as the crown owns it.
Add to the fact that few reserves have infrastructure such as sewers, water mains, electrical service of high enough capacity and you can see that the idea of development on a reserve stands today at a very primitive level equivalent to our earliest settlers arrive in wagons to virgin land. Except the settlers knew that with enough elbow grease within a few generations they will achieve building a community complete with all the services you would expect. The entire province and country are committed as a whole to develop and provide such services and everyone stands to gain a better standard of living. And this by design, completely excludes reserves from participating in that national dream and goal.
Next time we’ll talk about the hopelessness for young people on reserves and why they are committing suicide at the tender age of 12 and 13.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:55
Written by Al
Young people around most of the world spend the better part of their youth in school. That’s about 12 years of elementary and high school. It’s law in most countries that children stay in school till at least 16 years of age. Society expects it’s children to get an education to prepare them for the rest of their lives. Most parents also encourage their children to put in their best effort and to seriously think about post-secondary education.
Imagine a society where most of the above is not so. Where many children miss over 100 days of school. Where many children function several grades below their age level in basic reading and math skills. Imagine a society where few children graduate from high school and many do not get as far as grade 8.
This is the reality on Canada’s myriad Indian reserves spread across the country. Many reserves completely cut off from the rest of civilization with no means of getting to or off the reserve.
It is incredible that nobody sees this as an ongoing tragedy that is avoidable. Completely avoidable. Politicians keeping mouthing the same platitudes. Each government promises more money. Indian chiefs and leaders keep blaming the government. Meanwhile each year another new generation of youth is destined to utter and complete failure.
The situation is complicated in details. But the principles are easy to see and understand.
Let’s start off by asking what is the single element that provides the incentive for children to stay in school in mainstream Canada. There is the law, for one. It compels parents to send their children to school. There is every parent’s desire to see their children succeed and make something good of themselves. Finally, there is the underlying element that drives all this forward. Hope. It’s the driving force that parents and their children have that after all those years of studying, there will be opportunities to get good jobs, to move on and get married, maybe pursue higher education. That hope is mostly rewarded. It is self-fulling. You see others do well and you feel and believe you can do the same.
Often, it involves children moving away to other cities, even countries, to find the jobs they want that fit their talents and education. That option allows the motivation to know that opportunities are there. It goes without saying. We live in a highly mobile society. People move from small centres to big cities, from province to province and state to state and even to other countries. It has always been that way. Only more so today with increased mobility and communications.
Now place yourself on a typical Indian reserve, somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Far from the nearest main town or city. There is no internet. You are effectively isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.
Because of the normal small population of these reserves, services are logically limited. The federal government has responsibility to provide basic clean water, sewage, roads and electricity but this is proving impossibly expensive and impractical. So there is often no clean water. Housing, also a federal responsibility, is mostly run down and worn out. Many homes are overcrowded and not suitable for human habitation.
The typical reserve has more than half of its population under 16. Attracting permanent or semi-permanent teachers is difficult and mostly impossible. Turn-over is often 100% per year. Other professionals such as qualified specialists to run the reserve’s infrastructure are equally impossible to find and keep. There are no hotels, no accommodations for off-reserve residents to take up even for short periods. Schools suffer maintenance issues and of course, without long-term dedicated teachers, education on reserves is haphazard to non-existent.
The motivation for parents to make sure their kids go to school, is not enforced by law, therefore kids who should be in school roam free. The truly exceptionally motivated child will strive to pass their grades and succeed. Most will be distracted and miss most classes. Graduation day is a lonely event for the few that make it.
But what becomes of those graduates. Say they reach grade 12 with honours? What then?
This is where “hope” fails. There is nothing on reserve to compel a graduate of high school to think about a good job because there is none. There is no higher education on reserves. So the only option is leaving for the big city. So that honour student is now lost to the reserve because even if he or she gets a degree or higher training in some field, there is nothing on the reserve to return to.
In the miraculous possibility that most children actually end up completing high school and graduating, what then? What’s there to look forward to on the reserve. What hope is there on the reserve to bother staying. And if you do stay, what do you do.
Remember, reserves are enclaves of a federally owned system of lands that residents themselves have no ownership of or interest in the properties that surround them.
Without direct ownership, there can be no enterprise. No commercial activity because you don’t invest in what you don’t actually own and everything relates back to owning your own land and developing it and building businesses and creating wealth.
The closest thing you can compare an Indian reserve to is a communist system or feudal system (but that is hundreds of years gone now) of land controlled by the central government. As we know, where communism was tried, it failed utterly and completely. People in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were part of a cruel experiment whereby they were expected to be motivated to work hard for the state on land you did not own or profit from in any way yourself. Communism failed. It destroyed three or four generations before the wall fell. Slowly, these countries are recovering.
Reserves embody everything wrong with a communist system. Yet in Canada, 1.4 million people live under such a system right now.
As we speak, more than half a million Indian children under the age of 18 are facing a hopeless future. It is a Catch 22. Get an education and face unemployment. Quit school and, well... same thing. The reserve is a dead-end by definition. There is no reason to wake up excited on the reserve. You don’t own the house you live in so you’re for sure not fixing the leaky roof or broken window. You’re not going to work... work at what. The bank? The factory? The IT company?
Facing each child is the fact that because all the land on the reserve is owned by the feds you cannot invest in creating a business because commercial property does not exist. So graduate with some great new business idea and you need to take it off reserve to see it become reality. Everything you do on the reserve is governed by the feds. And because the land is all leased land, going for financing to one of the banks or lenders across Canada will result in zero success. Banks will not, can not, do business on reserves. So financing, a crucial part of any business activity, is non-existent for any reserve based business idea.
Reserves are doomed to keep going the way they are because they are designed to create failure in the people who choose to stay there in a hopeless cycle of poverty and utter and complete lack of hope. And to those who challenge me for suggesting there is no hope, then tell me, what hope is there.
The children of reserves, those who do finish schools, are forced to leave when they graduate or their education is completely useless on a reserve that cannot be the centre of commerce. Thus there are no jobs, no new work, no business - new or old. The feds have made sure of that.
Those children who do pass grade 12 and go away will not come back. And are thus lost to the reserve forever. Those who stay have nothing to do. No school because what’s the point. No work. So drugs, gangs and crime become the escape for many and the social decline of reserves continues in a downward spiral.
Ironically, the Indian chiefs and leaders of the so-called “Nations” (that is a bit of a joke - more on that later) are mostly at fault for taking the “beggar” role instead of the “reforming” role. Never ceasing to foist blame on society at large for all reserve problems, Indian leaders have become clever at creating guilt in main stream Canadian society and thus extracting ever more taxpayer funds to solve unsolvable social problems on reserves, particularly to stop the suicides by youth who have long ago given up.
Canadian politicians are to fault as well for their lack of understanding about the source of problems on reserves and lack of guts to do something besides give platitudes.
And don’t throw the racism card about whites hating Indians. Whites and all other Canadian citizens of every creed and colour are actually quite liberal and accepting of people of different cultures or colour. Racism is not an issue. It is an imagined excuse by the Indian leadership to extract more guilt money or ransom. And Canadians keep throwing more money. And it does nothing.
Want to solve the Indian problem? Start lobbying for land rights on reserves. Give people the land they should have owned a hundred years ago. Like settlers got when they came here 150 years ago. Let Indians figure out what they want to do with their land. Maybe they’ll start up home building companies and building material companies. Maybe they’ll tell their kids to get a trade and join the business building homes. Maybe they can start up banks and shopping malls and office buildings. Maybe a few hotels so visiting professionals have a proper place to stay when they drop by to do business. Maybe some Indians will come back as lawyers and set up practice to deal with land titles and other legal matters. Maybe they’ll set up shop in the nice new offices on reserve. Maybe, other reserves will want to join in and consolidate to take advantage of economy of scale. Maybe some engineers will come back and help design roads leading to nearby urban centres. We’ll start seeing “For Sale” signs on properties and people will start getting the hang of property ownership and moving around and when they retire they’ll sell their home for a retirement fund or maybe give it to their grandchildren. Suddenly the reserve is a hub of activity. Parents are making their kids go to school, or else, because they can see the competitive advantage of a good education. Some kids end up leaving anyway after they graduate, but others from other places move in, seeing there are some good things happening on reserve. Finally.
This is a pipe dream. But it’s not impossible. And it won’t happen overnight. There have been property rights movements by a few Indian individuals. Good newspaper articles have broached the subject. But it will take monumental enlightened leadership and will to make this happen. Property rights have driven every modern society to prosperity and can work on reserves. The millions of acres of reserve lands needs to be subdivided and given back to the Indians. Most, if not all, problems we currently keep hearing about will go away. Indians will find their place in society and history.
This can happen with the right leadership both on and off reserve to start dismantling this awful archaic destructive and evil system of reserves that has killed so many innocent lives. It is doable. And it is necessary.
Published: Saturday, 29 July 2017 15:54
Written by Al
We’ve been talking here about some basic Indian history and some causes of the Indian problem here in Canada but which applies to American Indians as well.
Indians on both sides of the border have become highly politicized and quite effective at promoting their cause of getting more money from various governments including federal, provincial and state. The problem is the money does not solve the basic problems on reserves and never will.
Einstein was quoted as saying “Only a fool keeps doing the same thing and expecting different results”. Quite true and applies to the Indian problem which is now 150 years old and counting.
Indians live in poverty across Canada and the US all the while blaming everyone else but themselves for their problems. And problems they have. All stemming for this stubbornness to look at themselves and their situation and start thinking of “different” solutions.
Indians have adopted the Jewish Zionist method of imposing global guilt on everyone by pouncing on anyone who dares speak out on the Indian problem. Jews have the Jewish Defence League and the Anti Defamation League - a richly funded organization designed for one purpose, that being to destroy anyone who questions the Holocaust, for one thing, and anti-semitism for another. Simply discussing the Holocaust can land you in jail in Germany for 6 years in that guilt-ridden country. The Holocaust and Jews is a different subject for another day, however it is the model which Indians use to further their cause.
Indians have adopted the “seek and destroy” method to prevent any discussion on the Indian problem that would benefit 1.4 million Indians currently dying a slow death in the reserve system. Discussions are deemed racist and the media hates anything controversial or smacks of potential bad publicity or, worse, court for racist remarks. Remember, we’re only talking about talking here. Simply debating the Indian reserve problem will get the media running and many other normally intelligent people shaming you as a “stinking racist”.
The main beneficiaries of the $10 billion the Canadian government channels into Indian coffers every year are a small number of corrupt Indian leaders (they like to be called “chiefs” and “elders”) who collect huge salaries to run reserves with as few as 500 hundred residents. Many collect six figure salaries and live off-reserve and enjoy lavish lifestyles while pretending to be furthering the cause of better conditions on reserves for their people.
Complete hogwash because nothing changes and cannot change because the system itself is badly designed and designed for failure which is the current and past state for 99.9% of all reserves across the country. Remember Einsteins words about doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Reserves are a disaster because the people living on them do not own the land they occupy and that alone is the single biggest problem with life on the reserve but do you think anyone is discussing ownership? Not even a whisper. Not by the chiefs and not by the politicians.
Because Canadian law doesn’t apply on reserves and reserve land is basically a communist era concept that didn’t work in Soviet Russia or East Germany and will never work here in Canada. People will not invest in land they can never themselves own. It’s against human nature to fix what belongs to someone else - the feds in this case.
Why would an Indian family living in a home they do not own that sits on land they do not own spend a single dollar improving it or fixing it. Indians have for so long relied on charity from Canadian taxpayers for their living that they have lost the incentive to even try changing things. Indians do not even possess the concept of free enterprise and have come to expect everything from the government which keeps handing it out.
We all know that feeding bears only makes them dependent on food handouts from that point on. That applies to people who come to rely on handouts and applies to Indians living on reserves. It must be stressed that this is not the normal Indian’s doing and they can’t be blamed for the way it’s setup. This is a federal government problem and the chiefs that collect their extortion salaries to run what amounts to in most reserves, a small village of a few hundred people.
The fact is nobody has the will to fix this land and law issue. The land being ownership and the law being applicable Canadian laws on reserves. Fixing these two things would solve 95% of the social and economic problems facing people living on reserves.
Reserves are just a step above shanty towns that exist in Brazilian and South African city outskirts. Both are lawless poverty stricken zones, no-man zones populated by people in hopeless situations that are ignored because everyone, politicians and the criminal chiefs refuse to deal with the main underlying problems.
Reserves and shanty towns are economic dead zones that can never provide what people need which is the right to pursue independence through personal hard work. This is what drives every Canadian and American citizen and immigrant to achieve good jobs and homes and a future for themselves and their children.
You can’t have that in a place you can’t own the land or the house you live in. Without the right to own your property you give up. And your children’s education means nothing unless they’re prepared to move off reserve into mainstream society where they will thrive and have hope. There is no hope on reserves. When an 18 year old boy or girl graduates from high school - a 1% rare occurrence - what do they do next? If they stay on reserve they have no hope of a job because there is no real local economy except for maybe a casino, if you call that an opportunity.
Otherwise this 18 year old has to leave. With that move gives them personal hope. Which unfortunately leaves the people they leave behind with one more smart educated individual to contribute elsewhere and not on reserve.
It just makes sense to leave for that person. Staying is hopeless with zero job opportunities and zero hope of owning their own home on their own property and zero hope of starting a business on a commercial property. These things simply don’t exist on reserves. And under the current belief system of the federal government and the corrupt chiefs that do nothing to help change things nothing will ever improve on these reserves.
Reserves are a tragedy because of the human loss taking place there. The canary in the coal mine are the young people, as young as 12, committing suicide. These young victims of federal government and criminal chiefs’ folly see death as an escape from hopelessness that awaits them.
Young people cannot project themselves living off reserve because they are not given that option and cannot imagine anything but living on rundown reserves with “boil water” advisories and slum-like conditions and drug and alcohol dependent family life. They see gangs as an escape which only prolongs the pain of life on the reserve. They don’t see parents leaving for work every morning as normal children see in the rest of the country. If they have televisions, they see how people do live which is an alien world they cannot imagine themselves taking part in. And their parents don’t see the point of making sure they go to school each day. So most kids don’t attend school and don’t bother getting an education. Most kids function several grades below their age level. By the time they do graduate grade 12 most Indian kids are at a real level of grade 8.
Suicide becomes the tragic end game for too many young people trapped in hopeless lives that lead to nowhere. They see their friends graduate and leave the reserve and those who stay do nothing. There is nothing to do on reserves. No farming. No commercial operations. No work available. Reserves are reminiscent of Communist era live where people gave up and the economy stagnated and generations of young people were wasted.
When the wall came down between East and West Germany the contrast was profound. East Germans were 50 years behind in every aspect of life and standard of living. In the last 25 years the gap has closed and former East Germans are enjoying the fruits of their efforts and young people are driving that forward. Communism did not work there from the 1945 until 1989 and the only way East Germany could prevent mass exodus of the entire population was building a wall to keep them in.
Canadian (and American) reserves have walls that resemble the Russian Gulag of the Soviet era. Prisons without walls because nobody could survive escaping into endless swamps and bogs and frozen winter worlds. It was hopeless and thousands died from starvation and disease and many more from simply giving up. The mind needs hope to sustain the body and the Soviet system removed that hope. As do reserves.
Fences are not necessary for many domesticated animals which will not wander far off, if at all. Pets, like rodents, will return to open cages - escape not being an option - many pet birds keep coming back. Cages aren’t necessary for many animals that get used to their little domestic territory.
Similarly, we have trained Indians and Indians have conditioned themselves to live on reserves without any thought of leaving despite the freedom to do so at any time if they so wished. Many people don’t know that. Similarly non reserve persons can visit reserves any time - reserves are not private property after all and open to all - but I will venture that most people don’t take that opportunity. Primarily because we don’t think to visit a reserve and secondarily because we think we’re trespassing if we do. Or we’re scared to. That’s the other possibility.
Reserves are prisons, like the Gulag, to many residents, particularly the young who don’t know any better and whose lives are intertwined with their families and friends and they never get to travel outside to other parts of the country, something most people outside of reserves take for granted as a normal thing to do regularly. That opportunity, to travel, is further compounded by the sheer isolation of most reserves, being located thousands of kilometres from the nearest town, compounded by the total lack of roads or railways to allow any kind of normal travel. Air and water are the only means of travel for most reserves, not an economic option for most people either. You don’t just hop into your car and travel to some friend or relative in a nearby town because it’s just not possible.
You don’t go shopping to a mall or do some site seeing or do some spontaneous trip anywhere or maybe a vacation somewhere. Your reserve is a small universe with nothing much to see or do and the invisible fence that keeps you there is the endless wilderness of bogs and forests and lakes that surrounds your reserve and imprisons you and separates you from the rest of the world. If you’re lucky you have television or maybe internet to bring the outside world in. Maybe, if you can dream, you imagine yourself in that bigger outside world. You imagine going to university and getting that degree so many of the young people seem to do in that other world. You imagine pursuing your dream of becoming a doctor or a nurse or an engineer and having a nice career and buying a nice house and a car and traveling to other places. Maybe you do that. Any maybe you have enough imagination to pursuade your parents to leave the reserve to do exactly that. Maybe your parents are wise enough to know that is your only option - leaving.