Commentary

Good old days

murders

Spanish murders to be pray before going off to murder the residents of Tenochtitlan, Mexica/WikiMedia Commons

The supposedly Edenesque days of early America being uncovered at an archeological dig in Mexico are looking ever more hell like.

It is one of the darker parts of the emerging picture of a continent that wasn’t nearly as peaceful as conventional wisdom paints it prior to the arrival of Europeans.

Spanish conquistadors invading Tenochtitlan, near where Mexico City is located today, in 1519 wrote about finding a rack of sacrified humans that “contained 130,000 skulls,” writes Lizzie Wade at Science. “But historians and archaeologists knew the conquistadors were prone to exaggerating the horrors of human sacrifice to demonize the Mexica culture. As the centuries passed, scholars began to wonder whether the tzompantli had ever existed.

“Archaeologists at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) here can now say with certainty that it did. Beginning in 2015, they discovered and excavated the remains of the skull rack and one of the towers underneath a colonial period house on the street that runs behind Mexico City’s cathedral.”

The Mexica, as it turns out, were a war like and regularly brutal people. They were not alone. As various cultures spread across the Americas, all indications are there was a lot of killing.

“The killing of captives, even in a ritual context, is a strong political statement,” Vera Tiesler, a bioarchaeologist at the Autonomous University of Yucatán in Mérida, Mexico told Wade. “It’s a way to demonstrate power and political influence—and, some people have said, it’s a way to control your own population.”

It has become popular for some in America today to believe that the death and destruction started with Columbus and the Europeans who followed. The reality is that it didn’t.

A warring continent

Aside from African-Americans hauled to the continent in chains to become slaves, the history and pre-history of America is a tale of never-ending battles for territory and constant migration, often over long distances.

A large-scale genetic study of Native North Americans in 2008 concluded the Athabascans of the subarctic in the northwest corner of the continent – Alaska and part of Canada – invaded the American Southwest only about 500 years ago to become the Navajo.

They arrived in the New Mexico-Arizona area shortly after the Anasazi culture collapsed in what is now believed was a civil war. A shifting climate put pressure on the subsistence lifestyle of the Anasazi, University of Colorado archaeologist Stephen Lekson told Smithsonian Magazine writer David Roberts, and “‘there seem to have been goon squads (that formed). Things were not going well for the leaders, and the governing structure wanted to perpetuate itself by making an example of social outcasts; the leaders executed and even cannibalized them.’

“This practice, perpetrated by Chaco Canyon rulers, created a society-wide paranoia, according to Lekson’s theory, thus ‘socializing’ the Anasazi people to live in constant fear. Lekson goes on to describe a grim scenario that he believes emerged during the next few hundred years. ‘Entire villages go after one another,’ he says, ‘alliance against alliance. And it persists well into the Spanish period.'”

Lekson’s description echoes anthropologist Caroline Funk’s description of “The Bow and Arrow War Days on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of Alaska.”

A bloody world

And this version of pre-European America appears in many ways little different from Europe, which people fled to avoid persecution only to engage in persecution in the New World.

Everyone reading this should thank God they live in the United States of today governed by laws and a generally shared belief in the ideas of fairness and equality even if society is far from perfect in living up to those beliefs.

Racism, which is really just the most obvious form of tribalism, is alive and well in the U.S. and in Alaska. Let there be no doubt about that.

If you have any question, peruse prison records in this country. Black Americans make up almost 40 percent of the population of the federal prison system, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and that is about three times their number as a percentage of all Americans.

American Indians and Alaska Natives make up another 2.2 percent of those in prisons. Their population in the country as a whole? 0.8 percent. 

The situation is only slight better in Alaska where “Natives represent 15 percent of the state’s resident population, but…account for 36 percent of its prison population,” according to the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission.

There is no doubt the legal system treats people of color worse than whites in this country.

“After controlling for a wide variety of sentencing factors,” the United States Sentencing Commission reported in a study last year, “Black male offenders continued to receive longer sentences than similarly situated White male offenders. Black male offenders received sentences on average 19.1 percent longer than similarly situated White male offenders….”

The system is stacked against people of color because of still ingrained views on the part of both the bad racists (we all know who they are) and the good racists (the people who believe those of color remain “the White Man’s burden”)  that some minorities just aren’t as good as the white folk.

They’re not smart enough or capitalist enough or trustworthy enough or reformable enough or, or, or….

It’s a troubling and disgusting paradigm still plaguing the country, but despite that, people of color – Alaska Natives among them – have it better now, way better, than they did centuries ago.

A violent land

“The weather was clear that day. The woman came out of her sodhouse and saw a mist above the village. She went back in her sodhouse and told the children something was wrong with the village. The mist was steam from the blood of all the people.

“A man was seen crawling away. He may have been the only one left. He had a big hole in his stomach. This man crawled away with his intestines hanging out. His intestines would come out but when they got too long, the man would put them back in his stomach and keep crawling.”

That is anthropologist Funk’s recording of the oral history of the “The Murdering Son-in-Law” story remembered on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in far western Alaska in “The Bow and Arrow War Days.”

Her book should be mandatory reading for all Alaskans. There is no indication Alaska has ever been a place of peace, harmony and kumbaya.

“The events of the story take place either in Old Hooper Bay (as in this version) or in one of the nearby antecedent villages. There is little variation in the events of the story, and both Kilbuck and Nelson heard oral histories related to the murdering son-in-law in the late 1800s,” Funk writes.

“The Bow and Arrow War Days imperiled lives and made legends of great men and women in the Yup’ik world prior to the arrival of Russians in the mid-1800s AD,” she writes in summarizing her work. “The Yup’ik conflicts, ranging from deadly to merely threatening, comprised one portion of a nearly pan-Alaska period of violence.

“During the hundreds of years of these wars, regional Yup’ik social and political organizations formed fluid alliances against equally mutable enemy cohorts. The full range of the conflicts extended far to the north and south to encompass the entire Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and most Yupiit.”

The Bow and Arrow Wars contain no accounts of skulls being put on posts, but there are plenty of horror stories, including those of young boys being “stretched” to death.

Why the wars started is unknown, but they ended with the arrival of the Russians. Funk credits both Russian trade and “firepower” for calming the situation, and she ironically adds this:

“In fact, the mid- to late 1800s may have been a freer time in Yup’ik history. After the danger of war ended, people moved about the landscape without worry,engaging in hunting, fishing, social activities, and travel without fear. Some elders in the 1980s were finally beginning to forget the events of the war stories, although the Bow and Arrow War Days resonate still for some Yupiit.”

Still, there was a dark side.

Anne Fienup-Riordan, who has devoted most of her life to studying the pre-history of Western Alaska, is of the opinion that although trade helped end the wars, a 1838–39 smallpox epidemic had a big influence.

“This seems a reasonable hypothesis given the perspective stated above that fewer people meant less war,” Funk writes. “It is possible that a desire for the newly arriving Western goods replaced the raiding parties with trading parties, and hostilities faded away or transformed into different forms of competition in the new economic situation.”

Almost ever since Alaska has been in the process of being “transformed into different forms of competition in the new economic situation:” a series of gold rushes, an economic bust, the boom of World War II, the post-war slowdown, then the explosion of oil wealth.

Alaska today

The transition of Alaska from subsistence economies to cash economies would have been difficult for the descendents of the state’s original inhabitants even if the Catholic Church hadn’t dumped some of its worst miscreants in rural Alaska and the U.S. government had refrained from its one-time policy of forced acculturation and assimilation.

Thankfully such behavior is in the past where it joins a global history dominated by war and brutality among all people. The Russians in Alaska were brutal. The Natives before them were brutal. The Americans who finally took over were brutal.

“The Bow and Arrow Wars deeply influenced daily life activities for generations of Triangle area Yupiit and Cupiit. These wars may have been part of a pan-Alaskan, even pan–North American, series of conflicts in which small nations raided each other, sometimes to complete annihilation,” Funk writes.

“Nearby in Alaska, other Yup’ik, Aleut, and Iñupiaq peoples engaged in similarly violent and constant war, using remarkably similar techniques to perpetrate and justify the incessant homicide. It seems now that these wars, in Alaska and throughout North America, preceded the influence of Western states by hundreds of years.”

It’s nobody’s fault. It’s the way things were. We can argue about all that remains wrong today, but Alaska has come a long way from Bow and Arrow War Days.  And though there might be a considerable way to go, anyone who thinks the old days were nirvana is simply delusional.

If you have doubts, just try living primitive in Alaska for even a summer. It killed Chris McCandless, although humans can survive for long periods of time often  cold, wet and hungry if they truly understand how to live off the land.

Not that it’s easy. It is a hard way to live, an incredibly hard way to live.

There’s a reason McCandless moved into an abandoned bus. Just having that sort of shelter reduces the hardship significantly, and yet the hardship of feeding oneself off the land remains, a hardship McCandless could not overcome.

McCandless died because he was ill-prepared to go into the wild. Most of us are.

Americans – all of us – seriously underappreciate how easy life has become in the 21st century. There is no doubt some of us are better off than others, but we’re all better off – even Anchorage street people – than the inhabitants of Alaska were 200 years ago.

We should all be thankful.

The system isn’t perfect. The children of the economically prosperous start life with better odds of success. For the children of the ruling elite, it is even more so. But we have created a society where people have at least a chance of fighting their way up the social order.

And a society that does more to help its weaker members than the society that was here only a few generations ago. It is not by accident that average lifespans in rural Alaska have increased significantly over the past 35 years, and almost unbelievably over the last 60.

Life-expectancy for Native people when Alaska became a state was 34.7 years. It is now over 70. It still lags the life expectancy of white Alaskans, but the gap has been closing for years.

And yet it seems the gap between Native Alaska and White Alaska is growing. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was supposed to help put this behind by incorporating Natives into the economy of Alaska, but it only made things worse.

Alaska Native corporations, most of them formed under the act, now comprise 16 of the state’s biggest companies, but many Natives remain in poverty or struggling to hang onto the lower rungs of the middle class.

And efforts to help them there are now resented by other Alaskans who see the corporate success and lament how “the Natives have it so good,” as Jennifer Quinto wrote in an op-ed for the Juneau Empire.

An Alaska Native, Quinto was in turn resentful of the people who see all around them the success of Native entities in Alaska and conclude that all or most Natives have reached the point where they don’t need government assistance with loans, health care or other programs.

We live in complicated times. They are difficult for many and full of anger, most especially so under the supercharged presidency of Donald Trump. It has reached the point where a flawed President is too regularly called a Nazi.

“The only discernible difference between what Donald Trump is doing to undocumented immigrants on our southern border and what the Nazis did all over Europe to Jews is that the Nazis had to go from house to house to round up their victims, while all Trump’s Border Patrol has to do is wait for their victims to walk or swim across the border,” Lucian K. Truscott IV wrote at Salon just days ago. 

Actually, there a couple rather large and discernible differences. The Nazis took both the parents and children to death camps where millions of them were killed and their bodies burned. And Nazi leader Adolph Hitler did not respond to public pressure as Trump has.

But don’t tell that to Truscott. He is clearly among those today so comfortably well off they have the time to allow their own Trump-size resentments to run wildly out of control.

It ought to be enough to make reasonable Americans yearn for President George W. Bush, the man who proclaimed “I’m a uniter, not a divider”, or then Sen. Barack Obama, who observed that “there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America.  There’s the United States of America.” 

Slowly but surely, the country is now becoming  the Ununited States of America. But it could be a lot worse, a whole lot worse. The government could be killing people and stacking the skulls to underline who is in control.

So take heart that no matter how bad it might look, things are a lot better than they were once.

 

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54 replies »

  1. I do disagree with the statements about the Judicial System being racist and biased. You do realize blacks make-up 13% of the population, yet commit 75% of all VIOLENT crime, whereas whites generally commit “softer”, white collar crimes. If you ever have been to a large city in the lower 48, you would understand these stats are real. I would encouage your viewers to watch a few episodes of a show called Drugs Inc. on Netflix to see what really goes on. American taxpayers have spent trillions of dollars “righting” our very small part in slavery. So, basically, what I see today is a whole lot of excuses all around.

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  2. Bill Yankee, not to deviate, but you do realize Hitler was a Socialist and “Nazi” stands for “National Socialist Workers Party”? You do realize Trump is a Capitalist, the furthest thing from Hitler? You also realize it is tue Democrat Party that labels employees “workers”? You also realize it was the Democrats who enslaved the blackman, formed the KKK, lynched, voted against the Civil Rights Movement, prevented women from voting and still enslave the blackman through entitlements? Now, I know, you will say “yesterdays Democrats are today’s GOP” or some nonsense like that, but you must have failed to have told Robert Byrd who formed the KKK in West Virginia where there wasn’t one and whom both Hillary and Obama called a “mentor”. You do realize out of 10 million slaves the evil USA only got around 300,000 with the remaining 9.7 million going elsewhere (Caribbean, Central/S. America, etc..). MS-13 are animals. Trump is right. Also, if you are here illegally you are a criminal and should be treated as such. Obama was just embarrassing! Now, little of this has to do with Craig’s article granted, but it illustrates the hypocracy of Democrats in general who make stupid comparisons to Hitler and know nothing of the history of their own racist party. Forgive me, for assuming you are a Democrat.

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    • Some rant there Bryan but if you look carefully, I’ve never compared Trump to Hitler (contrary to what Jack attempt to show). Even Truscott did not compare Trump to Hitler (but to Nazis). And I’m not a Democrat, either. You are 0 for 2, so far!
      I will say that Gilbert Gottfried did say back around inauguration time: “Trump is Hitler without the warmth.” But he is a comedian and can be looked at that way IMO.
      I have no idea what the rest of your rant has to do with either this article or the comments to it.

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      • Bill, it has to do with the “gaslighting” of the Democrat Party. It has to do with the sole racist Democrat Past (1970 – prior) to the modern racist/Marxist/Fascist/Communist/Socialist/ and to some degree, Nazi Democrat Party. They label Trump a Nazi or Hitler. His followers are Nazi’s or this or that. These same leftists have killed over 100 million the last century alone, yet they label others “war mongers, racists, fascists, Nazi’s, etc..”, It is entertaining, but I think the leftist stooges over at Salon either are young and dumb or are older and Marxists like Obama and Hillary who know what they do. Again, for one to compare Nazi or Hitler to Trump, who not only is a dedicated Capitalist, but puts America first is just laughable. The left hates America so much that that if you say you love it, “you’re no better then the Nazis”. Hypocrites! The media is no different than in a leftist Banana Republic. I apologize for my prattling, but this whole “Trump is a Nazi” thing is a bit silly and warrants a response.

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      • First off Bill, you use CNN as a source. When one uses CNN as their “go to” source of news, it is very telling. Secondly, Hayden is nothing more then a “Politcal” Appointee like John Brennan. Another “patriotic”, Marxist American we all can be proud of.
        Hayden reminds me of a neighbor I had once who was married to a marine lawyer. She said “my husband is in the marines, but he isn’t a real marine”. Obviously Hayden need to stick to Cyber-Security and NOT history. What an utter political hack.

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      • You would prefer I use Faux news??
        Michael Hayden is also a retired 4-star Air Force general. I’m thinking that before you can label some of these folks as Marxist, Bryan you’ll need to use your complete name.
        You don’t like his (Hayden’s) history-are you a holocaust denier??

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  3. “there a couple rather large and discernible differences. The Nazis took both the parents and children to death camps where millions of them were killed and their bodies burned.”
    You don’t think he wouldn’t do that if he could? After all, “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals.”

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    • Doug are you privy to secret information no one else knows ? Can you provide any concrete proof your claim is fact based? Are you referring to trumps qoate on ms 13 ? Or are you trying to twist and mislead people to think trump considers all migrants in the way you refer to ? Isn’t our government doing enough bad stuff ( documentable) that it’s unessasary to make stuff up and interject your opinions as if they were fact ? Do you not realize Bill yankee stated a truth when he said trump uses words to whip up support from his base . Words are not action . Please provide proof trump would do the evil acts you claim. Otherwise you are speaking no more truthful than trump. Could well be considered slander . Hope I misunderstood you you . Good day .

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    • One concrete proof example of how trump treats immigrants. He married one and shares his billions with her . Actions speak louder than words. Granted I think she was a legal immigrant. This is just an example of what might pertain as a truthful example of his behavior. Also granted just being married to trump might be a form of torture! Just kidding!

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  4. Well sir, here’s what I found in literally 2 seconds of searching: “Oh for Pete’s sake Burt. You are all nine kinds of asshole!” and “Next you’ll be telling us that Donald’s tweets are designed to start meaningful conversations and pull the country together.”

    Now, I understand that the 1st example is just you responding to a jackass comment by someone who feels that they are in the right and that nobody else can have an alternate opinion (sound familiar?…), however, you can’t say that’s not aggressive (or maybe you can, but you’d be wrong). The 2nd one (to me!) was taken (by me) to be an assumptive retort to someone (who you think or thought) that you disagree with. It comes off (to me) as trying to grab the conversation by the throat and DOMINATE!! (To me) your replies in general are aggressive and you have an air of omnipotence that you enforce in every reply. You have a way of trying to deny the intent of your comments (here’s my take on your BS) “And I don’t recall even mentioning Hitler-but….” even though I commented on your additional quote from the same author that Craig had cited in the article referencing Hitler. I feel like you were saying that you didn’t do that or intend to make that association, however, it’s pretty obvious that you were adding onto another persons’ demonization of Trump – so I awarded the value of both Craig’s quote of Truscott (with Hitler) and your quote of Truscott (w/o Hitler) to you! That’s my view of your intent when you threw that comment out there. I am just sick of the opinions that are being spun as facts which constitutes the majority of ‘news’ writing today. Opinion pieces have their place in newspapers – in the Opinion Section. That’s the BS that I see in just this one comment of yours (using an opinion piece as reference material). I generally tend to agree with about half of your views, I just think that your comment crushing style turns off many people to what you have to say – maybe you’ll think about it for a couple of minutes before you spit out another snarky reply.

    I will also confess, I have read your comments (and everyone else’s on this blog) for months. It’s just taken me a while to have enough minutes in my morning to voice my slight umbrage at your style and, to some extent, your content.

    Good day sir – I’ll look forward to our future conversations!

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    • I’m confused here Jack-is it my Trump quote (that came from the same opinion piece linked in Craig’s Commentary) that is upsetting to you because it came from an opinion piece or do you consider it BS because you don’t consider a quote from an opinion piece a valid quote?? I’m sorry if this quote was upsetting to you but I have to say I’ve never (ever) seen it considered BS before as there was no “opinion” to it, just a quote.
      And, by the way, Craig’s quote (of Truscott) didn’t mention Hitler either.
      Also, you didn’t even mention the other BSer (Michael Hayden).

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      • Bill . You keep bringing up trump and Nazis. How about you bring up fact based criticism of his actual actions.Not opinion columns. Not fake pictures.Not apple and oranges comparisons . Not blame him for issues his predisessors gave him . Not qoate him from second party who cherry picks his words. Then a discussion might be possible. I’m interested to hear your careful research on the subject. Perhaps you should consider the fact he was a rich man that didn’t need the presidency to support himself. He has donated the pay to various causes and needed items in America. He has suffered a lot of verbal abuse to try and accomplish what he considers important for Americans. You do realize Americans means people of all stripes ? Including you . Whether he is correct may be up for debate . Whether his methods are correct is up for debate . How about you give us some facts on his actual actions . Not what inaccurate possibly biased people portray him to be or do . I will start it for you . He met with Kim jong un in an attempt to establish peace and a better relationship. What other factual things has he done ? What were his factual stated purposes ? Not presumed made up purpose by his detractors? Yes this should all be in a different Craig medred article that gives it a format . Perhaps Craig will someday generously give his time and present an outline. ( I doubt he will as it’s such a political mess ) You have plenty of time therefore to research and sift through the nonsense (anti facts ) presented by standard media . I personally believe that when trying to analyze a politician it’s best to throw parties out of the equation so a better analysis of deeds can be made . Will these deeds favor Americans in the future? That’s usually my question. I don’t expect a reply at this time. Have a great day Bill !

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      • Rayme, it was Craig that brought up the issue, not me. Further, is was this Commentary that brought up the opinion piece and linked to it, along with a quote. All I did was add the Trump quote from the same article.
        And, are you saying that Don Trump was misquoted by Truscott??
        And, by the way, I have no party association whatsoever.
        As far as criticism of Don Trump’s actual actions, I believe that Michael Hayden brought up a pretty good critique. Did you have a problem with that CNN piece?

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      • Bill I did not research truscott piece . Majority of reporters misqoate people . No idea on truscott . I think first hand research and info is imperative as there is so much misinformation going around. Majority American Media appears to have lost the ability to represent occurrences accurately. So it’s of limited value to reference political articles. Perhaps a specific piece if exact facts can be brought in to support it might be ok . Such as twitter qoates or unedited video / recording of the person . Specific vote record or scientific public info that has proofs . As to Micheal Hayden I have not researched. CNN has incredibly bad reputation. ( Not just on bias witch is human nature) but a reputation for making things up and inadequate vetting of information witch tarnished anything that comes from them . Which is a bummer . Strangely I have noticed some Canadian papers utilizing fact based reporting. Not just emotional drama grabbing sound bites . I believe in this era it’s best to get actual first hand info before representing items as actual information . Nothing untenable with the way you let your writing drag in debate about multiple topics. It often gives us the chance to learn.

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      • Well Rayme, while the quote appears to be valid it does appear that it may/was taken out of context. As far as I can tell, the context of the comment was in reference to certain gang members rather than immigrants in general.
        Anyway, here is an excerpt from a CNN story on 5/17 : “While Trump’s comments were taken out of context, and media outlets do have a responsibility to accurately portray what the President says, Trump does have a long history of railing against immigrants, and using inflammatory, racially-charged language to rile up his base.”
        Certainly Truscott had to know of this situation and chose to use it-perhaps that is what had Jack Smothers so upset about the use of opinion pieces as a reference.

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      • Craig, when someone rides in on a horse as high as Jack’s and then resorts to lying, in order to make their case of dressing someone down, it’s hardly what I would call “well put.”
        Jack’s: “(here’s my take on your BS) “And I don’t recall even mentioning Hitler-but….”” goes on to object to my denial by saying “so I awarded the value of both Craig’s quote of Truscott (with Hitler) and your quote of Truscott (w/o Hitler) to you!”
        Now you and I both know that your Truscott quote did not mention Hitler either, as well as anyone else willing to look at the article.
        Anyway, I don’t expect we will hear anything more from Jack as those folks that stoop to lying to make their case tend to just fade away. We do know now that Jack is not one for “just the facts ma’am.”

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      • Steve I apologize if I confused you . I didn’t read truth dig . I read global research link – that’s the one I was saying was very illogical and inaccurate . I will read truth dig at another time . You made him sound qualified. I will research him . I am very informed on our global war machine and am not happy with it . I have close relatives in military as well Korea ect . Thank you !

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    • Steve that site you have link to is trash . Propaganda. America has committed atrocities. That’s not an argument. That site has an ulterior motive to paint us even worse than we are . Throw it out . Nearly Every word / example they give is nonsense grasping at straws. Three fast examples. Tried to claim we are responsible for Afghans the Russians killed . Claims we baited Russia to invade . Umm Russia commanders are grown ups . They make own decisions. Trash nonsense. The article tried to claim we killed people during certain UN actions when we had no fighting force attacking . We had dissenting vote . We did back our allies and provide materials. Can’t really say we killed all those people. Others pulled triggers . Then it claims during the Korean War Us was responsible for the deaths . Well it started by north invasion of south we stepped in and about 30 some nato alies stepped in and 7 non alies . Then China stepped in and got millions killed. Can’t say it was all American killing when there is 40 other actors on scene. Lotsa shared responsibility. That’s just a tip of the berg . Please proof read your article links more carefully. Dang American press is so careless right now we need to be extra vigilant. Strangely Canadian Toronto times are currently half accurate . Side note . Ive been told the trail between kaltag and unalakleet was marked with skulls . Human and animals. Pre American involvement. Eskimo’s and Indians were locked in a major generational struggle. Shadows of koyukuk – book will shed some light . Then look up social interaction between tribes in north slope coastal Alaska . Most unbelievable vicious treachery imaginable . Inupiat had crazy customs to deal with it . Crazy marriage customs . Then look up southeast native raids on south central natives . It was insane . They used south central like a breeding ground for slaves according to what I read . Come up kill almost all males in tribe take bunch of slaves home in canoe leave breeding stock come back few years later repeat . Maybe that needs verification but that’s what I read from somewhat reliable source. Worth looking into for fact checking as it was read 15 years ago . Anyway America has no corner on misbehavior. No sense painting us any worse than we are . Oh check out George Attla my Dads good freind he was insperational person.

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      • Ramey,
        Chris Hedges who runs the “Truth Dig” website is a Harvard Divinity Scholar and was a “war correspondent” for the New York Times for over 17 years…
        He has given up life as a paid “journalist” and decided to teach English in prison in NJ and run the “Truth Dig” website to inform citizens…
        You obviously have no clue what the “Military Industrial Complex” is doing to our National Economy or should I say National Debt Crisis?
        I will not argue the state of affairs, only that I value Chris Hedges (and his contributing authors) work.
        He is one of the few writers willing to discuss Pat Tillman and publish Kevin Tillman’s writings.
        As a person who has veterans in his family, I value any veteran’s opinion of the war we are engaged in and make no mistake, our country is still at war with many areas in the middle east.
        https://www.truthdig.com/articles/after-pats-birthday/

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  5. The first person to cry “Hitler” and “Nazi” usually has the lowest IQ in the room. Case in Point see Bill “Low IQ” Yankee.

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  6. Good article. Hard to ignore. I question a few parts . The statement about racism being tribalism does not hold up . After studying history my view on racism is it has to do with ruling group controlling another . Divide and conquer. That’s apparently how black racism got really rolling. Combine that with inaccurate information and human nature being quick to judge . It’s not tribal at all . Tribes accept any color and then judge you on ability to support tribe and accomplish their goals . That’s a historic fact . People of all colors are often accepted into primitive cultures. A primitive culture can be native , family , pirates , military, any small group that has high needs close ties and tends to directly judge on ability. This is a historic fact and can easily be looked up . Cherokee, Alaska natives , cave dwellers , u name it . Racism was developed to keep people at odds and divisive so they are more easily controlled by people with power . It’s effectively a huge anti union effort. So in my opinion all humans should throw out racism and not even consider it . I feel lucky to have grown up in Alaska where there is less racism than many other parts of America. As to prison records that isn’t good but keep in mind that’s not always direct racism. It’s partially the reflection of a broken culture. That hasn’t been carefully protected. This causes lack of direction and confusion for displaced and damaged cultures . It’s a symptom of inadequate integration and drug and alcohol problems. IMO . Not just specifically racism. To help fix this natives and blacks need their family units to receive support and information. Board of game can help fix it by more carefully managing fish stocks . One place to start . As to natives having it better now ? I’m not sure . Some do some don’t . Society is more complicated. There is part of man that would prefer a dangerous subsistence lifestyle at risk of bloody confrontations yet be clear on their culture- hunt fish eat marry fight die . Over our current incredibly complicated cultural structure that many struggle to adapt to . Most I’m sure would prefer how we have it now . But not all . Certainly not some of the people spending a life in prison confused about their existence. Life expectancy is nice but it’s also just a number ,if you don’t feel valued by your tribe . As to United States of America becoming divided states of America- I say perhaps that’s short sighted? With most things you must break it down to regrow regroup rebuild to become stronger and more united. Muscles , steel, ideas, ect . So per perhaps we are in process of becoming an even more United States of America.

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  7. This story originates in Mexico. Apparently MS-13 has deep roots and has been around for a very long time. It is time to stop the invasion of our nation. This is not an immigration issue, it is a national security issue.

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      • Bill,
        While we are speaking of U.S. leaders and remembering the crimes of Hitler, let us not forget about the CIA backed military civil wars in El Salvador that were authorized by U.S. President Ronnie Reagan…many now believe the “modern” MS-13 gang as we know it was born out of these events…
        here is a passage by the Global Research firm:

        “The civil war from 1981 to1992 in El Salvador was financed by $6 billion in U.S. aid given to support the government in its efforts to crush a movement to bring social justice to the people in that nation of about 8 million people. (1)
        During that time U.S. military advisers demonstrated methods of torture on teenage prisoners, according to an interview with a deserter from the Salvadoran army published in the New York Times. This former member of the Salvadoran National Guard testified that he was a member of a squad of twelve who found people who they were told were guerillas and tortured them. Part of the training he received was in torture at a U.S. location somewhere in Panama.”

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      • Bill,
        I saw you guys were speaking of MS 13…just wanted to point out they did not originate in Mexico…Many of the countries south of Mexico are to blame for our “immigration crisis” as many Latinos are labeled as “Mexicans” when in fact they were born in countries other than Mexico.
        As for the link to the CIA funded “Civil Wars” in El Salvador…well, that started the whole instability situation that we have today in El Salvador, Nicaragua and many other countries pushing immigrants (exiles fleeing violence) into our southern border….FOX news does not care to inform the “Trumps” of the world of the events before 9/11…to the War on Terror, the 1980’s might as well be another century to the “Military Industrial Complex”.

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    • William,
      MS-13 originated in El Salvador and “rose” to power by taking on all the brutal hits for the Cartel.
      You are right that gang violence in general is a huge matter of National Security, but I would add Mexican residents have been brutalized even worse by the MS-13 gang.
      Many of the thousands of “unsolved” homicides happening in the border towns of Mexico can be linked to their activity.
      Here is a link to current ways the MS-13 gang is “evolving” into our modern society.
      http://cco.ndu.edu/News/Article/1298326/the-evolution-of-ms-13-in-el-salvador-and-honduras/

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  8. If you don’t follow the laws of Nation, you are a law breaker, and that includes immigration laws. Those trying to illegally come into the US are law breakers, and trespassers. They are rightly being treated as such.

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  9. Truscott also quoted Trump: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”
    If it walks and talks like a duck it can be expected to be called one IMO.

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    • So are you saying that Trump is a duck or just Hitler?… You could also point out that if Truscott exaggerates to the point of defamation of character, he’s a liar… There’s a pretty huge difference between a xenophobic racist and someone who was responsible for 40+ million deaths. Either way, the polarizing comments that are dropped daily do little to help bring our country together to a point where meaningful conversations can be had and positive changes can be made. Cheers!

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