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View Diary: "Native languages in 'a state of emergency'" (256 comments)

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  •  I think you don't understand Indian culture. (12+ / 0-)

    Individualism for the sake of individualism is a disease, and the proof is in millions of Americans hungry, cold, lonely. Our ways are fortunately very much removed from that, and some of the most lasting scars today stem from attempts to force Indian families to own land in parcels or to compete with other families within the tribe.

    Civilizaiton is not meant to be a jungle but a synthesis of energies, movements, identies and aspirations.

    •  Beautifully said Nulwee! (7+ / 0-)

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:13:01 PM PDT

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    •  corrections* (4+ / 0-)

      civilization, identities.

    •  I think you are personalizing an argument (0+ / 0-)

      by attacking the messenger, rather than addressing the substance of the message.

      The march of human history, particularly over the past two hundred years, shows a marked decline in the percentage of humanity that are hungry, cold and lonely.

      The persistence of those phenomena are testament to the imperfections of human systems to date, and the need to continue to improve them as we have in the past.

      Two hundred years ago, no society on the planet had an average life expectancy over 40 years.

      Today, no society on the planet has an average life expectancy under 40 years.

      Two hundred years ago, slavery was ubiquitous, legal, and acceptable.

      Today, slavery is illegal everywhere, and acceptable nowhere. Where it persists, the entire world is outraged and mobilized to eradicate it.

      Two hundred years ago, women were denied the right to vote.

      Today, women vote in all free societies.

      Two hundred years ago, the predominant experience of motherhood was burying numerous children and hoping one or two survive to work to feed the family.

      Today, a majority of mothers in the world never experience the death of their child.

      Two hundred years ago, homosexuality was outlawed and in many placed punishable by imprisonment or death.

      Today, the entire world is up in arms over the proposed anti-gay policies in Uganda.

      Two hundred years ago, indigenous people were murdered with impunity.

      Today, it would be unthinkable for a member of the family of nations - much less a free nation - to treat indigenous people the way American Indians were treated in North America.

      When Indians prospered in America, there were a few million at most living off a vast landscape. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people living on the same land. To hearken back to a Rousseau-like, pastoral Utopian past is neither practical nor healthy. Nor is it real, any more than Washington was a Christ-like child who couldn't lie.

      There is good and bad in every culture, every society, every individual. We do not serve anyone by substituting sanitized myth for messy reality.

      And to argue against individual rights, whether it is done under the pretext of State Communism or Indigenous Tradition, is no less oppressive or anachronistic.

      This is not about "individualism for the sake of individualism". I noted the complexity of human society and circumstances and, based on the misfiring of many well-intentioned imposed solutions in the past, wondered whether the individual desires of individual citizens are being taken into account.

      Whether you think it is good or evil, the fact is that if most young Indians do not wish to speak or learn in their native tongue, attempts to impose it upon them are doomed to failure - and are as unjust as attempts to force them to speak English.

      On the other hand, if there is a strong movement among young Indians to revive and preserve their native culture, including its language, then contemporary sensibilities and laws should protect their right to do so. If laws and regulations still exist that inhibit or impede that impulse, they should be changed.

      But, we should think long and hard about an eagerness to impose things upon people, whether they are our own children or someone's else's.

      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:40:05 PM PDT

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      •  One of my favorite sayings (5+ / 0-)

        from one of the NA Leaders of old time (Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce)is this:

        It does not require many words to speak the truth.

        Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

        by Tyto Alba on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:52:02 PM PDT

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        •  One of my favorite sayings (0+ / 0-)

          from my late father is this:

          When you rationally challenge people's ideological assertions, they tend to either run away or turn nasty.

          Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:55:08 PM PDT

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        •  Try Gautama Siddharta: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, RandomActsOfReason

          Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

          "

          While truths can be spoken in few words, your quote can be justification for sound bites and memes, no?

          "Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied." Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet

          by the fan man on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:25:22 PM PDT

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          •  Thank you - that is a truly progressive worldview (0+ / 0-)

            one practiced by few self-labeled "progressives" I encounter on this website.

            More often, new ideas are treated as threats to conservative mindsets trapped in preformed assumptions and beliefs utterly immune to evidence.

            Practical, effective policy, in my experience, is never the product of such circle jerking group think.

            Practical, effective policy, in my experience, is nearly always the result of a willingness to explore all options - as well as all possible ways in which it may not work.

            In general, "progress" implies a comfort with movement, change and novelty, a forward thinking embrace of complexity, diversity (including diversity of opinion) and the growing recognition that humility and inquiry are more productive values than ideological purity and condescension.

            The prevailing sentiment on Daily Kos seems to be nostalgia for a mythical, mystical Utopian past that never was.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:06:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How do you support that statement? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza

              The prevailing sentiment on Daily Kos seems to be nostalgia for a mythical, mystical Utopian past that never was.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:16:53 PM PDT

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              •  You are exhibit A (0+ / 0-)

                It is a personal observation, hence my "seems to be".

                You exemplify this approach. Your default position when confronted with a new idea is hostility and personal insult. You desperately seek to discredit the messenger while assiduously avoiding any discussion of the message.

                Sadly, you are not alone here. And, as weeds drive out flowers in an untended garden, so thoughtful people who welcome new ideas and delight in learning something new have been increasingly driven from this site, which has become increasingly dominated by people with your conservative approach to knowledge and discourse.

                More and more people here are here in order to hear pleasing, ideologically supportive "information", rather than to engage in an honest exchange of ideas and shared understanding.

                No growth occurs from surrounding oneself with people who think like oneself, by reading only things that agree with what one already believes, and by aggressively pushing away any dissenting view.

                That is why "progressive" becomes conservative on Daily Kos.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:28:09 PM PDT

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                •  And there you go... yet again... you immediately (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  leap to personally insulting people in your lede.

                  You browbeat before laying down your sweeping generalization.

                  Explain to me precisely what "new idea" was shared by you in the initial exchange between us?

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:38:16 PM PDT

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                  •  Hah. (0+ / 0-)

                    You know, I can just write your comments for you, they are so predictable.

                    The sequence of comments in this diary is a record for any to view if they choose.

                    It is easy to see what my first comment was, and what the series of initial responses to it were.

                    It is easy for any rational reviewer to see who initiated personal attacks in response to respectful questions and who responded to intellectual debate with emotional diatribes.

                    I've noted several times the significance of the question I asked and its relevance in the context of multiple discussions about cultural preservation, not just in the context of Native American language but disputes all over the world.

                    You do not see that which you do not wish to see. As I noted, your behavior is a perfect example of the conservatism I am talking about, along with others here who desperately tried to prevent even a mild question from being tolerated, for fear a dissident voice might be heard.

                    None of this was necessary. If the question I asked didn't interest you, you need not have responded at all.

                    If the question I asked didn't make sense to you, you could have asked for clarification.

                    Instead, you presumed evil motive, and focused on your stereotypical view of what someone "like me" thinks, and attacked that straw man with personal insults and attempts to discredit.

                    That is not the way a progressive behaves. That is classic conservative behavior. Fear of change, fear of exposure to new ideas, demonization of the "other", defensiveness - it is all classic manifestation of a conservative mindset.

                    You should check out Jonathan Haider TED video about liberal vs conservative thinking. It might change your perspective a little - that is, if you are prepared to be confronted with ideas that don't match your preformed rigid ideology.

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:11:18 PM PDT

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                    •  Your "significant question" was nothing that (0+ / 0-)

                      hadn't been heard or demonstrably projected into the conversation before.

                      You couldn't even put a new spin on it and instead chose to set up rhetorical flourishes as gotcha traps.

                      Good on ya for continuing to engage the community in this manner.    /not

                      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                      by bronte17 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 03:54:13 AM PDT

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      •  Winter Rabbit is speaking of and for his cultural (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, RosyFinch

        heritage. The richness that is being lost every single day.

        And while you do make some salient points in your comment, you also omit alternative facts that undermine your various statements.

        And many people do resent the homogenization of cultures and food systems and lost skills and knowledge. Not to mention the loss of irretrievable resources in extinct plants and animals.

        There is always the good, bad and the ugly in the march of time. But we don't have to willingly throw away the rich cultural tapestries just because the siren call of your future is one of Spartan existentialism on a square foot of land.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:14:13 PM PDT

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        •  Well, thank goodness you don't resort to (0+ / 0-)

          straw men or hyperbole:

          we don't have to willingly throw away the rich cultural tapestries just because the siren call of your future is one of Spartan existentialism on a square foot of land.

          Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:38:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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