Monday, March 19, 2007

Updates on My Pets - peeves that is.

Having had the octave of St. Patrick's off, more like the tridecade, I'm back with updates from to-day's (St. Joseph's day) news.

First, about AIDS - apparently the scientific community has reached agreement with me, after statistical study, that there is a 'silent' increase in the transmission of HIV caused by - you'll never guess - newly infected people who haven't had the disease long enough for it to develop those opportunistic wens and buboes that diminish their attractiveness for sexual purposes. One of the beauties of the disease is its affinity for the wildly hormonal - ie those who are in full spate, sexually. Its natural design gives it a good chance of replicating itself. I wonder if the 'experts' aren't beginning to notice that, too.

Two other points that I'd posited about the disease that have yet to be addressed are the possibility of transmission via another vector. If you can get HIV from a 'dirty needle' is it possible to get AIDS from an insect bite? I noted in a related story, providing children in Africa with "nets", to protect from malaria mosquitoes, or to reduce HIV transmission? The former might well be the main objective because malaria, along with AIDS, is a fast track to the grave. But the malaria parasite is much larger than HIV, so , if a mosquito can carry a gut full of them, then why not a gut full of HIV? Ditto other biting, regurgitating insects - fleas bedbugs, lice, etc?

The other point, yet to be fully realized, is the behaviour connection. Scientists know this way down deep, but there is something preventing them from being forthright in addressing it. There is something - probably deriving from the 'naturalness of sexual behaviour movement' - ie homosexuality and sodomy are 'natural', as are any other forms of sexual expression, that inhibits the thinking that behaviour has to be, and can be, changed. The latex suppliers and pill pushers are still ascendant and while they are, HIV will continue to proliferate. Watch for the scientific community to catch up here, too.

The other item is the indian stand-off at Caledonia. Negotiations about the housing development have again broken down. There is a new wrinkle however - the old Indian tradition of 'who's in charge'. Apparently the Six Nations are split over who should be negotiating - the 'traditional' leaders - appointed hereditarily by the female elders, or the elected band council. Added too, is the tradition that nobody can speak for anybody but themselves which has caused much of the trouble with native 'treaties'. "My Great-Great-Grandad might have signed it, but he never talked to me about it, and I disagree - so the treaty is null and void. Let's negotiate."

Trying to work native 'law' into the current judicial system is impossible. Given the fact that there are now so many 'Canadians' who originated anywhere else but North America to 'send them all back where they came from', it's best to stick with Eurocentric law - at least that's the only one with physical evidence of a pre-existence. A deal is a deal - if it was for 5 dollars a year a cow and three sacks of beans - that's what should be paid - or the dollar equivalent. Pro-rating to reflect actual current 'value', rather than face value seems fair. But opens the debate to include 'was the original value fair', given the fact that there's now a multimillion dollar amusement park on the site of somebody's relative's ancient village.

By the same token, just how much territory was controlled by the native people at the time the treaties were struck? The modern view would posit 'all of it'. But once again, we fall into the trap of thinking that, had it been left as it was to the natives, it would somehow be equally as well developed as it is now. Historically the evidence is scant. White settlement on the continent dates back 500 years, at most. The indigenous people have been here at least 12 000 years, and possibly much longer than that. With only a couple of examples of anything approaching 'high culture' on the two continents, and given the fact that natural starvation was a regular occurrence when the Europeans first arrived, one can assume that native culture couldn't have advanced much beyond survival mode had it not been for European influence. There certainly would have been no malls, superhighways or massive hydroelectric plants had the indigenous people been left to their own devices. This development is what gives 'land' to-day its value. Say what they will about being 'one with the earth', the native people would be in bad shape if Europeans had had the same outlook. We can't be re-writing history because somebody thinks his ancestors got 'ripped off'. That should be a given in the discussion.

That being said, somebody - a court panel, perhaps, needs to determine the extent of the Haldimand grant. If land was usurped - ie illegally deeded by non-native powers - give it back. If not, tough luck - let's get on with it.

Bottom line, if the native 'tradition' is getting in the way of a political, economic and social (for everybody) process, the 'tradition' should be ignored.

Nothing much on the Mounties, other than Zacardelli's $25 000 elocution lessons for testifying at the Arar hearing. "Now no lithping, Franco. Try to thpeak out the front of your mouth and keep it pothitive."

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