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Old Comments:

2010-04-09 04:42:48
You can ask Pixdaus to delete your comment.
2010-04-09 04:32:38
Interesting point, Pesche..years ago there was a science fiction novel in which a wealthy industrialist set about collecting vagrants and vagabonds, people no one would miss, and taking them to Mars where he assembled them into any army..they received little training, had inferior wepons, and virtually no heavy support, but when they attacked earth they created such fear and panic that people set aside all their petty political and religious differences and united against the invaders...which was the idea in the first place. Don't recall how it worked out in the end, and can't recall the author..had thought it might have been Kurt Vonnegut but can't find it in any lists of his works....
2010-04-09 02:09:34
Yes I did mix up Aztec and Inca history, apologies. Once you've pressed the enter button it's on this site, nothing you can do about it. History is always written by the winners, and others will get their turn in future. Custer was indeed a maggot. Reading all these comments I wonder if we have learnt anything. Would we all unite against some external threat, or would we squabble until it's too late? Good philosophies are always simple, here a quote I like a lot ( from We of the Never Never, by Aeneas Gunn) ...I hoe my own row the best I can, and then I help someone do theirs...
2010-04-08 23:23:29
Amen, brother. If any sonofabitch ever had it coming it was George Armstrong Custer. Too bad he had to lead so many brave soldiers to their deaths to satisfy his own personal ambition and desire for glory. Remember: Custer and Reno were attacking a village, a community of homes filled with families. The Sioux warriors who came swarming out of the Valley of the Little Bighorn that day were responding to a direct, violent and immediate threat to their wives, children and elderly parents. And anyone who believes such non-combatants would have been spared had the attack been successful and the troopers been able to carry the day is living in a naive fanatasy dream world.
2010-04-08 18:12:20
Only to be able to say "Happy Birthday, Connie !", and to send you a pic with some flowers of my garden. If "July", lilies, if "August", dahlias ... But I understand very well you don't want to say it here ... --------------------------- And where is "France" ?
2010-04-08 17:27:51
Why do you ask when my birthday is? #1 Norway #2 Australia #3 Iceland (got demoted) #4 Canada
2010-04-08 14:54:11
May I ask ? ....... When is your birthday ? ---------------------------------------------------- And what countries are 1st and 2d ?
2010-04-08 13:43:41
Written history is pretty much one sided. The indigenous peoples that were decimated all over the globe did not have historians that recorded happenings from their standpoint. The Europeans, of all nationalities did, and most often their recorded histories are completely tainted by false information that was intended to justify their actions. It is interesting that the Custer Battlefield in Montana is the only battlefield in all of history that was named for the LOSING GENERAL. Would this have been true if the history of this battle was recorded by the Sioux people who were actually their and survived?
2010-04-08 10:59:57
The Aztecs weren't any worse than the Romans, or maybe we should say the Romans were just as bad if not worse than the Aztecs. The Aztecs at least killed their victims believing it was necessary to make the sun keep coming up. The Romans tortured and killed people for sport and for entertainment.
2010-04-08 10:38:10
The Incas lived in the Peruvian Andes and were conquered by Pizzaro. Cortez ( with a 'z' ) conquered the Aztecs. I'm sure you know this and simply mis-wrote. It is true that the Aztecs were not well-loved in Mexico. They were bloodthirsty and cruel, and Cortez had little trouble gaining Indian allies, especially once they saw how well and effectively the Spaniards fought. But the Spaniards also had numerous other advantages. They had steel armour and steel weapons, firearms and cross bows, and probably most important, they had horses that they could use to break up the mass formations of Indian warriors. They also were passionate fighters, probably the best soldiers in Europe at the time. They had just driven the last Moorish army out of Spain the year Columbus sailed after a long, protracted war, and were utterly convinced they were carrying out God's work and that he stood with them in every battle. As for Mel Gibson and his Mayan movie...Gibson is a talented actor and I've enjoyed some of his films, but he is also a fundamentalist religious fanatic, and I believe he deliberately portrayed the Mayans as bloodthirsty savages in order to justify what the Spaniards and the Catholic Church did to the scattered heirs and descendents of classical Mayan civilization who still lived in Southern Mexico and Guatemala when the Spaniards arrived. And they are still there, in fact, and only marginally and nominally assimilated. Not many scholars believe the Mayans were as violently malevolent as Gibson would have us believe they were.
2010-04-08 08:41:33
Indeed Smartypants, it is a term I still hear every day to describe the English migrants currently arriving in large numbers. The mystery of Hernan Cortes's succes is quite easyily explained. The Incas were ruthless, cruel murderers en masse (very much like the Mayan's in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto) and therefore surrounded by enemies that wished nothing more than to annihilate and erase them from the face of the earth, all the Spaniards had to do was give these tribes a reason to unite. It took but one charismatic leader to unite warriors at Little Big Horn for example. Cuauhtemoc : I'm in no way in agreement with what seems to be happening worldwide to ancient cultures, nor am I philosophical about other peoples suffering. These are undeniable facts of history, which is still being written every day. Humans have been around for less than 0.01% of earths existence, we have a long way to go to become a successful organism. Natures Law= adapt to change or perish. Almost everything Connie said happened in Australia too, sadly.
2010-04-07 21:21:40
In all of this I believe we have overlooked Micky's mis-use of the term 'Pome.' From the context it appears that he is using it to refer to Australians. I believe it is, rather, a term Australians use to refer to the English, Robert Hughes suggesting that it may once have been an acronym for 'Prisoner of Mother England,' perhaps dating from the days of trans-shipment of English convicts to the Land Down Under. Whether that is correct or not is uncertain, but in any case it is not a complimentary term.
2010-04-07 15:45:26
Cuauhtemoc: I feel that you perhaps did not read my comments correctly, or you chose to interpret them incorrectly. A great many years ago, I read a fair amount about the Coquests of the Americas. It’s so long ago that I cannot remember the book titles or authors. I do not remember which part of the Americas it was, which battle and which Natives were involved when I refer to little resistance and the remark about the white men returning to their land. But, I do remember reading more than once that the Spaniards were amazed that the natives did not put much of a fight; there were few Spaniards to 100s if not 1000s of warriors. I do remember reading that more recent information had been found in some archives (ie governments and Jesuits) in Spain and elsewhere. My understanding through reading is that there are many differences of opinions as to exactly what went on in those years. There are as many difference accounts as there are books on that subject. As for my remarks about how the white men treated the natives and how the natives treated their own people - I was referring to Canada and the United States…not Central or South America. I certainly do not make excuses for the Spaniards. By all accounts, they were vicious and evil conquistadors. Of all the empire builders, they were the worse. Even the Jesuits, who accompanied them, would have natives burned at the stake if they did not renounce their gods. I was referring to a single battle, not the history of the conquest. It was a simple example to show we have all immigrated from elsewhere. On the aside - I compare the difference between the Spanish and the Portuguese with a simple phrase – the Spanish kill their toro; the Portuguese do not…they let them leave the arena with some grace…to battle again. That is simplistic but it holds an element of truth. Your comment “That does not justify what white Europeans did to them”. I agree, in that two wrongs never make a right. I was pointing out that both sides exhibited cruelty. However, the worse cruelty re torture and enslaving was done by some natives in Central and South American to their own people and othr groups. The difference between both groups is that it is ok to bash the white men over and over again about what was done, but, it is certainly not ‘politically correct’ to mention what the natives did to their own people. If we do, we are immediately accused of being racist. I would be surprised to find that you are a Canadian because you are quoting Farley Mowatt Some of his writings have been discounted by a lot of ‘experts’ in Canada and elsewhere. He was quick at adding to or misquoting sources. He was not considered very credible. I do not dispute that the Canadian government caused suffering for the Inuit. There was a time when the Inuit were starving in their village – their natural hunting grounds through lack of fish, seal (I can’t remember all the details). The Canadian government, though well meaning, moved them closer to ‘civilization’, with housing, etc. This caused harm to their culture of independence re living off the land. There was a lot of problem with drinking and, sadly, suicides. Another thing that the Canadian government did was to take the native children from their homes and put them in residential schools, and other places. They wanted to ensure that those children would get a good education. It was well meaning - albeit ignorance on the Canadian government’s part. This caused a lot of identify crisis. These children were not growing up in their culture, learning their language (they were forbidden to speak their language), and learning to be mothers because they had no mother to observe and learn from during those formative school years. Canada is now dealing with ‘financial settlements’. I went to school with a lot of those kids when, some years, I went to private schools as a boarder at the convents (they were not residential schools). There were a lot of native kids there. The irony is that every one of them preferred
2010-04-07 10:54:53
Connie is wrong about so many things it's hard to know where to start. First, I suggest you read Bernal Diaz De Castillo's account of the conquest of Tenochtitlan. He was a young soldier in Cortez's army, and his first-hand account of the many bloody battles should disabuse you of the notion that the Spaniards took over Latin America without a protracted and violent struggle. Next: the Spaniards did, in fact, burn Indians alive. Lots of them. They also set their huge dogs upon them to terrorize them, cut off hands and noses, and generally conducted themselves like the cruel and savage bastards they were. Read the accounts of DeSoto's and Coronado's expeditions. The Spaniards also enslaved as many Indians as were required to operate their haciendas, plantations and mines. The first negro slaves were imported into the New World because the Spanirds had worked the native Caribs to death and virtual extinction. The Indians were not saints. They were not new-age innocents wandering about smelling the flowers. They made war on each other and enslaved each other. That does not justify what white Europeans did to them . As for Canada: read "The Desperate People," by Farley Mowatt ( a Canadian ) , an account of how the Canadian government allowed untold numbers of Innuit people to simply starve to death because to have rescued them with food supplies would have "created a culture of dependency." In short, we are all guilty: we all have blood on our hands directly or indirectly. It's a dog eat dog, tough-shit world. But I wonder if, had the Japanese not foolishly dragged the United States into the Pacific war, and had thus been able to over-run and conquer Australia and enslave or exterminate the white population there, would my friend Pesche be quite so philosopical about that turn of events? Buenos noches, mis amigos, y suenos dulces. Good night my friends, and sweet dreams.
2010-04-07 09:21:19
Why did the Spaniards, with so few men, manage to take over the native there with no resistance from the 100s of warriors. Their Chief told the Spaniards that their (oral) history told them that the white man would come back to reclaim their land! These people had never seen a white man before.. During 1000s of years of 'discovery', it was a time of massive movement of people...from continent to continent. We are all immigrants - including our native people. Many natives will honestly say that before the white man came, tribes were slowly destroying each other. It's a historical fact, that some whole tribes completely disappeared before the white man came. Did we mistreat them more than they mistreated each other? We did not scalp them, we did not burn them alive at the stake, we did not sell their women and children as slaves. But, they did that to each other. However, it is not 'politically correct' to mention them. We must say mea culpa over and over and over again...and dish tons of money. A good book to read is 'First Contact' by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson. In 1930 the highland people of New Guinea were discovered by a band of Australians prospecting for gold. They had never encountered white men before. They told the Australians that it was a good thing because they (the tribes) were killing each other off. They could no longer go beyond their villages (about 2 km radius) or they would be killed. They were prisoners in their villages, living with mistrust and fear...killing each other in fear. By the way, I have a dash of native blood from one of my American (Minnesota) grand-mothers.
2010-04-07 08:57:01
Addition to previous: not just caucasians were criss crossing the planet looking for a better life. Look at the Maori in New Zealand and their claims regarding original ownership. When they arrived in the Land of the long White Cloud people lived there alredy. They were called Moriori, had dark skin and red hair and were not warlike. They all got eaten by the intruders and none of them exist any longer.
2010-04-07 08:49:57
I know where you are going, Micky Most. It is definitely a school of thought. I personally believe in nature taking it's course and natural selection, it is cruel, ruthless and the stronger always wins. Not altogether very civilised. Please consider this: 99.99% of everything that has ever existed on this planet (animals, plants, bacteria aso) is extinct. The earth is very good at creating life, but just as good in destroying it. As for many native peoples worldwide, many have lost wars but still exist, that is not so bad, I for one am glad they are still around. In the long term all humans have to evolve and adapt to ever changing conditions, lest we all follow those creatures past. Regards pesche61
2010-04-07 03:23:31
Where are you from pesche...Australia? In some cases, our Natives, who live on reserves, are sitting on potential 'gold mines'. Sometimes, the money Canada pours in the reserves 'out of guilt' quickly disappears (to the Chief, his family and friends). The Inuits (formerly Eskimos) were given a huge chunk of the North West Territories. They call their 'land' Nunavut. It's possible that they are sitting on huge reserves of oil, mineral etc. I remember growing up in mid-Canada. The sun seemed to always shine in winter, covering the landscape (ground, trees) with millions of glittering diamonds. To a child, it was magical.
2010-04-07 01:08:31
The nerve of those people. Their ancestors only beat you bloody Pomes to shore by about forty thousand years or so.
2010-04-07 00:18:10
Of course. Bruce Chatwin was brilliant and had he lived would have no doubt joined the ranks of the world's great travel writers. Let me recommend 'In Patagonia,' and 'What Am I Doing Here,' and also 'On the Black Hill,' a novel.
2010-04-06 22:16:58
O, forgot. our natives also were granted landrights, funny enough their holy snake of creation (waggle) popped it's head up in all the most expensive and mineral rich lands...
2010-04-06 22:10:40
Norway? people I know live there say it is very beautiful, but also expensive and BORING. Unfortunately we have not found a solution for our Aborigines either, we just keep giving away social security cheques because we feel guilty, a substantial part of those payments is readily converted to alcohol. Some studies claim that in their own social standing especially the males feel downhearted because todays lifestyle rendered them useless as hunters and protectors. The songlines (I read the book) were used to memorise and pass on knowledge, as practised by many native peoples the world over that did not have a written language.By the way, there is nothing wrong with a decent winter Smartypants (brilliant name!) I remember the crystal clear, sharp as a tack mornings with fresh powder snow... a real fantasy world. It's just the slush and c*^# in between seasons that can be depressing.
2010-04-06 11:25:15
I'll have you know smartypants that Vancouver and pretty well the whole province did not have a winter this year. We were walking around in pullovers and light jackets all rain no snow. There were flowers all winter. The tree blossoms started to bloom in January. We usually have the same weather as Seattle, but this year we faired better. Even Eastern Canada had a great winter. Eastern US had a freezing blizzard, tons of snow winter. Anyways, the UN did not take weather into account (see above) ;-)
2010-04-06 11:20:27
Absolutely correct. Did you read it Prof?
2010-04-06 09:17:10
Ha ! Whoever made that list obviously must have visited Canada in mid-summer !
2010-04-06 09:14:24
'The Songlines' by the late Bruce Chatwin.
2010-04-06 09:13:32
Pesche61 - Heehee...I am old. I will be 65 years old this summer - collecting my Old Age Pension cheque. My uncle by marriage was French Suisse. I've been there; it's beautiful. The United Nations ranks Canada #4 for its quality of life (includes life expectancy, literacy rates, country's economy). The ranking is Norway, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland etc. (US is #13). Since this was published, Iceland suffered severe bank failure - the country is pretty well bankrupt. So, Canada would be #3 now. What holds us down is the continuous complaints by our First Nations (native) people to the United Nations. Canada a long long time ago had signed treaties with the natives granting them lands. Now there is a problem with the interpretation of what and where, and the treaty issues are being dealt by the Courts.
2010-04-06 09:06:06
I was just teasing you pesche61. My ancestors, like all others, had once upon a time, four legs. I have read about your cave paints; your continent is very old. A long time ago, I read a wonderful book called Stonelines (I think). It's about your Aboriginal people's walkabouts and dreaming of landscapes, and that is how the land was formed. It's still in print, and it's a book I highly recommend for anyone to read. It's quite different.
2010-04-06 01:17:40
I am in Perth, Western Australia. I know from your conversations with Picture Girl that you are in Vancouver, I also know your age, oops. Now there's a fascinating country, Canada would have to be the most desirable destination for migrants for people from Switzerland ( my place of birth, hence I speak German, French, Italian, English and, just to be different, a little bit of Japanese) This place is very old, in fact the oldest rocks found in the world today are from here, some 4.5 billion years old! I love history and different cultures. Regards, pesche61
2010-04-05 21:58:10
Do you live in Australia, pesche61 ? If so, whereabouts, may I ask ?
2010-04-05 21:03:11
Toute l'information est correcte, merci madam. Je pense l'histoire est fantastique, lecons pour la monde d'aujourd'hui. :) I was not insulting the french, quite the opposite. France is still the most visited country in the world by tourists. In this country (Australia) there also some magnificent cave paintings, some as old as 40'000 years. At that time my ancestors quite possibly still had a tail!
2010-04-05 18:15:19
Are you saying that my French ancestors had four legs ;-) I have this photo in my personal file…my cousins in France educated me this summer about the caves. The photographer is Sisse Brimberg for National Geographic. To quote Wikipedia: Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. They contain some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,000 years old. They primarily consist of realistic images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. In 1979, Lascaux was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list along with other prehistoric sites in the Vézère valley.