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Monday, August 20, 2007

Poverty equals violence?

There's something deeply disturbing about this particular story, which tells of a six-year-old aboriginal boy who was drowned by three other aboriginal youngsters at the Pauingassi reserve in Manitoba. And it's not just the tragic tale which is at the heart of the story.

The problem is evident in this paragraph: "We allow kids to grow up in extreme poverty," says Elsie Flett, head of the First Nations of Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority. "Why are we then surprised when these kids become violent? Society has really been very violent towards them."

Not so fast, Ms. Flett. First, there's your disheartening and demeaning assumption that a life of poverty will automatically lead to a life of violence. This is determinist claptrap. Second, there's your assertion that "society" is inflicting violence on the children, presumably by keeping them impoverished.

This is such an ill-defined accusation that it's difficult to examine. Does she mean society as represented by the band structure? By the reserve system? By aboriginal society in general? Or, perhaps, by the outside world? Regardless of which entity she is blaming, she is stretching the definition of violence in the same way that Marxist class warriors, for example, do in asserting that capitalism inflicts violence on the working class.

So what is Flett's solution? More personal responsibility? Better parenting? Fewer one-parent families? Band-governance reform? An end to the welfare mentality that has so many reserves in its thrall? Tougher controls on drugs and alcohol? Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. Flett's answer is, not surprisingly, to shirk personal responsibility and to look to Ottawa for all the answers:  "Who is interviewing Stephen Harper and his government?" Flett asked in an interview. "Who is saying, 'What are you doing about Pauingassi'?"

I say: Who is interviewing band leaders and asking them, "What are you doing about Pauingassi?"

Posted by Terry O'Neill on August 20, 2007 in Crime | Permalink


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oops, obc, I just did a little googling and found that the first evidence of scalping in NA is from pre-columbian times so the Europeons did not invent it. The English did however pay bounties for it while the French discouraged the practise. In addition, it seems that scalping existed and was practised on all continents.

Posted by: DML | 2007-08-20 9:56:41 PM

Scalping is still predominant in our urban centres. Just go to Tranna to a Blue Jays game and you'll see what I mean.

Posted by: Gerry | 2007-08-21 7:28:28 AM



And DML ~

I appreciate your research and willingness to show you may have been mistaken - at least in part. Sign of an honest and open-minded person. BRAVO!

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-21 8:06:44 AM

From Paul Jackson's column about the Trudeau family in today's Calgary Sun:

Some years ago, when the three Trudeau kids were young, pop took them to the Soviet Union, to a hill overlooking a new city.

"This," declared Trudeau to his sons, "is where the future is being built." The city was built entirely by slave labour. But, what did the fate of these unhappy souls matter to Pierre Trudeau?

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-21 8:35:06 AM

Poverty equals violence?

Until I left home at age 18, during the previous decade my sister and I were brought up by a mother whose husband had left her.

We grew up on welfare and I never drowned any of the neighbourhood kids.

What a totally ridiculous premise.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-08-21 10:30:42 AM

Poverty equals violence? Nah. Islamofascism equals violence, as is noted in the article below:

"Two more dead in the Thailand jihad: Land reform official killed, guard beheaded"

An official of the local Land Reform Office was gunned down in Pattani municipality on Tuesday, while a security guard was attacked and beheaded Monday night in his home in Narathiwat.

In Pattani, an official of the local Land Reform Office was gunned down. Thanong ChuChuay, 48, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as he was on his way to work on Tuesday morning.

A gunman on a motorcycle attacked the victim on a road in Pattani municipality. The gunman made off with Mr. Thanong’s weapon.

In another incident, a security guard was killed and his head was nearly entirely severed in his own home in Narathiwat’s Waeng district.

Police inspected the body of Mavee Shomupai, 41, who lay dead in a pool of blood in his house after his neck was slashed by an unknown number of attackers.

THAT'S Right - in Thailand. Nothing to do with US foreign policy, Israel, oil or any other Leftoid nonsense. Just typical Muslim behaviour towards Buddhists, Hindus, Jews & Christians.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-21 1:20:48 PM


He does not have a source. He made it up as he went.

here is one--there are many.


Posted by: Lady | 2007-08-21 5:02:33 PM


Muslims, who invaded India, killed 3,000,000 Hindus, including men, women and children. The Hindu culture, at the time, had a culture that had no swords, no reserve or standing Army. They were attacked and slaughtered.

Back then, there was no oil, no free trade, nothing like what they blame the violence of terrorists on today.

Seems to me, it is the same as it ever was!

Posted by: Lady | 2007-08-21 5:05:43 PM

As true in Canada as it is in the US:

"Hopelessly Devoted to Failure - The Left today"

By Thomas Sowell

It is not just in Iraq that the political Left has an investment in failure. Domestically as well as internationally, the Left has long had a vested interest in poverty and social malaise.

The old advertising slogan, “Progress is our most important product,” has never applied to the Left. Whether it is successful black schools in the United States or third-world countries where millions of people have been rising out of poverty in recent years, the left has shown little interest.

Progress in general seems to hold little interest for people who call themselves “progressives.” What arouses them are denunciations of social failures and accusations of wrongdoing.

One wonders what they would do in heaven.

We are in no danger of producing heaven on earth but there have been some remarkable developments in some third-world countries within the past generation that have allowed many very poor people to rise to a standard of living that was never within their reach before.

The August 18 issue of the distinguished British magazine The Economist reveals the economic progress in Brazil, Argentina, and other Latin American nations that has given a better life to millions of their poorest citizens.

Some of the economic policies that have led to these results are discussed in The Economist but it is doubtful that members of the political left will stampede there to find out what those policies were.

They have shown no such interest in how tens of millions of people in China and tens of millions of people in India have risen out of poverty within the past generation.

Despite whatever the left may say, or even believe, about their concern for the poor, their actual behavior shows their interest in the poor to be greatest when the poor can be used as a focus of the Left's denunciations of society.

When the poor stop being poor, they lose the attention of the Left. What actions on the part of the poor, or what changes in the economy, have led to drastic reductions in poverty seldom arouse much curiosity, much less celebration.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-21 5:32:16 PM

I just love stories like this one! :

"Robbery suspects die in crash while fleeing victim"

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Two armed robbery suspects who died in a crash off Highway 4 after being chased by the person they allegedly held up in Martinez were identified today as Lamont Siontae Turner, 37, and Donal Ray Hendrix Jr., 19, both of Oakland.

A third suspect survived the rollover crash, police said.

The incident began at 10:45 p.m. Monday when two men robbed a person withdrawing money at a Washington Mutual Bank ATM at 4201 Alhambra Ave., police said.

The men, one of whom was armed with a gun, jumped into a waiting car with a third man behind the wheel, police said.

The robbery victim called 911 from his cell phone and began following the car as it drove onto westbound Highway 4.

The robbers took the McEwen Road exit, police said. Moments later, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over several times before coming to rest in a pasture.

Turner and Hendrix died when they were thrown from the car. The surviving suspect, Mauricio Ransom, 18, suffered moderate injuries and was arrested on suspicion of robbery.

The robbery victim wasn't hurt and was not involved in the crash. His personal property was found at the scene of the crash, police said.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-21 9:22:50 PM

time to end reserves. We are paying $25,000-$30,000 a year to maintain them and there is still misery. Move these native to the city.....they will have more rights, better access to jobs, education and health care. Maybe they will even get inspired to get a job.

Posted by: JimCotton | 2007-08-21 9:48:13 PM

Lack of money, does not kill--people do!

Posted by: Lady | 2007-08-22 1:24:04 PM

The Great Depression proves Lady's point.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-22 1:42:38 PM

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