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Mark Steyn: Before the white man came? War
Macleans ^ | 07/18/06 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/18/2006 7:45:03 AM PDT by Pokey78

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To: bondserv

Thanks for the ping!


151 posted on 07/18/2006 9:49:27 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: alwaysconservative; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ..
Thanks alwaysconservative.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

152 posted on 07/18/2006 10:10:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: tpaine

[Araucana] originated from Chile, Pockets of Araucana can
still be seen in the Amazon Basin and in isolated areas in the high fincas of the
Andes Range. The usual colours are Lavender, Blue, Black/Red, Silver Duckwing,
Golden Duckwing, Blue/Red, Pyle, Crele, Spangled, Cuckoo, Black and White. Also
some non-standard colours. It is a prolific layer of good-sized eggs and a very hardy
bird. When the Spaniards arrived in South America, bringing with them their poultry,
they found that the indigenous Indians had their own breeds which soon crossed
with the imported stock.

http://www.araucana.org.uk/page3.html


153 posted on 07/18/2006 11:23:10 PM PDT by elli1
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To: Pokey78

We learned the need to be ready to wage war from the native peoples who basically fought, from time, to time, total warfare. They taught the settlers a type of warfare that was not done back in Europe...

Any time you run into a culture that thinks the proper behavior warfare is either the the capture of enemy women and children past the infant stage to enslave/adopt them into the tribe or to outright kill them all, killing of infants, while adult male military captives were expected to show how brave and stoic they were while their enemy's women tortured them to death when you are used to following a fairly ritualized form of warfare that mostly let non-combatants alone, you are going to have some pretty quick adaptation of techniques to protect yourself and your loved ones.

These are the lessons our early settler forefathers learned. It colored, and still colors at least some of our concept about how to use force.


154 posted on 07/18/2006 11:34:14 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: sima_yi
Actually, they have this quite backwards. The Algonkin preyed on the Iroquois, the Mohawk, and the Seneca for nearly 2000 years, and other than the Ojibway, are considered one of the oldest genetic lines in North America.

Otherwise, the story is dead on.

155 posted on 07/19/2006 3:51:56 AM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: SunkenCiv

You are most welcome! It is posts and threads like these that make me proud to be a FReeper.


156 posted on 07/19/2006 4:30:29 AM PDT by alwaysconservative (Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult)
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To: IronJack
they were decimated

They were NOT DECIMATED! far more than 10% of them were carried off by the new diseases. Decimation is the destruction or killing of ten per cent. That is ten out of a hundred. Ninety remain. The Reds practiced decimation back in their Civil War in Russia on units that failed an objective or retreated. An offending unit was formed up, counted off, and every tenth man was shot.

157 posted on 07/19/2006 5:10:54 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: ThanhPhero
No. Decimation is NOT the elimination of 10 percent. That's the ORIGIN of the word, but it has expanded beyond its orginal meaning. I can be as much a language purist as anyone, but in this case, it's a lost cause. Nowadays, and for a considerable period of time, "decimation" has come to mean "great destruction" or "marked reduction in numbers." Only vestigially does it mean "a reduction by 1 in 10."

Now don't get me started on "medium/media" ...

158 posted on 07/19/2006 7:08:42 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: xcamel
The Algonkin preyed on the Iroquois...

Thanks, I didn't know that anyone, ever, beat up on the Iroquois.

On the other hand, I can no longer console myself by thinking that if we (Huron) were defeated, it was by the absolute baddest bunch in the forest.

159 posted on 07/19/2006 8:34:43 AM PDT by sima_yi
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To: Madame Dufarge; IronJack
re: The Sawny Beane family

There is also an interesting account of this family in "The Bedside Book of Bastards" (Hardcover) by historian Dorothy M Johnson, who also wrote the stories on which the movies "Jeremiah Johnson" and "A Man Called Horse" were based. The book is out of print, I believe, but can still be found through Amazon.com

It's a collection of historical accounts of some of history's most notorious "badasses" (/grin), but told with a humorous twist and a sort of Paul Harvey "rest of the story" flair. It also makes a great coffee table book when priggish guests or relatives drop by!

160 posted on 07/19/2006 8:53:25 AM PDT by tarheelswamprat
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To: SunkenCiv

"four million dead but, as they haven't found a way to pin it on Bush, nobody cares"

Priceless quote.


161 posted on 07/19/2006 9:39:53 AM PDT by BJClinton (What happens on Free Republic, stays on Google.)
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To: Restorer
Primitive weapons are ineffective when pitted against modern weapons. They can be highly efficient at slaughter when pitted against other primitive weapons or the unarmed. All you need is soldiers willing to keep killing.

I saw an interesting reconstruction of the Battle of Agincourt. You may recall that the English Logbow was credited with virtually wiping out the massed armored knights of the French Army. The battle reconstruction focused on the narrow frontage & treated the French heavy cavalry charge from a "crowd control" perspective. Essentially the heavily armed & armored French were hemmed in so tightly that there wasn't enough room to fight -- or to escape. They literally trampled themselves & those survivors were slaughtered by the English -- many after they surrendered.

162 posted on 07/19/2006 9:51:35 AM PDT by Tallguy (When it's a bet between reality and delusion, bet on reality -- Mark Steyn)
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To: Wombat101

I would also suggest "War" by Gwynne Dyer. Dyer is a bit of a lib, but his approach to the subject -- especially ancient warfare -- is pretty enlightening.


163 posted on 07/19/2006 9:54:31 AM PDT by Tallguy (When it's a bet between reality and delusion, bet on reality -- Mark Steyn)
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To: what's up
I'm reading "Flyboys" about WWII fliers which would be an excellent book were it not for a lot of moral equivalency...

Yeah, I had the same take on that book. It's almost as if the writer were straining to tag Americans with a crime that would balance off the tendency of the Japanese to behead & eat their prisoners.

164 posted on 07/19/2006 10:04:20 AM PDT by Tallguy (When it's a bet between reality and delusion, bet on reality -- Mark Steyn)
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To: Vigilanteman
The implication that white man brought the disease was obvious. Less obvious was the dates of the account-- all years before any white man set foot on Plymouth Rock (1620).

Careful there. There were pirates & fishermen from Europe visiting the eastern seaboard many years before the first settlement. It's possible that the first real contacts with the natives were just not all that well documented.

It looks like the Norse settlements in Canada & Greenland were wiped out by Inuit expansion as well as environmental factors (the Little Ice Age).

165 posted on 07/19/2006 10:09:23 AM PDT by Tallguy (When it's a bet between reality and delusion, bet on reality -- Mark Steyn)
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To: Pokey78
I highly recommend Lawrence Keeley's War Before Civilization, available in a fairly inexpensive trade paperback.
166 posted on 07/19/2006 10:40:38 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: BJClinton; alwaysconservative

:')


167 posted on 07/19/2006 11:01:44 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Calvin Locke; sima_yi

Oh yeah, the offensive mascots BS.

Sounds like a plan...


168 posted on 07/19/2006 1:57:41 PM PDT by Killborn (Pres. Bush isn't Pres. Reagan. Then again, Pres. Regan isn't Pres. Washington. God bless them all.)
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To: IronJack

Use of "decimation" by a purportedly educated person to mean "devastation" sounds and is IGNORANT. It is a public school phenomenon and its user should not be proud to claim he accepted public school limits without looking beyond what he was presented there. It is not a matter of "purism" in this case but of random use of adjectives because one doesn't know what a word actually means and decimation sounds kind of like destruction and some of those other big words and, gee, youse knows what I mean anyways.


169 posted on 07/19/2006 2:52:44 PM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: ThanhPhero
If anyone is ignorant, I'm sorry to say that it's you, pal. Get a dictionary; don't take my word for it. Pick one:

New World Dictionary of American English:

decimate -- 1) (orig) to select by lot and kill every tenth one;
2) to destroy or kill a large part;
3) (obs) to take a tenth part of

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

decimate -- 1. To destroy or kill a large part of (a group);
2. a. To inflict great destruction or damage on;
b. To reduce markedly in amount;
3. To select by lot and kill one in every ten of;
USAGE NOTE: Decimate originally referred to the killing of every tenth person, a punishment used in the Roman army for mutinous legions. Today this meaning is commonly extended to include the killing of any large proportion of a group.

Mirriam-Webster:

decimate -- 1 : to select by lot and kill every tenth man of;
2 : to exact a tax of 10 percent from;
3 a : to reduce drastically especially in number;
b : to cause great destruction or harm to;

Shall I go on? There are dozens of others, up to and including the Oxford, which, by the way, doesn't even include the archaic definition except as a footnote "more or less totally superseded" by the modern usage.

So are YOU the authority or are you simply some smarmy, smug, self-righteous word nazi who thinks he knows something nobody else does? I know full well the etymology of the word. But I also know its CURRENT usage, you know, the one that ISN'T 2,000 years out of date.

170 posted on 07/19/2006 4:30:06 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: Tallguy

As did I! I got really annoyed with his trying to justify the horrendous crimes of the Japanese in World War II.

Oh, and about that Tim Rice quote... while I respect the man for doing so, I wish he hadn't declined and stuck with us with Schwartz, who is notorious for his awful lyrics and gave us such subtle messages as "They're different from us, which means they must be evil!"


171 posted on 07/19/2006 5:32:38 PM PDT by sporkgoddess
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To: bondserv
Being that Steyn is so brilliant in his ability to torture the logic of others, I am glad he is a believer in Jesus Christ.

I am not surprised to read that a YEC thinks "ability to torture the logic of others" is what debate is about.

172 posted on 07/19/2006 6:27:53 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Faster than a speeding building; able to leap tall bullets at a single bound!)
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To: VadeRetro

The current Merriam Webster's is simply not useful nor is the New World Dictionary. If 3 people can be shown to have used a word a certain way on the street and another has written it in something that got published once then MW and NWD will baptize that word and/or usage. It still sounds ignorant, aggressively ignorant. It is like using "they" for third person singular.People who use such words with their new street validated meanings usually have problems discussing things that require that they and their interlocutors actually know what they are talking about. It becomes feelings and emotions because that doesn't require any precision.


173 posted on 07/19/2006 7:16:01 PM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: IronJack

The current Merriam Webster's is simply not useful nor is the New World Dictionary. If 3 people can be shown to have used a word a certain way on the street and another has written it in something that got published once then MW and NWD will baptize that word and/or usage. It still sounds ignorant, aggressively ignorant. It is like using "they" for third person singular.People who use such words with their new street validated meanings usually have problems discussing things that require that they and their interlocutors actually know what they are talking about. It becomes feelings and emotions because that doesn't require any precision.


174 posted on 07/19/2006 7:17:19 PM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: tarheelswamprat

Thanks, it sounds like a fun book!


175 posted on 07/20/2006 4:38:29 AM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: Tallguy

Similarities to what happened at Cannae. The Roman soldiers were so tightly packed together that many of them were crushed and died while still standing.


176 posted on 07/20/2006 4:57:53 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Tax-chick
This is just too much, before lunch and everything!

"You can lay a thousand bricks; but that won't make you a Mason.

But eat just ONE penis, and......"

177 posted on 07/20/2006 5:56:15 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie

LOL!


178 posted on 07/20/2006 5:57:03 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Whiskey for my men, hyperbolic rodomontade for my horses.)
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To: Poincare
After the animal meat supply understandably dwindled human canabalism became the protein source of choice.

Oh bull!

Seems I recall there being MILLIONS of bison when the Europeans arrived!

179 posted on 07/20/2006 6:00:12 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: mikeus_maximus
A little pre-history:
180 posted on 07/20/2006 6:02:15 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie
Seems I recall there being MILLIONS of bison when the Europeans arrived!

Good grief! Horses and gunpowder, Elsie!

The horse arrived in the New World with the Spanish settlements in the southwest. We tend now to picture the Indian on horseback (at least the Western tribles like the Sioux and Cheyenne, less so the Eastern groups like the Algonquins and Iroquois). However, even in the western cases, their "traditional" lifestyle had changed radically only a few generations before.

Gunpowder was a European import as well. Prior to these innovations, the native Americans were very limited in their ability to kill buffalo, especially on the open plains where the herds thrived in the greatest numbers. Think about it. You're on foot. You have a bow and arrow. There's a buffalo herd over there. It's wide open country. You see them. They see you.

You and your buds do tricks like trying to slowly, slowly crawl up to them while cloaking yourselves in the hides of dead buffalo. Once in a while it might work. You're not going to have a big impact on a prairie that's loaded to capacity with buffalo.

181 posted on 07/20/2006 6:49:55 AM PDT by VadeRetro (Faster than a speeding building; able to leap tall bullets at a single bound!)
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To: ThanhPhero
People who use such words with their new street validated meanings usually have problems discussing things that require that they and their interlocutors actually know what they are talking about.

This is your defense? To discredit the dictionary? To discredit ALL of them??? Wow! It seems odd that the publishers wouldn't contact an authority like you when they were compiling them, given your regal prerogative of invalidating their conclusions on a whim. It's lucky for Sam Johnson you weren't around when he was putting his Lexicon together. He'd have looked the fool without checking with YOU first!

You'd better drop a line to those gangstas at the Oxford English. A homedawg cain't hawdly unnastan DOSE homies.

It becomes feelings and emotions because that doesn't require any precision.

Interesting sentence. "It" -- being a singular pronoun -- hardly seems adequate to take a compound predicate nominative ("feelings and emotions"). And the subject of your independent clause ("THAT doesn't require any precision"), which serves to modify that compound plural, is also singular.

Your construction leaves some abiguity as to what exactly doesn't require any precision: emotions and feelings? or the act of "it" becoming "emotions and feelings"?

One might almost think that this sentence lacked grammatical precision.

182 posted on 07/20/2006 7:57:55 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: IronJack
Not all of them. The Second International is a good dictionary. The Third and its contemporaries came under the influence of the Modernists whose beliefs eventually metamorphosed into post-modernism and the principle that words have no meaning except to construct oppressive relationships. At the popular level the dictionaries ceased to be "prescriptive" and became "descriptive" i.e. they hold that there is nothing correct or incorrect and if Clinton wants to say that sex doesn't mean oral sex, or even the more straightforward kind for that matter, well he is just as correct as the next guy. Insofar as conservatives carry their conservatism over into their language use their arguments will always be superior to those of the Liberals- postmodernists all- even when the Liberals seem to have their facts straight because the words they use will contradict their facts at some point if they speak more than three sentences about the same subject because words, to them, mean only what they want them to mean at the time they speak them and they can use the same words with opposite meanings in the same conversation and think they are being totally consistent and brilliant.

I would hope that a conservative would not allow the Left to determine his language because that gives the argument to the Left because they, with perfect sincerity, will insist that you have said exactly the opposite of the words you used as you understood those words and if you have accepted the Left's linguistic principles they will have the best of the argument because you let them define the words you use and their definitions are always only conditional.

183 posted on 07/20/2006 9:20:43 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: ThanhPhero
You're assuming that any dictionary author has the authority to ascribe meaning to any given word. Words have meaning not because some single authority says they do, but because the users agree on that meaning. And dictionaries don't create meanings; they simply document them.

Samuel Johnson could define "liberal" as "enlightened," but if we all know it means "vacuous and sophomorically idealistic," then Doctor Johnson's meaning is at best irrelevant, a mere parlor exercise.

ALL dictionaries are therefore "descriptive" rather than "prescriptive" (your terms). And it is no more valid for me to accept your arbitrary devotion to obsolescence than it is for me to let the Left define my terms for me.

I KNOW the meaning I intended when I used the word "decimate." That usage was perfectly in keeping with modern understanding, so my use of it communicated exactly what I wanted it to. That is the value of words. They are not pretty objects to sit on a mantel gathering cobwebs; they are meant to be taken down and used. Sometimes in their use, they acquire a scratch or two. And some just plain wear out. Others wear down but are then refinished and served up anew.

184 posted on 07/20/2006 9:53:53 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: IronJack

By the way, you might want to consult any credible English textbook and scan the section dealing with "Run-On Sentences."


185 posted on 07/20/2006 9:56:36 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: Pokey78

There is no such thing as the "noble savage", its liberal myth.


186 posted on 07/20/2006 10:04:25 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: IronJack

I won't further argue with you. It is fruitless to argue with someone whose words are capriciously transmorphic.


187 posted on 07/20/2006 11:42:06 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: VadeRetro
You're not going to have a big impact on a prairie that's loaded to capacity with buffalo.

EXACTLY!

Not much of an 'impact' on ANY of the large animals the poster I was responding to said the proto's wiped out.

188 posted on 07/20/2006 1:00:45 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: ThanhPhero
I won't further argue with you. It is fruitless to argue with someone whose words are capriciously transmorphic.

Aw, c'mon. Is that the REAL reason?

Put away your thesaurus and get out a dictionary. You're not impressing anyone but yourself. If I'm capricious, then so is the Oxford English Dictionary, and every other lexicon known to modern grammarians. And since that prevalence defines the status quo, it can hardly be capricious now, can it?

On the other hand, this grammatical quibble HAS hijacked the intent of this thread, so maybe we WOULD be better off letting the subject lapse.

189 posted on 07/20/2006 3:19:36 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: KC_Conspirator
There is no such thing as the "noble savage", its liberal myth.

As we've seen, a myth that's only half correct.

190 posted on 07/20/2006 3:20:47 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: Restorer
Apparently, after many centuries living in indefensible pueblos on the mesa tops, they just decided, for no particular reason, to move into the incredibly inconvenient but highly defensible cliff dwellings.

Maybe they were getting away from pollution? Ya know...higher in the skyscraper./s

191 posted on 07/20/2006 3:33:01 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (VENGEANCE FOR OUR FALLEN WARRIORS......NOW!!)
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To: dead

Exactly...how do you make change for a copper axe? /s


192 posted on 07/20/2006 3:38:37 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (VENGEANCE FOR OUR FALLEN WARRIORS......NOW!!)
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To: Elsie
Seems I recall there being MILLIONS of bison when the Europeans arrived!

Not very many of the bison were in central Mexico.

193 posted on 07/20/2006 4:20:56 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: Elsie
Even with stone age technology, I'd say it's easy to impact a giant ground sloth. It's just not easy to impact a herd of buffalo in open ground.
194 posted on 07/20/2006 5:38:42 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Faster than a speeding building; able to leap tall bullets at a single bound!)
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To: Restorer

Thanks for bringing up the chronology. My long term memory may have blurred..

I was shown the eroded areas and told the story while crossing the Rockies (NYC to CA actually) with a naturalist in 1969. I think I remember him saying that the dynamite harvesting was near the end of the 19th century and well past the era of the mountan-men and Indian trappers and that it wasn't profitable any more to trap. There were old photographs of the area before it was eroded and desertified (if that is the right word) in a restaurant that we stopped at.

Whatever the beavers were used for 5 or more decades after the hat craze ended I have no idea. The original Astor was long dead and I can find no evidence that his heirs got back into the fur business. That is probably my memory confounding two different stories, or perhaps I was misinformed.

Anyway the idea of the furry engineer being a keystone species that supported a whole web of life stayed with me. On the Central CA coast I am told that there were very large beavers that were killed of at the approximate time of the Siberian invasion and like the areas in the West that I was shown the rainfall is all in the winter. I'm trying to get permits for ponds on farm.


195 posted on 07/20/2006 10:09:20 PM PDT by Poincare
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To: Elsie
Oh bull! Seems I recall there being MILLIONS of bison when the Europeans arrived!

Not on the Pacific coast which was the context of my post that you pulled a segment out of. Yet still perhaps I should have been more detailed--or stated a caveat against categorical reading.

Large areas of the midwest where the buffalo roamed were not well populated with humans due to a lack of iodine in the soil although some prehistoric tribes of mound builders were believed to have trade routes for seasalt. Some tribes consumed the ashes of their dead as a condiment, presumably for minerals.

196 posted on 07/20/2006 10:27:49 PM PDT by Poincare
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To: Poincare
I'm sure you're right about the "keystone species" effect.

An excellent, although PC-leaning book I read recently, 1491, is based on the premise that 90 to 95% of the Indians died off by 1600, and that they were the major keystone species in the Americas, having been such for 10,000 years or more.

The result was massive ecological disruption, even without the introduced species. One theory is the huge "virgin forests" of the eastern half of the country, the massive herds of bison and flocks of passenger pigeons were a consequence of this disruption.

IOW, the wilderness the white man found wasn't really wilderness at all. It was more like an overgrown graveyard.

I don't believe all of it, but much of it is interesting, and it blows giant holes in the "white man is bad" theory, often without meaning to. It appears that the natives weren't so inherently great at living in tune with the land. It's just that almost all of them were dead, which makes it a lot harder to be ecologically criminal. Almost a post-holocaust novel type of thing.

197 posted on 07/21/2006 4:18:37 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Pokey78

In an environment where there are limited resources (like good hunting grounds), the way to get the resources to feed your own kids, is to take them away from somebody else


198 posted on 07/21/2006 4:24:21 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (A planned society is most appealing to those with the arrogance to think they will be the planners)
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To: Restorer
Not very many of the bison were in central Mexico.

I'fn I was hungry; I'd go to where the FOOD is; NOT some other direction.

199 posted on 07/21/2006 6:03:29 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: VadeRetro
...it's easy to impact a giant ground sloth.

How about wooly mammoths?

200 posted on 07/21/2006 6:04:17 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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