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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: Cheburashka

So, he was French after all?


51 posted on 07/18/2006 8:48:14 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's and Jemian's sons and keep them strong.)
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To: Miss Marple
Geneva was an independent city-state, so he was a Genevan.
52 posted on 07/18/2006 8:53:05 AM PDT by Cheburashka (World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: Poincare
The Aztecs ate the "sacrifice" victims because they needed protein.

They may have wanted or even craved meat, but they didn't "need" it because they were suffering from protein deficiency.

They had corn and beans which together make an excellent complete protein. Human meat was an elite monopoly, used more as a status symbol than anything else.

Many millions of people have gone their entire lives without eating meat. It isn't needed. (Although I like it a lot.)

53 posted on 07/18/2006 8:53:36 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
The difference between Rome and now is that not only did the Romans refuse to receive Hannibal's peace envoys when he had destroyed the largest army they'd ever fielded; the Senate forbade the families of those taken captive from ransoming them. Plus, there were no Murthas, Pelosis, Kerrys, etc, calling for retreat, negotiation,or surrender. The lack of a NEW YORK TIMES, and MSM probably helped, too.
54 posted on 07/18/2006 8:54:20 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: Cicero

The same thought entered my mind as soon as I read the piece. I was surprised that Steyn didn't include the quote from Hobbes. It would have made a perfect ending.


55 posted on 07/18/2006 8:54:48 AM PDT by kabar
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To: sima_yi

If I recall correctly, the Iroquois exterminated [absorbing the few survivors] the Erie Indians - so the Iroquois could control the fur trade with the whites. Kumbay - frickin' - ya.


56 posted on 07/18/2006 8:56:54 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: xzins
I understand that these traditions were totally rejected by one noble warrior who came on the scene and was disgusted by this behavior....a guy named Tecumseh.

Who in the end is more respected by the non Indians than he was by the Indians.

57 posted on 07/18/2006 8:57:51 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: orionblamblam
You simply couldn't escape the victor.

Especially when, as at Cannae, the loser managed to get himself surrounded, on an open plain, by an army about half his numbers. Quite a feat, that.

A great many men usually escaped from ancient battles, since the losers would usually divest themselves of their arms and armor, making them much faster than the victors. A guy toting 30 to 50 pounds just can't catch a guy who isn't.

Thus the importance of cavalry in killing as many of the runners as possible.

58 posted on 07/18/2006 8:59:04 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Cheburashka

True. Prior to that it was an independent city-state, but Protestant, not Catholic, and generally in opposition to France.


59 posted on 07/18/2006 9:00:18 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
Apparently, after many centuries living in indefensible pueblos on the mesa tops,

A pueblo on a mesa top is indefensible only to air attacks. Being on top of a mesa was a means of defense.
60 posted on 07/18/2006 9:04:00 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Cheburashka

He along with Voltaire are buried in the Panthéon, which to me is man's greatest work of architecture. I spend many hours in there or in the cafe outside whenever I am in Rome.


61 posted on 07/18/2006 9:05:10 AM PDT by kabar
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To: redgolum

Eckert's book on Tecumseh is exceptional.

Much of his Shawnee tribe and Cherokee relatives (mother's tribe) revered him deeply in his day.


62 posted on 07/18/2006 9:05:15 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Supporting the troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: PzLdr

Very good points.

Especially important when you consider the relatively small size of the Roman state at the time.

Hannibal killed something like 150,000 to 200,000 Roman and allied soldiers in two years. That's out of a total population of perhaps 5M. That's equivalent to America losing perhaps 12M to 15M in two years.


63 posted on 07/18/2006 9:05:21 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Pokey78

Great Article!


64 posted on 07/18/2006 9:07:26 AM PDT by chaosagent (Remember, no matter how you slice it, forbidden fruit still tastes the sweetest!)
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To: Cheburashka

Oops, wrong Pantheon.


65 posted on 07/18/2006 9:08:11 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Pokey78

Great article, as always.


66 posted on 07/18/2006 9:08:55 AM PDT by Alexander Rubin (Octavius - You make my heart glad building thus, as if Rome is to be eternal.)
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To: Pokey78
The reality is that "civilization" -- Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian -- worked very hard to stamp out the primitive within us, and for good reason.

T.S. Eliot, writing years ago about permissive education, said that moderns fear that they are going to "repress" their children - but there are some things that should be repressed!

Another great Mark Steyn - btw, for people who aren't familiar with the Lee Harris book, it's definitely worth a read.

67 posted on 07/18/2006 9:14:28 AM PDT by livius
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To: Restorer

The great anthropologists like Marvin Harris (as opposed to the intellectual pygmies we find in academe today) were unafraid to tackle the issue of war in primitive societies. In Harris's 'Cannibals and Kings' he devotes a chapter to the "Origin of War". Significantly, Harris found that anthropologists had found only a handful of societies that ostensibly did not make war. However, Harris found that those usually mentioned (Andaman Islanders, Shoshoni, Yaghan of Patagonia, Tasaday of the Philippines) were really refugee cultures. He notes that warfare is as old as time, and even the famous Peking Man had his skull smashed at the base, an indication of warfare.


68 posted on 07/18/2006 9:15:58 AM PDT by gaspar
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To: Pokey78

That is a great article. Completly true. I have read a lot of James Fenemore Cooper, most notably, "The Leatherstocking Tales," and he portrays the Indians as a bunch of warring saveges.


69 posted on 07/18/2006 9:16:17 AM PDT by edgrimly78
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To: xzins

I will have to check that out! Tecumseh was very popular in the area I grew up in, except among the Native Americans. Don't remember exactly why.


70 posted on 07/18/2006 9:17:28 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: aruanan
Being on top of a mesa was a means of defense.

A small mesa, sure. As at Acoma.

I'm speaking of the large mesas such as at Mesa Verde, which are really more like a plain or plateau cut by canyons. Once the enemy was on the mesa, which was much too large to control access to, the pueblos were definitely not defensible without changing their entire character. Rather than build castles, the Anasazi logically moved into the cliff dwellings.

71 posted on 07/18/2006 9:20:43 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Cicero
"No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Oh, good grief! Why must everything end up having to do with the Palestinians?

72 posted on 07/18/2006 9:22:22 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: sima_yi
Some of my ancestors were the Huron, and the Iroquois did the same to them...

And the Huron were known to be some of the fiercest, and barbarically cruel, of the tribes.

No group of peoples has a lock on inhumanity to man - If only two people were left on the face of the earth, I suspicion they would be at one another's throats...

Why the facts that the aborigines of the Americas warred with another is supposed to be largely unknown is merely the supposition of someone who has not read the histories and documentations.

It always amuses me when someone learns something for the first time themselves, they assume no one else ever knew either...

:o)

73 posted on 07/18/2006 9:25:05 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (LINCOLN: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time")
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To: Pokey78
Nonetheless, anthropologists concluded that he was a shepherd who had fallen asleep and frozen peacefully to death in a snowstorm. Then the X-ray results came back and showed he had an arrowhead in him.

Just a freak hunting accident - nothing to see here. /s
74 posted on 07/18/2006 9:27:16 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: Poincare

Calling: Donner...party of five...Donner...party of...

...uh, four...


75 posted on 07/18/2006 9:27:50 AM PDT by AmishDude (Posting from Lake Balaton, Hungary.)
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To: Pokey78
We've grown used to the biases of popular culture.

There also seems to be an elitist bias that automatically attributes being poor with having been victimized by society. In many cases its the result of their own laziness or shiftlessness. Great article. Thanks for posting.

76 posted on 07/18/2006 9:28:40 AM PDT by Starboard
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To: Pokey78

I took an anthropology course a while back and had to watch a video serious called, "A Poor Man Shames us all". It was all about how great and good these indiginous tribes were versus our Western hegemoney. It was sickening, and every single paper I had to write about every episode I broke down the BS that the producers of this garbage were trying to sell. I did make some points with the young mush heads in the class with me.


77 posted on 07/18/2006 9:48:20 AM PDT by vpintheak (All other ground is sinking sand.)
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To: Killborn
Perhapsyou should sue the Iroquois for reparations? ;)

If there were enough of us left, we would go to war against them, but in today's climate, your suggestion would probably work better.

78 posted on 07/18/2006 9:48:44 AM PDT by sima_yi
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To: Restorer
The mass extinction of large animals in North America being caused by the Clovis hunters is no longer dogma. It is highly debated.

Debate is good; dogma bad. Let's then just say that the Zooarcheological evidence indicates that the late Pleistocene mass extinctions (in say, the Americas) strongly coincided with arrival of skilled human hunters. Whether aboriginal overkill or ecological change brought on by the burning of fire-sensitive vegetation is the cause of the disappearance of large mammals, it still gives lie to the silly notion that the "natives" live in harmony with Mother Nature.

79 posted on 07/18/2006 9:51:52 AM PDT by Poincare
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To: Poincare
The Aztecs ate the "sacrifice" victims because they needed protein.

I guess that's what comes of establishing your civilization in a swamp -- shortage of protein.

But we should take a page out of their book, you know, the Noble Savage and all ...

I don't remember any European civilization that practiced cannibalism as a routine matter. But that must be because I'm seeing history through a Eurocentric prism ...

80 posted on 07/18/2006 9:54:03 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: vpintheak
...and every single paper I had to write about every episode I broke down the BS that the producers of this garbage were trying to sell. I did make some points with the young mush heads in the class with me.

How did your professor take that?

CA....

81 posted on 07/18/2006 9:58:37 AM PDT by Chances Are (Whew! It seems I've once again found that silly grin!)
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To: Pokey78
His killers kept his genitals for themselves, under the belief that if you eat a man's penis you acquire his powers.

Then why isn't SanFran the center of the universe?

One swallow doesn't make a summer, of course [...]

Oh, well maybe that's why.

82 posted on 07/18/2006 10:02:23 AM PDT by Erasmus (<This page left intentionally vague>)
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To: IronJack

They 'killed' for protein and put on a nice dinner show.


83 posted on 07/18/2006 10:03:35 AM PDT by Blue State Insurgent (NY Times + CIA Leakers = Culture of Treason)
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To: Restorer

Interesting post (#42). I accept your criticism of the word "need." It has been many years since I read Marvin Harris, but I think that he (or someone else) indicated that the Aztec agriculture was inadequate. I "need" to revisit the research..... Relavent in a way now since the professors of Aztlan want to revisit [sic] their paradise on California etc.


84 posted on 07/18/2006 10:04:09 AM PDT by Poincare
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To: Pokey78
Nonetheless, anthropologists concluded that he was a shepherd who had fallen asleep and frozen peacefully to death in a snowstorm. Then the X-ray results came back and showed he had an arrowhead in him.

He'd probably been out hunting with his Vice-Chieftan.

85 posted on 07/18/2006 10:05:44 AM PDT by Erasmus (<This page left intentionally vague>)
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To: trisham

This is just another great article popping the PC bubble of Rousseau's primitive lovelies. The Left really are the nancy-boy pacifists who would get us all killed by their delusional thinking. Thank God for Bush, Cheney, Rummie and boy would we need some more Pace's and a few Pattons thrown in.


86 posted on 07/18/2006 10:08:01 AM PDT by phillyfanatic
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To: phillyfanatic
Thank God for Bush, Cheney, Rummie and boy would we need some more Pace's and a few Pattons thrown in.

************

I couldn't agree more.

87 posted on 07/18/2006 10:09:49 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Poincare
You can't feed millions of Meso-Americans on Chihuahuas alone.
88 posted on 07/18/2006 10:12:01 AM PDT by Blue State Insurgent (NY Times + CIA Leakers = Culture of Treason)
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To: Pokey78
Bump!

Steyn continues to belt these out of the park...

89 posted on 07/18/2006 10:15:30 AM PDT by Paul Ross (We cannot be for lawful ordinances and for an alien conspiracy at one and the same moment.-Cicero)
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To: Pokey78

IMO, science, wonderful as it is, often contains far more speculation that we'd like to admit.


90 posted on 07/18/2006 10:15:41 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Delicacy, precision, force)
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To: xzins
the massacre of the Moravian {Christian} Indians.

Given the Moravian influence on Wesley, I'm not surprised you knew of this. The Moravians were an interesting bunch. I guess you have to consider them proto-Protestants if you can pronounce such a word.
91 posted on 07/18/2006 10:17:35 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: IronJack
Take the Aztec/Mayan/Incan civilizations for example. They were some of the most bloodthirsty known in history. They killed for the sheer activity of it ... something to do besides make weird calendars and build pyramids. In fact, the pyramids were sacrificial altars where the blood of their victims ran in rivulets down the stone sides!

Great point. I wonder if Rove shared that tidbit with La Raza when he met with them?

I can't believe La Raza and like minded people want to go back to that? And Che? Puh-lease. They can go to Cuba or Venezuela and become workers for the state. It would be quite an eye opener. It's a shabby excuse to try to impose some kind of socialist revolucion on us. But, shhh, we aren't supposed to know that.

92 posted on 07/18/2006 10:20:32 AM PDT by fortunecookie
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To: Poincare

The Clovis overkill hypothesis is that human hunters arrived in America about 12,000 years ago and promptly killed off all the large mammals.

Two major problems:
1. Evidence is growing all the time that humans have been in the Americas for much longer, as far back as 20,000 or 25,000 BP.
2. A great many other animals went extinct at the same time, including ones unlikely to be hunted by people, implying that there were other causes involved.

I have a very open mind on the subject. Something happened then, and humans moving in may have been a part of it, but they are probably not the whole story.

Agree that the idea of "native Americans" living in harmony with nature is hooey.


93 posted on 07/18/2006 10:20:49 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: kabar

If Hobbes and Steyn were contemporaries, Hobbes might have quoted Steyn.


94 posted on 07/18/2006 10:23:36 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: George W. Bush

I'm sure there are some hard people all around us, but the Frontiersmen and Indians of that era were the definition of hard.


95 posted on 07/18/2006 10:23:46 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Supporting the troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: Poincare; IronJack
They killed for the sheer activity of it ...

The Aztecs ate the "sacrifice" victims because they needed protein. Antropologist Marvin Harris writes of this. Aztlan.

And for the 'mystical' properties - the different parts gave them strengths. It wasn't just the famine issues that came later. And the sacrificing in such massive numbers, I've read 20,000 at some 'festivals' (checking for source, also was taught this in school), was surely more than those present could feast upon and dwindled the local 'supply' forcing them to travel further to conquer more people to fuel the insatiable sacrificial fires.

Columbus decided to keep what he found secret, writing a secret letter to the Pope. The Pope endeavored his church to save the savages' souls.

Which they did. They weren't perfect either, but the massive, 'sacrificial' bloodfests were brought to a halt. I was taught this in Catholic grade & high school, as well. Ironically, it is absent, or told in very different ways, from my son's textbooks, same school system.

96 posted on 07/18/2006 10:30:45 AM PDT by fortunecookie
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To: Pokey78
You know, I was waiting for Steyn, and couldn't understand why he hadn't written on what was going on in Lebenon.

Then I came to this passage:
We want to believe that the yard, the cul-de-sac, the morning commute, the mall are merely the bland veneer of our lives, and that underneath we are still that noble primitive living in harmony with the great spirits of the forest and the mountain.
The reality is that "civilization" -- Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian -- worked very hard to stamp out the primitive within us, and for good reason.

Suddenly, I realized Steyn had said everything he needed to about Lebenon... Though I wish he had included Hindu and Buddha as well, just to round it out...

97 posted on 07/18/2006 10:33:38 AM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (Admn Mods: tiny, malicious things that glare and gibber from dark corners.They have pins and dolls..)
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To: Restorer

Actually, you need beans, maize and squash - and if you had a bad harvest on any of 'em, or otherwise couldn't get all three, you were in bad shape.
Human meat was a luxury item, reserved for the upper class, and commoners could advance in rank by capturing it for 'em....
Thank goodness for Cortez.


98 posted on 07/18/2006 10:33:44 AM PDT by Little Ray (If you want to be a martyr, we want to martyr you.)
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To: garyhope
Did you notice Al-Hilallah on the cover?


99 posted on 07/18/2006 10:36:07 AM PDT by Stallone (Mainstream Media is dead. I helped kill it.)
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To: Restorer
Agree that the idea of "native Americans" living in harmony with nature is hooey.

Living in harmony? I don't know if I'd call it that, either. Many nations certainly were very knowledgeable about their surroundings and frugal with their supplies. But that probably had as much or more to do with sustaining life (food, clothing, clean water, medicines) and safety (travel light, avoid war or be able to spring an attack), as it did with living in 'harmony' with nature.

100 posted on 07/18/2006 10:38:02 AM PDT by fortunecookie
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