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May 02, 2006

Advocating for Genocide

Today, I added my name on the list next to those of Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and the other fine folks of the 20th Century that committed Mass Murder. We have a term for what they did--GENOCIDE. I am advocating for Genocide. No, I am not Hamas. Not Iran's President. Not Osama bin Laden. I am worse and Dave Smith and other's at Snowbowl may be worse according to the rhetoric from the Snowbowl Ski Debate:

Using reclaimed wastewater on the San Francisco Peaks' Snowbowl amounts to desecration of a sacred Holy site of the Navajos, said Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. By allowing this desecration "the United States of America will commit genocide."

Sure, Snowbowl will probably use some bulldozers to move earth to build the snowmaking equipment and the resort. I don't think they plan to dig any open pits like Hitler or Mao for the dead bodies. I am not sure what Snowbowl's plans to commit genocide are, but there are no ovens. No gas chambers. Is this another holocaust? Auschwitz? Perhaps a smaller scale genocide like Darfur that is happening right now. Maybe another analogy would be more appropriate:

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. told a U.S. District Court on Wednesday that proposed development of the sacred Dook'o'sliid would be like having a child witness the brutal violation of its mother, leaving it emotionally and psychologically scared forever.

According to Communications Director George Hardeen, the President testified, "It's like someone coming in and violating and raping our mother. It hurts me. She's already got scars."

That makes me feel better. But after the mass graves and rape rooms that Arizona Snowbowl is building are done and we skiers finish the raping and murder and genocide, what do we do next?

We capitulate to the demands of the Sierra Club:

The San Francisco Peaks in Arizona have long been a site sacred to thirteen Native American tribes including the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. However, they have also been at the center of a growing debate over the intersection of recreational development, environmental protection, and religious freedom for native peoples. Recently, the future of the Peaks was put in jeopardy as the U.S. Forest Service released a management plan that would allow a ski resort in the area to introduce artificial snow made from reclaimed sewage water. However, there are several unresolved questions about the environmental impacts of increased tourism in the region along with unanswered questions about the safety of using reclaimed water to make artificial snow. In fact, the management plan includes a reference to harmful impacts on the tribes and fails to take into account several realistic, alternative options for the area. Now Sierra Club has joined a diverse coalition to appeal the plan on several grounds, including the severe impacts on wildlife and their habitats as well as the dangerous consequences for religious freedoms.

The Sierra Club has a vision for Arizona that makes sense. They are behind the proposal to Drain Lake Powell:

The Sierra Club, the country's oldest environmental group, has caused a stir even among some of its supporters by a proposal to drain Lake Powell, the second-largest artificial lake in the country, situated along the Utah-Arizona border.

David Brower, 84, a former executive director of the group, says that the influential group didn't fully realize what it was giving up when, in 1956, it agreed with Western water interests to let Glen Canyon Dam be built, creating Lake Powell, in exchange for no dams at Echo Park or Split Mountain in Dinosaur National Monument.

Only years later, reports the Los Angeles Times, did Mr. Brower and others see the damage of the deep sandstone canyons cut by the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Mr. Brower and the Sierra Club say a strong case can now be made for draining the lake and restoring the natural beauty of the site: One study shows that it loses enough water a year through evaporation and seepage into its sandstone banks to fill the needs of 400,000 people — an alarming amount in the arid West, where water is life.

Environmentalists and the Sierra Club in general want pristine natural surroundings, yet also want us to manipulate nature and not allow uncontrolled forest fires either. Pristine nature is not very fun. Pristine nature means people die in avalanches, earth quakes, fires, etc. Pristine nature means no cars or Internet or cell phones. It means no electricity, no running water, no sewage treatment plants. Rampant cholera and plagues. That is nature. So they think that the Sierra Club or Green Peace decides what constitutes good nature versus bad nature. Lake Powell bad. Nuclear power bad. Oil companies bad. But having running water and electricity is good. Having lumber to build homes is ok, just not cutting down trees to get it. The same idiots that are saying drain Lake Powell will be using the electricity from it and yet be too obtuse to understand how it really benefits them. Snowbowl has a huge impact on Flag. It draws kids to NAU. It gives the community a sense of identity.

But the other parties to the Lawsuit are even better. The White Mountain Apache Tribe is jumping on this bandwagon. Because skiing on Sacred Mountains transcends the centuries old issues. Skiing on Sacred Peaks and using reclaimed water to make snow would destroy their way of life. It hurts all Indians. That is why the WMA tribe would never ski on peaks such as these or use reclaimed water. But what is economic impact of having two resorts competeing for Phoenix's business? Despite being one fifth the size and offering no snowmaking, one could deduce the numbers for Sunrise by taking Arizona's total numbers minus Snowbowls since Sunrise does not release their numbers, in a good snow year Snowbowl draws as many people as Sunrise simply because of its proximity to Phoenix and Flagstaff. The WMA tribe has good reason to want Snowbowl shut down. They are their competition.

One more quick point. What are the Tribes so angry at the White Man about? We took their homes and their lives by offering trinkets and beads. It was wrong. There is little doubt. But that was a century ago. They are making up for it though with this:

Sitting in her own urine, the elderly woman continued to play the game. Observers concluded she had some sort of bladder disorder, but the real problem was actually staring the woman in the face: the slot machine. Her gambling addiction had reached the point where she ignored everything --even her own bodily functions -- simply so she could keep on playing. Seniors with a gambling problem are known to stop taking medications, steal money, gamble with credit card money, gamble with money earmarked for utility bills, or even skip meals, Lisa Rafferty, residential program specialist, said. When seniors rely too heavily on gambling for entertainment, it can lead to addiction, she said. "Then they do it (gambling) all the time, without any regard to their own basic needs."

Or this:

Senior citizens are the fastest-growing group of gamblers and, some say, the most vulnerable. Those older than 65 who have gambled jumped from 35 percent in 1975 to 80 percent in 1998. Casinos sprouting up from Las Vegas to Indian reservations to riverboats market to older people. One Iowa spot offered a 50 percent prescription drug discount to players who took out a club card. Foxwood offers handicapped-accessible blackjack tables. "Years ago, gambling was illegal," Bob Gardy said. "Now, you can't turn on the TV without seeing a commercial. It's all done by the state." Nearby, players with canes and oxygen tanks sit like turtles, necks craned to the screen. Gamblers 60 and older lost $2.4 billion in Atlantic City casinos in 1997, 65 percent of all the money casinos took in. Some players lose their retirement savings and homes. New York's problem gamblers aged 65 and older more than tripled, 1986 and 1996. In New Jersey, those aged 55 and older seeking help rose 6 to 15 percent (in one year) of all calls. "Some of our clients will sit there for 12 hours," "They will not eat. They will not drink. It begins as a social outlet, but they get hooked and they gamble their retirement money. We see a lot of older people become addicted to slot machines."

Drain Lake Powell. Ski on our sacred mountain, but not theirs. You are committing rape and genocide.

I am refusing to spend a dollar at Sunrise again out of principle. This misplaced hatred of the White Man for centuries old oppression and calling me a rapist and a genocidal killer do not sit well. I will not frequent Indian Casinos. And I will support Snowbowl and Lake Powell as much as I can. These folks have to be stopped. They are irrational and they do not want what is good for our country, state, Flagstaff, skiing, industry, recreation. They are a coalition of people that hate our government and hate our citizens. And I will not subsidize them with my money.

Posted by Justin at May 2, 2006 11:28 AM

Comments

After being in the trade of making snow I find all these words being thrown around have no merit. First of all there are no reasons for a protest against the use of reclaimed waste water. Used in hundredes of golf, baseball,and parks around the world. Many of thoes on indian lands and sacred sites to many cultures around the world.
Ok let's get out of the personal side and look at the nuts and bolts of this issue. The quality of water used in reclaimed waste water is much cleaner than say the river I pull water out of to make snow in colorado. Our water has heavy metals, poisions and road trash from the highway. We get awards for using it.
I think the bottom line is the indians are not getting any profits out of snowbowl and the enviromental groups are using the indians to collect money for their pockets off the indiand. LET THERE BE SNOW AT SNOWBOWL.

Posted by: Bryan at May 25, 2006 07:37 AM