Follow the Wampum

By Proof

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Many of us border on political battle fatigue, following the major failures of the Obama administration over unemployment and the economy, Obamacare, with millions losing their coverage, or the series of foreign policy blunders that put our embassies at risk, alienated our allies and rewarded our enemies. But, while major policy meltdowns surround us and command our attention, the fact that the Federal government, a behemoth, a gargantuan juggernaut that never sleeps, with thousands of equally bad decisions and policies implemented by countless agencies of the bureaucratic state, blundered blithely on with scarcely a ripple in the national consciousness. Could there be a more eloquent argument in favor of smaller government? Submitted for your consideration...

SACRAMENTO — Obama administration policies stimulating an expansion of tribal gambling have touched off new battles over proposed tribal casinos in California and elsewhere. Since President Barack Obama took office, the Department of the Interior has recognized dozens of new tribes and approved requests from a handful of others to acquire land that could house a casino, contingent on deals between the tribes and their home states.

The department rejected nearly all such applications under President George W. Bush.

While I have written before on the Balkanization of America by our current president ("Our Divisive President"), the creation of more tiny Indian "nations" inside our borders is a literal Balkanization.

In California, there are already over one hundred "federally recognized tribes". Sixty two of them own casinos. In theory, there is some history between the tribe and the land the reconstituted (or newly founded) tribes claim for their Indian casinos. (It's hard to figure how we ever conquered the Indian nations, since so many of them were prescient enough to locate their tribal lands next to where freeway off ramps would some day spring up!)

Of course, those less prescient tribes have had to apply for "off-reservation" casinos, aided and abetted (pun intended) by Vegas gambling interests.

Since Obama took office in 2009, just five federal applications for new land from tribes that did not have reservations have been accepted. But dozens of others are pending, and opponents of the deals fear many more may soon be approved.

Seven such requests from California tribes are now before federal officials, according to gambling critic Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up California, which monitors state gambling issues. An additional 78 tribes are seeking federal recognition, according to U.S. Census data.

Lawmakers have begun to question the historic ties the tribes have to the land where they want to build these casinos, and say major gambling operators from Las Vegas and elsewhere are funding the tribes' efforts to win federal approval in exchange for future management contracts.

I'm an egalitarian. I believe that all Americans of all classes, races and creeds should abide by the same set of laws. This extends from our ruling class, who seek to set themselves about the laws they place upon others, to those who call themselves sovereign nations within the US, who are, coincidentally, exempt from many of the same laws.

This nation has had a shameful past regarding the indigenous peoples of the country. Indian reservations have historically been places of poverty, squalor and despair. Both government provided education and medical care in these places have been seriously wanting. Before the implementation of Obamacare, I used to argue that until the federal government could demonstrate proficiency in the healthcare they already controlled, such as the VA and BIA, they could hardly be trusted to take over health care in the entire country.

But the sins of past treatment of indigenous peoples cannot be absolved by showers of legalized gambling profits. As a boy, I was taught that 'the land' was essential to the Native American's religion and spirituality. Now that the land is mainly used to foster gambling dens, it appears that this administration is currently aiding and abetting the loss of their soul.

Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

Cross posted at Proof Positive


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    1. (Typo correction)...

      At a meeting yesterday I mentioned the fact that I am a tea party supporter. One of the other attendees later wanted to have a "civil discussion" about the tea party. His intentions were good, but it did make wonder how someone from Detroit is able to worry about the tea party while surrounded by liberal devistation.

      Your post is tragic, yet beautifully done. You point out the liberal devistation we commonly see on our California highways and often fail to recognize.

      ...I guess there isn't enough time to worry about it while the tea party visigoth are approaching the gates of power...

    2. You raise the matter of equality before the law: I wonder if we could sue these elitist, ruling class twerps under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 7 states that "All [persons] are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law." Anybody for The Hague?

    3. Bob: There are mechanisms in the Constitution for correcting the inequalities, without opening a world court can of worms (if we could find enough people with a spine!). Tribal casinos are a very small problem compared to the major meltdowns we face as a nation.I thought it was simply illustrative of how the federal leviathan lumbers on when we're busy looking at other things.

    4. DDE: Right now, the Tea Party is probably the best bet for making conservative inroads. We need to throw our support: our time, our talent and our treasures to the most conservative candidates we can find.

  2. ... the most conservative candidates that moderates will vote for and continue to support once elected.

    Conservatives will not win national office with just the support of the most conservative. America is slightly center right, not extreme right. Do the math.

    1. Duh. Some things are implied, Irrational Notion. I suppose I could have included a Closed Caption for the Thinking Impaired which added "the most electable conservative candidate we can find", but I thought we were talking among adults (until you showed up).

      "Do the math" Yeah. Like the boneheads who tout Jon Huntsman? Tell us again what percentage of the vote he received last time around? Talk about math impaired!

    2. BTW, why would you automatically assume that the most "conservative" candidate would be on the "extreme" right? Which part of "conservative" don't you quite understand?

  3. Well Duh, thanks for you thoughts. Like I really give a rat's arse.

    Huntsman, I liked the guy, still do. But the dunderheads in the republican party nominated Mr. Romney. Oh well, guess the math worked well for him and the party huh?

    Let me guess, you perfer a Palin, Cruz type. yep, that thpe will certainly have a great shot.

    I understand conservative quite well. Unfortunately many do not. They think staying inside that neat little box crafted for them by modern republicans who call themselves conservatives is the answer. I suspect you do as well in some ways. I suspect I know as much from reading you as you think you know about me.

    1. "Like I really give a rat's arse." Oh, please! You show up on virtually every thread of mine with virtually nothing to say. You can't stay on topic. In this thread you literally have nothing to say on topic, but had to dissect a casual comment of mine responding to another commenter, (and getting it wrong in the process), just to have something to say. Admit it. Like Ema, your soulmate, you crave my attention.

      They think staying inside that neat little box crafted for them by modern republicans who call themselves conservatives is the answer. I suspect you do as well in some ways" You suspect wrong, Columbo, thus your record is 100%. Please don't ever come to a conclusion without jumping to it first. My heart might not handle the shock!

      So, when I was criticizing "modern Republicans who call themselves conservatives" like Paul Ryan and Chris Christie, and Mike Huckabee (all within the last 3 weeks) your learned (stop laughing!) opinion, are they not "modern", not "Republicans" or not "calling themselves conservatives"? Are you one of those guys who wakes up every morning without any knowledge of anything prior to that day? Or did you just not understand all the big words? Please, don't bother to answer, I know it won't be on topic, will be verbose, boring and somehow you will pretend that with however many comments you litter my threads, that somehow you are indifferent to them.

      If I may paraphrase a suggestion I gave you earlier, the way to demonstrate you don't give a rat's arse about something is to ignore it. Please go back to every blog post you've ever written. All of those comments of mine you do not see, are me (and a host of others) not giving a rat's arse.

      Somehow, I suspect in spite of all that, you will insist on having the last word. Give it your best shot.

  4. Your trite name calling is 1) typical of those hiding behind falsehoods, 2) living a existance of smoke and mirrors, 3) and generally unable to consider anything outside of their long held beliefs, even when wrong.

    Now, you may have the last word.

    Oh, one last thing... Sitting in or preaching to the choir is easy and non threatening. You do it well.


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