From the March 2006 Idaho Observer:
Going to pieces
Gambling Americans financing the destruction of their nation with bad bets at Indian casinos
by Don Harkins
"Going to Pieces: The Dismantling of the United States of America" is a book by Elaine Devary-Willman. The back cover of the book states the following:
Hearing consistent reports of police brutality, murders and oppression, homeland security concerns, political corruption and the loss of basic human rights resulting from the aggressive expansion of tribalism in America, Elaine Devary-Willman and Kamie Christensen Biehl set out on a 6,000 mile trip by car—from Washington State to upstate New York—to interview tribal members, elected officials, law enforcement agents and community leaders living within or near seventeen of America’s Indian reservations.
Tribalism is now claiming vast waters, lands and natural resources—undermining the tax base of urban and rural communities through the proliferation of congressionally-protected, tax-free tribal casinos and other tribal enterprises.
The authors have searched, confirmed and compiled reports of those who have been victimized or threatened by the spread of tribalism, demonstrating the catastrophic consequences of federal Indian policies that, more often than not, ignore and trample upon the constitutional protections of tribal members and millions of other citizens.
What we are about to explain will be shocking. It will also give you the feeling that what we know about the Abramoff scandal through mainstream reporting is a gross understatement of the treachery afoot with regard to the "Indian lobby."
Those of us over the age of 40 remember when placing a private bet between family members on a football game was illegal just about everywhere except Las Vegas and Atlantic city. Growing up in the Northwest U.S., gambling was illegal—period.
Then, in the late 70s, the states began selling lottery tickets. This process began undoing the conditioning of the public with regards to its legal perception of gambling and soon millions of people were spending millions of dollars buying lottery tickets—on the hope that one ticket will win them millions of dollars in prize money.
Sufficiently softened on the gambling issue, the legislatures began creating statutory opportunities for "card rooms" to open up for business in the 80s. Because different laws applied to Indians, card rooms on Indian reservations were able to offer "better games" and became popular—out-competing off-reservation games.
By the 90s, nearly all the pre-70s prohibitions against gambling had fallen away and we, as a nation, were transformed into a bunch of gambling fools: Lotteries, bingo parlors, on and off-track betting, electronic betting on just about anything that is happening anywhere in the world—and Indian casinos.
From an Indian casino directory website called "500 Nations" there is a list, by state, of all the Indian casinos in the country. The list, if we were to print it in the same type and size of the text in this article, would take up this entire page.
When driving past almost any Indian casino during business hours you will find the parking lots are full. Business is booming.
Gambling games are phenomenally profitable for those who provide the gaming—so long as the games are expertly managed. Most of the gambling operations at Indian casinos are managed by men and women trained by gaming management professionals from Las Vegas and Atlantic City "schools."
The connection between organized gambling and organized crime is no secret. What this means is that the organized criminal element behind the gaming industry that had previously been confined to Vegas and Atlantic City has now branched out to hundreds of locations in all but a few of the 50 states.
Indian tribal leadership and organized criminals have enjoyed a phenomenally successful partnership these last 15 or so years. Together they have made billions of dollars.
Indian casinos were supposed to bring jobs and revenue into reservation economies and help to bring a degree of affluence to poverty-stricken Indians; they were supposed to help improve schools, social programs and give poor Indians the education and skills to succeed in modern society. While there may have been some token monies from gaming profits donated to these causes initially, there is no evidence to suggest that tribal members and others living on Indian reservations are benefiting from the collusion of tribal leadership and organized crime’s gaming managers.
The, opposite, in fact, is true. Because silly palefaces pour their money into Indian casinos, "like diarrhea from a buffalo," tribal leaders have become wealthy—and powerful— beyond their widest dreams. This wealth and power, under the tutelage of their organized criminal partners, has given birth to a ruthless class of "Native American" elites.
These people are not the strong, proud and dignified people photographed by Edward G. Curtis in the late 1800s. These people are greedy powermongers who, as laws unto themselves, are given to committing violent crimes against people within their jurisdiction so they can gain control of valuable properties and consolidate their political power.
While Americans pour their money out at Indian casinos, drink the Indian’s liquor, take the trinkets offered them by Indian casino managers and fatten themselves at the Indians’ casino/hotel buffet tables, a powerful lobby is having sway in Congress. While we gamble our money away, we are financing a movement that is systematically empowering tribal leaders to turn Indian reservations into sovereign states where none of the constitutional provisions and protections are observed.
Further, tribal leaders are working for the day when Congress turns millions of acres of resource-laden lands—currently designated as state and national parks and lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management—over to the tribes.
The pages of The Idaho Observer have, for a decade now, been filled with evidence that America and her people are under attack from every quarter. Add this to the list: Because white people were given the homestead act and the mining law, we moved west, fought the Indians, stole their land, braved the wild animals, endured the harsh climates, carved civilization from the wilderness, located the valuable natural resources and built the roads to facilitate their harvest. Now that we have conquered this land, we are no longer needed. In fact, we are a liability. The "great white fathers" in Washington are now helping Indian tribal leaders to steal the land back from non-Indians. We must assume that this is another one of the many plots to destroy our nation that is quickly coming to fruition.
Voices in the wilderness
Willman is chairman of the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA). CERA will be holding a conference in Washington, D.C. April 30-May 4. "This year is pivotal, in my view. There are several very large issues pressing hard on Congress, all of which are coming to a serious crossroads," Willman commented. Among the issues to be addressed are:
1. The Abramoff scandal is forcing a re-examination of lobbying and campaign finance reform legislation—there’s even movement to close the "Indian Loophole" in the Campaign Finance Reform Act.
2. The Cobell v. Norton litigation award of $267 BILLLION owed to the Blackfeet Tribe. Congress cannot settle the case because there are about 29 other lawsuits just like this case coming up. The Cobell case is forcing Congress and the Department of Interior to re-examine its "trust relationship" with Indian tribes.
3. Very serious Homeland Security concerns within tribal casinos and within exterior boundaries of Indian reservations. There’s a growing need for more accountability within reservations and access for local law enforcement.
4. Off-Reservation casino issues and the adverse impacts of existing casinos are having on communities. CERA provides a range of citizen tools for defeating off-reservation casino proposals for communities opposing them. We’ll do special focus sessions on this subject as well.
5. The Akaka Bill (S. 147) (Hawaii’s effort to create a separate Hawaiian "tribe"). This bill has been successfully stalled but could likely come up for some stealth action about the time we’re all in D.C. We’ll have a team from Hawaii with us at the conference.
6. The escalating voice of citizens across the country struggling with all of the above, and becoming increasingly informed and courageous about holding elected officials accountable.
For more information on the conference or to get involved with this critical issue, contact Willman and CERA:
PO Box 1280
Toppenish, WA 98948
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