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Here on the other side, Massachusetts is having it's very own death by casino issues.  The "vote" to accept a casino on "Indian" land was by most accounts a staged proposition from the beginning.
by Lasthorseman on Sun Aug 19th, 2007 at 06:44:09 PM EST
Thanks, the "Indian land" casino question they had out here was pretty much a shuck and a jive.  Now most people regret opening that door.  The "tribes" are buying land and claiming they can build it on their new reservations.  I liked it better when the confined gambling to Nevada.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Sun Aug 19th, 2007 at 07:27:22 PM EST
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Casinos bring about moral degradation and this is given high priority in the global agenda.
by Lasthorseman on Sun Aug 19th, 2007 at 08:04:02 PM EST
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I actually kinda/sorta agree with this.  I don't like gambling.  I don't like the Something-for-Nothing philosophy gambling sponsors.  

I don't like the fact the only viable economic activity the nations can do is run casinos.  

On the other hand there is no question the best jobs on the res are associated with the casinos.  And the profits from the casino fund housing, health care, education, cultural activities, and so on.  And the taxes casinos pay into the state are a big part of the income of the state; New Mexico simply can't afford to do away with casinos.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 10:33:29 PM EST
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Is "out here" Sonoma County?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 10:35:03 PM EST
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Bay area in general, not so much problem yet in Sonoma County, though something hinky is developing around Cotati.  Big casino up on hwy 128 is terrible eyesore and traffic fiasco, but not too intrusive other than that.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 11:07:33 PM EST
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Oh, I dunno.  I get a big laugh when going past a casino filled with cars with Texas license plates sporting various GOP, Evangelical, and Conservative bumper stickers while their owners are inside pissing their money away.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 12:01:04 AM EST
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While many tribal elders still believe casinos will hurt the preservation of native culture, many argue that native culture was being decimated anyway.  At least now there are native controlled hospitals and clinics, language immersion schools for the youth, and all manner of cultural preservation techniques.  Filmed interviews with elders, digital storytelling, and most importantly, the preservation (and rebirth) of native languages are some of the many side effects of casino profits.

Indian women are no longer systematically sterilized when they control their own clinics.  I've been to households where the kids can keep secrets from their parents, 'cause the kids can speak the language better.  The growth of native filmmaking, particularly digital, is a huge new feature of reservation life.  On the whole, casinos (despite some abuse as in every culture or business) have turned around reservation life.

Plus everyone gets a cool pickup truck.  (OK, i'm not minimizing the intense problems that still exist on many reservations... unemployment, suicide, alcohol.  But they're gradually diminishing.)  Health care alone  is a huge win.

I've heard a thousand jokes about how the tribes have found a way to stick the needle in the vein of the culture which tried to eliminate them.  

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 10:49:07 AM EST
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I think the increase in income to people is a good thing generally, but I don't think this is an appropriate vehicle for it.  At least in my area, the tribe has put in a big casino, but the Indian Health budget has not increased, and we still don't have anywhere near appropriat programs for the at-risk youth I work with every day.  It seems to also have caused much animosity and concern about who is "indian" enough to get in on the largesse.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 05:30:57 PM EST
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