Where Native America meets pop culture
Writerfella here - Talk about 'uninformed opinions'! Native nations and governments did not just assume they had 'sovereign nation' status, it was foisted on them in the language of various treaties and by government agency policies and Federal regulations approved by Congress. That they are immune from certain taxes (nowhere near ALL taxes!) or that their lands and businesses on those lands are exempt from taxes are set forth in the laws of the land. But that particular writer seems to feel that Natives made up such legalese themselves and that no responsible Federal party has seen fit to stop them. All Native governments are founded upon tribal Constitutions that take their authority from the US Constitution and thus are subordinate to such a source. This is the same system under which the various 50 states take their governing authorities but the writer either does not know this or fails purposefully not to acknowledge it. All such governments, whether state or tribal, exist under 'separate but equal' doctrines, but this also remains unacknowledged. Sovereign recognition of tribal governments indeed does preserve Native tribes and the writer himself fails to realize that he himself is "anyone in modern America (who) would, or for that matter has any desire to, take that away from them." Else, why write that particular op-ed article in the first place? It is my suspicion that the writer does not know (or perhaps even care for the purposes of his article) that as a Native businessman, writerfella pays Federal and state income taxes, sometimes to two or three states at once. Writerfella pays excise taxes, and ad valorem taxes, and personal property taxes, and sales taxes, and withholding taxes, and FICA-SSA taxes, and FICA-MED taxes, to name the obvious few. And writerfella is but one Native individual among the Census-estimated 2 million Natives in the US of A. It is writerfella's farm and grazing lease monies share on which he pays no taxes at all, as those are exempted by treaty and by Federal law. There is also an exemptions not to pay import taxes, which writerfella found in his favor when he visited England in 1979. If writerfella's Kiowan family is lucky enough to get an oil lease or oil leases on October 15, any such income also is exempted from taxes, by treaty and by Federal law. But what taxes writerfella does pay also supports any and all state and Federal programs which all other taxpayers, Natives included, support. Then comes the writer's statement that constitutes one of the finest examples of 'contradictions in terms' to which writerfella ever has been a witness: "The time to put an end to this absurd tribal renaissance in America has long since (passed)..." What happened to his prior statement, "...as if anyone in modern America would, or for that matter has any desire to, take that away from them"? Tell ya what, the only thing he didn't say was that Indians should go back where they came from. Now that would have been worth all the time I spent reading his misanthropic tirade! I think The Three Stooges are spinning in their graves because they realize the absurdities they missed by dying before that writer was born!All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
Writerfella here -- And the writer of the second piece actually believes that Natives and Native governments somehow have escaped the 'equality' enjoyed by all other American citizens. He fails completely to realize why Natives or even Hawaiian Natives are "small narrow interests". They were massacred and subjugated and acculturated into such a status by 'the dominant society'. They lost almost all their lands, they lost thousands and millions of their indigenous people, and they most certainly lost all their rights to the cultures that had sustained them for millennia before white men brought their policies of 'be assimilated or die'. More than obvious is the apparent fact that this writer finds what he regards as his own economic freedoms at risk because of Native sovereignty. He does not so much call for 'eminent domain' or even acknowledge his own wishes for further implementation of 'manifest destiny', but he comes close. Oh horrors, the Navajo people just might find themselves in the position of being able to pay their own gas bills from income paid by the natural gas utility that uses their land for pipelines! Why,... that's...unAmerican! It would mean that the utility would have to pass along such increased costs to the customers they serve, which the writer at least acknowledges as including the Navajos. The Navajo are not opposing "the construction of works of utility or necessity which may be ordered or permitted by the laws of the United States." Surely not, but that does not mean that they are in no position to demand fair payment, which also is "ordered or permitted by the laws of the United States." But he claims that, in return for lower gas bills, the Navajo therefore should have agreed to El Paso Natural Gas' offer without question. Sorry, Mr. Gumby, but you do not have a piece of brain stuck in your forehead. This writer's main concern easily is revealed by his own choice of words and his own choice of prose construction. He is a stockholder and investor in El Paso Natural Gas, and any more outlay of corporate costs than what the utility regards as reasonable by their own corporate standards, means that stockholders might receive a lesser quarterly or yearly dividend than they might have projected. Poor babies! Bet ya a dollar to a doughnut this writer is a Republican!All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
I have nothing to add on this one-two punch from Rob 'n' 'Riter. Some of these are so lame it is like shooting fish in a barrel.
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