I got something for you to consider.
Here's a couple of tunes for you (in the little box below) while I tell you about something. The first song is a cover of an old, great tune, from Ray Lamontagne, fellow Maine dude.
Now you know by now that I am an American Indian. No, I ain't gonna bitch about shit that happened five hundred some odd years ago.
No, I got some new shit for ya.
Shit don't end, you see.
My tribe wanted in on the whole casino thing that tribes across the country have been doing for a little while now. Why the hell not? We are not wards of the state, we do not ask for any handouts, and my tribe is actually a model for other tribes in how to persevere and grow economic fluidity.
But this Bingo hall, the first of its kind started from back in the 1970's, does not have any gambling tables or slot machines. So we checked that shit out. We went for Slots only. We asked the Feds about this. They told us we had to defer to the State of Maine.
Now, I don't know about you, but I think that is wrong. Our tribe is sovereign, has been for ten thousands years, living on our river here in what is now known as "Maine" all this time. That's five times the length of how long Christianity has been around.
States are sovereigns as well as Tribes. This was a new concept during the departure of the Colonies from under the reign of a cruel King, George, because he was taxing the piss out of everyone.
The idea of a Union of Sovereigns was based upon the Wabanaki Confederacy of Tribes up here in "New England", and this became the Confederate Union of States, which evolved into the God Blessed United States and Tribes of America. USA, baby.
So, one sovereign must never bow before another.
They meet at the same table, government to government, as equals at the Federal level.
Federal means "Con-Federacy of Sovereigns." You know this, don't you?
So we went and talked with the State of Maine heads at that time about putting slot machines into our Bingo hall. We were going to give them half of the after-winnings revenue, in good faith business practice. They would be our partners, you see.
Win win, for everyone?
The governor at the time said he had to put it to a referendum of the populace of this state.
The populace voted "NO" by a narrow margin.
We did not get our slot machines for our own economic development, nor for the benefit of the State whose boundaries within we reside
Now, the vote was closely split in this way: Most folks saw nothing wrong with our tribe making some money. But then there were those in the lower half of the state, who don't often visit the upper wilderness; who simply thought that Slot Machines located on a reservation up north that holds 600 Indians would "Spoil The Great Maine Outdoors."
Here is my rant:
The state's administration then took our business model and found our investors, and opened up their own Slot Machine Palace ten miles away from us thereafter.
10 miles away.
Chew on that for a bit, will ya?
Yup, no need to bitch about shit that happened half an eon ago.
We don't ask for any hand outs.
We just want a chance to make it on our own.
Fuck institutionalized racism and prejudice.
You know what's ironic? I help out my tribe with this tiny bingo. We welcome the Canadians, as well as others from the New England region, for a great place to play Bingo eight weekends a year.
And guess what? These folks save much of their money to then go off to play the Slots ten miles away when they leave our Bingo here, both weekend nights 8 times a year after the Bingo closes.
That Slot place is open every day of the year, for everyone else in the state and whoever else visits this area, the best in the whole continent.
For $7.50 an hour, I work this tiny bingo to help with coin boards, for my tribe. Believe me, I don't need that small bit of change; there are other things I'd rather be doing this weekend, like shoveling off my roof from Friday's snow storm, but sometimes you make a sacrifice for your community.
I'm sure you do as well. Public Service is tantamount, in my book. I don't even accept payment for my other job for my tribe.
Come see me at the Bingo and we'll chat. I'm working there right now today and then tomorrow, Sunday.
I got your "rant" my friend.
Now don’t get me wrong. Most of the people in this state are the best. We all endure hard winters, and we enjoy the coolest outdoor experience in this excellent country, the Mighty USA. Here is one of the many, many things that makes this state great. Lobstah.
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