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Old 03-25-2005, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Native Americans Criticize Bush's Silence on Red Lake

All things considered, I can't say I blame them for feeling this way.

Quote:
Native Americans across the country -- including tribal leaders, academics and rank-and-file tribe members -- voiced anger and frustration Thursday that President Bush has responded to the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history with silence.

Three days after 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed nine members of his Red Lake tribe before taking his own life, grief-stricken American Indians complained that the White House has offered little in the way of sympathy for the tribe situated in the uppermost region of Minnesota.

"From all over the world we are getting letters of condolence, the Red Cross has come, but the so-called Great White Father in Washington hasn't said or done a thing," said Clyde Bellecourt, a Chippewa Indian who is the founder and national director of the American Indian Movement here. "When people's children are murdered and others are in the hospital hanging on to life, he should be the first one to offer his condolences. . . . If this was a white community, I don't think he'd have any problem doing that."

Weise's victims included his grandfather and five teenagers; seven other students were wounded, and two of them remain in serious condition in a hospital in Fargo, N.D.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, in an informal discussion with reporters Tuesday, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed."

The reaction to Bush's silence was particularly bitter given his high-profile, late-night intervention on behalf of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman caught in a legal battle over whether her feeding tube should be reinserted.

"The fact that Bush preempted his vacation to say something about Ms. Schiavo and here you have 10 native people gunned down and he can't take time to speak is very telling," said David Wilkins, interim chairman of the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota and a member of the North Carolina-based Lumbee tribe.

"He has not been real visible in Indian country," said former senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.). "He's got a lot of irons in the fire, but this is important."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Mar24.html
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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maybe bush's handlers do not see any short-term political gain from reacting to this.
it would detract from the farce that is the schiavo situation.
it would bring up the various problems associated with opposing gun control.
it would bring up problems specific to this community.

lots of problems....no obvious advantage.
so in tactical terms, it would appear the decision was made that it made sense--somehow---to "stay the course"---and it is all too clear that there is no ideological pluralism in rightwing land, that what the tactical puppeteers say might as well come from god.
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a local crime story, how much more other than condolences could he give?
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Now....we wouldn't want to let facts get in the way would we?

According to what I see, this thread was started at 3:19pm Mountain Time.

However, the AP filed a story three hours earlier detailing the Friday morning phone conversation between President Bush and Floyd Jourdain Jr., chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa.

I also noticed this little tidbit in the AP story:
Quote:
Perino said that Bush tried to call Jourdain a couple of times on Thursday but couldn't reach him. "I know that he got voice mail a couple of times," she said.
and
Quote:
Gifts of money have been pouring into the tribe as it prepares for the victims' funerals. Bush told Jourdain that he used part of his weekly radio address to encourage Americans to send more help, Perino said. The president's address was taped Friday morning and will be broadcast Saturday.
LINK

But......I wouldn't expect most people around here to mention this info when condemning the President.

The article I linked was really easy to find, it is mentioned on the home page of several news agencies online.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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it's not a local crime story. school shootings haven't been local stories in a long ass time.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
It's a local crime story, how much more other than condolences could he give?
Haha! Classic. It's "local" now.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martinguerre
it's not a local crime story. school shootings haven't been local stories in a long ass time.
I think that the point of this story is to point out that Bush is an NRA supporter and that he likes guns. So let's just get that out in the open.

Now, what exactly should Bush be doing? Hold hands, have I feel your pain speeches?
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't remember Columbine being a "local crime story" in the least...and since this is the second deadliest in our country's history, I think it is rather sad that the president has his press secretary say something rather than say something himself. I guess the American people have become desensitized to school shootings with the rash of them that followed Columbine; or, perhaps it really is because of the race of the victims. I don't really know.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A lot of you seem to be missing Post #4 in this thread.
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
A lot of you seem to be missing Post #4 in this thread.
They see it, but they prefer to ignore it
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Old 03-25-2005, 04:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Actually, I was researching Columbine and my post was made after KMA's was posted. However, I still stand by what I say. This is a snippet from the link that KMA posted.

Quote:
Some American Indians have complained that Bush did not respond publicly to the shooting for four days. Just hours after the shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School that left 15 dead, then-President Clinton publicly expressed his condolences.

Bush's delayed reaction was in contrast to his swift intervention in the Terri Schiavo case. The president interrupted his vacation and hurried to Washington on Sunday to sign legislation allowing federal courts to consider the case of the brain-damaged Florida woman
That the president would cut short his vacation for the Schiavo case, yet can not offer condolences to the families of 8 dead children in the second worst school shooting in our nation's history is STILL sad, in my opinion.
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medusa99
Actually, I was researching Columbine and my post was made after KMA's was posted. However, I still stand by what I say. This is a snippet from the link that KMA posted.

That the president would cut short his vacation for the Schiavo case, yet can not offer condolences to the families of 8 dead children in the second worst school shooting in our nation's history is STILL sad, in my opinion.
Ummm, Medusa he did offer his sympathy's. Now calm down KMA and NCB, that doesn't mean I'm taking your side.
KMA clearly pointed out that the President attempted to call the tribe and was directed to voicemail as a result of the overwhelming response the tribe was receiving.
I do agree however, that there is no advantages to making an opinion on this incident known from the presidents perspective. It has no obvious political advantage. That's just politics. It pathetic, and both side do it. I'm sure the issue was discussed, and it was decided that the president had nothing to gain from injecting himslef in the issue.

And NCB, you and I both know that this is not a local story. That was a short-sighted and selfish reply on par with saying "Not my problem.". You inherantly state that Columbine was also a local story not worthy of national attention. I do think an apology for that comment would be the classy thing to do. No incident of a school shooting should be dissmissed under the guise of "Not my problem."
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arch13
Ummm, Medusa he did offer his sympathy's.
Ooops...I meant until four days after, as what was stated in the clip I posted. Sorry.
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
I think that the point of this story is to point out that Bush is an NRA supporter and that he likes guns. So let's just get that out in the open.

Now, what exactly should Bush be doing? Hold hands, have I feel your pain speeches?
Or, he could get off his ass and do something. But yeah, that is part of the job. What do leaders do after tragedies? They show that they are still present, and working to do what they can. You can throw up as much language as you want, but what you're justifying is a lazy and disconnected leadership style.
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I can almost guarantee if it happened in a school where the average income of the parents was over 100,000, in a bible belt area and the majority were white, Bush would have at the very least taken 5 minutes to have a press conference and issue his condolences and how he would do what he could to make sure this didn't happen again. Not being racist, but face facts that's where the GOP is strongest and it would be political must.

To accuse Bush that he said nothing because he is a gun and NRA proponent is a bit of a stretch.

To use the excuse Bush called several times and got voice mail and will address the situation DAYS later, is pathetic. You mean to tell me that the supposed most powerful man in the world cannot get through to the chief of an Indian tribe to offer his condolences..........Now that is a joke right? (I have great respect for you, KMA, but come on.... "he reached voice mail" and he left it at that????)

Yes, it is sad to see our president and our press spend more time and energy on a case such as white middle class Terry Schiavo than to address a serious national problem as school violence.

So very very sad we have a president with his priorities so transparent and what's even sadder are the truly decent people that make excuses for the man.

This shouldn't even be a political thing, this should be a sad reminder to us of where our country has been heading for the past 10 years and how we need to work TOGETHER to find ways to prevent kids from doing these things. Obviously what we have done since Columbine, and was it Erlanger Ky?, and other schools hasn't helped.

What will it take before we get responses from the right that aren't "local story doesn't affect me?" fucked up, non caring attitudes.And perhaps the poster does care, but.... the perception left from his post is that he doesn't.

Aw well..... I'm not a pessimist because I believe in the eventual good of mankind but I feel this is just the beginning of some very bad times and that over the next few years violence like this and in the workplace will become very normal and an everday occurance.

When hate fills the mind and spirit violence is the only thing the mind and spirit will understand.
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Old 03-26-2005, 07:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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This is getting to the point of being silly. Criticizing Bush for his untimely reaction to the tsunami and now to the school shooting is really nit-picking. The guy has done some things worthy of criticism we don't need to make them up as well.
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinguerre
Or, he could get off his ass and do something...
Like...?
Hell, the poor guy working security was unarmed. He never stood a chance against a kid with a .44, or whatever. Should Bush federally mandate armed security guards with body armor at every public school from now on?
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
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OK everyone, make sure you're sitting down, because I'm siding with Bush on this one.

The "native americans" (that's crap BTW, I'm a native american too.) across the country who are criticizing Bush on this want their cake and eat it too.

They want their reservations to be soveriegn nations - that's why they can have casinos, because they aren't part of the US, and it's also why, for example, a couple of my photojournalist bretherin were arrested at Red Lake covering this story - they didn't have the same rights to shoot in public places as they do in the United States because they weren't legally IN the United States.

But as soon as they have a problem, they want help from a foreign country? That's crazy. If you want your own sovereign nation, that's fine, but then you need to take care of your own internal problems.
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonDog
Like...?
Hell, the poor guy working security was unarmed. He never stood a chance against a kid with a .44, or whatever. Should Bush federally mandate armed security guards with body armor at every public school from now on?
Like, address the chronic corruption and late payments in the BIA, so that the Red Lake community had more resources for improving schools and dealing with the social breakdown that has been the hallmark of the reservation system.

He could do that for starters.
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Old 03-26-2005, 09:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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but that would be "bad news" for the right machinery, martinguerre, in that it would require addressing structural problems at the economic and social levels.
too complicated..not amenable to snappy graphics..and worst of all it would force a confrontation with some of the realities of the present economic order that the right has dedicated so much energy to running away from.

maybe that is why such response as there might be from cowboy george and company has been delayed (if it happens at all): the proboem probably lay with figuring out how to spin this to the rights advantage.
the nra "suggestion" that teachers be armed seems a right response to this.
see the thread on that topic parallel to this one.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martinguerre
Like, address the chronic corruption and late payments in the BIA, so that the Red Lake community had more resources for improving schools and dealing with the social breakdown that has been the hallmark of the reservation system.

He could do that for starters.
That sounds wonderful!! Just how exactly does it address a teenage going into a school and blowing away several people? Would a payment made on time prevented this? Of course not.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:11 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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see, ncb, faithful soldier that he is, demonstrates the "logic" whereby any right response to this sad sad situation would first of all evacuate social questions and replace them with a focus on the arbitrariness of individual actions.

particularly arbitrary are the actions of those who do not hold capital, and who, according to rightwing logic, cannot be understood as either rational or moral social actors.

actually looking at social conditions in any detail is anathema to the "lofty" vision of the fox news set.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:24 AM   #23 (permalink)
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The difference in Bush's behavior in response to Red Lake versus the Schiavo situation is clear, undeniable and very instructive.

I think the obvious explanation of this difference is political opportunism, pure and simple. Intervening in the Schiavo case was perceived to have an immediate political payoff from his base constituency of conservative Christians, whereas making a political statement about Red Lake would have offended the gun lobby, which is another important political constituency.

Conservative Christians have been vocally calling for intervention in the Schiavo case. However, the gun lobby, in the voice of the NRA, said in response to Red Lake:

Quote:
"It seems callous to talk about politics or to try to push a legislative agenda on the back of this heart-rending crime," the NRA's chief spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, said in response to the Minnesota shootings.
However, it is ridiculous to say that any political response would be "callous".

For example, Bush could call for funding of school-based mental health counseling grants that are authorized in the No Child Left Behind Act. These are currently completely unfunded, partly because conservatives believe that psychological problems should be handled by families and churches, and not by professional psychiatrists.

Or he could call for funding of state grant allocations from the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The purpose of these grants is to put together programs that reduce youth violence. But again conservatives are opposed to these programs for a variety of reasons.

Neither of these responses would be the least bit "callous."

If Bush really believes in the "culture of life" there is a lot that he could at least propose that would do more to support and encourage such a culture in our schools. Clinton did as much within a few days of the Columbine shootings.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...ck=1&cset=true
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:29 AM   #24 (permalink)
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see, ncb, faithful soldier that he is, demonstrates the "logic".
Yeah, logic and common sense can be a bitch at times.

So your solution is to appoint a bunch of pointed head academics and burauecrats to debate on how best to get payments on time. That, in turn will aleviate the stressful social orders and condition that exist on a reservation surrounded by an oppressive and indifferent imperialist regime. That sound about right?



So again, I'll ask. How would that have prevented a whacked out teenager from blowing away sevral people at his school?
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:35 AM   #25 (permalink)
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BTW, in his weekly radio address this is all Bush said about what needs to be done in response to the Red Lake tragedy:

Quote:
As we help the families in this community, we must do everything in our power to prevent tragedies like this from happening. Children benefit from a sense of community, and the support and involvement of caring adults. To keep our children safe and protected, we must continue to foster a culture that affirms life and provides love, and helps our young people build character.

On this Easter weekend, we honor all Americans who give of themselves, from those helping neighbors at home to those defending liberty overseas. Easter is the victory of light over darkness. In this season of renewal, we remember that hope leads us closer to truth, and that in the end, even death, itself, will be defeated. That is the promise of Easter morning.

Thank you for listening.
In other words, lots of lofty glittering generalities, but no practical course of action, no argument, no substance.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea.../20050326.html
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:48 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Simple truths -- Clinton responded to Columbine in hours, Bush responded to Red Lake in days, and more so to praise the security guard than to spotlight any possible source for the shootings. Different Presidents have different priorities, and they are often self-evident. An "I feel your pain" statement of some kind would have been very appropriate. It's one of the things Clinton did right for years, showing empathy for struggling Americans.

It's sad to me that it's politically expedient for Republican leadership to involve themselves with Schiavo, and yet the same leaders remain virtually mute on a subject that's been one of the most distressing NATIONAL (not local) stories of the last decade. For the last two years (2003-2004), deaths from school shootings are up again.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:51 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Post #23 -- raveneye, my thoughts, your words. Good post
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:20 AM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Yeah, logic and common sense can be a bitch at times.
terms that, of course, the right monopolizes.

interesting, in a pathological kinda way.

Quote:
So your solution is to appoint a bunch of pointed head academics and burauecrats to debate on how best to get payments on time. That, in turn will aleviate the stressful social orders and condition that exist on a reservation surrounded by an oppressive and indifferent imperialist regime. That sound about right?
gee, i just read through the thread and saw nothing---nothing at all--that would justify your reponse.

i had only commented on what i saw as the tactical questions that prevented the right media apparatus from telling you what response you should have. apparently, this kind of absence of factual material on which to base your opinions is not an obstacle to your claiming that you, and you alone, occupy a position shaped by "logic and common sense"---i would think that this gap, between your inferences and what you base them on--would give you pause, a reason to think about how you fashion your political views.

maybe better for you to wait until the conservative media apparatus decides how to handle this one--then at least you'll have distortions not particular to yourself to work with.
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:49 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Yes, Bush probably hasnt made a big deal about this because there is no substantial political advantage. Possibly even a disadvantage. Mabye I'm just too cynical but it seems obvious to me that most politicians dont make public statements unless there is an obvious political advantage (or damage control). Wich leads me to beleive the same political motivations are behind the criticism of Bush on this situation. In fact I would go out on a limb and say that even if he gave an 3 hour speech, with a 24 hour candle light vigil his detractors would still find a way to slay him for it. That would be obvious pandering, now wouldnt it? The same politics lie behind bush's silence and his opponents criticism. Why get caught up this shit? Its not even real.

Anytime I hear a politician publicly offering condolences for just about anything, Ive always associated it with public relations, not genuine concern. NEWS FLASH:Politicians naturally avoid saying anything that will cause a backlash among their constituents, whether they feel stronly about it or not. Duh, duh, and duh.

Judge a politician by their actions... not their words. Because in Washington.. words really are meaningless.
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:39 PM   #30 (permalink)
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It's a local crime story, how much more other than condolences could he give?
Gun violence in America's youth is a local crime story? This alludes to the type of short-sighting thinking that I simply cannot agree with. We should be working toward the ideal: any problem in society is a problem for all of society. Whether we achieve the ideal is irrelevant.
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:51 PM   #31 (permalink)
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roachboy has covered most of what i'd say...

pointed headed academics....i love the ad hominem combined with anti-intellectualism. it's wonderfully distasteful.

let's put it this way. the federal government, due to land siezures and mineral rights, owes Native Americans a shit load of money. They promise to pay regularly...but because of corruption, incompetence, and other factors...the trust fund is not well managed.

This lack of funding leaves the reservations as hotspots of poverty, with social issues like drug and alcohol abuse...and no way of paying their way out. Unless...the tribe happens to be near enough to a major metro area to have a casino. I've been to Red Lake...it's in the middle of Fucking Nowhere.

So...in the face of:
1. A Federal obligation to pay.
2. A failure to do so.
3. A community in crisis with lack of economic opportunities, which may or may not have contributed to this instance of violence...

Your answer is to not do *anything*?

Now, that's incredible.
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Old 03-27-2005, 09:59 PM   #32 (permalink)
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And so Bush reaps the negative consequences of a Bureau that has been horribly mismanaged for much longer than he has been around...cool!

I can lay claim to enough American Indian ancestry myself (Cherokee through my mother) that I could have gone to college on the Government's dime, but I didn't because I didn't need the help. My Best Man from my wedding, a full Cherokee himself, chose to do the same. Although I count myself as a Caucasian, both of us would absolutely LOVE to see some President stand up and honor the treaties established with the various Native American nations. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened, and probably won't in the near future.

But let's get back on target. What can President Bush do - or what should he have done - that would have prevented this? Law enforcement seems to agree that security was proper, or at least that's what I have read so far. Someone please lay out a cause and effect chain for me here, because all I am reading is supposition.

Is Red Lake a poor community, with a host of social and economic ills? I bet it is, but I'd rather wait until the investigation is over before I start pointing fingers.
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