Friday, April 30, 2021

The Bureau of Indian Affairs

Image by wwboy from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.  



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — 
A gentlereader

"I am aware that as presenting myself as the advocate of the Indians and their rights, I shall stand very much alone." -Sam Houston 

"There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Calvery." 
                                                                            - George Armstrong Custer

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Fortunately for black people, The Fedrl Gummit doesn't include a Bureau of African-American Affairs. Unfortunately for Native Americans, there is such a thing as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). 

In fact, having been set up in 1824, it's almost 200 years old.  

By the time the Pilgrims arrived off the coast of present-day Massachusets most of the previous occupants of the area had conveniently died. 

“Within these late years, there hath, by God’s visitation, reigned a wonderful plague, the utter destruction, devastation, and depopulation of that whole territory, so as there is not left any that do claim or challenge any kind of interest therein." -King James the first  

Yes, that King James.

The Pilgrims, not having access to GPS, or even AAA TripTiks, arrived in Cape Cod Bay after more than two months at sea. They were more than 200 miles north of their intended destination, Hudson Bay. 

They were a day late (several days actually) and a dollar short. 

[A dollar short?]

I'm speaking metaphorically, Dana, cool writers do that. Literally speaking, they were running out of food and their timing was terrible. It was early November and they parked the Mayflower in what is now the Northeastern region of the U.S.A. 

Winters there were/are even worse than those here in Northeast Ohio (aka Canada's Deep South).


They were supposed to have landed in the Big Apple (actually it was the little apple back then) having heard good things from the Dutch. Having once spent a winter in the NYC area I can verify that winters there are much milder than New England winters, or even Northeast Ohio winters. 


They nearly didn't make it; they almost became a historical rounding error. However, they discovered that by breaking into Native American homes and graves there was food to be had.  

By the time November rolled around again they had (temporarily) befriended some of their new neighbors and had, um, recycled cleared farmland and empty native villages left behind by the locals who had been dying off in droves from European diseases for over a hundred years.

In short order, the Europeans set out to save their souls while stealing their country. The rest is history. The fact that the majority of the natives would die from disease and didn't have to actually be killed sped the process up considerably. 

(Very) long (and complicated) story short — two centuries of theft, exploitation, and attempts at forced assimilation by The Fedrl Gummit. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is about to celebrate its 200th birthday. 

If one defines the Deep State as I do, as a group of mostly faceless, unelected bureaucrats that write and enforce most of the Rules&Regs of The Fedrl Gummit, we should be preparing to celebrate(?) the Deep State's birthday.  

Now, I'm a firm believer in what I call the That was Then, This is Now philosophy of history. That is to say, while the sins of the past should be acknowledged, lessons learned, and where realistic, compensation paid in some form or fashion, what can actually be done to actually solve a given problem so we can all move forward together?           

While I freely admit to knowing virtually nothing about the plight of modern Native Americans living on reservations googlin' the phrase why are Indian reservations so poor? immediately pulled up a nine-year-old article from Forbes (.com) titled, Why Are Indian Reservations So Poor, A Look At The Bottom 1%.

Another very long story short: 

"The vast majority of land on reservations is held communally...This leads to what economists call the tragedy of the commons: If everyone owns the land, no one does. So the result is substandard housing and the barren, rundown look that comes from a lack of investment, overuse and environmental degradation. "

It's the exact same reason most inner-city housing projects are a disaster. Property rights change everything. The article explains why, in detail, if you're interested. 

For our purposes, suffice it to say that if the provisions of the Dawes Act, passed in 1887, had been implemented and all Indian land privatized we could've solved this problem a couple of centuries ago. 

But what happens when Fedrl regulators, special interests, and self-serving, local Native American officials wind up on the same team? 

Ya get a 200-year-old agency of The Fedrl Gummit that's been working on the same problems for 200 years.

"Any Indian who didn’t win clear title to land by 1934 was left with a fractional share of the reservation’s land held in trust. With every generation, each share was divided among more family members and today hundreds of people may have a partial claim to one share of trust land."

Wednesday, April 30, 2121
HHS Task Force Releases Report
Washington (AP) — Dr. Anthony Steven Fauci III, Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has announced that the Report of the Joint Task Force appointed to study and recommend reforms to the American healthcare system is now in the hands of President Kardashian and will be released to the public shortly. 

Dr. Fauci, asked if a final determination as to whether face masks work and under what circumstances had been made (as specifically requested by President Kardashian) responded, "Well, that depends..." 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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