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Thu Feb 9, 2012, 11:16 PM

KETV Omaha: Tribe Demands $500M From Beer Makers

Last edited Fri Feb 10, 2012, 10:40 PM - Edit history (1)

LINCOLN, Neb. -- An American Indian tribe says it will sue some of the world's largest beer makers for knowingly contributing to alcohol-related problems on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota announced Thursday it will demand $500 million from five international beer manufacturers for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation.

“The Oglala Sioux Tribe seeks compensation for all of the damages the Lakota people have suffered as a result of illegal alcohol sales,” said attorney Tom White, of White and Jorgensen Law Offices in Omaha.

The lawsuit also targets four off-site beer stores in Whiteclay, Neb., a town with a population of about a dozen people on the South Dakota border that sells nearly 5 million cans of beer annually.


Read more: http://www.ketv.com/news/30418786/detail.html#ixzz1lwrNtGCw

If there were a place designated as "America's Skid Row", it'd be Whiteclay, NE. "Grocery" stores sell huge amounts of beer to the Native Sioux that come over the border from the Pine Ridge rez, which is officially dry. Drunks literally lay passed out in the middle of streets and sidewalks.

My personal hope is that this never reaches the courts. The beer makers and stores sell a lot of beer to folks making bad life choices, and reap profits from this misery. These choices are driven, in part, by the despair caused by 80% plus unemployment and no prospects for improvement. I'd ask the beer companies to do the right thing and give back to the community without being forced by the courts -- things like sponsoring alcohol abuse education for the youth in Pine Ridge; helping contribute to the cost of rehab; and kicking in to help local alternatives to irresponsible drinking, like the Y, Boys/Girls CLubs, and the local schools.

JMHO

57 replies, 8554 views

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply KETV Omaha: Tribe Demands $500M From Beer Makers (Original post)
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 OP
elleng Feb 2012 #1
riverwalker Feb 2012 #2
oldhippydude Feb 2012 #3
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #4
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #10
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #29
joshcryer Feb 2012 #37
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #44
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #46
liberal N proud Feb 2012 #5
HereSince1628 Feb 2012 #6
tama Feb 2012 #22
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #30
tama Feb 2012 #33
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #34
tama Feb 2012 #39
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #43
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2012 #8
TwilightGardener Feb 2012 #12
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #7
RebelOne Feb 2012 #25
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #26
MellowDem Feb 2012 #27
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #32
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #35
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #47
tama Feb 2012 #40
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2012 #9
TwilightGardener Feb 2012 #11
sofa king Feb 2012 #13
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #14
sofa king Feb 2012 #15
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #17
sofa king Feb 2012 #23
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #28
sofa king Feb 2012 #38
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #41
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #50
TwilightGardener Feb 2012 #16
KamaAina Feb 2012 #18
sofa king Feb 2012 #24
KamaAina Feb 2012 #19
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #31
KamaAina Feb 2012 #45
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #48
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #51
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2012 #55
hughee99 Feb 2012 #20
Throd Feb 2012 #21
JustABozoOnThisBus Feb 2012 #36
greiner3 Feb 2012 #42
reACTIONary Feb 2012 #52
obamanut2012 Feb 2012 #49
cstanleytech Feb 2012 #54
hedgehog Feb 2012 #53
MEGONE Sep 2012 #56
OmahaBlueDog Sep 2012 #57

Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 11:24 PM

1. Similar to tobacco cases,

hope they have their heads handed to them.
Alcoholism, rife among Native Americans, is genetic, has nothing to do with 'bad life choices,' and the companies, like tobacco companies, take unconscionable advantage of the addiction their products aggravate.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 11:34 PM

2. hope they win

I drove through Whiteclay once, headed to Fort Robinson Neb. to see the place where Crazy Horse died. Agree with your assessment.


copy of the document
http://savepineridge.org/docs/Complaint-01.pdf

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 11:43 PM

3. Gallup New Mexico

Navajos in comparable condidtions

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 12:34 AM

4. I wish them good luck especially seeing as alchohol is legal.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 11:42 AM

10. Alcohol is not legal on the Pine Ridge reservation (in SD)

It is, however, legal in Whiteclay, NE (just over the border).

One could argue that the presence of liquor in Whiteclay is like building liquor stores next to high schools or colleges.

Of course, the other solution could be to send BIA Police and Nebraska State Police to the border. The BIA could bust those taking beer over the border for rumrunning and illegal possession. The NE troopers could arrest the publically drunk, and then the State could put the burden of jailing and caring for the arrested on the tax-base of Whiteclay (largely, the "grocery" stores).

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 09:38 PM

29. Or the other solution is.....people decide not to drink liquor.

And yes, it can be done.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 08:10 AM

37. Not if you're genetically predisposed to alcoholism.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 01:59 PM

44. Well my father and his father were alcholics and my mothers mother was

yet I decided decades ago and still continue to chose not to drink alcohol so (and this is just my opinion based upon my own experience) it can be done.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 02:39 PM

46. Obviously, that would be the best solution

Note that I referenced "bad life choices" in the OP.

Also note: I have not advocated closing the stores or banning any ethnic group from purchasing beer. I've advocated that the brewers and stores give part of their profits back to the community; barring that, I've suggested that laws regarding public drunkenness and interstate transport of alcohol be enforced strictly.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 06:50 AM

5. American Indians are extreemly susceptible to alcohol

I had a friend in college who was full blood Indian, we learned quickly to keep him away from the alcohol for his own good. Many a time he would show up at my door drunk because others were not so kind to to him.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 07:30 AM

6. On what basis do you make that claim?

Making any generalization about a group from the behavior a single person seems weak. That seems even more so in your anecdote as binge drinking has a long standing history among college students. The universities I attended and the colleges and universities I taught at had policies intended to curb binge drinking whether it was by under-age or consumers of legal age.


Here is a note from the Myths about native Americans from a quiz by the American Indian College Fund.

http://www.collegefund.org/content/history_and_mission

True or False: American Indians are predisposed to alcoholism.

False. American Indians are no more predisposed to alcoholism than any other racial or ethnic group or gender. Alcohol is seen as a means to escape suffering by all people who drink, and many American Indians have endured a lot, causing some to seek this escape. Devon A. Mihesuah, author of American Indians: Stereotypes & Realities, says that “drunkenness among other groups is often less visible due to the extent their positive socioeconomic condition distances them from the streets.” In addition, Jack Utter notes in American Indians: Answers to Today's Questions that this myth may have had its origin tied to a pattern of consumption that some Indians, like others, tend to follow, called binge drinking. He says this pattern began to develop among some Indians to reduce the chance that authorities would confiscate alcoholic beverages, as Indians often could not purchase and consume alcohol in the same way that non-Indians could. He notes that binge drinking may continue among some Indians due to prohibitions against alcohol by certain tribes on some reservations. However, there is no evidence to suggest that American Indians are more susceptible to alcohol than any other group of people.
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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 04:56 PM

22. Conquered nations

 

and destroyed ways of life, peoples deprived their dignity and freedom.

We Finns share similar problems with alcohol, and we are also native people conquered by European civilization, and today largely assimilated. Drinking and dropping out and shutting up and general loserism is a way of resistance, resisting to becoming a hardworking good citizen of the bloody Empire. There are also other ways.

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Response to tama (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 09:44 PM

30. And alot of people are addicted to tobacoo so are the american indians

at fault since didnt they introduce it to the Europeans?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 04:51 AM

33. The ones I've met

 

have been using tobacco as a sacrament and telling that it is also a great joker, to be treated with respect.

Don't see much point in blame games.

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Response to tama (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 06:23 AM

34. Which is my point....that being that people need to stop the silliness and accept

responsibility themselves for choosing to drink liquor, smoke or any other thing and stop blaming x party for their own failings in life.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 08:57 AM

39. There

 

it is the collective guilt of white man that makes those bearing it less able to sympathize and connect with those they or they ancestors have done wrong, and thus keep on continuing the wrong-doing instead of opening their hearts. Blame games and guilt and denial and blaming the victims or oppressors leads nowhere, and we can realize that oppressors are also victims.

There are things of the past and now we are here. Life could and should be better for Lakota people and other tribes, we need to understand the reasons why they are still suffering so greatly, and what is our relation to their suffering, as individuals and communities, and if there is anything that we can do or stop doing to make the situation better.

The few indians I have met in my home country have been great people and great healers, strong and beautiful men, proud of themselves and full of love. One of them told that he used to be a drinking man, before he became a wheel man for his tribe and for all men. They all find strength in the old traditions they are continuing and reviving and adapting to this day and age, and they see the wisdom of forgiving, because without that, life cannot get better but stays poisoned with hatred. I have been taught few words of Lakota, a simple and great prayer:

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

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Response to tama (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 01:29 PM

43. Why should I or even you be held accountable for something a many times removed ancestor may have

done?
Now should life be better for the Lakota? Sure but how do you achieve that for them? Thats also setting aside the fact that there are 40 odd million more people in the US who also are living in poor conditions.

But anyway can the US ban all liquor sales to those who appear to be native american? Doubtful since they are also american citizens with the same rights under the constitution as everyone else and buying liquor is legal for everyone over 21 regardless of their race or ethnic background.
Or are you arguing for them to be stripped of US citizenship so that such a law could be applied? If so I am not sure that would work for a number of reasons plus is it even ethical to strip them of citizenship based solely on their race?

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #5)


Response to liberal N proud (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 12:33 PM

12. I was taught a while back that Native Americans may metabolize

alcohol differently due to genetic differences in enzyme activity--but according to recent articles, that is not the case.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 09:32 AM

7. I hope they lose their ass

What basis does a company claim a right to refuse to serve their product to a group based on their ethnic background? Who gets to determine when this behavior is illegal and when it is so bad as to demand a 9 figure payout?

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 05:53 PM

25. I hope they win. We owe Native Americans plenty.

The white man stole their land, tried to kill them off, forced their children into goverment schools, moved them into reservations and other atrocities. Remember, the U.S. was their land until the white man invaded it.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 06:53 PM

26. So, you hope they win their case for OTHER reasons.

Good thing you aren't a judge.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 06:56 PM

27. Speak for yourself...

I don't owe Native Americans anything for past wrongs. What all of society owes everybody else is opportunity and the basics of life. No doubt we as a society (not "whites") fail parts of our population at that. I do remember what the US did to Native Americans and understand that is why they are where they are now.

Also, Native American tribes warred incessently like every other group of humans before Europeans arrived, taking each other's land. When Europeans got here, Native American tribes allied with Europeans to take other tribes land or to win wars.

To speak in terms of "the white man" seems so retro as to be embarrassing anymore. Nobody has a natural right to any land.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 10:39 PM

32. We can disagree about what is owed the past, but what about the present?

Families living on plywood bunk beds in FEMA trailers and using outdoor plumbing. Type 2 diabetes is rampant because the nutritional aid provided by the government is garbage. When the new BIA hospital was built at Pine Ridge, the brilliant folks at the BIA neglected to put in a substance abuse treatment unit (that issue was later rectified).

As I said -- I hope the case doesn't reach the courts. I hope the brewers decide that it'd be good corporate citizenship to pour some profits back into the community.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 06:53 AM

35. There are 46 million other people who are living in poverty and thats

not counting the ones like myself who are one pay check away from it.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 02:52 PM

47. We can get into long arguments regarding the comparative suffering of various groups in the US

..and I don't disagree about the 46M in poverty, however few groups can claim that the Federal government had control over as many factors placing them into poverty as the Native Americans. Everything from where they live to how their health care is delivered to how their land is managed to what they eat is federally influenced -- whether it's managed by the BIA, or delivered from federal agencies via Community Action.

I've had firsthand views of Overtown and Liberty City; Belle Glade and Pahokee; West Baltimore and East Oakland. I went to elementary school in Palmer Park, MD just outside DC. The concept of American poverty is not unfamiliar to me. I've been to Pine Ridge and Whiteclay -- it's some of the worst poverty I've witnessed.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #27)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 09:19 AM

40. Right to land

 

There are two basic kinds of relations with land. There is organic and participatory relation to local ecosystem that creates more abundance and greater variety of life, of which Indian fires and the forest garden of California are great examples. And there is the relation of the thief, robber and spoiler, who does not live with the land but just takes away and gives nothing back except poison, thus destroying the ecosystem and carrying capacity he also is dependent from.

Opportunity and basics of life, you say. Which relation to land offers those, which one denies them? Which one is right for land and men living with land, which one is suicidal and wrong, robbing the future away from our children?

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 11:27 AM

9. What a crock.


Hope it gets thrown out, unless they have evidence of being forced to consume alcohol at gunpoint.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 12:22 PM

11. Now that's just silly. Alcohol abuse can be a problem for people

of ALL races, but suing beermakers and a business in Whiteclay (outside the reservation and across the state line) for LEGALLY selling beer to a particular race essentially makes the tribe members look like hapless children who can't control themselves. I'm pretty sure that's an image they don't want. They should reconsider--this is the wrong way to address the problem.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 01:39 PM

13. I suspect the issue is considerably more complicated than that.

In point of fact, I know it, having worked on this very issue, but I am still bound by confidentiality and cannot discuss the particulars.

But I can say this: That particular Nebraska town is taking clever advantage of sovereign immunity, hiding behind the protection of the state of Nebraska to prolong a horribly exploitative situation.

When this sort of situation works in reverse--say, when a tribe sells gasoline or tobacco at a lower rate than its neighbors, the state goes howling to Congress about it and tribes are inevitably forced to tack an "equivalence tax" on its products. I don't work in Indian Affairs anymore because it's simply too depressing to see tribal sovereignty eroded every single damned time a white guy stands to make a buck.

The simple solution would be a state-equivalence agreement to disallow--and enforce the disallowment--of alcohol sales to Indians. But that would interfere with some redneck's profit margin, so fuck the Indians.

The Oglala have no direct recourse against the state of Nebraska (which could easily correct the problem by making it illegal to sell booze to Indians). So, they're taking it to the beer-sellers, who are much more likely to instruct their distributors to get the hell out of there and never come back. Unfortunately, to get something done in Indian Country, you usually have to be an asshole about it.

Alcoholism is inextricably entwined with American Indian tribes in their culture, in their history, and especially in the law. The Oglala Sioux in particular are specifically prohibited from selling alcohol on their reservation. These bastards, literally right next door, have taken deliberate advantage of the situation, and the Tribe is using the ingenuity of some very, very wonderful people to pursue an alternative course of action.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 01:42 PM

14. Can I sue the Tribes for their casinos?

I have lost quite a bit in Onawa.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 01:46 PM

15. Yep. In their tribal courts.

Good luck with that.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 03:34 PM

17. So, whats good for the goose is NOT good for the gander?

I live in Nebraska. The big bad American Indians put a huge casino up where they have very little population across the state line. They are taking advantage of me.

However, I bet they would suddenly argue self control.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 05:17 PM

23. Um, no.

Indian casinos operate under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, several thousand pages of the strictest regulations that can possibly be imagined.

One of the provisions of IGRA is that Indian casinos cannot knowingly permit gambling addicts to use their facilities, must provide counseling and other services to clients who appear to be struggling with addiction, must report them and include them on a nationwide database accessed by other tribal casinos, and otherwise ensure that gamblers are not harmed by the casino.

Exactly as the beer stores on your side of the border do not.

See how that works?

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Response to sofa king (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 07:07 PM

28. Yeah, sure.

That is why they looking to build one in the poorest part of Omaha. They really think those with money will avoid the nice casino's in Council Bluffs and will head to the slums of Carter Lake, while the poor residents living next door to their intended casino will stay home. And I have a bridge for you to buy.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 08:56 AM

38. Wrong again, pal.

The tribe has to look for a development location on land it owns, once owned, or can claim. So wherever it's looking, it is supposed to be Indian land. Can you think of some reasons why former Indian land might be city slums today?

Here's a hint: Your asshole state government is almost certainly refusing to allow the tribe to look anywhere but the slums, because they want the tribes to sink their own development money into those areas, so that they don't have to spend money on the poor themselves.

And while you clearly have been brainwashed by your ignorant local press, the fact remains that the vast majority of Indian casinos are not built to reap enormous profits.

They are built primarily to provide some sort of industry on the the shittiest and farthest out of the way land that white people could find for tribes. Most casinos pay for themselves and provide a benefits package to tribal members that they otherwise would not enjoy, and that's it.

Your neighbors the Oglala Sioux have a casino, for example. I'll bet you've never heard of it, because Nebraska didn't want the Oglala to place their casino on the border.

Because that would be an uncool thing to do to white people.

But your interest seems to be in the casinos carefully positioned to separate rubes from their cash, just like the beer stores across from Pine Ridge.

Of course, it's not like non-Indians haven't hit upon this exact same goddamned idea in the exact same goddamned places, for example at Carter Lake, which was the site of an Iowan casino designed to draw in and fleece Nebraskans in the 1940s.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #38)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 09:41 AM

41. Steaming pile of shit

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19779865&BRD=2703&PAG=461&dept_id=555106&rfi=6

""We didn't enter Carter Lake intending to build a casino, but after seeing the benefits gaming provides other Iowa tribal governments, we decided to exercise our rights to provide for our people," Wright said."

Translation: We know casinos are shit for cities. We know they cause child neglect, spousal abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc. to shoot through the roof, but we like the money it makes for us.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #38)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 03:09 PM

50. Not only have I heard of it, I've stayed there.

Your neighbors the Oglala Sioux have a casino, for example. I'll bet you've never heard of it, because Nebraska didn't want the Oglala to place their casino on the border.

Because that would be an uncool thing to do to white people.


"Prairie Wind" is the casino on the SD side of the border in Pine Ridge. I've stayed there and had an absoltely pleasant time. It is, however, in the middle of freaking nowhere.

As an aside, a better "middle of nowhere" Native American casino experience is Fort Randall Hotel & Casino, near Pickstown. It's not too fancy, but it's pleasant, dirt cheap, and it's surrounded by pretty country.

You are correct, Nebraska whines incessantly about casinos on their/near their border. However, it has stopped neither Native Americans nor corporations from placing casinos near the border. I'd cite Ameristar, Harrah's, and Horseshoe in Council Bluffs, WinnaVegas near Decatur, and Argosy in Sioux City. All are within easy driving distance to various points in Nebraska. Also, South Dakota, who shares our northern border, has legal "Video Lottery", which may be found in "Casinos" (small stores with beer, soda, and 5-10 machines), restaurants, and gas station/c-stores. Since Nebraska has OTB, Keno, pull tab games (lottery tickets for charities), and Powerball/Megamoney, I have little sympathy for their anti-casino stance.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 03:09 PM

16. The simple fact is, control of the problem must take place

WITHIN the tribe. If tribal members can't go to Whiteclay, why wouldn't they just go to Chadron or Rapid City? Lots of driving, less convenient, but it still wouldn't solve the problem. Enlarging the "no-alcohol" zone or prohibiting areas NOT under tribal control (pretty much the rest of country) from conducting perfectly legal business is not the answer here. And how would it be possible for Nebraska to create and enforce a law to refuse alcohol sales to American Indians over the age of 21? That's crazy, discriminatory, and treats them as if they're teenagers. If it's a cultural or economic problem, then that's where the solution lies--it needs to be intrinsic to the tribe. There's plenty of alcoholics among other races, but who would dare suggest that any state or city deny alcohol sales to white people, or black people, Hispanics?

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 03:42 PM

18. Party like it's 1899!



Note the "Indians Allowed" sign, from a time when that wasn't always the case.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 05:41 PM

24. I think it would work like this.

Tribal membership is just as voluntary as residence in a state. A tribal member can walk away from membership at any time, just as most of the rest of us can pick up and leave our state of residence.

If they do not, then those tribal members are subject to all the laws and regulations of that tribe. The Oglala Sioux have specific provisions against the possession and use of alcohol on the reservation.

So all the Nebraska county has to do is check for ID with every purchase and not sell alcohol to anyone with a residence on the reservation. Because that would be contributing to a violation of the law, in this case the laws that tribal members voluntarily subject themselves to.

Nebraska police could even be cross-deputized with the Oglala to provide some much-needed enforcement (Whiteclay has already refused to sign a cross-deputization agreement to allow the Oglala police to come over and clean it up themselves at their own expense.)

I should add that because this particular act involves breaking the law and the smuggling of contraband across state lines, it should have been a simple matter for the feds to invoke the Commerce Clause and shut this operation down. But I believe that venue was already tried and--surprise!--the courts fell on the side of getting rich off of Indians.

As they always, always do until the Indians figure out a way to be such assholes that something has to change. This is what they're doing right now.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 03:57 PM

19. Apparently Nebraska is turning a blind eye to blatant violations of its own liquor laws

http://www.yvwiiusdinvnohii.net/News99/NAJ990128.htm

One day during the summer of 1997, Frank LaMere, a Winnebago, who is executive director of the Nebraska Inter-Tribal Development Corp., visited Whiteclay. He counted 32 intoxicated Indians on the streets of Whiteclay at 5:15 a.m., and 47 drunks on the streets in the afternoon, some of whom were fighting each other. Several other Indians were passed out at the intersection of Nebraska Highway 87 and the road that leads to the reservation. Others were urinating on the street.

Shortly after he visited Whiteclay, LaMere asked the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission to shut Whiteclay down.

"I don't know what constitutes infractions of liquor laws in Whiteclay, but my good sense tells me there is something terribly wrong ... ," LaMere told Toni Heinzl of the Omaha World-Herald. "What I saw ... in Whiteclay would not be acceptable in Omaha or Lincoln," LaMere continued. "If we walked down O Street in Lincoln and saw 47 students (of the University of Nebraska) passed out in the streets or engaged in violent situations, we would consider jerking the licenses of those liquor establishments," he told the Liquor Control Commission.

The four beer stores in Whiteclay sold 4 million bottles or cans of beer in 1996, taking in $3 million, a 46 percent increase since 1994. Why the enormous jump in Whiteclay's clientele? One reason may be the rising population of Pine Ridge, swollen by Native Americans returning to the reservation following cutbacks in welfare benefits in many states.


And that's from 1999!

Therein lies the answer, simply enforcing existing laws. What about DUI? These people have to get back to the rez somehow. I doubt very much that they have designated drivers. A sobriety checkpoint along Highway 87 between Whiteclay and the SD line ought to do the trick. And then, of course, you can hold whoever provided the alcohol just as responsible as the drunk driver.

And, of course, doing something about the root cause of the problem, the unimaginable poverty and despair on Pine Ridge, which apparently is being fueled byt the grwoing callousness of the rest of America.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 09:47 PM

31. So they are supposed to pull over every driver or just the ones that look

native american to check their sobriety?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 02:25 PM

45. Every driver

that's how sobriety checkpoints work.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 02:58 PM

48. Here's how a different example works

Last edited Sat Feb 11, 2012, 08:43 PM - Edit history (1)

Once upon a time, the Maryland State Police would get a wild hair about tax revenue being lost by folks going to Central Liquor in DC to buy booze on sale. So they got an undercover agent looking more or less like a wino, and placed him near a pay phone. He would note the MD license plate numbers on the cars pulling up to buy liquor, and phone them in. Then, they'd place a whole bunch of cop cars on the BW Parkway and other common exits into MD from DC. If they saw a car with one of the plate numbers, they'd pull the driver over, have him/her open the trunk, and bust them for "Rumrunning."

Basically, it was like a traffic ticket on steroids, but the booze was confiscated, and you had to take a day off to appear before a magistrate. Note, however, that it has nothing to do with sobriety. In most states, it's against the law to cross the line with booze. It's certainly a crime when the place to which you are bringing the booze is "dry."

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #48)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 03:56 PM

51. Now that could work but who should pay for it? Its not like the police work for free.

Should the stores pay? Even though they arent committing a crime by selling a legal item to a customer or should there be a new "tax"?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #51)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 08:58 PM

55. Who should legally do what to and for whom

Nebraska:

It is most likely the responsibility of Sheridan County to enforce public drunkenness laws, since Whiteclay is unincorporated. If they can't or won't do it, then it should be the responsibility of the State Police. Cost is not an issue: there are laws on the books, and if the County or State won't enforce them of their own accord, then any interested party should be able to go to a state court showing evidence of unchecked wrongdoing and compel the County and State to enforce their own laws.

If I were the state, I would also perform sales tax audits of every one of these "grocery" stores.

South Dakota:

If my understanding is correct, there's little they can do. They regard this as a Nebraska, Federal & Tribal issue.

The Feds:

The BIA has police, and is at least partially responsible for law enforcement. If transportation of liquor across the line into the Rez was found to be a violation of federal law, then they could and should enforce that law - again, under court order if necessary.

Oddly, in this part of Nebraska, as it has been explained to me, the USDA (as opposed to the State or the County) performs health inspections on restaurants, as well as meat handling establishments. Thus, if the stores serve sandwiches, for example, they should be closely inspected.

IRS audits of the corporations that own the "grocery" stores, and perhaps the beer distributors, could also be interesting.

The Tribe:

Ultimately, the enforcement of who should be stopped at the border and searched would fall most heavily on the tribal police. It's their law to enforce. So the most likely entity to set up an enforcement trap along the lines of what I described would be the tribal police (assuming it was found to be outside BIA jurisdiction).

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 04:34 PM

20. Sounds like they need to put laws in place that allow liquor stores to discriminate based on ethnic

background. Maybe a "no Indians allowed" sign as well.

I'm not saying they shouldn't do something about drunk people laying around town or DUI's, but how do you stop them from selling beer to Native Americans?

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 04:46 PM

21. As an Irish-American can I sue the whiskey industry for all the woes they caused me?

They practically made me drink all that Bushmill's. Took advantage of me, they did.

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Response to Throd (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 07:44 AM

36. I'm with you! Let's make it a class action!

The stuff made me get in a few fights when I was younger. It still makes me sing (badly). Also makes me laugh (and cry) at family funerals.

Oh woes!!!11!

We can discuss this over a pint.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 12:23 PM

42. Genetics shows;

All Native Americans are from tribal stocks originated from Mongolia and the northern Japanese islands. Genetics also shows there was a critical gene mutation that inhibits the liver from metabolizing alcohol consumption. This mutation is most clearly seen in far eastern Asian populations.

This would account for the high number of alcoholism in the reservations. Add to this the poverty, which leads to self medication, and it is no wonder that the rates of alcoholism and drug addiction is not higher.

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Response to greiner3 (Reply #42)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 04:19 PM

52. There does seem to be a genetic link, but maybe the opposite of your post...

... note "Genes associated with flushing are more common among Asian populations than other ethnic groups, and the rates of drinking and alcoholism are correspondingly lower among Asian populations"

My partner is Asian, and experiences this "flushing, nausea, and rapid heartbeat". Stays away from alcohol; far, far away.

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa60.htm

One well–characterized relationship between genes and alcoholism is the result of variation in the liver enzymes that metabolize (break down) alcohol. By speeding up the metabolism of alcohol to a toxic intermediate, acetaldehyde, or slowing down the conversion of acetaldehyde to acetate, genetic variants in the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) raise the level of acetaldehyde after drinking, causing symptoms that include flushing, nausea, and rapid heartbeat. The genes for these enzymes and the alleles, or gene variants, that alter alcohol metabolism have been identified. Genes associated with flushing are more common among Asian populations than other ethnic groups, and the rates of drinking and alcoholism are correspondingly lower among Asian populations (8,9).

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 03:08 PM

49. It is illegal to sell alcohol on Pine Ridge

Yet, a drive away, the white people in Whiteclay can. This town is basically just a bunch of liquor stores. Many Indians die in car wrecks and by being hit on the drive/walk back to the Reservation.

Top me, this has always been an extra "FU" to the Lakota.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #49)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 05:17 PM

54. Just a guess but Whiteclay might be allowed because selling liquor is legal in the state?

That is just a guess of course.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 04:42 PM

53. What about the sale of malt liquor in inner city neighborhoods?

When I was out of work, i had no qualms about applying at a local small brewery. I hated applying at Budweiser, because to me Budweiser is a drug pusher. It just so happens that pushing alcohol is legal!

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)


Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 01:05 AM

57. I realize this is poor form, but I want to comment on the hidden post

I have a hunch that MEGONE is someone with whom I am familiar who resides out in Western Nebraska - someone who is just a little to conservative for DU.

I have two thoughts: First, for MEGONE and the many others in this thread who have advocated that personal reaponsibility and refusing to drink is the correct approach, I post this:



This was posted on KILI's Facebook page, and there is an interesting discussion thread.

I've stated here before at DU that whatever the Government has tried to do to help Pine Ridge - it's not working. That said, even consevatives like Dave Heinneman agree that Whiteclay is a problem. Unfortunately, Gov. Dave, like everyone else, has no idea what, if anything, can be done about it.

I can't begrudge the Oglala Sioux the pittance (in relative terms) they receive from the US, as they were promised the entirety of the Black Hills by General Sherman, and then had that promise promptly broken when gold was discovered. It's hard for a people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when the boots were stolen. The trime is on a great mass os substandard land; it's not good for farming; buffalo don't tend to graze on it; and it's not blessed with mineral resources (or doubtless the Government would have stolen it and moved them again).

People have been highly critical (with much good reason) of the role the Catholic Church has played at Pine Ridge, but the Red Cloud School may have finally gotten things right. They've put a big emphasis on Lakota culture and language, and mixed that with an academically challenging curriculum. Someone wrote that the school has been transformed from a place that students ran from to a place they now run to. To me, it looks like they are producing the leaders who may start to solve these problems 5 to 10 years from now.

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