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Re: “Opinion: Federal Recognition of Native Americans is Needed to Prevent Cultural Extinction

First, an error that should have been caught. Tim Kaine is a senator and so his quote should have indicated that he wants the pending bill on the floor of the Senate to be passed so it could be sent to the House. Disappointing that either the editor or the writers included his inadvertent mistake even if he made it.
As to the main point, federal recognition will not preserve the Eastern Chickahominy or any other tribe. The tribe's survival, like all groups, depends on people living close enough to maintain connections and more importantly passing on traditions and stories and appreciation of art and the like to the next generation, children being the life blood of any tribe.
One does not need a homeland to survive as a group; the Jews remained a distinct group for more than 1800 years after the Diaspora.
Tribal survival without a homeland is not unique to Virginia Indians; there are multiple examples around the world — think Basques, the Roma and Bedouins. Tribal loyalties often trump central or nationalistic tendencies, even if there is no homeland.
Also, federally recognized tribes are not automatically sovereign. The Bureau of Indian Affairs must create a trust for their property that allows it to become a sovereign territory. As the Eastern Chickahominy have never brought their individual properties together to create their own subdivision or collective space under home association laws they will not automatically be independent of Virginia or state law.
Remember those tribes that have casinos have property granted to them by the federal government that has long been a distinct area that the state had to recognize as an independent area. While those living on such "reservations" got to rule themselves, they also became wards of the federal government. That cut them off from state programs for economic development. The federal government's track record of lying, stealing an cheating from their wards speaks volumes.
The casinos and other projects are the native response to federal dereliction and desperate bid to create jobs and some cash flow. Many tribes, though, are in remote areas and the high unemployment and poor conditions are not easily ameliorated. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs is a shameful example of federal inefficiency; the BIA employees eat and do little to nothing to make sure their charges are successful.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by gjosephmyers on 10/08/2015 at 12:48 PM

Re: “Getting a Handle

The result is that short-term rentals for the race cannot be banned by the city. So no zoning rule change is needed.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by gjosephmyers on 09/01/2015 at 5:43 PM

Re: “Getting a Handle

However, if there is a complaint, Richmond zoning officials give you at least 30 days to cure it, and by then any visitors you rent to will be gone.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by gjosephmyers on 09/01/2015 at 5:42 PM

Re: “The Hospital Standoff

Peter, you did not answer the question. VCU now has 175 children's hospital beds, a portion of which are for long-term care at Brook Road. So why is not investing in the areas so it can keep some or all of the 750 kids to treat them here? Would it take $400 million to bring our children's hospital up to snuff? It is not clear why investing in bricks and mortar results in gaining the specialists and equipment to treat some or all the children who leave the area or why the same money could not be invested in our existing facilities to provide treatment options. The same pediatricians who claim the hospital is needed did nothing when Richmond had an independent children's hospital. Something is wrong that this crusade began only after VCU rescued the children's hospital and absorbed its facilities. Bill Goodwin and the pediatricians had that opportunity and ignored it. Now that VCU is in charge, somehow it does not deserve the investment and an independent hospital is needed that does. Something is wrong with this picture.

35 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by gjosephmyers on 08/05/2015 at 1:07 PM

Re: “Mayor Morrissey? His Move to Church Hill Hints at a Run

He does not live in Church Hill. He lives on 20th Street in Shockoe Bottom. And Mark Schmidt did not break this story, the Free Press did. It's important to credit the correct source because you and the T-D both missed a major element of the story that the Free Press reported. The fact is that it is Joe who wants the Church Hill cred and sad to see reporters making it their business to be more interested in what he wants than in getting it right.

25 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by gjosephmyers on 03/21/2015 at 7:40 PM

Re: “Tongue Tied

Alas, Mr. Rea, bluster does indeed trump elections. Whatever your opinion, the Republican bloc is using the procedures imbedded in our Constitution to push their point of view. So did the Democratic majority in the Senate.
The real problem, and the point being missed, is that the Republican bloc in Congress is acting as if they are in a Parliament.
The virtue of our form of government is supposed to be geography, with Senate members representing their states and House members each representing a unique district, which is supposed to ameliorate the impact of faction.
Our history shows what happens when, in fact, the rule of ideas overcomes that virtue. Before the Civil War, electability in the South was conditioned on support for slavery. Yes, there were compromises, but mostly by the Northern representatives seeking some way to keep the union from splitting apart.
In recent years, Republicans, certain of their moral uprightness and the correctness of their views, have gone further. Today a bill must have support from a majority of the GOP Caucus to get to the House floor, and those who would flout that rule by voting their district face severe punishment, including the threat of having well funded opposition seeking to oust them for breaking ranks.
This is the way the Parliament works. Party lines are bright. The majority party rules until a minority party gains some advantage and can muster a way to win enough support to gain the majority. If the majority party has a real majority and does not have to bring in smaller parties, it can have its way.
Democrats have rarely been able to muster such party discipline, and it is unlikely they want to, though it did happen in this standoff.
Still Democrats are at a real disadvantage when the Senate allows a 41-member Republican minority to block legislation and the House hands power to an internal minority that can disregard who happen to have the most say in a party caucus.
Unless enough voters become upset with minority control of the legislature and elect new representatives, than this kind of standoff can continue without end.
And it is likely that Democrats, if they can maintain control of one House, would adopt similar tactics to block Republican legislation if the White House goes to Republican control in the next election.
Cries of unfair or this is not the way it's supposed to work matter not when a party is determined to have its way and can hold its members in thrall. In fact, this is the way it does work.
And it will continue to work this way as voters allow legislatures to gerrymander districts to enable party control of power.
We are in a terrible fix, and it will take more than a shame, shame, you shouldn't think that way to change this situation.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by gjosephmyers on 10/23/2013 at 7:44 PM

Re: “Mechanical Failure

You make a valid point Mr. McLaughlin. However, it appears some localities have found a way to avoid the problem, perhaps with a flat rate contract. The idea of outsourcing came in Richmond some seven years ago when two council members visited a Maryland County which saved money by hiring a firm to do that. A city audit report recommended outsourcing and projected a savings of between $2 million and $5 million a year based on reviews of other local government's findings. Both Mayor Wilder and Mayor Jones and their staffs dismissed that finding and have refused to consider outsourcing.
It is to be noted that the school system has outsourced its bus maintenance, apparently successfully. And a company that focuses on maintaining fleets moved into the city and gained contracts to service corporate fleets.
Thus, while you are right to express skepticism, it seems that other entities have been successful in outsourcing without increasing costs and that this was an option for the Jones administration to consider. Instead, it bought a building that was improperly equipped. City management obviously has no idea what it takes to maintain a fleet and is too arrogant to involve the mechanics who actually do the work to ensure that the space for the work is set up properly.
Don't blame Sharon North. She is a mouthpiece and she can only parrot the words that her masters give her, even if they make no sense.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by gjosephmyers on 10/23/2013 at 6:32 PM

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