Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An eventful weekend in January!

My grandchildren danced at the Battle of the Plains in Bartlesville, Oklahoma this past weekend. It’s a school sponsored event. It’s always a big deal to the kids to go there and dance, eat and stay in a motel. We try our best to support them. In years past, the event conflicted with our quarterly general council meeting, but not this year – that doozie is scheduled for this coming weekend.

Enroute to Bartlesville, I swerved off the beaten path and drove to see the Lucky Star Casino, which is located nine miles south of Wichita. It seems that their claim to fame is to save the state from themselves and to hurt our casino business, but only time will judge that one. The property has its own turnpike entrance and ramp to get off. In the parking lot, I noticed Geary County tags more than any other, which is the Wichita area.

It is a building under construction and they have the machines and table games set up in horse arena for the time being, but don’t get me wrong it is a gambling environment. They have seats already in place for future horse-shows and they are located about the temporary gaming floor. I don’t see the connection between successful gaming and horse shows, but it must have some draw there. There is lot of room in this section and the crowd was fairly good for a Friday afternoon. All the table games were full and the mix of gaming machines were mostly dollars and penny machines with few quarter machines. The seating was comfortable and it was easy to get around.

I think this casino is a convenient drive for Wichita people and will cut into the business of Indian casinos further south in Oklahoma. I don’t see how they can impact our operation because of how far away this casino is away, the average person probably only drives here only occasionally, anyway. I, personally wouldn’t drive to Mulvane just to gamble, maybe yes, it I was going by to some other location. It doesn’t have the atmosphere or the ambiance yet and thankfully they did not take advantage of me at the machines.

After this diversion, we made it to Oklahoma, saw a beautiful Golden Eagle perched in a tree close to the road, Indian casinos on every corner, saw some friendly folk, and saw the country-side, mostly cause I took the wrong turn. I thought I was going to Deliverance, Arkansas. Yes, I went into a cold sweat when I saw that Deliverance sign 80 miles.

My daughter said “Who goes n takes a gravel road thinking its a shortcut? Felt like i was gonna be n that movie wrong turn! ONLY GM,” but we made it to Bartlesville. It’s always an adventure riding with me! But let me tell you this isn’t the first time this old guy got lost.

They had a honor song for Anita Evans who has worked with the Indian kids at Royal Valley for a good number of years and it is great when people are recognized for the hard work they’ve done. Anita is retiring from teaching.

I got to visit my family and a bunch of friends, we pigged a bunch, gambled a little, and we spent some time with Jennifer and Teddie my first cousins. Poor things- they live in Oklahoma full-time! But all fun and games must end sometime and it soon became time to head back to the cruel, cruel world of our political life on the Potawatomi Reservation. The road trip ended at 2:00 pm Sunday, and my dog was happy I made it home! He doesn’t give a damn if I get lost!

On this trip some of the white folk were friendly, many Indians weren't. They must have a general council meeting next week too! I tell people our general councils are a time when elected officials have to pay for their sins, real or perceived and a tongue lashing happens for 4-8 hours. After this purge of emotions is all laid out on the table, a general shock comes over some, and for some it serves the purpose of making people feel better about themselves. We have a slug of non-Indians and non-tribal members who work for this tribe who don’t have to go. They are lucky to have those jobs, but don’t have to see the dynamics of how a tribal structure or tribal politics really work. Damn lucky!

Monday, January 9, 2012

January, 2012

Let’s look around us at the developments of the day:

The weather here on the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Reservation has been close to tropical, but I wouldn’t plan on it staying that way. These unplanned days have allowed me to get more work done in the yard. I had some branches cut in my back-yard and I hauled them off over the weekend and one big branch decided to whip back at me and it cut me above my eye and knocked off my glasses. I had my grandson, Pat ko shuk, administer first aid to stop the bleeding and I went on my merry way. Some day, I will cut back on this labor, but don’t know when!

With the National Championship game being played tonight at 7:30 between LSU and Alabama, I bet those Cowboys from OSU will be kicking the proverbial rock down the street for losing to Iowa State,  which goes to show you can’t let your guard down at all during the regular season. OSU ended up with a 12-1 record.

A local political observer told me the other day: “The federal government wasn’t meant to run everything. That’s why we have local government.” Well let’s see how that plays out in Wichita. Boeing is leaving Wichita after a million years being there and 2,160 employees have lost their jobs. Politicians pushed hard for pork and they were awarded all kind of contracts and given numerous tax concessions to stay, but they left anyway. This is a blow to that city, and now Kansas politicians and the D.C. delegation are under fire for not doing more.

Speaking of politicians if you want:

Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal on Thursday apologized for an email that made fun of first lady Michelle Obama’s hair style and mockingly called her “Mrs. YoMama.” According to the Lawrence Journal World, O’Neal forwarded from his personal computer the email that said, “I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense, of course.”

The O’Neal incident comes just weeks after U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, apologized to the first lady for commenting on the size of her backside.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Sensenbrenner referred to Obama’s “big butt” while talking to church members at a Christmas bazaar. According to the newspaper’s account, Sensenbrenner thought Obama was a hypocrite for undertaking a national initiative to fight obesity. Politicians don’t have to worry about racial comments, I guess!

But in the business world, last month an employee cashier reportedly used "Ching" and "Chong" in the customer identification line on the receipts. He was dismissed for violating operating standards. In another incident, Papa John’s terminated an employee for writing “lady chinky eyes” on a receipt in New York City. Customers said “Your employees are your brand,” Yet, politicians can make remarks like those two yahoos against the first lady of the United States with no consequences. This is another case of stupid politics and a lack of respect.

An a lesson to us all: A 58-year-old man accused of drinking while driving a lawn mower has been charged with assaulting a southwest Missouri law enforcement officer in Willard, Missouri. And what was that message:  Maybe don’t’ drink and drive while you mow your weeds.

Oh well, it makes for interesting reading !