Interesting discussion in the Bookworm Room:
"I was speaking with my sister about a friend of hers, who belongs to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, in Oregon, although he does not live in tribal land. He’s a recovering alcoholic, and lives a fairly marginal existence. Sadly, his is not a unique experience for Native Americans. Statistics for the United States’ Indian populations are depressing. Those who live on reservations are poorer, less educated, less unhealthy, and more drug and alcohol addicted than the average American who does not live on a reservation. The reservations, although technically sovereign, are really federal appendages. Each is a mini-welfare state. The residents get to preserve their tribal identification and a few of their rituals (as long as they don’t violate federal law), but otherwise, barring those few who have gotten rich from oil or gambling money, these are rural ghettos.
The thing about these ghettos is that they are well-intended. We, the beneficent Americans, having taken over the land the Native Americans once freely roamed, have “generously” given back to them small slices of land. Full reparations are impossible. There’s no way America can return the entire continent to the Native Americans. But I wonder if government created ghettos are a blessing or a curse."
Read more here.
* * * * *Brings to mind the wise words of Thomas Jefferson:
“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” ― Thomas Jefferson
We are a lazy, self-indulgient lot, aren't we? But we have got to see beyond that. We have to get out of bed every morning and move forward; even if it's only to feed the chickens in our backyard, pick-up a shovel in our garden, save our extra change in a water jug, get re-educated over the Internet, read spiritual writing every day, work for what we want and be satisfied with what God gives us. And remember that Christ said, "The poor you shall have with you always." (Matthew 26:11/ Mark 14:7/ John 12:8)
I hate to sound cynical (I prefer to think that I'm a realist), but there will always be corrupt government, wars, homeless, dirty ghettos, and hungry souls. The wrong is in the way the rich man treated Lazarus. The right is in the passing of the bread to one another by one another.
And the freedom to do so.