Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Republicans Abandon Principles to Hold Hands with the Dems on the PACT Act

We have certainly come to expect the paternalistic, ward-custodian, we know what's best for the under privileged attitude from Democrats. But where were all those anti-socialist, pro-freedom, fight for liberty, keep government out of business, free market, leave it to the states, fiscally responsible Republicans on this one? Only 20 out of 178 House Republicans voted against this bill.
The states were quite capable of shutting down remote sales on their own with one exception; Native sales. This is the whole reason the Feds acted; because the states have no legal authority over us. And frankly the Fed don't either. That is why they had to regulate the US Postal Service to get to us.
The Congressional Budget Office determined that the 2003 version of this bill would cost $140 million in enforcement and implementation. I suspect the cost has risen since then. This law has no funding in it so how will it be paid for?
The USPS will lose between $150 and $200 million in the revenue that remotes sales generate. Teetering on the brink of survival, the Postal Service will have to take this hit and find dollars to enforce the law. Prevention of mail fraud, kiddie porn and shipping of hazardous materials like anthrax and explosives will have to shift resources to intercepting otherwise legal tobacco products.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), only 1% of their case loads and 2% of their budget is attributed to alcohol and tobacco. They received no additional funding in this law so firearms and explosives will have to wait. Bomb sniffing dog will have to be retrained to search out cigarettes and chew instead.
So neither the do-gooder Democrats nor the less government intervention Republicans got this one right. They were both bought and paid for by the Marlboro Man and threw the Post Office and ATF under the bus along with another freedom of the American people.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

They won't need the cig sniffing dogs at the in NYS post offices. Indians won't be getting any product to sell anyway. South Carolina will probably still ship orders through the post office..Marlboros. No funding no ATF. How convenient. ATF & FDA will be inspecting Native manufacturers facilities to make sure they have state tax stamps on all products.

Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

Oh, we'll still get product. Native brands now represent over 80% of Native sales. Even if New York closes the door to their state licensed wholesalers there is plenty of Native product to sustain retailers. The question is how many Native retailers will be willing to allow the USPS to deliver products to their customers. No funding does not mean no prosecutions. How would they not profile us in our use of the Post Office in this instance?

Anonymous said...

"The Jenkins Act is a simple law. All it really does is require you to notify the state if you ship tobacco products into that state. However, states have enacted a series of laws around the MSA and they plan to use the information required to be reported regarding tribal sales to no doubt sue those who sold to the tribes for MSA payments. if you [native and non-native manufacturers] sell to a Tribe and don’t report you get sued. If you report your sales to the tribe, then you get sued under a different law. The only way you don’t sued is if you give the state an extra $4.50 per carton and even then the state can blacklist the native tobacco product and declare it contraband." << from Lance Morgan article>>can you explain what it means?

Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

Lances point is that the PACT Act attempts to strengthen the Jenkins Act. In doing so it tries to force Native tobacco taders or those that trade with Natives to submit to state reporting requirements. If Native traders don't they could be liable for suit by the state. If they do report the information can be used for suits under the Master Settlement Act. That act requires participating manufacturers to pay $4.50 per carton either to a state fund or an escrow account. The catch is that in order to participate, the state has to approve the brand. The states are beholding to Big Tobacco because those are the ones that make direct payments to the states rather than escrowing money. Native brands are blacklisted from the states' approved lists so even if Native manufacturers and traders were willing to pay the additional $4.50 per carton they would be banned from many states.
We can't win playing by their rules so there is no incentive to even try. Our strength comes from fighting the states' authority over our trade even if Congress tries to empower them.

Jj said...

How does a person become a retailer? And could a retailer use a trucker to transport? Just curious...

Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

Every community is different. Some communities like Oneida and Onondaga have no private sector businesses, only government run enterprises. Retailers for the most part receive product for sale to end users. Trucking is usually on the wholesaler or manufacturer. We can never trust when and if the State will interfere with transporting products to and from Native territories. Policies change without changes in laws and the applicability of either to us is questionable or nonexistent.

Jj said...

...only government run enterprises.

Oneida is gov't run? Good heavens, I had no idea! I have much to learn...

Thank you for answering my question and clarifying - I know little about those issues but am getting a clearer picture. I visited with a trucker friend over the weekend and that's what made me wonder about that - they haul everything.

Sounds like choices narrow down to black markets or out-of-work for many. What a gov't we have...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why the PACT act says it respects Indian Sovereignty and yet it will regulate Indians right out of business. It seems we are only sovereign if we are penneyless and broke. We still own our land and the state has no right to interfere(disturb) us. The state has no right to interfere and I agree with you, even if congress tries to empower them.

Anonymous said...

Thats congress a bunch of indian givers. Say they respect your sovereignty and in the same breath stab you in the back and take it away.

Anonymous said...

Convenient stores put 40,000 cases of cigarettes into the hands of minors every year, that's more cigarettes than we sell in a year.
President Obama needs to "do the right thing" and veto the PACT Act
when it reaches his desk. During his 2008 presidential campaign Obama promised to go beyond a
government-to-government relationship with Native Americans to create a nation to nation
relationship. Lets hope he keeps his campaign promises.

VETO THE PACT ACT

Jj said...

"It seems we are only sovereign if we are penneyless and broke."

I'm getting the feeling BHO wants every American penniless and broke.

I hope he will veto the PACT act and pray for you he does, but I can't recall an instance where that guy told the truth yet.

Anonymous said...

12:30 PM thats 40,000,000 million cartons of cigarettes into the hands of minors per year.

Anonymous said...

40,000 cases at 60 cartons per case is 2.4 million cartons not 40 million, but who's counting?

Anonymous said...

April 5 11:57 AM is right. Phillip Morris sells 40,000,000 million cartons of cigarettes to minors through the convenient stores evey year.