Spreading out the casino scam

"Gwendolen at the roulette table" – 1910 illustration with  George Eliot 's   Daniel Deronda .

"Gwendolen at the roulette table" – 1910 illustration with George Eliot's Daniel Deronda.


Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

After failing to improve the standard of living (well, loan sharks have done well) in southeastern Connecticut (a state whose government is swimming in red ink)  with their vast casinos, the MashantucketPequot and Mohegan tribes are pushing to build a “satellite’’ casino in East Windsor, Conn., making the pitch that this will reduce the flow of revenue to Springfield, Mass., where another casino based on wishful macroeconomic thinking is going up.

Let the cannibalization of casino suckers continue!  Surf a new wave of embezzlements and personal bankruptcies in Greater Hartford! Of course, the tribes are getting support from their local state legislators, who look to campaign contributions  before the next election.

The plan is for the Pequots’ Foxwoods and the Mohegans’ Sun to pay 25 percent of their gross slot-machine revenues at the new facility to the state so long as no other enterprise is allowed to have a casino in Connecticut. So much for the free market!





Chris Powell: Politically incorrect crime data; illegals get preference; plutocrat Pequots

Cellphone video from around the country continues to suggest that white police officers can be too quick to confront and shoot black men. But whenever there is such cellphone video, nobody wants to wait for due process of law to determine exactly what happened. It's always "no justice, no peace" immediately, even as justice requires a little time.

Immediate justice constitutes lynching, which is as wrong when it is demanded today by black mobs as it was in the last century when it was perpetrated by white mobs.

A report issued last month by Central Connecticut State University, concluding that police in the state use their stun guns more often against Hispanics and blacks than against whites, is not helpful in pursuing justice. It seems meant mainly to intimidate officers out of doing their jobs with racial minorities.

Of course to some extent racial prejudice and racial fear will always figure in police work. Such prejudice and fear may be the most likely explanations for why black people are shot to death by white officers in confrontations that begin over trivia like a broken taillight or the sale of CDs in front of a convenience store.

But crime itself is correlated with race and poverty. For example, that the great majority of Connecticut's prison population is black and Hispanic is not mainly the result of racist cops, prosecutors, judges and juries; it results mainly from the concentration of crime and poverty among certain racial and ethnic groups.

So maybe Connecticut needs a study quantifying the racial disproportions in crime. But since its data would be politically incorrect, the state probably has no institution of higher education capable of the work.


ILLEGAL ALIENS GET PREFERENCE. Expanding its campaign to nullify federal immigration law and devalue citizenship, state government will place at Eastern Connecticut State University 46 students from other states who are living in the country illegally.

The university won't pay for the students; a national scholarship fund for illegal aliens will cover their expenses. Most of the students are living in states that either prohibit the admission of illegal aliens to their own public colleges or charge them higher nonresident rates. But admitting the illegals to Eastern will reduce admissions for Connecticut's own legal residents and for U.S. citizens generally.

Since the plight of the illegal alien students is largely the responsibility of their parents, they deserve some sympathy. But what compels state government to give them such preference? Only the political correctness that seems to be the highest principle of the current state administration.


THEY LOOK LIKE PLUTOCRATS. Hardly a day passes when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump doesn't say something insulting, mistaken, or stupid. So why last week did Connecticut's Mashantucket Pequot tribe bother denouncing him for his remark about the tribe in 1993?

Trump, a casino developer competing with the Pequots, told a congressional hearing, "They don't look like Indians to me."

The Pequots want to construe this as a slur on their ancestry. But Trump was actually challenging the casino privileges the Pequots had gained from the government. For while the federal law authorizing casinos on Indian reservations was presented as economic development for long-oppressed people consigned to Western wastelands, no modern Pequot had ever encountered such disadvantages.

No, the tribe was reconstituted to exploit the casino privilege meant for the oppressed. The people reconstituting the tribe were fully part of the broader community of southeastern Connecticut and had been living in raised ranches and working at Electric Boat like everybody else. Now, because of ethnic patronage and privilege, they're rich, and it's not necessary to support Trump to resent it.

Chris Powell,  a Connecticut-based essayist on cultural and political topics, is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn.

Chris Powell: 'Indigenous people' were pretty nasty, too


Because some of Yale University's most politically correct students prevailed on  New Haven Mayor Toni Harp,   this Oct. 13 wasn't just Columbus Day throughout Connecticut. In New Haven it was also Indigenous People's Day, a protest against the traditional honoring of the Italian seafarer, who, in his less well known career as Spanish colonial governor in the Caribbean, was pretty nasty.

With all the trouble in the world, the Yalies might have found something a little more compelling to get agitated about. After all, while New Haven has many residents of Italian descent and is the headquarters of the great Catholic charitable order, the Knights of Columbus, whose clamor accomplished the federalization of the holiday in 1934, ethnic loyalty to Columbus faded away decades ago, and even the knights themselves now do little celebrating of their patron.

Besides, the celebration of "indigenous" people is in general as ridiculous as celebration of Columbus. For these days everyone in the country is indigenous, belonging to the place where he lives, except the illegal aliens cultivated by New Haven and other politically correct "sanctuary cities." And while they are often romanticized as noble savages, few aboriginal people -- a better term, signifying the earliest known inhabitants of a territory -- were much better than those who arrived later to compete for the land.

Connecticut's history is typical. The Indian tribe famously associated with the state, the Pequots, was no more "indigenous" to the area than other tribes, and its aggressiveness (its name is thought to have been an Algonquin word for "destroyers") prompted the other tribes to appeal to English settlers in Massachusetts to settle in Connecticut as potential allies. Eventually the Pequots indeed were wiped out by an alliance of those other tribes and the English settlers, the only remnant of the Pequots today being a gambling casino, a political contrivance arising from misplaced but cleverly exploited guilt.

Most Americans today likely would acknowledge and regret the often genocidal treatment of the Indian tribes as European settlement of the country expanded westward. Indeed, there would be far more justice in eliminating Columbus Day than in changing the racial name of the professional football team in Washington, D.C., which somehow has become an objective even dearer to political correctness.

But Columbus Day is a legal holiday for which state employees are paid to stay home contemplating their other extravagant fringe benefits, and repealing it would have to be negotiated with their unions. It's one thing to indulge a few politically correct Yalies with a mayoral proclamation, quite another to curtail the privileges of Connecticut's government class.

* * *

President Obama and Governor Malloy are touting the usual pre-election decline in the heavily manipulated unemployment rate. The national and state rates are said to have fallen below 6 percent.

What the president and governor don't tout is that the labor-participation rate, the share of the adult population gainfully employed, has been falling steadily along with the unemployment rate -- to less than 63 percent, the lowest labor-participation rate in 37 years.

That is, unemployment is falling only because people are giving up on finding a job and are settling for life on government stipends like Food Stamps and disability pensions. Further, most of the gain in employment lately has involved workers 55 and older who have taken service jobs, many remaining in the workforce because they can't afford to retire, the Federal Reserve having driven interest rates down to zero, rescuing big banks only by destroying savers.

Inflation-adjusted wages have fallen for decades, signifying a long decline in living standards. Both major political parties share the blame for this but it's always the incumbents who lie most about it.

Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn.