Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Political Editorial: Whiteclay

Published Sunday August 29, 2010
Omaha World Herald newspaper

Midlands Voices: Act urgently on Whiteclay
By Rick Galusha

The writer is an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Bellevue University. He is assistant director for the university’s Center for American Visions and Values.

Nebraskans are shocked to learn that a portion of the second-poorest area in the entire Western Hemisphere lies within our state, in the area that includes the Pine Ridge Reservation. Consider the following figures from the 2002-03 edition of Regional Differences in Indian Health, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

>> The age-adjusted alcoholism death rates in the Reservation area are nearly 17 times higher than the national population mean (108.7 per 100,000 people versus 6.7 nationally).

>> The age-adjusted tuberculosis death rates in the Reservation area are eight times higher than the national population mean (2.4 per 100,000 versus 0.3 nationally).

>> The age-adjusted diabetes mellitus death rates in the Reservation area are more than five times higher than the national population mean (68.7 per 100,000 versus 13.3 nationally).

>> The age-adjusted suicide rates in the Reservation area are nearly three times higher than the national population mean (29.7 per 100,000 versus 11.2 nationally).

Because a majority of the Pine Ridge Reservation lands are located within the borders of South Dakota, some suggest that this is a state sovereignty issue. However, the effects spill into our state, including the numerous medical and legal concerns that define Whiteclay, Neb., (population 14).

Whiteclay’s four package stores sell the equivalent of more than 3 million cans of beer annually. Adult alcoholism rates on Pine Ridge have been estimated to exceed 65 percent.

In an era when bitterness can define the political landscape, our Legislature passed a modest bill this year. In July, the Douglas County Republican Party passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a committee to seek viable solutions for the extreme poverty on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Independently, later that month, the Nebraska Democratic Party passed an identical resolution. This solution-seeking-committee would consist of the governors of Nebraska and South Dakota as well as the president of the Lakota Sioux Nation.

While the choice of sobriety is an individual decision, there are several things Nebraskans can do to provide hope:

>> Demand enforcement of existing Nebraska laws in Whiteclay, Neb.

>> Empower our elected officials to begin seeking long-term solutions to this extreme poverty, including calling upon the government of South Dakota to participate.

>> Create awareness by sharing this commentary with family members, friends, co-workers and congregants.

>> Take specific action by sending letters and e-mails and placing telephone calls to elected officials.

>> Use social networking to enhance awareness.

>> Contact the Whiteclay awareness committee (WhiteclayAwareness@gmail.com) to schedule a speaker and-or show the film “The Battle for Whiteclay.” (Include schools, civic or business organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques or living rooms.)

This nonpartisan issue is gaining momentum. Readers of the New Testament will recognize the passage, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.” It would be a moral failure for Nebraskans to allow this misery to continue.

To quote Edmund Burke, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And the misery continues....