Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Decade of Disasters and Challenges

I am beginning to reflect on the past decade; one in which I donated tens of thousands of volunteer/civic hours for no pay. Has anything changed? I am older, my body aches more, my son is as tall as me and we struggle financially in a world riddled with cynicism. We have no retirement savings, no government pension and a child with a learning disability who wants a great life. College tuition is just around the corner and I feel like I just paid off Tufts and Springfield College for my degrees. I see the rich getting richer, politicians getting dumber and the political gridlock between Dems/Repubs. paralyzing a nation that was once a great place for innovation and work ethic.

I almost threw in the towel and turned my back on civic involvement last spring after being stalked by a nut case in my hometown for being female and an elected official. But no, I allowed my passion about the slots/casino issue to pull me back in. After 6 months of increased activity in that realm I wonder if any of it makes a difference.

Will citizen power and rational thinking prevail or will special interests, politicians without principles, and a disengaged public allow the further erosion of the economic and social fabric of our Commonwealth?

How long can I keep giving when I see the "leaders" with their own personal fortunes compromising the values that we need to protect? Governor Patrick who makes double the median family income in Massachusetts and is married to a high six figure corporate attorney recently stated that he will only run for one more term so that he can back "to making some money"....how am I supposed to work with that?

President Obama is in Hawaii stating at an unimaginable resort that we, "will not rest" regarding the latest attempted airplane disaster.

These are the guys that were better than the other guys. What is wrong with your messaging people? Doesn't anyone have common sense? You need some regular people sitting at your right hands not the elite insiders.

Term limits are needed to save our democracy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Carcieri Fix a Disaster in the Making

I think our elected officials have lost their minds, truly. Read below to see how Congress wants to give away states power. It seems like it's really a subversive from of treason.

The "Carcieri fix" is a proposal fueled by special interests that sets-up an on-going and increasingly conflicted paradigm between native american tribes, private property owners, municipalities and special interests.

The pragmatic reality is that federal trust title removes lands from local government jurisdiction and the property tax rolls. Therefore, tax bases shrink and conflicts due to competing jurisdiction issues are raised causing additional burden to taxpayers. Also, the bill (below) intends to let all federally recognized tribes take advantage of the provisions to take private property into federal trust title. These land-into-trust provisions were originally intended to apply only to tribes who lost lands under the General Allotment Act of 1887(GAA). S. 1703 allows tribes to benefit from the advantages of the land-into-trust program that were never intended to be part of this program.

This amendment needs to be rejected on it's lack of merit, and future negative fiscal and societal consequences. Let's find an equitable/sustainable way to balance Native American, municipal, state and taxpayers' rights.


9/24/2009--Introduced. Amends the Act commonly known as the Indian Reorganization Act to apply the Act to all federally recognized Indian tribes, regardless of when any tribe became recognized. (This effectively overrules the Supreme Court's decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, which held that the Secretary of the Interior could not take land into trust for a specified tribe because that tribe had not been under federal jurisdiction when the Act was enacted.)
Text of Legislation:

S 1703 IS


1st Session

S. 1703

To amend the Act of June 18, 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes.


September 24, 2009

Mr. DORGAN (for himself, Mr. TESTER, Mr. INOUYE, Mr. AKAKA, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. UDALL of New Mexico, Mr. BINGAMAN, and Mr. FRANKEN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs


To amend the Act of June 18, 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) In General- Section 19 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (commonly known as the ‘Indian Reorganization Act’) (25 U.S.C. 479), is amended--

      (1) in the first sentence--

        (A) by striking ‘The term’ and inserting ‘Effective beginning on June 18, 1934, the term’; and

        (B) by striking ‘any recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction’ and inserting ‘any federally recognized Indian tribe’; and

      (2) by striking the third sentence and inserting the following: ‘In this section, the term ‘Indian tribe’ means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe.’.

    (b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect as if included in the Act of June 18, 1934 (commonly known as the ‘Indian Reorganization Act’) (25 U.S.C. 479), on the date of enactment of that Act.

Full Text of Legislation

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Final Answer: "Khazei"

Khazei for US Senate

Alan is one of the two extraordinary democratic candidates that I have considered to vote for in the primary on December 8, 2009. All four candidates are very accomplished in their own right. I have taken time to study their work, vision and proposals for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States.

The office of US Senate is not to be taken lightly, nor to be won handily by the best political operatives and insiders. The character, temperament, experiences, skills and vision of the candidates will influence the lives of millions.

Early in the race, I gravitated toward Congressman Capuano who is a fierce advocate for his district, the Commonwealth and progressive democratic values. As the campaigns matured and I had the privilege of having Mr. Khazei reach out to me personally I found myself listening and watching with curiosity and interest to someone with a refreshing perspective.

Mr. Khazei speaks to my life experience, our shared determination, my concerns for my family's future, and our shared experiences with volunteerism, my abhorrence of the power of special interests (lobbyists, corporations and PACs) within our political system, and a vision for a more equitable and therefore more prosperous future. His enthusiasm is contagious and it springs from the same spiritual center that in us all. There is joy in toiling when the work is for the greater good. There is fun in the chores that reap mutual benefits. There is nobility in serving family, community and others.

Please join me in voting for Alan Khazei (Democrat) US Senate, on Tuesday, December 8, 2009.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Case For The Commonwealth Against Slots and Casinos

Media Advisory

Saturday, December 5, 2009

For information contact:

Kathleen Conley Norbut, M.Ed., LMHC


USS Mass - United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts


The Case for the Commonwealth Against Slots & Casinos

Thursday December 10, 2009, 7pm-8:30PM

Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

WHAT: “The Case for the Commonwealth Against Slots & Casinos” is a forum at Faneuil Hall in Boston, with noted civic and political leaders, to discuss the proposals to legalize state-sponsored predatory gambling, slot machines and casinos in Massachusetts.

WHO: Sponsored by the USS Mass Coalition, the panel will include:

      • Governor and Mrs. Michael Dukakis
      • Former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger
      • Kathleen Conley Norbut, President of USS Mass
      • Jim Rubens, Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling
      • Honorable State Senator Susan Tucker

Alan Khazei, co-founder of City Year, as the Master of Ceremonies.

The Rev. Dr. Peter D. Weaver, Bishop of the United Methodist Church- New England Conference, will offer the Invocation.

WHEN: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 7:00- 8:30pm

WHERE: Faneuil Hall, 1 Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, MA.

Blue line to Aquarium/Faneuil Hall, Green Line to Government Center, or Orange line to State Street.

CONTACT: Kathleen Conley Norbut, ussmass@gmail.com to arrange interviews

with panelists, or details on visuals, taping and recording the event.

USS Mass – United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts is the up-growth of concerned citizens, taxpayers, activists and statewide organizations across the political spectrum opposed to predatory gambling in the Commonwealth. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that has been working diligently to organize and educate citizens and Legislators on the facts about the economic and social costs of legalizing predatory gambling in the Commonwealth. No state that has legalized predatory slot machines has solved their fiscal problems.