It’s Time To Do Away With Indian Reservations

*update 4/18/17   My article seems to have touched a nerve among some reservation Natives who have sent comments.  While I don’t retract my premise (that Natives are getting screwed by the federal government and racial segregation is not acceptable today) I can see that parts of the article appear to broad-brush all reservation Natives, and I know better than that.  My article is based on US Census Bureau and other federal statistics, and my opinions reflect the aggregate data of the reservation system, not any individual Native, tribe, or reservation.  My apologies for any poorly chosen remarks, no offense intended.  The article follows unedited.

Oh, and yes, the song I chose sucked.  I did remove that!

*update 4/24/17  I just discovered the excellent work performed on this very subject by Naomi Schaefer Riley.  Her book published last summer is titled “The New Trail of Tears – How Washington Is Destroying American Indians”.  And here is a link to her excellent video for Prager University, published today: American Indians Are Still Getting a Raw Deal 

I’m pleased that this topic is getting some attention.




About 1 million Native Americans live on reservations, most of them in poverty.  Crime, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, bad schools, poor health and other hardships are common.  While they are not required to stay on the reservations, federal policies effectively keep Native Americans there, dependent on their benefits.

There is no longer any justification for continuing the archaic, immoral, and wasteful practice of racially segregating Native Americans and subjugating them to perpetual poverty.

Surely nobody would argue that the quality of life for families isolated on Indian reservations is acceptable.  Yet no effort has been made to assimilate reservation Native Americans into the American mainstream.

The reservation situation is not only inhumane, it is a fiscal disaster.  Billions of federal dollars flow to the reservations, with little evident result.  Corruption is rampant.

The tribes have also been used by big-government and left-wing organizations to seize property, wealth and control from landowners and taxpayers.  The Flathead Reservation Water Compact threatens to claim water rights for the tribe that far exceeds their dominion and would cripple the agriculture industry.

Total government spending on the reservations is hard to determine due to an intentional lack of government transparency.  I found a chart prepared by the Dept. of the Interior that shows a 2017 budget estimate of $21 billion targeted to tribes and Native American communities.  The cost of health and welfare benefits, including food stamps, disability, housing subsidies, unemployment, education programs, health care and other programs could easily exceed that figure.  Many seemingly unrelated federal programs concentrate spending on the reservations that just blurs into oblivion – for example, I observed eight years ago that the largest proportion of Obama “stimulus” money in Montana went to the reservations and tribes.

The 2016 elections made clear that now is the time for swamp-draining and fiscal reorganization.  Now is the time to end racial discrimination in every form.  Why not transform this large group of Americans (many of whom have distinguished military service) into happy, healthy, productive taxpayers? Now is the best opportunity in many decades to take a fresh, honest look at what our government is doing, and make sweeping changes.

We could, within a year, eliminate the embarrassment of Indian reservations from our landscape.  Reservation tribes could distribute their commonly-owned property to members, and preserve their privately-owned property.  All federal agencies, departments and programs related to Native Americans could be sunset.  And I submit that two years of federal spending on the reservations and tribes could be calculated, divided, and paid to reservation dwellers in a lump sum.  My cursory math:  $100 billion divided by 1 million reservation households = $100,000 per household.

Here’s your share of the property.  Here’s a check.  The reservation is no more, welcome to the United States of America.

This does not need to threaten the Native American culture or traditions.  Eliminating the reservations would blow up the subjugation of this group by an over-reaching and cold-hearted federal government.

This is a simple first look at a very old problem, but the situation can’t go on, and nothing gets done until we start.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side




Right and Wrong

ussoldierafghanistanThroughout our nation’s history there has been conflict between religion and government.  In fact, our nation came to be largely because of this conflict.  And our founders established, through the first amendment to our Constitution, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The USA was born as a Christian nation; developed by Christians, and governed by Christians.   Still, the separation of church and state has been, and remains, the subject of considerable debate.  That’s partly because we view most offenses in terms of severity.  A crime, in the eyes of government, might fall anywhere in the range of “not so bad” to “extremely bad”.  Some crimes are rigidly enforced by the government; others are completely overlooked.  Sometimes overlooking a minor crime can lead to one that is unthinkable.

When it comes to that “extremely bad” category, we Americans pretty much unanimously agree on one thing.  Regardless of religious or political affiliation, we do not tolerate the murder of innocent people.  Period.  Anybody disagree with that?  Anybody?

It’s the ultimate “right” and “wrong”.  Most of us believe we’re born with an understanding of it.  Still, we allow a few excuses for murder.  Insanity.  Crime of passion.  Capital punishment? Abortion?  War, maybe?

What happens when another culture or religion has a different view of “right” and “wrong”?  Some radical Muslims are raised and required to believe that the murder of non-Muslims is not only acceptable, it is righteous.  Their treatment of women, children, and minorities is abhorrent to us.

Should we non-Muslims accept their religious belief that the murder of innocent people is okay, in the name of tolerance?  Conversely, if a non-Muslim kills a Muslim terrorist to protect innocent lives, is that righteous?  What about killing a communist (that’s government, not religion) to protect innocent lives?

What sometimes seems simple (right vs. wrong) seldom is.  There comes a time when tough decisions must be made, by our mortal American men and women – soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and political leaders.  All we can do is base them on who we, as a nation, are and what we believe to be true and right.

Maybe that’s why “our” God gave his only son to die for our forgiveness, and to grant us peace.

Merry Christmas and God bless our military men and women and our leaders.

Rockin' On the Right Side

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing over the plains
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis de-o

Pentatonix – Angels We Have Heard On High




Abuse – The Dirty Little Secret of the Illegal Immigration Issue


The assumption is that conservatives oppose illegal immigration and open borders because we are selfish.  Some say we just don’t want to share the wonderful opportunities and wealth in our country with outsiders.  Others call us racists.

Do I believe in “America First?”  Sure I do.  I think that American citizens should have first claim to jobs, schools, and taxpayer-provided benefits, and I know that in a world with poverty in every corner, the combination of open borders and liberal benefits for immigrants is unsustainable.

Closing our borders is not just to protect those on the inside.  Here’s the dirty little secret:

Illegal immigrants to our country are often abused.

Human trafficking is commonplace, and some who seek the good life in America pay a heavy price.  Many immigrants fork over their family’s life savings or even borrow money to pay coyotes and arrangers for their passage.  Forced prostitution and enslavement are more common than we would like to believe.

But even after an illegal immigrant has landed inside our borders, dangers abound.  Immigrant laborers often earn less than minimum wage, work long hours, and live crammed twenty to a room, unprotected by our laws and in fear of deportation.  Without education or language skills, they are easy prey for unscrupulous profiteers, both foreign and American.

Some time ago I reported that a beloved local businessman and school teacher, Jesse Campbell, was murdered at his home by Kevin DeJesus, an illegal Mexican who had worked for him as a laborer.  At first blush, it appeared to be another one of those “bad illegal immigrant kills innocent American citizen” episodes.  But here’s the rest of the story, reported in the Rock Hill Herald after the murder trial:

DeJesus’ lawyer said Campbell’s “secret double life,” of extortion for sex led to the vicious death. There was a struggle for a gun after Campbell forced DeJesus to perform a sex act, and refused to pay DeJesus for work done at the home, according to testimony.

Campbell had, in this case and at other times with other Hispanic men he hired, “refused to pay them unless they had sex with him.”

Dejesus will serve a 12-year sentence and then be deported.

Some will say that the solution to the abuse of illegal immigrants is to give them amnesty and full access to the protections enjoyed by American citizens.  But the only real-world solution is to prevent them from entering illegally in the first place, for a number of very good reasons.  A nation without borders and laws is not a nation.  It makes more sense to help other nations improve their own governments and living conditions.  And we can’t afford to care for the poor of the entire world within our borders when too many of our own American citizens struggle as it is.

We must seal our borders.  For our sake, and theirs.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Tax the rich
Feed the poor
‘Til there ain’t no
Rich no more

I’d Love to Change the World – Ten Years After

Here’s Alvin Lee’s classic, from 1971 – a time that was a little less politically correct than today.



Corrupt News Media Leave Americans In the Dark

Anderson Cooper, of CNN, and Martha Raddatz, of ABC News, moderate the second presidential debate. Photo by Jim Bourg, AP

I asked my friend, a well-educated, successful business professional, if she saw the second Trump / Clinton debate last night.  She hadn’t.  She works long hours on the dead run, and has been caring for family members with health issues as well.

I know she is interested in politics, so I was giving her a “CliffsNotes” report of the political slugfest.  When I got to the part where Trump revealed how Hillary laughed about successfully defending the man who brutally raped a 12-year old girl in Arkansas, her jaw literally dropped.  “What?  Why haven’t I ever heard about this?”  The news she has picked up while on the run always describes Hillary Clinton as a champion and defender of women’s rights.

I explained how the news media avoids stories that might harm any Democrat, especially one as powerful as Hillary Clinton.  The days when reporters and editors went to great lengths to double-verify facts, and important news stories were never spiked, are long gone.  News outlets now report what fits their left-wing political ideology, or will enhance ad revenue.

This episode is by no means an isolated example of an important, but willfully hidden, news story.  It was first reported years ago and was revisited by the Washington Free Beacon in 2014.  But it never saw the light of day in the mainstream news media.  How many Americans know that we have a $20 trillion (and growing) debt?  Or that hundreds of “sanctuary cities” across the country routinely release illegal immigrant criminals without prosecuting them or turning them over to immigration officials for deportation?  Or that our FBI not only gave immunity to everybody who was complicit in Hillary Clinton’s dangerous and illegal storage of classified materials on her unsecured private server, they also helped destroy the evidence?  Or that the Clinton Foundation is far from charitable, having actually skimmed millions of dollars intended for disaster relief in Haiti?

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Stories like these and countless others can be found on blog sites, investigative news sources, and sometimes Fox News.  But those who don’t have the time or know where to look for real news, or at least alternative reporting, are at the mercy of NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, and PBS – all protectors and apologists for the political left.  And young adults don’t watch television news or read newspapers at all – their news comes via Facebook, Twitter, and SnapChat, filtered by left-leaning social media machines and the interests of their friends, who are products of our relentlessly leftist educational system.

My friend is worldly, intelligent, and caring.  She also very busy, like millions of other Americans who want, need and deserve to know the truth about our nation, its challenges, and the powerful people who seek to run it.  But the unholy alliance between the Democrat party and the corrupt liberal mainstream media has left her and most Americans defenseless and in the dark.  It feeds and breeds corruption.

Those of us who have the time and the drive to ferret out the news are duty bound to share it with our friends and families.  The only other way to challenge news media corruption is to elect outsiders to public office who will move in and drain the swamp.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

You take no interest, no opinion’s too dear
You make the rounds and you try to be so sincere
You guard your hopes and you pocket your dreams
You’d trade it all to avoid an unpleasant scene

In the Dark – Billy Squier


Home Schooling Is School Choice

NC homeschool growth chartWhen the topic of “school choice” comes up, most people think of charter schools, alternative schools, or private schools.  Yet a rapidly growing number of families are making the choice to educate their children at home.  According to latest estimates, over 4% of students nationwide are homeschooled, and the trend is accelerating.

Colorado state senator Kevin Lundberg recently explained to the Franklin Center’s #AmplifyChoice Conference attendees why homeschooling is so attractive to parents. “Homeschoolers typically track two grade levels above their peers, their socialization skills are far advanced over students from traditional schools, and they are highly sought by universities and employers because of their great variety of skills and independence of thought,” he said.

North Carolina is one of the states that has seen attendance at traditional public schools give ground to private, public non-traditional, and homeschool alternatives in recent years.  In fact, the number of homeschooled students spiked 10% just last year, according to the North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE).

My daughter is one of many homeschooling parents in North Carolina, having left a successful professional career to teach her twins (boy and girl), now six years old.  Her main concern about traditional schools is the waste of precious time.  “Public school kids spend so much time at their desks in class, on testing, waiting in line, and doing homework,” she said.  “I think children need more time to explore their individual interests and to develop social and personal skills.  I worried that my twins wouldn’t have the time for sports, advanced science activities, travel, field trips – the things that I had time to do when I was a kid.”

And she has not been disappointed.  She learned that there is a vast network of resources for homeschoolers, and social media makes finding and organizing educational, athletic and social activities easy.  Her children attend foreign language lessons, nature trips, music events and instruction, competitive sports programs, and many other activities on a regular basis, in addition to their structured class-time at home.

The results are promising: one of the six-year old twins reads at grade 4-5 level and the other is advanced at math and pre-engineering skills.  That illustrates my daughter’s biggest surprise about homeschooling, and perhaps the most significant advantage over traditional schools.  “I thought that teaching two children of the same age would be easy, ” she said.  “But I found out they learn in entirely different ways.  In the homeschool setting I can give them a lot of individual attention and structure their work to suit their learning styles individually.  I don’t know how a teacher of twenty or thirty students could do that.”

Parents who are considering homeschooling are often asked whether they are concerned about their children missing the traditional schools’ social environment.  For many, that’s the point – they prefer a setting that reflects their own values rather than the pop-culture, secularism and political correctness they perceive to be prevalent at public schools.  And homeschool parents are pleased to find that their children actually get along well with children of all ages, and adults, too.  “It’s not unusual for young teenagers to engage constructively with elementary-aged kids,” my daughter explained.  “There isn’t the competition and bullying that you find in a group of traditional-school kids who spend most of their time with people their own age.”

Some families wonder whether they have the skill set to successfully teach their children at home, but that isn’t usually a problem.  Children learn very efficiently on their own when provided good materials, environment, and opportunity.  And supplemental resources abound, such as online classes and materials, cooperative programs with schools and universities, sessions with private businesses aimed at homeschoolers, and classes shared and organized with other homeschoolers.  For the most part, success relies on the parents’ motivation.

Home Schooling Is School Choice

Homeschooling is not an option for many families whose parents must both work, or who just prefer to not be saddled with the responsibility.  But those parents who are able and willing to take the plunge are finding homeschooling to be an outstanding choice for their children.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Teach your children well
Their father’s hell
Will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they pick’s
The one you’ll know by

Teach Your Children Well – Crosby, Still and Nash

Harmony.  Harmony.  Harmony!





It’s Time for You Boys in the ‘Hood to Man Up

Chicago gang violence

It’s time for you boys in the ‘hood to man up.  You need to grow a pair and join the community of real men all over the rest of the world.  Real men go to work every day, sometimes doing tough jobs they really don’t want to do, to make a living and take care of their families.  Real men don’t threaten or harm people – they roll up their sleeves and help when and where it is needed.  Real men don’t abuse women and abandon fatherless babies all over town.  Real men come in all races, sizes and places.

I don’t care what happened to your great-great-great-grandfather.  If somebody treats you wrong, you have every right to deal with it on the spot, without violence, and you should.  I’ll be right there with you.  But you have no right to whine about something that happened a hundred years before you were born.  You have no right to come across our border to sell drugs.  And you sure as hell have no right to violence or lawlessness against people who have done nothing to deserve it.

You think you’re bad?  Yeah, you might carry a gun.  A lot of real men do, too.  But our families and neighbors are safer because we do.  Are yours?

You think you’re tough?  Tough is hand-carrying a truckload of sheetrock to the third floor of a house under construction in the 95 degree heat.  Tough is pulling a breeched calf at 3 in the morning in the icy rain.  Tough is foot-patrolling a desert village, not knowing where or when the snipers or IEDs will hit.

You  probably can’t be embarrassed into becoming a real man. But just making it real – you don’t know what you are missing.  Your life could be so much better.

You might think smoking dope or swigging “Lean” makes you feel good.  That’s nothing.  Your heart will bust out of your chest when you rock your baby girl to sleep in your arms in the middle of the night.  You’ve never felt joy like seeing your boy hit his first little league home run.  And trust me, the women down at the club don’t begin to compare to the one you could have if you were a real man – one who can raise your kids, cook your dinner, go to work, and help you build a barbecue deck on your very own home.

You don’t need a fancy education to get a good job and make serious money.  In fact, you probably have a better chance of making good money sooner without a degree, if you are willing to get up every day and go do the work that is in demand because others are too proud or too puny to try.  If you have to do physical labor for a while, so what?  You are young and strong, the pay is good, and you can learn while you work so you can move up with your employer or even start your own business some day.  There are millions of good-paying jobs out there just waiting for real men who are dependable and ambitious.  It doesn’t take long to pull together some serious money if you are honest, smart, and you get after it.  And believe it or not, the satisfaction of a job well done really feels good.

I know none of the boys in the ‘hood are reading this.  But maybe you know one, or know somebody who knows one, or have some way to help get this message out.  Somehow the senseless violence and wasted potential in the ‘hood has to be turned around.  And another government program won’t make a bit of difference.  The boys in the hood have to want to change, and if they only knew what they were missing in life, they would.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideComin’ up in da hood where the streets are cold
Either you gon’ stretch or either you gon’ fold
Either you gon’ ride or get rolled on
Which one is it or they pay you a visit?

Hood – Jibbs




First Common Core Math, Now Common Core Law!


common core problem


“Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told Congress under oath that she did not send or receive any classified emails.  You just said under oath that she, in fact, did send and receive classified emails.  One of you is lying.  Are you lying?”


“Then did Secretary Clinton lie?”

“I can’t say that she did.”

“Is it against the law to keep sensitive, classified emails on an unsecured, private server?”


“Did Secretary Clinton keep sensitive, classified emails on an unsecured, private server?”


“Did Secretary Clinton break the law?”


The government lawyers have turned America on its head.  Next thing you know there will be men in women’s bathrooms.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

God sends his spaceships to America, the beautiful
They land at six o’clock and there we are, the dutiful
Eating from TV trays, tuned into to Happy Days
Waiting for World War III while Jesus slaves
To the mating calls of lawyers in love

Lawyers In Love – Jackson Browne