music in the park san jose

Remember the old joke line

What does an 800-pound gorilla do in a dark alley?

Remember the old joke line “What does an 800-pound gorilla do in a dark alley?”

While there are variations about the location, the answer is pretty much the same: “He does whatever he wants to do.”

And that’s exactly what South Valley will be faced with if a proposed Indian casino is built in San Benito County just south of the Santa Clara County border next to Highway 25 – an 800-pound casino “gorilla” that will do anything it wants to do. Think not?

Now you don’t have to be a biologist to know that 800-pound gorillas don’t start out that way. No, gorilla infants can be kind of cute, and a lot of fun to observe as they swing through the trees, waddle along the ground, and stuff food into their mouths. Entertaining. Harmless. But that’s not how a gorilla stays. As it gets bigger and is able to utilize its strength, power, and ability to act, not much can stand in its way on its own turf.

If this casino “gorilla” becomes localized, the first thing we can look forward to is having a little nation-island in our backyard. While one can argue that the Indians are finally getting the land rights they deserve because of what the bad United States government did to them many years ago (and I’m not denying many bad things were done to the Indians), I’m not sure however I like the idea of that land being sovereign from the laws of the United States.

Obviously I’m no real estate attorney or treaty lawyer, but still, I don’t necessarily like the idea that there are pockets of land inside the United States that are their own sovereign nations, operating with immunity to local county, state, and United States laws.

So, if Tribe X wants to build a sex club, or manufacture drugs, does that mean they can do it? How far does their immunity extend? My point is, why even let the gorilla get into our area, when it has the ability do whatever it wants to do when it gets here?

It seems The Hollister Free Lance has taken a scholarly approach to my gorilla analogy. In the “Our View” opinion, the The Hollister Free Lance, like an anthropologist in the wilds of Africa, stands back as it were with notebook in hand, observing this gorilla and stating that many questions, both philosophical and practical need to be asked.

And granted, maybe questions need to be asked especially on gambling addiction and crime, but I’m afraid that the answers and outcome have already been predetermined because few if any community leaders really want the tough job to stand-up to an 800-pound gorilla, and say “Not here, go away!” That might hinder their political career.

Gambling is big business – close to $400 billion a year and growing.

Americans outspend all their other forms of entertainment and self-education put together on gambling. While more people lose at it than win at it, a few powerful people reap its windfall profit.

And where big business, big money, and powerful people are involved, political corruption is always possible, and often seeps into both city and county government as well as local labor unions. Think it can’t happen here?

Think again.

For the right pay-off price anything’s possible, including local government’s conclusion that an 800-pound casino “gorilla” is really just a harmless chimpanzee, wanting no more than to be fed a few bananas, make you laugh, and keep you occupied.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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