© 2014 Concerned Citizens of Western Montana
A very knowledgeable person recently described the water compact and its component Unitary Management Ordinance as “Orwellian”. We couldn’t agree more.
The term Orwellian is often used to describe an idea or situation as being destructive to the principles of a free society. Discussion of such a concept signals the likelihood of repressive state or federal government policies, and control through propaganda, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of history. These things were circumstances described in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
So how might this compact, the tribe’s lawsuit, and the flawed process that brings us to the place where we are today, Orwellian? Let us count the ways.
1) It Rewrites and Manipulates History
The CSKT start with the premise that notwithstanding article VI of their own treaty, the federal homestead laws, desert land and reclamation acts, the tribe somehow has managed to retain ownership of all the land and the water within their historical reservation boundaries. Their February 2014 lawsuit speaks in very clear terms of their belief not only these things, but also their derogatory view that the original homesteaders who came to these lands expecting to purchase land along with the water necessary for its productiveness were little more than deadbeats who failed to pay for their land and water. The Tribes’ lawsuit accuses the United States of not having any authority to implement a treaty it signed with the CSKT, nor to settle the lands it purchased from England, Spain, France, and the Indians.
To drive these points home, the compact and the talking points carefully developed for it by the compact commission ask legislators to participate in and to perpetuate this rewriting of history by passing the compact, a document that includes the tribe’s agenda and premises in its opening whereas’ and in the legal precepts upon which the whole house of cards was built.
2) It imposes tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians and forever removes citizens from the protection of the state
The CSKT are simply a corporation of which people who have a certain blood quantum can choose to become “members”. Through the Unitary Management Ordinance, the state of Montana proposes to place 23,000 people who cannot participate in tribal government as “members”, under the control of a group of elite tribal leaders who currently claim to own the land and water of these non-members.
For what purpose? To garner a water compact no matter what the cost, even if it means enslaving 23,000 non-Indians under a tyrannical system without the protection of the state and federal government.
A post compact world would mean that the state still protects some of its citizens, while turning its back on others. But in all cases, state citizens are required to pay state taxes.
Is this most egregious aspect of the compact Orwellian and repressive? Absolutely.
3) It forces farmers and irrigators to relinquish their water rights without compensation, while the media yawns
For as much as there are proponents of the compact who are willing to relinquish their own and their neighbor’s water rights to an unaccountable tribal corporation, there are many opponents to it who understand that a horrible wrong is about to be done, but who sit quietly on the sidelines for fear of tribal retribution. One could argue that the latter group of people justify the famous quote that says the obvious:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
To these folks, we must simply ask: if the tribe treats people as badly as they have while in “negotiations”, how do you think will they behave after they are given all the water and control over all the people?
The ideals of a constitution, limited government and the rule of law are nice to think about, but are essentially meaningless when one group of citizens is given preferential treatment over others, which is clearly the case with this water compact.
The media still prides itself as being a watchdog for freedom and liberty. The United States constitution specifically guarantees freedom of the press for that purpose. Unfortunately most media reports of this compact belie their own agenda of supporting the tribe to the detriment of others. We say this because, for all intents and purposes, by keeping silent about the details of this compact is to be in effect complicit with the tribe’s agenda to plunder and steal the land and water of non-Indians under the guise of a water compact, and short of that, through an unbelievably aggressive lawsuit.
Is any of this reminiscent of the Twilight Zone? You bet it is.
4) Legislators are expected to write a blank check to the federal government while at the same time violating their oath to the constitution.
Portions of this compact have already been ruled to be an unconstitutional taking without compensation, yet many legislators continue to support the compact in spite of the obvious.
Even if the constitution and an oath to protect it is a non-starter for some legislators, how is it possible that they are willing to relinquish the valuable resources of the state of Montana to an unaccountable entity without even knowing what specifically is being given away?
As of the writing of this post, we still do not know how much water the state of Montana will transfer to the federal government / tribe in this compact. Is it 50% of the water? 100 percent? 150 percent? Or is it more than that?
Any legislator willing to vote for, or support a forever document that does not spell out what is being given up couldn’t possibly have the best interests of their constituents in mind.
Is the simple act of considering a vote for a blank check without understanding its implications Orwellian and destructive of a free society? Without a doubt.
5) The state of Montana is counting on the fact that citizens will give up their water rights without a fight
Last but not least, a very reliable source has told us that high placed elected officials in the state of Montana do not care about the problems with the compact because they believe that people will not defend their rights because it will be too expensive.
In other words the state of Montana is counting on the fact that people will not be able to afford to defend their water and property rights after the state has given them away in the form of a “water compact”. These officials understand that the compact was “bullet proofed”, because the deep pockets of all three parties (the state, the tribe and the federal government) will be required defend it against their own citizens.
THE FLATHEAD COMPACT IS DESTRUCTIVE BY DESIGN
In summary, nothing about the Flathead water compact, the compacting process, or the tribe’s lawsuit are conducive to or supportive of a free society and the principles of freedom. If ratified, the compact will destroy property rights like nothing else before, and will pave the way for other similar thefts around the country.
The whole process, including compact talking points were designed to pit neighbor against neighbor and to stifle freedom of speech through political correctness and fear of calls of racism.
If the compact doesn’t get the job done, the CSKT lawsuit is waiting in the wings for the same purpose (keep in mind the United States is encouraging this theft by considering becoming a plaintiff in the tribe’s lawsuit).
So where do you stand?
Are you sitting on the sidelines because you are concerned about your tribal leases?
Are you criticizing the compact opposition, because you would do it differently?
Are you going to let the state get away with giving away your water and property rights without a whimper?
Get involved now before it is too late. We are in the battle of our lives and all good men and women are needed to stop this overreach in its tracks before there is no turning back.