By David Anderson, Tillicum
We all have to learn this lesson. Some never do.
Our middle grandson is only three. He wanted a sucker from the candy counter here at our place of business. He asked for permission. I said he had to ask his daddy. Whereupon the little guy drug a chair over to the otherwise unreachable – and irresistible – tempting suckers, climbed up on the chair and took one, unwrapped it, tossed the wrapper to the floor, failed to return the chair – thus leaving an unmistakable trail of evidence – and proceeded up the outside stairs, sucker in his mouth while I watched from my office the entire crime unfold on video surveillance camera.
When wrong is not made right, or when the truth is shrugged off or smiled at as so much the antics of youth, it is not unlike a spider’s web – beautiful on these dew-fogged Fall mornings to inspect, fatal to fall into if an insect.
Perhaps the following are related stories to my three-year-old grandson’s experience, or perhaps not, the reader can be the judge. One concerns the headlines running the gauntlet recently that the Obama administration has been asked to “explain how statements about the 9/11 attack in Libya shifted from a spontaneous protest to a pre-planned terrorist attack.”
Then, closer to home, some local casinos have made national news in exposing fraudulent operators – some of them their own card dealers and supervisors – who were bribed to lay down a deck of known-numbered-sequence cards – called a “false shuffle” – enabling players to ‘bet’ on what would appear next, in some cases winning hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Related to the casinos-crying-foul story is a segment of the Lakewood City Council’s agenda packet for October 1st (beginning at page 77) which calls for the City to enter an agreement with the Nisqually Indian Tribe to convert the property at 11741 Pacific Highway SW into tribal trust land. The Nisqually’s propose to build and operate a combined convenience store and gas station.
‘Cutting the deck’ with the tribes, the city, among the number of mutually agreed-upon conditions, has the promise of the tribes on this one:
4.1 “Long Term Vision for South Tacoma Way”
“The Tribe understands the City’s concerns with gambling establishments and will not be developing this or any property as a gambling establishment in the City as such is contradictory to the City’s long term vision for South Tacoma Way” (p.81).
That is certainly a welcome change in the story from what was told the citizens nearly a decade ago, an example from a now-departed council member commenting upon the South Tacoma Way location of the then-new Great American Casino: “I don’t mind where the location is. I’m not a person who believes you can legislate morality. We do get a nice chunk of change from them, and they are good neighbors . . . very supportive of the community” (Tacoma News Tribune, July 22, 2003).
And current City Manager Andrew Neiditz, in debunking the so-called myths of the initiative-to-ban-casino proponents, wrote in a TNT op-ed piece “It is also a fact that Lakewood’s mini-casinos have generated very few calls for police service; they do a good job maintaining order” (June 17, 2008).
But now, per the agreement with the Nisqually tribe, the City has obtained a promise that the tribe will not develop their property as a gambling establishment “as such is contradictory to the City’s long term vision for South Tacoma Way.”
Back to my grandson.
By the time I called his name he had made his way up several steps such that when he turned around we were looking eye-to-eye. I asked what was behind his back since that’s where both hands had gone.
“Nothing? Let grandpa see.”
Out came the sucker.
So we had a little talk, my grandson and I, about the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
And, in the process, removed the spider and its web.