Slightly Off Center: The Second Conquest

500 years later, Europeans again hoodwink a gullible indigenous population.
by Dennis Hinkamp
Even people who study history are doomed to make the same mistakes because history repeats itself in ways that we don’t expect.

Case in point: Most of us are frolicking in North America today because our European ancestors sought a location with cheap real estate, plentiful resources and a gullible indigenous people. Five hundred years later, the loincloths and buffalo herds are gone, but that description pretty much describes the American population right now._

The big 1492 land grab foisted on the native populations called Indians by Christopher "Wrong Way" Columbus is happening again to North America’s current tenants. According to most accounts, the American Indians were appalled by our need to own things such as land and water. Well, faster than you can say "speaks with forked tongue," the new millennium Europeans are buying up North American resources once thought sacred.

We’ve come to accept the idea of Toyota plants in Georgia, but did you know the Germans and French have been buying up water in the United States? It’s not the water actually, but the means of distributing that water to households.

"In July 2003, the city of Phoenix voted to award American Water Services, a subsidiary of the German water company RWE, a $336-million contract to design, build, and operate a water treatment facility on the shore of Lake Pleasant."

By some accounts, these companies control 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. water.

The water itself still belongs to Mother Earth, but unless you want to bring back an SUV full from the nearest lake every time you want to shower, you have to pay the next wave of European plunderers to get H2O into your house. You think oil is scarce, just try finding some new fresh water.

More heinous, and only slightly removed from water, is beer. Those greedy Europeans are now buying up all of our beer. The Belgian company called InBev paid $52 billion to take over Budweiser. Belgium? Talk about a terrorist country hitting us where it hurts. Take away our beer and what do we stand for as a nation? I don’t even know what language they speak. It should be "belch," but I looked it up and they split their infinitives between German, French and Flemish.

Budweiser is such an American icon that it even shows up on my Microsoft spell checker. That $52 billion is a lot of beads and trinkets, but it seems even now we new indigenous people have our price. I imagine them all laughing back at the InBev corporate office in the same way we did when we bought Alaska for two cents an acre.

This new wave of greedy Europeans didn’t even go through the hardship of sailing across the ocean, staking claims and traveling the Oregon Trail. They just gradually bought big chunks of America from the comfort of their own country.

You think an oil embargo is scary, just imagine the horror of a beer embargo with millions of sober football and NASCAR fans looking into each others’ faces and for the first time realizing how much time and money they have been wasting.

Dennis Hinkamp was born in St. Louis, land of the free and the home of the Budweiser.