Letters to the Editor

Government won’t use fortune at its fingertips

Please permit me to refute Mr. Quiles’ Dec. 29 comments on my previous letter regarding LWCF funds and related issues.

A specific expenditure attached to a funding bill is by generic definition an “earmark.” An asphalt parking lot at a Maple Valley trailhead is an unnecessary expenditure of borrowed money as well as being highly questionable as a conservation measure.

The $900 million from drilling lease proceeds he refers to has only been achieved once since 1965 due to repeated and prolonged environmental impact statements and legal injunctions initiated by various environmental lobbying organizations. This Maple Valley parking lot can be considered part of the $17 billion he states have been diverted to unrelated issues.

Regarding buying and selling oil on the world market: if we produce sufficient quantity, the price goes down. That’s high school economics.

Regarding the 1872 mining law, etc: This law was originally written for the pick and shovel prospectors. Royalties were paid by the capitalizing corporations to the patented claim holders. Corporations pay taxes and the prospector pays income tax on his royalties and his wages when he becomes a day laborer in the mine.

Regarding logging: Trees are a renewable resource. Private enterprise can build the roads to new leases. Many of the 300,000 miles of logging roads Mr. Quiles refers to are being closed down as part of USFS Travel Management Plans, creating more de facto wilderness areas. Domestic lumber production is at its lowest level since the 1940s. Consider these things when you try to make your next mortgage payment on your crackerbox house on barely enough land to support the foundation, built with Canadian lumber sawn on an offshore Japanese sawmill barge and sulphuric acid riddled gypsum board from China rotting out your Chilean copper plumbing and wiring.

Everything we consume is at some point mined, drilled and extracted, or grown and harvested. My point is that we’re not doing this for ourselves. These products are what money is exchanged for.

We have nothing backing our currency. We have a fortune at our fingertips and our government appears to be selling it out from under us or abandoning it. We have people in tent cities surrounded by millions of vacant acres. I sincerely believe that the only thing keeping many people saluting the Stars and Stripes is an extended unemployment check made good by a foreign loan or U.S. Treasury junk bond. Conduct a poll in Nickelsville or Uncle Bud’s trailer park in Buckley or at a temporary day labor agency and you’ll find a lot of truth in this statement.

I’ve been a miner, a sawyer, a soldier when the soup line got too long, and after 10 years my fourth go round at self employment is going down the tubes with the economy. I will eventually recover from another repossession and another bankruptcy, but this time I’m perturbed.

To paraphrase a famous document, human events have nearly run their course. While not yet disloyal, I am a western American, not necessarily superior but certainly distinctive. lf our government won’t let us use what we have here, we need to go our own way. Hopefully we can find a political way to stay united besides pacification in the form of government checks and handouts. Any potential allies aren’t going to help us just because they like us. Given the left-leaning prevailing mindset in western Washington, Seattle will be all in favor of a communist takeover as long as it keeps us safe. I want the Republicans to shape debate and campaign agendas on the above and related issues and stop wasting breath on social issues like abortion and gay rights. We can win on this stuff. Now you know why I’ve been so critical of Congressman Reichert on environmental issues.

Edward D. Neil


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