two mighty redwoods
I left the following as a letter to Salon.com a few days ago, apropo of this article:
"Republicans' wild Western land grab"
A historic makeover of mining laws could sell out tens of millions of public acres for drilling, casinos and condos.
Enviros and fiscal conservatives in both major parties have been calling for mining reform for years, but Pombo's proposal isn't quite what they had in mind.
Perhaps it's a con game, as both parties may benefit. One of the 2 great French thinkers who studied early 19th century America, Frederic Bastiat, said that government cannot take the people's property from them, as that was plunder. From where I'm sitting, it seems that both parties plunder with impunity, as things are today.
I see the American system, and perhaps the two-party system, as two mighty redwoods, literally thousands of years old, as our system of government was specifically modeled on the Roman Republic...
(as opposed to the Empire).
The problem, with the two mighty redwoods, reaching far, far up into the sky, is that the two parties that presently are the caretakers of the two redwoods, the redwoods of liberalism and conservatism, have built a treehouse in the sky, a treehouse so far on high the ordinary people can't see without craning their necks and squinting mightily,
and it's awfully difficult to see...
And it's just one treehouse!
So how do we shake the trees, so that they pay attention to the ordinary people below, without harming the two trees?
A rich man once told me he didn't believe in private property. He was either a liar, a jokester, or a fool.
If we still had honest conservatism and honest liberalism, the liberals would say
"we need to do this!"
and the conservatives would reply,
"hold on a moment- let's see if we can afford it, let's not go so fast!"
And neither would plunder.
We need a private sector, always.
We also need a public sector, always.
They are there to keep each other honest.
...When I wrote those words, I entitled them "Our friend Mister Pombo", after republican Richard Pombo of California, who introduced the legislation in question. But I was too kind in my sarcasm. He is not my friend. And, as I thought about it some more, I thought back to the Kelo decision from the summer, when the supposed liberals(plus Kennedy) voted to allow government to take public lands for private projects. And now this. Bill Clinton federalized millions of acres of land at the last minute in his time in office, once he had no longer any