Kudos tankenstein....vent at will man!!....like to read a good vent or two myself, particularly the articulate variety....
I almost blushed when you compared my barely coherent ramblings to those of the good Ms Molly. She must rub off; she is one of my favorite columnists (being a voice of reason and humanity from the execution capital of the US----Europe got rid of slavery before us too)
As for the eighties(The Reagan years)ol Ronnie never saw a budget he didnt love....he raised taxes too btw. Military spending was priority numero uno....as you well know, Medicare and other elderly entitlements, are the biggest social expendeture, and corporate welfare was then and still is a larger drain on your tax dollars than the welfare Queen Ron made such a fuss about. The Corporate Queens are still on the dole...at higher rates....call it "return on investment", in BOTH parties.
Then there's ol Jimmy (still is, eh?). Tankenstein, Ive become convinced that one light shines down, but that we all have our little prisms; yours deflects to the right, mine to the left. Where you see a hapless Carter, fiddling as the embers of Empire began to smolder, with Ronnie coming to the rescue,(singlehandedly?)crushing the evil empire,I see Carter as a visionary who carried himself as "everyman"(the luggage "incident"),who tried to reform the wretched CIA,tried to make human rights more than just an American hypocrisy, and wore a sweater to show some SMALL sense of sacrifice, as he pleaded with a nation of wanton consumption to rethink its ways lest they have to send their children to kill and die in the gulf over oil. Carter then launched an alternative energy research program. He called energy conservation "the moral equivalent of war." America didn't listen.
Recession, a hostage crisis, and an oil embargo and adios Jimmy.----Hello Ronnie,and welcome back hostages!! and trading with terrorists and supporting illegal wars(Iran-Contra)and Sadaam and all the depressing regimes in Central America, and "we shall not be moved" and then all those dead marines (he was warned)and Ronnie kissing the Marines Mom's tears and America felt bad for Ron. Carter lost a handful of heroes to a desert sandstorm and America held him accountable.One of Ronnie's first acts as president was to have the state of the art and unobtrusive solar system (commissioned by Jimmy)removed from the Whitehouse. When the designer inquired about Ronnie's dissatisfaction (any problems?) Ron told him "we are done with that foolishness." During the Reagan years, the US Marine Corps marching band recieved more $$$ than all alternative energy research combined.
So, here we are , embarking on our second oil war...free will finds us in our SUVs, flags a flappin' as the neighbors' kid gets ready to fight in some Iraqi neighborhood. Al Franken said Rumsfeld was a genius to turn around Clinton's incapable military into a world class force in 6 months....lol in extremis...love ol Franken.
As for $$$$, (no rich men in heaven I hear, unless some seriously HUGE needles there......do camels go to heaven??)let the rich keep as much of their lucre as they want, just dont let them buy our democracy....oops too late on that one....by the way , nice to see them sacrifice during this time in our nation's need....I say let's do better than another taxbreak...let's have a telethon for the neediest wealthy Americans......oh, we do...it's called the National Elections....The rich get driven to the show...are given a taste of our nations prosperity, then our natural resources are handed over to them so they can remember next time they enter the bidding booth.....
Ive long winded as usual, (you find me entertaining though, dontcha, Tankster...ya read this far....) As for the conservation issue....
#1...no Utah "land grab"...it's federal land...never was Utah's...Utah entered statehood that way (GOD BLESS YOU TEDDY ROOSEVELT and sorry we didnt keep your flame alive)
The real grab is when corporations strip those lands of value (ever heard of heap leach mining???) and leave us to clean up the land, the streams (so many gone now) and the aquifer....if THAT'S what you prefer, you're in luck...the GOP runs our country now.
#2...nature vs man.....what's worth saving??....what do the great grandkids inherit, besides the refuse and problems of this generation??...not the prairies... or the grassland birds ...or the passenger pigeons that used to obscure the Wisconsin sun for days (yes,true) during their migration...seems the salmon are on their way out...along with the deep forest birds.....the red spruce of appalachia,the eastern hemlocks,the southern dogwoods.... the list is long and growing fast.....Darwin, by the way, was about TIME....vast, slow change, leading to a diversity of life forms exploiting the slowly evolving landscape....you are speaking of the Anti-Darwin....a diminishment of diversity of epic proportion caused by the worship of one's immediate wants over the needs of one's progeny....Darwin would call that a foolish species,indeed.
No need to apologize Tankenstein, at least yer thinkin..anyone that reads Molly aint all bad....I leave you with two quotes from conservation icon, father of Game Management,Forester/Wilderness Preservation pioneer, Professer Emeritus UW WI,Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac is worth the read...youll agree with him more than you might first want to).......
"We abuse land, because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong,we may begin to use it with love and respect."
"The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts."