Recent comments

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 10 hours ago

    And no, being dubious about a school like Liberty U. or Hillsdale as a source of unbiased political information is no more an "ad hominem" attack

    That is exactly what it is. Noone claimed they were "unbiased". The claim was they had a good lecture series on the topic. To attack the school(s) instead of rebutting their analysis is by definition an ad hominem (or in this case ad ludus) attack.

    "An attack upon an opponent in order to discredit their arguement or opinion. Ad hominems are used by immature and/or unintelligent people because they are unable to counter their opponent using logic and intelligence."

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Ad+hominem

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 11 hours ago

    Well, we've moved on to the realm of deeply held political convictions, so nothing more is likely to be said that will convince those on either side. As to states like Utah and their "rights" to public lands, a similar, long-running debate ensued on another story some months ago on this site, with similar results. Little to be gained by revisiting that debate, but feel free to have a go if you wish.

    I will say, however, that's it's been nice that, for the most part, this discussion was held without name-calling or other silly tactics. And no, being dubious about a school like Liberty U. or Hillsdale as a source of unbiased political information is no more an "ad hominem" attack that questioning similar sources from Brandeis or New York Univ:-)

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 12 hours ago

    Which meant we needed "a deal" that the West would belong to the country.

    The states don't below to anyone put their people.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 13 hours ago

    You might as well take one a Liberty College.

    I think you mean Liberty University. Probably not a bad place to take a course on the Constitution and Federalist Papers either. But your "joke" actually ranks much higher than Liberty. Perhaps you would like to disect their arguments rather than just make ad hominem attacks.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 13 hours ago

    EC? Who established the western states--every one of them west of the Appalachians? Did Utah, et al., "create" itself? No. We the People approved those states. Which meant we needed "a deal" that the West would belong to the country. The Louisiana Purchase would belong to the country. And so on, and so, and so on. The deal was the Articles of Confederation, in which every colony, i.e., existing state, gave up all title to the West. Virginia, Georgia, etc., had sea to sea charters from the Crown.

    The East made the West. You didn't make yourself. You are there because the people of the original colonies made Colorado, etc., possible. And died for that possibilty across the battlefields of the Revolution.

    When it came time to stop dispensing the public lands to settlers, the Articles of Confederation, melded into the Constitution, prevailed. Yes, the American people are the biggest landowners in the nation, but then, history proves that they have earned it.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 13 hours ago

    ec--Hillsdale College is a joke. Don't recommend a course on the Constitution from this ultra conservative organization. You might as well take one a Liberty College.

    Rick

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 13 hours ago

    It did not lead to anything obligating the federal government to part with every acre.

    You are correct. There is no Constitutional "obligation" but there is also no " deal our forebears made" either. The practice and expectation as described by Mr Robbins was that the land be distributed.

    And no, I don't like sound bites, but I don't need to know every vote and vote count taken on legislation that didn't pass.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 13 hours ago

    EC--The "book" was our Our Landed Heritage by Roy M. Robbins, and I am sorry you found it tedious. The complexity of democracy is always tedious, certainly, much more difficult than rolling out sound bites. You like sound bites; I like history. History tells me where the sound bites fail.

    So, let's do history. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the federal government has to give up the public lands. Nothing. The Ordinance of 1785 provided for the distribution of the public lands to private buyers (speculators) as a means of funding the government. The West protested because bonafide settlers kept losing out to the speculators. That led to preemption and the Homestead Act. It did not lead to anything obligating the federal government to part with every acre.

    If the people of Utah (and the West in general) were better stewards, I might sympathize. But I don't. I can see every summer from Interstate 15 what the good people of Utah have in mind. St. George just can't wait to put up another electronic billboard. Blink! Blink! Blink! Come to my furniture barn. Blink! Blink! Blink! Our ATV barn is waiting for you!

    If the simplest acts on behalf of beauty escape the people of any community, I know better than accept the argument that these people really care about the land. For caring about the land means to care for beauty. Anyone can say they care, but I want to SEE they care before parting with my public lands.

    I say most "locals" across the West have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they refuse to grow up and care. It may be your "room," children, but it's the country's house. First clean your room before you tell me you deserve the house.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 13 hours ago

    Dr. Alfred Runte, thank you for an excellent post. Living in a rural county for the last 55 years, I hear the local state rights/anti public lands sentiment daily. Some need to get out and broaden their perspective a little. Many are friends, but they are usually uniformed on the issue, except for protecting and perpetuating their own interest. It is amazing to work with many of them when they actually get a chance to work for a land management agency, they begin see the the importance of these lands and the laws that regulate them. You hit the nail on the head in my opinion. Been out on a fire for 6 days, doing some prescribed burning in Yosemite National Park. The Central Sierra is extremely dry for this time of year, the Park staff is doing some RX fire that has been on the back burner for many years. The one parcel in Wawona has no recorded fire history, will be an important defensive line for protecting the Grove and the Wawona area in general, let alone the ecological benefits. Three fishers have been spotted in the area, good news. Thank you again Dr. Runte.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 14 hours ago

    Jim et al,

    Hillsdale College has an excellent, free, online lecture series that discusses the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. I highly recommend you take the time to listen. Then you can better appreciate the principles that founded our nation.

    http://www.hillsdale.edu/

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 14 hours ago

    Just out of curiosity, I looked up the following:

    An interesting history here of the Great Seal of the U.S. - whose design process began in 1776 and therefore predates the Constitution. The motto, or slogan, chosen for the seal also appears in a mural inside the capitol dome in Washington:" 'E Pluribus Unum' describes an action: Many uniting into one. An accurate translation of the motto is 'From Many, One' or 'Out of Many, One' – a phrase that captures the symbolism on the shield."

    That site also notes, "On Continental Currency (fractional notes), the emblem designed by Benjamin Franklin had a circle of 13 interlocking rings surrounding the motto, "WE ARE ONE."

    Like most other topics, one's reaction to such information is filtered through a host of previously stored ideas, so interpretations of this history can be expected to vary :-)

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 14 hours ago

    You know that the "locals" are bureaucrats, too.

    Yes they are. But they are bureacrats that are much more familiar with the local issues and are directly accountable to their constituents.

    That was the deal our forebears made back in 1777.

    Could you point me to where that "deal" was made? As that tedious book someone recommended earlier (whose title escapes me at the moment) describes, it was anticipated (and executed) nearly from day one that the lands would be distributed to the citizens.

    Brave men and women built this country--not on the basis of states' rights but rather what the country itself needed.

    That is the anithesis of what our Constitution stands for and I believe our brave men and woment fought for and built this country based on the principles of our Constitution.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 16 hours ago

    Come on, EC. You know that the "locals" are bureaucrats, too. This is not about local "decision-making" but rather a raid on our public trust. We the People own those lands. That was the deal our forebears made back in 1777. Where you "lived" mattered less than what was good for the country. Imagine if George Washington had had to fight state by state with only statewide, local armies. Retreating into New York? Okay, New Jersey, the fight is over for you!

    The problem with extremist arguments--both liberal and conservative--is that both sound selfish. What's in it for ME! Utah is sounding selfish here, even as they brag in that big tee-vee commercial about the five national parks they "have." No, We the People have. On Normandy Beach, I doubt that anyone was talking about states' rights. Why do we? Because few of our leaders come anymore from the battlefield; they rather come straight out of business school and/or law school where they are taught to make their pile. Then they go to Congress.

    Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ike Eisenhower, JFK. You start running out of veterans after the 1960s. Roanld Reagan fought a lot of battles, but all of them were on celluloid. True, then we get George H. W. Bush. And then we are right back to the draft-dodger William Jefferson Clinton. With a photograhic memory, he "forgets" what his draft board said. I don't. I remember it to the minute.

    Brave men and women built this country--not on the basis of states' rights but rather what the country itself needed. Shame on Utah for wanting us to forget that, but then, they are not alone.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 17 hours ago

    more likely to be Rep. Bishop and others of his ilk at state levels who are more interested in dollars than public recreation.

    JT you may not like Bishop or his ilk but they are the locals. I believe it is much more appropriate for the locals to make the decision than some bureaucrat in Washington who has never set foot in the state. And I would argue the same for California even though I don't agree with Jerry Brown or his ilk.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 17 hours ago

    A blatant handout to the energy companies that cheats Utah taxpayers.

    Actually quite the opposite. A severence tax on coal would only add to the cost to the end users - and who are they? The taxpayers.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   5 days 18 hours ago

    Bishop and his friends are stauch Utah GOP socialists.

    Socialize expense.

    Privatize profit.

  • Overlook Collapses At Point Reyes National Seashore, Killing One   6 days 6 hours ago

    A sad situation. This story has a photo showing the massive extent of the slide. That story reports, "The San Francisco Chronicle said both hikers were adults and had gone past warning signs onto a hazardous overlook sometime before 6 p.m. Saturday. "

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 6 hours ago

    And don't forget the brokers and developers who all get their taste of the blood along the way.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 6 hours ago

    Those lands upon which they want to recreate, they would decide not to sell, those they don't want to recreate on they would so the could live and work.

    Ah, but it comes back to who "they" is, i.e. who controls the decision-making in the state. Based on information from people who actually live In Utah, it sounds like "they" is more likely to be Rep. Bishop and others of his ilk at state levels who are more interested in dollars than public recreation. Significant cuts to the budget for Utah State Parks over the past 5 years doesn't paint a very encouraging picture.

    At least we've gotten past the smoke screen, and have an admission from ec that part of the goal of this bill (in his mind and probably that of other supporters of such land transfers) is to ultimately convert some current public land to private ownership. Perhaps that's why Mr. Bishop's memo (link in the story above) says, "The solution is to convey land without strings to state, local, and tribal governments." No requirement there for any of the transferred land to be retained for public recreation.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 7 hours ago

    Meanwhile, Utah has some of the lowest -- if not the lowest -- severance taxes on minerals extracted in the state. Utah is about fifteenth in the country in coal production, but we have NO serverance tax on coal. ZERO. A blatant handout to the energy companies that cheats Utah taxpayers.

    Perhaps the reason we have a hard time grasping the concept of privatization of public lands is that we actually know what the consequences will be and refuse to accept that scenario of greed.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 7 hours ago

    When asked which "people" he had in mind, the reply was those who "might want to visit the land to recreate."

    False - that was not my direct answer to the question. My reply was "Depends on what land. But generally, the people that are affected." When challanged that that should put employees first, My complete response was " Thats true, but there might be a few dozen of them versus thousands of people who live/work in the area or tens of thousands that might want to visit the land to recreate."

    So, wonder how much "recreating" people "who might want to visit the land to recreate" will be doing once it's in private hands,

    Those lands upon which they want to recreate, they would decide not to sell, those they don't want to recreate on they would so the could live and work. Don't see why all of you have such a hard time grasping the concept.

    Rep. Bishop clearly would like to have all that revenue in state coffers -at the loss of income that is currently helping reduce federal debt loads.

    In the state coffers, where it should be. And if the feds weren't doing things not assigned/permitted in the Constitution, there would be no federal debt loads.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 8 hours ago

    Well, we're finally getting to the crux of the matter, at least in ec's view, which is that Bishop bill is simply a way to covert some current federal public lands to private property, by first "laundering" it through state governmernt hands. That approach, of course, lets the state profit by selling land "transferred" to the state by the feds.

    A few comments back, ec indicated transfer of the public land under discussion would allow it to be put the "better use," further defined as "A way that would serve the people better."

    When asked which "people" he had in mind, the reply was those who "might want to visit the land to recreate."

    Now we've made the leap to "If some of those lands were in private hands, they ...would be far more valuable and would generate much more in property taxes to Utah than the feds pay in PILT."

    So, wonder how much "recreating" people "who might want to visit the land to recreate" will be doing once it's in private hands, and developed to allow paying more property taxes? As ec points out above, you should expect "no trespassing" signs on that private property.

    Rep. Bishop (quoted above) says he is concerned about using this land to help "solve our budget crisis and reduce the national debt." If that's really the case, the more effective approach would be for the feds to simply sell it to the highest bidder. Giving it to the state does little to reduce the federal debt.

    No, I'm not suggesting a big sale of federal land to raise money, but Rep. Bishop seems to, along with an opportunity for a windfall for the state budget.

    Finally, don't forget the major revenue the federal govt. currently receives from oil and gas leases on BLM land - some of which is shared with the states. Rep. Bishop clearly would like to have all that revenue in state coffers -at the loss of income that is currently helping reduce federal debt loads.

    Perhaps ec could enlighten us on the cost-benefit ratio of federal revenue lost by such transfers, compared to money saved by giving the land away to the state.

  • Canyonlands National Park Considering Day-Use Permits For Vehicles, Bikes On White Rim, Elephant Hill Roads   6 days 8 hours ago

    No fee will be charged for these day use permits during the 2015-2016 seasons.

    Of course not. If you drop the frog into boiling water he objects. Turn the heat up gradually and he compliantly cooks.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 9 hours ago

    why they have No Trespassing signs all over the place.

    Because it is private land paying property taxes.

    Someone forgot to tell the sky because Utah is the second driest state in the nation.

    Maybe you haven't looked at a map lately, there are a number of rivers that bring water into the state. And again, much of the land that Bishop is talking about is in or near existing communities that have existing sources of water

    So fewer taxpayers will be expected to pay a whole lot more.

    Utah tax payers would foot $36 million on top of an existing $2.7 billion collected in property taxes. A whopping increase of 1.3%. And that increase would be far less than the increase in economic activity and overall property values. But then, I guess you like the system where the taxpayer in NJ is paying for your fire department.

  • Report: House Natural Resources Committee Wants To Transfer Federal Lands To States, Tribes   6 days 10 hours ago

    No.

    We need to ask the owners of the land just south of Dinosaur in Colorado why they have No Trespassing signs all over the place.

    Someone forgot to tell the sky because Utah is the second driest state in the nation. (Although California is trying to replace us on that list.)

    So fewer taxpayers will be expected to pay a whole lot more.

    The fact that Robbie has been "reelected" five times is a prime example of why we need term limits and election reform. The deck is currently stacked.

    Try coming out of the fog. The sun is shining out here.