11 Feb 2009, 10:12am
Forestry education Politics and politicians
by admin

It’s Time to Push Back

If We Don’t Fight Now—When?

by Harriet M. Hageman

My father was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives for 24 years.  He always fought against granting general fund moneys to the Game and Fish Department, arguing that the moment any State does so, it would destroy our game and fish populations.  He explained that if their funding was dependent upon the hunting and fishing industries, they would manage and protect our wildlife.  If, on the other hand, the Game and Fish Departments received general funding, they would immediately turn towards the radical “enviro” anti-hunting, anti-management, anti-protection, pro-predator mentality.

He also said that we should never compromise our food supply by inserting into your energy chain.

He also said that the only way to protect our environment is to protect the caretakers, not the absentee owners that live (and govern) thousands of miles away.

My father passed away in 2006.  He was right on many counts.

My contribution is this.  The people in the resource management and use industries have created a utopia for the people who have never lifted a finger to do anything other than file lawsuits and send money to the Sierra Club.  We have provided food and water resources for the wildlife.  We have created and protected magnificent open spaces.  We have provided food and water resources to our citizens. We have been the foundation of the prosperity in this Country for the last century (and before).  We have created a standard of living that is unrivaled in the world.  We have made life easy for many, many, many folks and, to my chagrin, made it possible for people to believe that you could continue to take from the producers, and give to the non-producers. 

We are now on the brink of disaster, and I do not mean the economic situation.  We are on the brink of disaster because, under the false pretense of addressing our economic situation, there are people who are crafting a spending package in Washington, D.C., that is designed to take all of that away (through regulations, taxes, introduction of predators, global warming hysteria, lawsuits, federally-controlled health care, etc.).

While I am worried about the future, I also believe that the only way to restore some common sense to our government and to our society is for this disaster to play itself out.  We have always provided a buffer between the rhetoric (a chicken in every pot, universal health care is a constitutional right, we can solve the worlds problems by spreading the wealth around) and reality.  As a result, we have been blamed, vilified, hung in effigy, hated, attacked, regulated beyond rational thought, and ridiculed.  As Ayn Rand said, ” you can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of reality.”  By our sheer productivity and determination, even in the face of being regulated and lawsuited to death, we have made it possible for the citizens of our Country to not only ignore reality, but to ignore its consequences.  Perhaps more dangerously, we have allowed our judicial, legislative, and executive branches to do so as well.

I believe that the current situation will be difficult (that is probably an understatement).  It has become obvious to me, however, that we will never fix this problem, until the masses understand what the problem is.  We have given them easy scapegoats (with the press failing miserably to tell the truth).  We have made it easy for our educators to shovel misinformation to our students, because there have been no consequences for doing so.  An example are the teachers in Wyoming who teach global warming propaganda, while ignoring the fact that coal pays their salaries.  We have made it easy for people to wonder at the “beauty” of a wolf as it frolics in the meadow, because we have provided a steady, sustainable, healthy and safe food supply not only for our citizens, but for the wolves as well.  We have made it easy for people to believe that government is the savior, because we have been able to succeed despite their intervention, bureaucracy, and inefficiency.  We have made it easy to yell at oil and gas companies, because when the latest political rally and rock concert is over, everyone can go home to a heated home or unlimited air conditioning.

In short, we have to stop protecting the nitwits from the consequences of their decisions.  We have to let them learn what it means to bow down to the god of global warming (a five-fold increase in heating and air conditioning bills — for a start); what it means to allow predators to decimate our ungulate population, and eventually our livestock industries (substantial increases in food costs); and what it means to allow the government to control everything from your health care decisions to what kind of a car you can drive.

I am, for the first time in a long time, optimistic about our future.  I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I see that those of us out here in the hinterlands will not be bearing their bad decisions on our own.  I see a Country of people that are far too spoiled, too satisfied, too safe, too prosperous, too independent to allow our government to go the way of Europe.

Now is the time to push back.  Force the federal government to take responsibility for this mess.  Do not let them foist this onto the States.  We can win this battle if we turn our backs on Washington, D.C., and force them to do our bidding rather than the other way around.  The States have the power, not the feds.  We have forgotten this for far too long.

Note: Harriet M. Hageman of Hageman & Brighton, P.C., Cheyenne WY is a member of the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Water Association, the Advisory Board of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, and the Steering Committee for the Wyoming Business Alliance. She is also Contributing Counsel to Good Neighbor Law [here].

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