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BLM crucial to protection of conservation areas

President Biden has established the commendable goal of protecting 30 percent of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030. This could be a significant response to the mounting climate and extinction crises. However, achievement of this goal is questionable given the failure of federal agencies to protect some lands that should already be protected under existing laws.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the most federal lands. It could play a crucial role in meeting this goal. Unfortunately, the BLM cannot do so because it has repeatedly proven unwilling to provide required protection.

The BLM continues to allow harmful commercial livestock grazing and other uses in many of its national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, and areas of critical environmental concern. Indeed, the BLM recently approved a controversial Northern Corridor Highway through its Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in southwest Utah. This approval goes against the statutory conservation purposes of this area, degrades lands acquired for permanent protection, jeopardizes Mojave desert tortoises, and destroys their legally designated critical habitat.

The BLM’s dominant management culture is regressive, biased, and secretive. I know because I worked for them from 2002-2017. This culture persists, including during the eight Obama administration years. Managers tend to be most afraid of commercial interests, angry ranchers, and the politicians who support them. They allow political expediency to supersede the law, science, and public interest. “Protection” can be a mere word in legal documents when it is not effectively implemented.

To help achieve his important conservation goals, President Biden should fundamentally reform the BLM’s dominant management culture.

Richard Spotts

‘Great Reset’ to address world’s biggest problems

Few people have heard or are aware of what’s being called the “Great Reset”. It’s not really new and has been renewed and added changes and upgrades for many years, including new apostles. It was conducted in Davos, Switzerland by worldwide commerce leaders and world political leaders or by their representatives, including the USA.

They plan to address, what they feel, are the most pressing problems the world faces today.

First and foremost is “global warming,” next is “inequity around the world.” They’re not interested in correcting these things through individual governments or individual international corporations, their plans resemble copying certain government action taken by various governments throughout history (even recent history) on a worldwide scale that all countries will need to conform to.

They realize they must gain a level of worldwide support, which can be accomplished by sprinkling some “free stuff” to various people in need along with a plethora of promises of the more good things to come. Some will regard these leaders as saints and saviors, a tactic that is seen through the pages of history, by sincere believers and tyrants alike. No doubt there will remain democratic practices such as voting, but true power will be in the international power structure. The results will not only affect small business by controlling their growth through regulations and tax policies that may be seen as competitive threats to the members’ dominance, but down to the individual by controlling one of the cornerstones of the free enterprise system, to which they have already declared “Capitalism is dead”. Chances are this would start out violently like the many times before in history, it will happen “legally” through things like increased property tax rates, or failure to comply with standards of energy compliance, not have the properly approved appliances. Which naturally you can only buy from members if this internal cabal.

Some of these things have taken place and are still taking place, the “National Socialist Workers’ Party” (the NAZIS), a refined form of the Communist Chinese Party, well know how successful it can be to have government and commerce work together for mutual benefits of each other in particular, as long as you’re able to keep the masses under control. It’s no different than George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” except on a world scale when after all the animals revolted against Farmer Jones and ousted him, “all the animals were equal, some just more equal than others.”

David Jaronik

Election a good example of ‘you can’t fix stupid’

Liberal progressives, in lockstep with one another, have an uncanny ability to not concede there might be an “other” side to an issue. It is not coincidence that this cadre of mostly Democrats access and speak from a set of talking points that repeated over and over again, eventually replace truth and reasoning.

I recently opined on the stolen election, and yes, it was stolen, but since the reasoning offered did not fit the legal standard of the left, it was with left-handed eloquence dismissed as, well, pretty much drivel.

Someone with much more word prowess than I once described a fool, and I am paraphrasing, as someone who does the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. That said, I won’t reiterate the very solid evidence supporting the fact that the election was a total sham. As another person of great wit said, you can’t fix stupid.

David Perlman

Fascism could come to America in the name of liberalism

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”, is a quote that is dubiously attributed to Sinclair Lewis, author of “It Can’t Happen Here.” Written in 1935 at a time when fascist regimes were consolidating their power in Germany, Italy, and Spain. Lewis basically envisions a scenario where the United States becomes an authoritarian state through a president coming into power by embracing patriotism, traditional values, and economic and social transformation; and buttressed by a base of ultranationalist, religious fanatics, and xenophobes. He furthers his hold on power by suppressing a free and liberal press, and supporting a paramilitary that enforces the policies of the president and terrorizes all opposition. As prophetic aspects of this novel are in light of the January 6th attack on our Capitol and our democracy, we are not fully holding everybody who contributed to the big lie(s) accountable and reforming the infrastructure that breeds the big lies.

After challenges to the presidential election have been reviewed ad nauseum (repeated to the point of nausea) it would take a long stretch of the imagination to claim that the election was fraudulent, and all of our institutions and officials were complicit in a grand scheme. Thankfully, our courts, election officials and security experts did a remarkable job objectively calling the election. Either the adherers of fraud are choosing not to accept above any reasonable doubt the results because their man did not get enough votes and they are so distressed of the new administration that they will not accept the majority’s decision and jeopardize our democracy or they are mesmerized diehards that are completely entrenched in their beliefs and trust in Trump that nothing will enlighten them.

“If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism” (“60 Minutes” – December 1975), is a quote that is attributed to President Ronald Reagan. Although by liberalism he did not mean to liberate as Trump and his supporters of “patriots” promoted in the “Save America” rally, he has ironically identified a key tenet of Trump’s supporters. It is a liberalism, under almost all circumstances that gives people the right to do whatever they chose, freedom without limits. Patriots apparently think it is alright to liberate states (by kidnapping governors), have freedom to not wear masks (as you endanger others), and now protest the steal (by violently attacking and murdering). Save America by destroying it is oxymoronic or just moronic if anything is.

President Ronald Reagan spent World War II as an Army captain in the first motion picture unit fighting fascism. In 1946 he began making speeches condemning fascism and communism. His speeches against fascism focused on the atrocities of World War II, America’s growing fascist movement, and the need to protect against racism and all forms of intolerance. President Reagan’s battle against communism coincided with the Cold War, his presentations exposed the oppressive character of communist regimes.

Scholars view fascism as capitalism run amok and communism as socialism run amok. Both are dictatorial, both engage in a high degree of propaganda, falsely elevating their leaders as saviors and protectors from an enemy that is not part of their group or an enemy that is foreign or an enemy that has opposite political views. Consensus among economists is that a mixed economy where capitalism plays its part and socialism plays its part is best, but neither has dictatorial power and both exist within the confines of a democratic state.

The Trump brand of fascism fits Sinclair Lewis’ characterization to a large degree. He is viewed as larger than life leader who for some has been sent by God, he is a strong man who is protecting his followers from non-Christian cultures, socialists, fake news, government intrusion, Second Amendment restrictions, satanical Democrats, and the list goes on. Fear-mongering and scapegoating are classic tools of fascists. Lies and exaggerations are basic.

On August 22 (1939), Adolf Hitler told his generals: “I will provide a propagandistic casus belli (provocation used to justify war). Its credibility doesn’t matter. The victor will not be asked whether he told the truth.” (Wikipedia – Propaganda in Nazi Germany) Thereby, justifying the invasion of Poland that led to the Second World War.

Trump’s lies and exaggerations have led to our present state of pandemic denial and violent mobs.

Trump is no Rambo, no strong man or has he been sent by God. Inciting a mob, promising (a promise unfulfilled) to lead it to Congress and then condemning its action as heinous is duplicitous to say the least.

Media personalities, equivocal and unscrupulous politicians, and a biased mindset contribute to the Big Lies. Solutions to complex problems are made simple, or better yet, problems are denied that they exist. Willingness to propagate and accept unsubstantiated and false narratives, obviously, magnifies their existence. A proportion of the populace distressed economically and one that perceives to be threatened unrealistically by multiculturalism, socialism, government, mainstream media, poor immigrants etc. are easily swayed to scapegoat, demonize and accept conspiracies promoted by biased media and self-serving politicians.

Freedom of speech has a responsibility to be truthful. Just as it is illegal to create panic by falsely yelling fire in a theater, it should be illegal to stoke chaos and political polarity by spewing lies. Genuine policy disagreements are essential in our democracy and should be encouraged. Unfortunately, Hitler’s view that credibility doesn’t matter has taken hold in the American political and media spheres. Unfortunately, the only remedy to this, is restricting and regulating, coupled with litigation (Dominion threatening to sue Fox News for false stories) In England, a regulatory entity enforces rules on impartiality and accuracy. We may need something similar to assure that we do not radicalize but inform, to give us an unbiased and comprehensive presentation of news and issues.

The attack on Congress and our democracy has revealed a better insight and appreciation of what motivated Union soldiers, especially immigrants during the American Civil War after the siege of Fort Sumter. They had left tyrannical systems of government, fought against these systems and were not going to let attacks by insurrectionists on democracy and self-government be unanswered.

In a Times article history professor Don H. Doyle, author of “The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War” writes: So it was civil war, but for many foreign-born soldiers and citizens, this was much more than America’s war. It was an epic contest for the future of free labor against slavery, for equal opportunity against privilege and aristocracy, for freedom of thought and expression against oppressive government, and for democratic self-government against dynastic rule. Foreigners joined the war to wage the same battles that had been lost in the Old World. Theirs was the cause not only of America, but of all nations. (Times magazine-The Civil War Was Won by Immigrant Soldiers Doyle, Don H, Dec. 23, 2019)

Those of us that came here as refugees because of repressive and totalitarian states and those of who inherited this democracy will not concede and have our vote discounted. We will defend the decision of our court system, and the majority of voters.

To quote President Reagan: “Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” (Brainy Quotes, Quotes of Ronald Reagan online).

The opposite of that is: War is not absence of conflict, it is the inability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

War has casualties. Those who support violence and armed insurrection need to assess the risk and benefit of their actions. We are all mortal, our lives are tenuous and war against the majority is likely to be futile and the consequences catastrophic.

Our vote, whether we are in the majority or in the minority, is sacrosanct, and is our connectedness to self-government. It is the majority vote that makes the final decision, and we, if are in the minority, are obliged to respect and defend.

George Peretsky

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