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By J.p. Tangen
Special to Mining News 

It's time to give some kudos to Trump

Sometimes it is hard to focus on making dinner when there's tens of thousands of ants scurrying around on the kitchen floor

 

Last updated 1/14/2018 at 2:30pm



Despite the obsession of the (District of) Columbians with health care, the Russians and Twitter, it seems to me that there are one or two good things to discuss when it comes to the new administration.

For instance, with regard to health care, if the population of the United States is more or less 325,000,000 people and that if 25,000,000 people more or less are in some form of jeopardy with regard to health care, the fair inference is that 300,000,000 are not in such jeopardy. Or putting it otherwise 12 out of 13 people must be doing OK.

Likewise, with regard to the Russians, it seems that they have been trying to undermine our system of government since about 1917 and probably before that. As I recall, Katherine the Great wasn't all that enthusiastic about democracy. I am not sure that there is any evidence that even a single voter was persuaded to support candidate Donald Trump because of anything the Russians said or did. Trump won the election because he wasn't Hillary Clinton. He still isn't Hillary Clinton, and we should all be grateful for that.

As for Twitter, I suppose if I were more plugged into social media, I would really care who tweets who about what, but I spend so much time emptying my email box, I just don't have time to give a Tweet.

So what's the good news? On Election Day, the stock market was about 18,847 and now it is about 21,629; that represents an increase of over 14.5 percent. Unemployment was about 4.9 percent at the end of October 2016; at the end of June it was about 4.4 percent. That doesn't seem to be a bad thing.

On other fronts, Potus has secured a conservative Supreme Court for the nonce.

He has appointed at least four stellar choices for his cabinet, including Attorney General Sessions who is taking a long hard look at whether sanctuary cities and dope peddlers are entitled to special consideration.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry came to the job with an historical commitment to eliminate the federal department, and if he does not do so, at least he may be effective in downsizing it.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has initiated a dramatic curtailment of the abuses of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hopefully, he will consider changing the name to match reality.

I propose the National Zoning Agency or perhaps the Environmental Prohibition Agency.

At the rate things had been going, we were at risk of committing a violation of the law if we accidentally put the whisky in our water instead of the water in our whisky.

From a practical point of view for Alaskans, however, the key cabinet member is Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Shorthanded and understaffed, he has already spawned several initiatives for which Alaskans should sit up and take notice. Online websites are available to solicit feedback on all Department of Interior agency regulations that should be modified, including those of the Bureau of Land Management, Office of Surface Mining and Regulatory Enforcement, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. Anyone in Alaska who has issues with Interior's land managing agencies should consider taking the time to get such issues on the record.

By dint of these steps, if no other, it appears that the president is keeping at least his promise to drain the bureaucratic swamp. Metaphorically speaking, the denizens of D. C. are not restricted to alligators and their ilk. There are also the mosquito-like bureaucrats with an agenda who, out of ignorance or design, wish those of us who live in the "sparceland" death by a thousand bloodsucking bites.

To the extent that Secretary Zinke requires his fold to spend more time managing and less time planning to manage the public domain, the better off we all shall be. It seems that we have had a bureaucracy within Interior that has been committed to ensuring that the general public keeps on the path, without realizing that the public lands are valuable for much more than awe-inspiring sunsets and river rafting.

We don't disparage those who want to visit Alaska and climb its mountains or fish its creeks, but we can suggest that there are lots of mountains and creeks that are not on the road system and don't require intensive management.

Zinke's initiatives have the potential to restore much-needed balance and, oh, by the way, a few thousand jobs as well. Alaska is a resource state. Its ability to survive is tied to the land. It makes little difference whether one resource or another is temporarily out of fashion, America demands what we can produce. By unbinding our red-taped hands, we all shall prosper.

Do comment on the Interior agencies' regulations, but don't forget that it is the Secretary's initiative for which we are grateful, and it is the President's appointment that has made this breath of fresh air possible.

Think of that as you watch the evening news!

 

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