The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Let's all Celebrate the 4th of July

In the words of legendary singer Lee Greenwood, "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free ... God bless the USA." North of 60 Mining News – June 30, 2023

With all due apologies to our Canadian friends (who celebrate their independence on Saturday), next Tuesday is our big day!

Cynicism aside, it is time to recognize just how great America is in general and Alaska is in particular.

Gender issues, abortion issues, gun issues, immigration issues, issues with big government, issues with state and local governments, issues with criminal trespassers on the capitol grounds, issues with the criminal prosecutions of a former President or the son of an incumbent President aside, America is a pretty great place to live. Not just for old, white-haired, Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. For all of us, whatever our legacy, age, religion or politics may be.

Despite my challenges of decision-makers on their substantive crapola in past columns, every cloud does have a silver lining (preferably made from silver mined in Alaska, of course). There are two sides to every story. A fact that the popular press reminds us of every day.

Of course, there are other places in the world that are pretty nice. I've seen quite a few. But in a larger sense, the lines of people wishing to leave America for a better life seem to be a lot shorter than the lines of people who want to come here for that purpose.

Freedom and quality of life come at a considerable expense, as is made clear every day on the tv news and the daily press. But current events nerds always need to consider the source. A flip of the remote or the turn of a page can reveal an awesome truth – a large number of fellow Americans in good faith, looking through the same pair of glasses, see things quite differently.

Americans, quite obviously, can still proudly wrap themselves in the red, white, and blue while waving a flag with rainbow stripes.

If we don't like the leadership of the country, we can still go to the polls and vote for someone else. We even form our own party if we don't like the candidates that are being offered.

We can picket, we can carry signs, we can march in parades, all without risk or fear of government sanction. Whackos, of course, can distill the rights that all American cherish to do heinous things, but rarely with impunity. And when we dig into the statistics, it is safer to protest at a public demonstration than it is to drive to the rally point.

Of course, there are always those who can foretell the future. I refer to the keepers of the Doomsday Clock who in 1947 told us that we were 7 minutes from Armageddon and who now tell us that we have only two minutes left. Even when times were good 30 years ago, however, they said we still had only 17 minutes left. This year, we are down to two minutes, so grab a bottle of water, turn up the air conditioner to max, grab a warm blanket and hide in the bathtub until all the things that can go wrong in the world blow by.

On the other hand, on the 4th, Alaska miners from Nome to Chicken and from Circle to Ketchikan will be putting down their shovels and firing up the grill to celebrate just how good life can be.

Alaska sits on the top of the food chain when it comes to natural resources.

We have the mines that provide the gold, silver and zinc to the world, and we have the hydrocarbons – coal, oil and gas to provide the energy to make them work.

We have the fish and game to eat and the revenue to pay the bills, even with an Alaska premium.

Global warming, to some, is a threat on the horizon, while to some, it is an opportunity. Moving south to warmer climes almost doesn't make sense if the warmer climes are headed for Alaska.

No matter which end of the telescope you use to look at the world situation, the 4th of July is a great day to celebrate a great nation.

Happy holiday!


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