Anyone who believes that the Republican party as a whole is moving to the right
has not been paying attention. We have a $17,000,000,000,000 debt. The
government continues to grow in virtually every area other than defense.While Barak Obama is the single biggest cause, George Bush, Orrin Hatch
and the like, are in a close second. Bush passed the largest expansion to
Medicaid and got the government mixed up with all of the banks with the bailout.
The last time they voted to raise the debt ceiling the Republicans
made no effort to even get any concessions from the Democrats. Anyone who
suggests that we actually try to balance the budget is viewed as a nut-case.
We have spent our children's future - and hopefully we will all
have passed on before they realize just what a mess we have left them with.
Joey, do you even know how big the Aadirondacks are? Why should NY have the
right to control that, but Utah's lands need to be controlled by the
Feds?FT- So the Easterners deserve to control their lands at the
State level, but those of us in the West do not have the equal right to do the
same? The fact of the matter is this, our Founding Fathers supported greater
State Control versus Federal Control. It is an undisputed fact, hence the 10th
amendment, which more people and judges need to be cognizant of. Where in the
Constitution does it give the Feds the right over all land within the states?
Read the Federalist papers and then the Constitution and you will have a much
better understanding of the original intent, which must be followed regardless
of whether you like it or not.
Kora, every state has state parks. Even Utah has some great state parks but
none of them compare in magnitude, splendor and size to our national parks.
Many national parks in the west are more than just a photo opportunity. They
are complete ecosystems that protect large species of plants and animals. If you are honest with yourself you will admit that the only reason Utah
politicians want control of these lands is for oil drilling, mining and other
money making activities. Obviously everyone recognizes that we need economic
activity in the state. And we have it. Look at all of the oil production in
the Uintah Basin.But there are still additional areas of land in
Utah that are so unique in their visual splendor that they should receive
wilderness or national park status. It would be the epitome of selfishness to
defile some of these landscapes with roads, drilling rigs or mining scars and
thus rob future generations of experiencing these areas in their pristine
condition.I believe God not only created this earth to physically
sustain us but also to spiritually sustain us by its glory and beauty. Wise
stewardship does not always translate to making money.
@Utahblue DevilWell said. Mike Richards often seems to create straw man
arguments that do not pertain to the discussion at hand. No where did I or any
propenents of public lands argue against private property. Utah is blessed to
have a large swath of public land that has supported millions of Americans for
generations with recreational experiences. Since "we the people"
currently own that land we should have a say in how it is mananged. Currently,
the GOP and our elected officals in Utah, oppose the majority of the people who
want these public lands managed in a way that isures them for all of God's
creatures today and tomorrow.
Mr Richards... you ask "Communists and Socialists love people like you who
tell us that we all own something collectively. Where is that written in the
Constitution? "That answer is real easy, in the first three
words of the preamble... where it states,"We the PEOPLE of the
United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure
domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general
Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."The US government is an agent of the people. This is one of the biggest
difference in the mental state I see between conservatives and so called
"liberals" Conservatives believe the US Government as a foreign body
to be fought against, controlled, managed. Liberals believe the US Government
to be a body that acts at the will of the people, and does the peoples work.This first three words are very important. They establish who is in
charge. We may not like always what out government does, but as a society we
are responsible for its actions - both good and bad.
The letter writer is essentially stating that tourists would not come to visit
if the land was controlled by the State instead of the Federal Government. That
somehow having the Federal Government as authority makes it more attractive.
That the Feds increase its grandeur by some measure. The Tetons only look pretty
because they are a National Park, as a state park, they would just look less
beautiful, probably overnight.I suspect the letter writer is unaware
that some of the most visited parks in the US are run by states, most notably
Niagara Falls, which is NOT a National Park, but a State Park run by the State
of New York. Many parks in the East are State, not National. The large
Adirondacks region of Upstate NY being another example.So why is it
okay for New York State to control Niagara Falls, but not for Utah to control
Zion's? Why is land in the West so sacred that the Feds need to manage it,
but these Eastern Politicians don't want the same interference in their own
states? Why not turn over Niagara Falls and the Adirondacks to the Feds?
to MountanmanThe Gop has moved since Reagan left office. Even a
blind man could see it. Truthfully, The Democratic party has shifted too.
Re: "Protected lands"It's illustrative of the
intellectual poverty of environmentalism that they've cynically chosen to
camouflage their radical action under the rubric of "protecting" lands,
water, environment, etc.Protecting from who?The answer
is, of course, from us. From anyone that has a view different from theirs.This torqued logic requires them to demonize, as a venal, black-hearted
scoundrel, anyone that doesn't buy into their radical, tree-hugging
sophistry. From whom, they assert, only enlightened, unselfish, unstained tree
huggers can "protect" whatever they want to own and control. And, of
course, only they get to decide what needs "protecting," and how much of
what's left can be assigned to real people to meet real human needs.For such wild-eyed, doctrinaire radicals, there's no possible
middle ground. No possible nuance. No possible discussion. And, certainly, no
possible compromise.So, in the interest of real Utah and real
America, they can only be defeated.
"Centrist leaning" seems a bit of an oxymoron.
Thank you for all of the comments to my letter. In response to those
challenging my assertion that the republican party is moving to the right....
are you kidding me? Just look at the dumping of conservative Senator Bob
Bennett for tea party Mike Lee. If there would have been a primary election the
voters of Utah would have reelected Bob Bennett. But the minority republican
caucus representatives would not allow it. For those wanting
statistics about how Utahn's feel about public lands look at these results
from a recent Colorado College Conservation in the West Poll."A
majority of Utah voters oppose selling some federal public lands as a way to
reduce the nation’s budget deficit (37% support/57% oppose). Support for selling off public lands is further diminished when
voters are presented with arguments on both sides of the issue. After
hearing a simulation of the debate on this issue, just 26% of Utah voters
support selling some public lands, while 67% oppose it."This is
why I assert that our elected officials are not representing the feelings of the
majority of Utahns.
Too all those who pretend that any land under State control becomes a
moonscape... How about Kodachrome Basin STATE Park, Millsite STATE Park, This
is the place STATE Park, East Canyon STATE Park, Dead Horse Point STATE Park,
Goblin Valley STATE Park, Snow Canyon STATE Park, Sand Hollow STATE Park,
Anasazi Indian STATE Park, Edge of the Cedars STATE Park, Goosenecks STATE Park,
Palisade, Schofield, Jordanelle, Wasatch Mt State Park, etc???Obviously not true...
FT,Communists and Socialists love people like you who tell us that
we all own something collectively. Where is that written in the Constitution?
Where did individual ownership become collective ownership? Please cite the
article and the section where people gave up their right of ownership to the
Federal Government and where the States gave up sovereignty to to the Federal
Government.Collective ownership is something that Lenin, Stalin and
Mao were fond if, but it has nothing to do with America.Either you
own your home or all if the people own it collectively. You can't have it
both ways. Private property is a cornerstone of America, but those who want to
dictate to Utah how we will allow others to use and abuse our State's lands
is popular in any Democrat controlled Oval Office. Why not give away a
Republican State to your Democrat friends, after all you gave away GM to Canada
and to the unions. Private property meant nothing to Obana - even though
millions of policemen and teachers lost their pensions so that Obama could repay
his union supporters.Why not give away Utah? Who's going to
complain, the hated Mormons?
@ Mike Richards"Twisting principles to match liberal ideas may be a
fun parlor game, but it has nothing to do with the United States of
America."It has everything to do with the United States of America.
The arguments you consistenly make have been made in court and our justice
system has not agreed with that pretzel, Cliven Bundy, right wing
extremist,logic. It's not the goverment that owns the land, its we the
people. The federal goverment manages it for all Americans. And while they
have not always managed in the best way, we've seen for ourselves here in
Utah, that they do a superior job to our State.
@VST.. what it shows is that more people are choosing not to be Republican, and
in young voters the number is even more wide spread in favor of independent.
What it shows is more people are not aligned with the Republican platform as it
stands today. Tea Partyism is resonating with older voters, but not with
younger voters.Call it will you will, as a percentage, the numbers
are shifting. The other factor is that the number of Utahans who participate in
elections is also on a downward slide, meaning they are disengaging. Good for
the minority who vote, bad for those who have given up on having their voice
Letter writer Randy Hopkins asks "When will we have a governor that will be
proud of our protected lands? Sorry Randy, our good Governor could care less
about our protected lands just as he cares less about the thousands who are
going without health care because of his inaction! Our governor talks out both
sides of his mouth in an effort to pander to the far right and protect his
Randy,The reason we keep electing Republicans is... they're not
as "fringe right" as you pretend they are. And most people know
that.There are some "fringe right" people in Utah
Government. But your assertion that ALL Republicans are "fringe right"
doesn't fly with most people who don't see everything as radically as
you do, or as black-or-white as you do.Some people think you could
turn control of SOME of the land (not... not ALL federal land) to the State..
and it could still be protected, and it would NOT immediately turn into a
moonscape. Yes... some actually believe that.=============Nobody's suggesting they turn Zion National Park over to the State.
Nobody's insisting that ALL Federal land in Utah be turned over to the
State (including all National Parks)... That's just your radical
all-or-nothing mind-set at work. They are actually talking about
less radical changes than you pretend in your letter. Nobody wants to take
over Zion NP, OR turn it into a moonscape.Now.. if we could talk
about what is actually being proposed (instead of your strawman).. we may be
able to get somewhere.
There are those who tell us that "big brother" owns land inside Utah.
They reject the fundamental concept of our Constitution - we the people, not, we
the servants of big government.Utah is one State of fifty in our
federation of States. The Constitution allows this federation to act as one in
certain things. Sharing land within a State is not one of those
"things".Unless you reject the foundation upon which the
Constitution is based, you cannot claim that Washington "owns" Utah,
Nevada, Wyoming, New Mexico or any other State where the Federal Government
claims ownership. States are sovereign. They are not appendages to the United
State (singular). Clinton claimed differently. Obama claims differently. Those
who reject the concept of a federation of states claim differently. Just because
they claim differently doesn't make it so any more than claiming that Obama
governs us makes it so. Twisting principles to match liberal ideas may be a fun
parlor game, but it has nothing to do with the United States of America.
@VST - The fact of the matter is that by voter registration the percentage of
voters in Utah that are Republican is sliding - but still the majority. The
fastest growing group? Independents. They don't want to be Republican,
but hey don't want to be Democrats either. They now constitute 1 in 4 Utah
@ Spangs. My comment was about the author's assertion that the GOP has
drifted right and not one word did I say about the amount of public lands in
Utah. If your dislike my "expansive views" I suggest you just don't
read them. As far as public lands, Idaho has more government designated
wilderness lands than any state outside Alaska.
Randy Hopkins: "Most residents of Utah are much more centrist leaning than
adhering to the dogma of the fringe right." Really? And how do you know how
"most" Utahns think or believe?
@Irony Guy: "Art. 1:8 does NOT say the US cannot own land except as
provided. It only grants Congress "exclusive legislative authority" over
certain lands purchased from the states."Are you saying that the
Fed Govt "purchased" the land in the states that are now national parks
and monuments? I don't think any money was exchanged. I think you should
have worded your comment differently.
Mike Richards reads the Constitution wrong. Art. 1:8 does NOT say
the US cannot own land except as provided. It only grants Congress
"exclusive legislative authority" over certain lands purchased from the
states. Art. 4:3 clearly says the US has the exclusive authority to
"dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations" regarding the
property belonging to the US, including that to which it has clear right and
title. Any constitutional lawyer will tell you the same thing.
@ Mike: Article I, Section 8 states that Congress has sole legislative
authority over the District of Columbia, "the Seat of the Government of the
United States[.]" Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the
Federal Government cannot own any other land. As a matter of fact, Aricle IV,
Section 3 states, "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all
needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property
belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so
construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular
State[,]" which clearly implies the ability of the Federal Government to own
land. As a side note, if the Federal Government cannot own land, the
Louisiana Purchase and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago would be unconstitutional
and the land contained in those areas would still belong to France and Mexico
respectively. Utah would not be part of the US in that case, mi amigo.
I find it telling that the great majority of comments lambasting this letter to
the Editor come from Idaho. Places with expansive worldviews, like Hayden Lake.
Truth is, the vast majority of Utahns think that federal lands in Utah are not
an issue worth spending a minute on. This is a Tea-Party base issue and is a
symbolic gesture, nothing else. Regarding which party has moved left
or right, it's not even an argument. The only way in which the
Democratic party left old white men is when they stopped supporting overt racism
in the South.
@GaryO - it is rare that I would disagree with much of what you have to say, but
honestly, in this neck of the woods we have a good number of
"conservative" churches (non-lds) that have huge outreach programs both
locally and globally. I work with numerous people who spend part of their
family vacation going an "missions" to foreign lands to work with kids
in need. I personally work in a sports program where the director is a die hard
republican that extends at his own cost opportunities for kids without means a
way to play competitive sports.So I think it is an over
generalization that Republicans don't give. I think what you might find
though is those that do give don't go around wearing their party
affiliation on their sleeve or so self proclaiming themselves patriots. They
are simply people regardless of party responding to needs they see.The same goes with my friends who hunt. The appreciate the public lands they
use, and don't want them spoiled either. Many are conservatives, some not.
But they also want to see wild lands preserved.
Hey Thinkin' Man -“Those who have been paying attention
for decades realize that past Democrat presidents like Kennedy would today be
love one of Kennedy’s quotes, but they take it completely out of
context.“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what
you can do for your country.”Kennedy was referring to the
Peace Corps and VISTA, government programs he advocated, and the need for
volunteers.How many “Conservatives” are going to
volunteer for VISTA and work for free, helping inner-city minorities? How many
“Conservatives” are going to volunteer for the Peace Corps and go
overseas working for free, helping the natives build an irrigation system.American “Conservatives” don’t do that.Many American “Conservatives” even resent paying their taxes,
because they might provide aid to an American family in need.There
is NO WAY JFK would be a Republican today.
BO will sign legislation protecting significant amount of America's public
lands by the end of his term. The overwhelming majority of Americans and Utahns
want that and were blessed to have a leader who will serve the people.
How narrow can this thinking be? Is the land going to completely dissappear
because of a change in ownership?Even though, the present proposal
does not include a change in stewardship of national park land.
The only ones who think the Republican party is becoming more radical are those
who just started paying attention to politics. Those who have been paying
attention for decades realize that past Democrat presidents like Kennedy would
today be Republicans.
Let's leave the Alinsky epithets out of letters to the editor. Republicans
in Utah elected other Republicans to represent them. Utahns have every right to
vote for whomever they wish.Utah is a State. It is not owned by the
Federal Government. The Federal Government is prohibited from owning any land
greater in area than ten miles square except for forts, magazines, arsenals,
docks and land upon which federal buildings stand. (Article 1, Section 8)The citizens of Utah are entitled to ALL the land in Utah, either
jointly, or as land owners, if they have purchased the land from the State. Utah land is not held in common with citizens of other states, unless
they have a deed to that property. We do no own New York's Central Park in
common with the citizens of New York. We are a federation of states, not
counties of the United State (singular).
I seriously doubt the Republican party has moved much at all either in Utah or
anywhere else. Perhaps its seem so to Randy because the Democratic party has
veered so far to the left leaving a huge cultural, economic and ideological
chasm. My late father used to say, "I never left the Democratic party, they
A very well reasoned letter. Thanks DN for publishing a well thought out letter!
Two separate issues brought out here.First, the complaint that any
old Republcan Tea Party candidate is automatically elected in Utah. Well, duh!
When the dominant religion makes it the business of said religion to use its
coercive clout on its membership. That is what you get.Secondly,
why should the administration pay any attention to Utah anyway? They don't
vote for him.
Randy, Utah already has so many protected lands, that you've
likely reached a law of diminishing returns point. How many national forests,
public land, etc does one area need? There may be other "local" reasons
to be supportive of the federal gov't taking more land and setting it aside
for national parks. But... tourism seems to me to be less of a reason than it
used to be. Michael