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View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: Thursday (343 comments)

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  •  Sunrise over the mountains C&J (4.00)
    Yesterday was a good day to bask in good news.  But it was only a small step.  So, back to work.

    Cheers to Gov. Bill Richardson and the NM Legislature.  NM is the third largest natural gas producing state in the nation.  With no hurricane damage, and a windfall of royalty fees (based on a percentage of price, like sales tax) they decided on a refund.  Formula based on 2004 income tax return, favoring low income and considering size of household.  Although it might have been useful for capital projects, too, I was glad enough for the $124 check that appeared in the mailbox yesterday.  It'll be burned back up as $2.78 gas soon enough.

    Jeers for the torturemongers who've been doing horrible things in my name.  Maybe it will help that it's coming to light.  Jeers to anyone who thinks that it coming to light is a worse problem than its being done in the first place.

    Cheers that the New York Times is finally lancing the festering boil known as Judy Miller.  But have they learned the right lessons from it?

    Jeers to the SCUMBAG Republican Congress for sneaking a massive giveaway in the budget bill.  AKA "Pombo Amendment".  There was a little-noticed diary on this last week (only 1 comment).   Part of paying for Katrina's gonna be the selloff of public lands, at prices favorable to the industries they sell it to.  As it happens, it also let's the massively polluting mining industry get land for mining in a way that sidesteps many environmental reviews.  I'm not very good at legislative stuff, so forgive me if I've mangled the story, or even posted it too late to matter.  I've gotten a couple of e-mail warnings on this topic in the last coupla days, and not seen it mentioned here.  From local group Amigos Bravos (Friends of the Wild Rivers):

    A provision included in the House "budget reconciliation" bill would carve out a loophole in the U.S. mining law to allow companies and individuals to buy any unprotected public lands, whether or not those lands contain minerals. Hundreds of millions of acres of public lands, including some of America's last best places, could be up for grabs at rock bottom prices.

    The other bill - HR 3855 - would mandate that 15% of all public lands be put up for sale by October of 2006 in order to pay for natural disasters like hurricane Katrina.


    FYI, the lead sponsor of HR 3855 is Tom Tancredo, that fringe element case from Colorado.  Here's a snippet of the text, I didn't think I should post it all here, but don't have a link (sorry):

    A BILL
    To raise funds necessary to respond to Hurricane Katrina and future disasters by selling a portion of the lands administered by the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    This is of particular concern to those working on indigenous land rights issues.  In addition to actual land claims, there's a lot of traditional cultural practices carried out on "public" lands that would be "impacted".  I got another warning on the same matter from Western Shoshone Defense Project, who have a lot of problems with Harry Reid trying to extinguish their land claims in favor of gold mining companies, and also from Indigneous Environmental Network, who work on these matters nationwide.

    Here's a link to a site on threats, particularly to native land claims, from this "Pombo amendment", and a map of lands under threat below.  It's one helluva corporate welfare boondoggle.  A lot of the companies are "foreign" (even if much of the capital is American).  Doing it that way protects profits from liabilities associated with clean-ups.  I won't go into a rant about all the problems caused by mining here.  It's worthy of numerous diaries.

    City folk (as I surmise many of you are) often don't pay a lot of attention to public lands issues.  And don't know much about the 1872 Mining Act, which allows the sale of public land for $5 per acre.  There's currently a Congressional moratorium on such sales, which the Pombo Amendment aims to overturn, and then some (from the link above):

    Since 1994, Congress has imposed a moratorium on the sale of land with mining claims in an effort to end years of multibillion-dollar taxpayer rip-offs. Pombo's legislation, approved by the House Resources Committee and expected to reach the House floor next week, reverses that policy, but it doesn't stop there. The bill would also remove the requirement that mining claim holders substantiate the presence of valuable mineral deposits under the claim. Under the Pombo bill, anyone can stake a mining claim to any piece of public land open to mining and then simply buy it. Foreign mining corporations, real estate developers, or oil and gas companies rolling in record profits could simply stake claims and take title to millions of acres of land that for more than 100 years have been owned by the citizens of the United States.

    Getting a little "heavy" for C&J, I know.  Learn more if you like.  It's a Mega-Mega-Jeer in my book.

    Jeers to the flurry of reports about people getting Superglued to public toilet seats.  It may all be, as Michelle Malkin would put it, "self-inflicted".  At any rate, it's always a good idea to make a quick inspection before you sit down.  I've also heard tell that there's places in Alaska where you keep the seat inside and carry it with you to the outhouse.  Otherwise your butt would be frozen to the seat.

    As always, Cheers for passive solar.  32 degrees outside, 66 inside this morning.  Goal of no pilot light till December looking better every day.

    •  P.S. Another map, showing (4.00)
      Western Shoshone lands covered by Ruby Lake Treaty of 1863.  Or, as they call their homeland, Newe Segobia.  Comparing with the map in the parent post, it's easy to see why Western Shoshone activists are less than pleased with the proposal.

      And before we get carried away and nominated Harry Reid for sainthood, keep in mind that he's big on transferring "public" lands to mining companies.  He's put up his own bills aimed at extinguishing native land claims and so quieting the title.  Quieting the title to facilitate to mining companies.  One irony:  Native Americans are practically the only people in Nevada not to run gambling facilities.

    •  asdf (4.00)
      Tom Tancredo is a dickhole.

      George W Bush - Frozen in adolescence

      by FRANKL on Thu Nov 10, 2005 at 09:46:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I resemble that remark (4.00)
      "Otherwise your butt would be frozen to the seat."
      Working the TAP in '75, I made the mistake of using an outdoor john that the heater wasn't working in.                         Frostbite ringaround the pooter.

      "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

      by keefer55 on Thu Nov 10, 2005 at 04:12:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And thank you, too (none)
        This stuff that's going down now is very serious.

        My personal view is that the next year is going to be very dangerous.  The Repubs starting to worry that their goal of one-party rule could possibly end next year.  I like to imagine them waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat, scared that they're gonna lose all they've got.  But that also means we're dealing now with a wounded, cornered beast.  There's going to be some ugly stuff conjured up in the backrooms.  I don't even want to think about what'll happen if GOP keeps both chambers of Congress next year.

        Couple that with Reid having a history of being on the wrong side of this particular issue, and it's going to be tough.

        There's several people on Kos who have diaried on this issue:  Pombo amendment and related.  Somehow, we need to pool our knowledge and resources to keep it visible here.  I'm new at Kos ((<3 mos), and haven't found diaries to be very effective to get my ideas across.  3 comments if I'm lucky, gone in 20 minutes.  That's why I posted on C&J, it was the biggest audience I thought I could reach (yesterday's other diaries hadn't appeared yet).

        I've got mining activism on my resumé, and have started working on a diary on with BG on 1872 (and related mining issues like cyanide) to post sometime over the weekend.  Collecting information and images, I want it to be dense with links.  I haven't decided what to put as a poll yet.

        What I don't know is the best way to get wide attention.  Big Kahuna Kos front-paged yesterday that the Budget reconciliation bill was dead, but since it could revive as early as Tuesday, that could be misleading.

        I'm gonna watch for dairies from those who have posted on this previously, and post links on appropriate other threads for others to look at those.  Perhaps you could do the same?

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