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Economic and dam related articles

Summer Heat: Just Give In?

by HH
Democrat-Herald of Albany, Oregon, August 2, 2004

There comes a time, in the heat of mid-summer, when at least some people who until now were interested in public affairs might say: "Forget it. What's the use of this perpetual battle? Let's just let the other side have its way and see what happens."

Conservatives in that frame of mind would throw in the towel on all the issues that used to make their blood boil.

Gay marriage? Sure, why not. Let anybody marry anybody. Better yet, abolish all the laws that relate to this. Then everybody will be happy.

Politics? Let's get Kerry and Edwards into office as soon as possible. Let's just see what they mean when they say that hope is around the corner? Hope for what?

They want a higher minimum wage? Sure, doesn't everybody? Let's set it at 20 bucks an hour and index it to inflation. Poverty will be solved. That's one thing we won't have to worry about any more.

Global warming is supposed to threaten us all, and Americans are getting the blame for driving all these cars and using all this electricity from coal-fired power plants. Let's solve the problem once and for all. Put some Greens in charge and let Congress give them all the power they need or want. Let's just see what happens and how long it takes before there are riots in the streets.

The argument about federal and state forests never seems to die down, even though it's been going on for 20 or 30 years. Let's just quit all efforts at forest management. Let the woods sit there and do their own thing, If anybody wants a 2-by-4 or a sheet of plywood for the shed, just say we're out and there won't be any more.

Occasionally there still is an outcry against Congress' attempt, after 9/11, to respond to gaps in the law by passing the clumsily named Patriot Act. Why argue? Let the act expire, and if that means that certain information can't be obtained, we'll just live with the consequences. Well, not all of us, maybe. But there are nearly 300 million of us, so what can a few terrorists do?

Nevada keeps fighting longstanding plans to establish a nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain. Let's give in and say they are right. The government should stop all efforts along that line. So what if the nuclear waste keeps sitting where it sits?

The Bonneville Power Administration, noticing that there is less water than expected in the Columbia Basin's rivers, wanted to quit spilling water over the dams. Environmentalists sued on the grounds that this would harm juvenile fish, and Judge James Redden agreed last Wednesday. Since he knows so much about water, let the president appoint him to run the BPA and the entire hydro system.

Let's do all that, and anything else that anybody wants, and see harmony restored. If it means that we pay 10 bucks every time we turn on the light, who cares, since the minimum wage is twice that amount.

Summer Heat: Just Give In?
Democrat-Herald, August 2, 2004

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