Margolis blasts the wrong people

  Dear HCN,

Jon Margolis has my hackles up again. In his article about weirdness in Washington, D.C. (HCN, 1/29/01: Weirdness abounds in Washington), I expected comments on Clinton paying off like a broken slot machine for "rich" patrons, or the Clintons registering for gifts (before her confirmation) so the payola would beat the ethics deadline in the Senate. Or how about three major "press events" by the self-absorbed Bill Clinton saying goodbye. Or perhaps the Animal House types trashing the White House and Air Force One ... Jon's kind of folks, I guess.

Unlike Jon (I'll bet), I've read and admired much of what Gale Norton found good about Ayn Rand's writings, Atlas Shrugged especially. I'm more for states' rights than Gale Norton. I left California mostly because of the disgust I felt for the socialist bent the government had there. Socialistic people always want someone else to pay up.

The people I admire in the environmental movement are not the extremist D.C.-based types like the Sierra Club, but the people who actually live on the land who try to find ways to conserve what's best. Education is a lot of the process.

Forty years ago, when I was a construction engineer in Arizona on a railroad project, a rancher pointed out to me how my tire tracks from my Jeep were causing damage that would leave damage for years ... or more.

Even though I was in my early 20s, I'd been prospecting and freely roaming the West for years without a thought about such things.

But, that rancher's kind admonition started my thought process turning toward taking care of the land.

Anyway, back to Jon Margolis. If Jon would take the time to read the arguments leading to the Constitution, he would come to understand the distrust the framers had for central government. Then perhaps further historical study would reveal to him just how much centralization took place in the Civil War. Pay attention to the issue of "carpetbaggers." Those are people who were sent from that central authority (D.C.) to micromanage an area they knew nothing about. Deja vu?

With more power given to individual states, then we can choose to live in California under its tax schemes, or Vermont, where gay marriages are legal, or ... not.

T.C. Johnson
Evanston, Wyoming
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