On the EDge: Anti-environmentalists will lose monument fight

composite stock images, St. George News

OPINION – One lesson learned early in life is that you shouldn’t pick a fight you can’t win.

It’s a lesson that should be heeded by a group of anti-environmentalists who have pledged to fight a couple of land designations recently handed down by the Obama administration in Utah and Nevada.

The anti-environmentalists are up in arms about an area near the Cliven Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, and the Bear Ears area up north being designated as national monuments. Of course, these folks would be happy to strip nature of its historic, cultural and aesthetic beauty to build strip malls and condos in the bottom of the Grand Canyon if the price was right.

So, they’ve already got their anti-federal stooges lined up, from Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee to the so-called Bundy militia to fight the designations. Even Sen. Orrin Hatch has jumped into the political fray, saying that his support of Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, the nominee for Secretary of the Interior, depends on how Zinke responds to his questions about reversing the monument designation.

“His responses will largely determine my support for his confirmation,” Hatch said.

Sounds like a bullying tactic to me.

In other words, work with me to stiff President Obama and you get my vote, side with those other guys and I’ll be gnawing on you like a rat on a Cheeto.

But, good luck, guys, you are going to have to move heaven and Earth to get these two designations overturned. So, my response is the same as the one conservatives have been braying since the election: Deal with it.

It would be a serious mistake for the militia types to saddle up, all locked and loaded, to challenge the law once again because I seriously doubt the feds will put up with another armed confrontation from the militia types who drew down on them in Oregon and Nevada, and even with a Republican Congress, I don’t see them mustering the vote to overturn a decision only the extremists dangling from the far right are getting in a lather about.

But, we’ll find out as we further explore 2017, The Year of Uncertainty.

There are far bigger issues on the table than defending a rancher scofflaw or the desire to drill and build condos on a piece of land deemed sacred to some.

The guy waiting in the wings has Israel, North Korea, promises of “yuge” job increases and, of course, the sticky situation with Russia that will be of much greater consequence, not to mention a promise to erect a wall along the Mexican border, ship undocumented workers across that same border, set up some generally unfair tariffs for the greater world to deal with and figure out how to undo the Affordable Care Act, even though fellow party members are beginning to understand how valuable it has become to the average American.

At the outset, it looks like it is going to be a very good year for the attorneys, who will be kept busy with all of the lawsuits and countersuits in what is sure to be a disorderly transition of power and usurpation of our government and Constitution.

You never know how the courts will rule, but with the likelihood that we will see a regressive appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, let’s hope any final judgment is more than four years in the future when things will hopefully return to normal and the nation comes to its senses.

Meanwhile, the new normal has the majority of us – at least 3 million – scratching our heads.

I mean, I come from a generation where those who supported Russia and its leaders were considered traitors; those who would draw weapons on law enforcement officials were considered criminals; and those who radically opposed the government were considered anarchists.

It’s all different in this Bizarro World we now live in where up is down, in is out and the wizard hides safely behind his curtain. I know who awaits these people at the crossroads and am relieved that it’s not my debt he is poised to collect.

What complicates things even more is the fact that we are saddled with a media that has had its head stuck in the sand for too long, covering the last presidential race as a novelty instead of the truly historic event it was as the misanthropic herd danced to a martial waltz. As a result, it will take them quite some time to shovel down through the pile to reach the critical mass we call truth, thus more uncertainty.

So I truly wonder what awaits. We lost some of our favorite people in 2016, what will we lose in 2017? Anybody who claims to have the answers is pulling a major bluff, except the chips on the table are all too real and because anything is possible, it’s a bad time to go all in.

I’m reminded of that classic “Twilight Zone” episode in which the aliens arrive on Earth with all sorts of helpful advice to make humankind healthy, peaceful and in a state of ease and bliss.

As the episode progresses, one of the scientists working with the aliens discovers a book titled “How To Serve Man,” with alien writing inside.

He works long and hard to decipher the writing only to, in the final seconds of the program, go all bug-eyed and screaming from his lab.

He discovers that there is no benevolence in the book and runs out into the population screaming “It’s a cookbook!”

Well, friends, looks like we’ve got another cookbook stashed somewhere and we’re in a heck of a stew.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • tcrider January 3, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I sure hope so Ed, when it comes to getting the two federal designations overturned,
    between the stooges and the so called self proclaimed patriots, they will have their
    agenda rolling and who knows, maybe there will be another finkium incicident. But
    when the balance of power has been out of kilter this long, anything can happen, now
    the right has eliminated the ethics watchdog for congress so look out, the fox is in the
    hen house. …
    Ed. ellipsis.

  • 42214 January 3, 2017 at 11:36 am

    We should call it Obama’s Ears instead of Bear’s Ears. Obama’s are bigger.

  • Curtis January 3, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Of course Hatch is bullying. That’s what politicians do. Deal with it. Politics is a full contact sport where reelection is the most important thing on your agenda. If you are planning on running for reelection then throwing red meat to the yahoos is an absolute must. Easy for Hatch to justify — The future well being of Utah depends on Hatch being in the Senate. Therefore, what is good for Hatch is good for Utah and America.

    Regarding the Supreme Court, if the opposite of progressive is regressive then I hope for regressive appointments. I prefer a justice who, like Scalia, does not consider the Constitution a living document but cares what it actually says rather than what the President, the Dept of Justice, and a dozen Federal agencies want it to mean.

    tcrider is right on the ethics issue. Rather than draining the swamp in Washington the Repubs fully intended to make it bigger, deeper and nastier.

  • anybody home January 3, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Ed, thanks for the reminder about that Twilight Zone episode! Great show, it was…Ryan Zinke has already made it clear that he does not support handing over government lands to the likes of the Bundys and others with personal agendas to “manage” those lands better – like the usual Utah suspects and their corporate cohort. Glad to see that the Repubs this morning withdrew their plan to weaken the ethics situation after Big Daddy Trump made it clear he thought it was the wrong thing to do…we Americans are about to experience the old Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Anything can happen and likely will…

  • ladybugavenger January 3, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I just heard someone on tv call Obama “intellectually honest”

    What the heck does that mean?

    I had to look that one up. Making it simple, it means: To make arguments you think are true…

    Oh my gosh, what a bunch of BS it is. There are a lot of intellectually honest people commenting on St George news. All you need to do is to think your argument is true. LOL. They don’t have to be true, you just have to think it.

    That’s on the top of today’s list of stupid things that people say to sound smart.

  • Not_So_Much January 3, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    We really are in a stew and have limited ingredients to have good outcome. I too wonder what is ahead and hope for the best possible outcomes of each issue facing us all. I must be one of those Constitutional folk you refer to since the more I consider what has and is happening, the more convinced I am that it is because we have go so far astray from the original intent of the founding fathers. I do believe in finding the best balance of preserving our great lands while we prudently utilize God’s gifts. Now and when Utah regains control of it’s destiny, I will do my best to voice any concerns I have. I don’t have much faith in either party doing what is right and it is up to all of us to be involved.

    I am curious what makes for a regressive Supreme Court appointment. I hope that a justice who follows the Constitution wouldn’t be considered anything other than an outstanding selection in everyone’s minds. Laws must be passed by congress not the judicial or executive branches. Governing by regulations has no place in this country. End the use of omnibus bills and have each federal issue stand on it’s own merit will go a long way in helping correct the situation.

    Of course any item not specifically given to the federal government belongs with the individual states. Utah’s future rest with the people of Utah and those elected by us. Therefore we all need to vote informed and demand the truth from those seeking office.

    • comments January 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      “Utah’s future rest with the people of Utah and those elected by us. ”

      I think if that was 100% the case UT would still have polygamy as a mainstream thing. Surprising the voters of UT never made Warren Jeffs a senator or governor.

      • .... January 3, 2017 at 11:38 pm

        Getting a little desperate for attention are you ?

  • Lastdays January 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    “Anti-environmentalists” ?? If this describes cattle ranchers, farmers, hunters, fishermen, outdoorsmen, etc.. who understand the land they love to work with and have done a great job on their own all these years taking care of it, (without government help) then I guess I would feel it an honor to be called an Anti-Environmentalists.

    The opposite of this would an “Environmentalist” I guess. Most of these folks are part of a 501 (c)(3) group that funds itself from donations and other self interest people who have too much money and need a tax break organization to help them during tax time. Their leaders don’t have an original thought of their own, they just aggressively push an agenda to get a paycheck. Most of their minions don’t understand either what they are protesting, they just get paid to show up and protest.

    ” I seriously doubt the feds will put up with another armed confrontation from the militia types ” — They only reason they put up with the friends of the Bundy’s taking back their stolen cattle was that these cowboys and supporters of Cliven called the governments bluff. If the BLM cops were totally in the right, then why did they give back the cows. Well, because they were in the wrong and they new it. They’ll be more armed standoffs someday and somewhere. Just have to wait and see who is more intellectually and legally prepared when it happens.

    “media stuck with their head in sand too long”- Ha, really ? The media has been in the pockets of the progressive liberal politicians forever. The only mistake this election was that the general public called their bluff this time. They weren’t ready for that one. So they retaliated by calling for protesters to fill the streets and riot because their team didn’t win, and the Electoral college is a farce, and their underwear is too tight, and Starbucks ran out of Pumpkin spice, and ……….

    There are just too many other comments to make on this article to list here. Sorry Ed that your team didn’t win this time. Now you know what many of us felt in 2008 and 2012. It hurts, it sucks. We understand how that feels.
    I’m not sure whats going to happen in the next 4 years but it will be 100 fold better than if Hillary won and kept the progressive liberal train rolling along. Or maybe not. But one things for sure, neither one of us knows.

  • comments January 3, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    “What complicates things even more is the fact that we are saddled with a media that has had its head stuck in the sand for too long”

    Ed, are u finally realizing what a bunch of corrupt, sold out little propagandists the mainstream media has become. There was a time when there were laws preventing them from their outright lies and misinfo now the gov’t and the corporatists reward them for it.

  • Henry January 3, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Ed, you just demonstrated a redeeming quality: you apparently are a fan of the “Twilight Zone”! LOL One of our end-of-year highlights is watching the SyFi tv channel’s marathon of all the “Twilight Zone” episodes.

    However, I think the “Twilight Zone” episode most emblematic of our current situation is the episode “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”. The residents of an average American neighborhood conclude that an alien invasion is afoot.

    You and your fellow leftists are like the residents in the episode: rather than working together with their friends and neighbors, they succumb to parnoia and violence against one another.

    In the end, the aliens conclude that the best way to destroy mankind is to let us do the deed ourselves. Hopefully you and your compatriots will soon come to your senses.

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