Annihilate and Absorb

Dennis Linthicum

Annihilate and Absorb

The solar eclipse has come and gone but look skyward again. Why is the sky so dark? Why is the sky filled with smoke and haze? Why is air quality so poor? Why has it been so bad for the last month? We’ve all seen pictures from China where people wear masks to protect their nose and mouth from soot.

Children with masks

Is this what we face in the Pacific Northwest?

Should we blame industry? Is it coal-fired electric generation plants? Maybe its diesel traffic freighting up and down the I-5 corridor?  Or, could it be diesel construction and agricultural engines which we use to build our cities and produce our food? Is it manufacturing, or should we just chalk it up to mankind as a modern day scourge on planet Earth?

The environmentalists and those seeking political control and power may successfully demonize any of the above for their ultimate purposes of resource control and tax revenue.

The Map below tells a different story.

Fire Map

All of the large fires burning in Oregon are under the jurisdictional authority of the USFS. There are literally hundreds of fires but the large ones belong to the federal government. Why? Is it policy or is it bureaucratic malfeasance?

These questions are why I recommend that Obama’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion gets withdrawn by Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. I would suggest that the feds are not capable of managing their current resource load and that there is no point in giving them even more responsibilities.

Most of this land is already managed for forest, watershed, and sustainable resource diversity by the BLM. The existing cattle grazing allotments are extremely beneficial for curbing unhealthy fuel loads. There is no reason to burden private landowners, farmers, ranchers, cattlemen, forest service or BLM management teams with additional rules and regulations imposed by the Monument designation.

In 2000, when Clinton set aside 53,000 acres for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, his executive order marked the first time a monument had been created with the sole intention of protecting biodiversity.

Wow, that’s quite a claim. Let’s see, 53,000 acres divided by 126,000,000,000 acres on planet earth… hmm… 0.000000420. Now does anyone believe that this infinitesimally small parcel will protect biodiversity? Surely not!

But, the crowd cheered, “It’s a start; let’s expand it!”

So, in Obama’s final weeks, he expanded the monument by almost doubling it’s size to the current 100,000 acres. Obama asserted that the additional land would "increase habitat connectivity, watershed protection and landscape-scale resilience for the area's unique biological values.”  Now, let’s re-do our math, 100,000 acres divided by 126,000,000,000 acres... hmmm… that equals a whopping impact for “landscape-scale resilience” of 0.000000793.

The math might seem silly but, for years, through the language of Utopian solutions, environmentalists have sought more control through federal acquisition or escalating wilderness status.

Federally controlled land is predominately concentrated in the West. Nationally, the United States government has direct control over almost 650,000,000 acres of land — nearly 30% of its total territory.  In our state, Oregon, the federal government controls 54% of all of the land.

In Venezuela,  the authoritarian regimes of Chavez and Madura have used government acquisition as their methodological mantra – nationalize anything that produces profit for “the good of the people.”

In 2005, then President Chavez began implementing a law that he put through his legislature in 2001. His plan allowed the state to lawfully expropriate unproductive farms or seize land without proper titles. After gaining title to those lands, he redistributed millions of acres supposedly to boost food production and ease rural poverty. This was really nothing more than Banana-Republic cronyism at work.

Today, Venezuela’s inflation rate is 720% and economists say that the Venezuelan government's overspending on social programs and strict regulatory business policies have created an imbalance in the country's economy. This imbalance is now fueling rising inflation, poverty, low healthcare spending and material shortages throughout Venezuela. The result from the status quo is increased corruption, profiteering by government agencies and blossoming trade opportunities for smugglers and drug traffickers.

This can also happen in America. These efforts are always done under the color of law. There is slow and gradual eating away of our nation’s foundational principles.  Many systematic expositions have been written on this idea which holds much of the world in its sway. It is most commonly known as socialism or by the more inclusive names of collectivism, Fabianism, progressivism, or gradualism. The more virulent wing of the movement is communism.

This movement has been continually tried and has always been found failing and Venezuela is today’s perfect example.

In Oregon, this slow, step-by-step tragedy started a hundred years ago with actions by a “progressive” living in the White House – Theodore Roosevelt.

Between 1902 and 1906, President Roosevelt went mindfully at work with maps of Oregon’s pristine landscapes. He acquired enormous swaths of Oregon’s forested wilderness for exclusive federal control. Most were acquired by using Executive Orders, however, he also urged passage of the 1906 Antiquities Act.

Oregon’s U.S. Senator Charles W. Fulton was outraged by these unprecedented land grabbing actions. Fulton introduced legislation to eliminate the president's authority to establish national forest reserves via Executive Orders in 1907.

The very night before signing this law, Roosevelt issued another Executive Order snatching an additional 16 million acres from Oregon’s control. Honest journalists of the day deridingly labeled these new forests as the "Midnight Reserves.”

Then, in 1908, after the legislation prohibiting these blatant land grabs became law, Roosevelt engineered a new scheme to pluck more land from the states. In this instance he designated land surrounding Malhuer, Mud and Harney Lakes in Eastern Oregon as an “Indian reservation.” This last swindle avoided using the phrase “forest reserve,” which was now illegal after Fulton’s legislation. Instead, these new takings were identified, “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds.”

Modern day 1906 Antiquities Act proponents, with help from environmentalists and main-stream media, have successfully steered the act away from it’s original intent as protection for “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest…”

Today, it is purely a tool for collecting booty from the several, free, sovereign and independent states.

As the founders feared, the heart of the issue is the probability that the central government will seek to, “annihilate and absorb the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the several states, and produce… an iron banded despotism.”

If we don't stand for rural Oregon Values and common-sense - No one will!

Best regards,

Senator Dennis Linthicum signature

Dennis Linthicum
Oregon State Senate 28

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1728
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-305, Salem, Oregon 97301