Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Trillion Dollar Heist

Unequal States and Counties
The Trillion Dollar Heist
The Expansion of Valhalla
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            I have the McGarrity Trilogy in the library.
            The setting for the books is in the Tularosa Basin where the rocket men came to stake their cornerstone in the creation of death and destructive devices for the defense of our country starting in World War II and increasing in apogee thereafter. The trilogy crew came long before any of the advances in these killing advances and wonders that fly, shoot, zip, zap, and irradiate were even a concept.
            They were the folks who dug wells by hand, lived in dugouts before they could afford to build a house, drank Arbuckle’s coffee when they could splurge, learned it was best not to eat rabbits in months with spellings that didn’t contain r’s, looked forward to J. R. Williams’ brilliant cartoons, and came to realize what the meaning of sovereignty in the federal West really meant.
            They were the real deal. They had names. They had hopes of a better life.
The problem was they picked the wrong basin, perhaps the wrong state, and, as some are now realizing, even the wrong country for the investment of their sweat and blood and guts. When the nut cuttin’ began, they were treated no differently than any endemic population before them. They were stripped of everything including their dignity. What they came to realize long before we did was when the Great White Father spoke it wasn’t words of wisdom and encouragement.
            Unequal States and Counties
            Trilogy country today is Otero County, New Mexico.
            Eighty nine percent of it is owned by government in one form or another. Think about that. Only one acre of every ten can be expected to provide planning and accommodation for homes, industry, investment, and the tangible future for its citizenry. Eastern states, in their ignorance toward the actual condition of the West, have no idea of what that really means. At some point in time, somebody (and bodies in numbers) ought to become awfully tired of the migration of their tax money to an underutilized West because of the back to nature fetish of federal dominion and its regulatory strangulation.
Let’s shoot this in another direction. Only one in ten acres can be counted upon to grow families, recreate, and stake a path toward future prosperity for anyone not connected to the United States government or the environmental cartels. That is the condition of fact and it certainly doesn’t bode well when this nation’s debt is finally addressed by adult and fiscally qualified supervision. Both the state and Otero County are going to be placed in high jeopardy when the federal dollars are no longer hauled in by unit trains from points east of the 100th Meridian.
            The Expansion of Valhalla
            Fully expected by their constituents and antagonists alike, the staff of the New Mexico Senatorial duo of Udall and Heinrich have crafted legislation to make Whites Sands National Monument, the greater part of the big snow-white gypsum deposit in the middle of the Basin, a national park. Ostensibly, their logic is that the expanded layering of regulatory protection on the sand pile will bring in lots of tourista dollars, marks, and pesos.
            Of course, they had their model manipulators spit out a preemptive economic forecast to prove the worth of their legacy maneuver, but that is getting to be a tedious recapitulation of expectancy. Ask a million people the difference between a national monument and national park and less than one percent could contribute to the answer.
            No, the move is an expected expansion of a designation that will serve as the forward operating base for future, expanded park designations in the southern end of the county, nearby Dona Ana and Luna Counties. It is a green Trojan Horse of consequence that fits comfortably into a drawer marked there is nothing like more government to solve the problem of more government.
            A Trillion Dollar Heist
            To add insult to injury, the announcement was made not in Otero County, but in Dona Ana County next door.
            Otero County wasn’t invited to the party. They never are on these types of environmental issues. They don’t agree with the action and, therein, is the rub. They know the consequences to their future. The senators also know that and opted to run the pony out for inspection in a county that will now nominate and vote for any Dipodomys spectabilis rather than a conservative Homo sapien.
            The iconic platitudes were plentiful.
             Save this great treasure for the children, this will bring in millions of dollars in new jobs and ecotravel adventures, and this great opportunity is in our grasp to do and do we shall!
            The hypocrisy is stifling.
In juxtaposition within the 300 plus square miles of the white sands footprint, some 225 sections are national monument now touted for park status. The rest remains in DOD lands where death and destruction is planned and practiced. There is certainly no private enterprise, though, and that presents the greatest irony of all.
            There are more than 3.93 billion tons of relatively pure commercial gypsum lying on the ground and above the base structure. In addition, there are millions more tons of less pure gypsum in sands and deposits. That represents nearly a trillion dollars of gypsum in a worldwide agricultural and commercial market. It is an incomprehensible natural deposit.
            Moreover, it is growing. A chemical reprecipitation of the gargantuan calcium sulfate background continues to grow the sands. They are then spread by prevailing wind. So, are there words that suggest any logic that some part of this sensational natural resource cannot be used to benefit the local citizenry, in particular, and mankind, in general?
The New Mexico senators don’t think so.

                Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “The amount of agricultural water savings and efficiency alone that would come from the judicious use of this remarkable natural resource would be incredible.”

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