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Julie Smithson

Do not accord respect that is unearned
By Julie Smithson
Jun 15, 2011 - 12:10:40 AM

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It is my experience -- over a dozen years involving countless hours studying, learning and writing about property rights, resource utilization and natural resource issues -- that oftentimes, people who love property rights are too quick to accord respect to career politicians, bureaucrats and others of like ilk.

Why should such characters be deserving of respect that is unearned? Saying one thing -- and doing another -- smacks of something, but it is not trustworthiness.

If current Interior Secretary Salazar is, in fact, a real rancher (and not a career politician) -- and if former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is, in fact, a real environmentalist -- I'm doubtless a monkey's uncle!

Ranchers do not do to other ranchers, farmers, and property owners, what Salazar is doing to so many with whom he ostensibly curried favor.

Babbitt's family owns vast mining holdings in Arizona with employees that toil in far less than ideal working conditions.

While words are one thing, actions are another entirely.

To my way of thinking, a real environmentalist does not 'Pac-man' as much avgas as possible, wining and dining his way around the world. A real rancher does more than don a 'cowboy hat' and boots. Once upon a time, wannabes were called 'dime store cowboys.' The phrase should still hold, if there were still dime stores.

It would seem that a real, honest-to-goodness environmentalist would be doing things that make a positive, lasting difference in his own backyard. He'd be making natural resources available in his own land of birth, rather than looking the other way while third-world nations' resources -- including their human resources -- are gobbled like a starving person would attack a well-stocked smorgasbord.

America is not great because of the actions of such self-proclaimed 'ranchers' and 'environmentalists.' She is great in spite of them.

Julie Kay Smithson



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