Bad and Getting Badder

Harry Drabik

   

   Swapping, as I have, Lake Superior for sitting beside a mine pit lake leaves me with differing thoughts. Beneath all the water and no doubt some sunken autos how much ore remains? I’d doubt any remaining ore is worth mining. And for certain an ore pit lake is far less impressive and compelling than the famous November storms of Lake Superior. The trouble is, if I follow a popular philosophical direction, the northland has the privileged advantage of having more water than others who through no fault of their own are forced to live in arid areas. Some, perhaps not as many as I’d expect, remember past plans to export Great Lakes water to needy areas. Ideas with such appeal (like biomass and free renewable energy) have an interesting life of their own, but whether Lake Superior or an Ore-Be-Gone mine pit lake it’s necessary to dive deep to sort out the silt from free flowing underground sources.  

   There are international and state concerns covering the Great Lakes, so it’s not likely we’d see a sudden export of water. But if the argument is (as can easily be made) the resource does not belong to us and therefore we can’t selfishly hog it. This line of thought follows the line used by Obama saying sectors of society today did not make their conditions of their success and are therefore not solely entitled to them and must share the fruits with those effectively cheated by a system that left them out. An interesting argument. On the Range we could argue that “we” dug the pits, but I’m not confident that argument would entitle us to the water they fill with. Close to Lake Superior I don’t know what rationale would apply. Lake Superior isn’t people (keeping J Trudeau happy) made, so a broader claim on its resource contents can be made. Of course we could counter-claim demanding our fair share of desert sands and palm trees. Lot of good that will do. Water is more necessary and more portable than sand, not to mention the trouble finding a northern acclimated palm.  

   In the natural course of things some notions will recur over and over, like wanting a better society. A great goal until you try to get people to agree on what’s needed. Do we divide up all the fresh water, fertile soil, and call it good? What kind of machine should you but for your half acre, and how do we justify access roads if they impact good soil? We can build elevated access, but it will shade some areas. Who gets the loser land under the elevated? From what I recall of Chicago the land under and around elevated transport wasn’t particularly desired. Like living next to a major airport as I once did, you get used to it. But it is not a thing a person is apt to be comfortable with, ever. Six trains a day through a neighborhood is not the same impact as a new train every ten minutes.  

   How often do the things that are intended (or sold as) beneficial not only cost a darn lot more than the liars claimed but have harsh consequences for people. How near a freeway interchange do you want to live? Light rail whipping along at the end of your block may be a blessing to commuters but would you get a better sleep if you happened to live a mile further away? In my experience no bright idea dies an easy death because it’s human nature to go about fixing things by first putting on blinders and admitting no doubt to shine on the glorious end in sight. Tell you the truth as I see it, I cringe in fear virtually every time a proponent proposes a fix. The public sector is especially vulnerable. I’ve been in situations where an new administrator is put in place and promptly begins a new bonding project to establish a name for themselves in order to move on to a bigger post. They do it. Why save an old facility when you get better credentials doing a new project from scratch? Inadequate old facilities quickly end up as inadequate newer facilities. The hen who sat on the golden egg is long gone and happily clucking over a fresh progress egg to foster. Tiring, isn’t it?        

   I was recently told (accusingly) I was phobic about certain things. There’s a thought worth considering. If any of us questions or objects to a policy, trend, system, or belief, etc. does that make us phobic and is that a particularly serious failing?  

   If we can drive out leaders because we don’t like and don’t agree with, how, then. Is that different from driving out privilege wherever it’s found? Aren’t both subjective and reliant on how much power groups can bring to assault enemies?  

   What happened to the old days of Sic Semper Tyrannis when the mortal foe was stabbed or shot? Seems to me preferable to society witnessing death throes from endlessly slashing tongues.   Think what Einstein missed by being born before the day he could give a speech saying FIG NEWTON and be wildly applauded by people popularly thought of as real scientists. Time is relative, but timing is everything. Age twelve or thirteen I had a profane phase. For a while plopping out some mouth dirt was pleasing as being a toddler admiring their own poop. Happily I got over it. The “F” bomb is lazy speech. Like “very” or “huge” it’s noise minus substance. How long is “very” long? Without precision “very” is just so much noise. Be nice if more people remembered that before opening up their Pandora mouths.  

   Why aren’t all parties in on and knowing about an illegal phone call up for indictment? All who knew and did nothing are criminal conspirators, aren’t they? And wouldn’t someone who uses bullying and intimidation be quick to spot others’ use of the tactic? The ever popular and unexpected double whammy. Texting about a witness while they testify is intimidation. Telling the witness about it while they testify is tampering.