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Posts Tagged ‘Palin’

Today being election day in the USA, we speculate on what different outcomes may mean for mining.  Beware: this posting may offend.  It is, however, pure bloggery: speculative and prevaricative.  (more…)

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    The price of gold rises daily.  Some news feeds have degenerated into infinite streams of platitudes about why the price of gold will climb every higher.  Or burst as the next bubble to be charged to the taxpayer.  Seems to me that while a few may benefit from the infinite rise in the price of gold,  most will suffer mightily.  From my perspective, it looks like every time there is more bad economic news, the price of gold goes higher.  I cannot but think that at some point, an every-rising gold price will mean that economic disaster is a terrible reality: more out of work; more going hungary; more debts unpaid; more tea parties peopled by irrational, disgruntled whites who decry government spending as they wobble around with their fat asses firmly parked in Medicare and Medicaid wheelchairs. (more…)

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The answer will not come for many months, yet the arguments in today’s hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court are worth revisiting as they are significant to mining and environmental protection alike.  And to those who revel in dictionary distinctions—like Scrabble players.

The highest court in the land has chosen to hear the issue of whether the Kensington gold mine in Alaska may put their tailings into Lower Slate Lake, effectively filling it in time, or whether they should turn the tailings to paste and put them above-grade just like they do at the Greens Creek Mine not that far away. 

In practice, the court will not decide this practical issue.  Instead the court will delve into far “higher” matters.  Keep in mind the Supreme Court only takes on cases involving constitutional and interpretation-of-law issues.  And in this case the issue is the meaning and intent of the 1972 Clean Water Act.  Basically the question the court is asked to determine is whether tailings are “fill” or alternatively “discharge” in terms of the act. 

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Bush started the rot: issuing presidential orders to keep the grumpy (and angry and vicious) old men on his right happy.   Now Obama promises to reverse many of these orders to quickly put his own stamp on things.  Personally, I find all this executive action scary.  And here are some more very scary statements from a speech by Ms. BP Sonjica at the South African Minining Seminar during the 10th China Mining Conference, Beijing, China.  Imagine what she could do with an executive order?

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I am not undecided.  I know who I believe should be president.  Because my reasons for selecting one candidate over the other are not based on factors related to the mining industry, I do not endorse one or the other.  Although I have a biased opinion on Palin. 

I have written before in this blog that I believe that mining will not be significantly affected by whether McCain or Obama is the next president.  That comment brought me e-mails from people saying that Obama would promote the cause of mining union workers and that would be bad for mining—or good for mining depending on your attitude to unions.  But I suspect unions are pretty much able to take care of themselves—and they should take care of  themselves and their members—so they do not depend too much on the success or failure of either candidate.

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McCain versus Obama II was a decisive victory for Obama.  He looked and acted presidential.  He was intelligent, articulate, and thoughful.  Much as I suspect young men, and admire men of my own generation, I saw too much in McCain of my own age: a reliance on the past, instinct, repitition, and disrespect for the young.  It is all very well that McCain has served his county, now we need a leader not a server. 

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I can understand why the politicians are taking off their gloves and starting a whole new round of personal attacks.  With less than a month to go to election day, they are desperate to score a few points. 

Am I alone in thinking that the past is irrelevant right now.  Economies around the world are wobbling, the old order is changing and the new may not be pretty.  Yet we are about to be subjected to a stale repetition of past actions and decisions by Obama, McCain, Palin, and Biden. 

I readily acknowledge that all candidates have probably made mistakes in the past.  I acknowledge they have all consorted with dubious characters and priests.  But surely the issue now is what they propose to do to deal with the future, not what they did and thought in the past. 

Mining is not exempt from the changes that are hurtling around.  Today some folk I know had to shut down their small mine and lay off thirty miners.  They are seeking to sell their US operations to Koreans.  They hope to retreat to a cash-rich position and do something.  For them and the thirty laid-off miners and for me and my children, the issue is not whose priest is sillier, or who listened to the most venial lobbyists, or who should or should not star on Saturday Night Live.  For all of us the issue is how much the candidates understand what is happening, what they plan to do, and how they plan to do it. 

Thus my plea: Candidates stop dragging up the past.  It is known, understood, and disparaged.  But it is irrelevant and ugly.  Now rather gather people together with vision, insight, and hope.  Now give us confidence that, having learnt from past mistakes, we can make the future bright.  For if you do not, the anger and fear of the populace will turn on you and you deserve their nay.

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