[Marxism] Bruce, a home boy, once again does the wrong thing

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 19 14:17:58 MST 2004


Note by Hunter Bear:

Bruce Babbitt has always been gifted in one thing at least:  using legal
technicalities, however superficial, to seek to justify his opportunistic
moves -- and, at the same time, attempt to maintain a veneer of
"liberalism."

Bruce, formerly Secretary of Interior in the Clinton Administration, is
supporting the massive production of artificial snow -- via reclaimed
water -- in the San Francisco Peaks, immediately to the north of Flagstaff.
This is a move staunchly opposed by more than a dozen Indian Nations
[including the Navajo and the Hopi] and by many thousands of non-Indians. [I
have posted before on this situation.] As usual, he has it rationalized to
his satisfaction.

I'm not going to belabor my considerable disappointment with Bruce
Babbitt -- but I am glad his Presidential run of years ago hit a box canyon
early on.  He and I are both from Flag, he's four years younger than I, used
to come to our  high school  Junior NRA meetings [I was president], and
sometimes attached himself to our very active high school hiking club
[though we kept him out of our many always very wearing and often dangerous
trips into the Grand Canyon.] His parents and mine were friends and, all the
way through, Bruce and his wife, Hattie, sent cards and pleasant notes etc
to my parents and then, after Dad died, to my mother.

Bruce became Governor of Arizona in 1978 on a kind of a fluke.  He was state
AG.  Then Gov Raul Castro accepted an ambassadorship and Wes Bolin,
long-time Secretary of State, became Governor.  Bolin died of a heart attack
and, in accordance with Arizona law, Bruce then became Gov.  Later, he was
reelected in his own right.

While he was helpful -- ethically -- in assisting a family member who ran
afoul of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, he was a relative washout
from my perspective.  I tried to get state funds to repair a short stretch
of state road on the Navajo res -- which went to a mostly state-funded
school , a kind of rarity on a Federal Indian reservation -- and,
eventually, we did get some help.  But it took a long time.

Then, in 1983-84, he surrendered to the Phelps Dodge copper bosses and sent
in a flood of scab-herding state troopers and National Guardsmen to break
that great copper strike.  An ostensibly objective book on that tragic
debacle was later written by Jonathan Rosenblum, a reporter who became a
Babbitt staffer and general policy aide in 1985-86.  It's a Real Slick
whitewash:  Copper Crucible:  How The Arizona Miners' Strike of 1983 Recast
Labor-Management Relations in America  [Ithaca, ILR Press, 1995.] While some
of the strike's problems stemmed from the top-down approach of the United
Steelworkers [in contrast to the grassroots decisional approach of the old
Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers of yore], Bruce Babbitt's perfidy was, in a
word, sabotage.  His colossal betrayal of Labor earned him the permanent
nickname, Scabbitt.

As Secretary of Interior, he badly screwed up Native trust accounts at BIA.
This has long been a major problem for Indian people and one which yet
continues as a cancerous Gordian Knot -- ripping off and away God knows much
Indian money.  He also pushed wolves into the White Mountain region of
eastern Arizona and the Mogollons of western New Mexico. [I support this
reintroduction of wild life.] But instead of going there personally and
addressing the mostly small, hardscrabble ranchers, he stayed completely
away -- and, when they expressed alarm, he threatened them with the FBI and
ATF.  I personally know some of those small ranchers -- I stayed many times
at the Marks ranch down on remote Blue River -- and almost all of those
folks are inclined to be very reasonable.  As it turned out, a number of
wolves were mysteriously killed.

And despite a Notre Dame education, Bruce has consistently supported the
death penalty.

And now, on the San Francisco Peaks issue, he is selling the Peaks and the
Indian tribes and the environmentalists right down the river.

There is far more here than simply the decline and fall of someone.  Bruce
Babbitt is a prime example of the inherent shortcomings of alleged
"liberalism" -- a sad phenomena that can never make it through and beyond
Any Crucible.


Bruce Babbitt hits slopes in support of upgrade

By SETH MULLER
Sun Staff Reporter
03/18/2004


Former Secretary of the Interior and once-Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt
stepped into a pair of skis Wednesday and made a downhill run as steady as
his support for the Arizona Snowbowl.
Babbitt, who has served as a consultant for Snowbowl, spoke at Agassiz Lodge
after taking to the slopes as an endorsement of the plan for snowmaking with
reclaimed water.

His support comes in the wake of continued protest by Hopis, Navajos and
other concerned area residents. (See related story)

"This facility is an extraordinary and unique asset to Arizona," Babbitt
said to a group of about 25
people gathered for the event. "It's an extraordinary asset we've all taken
for granted in Flagstaff ... It's a community asset and part of who we are."

Babbitt addressed the consternation of the Hopi tribes and others toward
snowmaking, noting that it's important to understand that the San Francisco
Peaks are "deeply important" to 13 different regional tribes.

However, he cited legal rulings that stemmed from a 1979 suit filed over the
upgrades of Snowbowl that took place earlier. Babbitt said that the courts
determined that having a ski area on about 1 percent of the total mountain
area allowed for "an acceptable balance."

 Babbitt said that he had visited the White Vulcan pumice mine -- located
within the boundary of the Peaks --with representatives of the same 13
tribes who wanted have the mine closed. After that 1996 visit, Babbitt
assisted the tribes in getting the mine closed.

Babbitt's trip to the Snowbowl was his first in about 14 years, he said.
Eric Borowsky, one of Snowbowl's owners under a limited liability
partnership, urged Babbitt to visit to get a better sense of what he's
endorsing.

Babbitt said he was impressed with the improvements that had been made,
noting that the slopes were better and the "bottlenecking" areas had been
fixed under the current ownership, which took over operations in the early
1990s. But what has strengthened Babbitt's position more is the content of
the draft environmental impact statement.

The EIS is part of the Forest Service's environmental review process, and
the agency has selected snowmaking and creation of new ski trails and a lift
as a preferred alternative.

Babbitt said that he was impressed with the detail of the hydrology report.
He said it shows how the reclaimed water that would be sent up to Snowbowl
under the proposal returns as runoff to the same aquifer, and it illustrates
how reclaimed water usage is becoming an accepted practice in the West.

He told those gathered, which included members of the Greater Flagstaff
Economic Council and the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, that the EIS
represents an important step in the process, but noted that more steps were
needed before the proposal could happen.

"We're climbing a long flight of stairs," Babbitt said.


HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]
www.hunterbear.org

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunter Bear]






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