Exciting news, brother and sister members! Exciting news, indeed. Your Brother Bill is happy to announce he has invented a new rule for the Society For Making People Better Rule Book! Yayyyyyyy!
We can thank the crappy weather for this wonderful advance. Contrary to what you might expect, your Brother Bill is an outdoors person. Given the choice between being outdoors and being indoors, he will invariably chose outdoors, provided the weather isn't crappy. If there are two things he hates to be, it is: 1) cold, and 2) wet, and any combination of those conditions will bring him inside faster than a house fire will get him out. If you have ever been trapped indoors with an outdoors person for an extended period of time, you know that person can get unnervingly restless. Often, they pace from wall to wall, moaning, "Why, oh why does it have to be crappy outside?" or "Why is this winter always picking on MEEEEEE!?—over and over, until everyone else in the house feels like screaming.
In your Brother Bill's house, "everyone else" is Mrs. Brother Bill, and Mrs. Brother Bill will not tolerate too much moaning and pacing. "Honey," she growled, threateningly "why don't you do something?" So your Brother Bill stopped pacing, moaning and began to ponder what he might do. A few weeks later, he finally came up with something. "I will invent a new rule for the Society For Making People Better Rule Book!" he cried, jubilantly. A few more weeks later, he did.
So without further ado, we give you Rule 20 in your SFMPB Rule Book!!!!
First, your Brother Bill has uncovered the need for a minor adjustment to the Rule Book. He was consulting the existing rules to make sure whatever he invented this time wasn't something he'd already invented then forgotten he'd invented it. In doing so, he found that Rule 18 was still in the book. You will remember that Rule 18 would deny the benefits of science in general to people who reject scientific evidence when it doesn't conform to their ignorance. However, since adding Rule 18 to the book, your Brother Bill has had a change of heart, realizing that such a rule is unduly harsh to stupid people. So before we add Rule 20 to our books, let us first add Rule 19, which reads: Cancel Rule 18.
Now, without further ado, Rule 20: Public lands are better than private lands!
Now, many of you may suspect Rule 20 is a reaction to what has transpired of late over in Oregon, and in part, you are right. As the basic conflict we see between the band of disgruntled clodhoppers occupying that wildlife refuge visitor center and federal authorities who administer such places seems to involve the conviction on the part of many clodhoppers that any open range not covered in cow poop is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, not everyone who is eager to deliver public lands into private hands is a grungy, camo-swaddled, fundamentalist cowboy baboon named Bundy. Your Brother Bill feels you need to stay aware that there are many nefarious forces afoot all over the West who would have states take control of Forest Service and BLM lands, and most of it is to the purpose of giving corporate interests such as logging, mining and agri-business a free rein on the range. Why, within our own Idaho Legislature, there are exceedingly dense officials elected from the dope zones—Bonner County, for one example—who would insist the entire notion of any lands owned by the society at large rather than the highest bidder is an affront to everything they hold holy.
Of course, we in the SFMPB know this to be poppycock in extremis. Yet we must stay aware that there are many people for whom poppycock serves as everything from their guiding political philosophy to their religion. For such deluded souls, nothing will ever convince them that spoiled nature isn't preferable over unspoiled nature.
For anyone who isn't sure, your Brother Bill suggests a Sunday afternoon drive might reaffirm the premise behind Rule 20. He noticed it himself when he was returning from Jackpot—a New Year's Eve excursion hardly worth mentioning except for possibly the best omelet he has ever sprinkled Tabasco over. But you, dear members, need go only as far as it takes to get well away from the beehive of the Capital City. Bliss, perhaps. Better yet, Hagerman.
Then, turn your car around and come back. Surrounded as you will be by predominantly BLM land, notice the wide open and exhilarating vistas on either side of the freeway. The clusters of antelope and deer. The great swaths of raw sage land and the primeval architecture of the cliffs thrusting up from the Snake. Remind yourself of the Idaho that was here before there was a Capital City. Before white men. Before men, period.
Then, as you re-enter into the effluvium of Boise, through the clutter and carnage of the far eastern fringe of your city, take a moment to compare those blessedly empty public lands you have been motoring through to this industrial mange that invariably comes with private ownership. Your Brother Bill is confident you will understand why he was inspired to invent Rule 20.