Saturday, May 18, 2013

Legislative llamas?

portrait of a llama
© harrington
Hi. Thanks for the visit. I've been checking the Internet for the outcomes of issues the legislature is supposed to take care of this session. I don't mind telling you that I'm not pleased with the way a number of things are being resolved. One of my major disappointments is the legislature's unwillingness to pass a reasonably stringent (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? But, just as there are known knowns and known unknowns and unknowns, there are unreasonably lenient, unreasonably stringent and reasonably stringent regulatory solutions.) regulatory framework for frack sand mining in the environmentally sensitive region of southeast Minnesota, an area laced with trout streams supported by public and private investment. Perhaps I shouldn't expect more in a country that concurrently subsidizes tobacco farmers and tries to reduce the health impacts of tobacco use. (Alternative approach, work with farmers on the development, growth and marketing of replacement crop(s).) Nevertheless, I can't get over the incredible shortsightedness (a polite term for a 9 letter word that also begins with "s") of thinking that the same agency that has failed to properly manage groundwater in and around White Bear Lake and other locations in My Minnesota is somehow now going exhibit the necessary wisdom to protect trout streams heedlessly exposed to industrial exploitation by the frack sand industry and understaffed local governments. If ever I've seen "magical thinking" I'm looking at it now. Of course, this is the same basic crew that brought us e-pulltabs as a solution for the Viking's stadium. One of the reasons I'm so incrediblt frustrated is that I expect this kind of nonsense fro pro-business Republicans. I keep, foolishly it seems, having the high hope that Democrats represent an alternative. All too often, they don't. So, this brings me to an alternative approach: legislative llamas as environmental protection animals. The serve as guard animals protecting flocks of sheep and goats from being ravaged by predatory animals. Mightn't they be trained to serve a similar role in legislative committees and floor sessions? I mean how much of a transition could that be. Even a llama could see that what's being proposed as a successful compromise (see Sally Jo Sorenson's coverage in Bluestem Prairie) is a recipe for failure. I'm not sure I fault Sen. Schmit as much as the "Democratice leadership" (speaking of oxymorons) that is failing our citizens and their environment. If legislative llamas drove off the predators from the appropriate hearings, maybe with the help of a few livestock guard dogs, might'nt we be better protected than we are now? They'd also be a more organic way to keep the capitol grounds in shape than using fossil fuel powered mowers. Thanks for listening. Cme again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.