A Patient Handsome Harry replies

I stopped attempting to hide the identity of my old ally turned bitter critic “Gentleman Jim”. If you want to take an hour you can find his name in the blog some place. I used to post his complimentary posts during my fight with the old School Board and Johnson Controls over the Red Plan. Then Gentleman Jim got the idea I was opposed to the issue closest to his heart. The attempt by evil liberals to kick industry out of Northeastern Minnesota. This grievance goes back a very long way to when Hubert Humphrey was Minnesota’s United State’s Senator. That’s enough preface. I will only put my reply to today’s email above the jump. Feel free to read Jim’s olive branch email below but beware it doesn’t meet my standards of correspondence. I like Duluth’s Mayor and Country Board member Frank Jewel. Gentleman Jim does not.

Jim, both the gentlemanly and ungentlemanly,

I have never changed my mind on mining. I haven’t studied it deeply enough to know who is blowing smoke at me. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a cross breeze. Copper mining does have a terrible record and fresh water is growing increasingly scarce. I don’t blame anyone who hasn’t studied the science for acting on instinct. I would like to think we set up a system to make rational decisions. Maybe we haven’t.

As my new French pen pal told me copper is the key to all of these new clean energy systems. If we don’t get it somewhere half of 7 billion people will have to count on more coal and oil energy generation. The Chinese are already planning to build 150 such plants in the 3rd world. Heck, I’ve thought nuclear plants were safer in the long run than more greenhouse gasses.If we assume all new coal mines are going to be Chernobyl we aren’t thinking clearly. 

I am pleased if I’m no longer on your shit list. You have never been on mine but you sure came close.

Handsome Harry

And one more thing, if I ever got to be the 8th District Congressman (as unlikely as that is) and was persuaded copper mines were safe I’d be one hell of a lot better advocate for the industry than almost anyone else.I am not intimidated by much of anything in a democracy like ours.

Handsome Harry:  We have finally reached common ground (translated…you agree with me).  Your comments on Stauber not having balls is spot on.  I have been trying to have a conversation with Stauber for almost two years now.  I have called, sent emails and cards, no answer back.  What the fuck is he afraid of?  Inside sources tell me the problem is Marilyn Haglund (the bulldozer, as she is regarded by some), other sources suggest it may be Commissioner Keith Nelson, still others think it’s that used goods peddler Jerry Kortesmaki.  Whoever it is, Stauber should know enough to disregard people with personal agendas or vendettas.  He isn’t smart enough.

Of course, I’m not the only one he blacklists.  The region’s newspapers abound with letters about Stauber ignoring them and their questions.  So there.

Good to see you come around on copper-nickel mining on the Range.  Both PolyMet and Twin Metals are proposed on lands that are legally open to mining.  INCO, AMAX and Kennecott were doing exploratory drilling back in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s and no bitching was occurring back then.  In the late 70’s, when the environmental wackos refused to live up to their word and agreement of the 1965 Freeman Directives, they engaged the services of Minneapolis Congressman Donald Fraser to introduce legislation to ban outboard motors, snowmobiles and limited logging from the BWCA and increase the size of the BWCA.  A lot of lying went on and the Minneapolis RedStar became the mouthpiece and newsletter for the environmental wacko movement.  As part of an “agreement” to increase the acreage of the BWCA, language was included that allowed for mining outside the BWCA.  The environmental wackos “agreed” to that.  But as a clear mind can see, they never lived up to past agreements and they are not living up to the 1978 agreement either.

It’s not the water.  In 1977, as a Director of the Boundary Waters Conservation Alliance, I viewed maps of the area in the U.S. Forest Service offices in Washington D.C. that showed plans by the wacko movement to increase the acreage of the BWCA that would close the Echo Trail, the Fernberg Trail and (surprise, surprise) the very lands on which these copper-nickel are proposed.  So given that the mine developers have every legal right to proceed with mine plans, the wackos had to put their minds together and decide what to do now.  Their decision was to scare the people by saying their water is going to be polluted.  Fully knowing people’s attention spans were short (and even more so since many brains were altered by drug abuse) they embarked upon a one sentence line “copper-nickel mining will pollute your water”.  It put the mine advocates on the defensive.  They have to explain their process using scientific terms using multiple postulates to defend the safety of the mineral processing.  That takes time, and a clear head, to assimilate the data.  Most of today’s public don’t want to take the time to learn (eg. Duluth’s Downstream Business Coalition, Duluth Mayor Emily “Old Maid” Larson, Frankie “Leavenworth” Jewell and Duluth Grill’s Tom Hanson) and they can’t comprehend the data due to years of drug abuse.

So it’s not the water.  The wackos want the land and the only way they can get it as part of their Master Plan is to prevent mining.  Period!

You can print this on your blog and in the Reader.  I stand behind my words.

Gentleman Jim

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