Three quick things first


CompuServe made a change. If you can no longer get stock quotes . . .

b. Select COMPUSERVE and press Enter for “Service Setup”
c. Press F9, our hidden key
d. With the top line (“Login Script”) highlighted, press F2
e. Carefully change MYMQUO to BAS14
f. Save your work on that screen and then the next . . . and it should work.


RJ Gump: “I am really disappointed that you failed to tell me where to get the ‘No New Texans’ bumper sticker!”

OK. By popular demand (two others asked as well): — not to be confused with the candidate’s own site,


Add “Erin Brockovich” to your list and, as I think I mentioned once before, “Boiler Room.”

And Now . . .


Anne Speck: “Here’s a point that’s been missed so far in the mining debate. More than half the land in states like Colorado (my home) and Arizona is publicly owned. Public use of these lands should be things that benefit everyone … and mining does. So the question is, do we turn the Department of the Interior into a carnival barker, selling tickets to national land to the highest bidder, or do we keep the entry costs low and try to maintain a sensible mixed-use mentality?

“The problem of selling the rights to the highest bidder is that often, particularly in mining, what is being taken from the land is ultimately for the public good. The U.S.’s largest molybdumum mine (sorry, I don’t have a dictionary handy and your interface doesn’t have a spell check) is in my back yard. The company that dug the mine dug up one mountain and dumped it in the valley on the other side of the highway. There’s now no mountain and no valley, just an expanse of tailings. I almost cried the first time I saw it, but my dad said to me, ‘Without this, we wouldn’t have airplanes. You can’t make planes light enough to fly without using aluminum, and you can’t make aluminum rigid enough without molydumum.’

“I still grieve when I see it, but I do understand why we did it. One mountain, one valley versus most of the air travel in the world. There are trade-offs.

“So, the question I would hand back at you — from a Libertarian to a Democrat — is: Is it better for a nation to rent its public land at a low price so that access is available to everyone and people can benefit from its products at a lower cost; or is it better to rent it at a high cost, reducing access, raising the cost of essential goods, and along the way creating another pool of public money to squabble over?”

We already get royalties from these lands, so raising the price would not create another pool, just a larger one. But as to you larger question, many libertarians and Democrats believe in the benefits of free-market pricing. So you and I both probably would answer that these transactions should be done “at market,” not at fixed 1872 prices.

Jim Whyte, our erudite Canadian geologist, will have more to say about all this shortly. Reason enough, I know, for many of you to live another day.

(Oh — and it’s molybdenum, but your way was just irresistible, so I left it.)


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