Archive for category Las Vegas Water Grab

The Perfect Storm

Several events may well cause the perfect storm of chaos and catastrophe. The use of nuclear weapons will occur again. And probably sooner than later. Terrorist use of a single nuclear weapon, placed with know-how, could paralyze a nation. Use of several tactical nuclear weapons (the small stuff) by one state against another would produce Nuclear Winter for at least four years. Use of their big brothers, ICBM’s, would result in Nuclear Winter for decades. See in mind’s eye the simultaneous burning of the world’s major cities and forests, together with nuclear debris, including us, swirling above any who remained, for decades, blotting out the Sun. Think of one volcano and times it by a few thousand. We turn down the heat and turn off the lights and among other things, photosynthesis stops. Huge numbers of life forms die, never to return, vegetable and animal.

And no, this is not the solution for global warming. We will live, I fear, to see both simultaneously, likely in my short life-span. No weapon ever developed was not eventually used; and likewise used by non-state actors, terrorists and other criminals. We are drenched in nuclear weapons, especially tactical, poorly secured. If you want to build your own, there certainly is no nuclear secret and we are submerged in huge amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium. We have long passed the tipping point of inevitability on the use of nuclear weapons; and I believe we are very close to that tipping point regarding global warming.

Add all this to a looming water shortage throughout the West and Southwest, with huge and unreasonable burdens placed upon the Colorado River, our aquifers, and all our river systems. When rivers and lakes and dams become dead pools it’s too late. Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles will sustain themselves only by dehydrating the West, and even then deserts will claim their own. When even one of the above little list of horrors actually happens, we almost surely will be propelled into a double- dip depression.

There we have it. The spread and ultimately the use of nuclear weapons; global warming; a devastating long-term recession morphing into a world-wide depression; and finally a huge life-threatening shortage of water in the West. And if I am right–then we shall surely see two or three, perhaps even all these four horsemen of the apocalypse cutting huge swaths of death and destruction throughout the world. We now face, fellow citizens, such cosmic catastrophes of biblical proportions that human civilizations that we now enjoy may never be known again. Even life itself, world-wide, is at risk. We cannot avoid some of these calamities. But we may still mitigate them, and dodge others, if we act now.

Ed Firmage

Ed Firmage is the Samuel Thurman Professor of Law, emeritus, at the University of Utah, and the author, with Wormuth, of To Chain the Dog of War: the War Power of Congress, published by Illinois Press; and editor of a casebook on International Law. He has published hundreds of articles and chapters on war, weaponry, arms control, disarmament and human rights. With others, he helped defeat the basing of the MX missile in the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah.


Water and the West

Las Vegas, as we speak, is changing the way we will live in the West, forever. (See KUED Desert Wars) While claiming not to do once again to the farming and ranching folk, and indeed all of us, in the Owens Valley early in the last century, Las Vegas liars in every way are patterning their duplicitous disastrous greed for money and water in precisely the same game plan. (NPR Story) As they deny doing this, through the mouths of those claiming to represent us all in Congress (our folks and Nevada’s representatives), the Las Vegas creatures are buying up the ranches and farms of the West Desert in Utah and Nevada for huge profits for a few and a barren wasteland forever for the rest of us. Folks, Mexico, Brigham Young and Native America and everyone since who settles in the West look first for water. Land and food come later and demand the former. It’s water, not oil, that is and will yet be more of the world’s real treasure as we proceed into this century.Cecil Garland

Even if no water changes hands, with the critical mass, as my dear friends Cecil Garland and Annette Garland said, in a letter I delivered to the Governor and the Lt. Governor a few days ago, is disappearing. People in small numbers, and spread out to accommodate farms and ranches, need each other to survive. For calving, fencing, haying, a doctor or two; a school teacher, like Annette, trained at BYU years ago. For trips to a town to buy an occasional thing that local commerce cannot provide. And they watch after each other, love each other, and provide, again, the critical mass to allow civilization to exist in cowboy land and farming life; human beings to share and love life with each other.

If Las Vegas is allowed to continue this planned robbery, it is no exaggeration to say that Las Vegas will extend to Phoenix and to Springville, Utah: one solid mass of people in one vast human…or perhaps inhuman…mass. For a very short time. This land is desert, folks. And low or high plateau desert land was never intended to contain such an inhumane habitation.

This is not the Jeffersonian vision. Nor the vision of Native America. Nor the vision of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, a true Jeffersonian. Again: if no water changes hands; and this lying thieving bunch of power hungry and money hungry people sell other people’s birthrights, then the entire West….the Great Basin Kingdom of Native America, the Mormons, and all the way of the West will change, disastrously, until Mother Nature bites back, which it most surely will.

And if water is indeed pumped from Utah’s West Desert, and Rural Nevada, the West we know is forever gone. It is not possible to return to the wonders of the West after Las Vegas glitter and grime replace the rural west and, for that matter, the urban West as we know it now. The plans are to place hundreds of pumps to steal Utah water, and rural Nevada water, to Las Vegas, whose growth rate, with that of St. George, Utah, to our shame, continue to grow like rabbits humping each other, plus and invasion of all the rabbits from Australia as well, replicating, to put it with more piety, geometrically, which even Mormons and Catholics have never been able to do, arithmetically.

The lessons of MX missile and the violation, once again, by White America against the interests of Native America, in the intent to place MX missiles in the areas Protected by the Treaty of Ruby Valley, now repeats itself. The thieves are patterning their heist of Owens Valley, that is, their success in killing rural food-producing Southern California, by creating the monster of modern limitless Las Angeles, are once again confronting us in another way to destroy ourselves in Las Vegas’ attempt to violate each of the seven deadly sins: greed, avarice, lust, power, money, treacherous treason against the national interest.

Some of us are trying to revive the MX coalition that stopped the creation of a vast area of concrete and water-sucking monster of thousands of hydrogen bomb-laden missiles to be based, of course, amongst the Mormons, the Native Americans, the Mexicans (legitimate former Mexico that we stole in the last century’s Unjust War). Join us, please.

This water matter doesn’t raise the natural interest of everyone, as MX did. The Mormon Church is silent, as usual, as the real moral ethical and spiritual interests go unnoticed. Sons of general authorities, attorneys all, are hired as public relations lobbyists to sell our heritage for their mess of pottage. Let’s get into this one, folks, right now.

Here’s a big dose of reality, for those of us, supposedly, in the liberal tradition of humanity: and that means all of us old Whigs, meaning libertarians, who want our party back, after tilting, in 1812: Harry Reid, one of the real good guys, my buddy, in the fight against MX, along with Sisters Rosemary Lynch and Clarita, Franciscan sisters, is now Majority Leader, not a Congressman as he was then, but a Senator, the Nation’s senior senator. His votes and his money (vastly more important) come from Las Vegas. So, his natural instincts to follow the money, honey, will put him in the enemy’s camp. We in Utah have no such double-bind: conscience v. money and power. They want our water. They can’t have it. Join me and Cecil and Annette Garland, and thousands of others. Let’s stop this stupidity. Those who want to replicate like rabbits, get a hobby. No, I mean another one. Try bird-watching, or stamp collecting. Or just maybe, sit down and read Cadillac Desert, the splendid history of water and the West, by Marc Reisner, circa 1990-92. That’s the bible, for those of us who love and treasure our West.

Edwin Brown Firmage (website, bio)
Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law, Emeritus
University of Utah College of Law Salt Lake City, Utah


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