Recalling Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Things do not seem to be getting any better for the environment since my first trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula in 2003. The night before that trip, snowfall set leaves changing in the Porcupines morphing from a few muted colors to the most beautiful hues of reds and yellow; and as we ventured to Lake of the Clouds for what was to be one of my most memorable trips to Lake Superior, I believed that beauties like these would surely remain protected for as long as there were people to see.  With the upcoming tax bill, I wonder.

In the morning of our trip to Pictured Rocks out of Munising all was clear and calm on Lake Superior. It was not until we were almost half way into our boat tour of the shore that the lake turned from a glassy surface to a churning tub of foamy water as my friend and I continued to take photos of the shore. Sensibly, the rest of the passengers sat below with the captain and his crew.  It may not have been wise, but we were lost in the moment and the beauty.

Tonight, the Senate will vote on a tax bill that will transfer dollars in the trillions from the poorest of us to the richest of us.  It will also open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploitation, endanger the support we have in this country for mothers, children, the working middle class and especially those with children and who are too poor to itemize.

They say that when the rich people and corporations, who will benefit most, get their tax breaks, this will cause them to become the most charitable of sorts.  They say that these corporations will throw caution to the wind and let their money trickle down out of their hands into better paying jobs and more of them, bigger benefits for the poor and more and better opportunities for all in essence.  These poor over-taxed corporations will now have extra money to do good it seems.

Not too surprisingly, most of us won’t be waiting for this to happen. It seems, jaded from past tax breaks that never loosened the grip of these sorts before, we will probably be busy just trying to decide where to spend the few dollars that remain split between food, medical and various frivolous expenditures like transportation and child care, education and, if we are very lucky, a few trips to see such places as our National Parks, that is, before they too, belong to only the richest of us.

Looking into the cold waters of Lake Superior in an approaching gale did not elicit the same fear I have today on the eve of this impending disaster.

May we find wiser men and women to steer our course in the elections ahead.

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