On Mining, Corruption, and Fighting CIty Hall

 (Image courtesy the New 49'ers.)

The subject of my previous post got me to thinking...a dangerous undertaking to be sure, but sometimes I need to fire up at least three of those four brain cylinders of mine so I can cogitate a bit. I try to remain positive in all my outlooks about people and this life we're journeying through, but when it comes to the state of small-scale gold mining in this country (the United States) I inevitably end up with a furrowed brow and a frown. Sorry, just can't help it.

Tribal Mentality

I could easily embark here on a ceaseless tirade or rant against the powers-at-be, including corrupt, self-serving politicians (is there any other type worldwide?); the zombie-like followers of the New Green Cult (global warming anyone?); or the various and sundry bureaucrats (rear-area pogues is what we called them in Vietnam) whose sole purpose in life is to cause us greater frustration and consternation in all respects. But hey, who am I to judge?

 (Gotta love those Green peace zombies!)

It's always easy to focus on the problem (or the problem children) but it never seems quite as easy to focus on the solution. We don't need more problems in this life or in the small-scale gold prospecting and mining community so perhaps a few solutions are in order. I'm open to hearing a few and might even be able to offer a couple. But like it or not we live under the auspices of a tribal mentality where those who step out of line or who question the status quo are, at the very least, suspect and the very worst are considered dangerous. Me dangerous? Nah...that is unless you start trifling with my freedoms and my liberties and my gold ground. Then I may go combat on your miserable ass if you push me far enough. Just throwing that out there because I typically don't make threats (well, idle threats anyway).

I've always been told you can't fight city hall (whoever City Hall is). I'd hazard a guess that most of the time this is true but there have been a few exceptions...from a historical perspective that is. Hmmm...let me see. How about Marie Antoinette getting her head "liberated" from her neck via the guillotine, or George Washington accepting General Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown, or even Russian peasants seizing control of their country from the Tsar (only to deliver it into the hands of murderous psychos like Lenin and Stalin). Revolution anyone? No, I thought not. You see, most Americans these days are too busy buying $150.00 sneakers for the kids, listening to the latest foul-mouthed ghetto gangster tune, or wondering what their favorite celeb is going to wear to the next awards show. Oh, and let's not forget those who are anxiously waiting to see if Honey Boo-Boo will return for another exciting and uplifting season. Revolution? Real change you say? Does that mean I actually have to lift my fat ass from the couch and do something constructive? Uh...lemme think on that one and while I'm at it, will ya grab me another beer and chicken wing? There's a new reality show on car repos about to start."

Good Gold South of the Border

No, I'm not being entirely fair here. When it comes to small-scale gold mining or the way things work (i.e., how the "fix" is in) what can any of us do? Good question and I don't have any solid answers for you. One idea that's been flip-flopping around in my feeble brain these days is heading south to do a bit of prospecting and mining. Yep, back down to sunny Old Mexico. Granted, there's always the chance my head will end up on a fence post as a drug cartel warning to other gringos, but there's still some very good gold ground south of the border that hasn't been beaten to death by every Tom, Dick, or Jose who came down the pike. Moreover, the corruption in Mexico is overt, not brushed under the rug or sanitized like it is here in the United States. Crooked politicos south of the border take pride in openly having their hands out, palms up while here in the good ol' U.S. these very same crooks strut around and preach to us that their shit doesn't stink but instead smells like pink rosebuds. Yeah, right. So all I'll need to do is do exactly what I used to do while sojourning in Mexico...slip some folding green into some petty bureaucrat's or corrupt cop's hand and off I go!

 ("Just pass those pesos this way and you're free to go.")

I know of a place not very far south into Mexico where there's the potential for VERY GOOD GOLD. An acquaintance of mine who's looking to retire and do a bit of mining south of the border turned me on to it and I've been researching it ever since. My analysis? It looks good, especially for someone who knows their shit and has the right kind of gear, including a state-of-the-art gold detector and a reliable, motorized dry washer. You see, the local miners are too poor to buy that fancy ass stuff and tend to use whatever jury rigged contrivances they can come up with. They work like dogs but they get the gold. And much of that gold is coarse and in the form of decent-sized nuggets as well. That whets my miner's appetite for sure. After all, I'm no stranger to mining and prospecting in Mexico, although my previous experiences there occurred some time ago and in Baja California, not Old Mexico proper. Even better, I have a Hispanic surname and can speak the lingo pretty damn good! What's the worst thing about the spot I'm alluding to? It's full of caliche. But there's good gold on top of and mixed in with that caliche. That eases the pain a bit, don't ya think?

Have an Answer?

It's OK. I realize that I'm rambling around in this post like an incoming patient at the state hospital, But I have to admit that sometimes I get so fed up with the ever-rising waters of BS concerning small-scale mining in the U.S. (not to mention other issues) that I want to tear out what little hair I have left and toss it to the four winds. You know, mining helped make this country great and at one time this was a great country but now that very same country has turned its back on mining in many respects and has become indolent, smug, and self-satisfied.Those are risky character traits to assume in a world that appears increasingly filled with bad intent...especially toward us.

What's the answer? I don't really know. But I'm open to suggestions...

(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2015

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. Muskrat has left a new comment on your post "On Mining, Corruption, and Fighting CIty Hall":

    JR, I think the trouble comes from the type of people outdoors men are. There of course are exceptions, but as a whole, we tend to be quite, easy going and somewhat loners. We enjoy what the outdoors has to offer us and we don't need or want anybody's approval. We do our own thing and let the other guy do theirs. We are the exact opposite of the Green Cult types. If we don't like what they are doing, we cuss 'em and go on about our business. If they don't like what we are doing, they go out of their way to stop us no matter what. And they don't stop until they get it done. We are not joiners and compared to them, we are not organized. We don't have big groups to fight back against them. Maybe in some ways it's our fault this has gotten so out of hand. We went about our way minding our own business when we should have squashed this BS long ago. Sadly, I don't think we can stop it now. I hope I'm wrong!
    Mexico doesn't seem to have this problem yet, might be paradise in more ways than one!

  2. I'll avoid Mexico for now. I am still rather fond of my head despite the lack of clarity between my ears some days. For now I'll fight on turf I know. But I hear ya all the same.


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