WHAT ARE SPECIAL INTERESTS?


By C Howard Diaz

Every politician, news commentator, and special interest group has used the term “Special Interests” for many years now. Today’s use of the word implies that a person or group of special interest causes, are being pandered to by the person being accused of pandering.

If we took a moment to really try and define “Special Interests” it might do us some good, so I decided to see if I could give an honest definition of just what is a “special interest.”

I would like to define “Special Interest” as how I think it relates to America. I suggest that to say something is a “special interest” implies that it relates to a select few rather than the whole of the community.

Using that as a basis we would have to all agree that anything: product, mineral, food etc. used or consumed by all or a majority of American’s would not be considered a “special interest.” For an example, food in general cannot be a special interest. We all need food to stay alive.

So if we look at special interests as things not generally used or needed by most or all Americans we can come up with a list of what the “best interest” items are for Americans

Staying with food, consider that between 1940 and 1980 America’s output of the 17 most important food, feed and fiber crops increased from 252 million metric tons to 610 million metric tons. The increase was accomplished with only a 3% increase in cultivated area.

New farming techniques and pesticides account for most of that increase. Without pesticides we would go back to an era where we would not be able to support America’s food requirements. Fighting for the technologies used to increase our food production would not qualify as a special interest cause, but instead a best interest for Americans.

There are small organizations that are fighting for the elimination of pesticides. This qualifies them as a special interest group because they want to stop using technology for what has already been determined as for the good of America. (As a side note they use false science as their basis.)

Another example: Almost all Americans use oil, therefore, keeping us supplied with our oil needs can’t be considered a special interest. But people who not only use oil but also complain about the use, attack oil companies daily. They say we are pandering to oil companies when we want to drill for oil in places like northern Alaska. To further their special interest, they have redefined common definitions:

They call jungles, rainforests.
They call swamps, wetlands.
They call deserts, wildlife sanctuaries.

They call the Alaskan tundra, a wildlife refuge

One of the most barren parts of Alaska in a location, so small, the Caribou have a hard time finding it, The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This is located on a shoreline on the northern most point in Alaska. These anti-oil drilling people are in the minority around the world let alone in America. Therefore, this qualifies them as an anti-oil special interest group.

Are you getting the idea yet?

How about another example? With this one let’s do a little test.

Would you call the logging industry a special interest or an industry that needs to be managed for the good of all?

Here’s the test. How many products a day do you use that are made of wood? Here’s a list of items that come from trees so you can check yourself out. Scroll all the way and learn something.

Acetic acid acetone
Activated carbon
Adding machine rolls
Adhesives
Adhesives in plaster
Agricultural chemicals for lemon orchards
Aircraft propellers
Alcohol
Ammunition
Anionic and cationic collectors for ores
Anti-foaming agents
Apartment houses
Apple storage warehouses
Arrows
Art pads
Art pens
Artificial snow
Artificial vanilla flavoring
Asbestos replacement
Asphalt
Atlases and maps
Auto body undercoating
Automobile instrument panels
Award certificates
Axe handles
Baking cups
Bark dust
Barns and sheds
Baseboards and moldings
Basketball courts
Bats
Bean poles
Beds
Bedspreads
Beer cartons and labels
Bibles
Billboard posters
Billiard tables and pool cues

Bird houses
Black boards
Boat caulking
Boats
Book paper
Bookends
Boot jacks
Bowling alley lanes
Bowling pins
Bread wrapping
Bridges
Broom handles
Buckets
Buttons
Cable reels
Calendars
Camera cases
Can labels
Candlesticks
Candy boxes
Canes
Canoes
Carpenter vises
Caskets
Casters
Cattle feed
Ceiling tile
Ceiling timbers
Cellophane
Cement dispersant
Ceramics
Chairs
Chocolate cups
Christmas trees
Church pews
Cider
Cider presses
Cistern covers
Cleaning compounds algaecides
Clipboards
Clocks
Clothes racks
Coasters
Comic books
Concrete forming
Confetti
Cooking utensil handles
Corks
Corn cribs
Corrosion inhibitors
Corrugated cartons
Cosmetics
Cranberry scoops
Creosote
Cribs
Croquet ball s and mallets
Cruise ship decks
Crutches
Curtain rods
Cutting boards
Darning eggs
Decorative paneling
Decoys snowshoes
Desk pads
Desks
Diapers
Diplomas
Display cases
Displays
Disposable medical clothing
Diving boards
Docks
Doll houses
Doors
Draperies
Drums
Dust palliatives for roads and ores
Easels
Egg cartons
Elevator cabs
Enamel and wood stain
Environmental impact statements
Epoxy resins
Facial and bath tissues
Feed tins
Fence posts and fencing
Fertilizer
Fiber tubes
Fine printing papers
Fire ladders
Fireplaces
Fish feed
Fishing floats and tackle
Flagpoles
Flashlight cases
Flooring
Flypaper
Foam rubber
Football helmets
Foundry cores
Freight cars
Frozen food packages
Fruit and vegetable crates
Fruits and nuts
Fuel
Fungicides
Game pieces and cartons
Gangplanks
Garden and marking stakes
Garden furniture
Garment bags
Gavels
Gift boxes
Glasses frames
Goal posts
Gold tees
Golf club heads
Green houses
Grocery sacks
Guitars
Gum
Gummed tape
Gun racks
Gunstocks
Hair spray
Hammers
Hand cleaners
Hand rails
Hardboard
Hardboard tempering oil
Highway surfaces
Hockey sticks
Horse jumps
Humidors
Hurdles
Incense
Industrial cooling towers
Industrial patterns
Industrial toweling
Insecticides
Insoles and heels for shoes
Javelins
Jewelry
Kegs
Kennels
Kitchen cabinets
Kites
Knife handles
Lacquer
Lacrosse rackets
Laxatives
Leather tanning
Lighting fixtures
Linoleum
Liquid nail polish
Liquid soap
Loading platforms
Lobster pots and floats
Log houses
Lubricants
Luggage
Lumber
Magazines
Map tubes
Maple syrup
Marine instrument panels
Masking tape
Masts
Medical stretchers
Medicated hog feed
Medicine
Metronomes
Milk containers
Mirror backs
Missile and radar domes
Models
Mousetraps
Movies
Name tags
Napkins
Newspaper
Nitrating pulp for artillery
Novelties
Oars and paddles
Observation towers
Oil and gas well fracturing
Oil well drilling compounds
Oilier water treatment
Organs
Oxygen
Paint
Paint remover
Pallets
Panel board
Paper plate and cups
Paper size
Paper towels
Paperboard houses
Parallel bars
Park benches
Parking tickets
Particle board
Pencils
Penetrating oil
Phenol resins
Photographic film
Photographic slides
Pianos

Picture frames
Piling
Pine oil disinfectant
Ping pong balls
Pipe racks
Pipes
Planters
Plywood
Polo mallets
Pontoons
Popsicle sticks
Poultry feed
Poultry houses
Power poles
Price tags
Printing ink
Pulpits and podiums
Putting and caulking compounds
Puzzles
Race track fencing
Radio and television panels for electrical circuits
Rafts
Railroad crossing gates
Railroad ties
Rakes swings barrels charcoal
Rayon
Record covers
Reservoir and reservoir covers
Restaurant doilies
Riot sticks
Rolling pins
Roof gutters
Roofing compound
Roofs piano keys
Rubber addition agents
Rubber tires
Rulers
Safety and wooden matches

Sail boats
Salad sets
Salt and pepper cellars
Sand boxes
Sausage casings
Sawhorses
School desks
Schools
Seeding pots
Seesaws
Sewing machine tables
Shade
Shelf paper
Shipyard timbers
Shoe trees
Shovel handles
Shuttles and pickers sticks for weaving
Signs
Skis
Sleds
Sleighs
Snow fences
Soil additives
Space craft reentry shields
Stables
Stadium seats
Stage sets
Stairways
Stationery
Statuary
Steering wheels
Stereo cabinets and speakers
Stirrups
Surveyor stakes
Tables
Taffy sticks
Tambourines
Tar remover
Tax forms
Telephone books
Telephone casings
Telephone stands
Tennis rackets
Tent poles
Text books
Tires
Tobacco barns
Toboggans
Toilet seats
Toothpicks
Toothpicks
Totem poles
Toys
Trailers and mobile homes
Trellises
Tripods
Truck bodies
Trunks
Turpentine
TV trays
Typewriter stands
Umbrella handles
Vacation cottages
Vacuum bags
Varnish
Venetian blinds
Vinegar
Violins
Wagons and wagon tongues
Washing machine impellers
Waste receptacles
Water proofing
Water treatment
Wax for carbon paper and polishes
Windbreaks
Windmills
Window frames and shutters
Wine racks
Wood house foundations
Work benches
World globes
Yachts
Yardsticks
Yeast

So open your ears. When you hear propaganda about “Special Interest” persuading the government or lobbying for a cause – don’t be too quick to think that it is a minority issue. Take time to find out who is making the claim and what they really hope to accomplish. One way or another, they’re usually not defending the majority of us.