- Fall Weather
- MRC THPs
- Bypass Troubles
- Mayberry Hired
- KZYX Photos
- Losak's Raise
- Andrew Fisch
- Police Reports
- Catch of the Day
- FB Water Storage
- Laundromat Dry
- Truth Encounter
- Nuclear Fleecing
- American Warmaking
- Deadbeat Dams
- Who's on Iraq?
LAST NIGHT'S RAIN sweetened the air, tamped down the dust and even brought the Navarro up a bit but, welcome as it was, it's now back to fall heat, late baseball, early football, and more drought.
MRC HAS FILED unprecedentedly large-acreage timber harvest plans for their forests lying between Albion and Comptche. Sue Miller, as below, has objected to one of the most destructive plans:
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To: Leslie A. Markham, Deputy Chief, Forest Practice, Cal Fire, 135 Ridgeway Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA
From: Susan Miller, September 10, 2014
Dear Ms. Markham,
The following are my comments regarding the Railroad Gulch THP No. 1-14-080 MEN submitted by MRC.
The 758 acres of this plan with 76% tree removal is way too large and steep for governmental agencies to be able to monitor, oversee, or evaluate, and will result in deforesting the forest, will displace, damage and kill wildlife, cause soil loss which will end up in the creeks and streams, destabilize the existing slide areas, and effectively destroy the productivity and diversity of the forest land. It will result in the irreversible damage to and removal of resources from the public commons and create undesirable cumulative adverse environmental impacts.
The Albion River, the major water system in the THP area is a State of California Wild and Scenic River, designated in 2003. The adverse cumulative environmental impacts which will result from proceeding with this plan will degrade the anadromous fishery values, wildlife and their habitat. It will impair scenic and recreational qualities, degrade soil, water, and the natural character and free-flowing condition of the river. The plan makes a mistake on Page 41 where it states the Albion River and Railroad Gulch “are not ' “wild and scenic” ' rivers under state or federal law.”
In addition, MRC is self monitoring their own activities. The California Public Resources Code states that the free-flowing condition and natural values of the river are not to be adversely impacted or degraded. It is simply not possible for this massive plan to be carried out without significant adverse and irreversible environmental impacts.
It is a conflict of interest to have MRC operate this massive timber operation (758 acres and 75% tree removal with winter time operations) with its potential to permanently and significantly damage the environment of the river ecosystem while also reporting on themselves if damage occurred or could have been prevented. MRC is not even marking setbacks but leaving setbacks up to the operators' judgment and then evaluating and reporting on their own compliance. This plan cannot be carried out without permanent degradation of the ecosystem so it follows that it will be impossible for the same corporation that created this clearly destructive plan and who claim there will be no significant adverse environmental effects caused by the plan, to self monitor, self evaluate, and report on themselves.
According to MRC's analysis, it will take about 135 years to grow back the mass of trees removed. That is beyond all of our lifetimes. MRC shouldn't be allowed to cause such impacts so far into the future. The plan will have an adverse cumulative impact on climate change with depleted oxygen production and increased carbon dioxide concentration.
MRC should not allowed to do anything and everything they want to with “their land” whenever they want to because it will create cumulative adverse environmental impacts and adversely affect public common environmental resources inside and outside of the plan boundaries. These operations which will cause soil loss, siltation and loss of or adverse effects on endangered, rare, and special concern species including the Northern spotted owl and Coho Salmon, Steelhead Trout, rare and endangered plant species including the Bolander Pine and Pygmy Cypress (only 2000 acres are left in the entire world which contain these 2 species). Pages 36-7 state the endangered cypress and pine will be “avoided to the extent feasible”. Feasible for whom? That should not be allowed because they must be preserved and not impacted, whether MRC self reports it is feasible or not.
Wintertime timber operations only make this situation worse because on top of the adverse effects of dry weather activities, there will be further soil disturbance, soil loss, and road degradation.
MRC's mission statement on Page 2 is in direct opposition to the activities listed in the plan. This plan fails to comply with all 4 of MRC's stated mission objectives. The plan also fails to comply with CEQA because their mitigated negative declaration is insufficient and does not state the truth that there will be no significant adverse environmental effects. As a concerned citizen, I dispute MRC's claim there will be no environmental impacts that they can't mitigate and then to report on themselves whether or not they achieve mitigation. This plan requires an EIR, which would clearly outline the true effects of the planned operation.
This THP is too large in scope and too devastating to the forest ecosystem to simply state there will be no adverse impacts. For example, use of roads in unstable slide areas will result in significant adverse environmental impacts. Adverse effects increase in winter time operations. Many of the 41 reported shallow slide areas are just below existing roads. This problem will be exacerbated with reconstruction, new construction and use of roads, especially in the winter operations. I don't believe MRC's operators will have enough time to be able to properly and adequately prepare all the sites and roads for rain to prevent soil loss based on weather forecasts. In no way should this corporation be able to operate during the winter season.
Thousands of cubic yards of displaced soil will be created and it will be impossible to control. Mendocino County's grading ordinance forbids allowance of any soil loss. On page 43 it states disturbed soil in areas of 100 square ft. or less will not be treated at all, leaving areas the size of bedrooms to lose soil which will end up in the waterways. What are the on the ground conditions and cumulative environmental impacts resulting from the conduct of and self monitoring of MRC's previous THP's in the coastal watersheds?
Anadromous fish bearing streams are within the borders and just outside the borders of the proposed operations and they will surely be impacted from this excessive “harvest”. These fish, including the Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout, both listed as Federal National Marine Fisheries Service threatened species inhabiting Federally recognized Critical Habitat areas within and just outside of the plan boundaries. The impacts will include dewatering of anadromous fish bearing streams, higher stream temperatures due to dewatering and removal of at least 50% of shade canopy, stream bed disturbance from construction and use of stream crossings, and soil entering the streams which will silt over important fishery rearing areas.
What will be the total number of gallons of water drafted from the streams? On page 87 it states there are 15 stream drafting sites. On page 42 it states 15,000 gallons will be drafted per day from just one site. From the map of the water drafting sites, it appears much water will be taken and the watercourses could be and will be dewatered. This huge amount of water drafting using 15 separate water drafting sites all along the Wild and Scenic River system will not protect the fishery and wildlife values. MRC is supposed to self monitor to prevent excessive take of water from watercourses. This is a conflict of interest.
The biological diversity in the plan area is rich. There are many endangered and rare species and species of special concern. Neither Cal Fire nor MRC can deny that the planned operations will have an irreversible adverse impact on these species. MRC states there will be no impacts on the endangered species living near the waterways. This can't be true because of the plans for water drafting and reduction of free-flowing water and dewatering of the streams, operations very near and in streams, construction and use of stream crossings, cutting and removal of trees, large machinery use in and near streams, removal of much of the canopy, and increasing the water temperatures. This plan will take 758 acres of forest away with the 76% tree removal and 50% removal in unmarked stream protection zones and deep slide areas. The plan will remove the forest and animals and leave a dead area baking in the sun with ¾ of the trees gone.
Page 134 states MRC is leaving sufficient vegetation intact to minimize soil loss. How can this be true when only 1 in 4 trees is left? The 3 identified deep slide areas were last mapped in 1999. This needs to be updated to actual conditions in 2014. In this unstable area with steep slopes up to and over 70%, and 3 deep slides and 41 shallow slides, what is today's ground truth? If the slopes are over 65% the hazards are extreme. This is not acknowledged.
This plan is grossly inadequate. There will be excessive water drafting and dewatering of streams, creation of thousands yards of sediment which can land in the waterways, 76% tree removal, disturbance, elimination and displacement of wildlife, sedimentation of watercourses on and off the plan area, and winter operations on these steep slopes subject the area to increasing the existing and creating new landslides. This plan will be devastating to the entire Railroad Gulch and Albion River area and it adversely affects the public good, public commons, and the diversity of natural resources. And, the plan does not protect the natural character of the wild and scenic river. The cumulative environmental impacts will be irreversible and devastating.
Please deny approval of this plan on the basis of irreversible adverse environmental impacts, reduction of natural diversity, cumulative impacts on the environment and misuse of resources contributing to the public commons and public good.
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Here is a list of 5 THP's from MRC that I know of for 2014 near Albion and Comptche and their acreage. As I mentioned, these plans are 3 or 4 times the size of average of plans for other areas:
- 1-14-023 MEN 1417 acres !!! 10 miles W of Ukiah includes Daugherty, Johnson, Horsethief, Gates, Snuffins, and Bottom Creeks, and Little N Fork Navarro River. T15N R14W sec 3,4,5,9, T16N R14W Sec 29-35
- 1-14-077 MEN 979 acres 2 miles E of Navarro includes S Branch N Fork Navarro River. T15N R14W 18,19, T15N R15W 13-16, 22-24
- 1-14-089 MEN 835 acres called Big Gulp. 4.3 miles E of Navarro N. Fork Navarro River. T16N R15W sec 25,26,34,35,36
- 1-14-080 MEN 758 acres called Railroad Gulch 3 miles E of Albion. Lower Albion Watershed, T16N R17W sec 23-26, T16N R14W sec 19, 30
- 1-14-??? MEN 700++ acres will be submitted in 30 days. 2 miles W of Comptche. Middle Albion and South Fork Albion River Watersheds, Tom Bell Creek, N and S forks Albion River. T15N R17W sec 4, 8-11, 14-17, 23,26
CALTRANS' SPOKESMAN PHIL FRISBIE said yesterday that work on the Willits Bypass has been seriously delayed by protests, and that it is unlikely to be open until 2017.
ABC’s affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area, KGO, featured the following six-minute news segment last night:
LAST MONTH’S RUMOR CONFIRMED: Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster announced on coast radio this morning that retired Fort Bragg Police Chief Scott Mayberry will begin work for the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office on Monday. DA Eyster's hiring decision was made public during his visits to radio stations KOZT and KUNK. Hired to work as a peace officer investigator, Mayberry will be dividing his time between inland and coastal Mendocino County, according to District Attorney Chief Investigator Kevin Bailey. Mayberry's primary office, however, will be in the Ten Mile courthouse in Fort Bragg. “In my opinion, Scott's law enforcement experience, as well as his personal and professional connections on the coast, are a perfect addition to my county-wide investigative unit,” said Eyster. “I'm pleased that Scott has chosen to accept my invitation to join our team.” With the addition of Mayberry, there will be six investigators in the DA's Investigation Unit. These investigators work with prosecutors to strengthen cases for evidentiary hearings and jury trials. Not only seeking evidence of guilt, the investigators are also vigilant in looking for evidence that may help exonerate defendants. Mayberry, a native of Fort Bragg, is a career law enforcement officer. He worked in Redding before taking charge of the Fort Bragg Police Department in 2010 and resigning a couple of months ago.
VINTAGE PHOTOS, KZYX 25th BIRTHDAY STORY
ONLY IN MENDO. Doug Losak is acting county counsel. The job pays him $107,390 a year. In closed session Tuesday, Losak became “interim county counsel,” and his pay magically went to $143,291 per year.
IF YOU FAIL to see the difference between Acting County Counsel and Interim County Counsel, take heart you aren't alone. If you fail to understand how and why Losak was also given a huge raise, you are also not alone. In fact, the Sheriff himself has raised an open session fuss about it.
SOME OF YOU may also recall that the Supes, not long ago, declared the County broke, but that precarious financial condition hasn't prevented County CEO Carmel Angelo from passing out big hunks of public money to management-level people. And now this inexplicable gift to Losak, a man who hasn't exactly distinguished himself as the County's legal advisor.
AS AN EXAMPLE of the advice Losak gives the Supervisors, two weeks ago he opined that County department heads did not have to respond to Grand Jury criticism.
THE SUPERVISORS gave Losak his big cash kiss in closed session, an indication that they knew, or at least suspected, it was outrageous. But why did they do it? We won't know.
IN MOST PLACES Losak would be lucky to have a job, let alone one with the kind of money he's making. The last time he was Interim County Counsel he got busted for having an unlicensed concealed weapon and marijuana stuffed under his car seat as he was speeding down the highway and this week, he is probably the only county counsel on searchable probation.
CAREENING AROUND in the dark with dope and a gun is, of course, consistent with the Mendo lifestyle as lived by about half the adult population, but it sets him apart as a County official.
THE MIDNIGHT RAMBLER is also quite a lothario, managing a much-remarked romance with Animal Care Director Bliss Fisher at the same time she was being investigated for inappropriate behavior towards her subordinates.
THIS IS THE GUY who's supposed to make sure the Board of Supes is acting within the law, but it seems like every time the board turns to him for advice he gives the wrong answer.
A FEW MONTHS ago when only three supes were airing a land use rezone Losak told them two votes (out of the three present) was enough to take action. Supervisor Pinches doubted it, but Losak confirmed even after Pinches asked. (Losak later reversed himself, but after the vote was taken.) But state law says a majority of the full board is needed to act. And his opinion that department heads don't have to reply to Grand Jury criticism nicely undermines the authority of the GJ, which historically, thanks to the Superior Court's failure to back them up, has defanged the GJ.
LOSAK'S current pay is $107,000 — the Sheriff says he is going to be paid $143,000 — thats a pretty good raise for an after hours wild man.
ANDREW ROBERT FISCH
Andrew Robert Fisch, age 74, passed away peacefully in his Philo home on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. He is survived by his brothers, Ed Fisch of Sebastopol, John Fisch of Nice, and Bill French of Sacramento. Included are his nephews Scott French and David Fisch.
Andy was a master stone mason, meticulous in his work. He loved adventures in nature and they were his passion. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and "the abalone man". Andy was the first to help someone in need. He was an honorable man and a loyal friend and brother.
There will be a memorial to honor Andy Fisch in the springtime. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be sent the date, location, and time of the gathering Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.
UKIAH COPS ON THE STREET
ON FRIDAY, September 19 at about 7:10 PM Ukiah Police responded to Yokayo School, at 790 South Dora Street, for a group of juveniles smoking marijuana. Offices contacted a 12, a 13, and a 14 year old male juvenile, all of whom who had been smoking marijuana. All the subjects possessed marijuana and the 14 year old had over 1 ounce of marijuana and a smoking “bong.” The subjects were arrested for possessing marijuana on school grounds, and the 12 year old juvenile was booked into Juvenile Hall for being under the influence of marijuana in public.
ON SATURDAY, September 20 at about 7:55 PM Ukiah Police responded to the area of the 800 block of Waugh Lane for domestic argument, with a female possibly being hit. Officers located 31 year old Jesus Anthony Herrera on the railroad tracks and tried to contact him. Herrera fled on foot with the officers in foot pursuit, and who caught up to him as he was trying to jump over a gate. Herrera was brought to the ground, but immediately stood up and took a fighting stance with his hands raised. Herrera continued to physically resist and was eventually subdued with a Taser, and taken into custody. Herrera had less than gram of methamphetamine inside his sock, and was arrested for resisting arrest, possessing methamphetamine, and violating parole.
ON SATURDAY, September 20 at about 3:25 PM Ukiah Police responded to the Alex Thomas Plaza, at 300 South State Street.
A report had been received for a sex offender being present in the park with children.
Officers contacted 29 year old Lamar Otis Manuel in the Plaza, and confirmed he was on parole and prohibited from being in the same location as children.
There was a civic event in progress and numerous children present and Manuel was arrested for violating parole.
ON SUNDAY, September 21 at about 3:00 PM Ukiah Police Officers observed a subject acting suspiciously in the 500 block of North State Street.
The subject was pacing back and forth, talking to himself, and throwing his hands into the air.
Officers tried to contact 43 year old Jerome McMurphy, who tried to hide his body behind a dumpster.
Officers found McMurphy had discarded a syringe containing methamphetamine behind the dumpster and that McMurphy was on parole.
McMurphy was arrested for possessing methamphetamine and violating parole.
ON MONDAY, September 22 at about 8:30 AM Ukiah Police responded to the business at 1260 South State Street for a fraudulent use of a credit card. Officers learned the victim, who’d had a credit card stolen, responded to the business after the credit card company contacted the victim about a recent transaction at the location. Officers learned 23 year old Joshua Jordan Keys had used the stolen card, and was still into the location when the victim arrived. Keys had then fled on foot, but was returned to the store by a family member of the victim. Officers determined Keys had obtained the card from another subject just prior to using it at the store, and that the victim’s wallet may be with yet another subject at another location. Officers arrested Keys for possessing stolen property, burglary, conspiracy, fraudulent use of a credit card, and committing a felony while on bail release. Officers issued a Be On the Look Out for the arrest for the subject who’d given the card to Keys. Officers continued investigating the case and located a vehicle parked behind the business in the 1200 block of North State Street, believed to be related.
Officers observed the vehicle contained numerous items and contacted the occupant, 30 year old Lindsey Scott Frisk. A search of the vehicle revealed the victim’s wallet as well as less than one gram of methamphetamine and a methamphetamine smoking pipe. Frisk was arrested for possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, and for possessing stolen property. Officers found the vehicle contained numerous items believed to be stolen, including; a television, prescription medication, jewelry, wallets, binoculars, an iPod, and other various items. Some of the property was identified as having been stolen pursuant to three separate Ukiah Police investigations and was ultimately retuned to its owners. The case remains under investigation.
ON MONDAY, September 22 at about 7:45 PM Ukiah Police department Officers responded to the railroad tracks on E. Gobbi St. regarding a report of a possible sighting of an escapee at large. This escapee was identified as Brett Harlan who had been seen walking southbound along the railroad tracks. Harlan had been given a court ordered pass to visit with his dying mother and was ordered to turn himself back in to the jail by September 16, 2014, at 4:00 PM yet he failed to do so. Upon officers arrival they searched the area for Harlan and found him sitting on the railroad tracks. Harlan was taken into custody without incident. Harlan was transported to the county jail where he was booked back into the jail for escaping custody while on authorized leave.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 25, 2014
DYLAN DONOVAN, Point Arena. Hit & Run.
STEPHEN ENGLAND, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
MIGUEL GARCIA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.
EDWARD HUSIAR, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.
ZACHARIAH HUSIAR, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, resisting arrest, fugitive from justice.
THOMAS KNIGHT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ANTONIO MACIAS, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.
CURTIS NELSON, Willits. Domestic assault, court order violation.
THERON NELSON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation after resisting, court order violation.
ANGELA NIUKKANEN, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
JENNY PETERSON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JASON SIENZE, Kelseyville. Possession of pot for sale.
EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.
MONA STRATTON, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.
JORDAN WASHINGTON, Santa Rosa. Failure to appear.
SUPERVISOR DAN GJERDE posted the following note on his facebook page on Thursday: “We may get rain, but Fort Bragg has never had much capacity to store water. That's why today's news is such great news. Fort Bragg's proposed Summers Lane pond won a space on the State water department's draft list slated for grants. Best part: Gravity-fed water storage is the cheapest form of water, and in this case the State is providing half the construction dollars. Thanks to this grant, the construction cost burden won't be added entirely to local water rates.”
PAUL MEILLEUR OF PHILO: The big California drought finally affected me when the local laundramat ran out of water. So… I am eagerly watching the doppler radar animation of a hopefully incoming storm that may get us all of half an inch of rain, not enough to reopen the laundramat, but a start on the season.
MEN STUMBLE over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
— Winston Churchill
THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY’S GAME PLAN: KILL THE COMPETITION AND FLEECE THE RATEPAYERS
by Michael Mariotte
On Sunday we marched en masse, with a message of the solution to the climate crisis. The nuclear industry is fighting back. Photo by Paule Saviano. What was that we said just two days ago? Now that the climate march is over, the real work begins.... The past two days have demonstrated, in almost shocking fashion, the immutable truth of that statement. The nuclear industry, especially the nation's largest nuclear utility Exelon, is laying down the gauntlet and acknowledging its game plan--which is following just about exactly the scenario a NIRS paper published last week described. At a hearing before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on Tuesday, Exelon finally revealed the bribe it wants the state to approve in order to keep Exelon's unprofitable reactors running: a rate increase that would add $580 million per year to Exelon's coffers. That amounts to a stunning 8% rate increase for northern Illinois ratepayers just to keep five currently unprofitable reactors operating. For southern Illinois ratepayers, whose rates are lower than those upstate, the percentage increase would be even higher.
Here's the rest:
OBAMA AND THE ROAD TO HELL IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The Perils of War From 30,000 Feet
by Col. Douglas MacGregor
The Economist recently published an article with the curious title, “Brains, not bullets: How to fight future wars.” The essay’s theme is intriguing because it implies that with enough brains in the right places it’s possible for the United States to get things right, to immunize America’s use of force against bad policies, the wrong senior military leadership and the impact of special interests on an uninformed American public.
If this were true, it would be a revelation. Unfortunately, in open ended conflicts with weak opponents, against people with no armies, no air forces, no air defenses and no naval forces the mental and moral qualities of senior military leaders which are all important in war are suppressed in favor of compliant and obsequious personalities.
After 9/11, the willingness of senior officers to endorse the fiction that the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan were progressing well, that liberal democracy was sinking deep roots in the Middle East was always far more important than demonstrated character, competence or intelligence for promotion to three or four stars. Put differently, having sex with the wrong person or involvement in legally questionable activities could and will destroy careers, but the readiness to go along with policies and plans that made no military sense was and still is career enhancing. Today’s bench of senior leaders are a product of the last 15 years.
After 9/11, the political appetite inside the Washington beltway for intervention and the massive defense spending it justified went off the rails. The use of American military power against weak opponents in Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan lulled American politicians into a false sense of superiority to the point where the conflict’s strategic outcome no longer mattered to policymakers. Conditioned to respond to clichés, slogans, uniforms and digital images, Americans went along for the ride, at least until the bill, at least three to four trillion dollars and the human cost, at least 45,000 casualties finally hit home.
Fast forward to the present and history is repeating itself. The judgment of America’s national political and military leadership is yielding to rosy expectations of American military success in the Middle East that are not justified. Throngs of retired senior officers and former appointees are on television encouraging Americans to forget that National Military Strategy must comply with the demands of geography, culture, economy and military capability; that the application of military power demands a single directing mind imbued with clarity of purpose.
When there is no clarity of purpose battles can still be won, but wars are far more likely to be lost. Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) and George Bush initiated military action they hoped would be decisive and successful, but they failed to provide realistic answers to the questions of strategic purpose, method and end-state before and during military operations. President Obama and his advisors have embarked on a similar course. They are about to rediscover how hard it is to figure out what is being accomplished from 30,000 feet.
Equally disturbing is the revelation that Obama, like LBJ, will personally approve targets in the former territory of Syria and Iraq for air strikes. General “Tommy” Franks did that in Afghanistan in November 2001 and thousands of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters escaped while he dithered with his legal advisors. Today, the unwillingness of the Arab States and Turkey that border Mesopotamia to commit ground forces to fight the Islamic State makes matters worse. It means that Americans will spend billions of dollars to kill thugs in pickup trucks and bounce rubble for months, even years with doubtful effect. Thanks to Washington’s duplicitous friends in Ankara, Doha and Riyadh that provide money, arms and recruits to the Islamic State’s fighters, the Islamists will are likely to survive and regroup around new fanatics.
C.S. Lewis described the road to hell as a gradual descent, a soft, moderate slope that is hardly noticeable until the destination is reached. Mr. Obama is on his way.
If Americans are to turn Mr. Obama away from the hell that awaits us, Americans must abandon the illusion that precision guided munitions obviate the requirement in war for the lethality that springs from disciplined, physically and psychologically hardened men inside highly trained ground combat units to kill effectively. Americans will have to rise up and collectively drive a stake through the heart of the late Secretary of Defense Les Aspin’s concept for the use of American military power; the task of “punishing evil doers.”
Finally, Americans will have to demand a national military strategy that focuses on protecting Americans, American territory, and core American commercial interests rather than attempts to breathe new life into the comatose body of failed American military interventions that litter the Eastern Hemisphere. As the Cold War alliance structures wither and die because the threats that supported them no longer exist; the importance of clarity in American national military strategy cannot be overstated.
(U.S. Army Colonel (ret) Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran and the author of five books. His most recent, Margin of Victory, will be published next year.)
DID PROP. 30 DONORS KNOW THEIR MONEY WOULD SUPPORT DEADBEAT DAMS?
by Dan Bacher
Only in the allegedly "green" state of California would a Governor use a legal loophole to divert millions of dollars from a campaign to raise taxes for public education over to an entirely different campaign to pass a pork-laden $7.5 billion water bond to fund huge dams, bike trails in conservancies, and subsidies for corporate agribusiness.
Opponents of Proposition 1, the controversial State Water Bond, on September 20 criticized Governor Jerry Brown and the backers of Prop. 1 for taking over $2.8 million raised to enact a tax increase for public education and diverting it to their campaign to pass "the biggest dam-building program in California history."
Carolee Krieger, No on Prop. 1 leader and California Water Impact Network (CWIN) Executive Director, said, “The governor is using a legal loophole to divert donations for public education to back his deadbeat dams, pork programs and subsidies for huge agribusiness. None of the donors of this $2.8 million left over from Prop. 30 could have had any idea their money would be spent on this water bond."
"This is especially ironic since Prop. 1 takes away General Fund money from public education and pushed a school bond construction measure off the November ballot. Is this the political equivalent of the bully taking another student’s lunch money?” she stated.
Under "Historical Names for This Committee" on the Secretary States Website, five names are listed. The top name is "BROWN; YES ON PROPS 1 AND 2 A BIPARTISAN COALITION OF BUSINESS LABOR REPUBLICANS DEMOCRATS AND GOVERNOR." Below that name is "BROWN; YES ON PROP. 30 - TO PROTECT OUR SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC SAFETY, A BROAD COALITION OF TEACHERS, LABOR, BUSINESS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND GOVERNOR."(http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?)
The reporting period from May 18, 2014 to June 30, 2014 lists "ending cash" as $2,857,587.27. The expenditures for this period were $551.19 and the total expenditures from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014 were $13,855.31.
In addition, the "Yes on Props 1 and 2" campaign has received $909,600 in donations as of September 17, according to Ballotpedia. These contributions includehttp://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1,_Water_Bond_(2014)
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) recently released a 14-Point Analysis and Statement of Opposition to the Proposition 1 Water Bond that is on the November 4, 2014 ballot. The $7.5 billion Bond includes $2.7 billion for new dams and is a "serious threat" to the Delta and Central Valley rivers and fisheries, according to CSPA.
Among numerous reasons the water bond is bad for California is that Proposition 1 undermines: the public trust doctrine by purchasing water the public already owns, at inflated prices, to protect the public’s rivers and environment; the principle of beneficiary pays by subsidizing projects that benefit special interests and the core principle that projects should be responsible for mitigating their adverse impacts.
"Proposition 1 is a poster-child of why California is in a water crisis; it enriches water speculators but accomplishes little in addressing the drought, solving California’s long-term water needs, reducing reliance on the Delta or protecting our rivers and fisheries," said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. "When the pubic focuses a critical eye on Prop. 1, they’ll realize that it’s just another expensive pork-filled gift basket to special interests.” (http://calsport.org/news/cspa-releases-14-point-analysisopposition-to-water-bond/)
"Prop 1 will cost California taxpayers $360 MILLION dollars per year for 40 years on top of our already staggering $777 BILLION dollar state debt," according to the Vote No on Prop 1 campaign. "Prop 1 will crowd out funding for schools, healthcare, and other essential programs and will force Sacramento to dip into the General Fund. It won't solve our state's water needs. Instead, Prop 1 gives BILLIONS to special mega grower interests."
For more information about Prop. 1’s many severe flaws, please visit http://www.noonprop1.org.
WHO’S ON IRAQ?
As we start bombing in Syria and continue bombing in Iraq in trying to sort out the good guys and bad guys I am reminded of the comedy skit by Abbott and Costello, "Who's On First?"
Assad is a bad guy but when his planes bomb ISIL does he become a good guy? The Christians in Mosul are good guys but are the Christian militias that fight with Assad and Hezbollah bad guys? We didn't provide aid to the Syrian Kurds because they apparently cut a deal with Assad about their lands and are part of the PKK — bad guys? But now that they are attacked by ISIL does that now them make good guys? Does any one really believe after months of training we can make the ragtag FSA a fighting force, i.e., good guys? Then we have the Iran-supported Shi'ite militias — a combination of good/bad guys.
But then after trying to figure out who is who I relax knowing that our leader, President Obama, with his bootless campaign, after several years of bombing will sort out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
In peace, Jim Updegraff, Sacramento
ED NOTE: Remember at the time of 9-11, Osama bin Laden told the world that his master plan was a global strategy of rope-a-dope, that America would get sucked into endless wars in the Middle East that would eventually kill us? I'd say Osama's plan is right on schedule.