The Velvet Glove

Soft Tyranny: What is the purpose of government in America? To protect rights and freedoms? That’s how the nation started. But now government is seen as more of a cross between a nanny and an operations manager.

Not every American adheres to that notion. Enough governments are moving in that direction, however, to make us freedom-lovers more than a little nervous. Consider a trio of recent events moving us from a nation of liberty to a society that is over-governed and over-monitored.

Late last month, the Seattle City Council voted to make it a crime for residents to put too many food scraps into their regular garbage. The law says that regular trash bins can’t be filled with more than 10% of compostable waste, including food and paper products.

On first offense, citizens are punished with a $1 fine. Serial offenders could be fined $50. The whole thing gives new meaning to the dinner-table question: “Are you going to finish that?”

So do they have to eat the extra calories they would have thrown away (thus increase obesity, which the liberal will also get you for) or do you have save it for the poor or leftovers??

Well, don’t save them too long, then you’ll have to throw them out and Mama will be unhappy if it’s “too much”.

Seattle.gov:

In a recent study, Seattle households estimated that about 1/3 of all food scraps they throw out could’ve been avoided. This includes foods that went bad before being eaten and leftovers no one wanted to eat.

That rotten apple isn’t the only thing going into your food and yard waste cart, though. You’re also throwing away all the water, energy and other resources used to grow that apple and get it to your plate. That’s a lot of waste!

You horrible peach of ungrateful shit! How dare you! Mama Government is unhappy with you.

Monthly residential food and yard waste cart rates

Effective April 1, 2014.

Service Level (weekly) Curb or Alley
(per month)
Weight Limit Dimensions
13-gallon (mini-can) $5.15 20 pounds 11″W x 12″D x 27″H
32-gallon $7.75 60 pounds 21″W x 23″D x 40″H
96-gallon $9.90 180 pounds 29″W x 34″D x 46″H
extra yard waste (per bundle) $4.90 60 pounds 4′ x 2′ x 2′

Customers changing their food and yard waste cart size more than once in a twelve month period may incur a $23.80 fee charged to their solid waste account.

Apparently, you get to pay for the privilege of being condescended to by Mama Government. How sweet…

Reuters reports that the law is “one of the toughest mandatory composting efforts in the country” in a city considered “a leader in urban sustainability and recycling efforts.” Which means that the nonsense started there is likely to spread to other urban areas.

Actually, Seattle is the second American city to pass such a law. San Francisco — of course — was the first.

They are also banning plastic bags in California too. It’s a ‘environmentally friendly’ sanctimonious thing to do and it. But we have to start small. You have throw the frog into cold water first, soften him up, before you go for the full boil of Government.

Under SB270, plastic bags will be phased out of checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target starting next summer, and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law does not apply to bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to shopping bags used at other retailers. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags.

Selective Liberal outrage?

Shoppers leaving a Ralphs supermarket Tuesday in downtown San Diego were divided as they weighed the legislation’s environmental benefits against its costs. San Diego does not ban plastic bags.

“With the amount of waste that we produce, we can try to help out by slightly inconveniencing ourselves,” said Megan Schenfeld, 29, whose arms were full of groceries in plastic bags after leaving reusable bags at home.

Well, she needs to be handcuffed, arrested and fined for her bad behavior don’t you think? 🙂

Robert Troxell, a 69-year-old former newspaper editor, said the fees are more than an inconvenience for retirees living on fixed incomes like him. He shops daily because he has only a small refrigerator in his hotel for low-income seniors.

“It becomes a flat tax on senior citizens,” said Troxell, who lives off social security and other government assistance. “I have not disagreed with Jerry Brown on anything — until this.”(AP)

Environmental jingo-ism or people, which would the liberal choose? 🙂

Several hundred miles south of Puget Sound, drought-weary Californians who are keeping their lawns green or taking too long to wash their cars are being turned in to the authorities by their neighbors.

The Water Police and their little minions of sanctimony, how cute. Can we get some Scarlett Letters made next?

As we noted over the summer, “water officials in Los Angeles will soon offer hangers that residents can ‘slip anonymously around the doorknobs of neighbors whose sprinklers are watering the sidewalk.'” The Golden State has become the land of drought-shaming apps and water cops on the way to becoming the next Great American Dust Bowl.

The drought could have been avoided, as it is entirely man-made. No, we’re not blaming everyday Californians; we blame government policymakers.

We find guilty the “operations managers” at the state and federal levels who have refused to allow water to cost what it would in an open market unobstructed and unsubsidized by government, and who for environmental reasons have cut off water flows to “protect” a 3-inch fish and dumped the water into the ocean.

The Delta Smelt anyone? 🙂

https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/of-fish-and-foul/

https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/you-smelt-it-you-dealt-it/

And then there are the nannies in Washington — or more specifically, the nation’s First Nanny, who wants to dictate what every kid eats for lunch at school.

Michelle Obama is afraid that students across the country are consuming too many calories, too much fat and not enough of the right kinds of foods, so she’s been campaigning to be every student’s mom.

The Nation’s Mom! Think Mrs. C, not Mrs G(overnment). There’s no harm in that, after all, it’s for your own good!! 🙂

Instead of packing food that children will actually eat, she’s stuffing lunchboxes with kid-unfriendly green, leafy vegetables and tasteless wheat bread, making sure they don’t consume more than one packet of ketchup per meal.

It’s for your own good dear!

But the National School Lunch Program is both wasteful and, given Seattle’s and San Francisco’s laws, counterproductive.

But that’s what Liberal sanctimony does best.

As Warner Todd Huston observed last month on Breitbart.com, many of the 31 million children who are fed by the program “are throwing away the vegetables, fruits and snacks forced on them by the new federal nutrition standards.”

Better do it the right way or Mama Government will get you for THAT too… 🙂

Sounds like a practice that would run afoul of Seattle’s ordinance. Maybe the operations managers and government nannies need to work a little closer together so there won’t be any conflicts.

No, that’s not a good idea at all. It would be better for everyone if they all stopped trying to engineer society and let us live our lives without interference. (IBD)

But that’s impossible for a Liberal. They are so vastly superior in vision and purpose and they just want you to be like them and be “enlightened” or else they will have put the hammer to your nuts until you do as you are told.

You are a child, they are the adult- at least their minds- and you must be forcefully taught how to behave properly.

They are you “enlightened” Masters, and the sooner you do as you’re told Mama Government will not be cross with you anymore.

Love you, Kiss kiss…now shut up and do as you’re told!

 Are you my mummy? 🙂

154746 600 trick or treat cartoons

Food For the Sowell :Pricing

Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives.

Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

Because, since they are morally and ethically superior in their own heads what they say and what they believe is so vastly superior…

One of those costs appeared in an announcement of a house for sale in Palo Alto, the community adjacent to Stanford University, an institution that is as politically correct as they come.

The house is for sale at $1,498,000. It is a 1,010 square foot bungalow with two bedrooms, one bath and a garage. Although the announcement does not mention it, this bungalow is located near a commuter railroad line, with trains passing regularly throughout the day.

Lest you think this house must be some kind of designer’s dream, loaded with high-tech stuff, it was built in 1942 and, even if it was larger, no one would mistake it for the Taj Mahal or San Simeon.

This house is not an aberration, and its price is not out of line with other housing prices in Palo Alto. One couple who had lived in their 1,200 square foot home in Palo Alto for 20 years decided to sell it, and posted an asking price just under $1.3 million.

Competition for that house forced the selling price up to $1.7 million.

Another Palo Alto house, this one with 1,292 square feet of space, is on the market for $2,285,000. It was built in 1895.

Even a vacant lot in Palo Alto costs more than a spacious middle-class home costs in most of the rest of the country.

How does this tie in with liberalism?

In this part of California, liberalism reigns supreme and “open space” is virtually a religion. What that lovely phrase means is that there are vast amounts of empty land where the law forbids anybody from building anything.

Anyone who has taken Economics 1 knows that preventing the supply from rising to meet the demand means that prices are going to rise. Housing is no exception.

Yet when my wife wrote in a local Palo Alto newspaper, many years ago, that preventing the building of housing would cause existing housing to become far too expensive for most people to afford it, she was deluged with more outraged letters than I get from readers of a nationally syndicated column.

What she said was treated as blasphemy against the religion of “open space” — and open space is just one of the wonderful things about the world envisioned by liberals that is ruinously expensive in the mundane world where the rest of us live.

But since it their intention that matters to them, and not the results. And you can’t violate the mantra because you are the superior life form and you must prove it everyday.

Of course, you’re not. But try telling that to a tye-died in the wool Liberal!

Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.

Why should they, they are superior, so their beliefs are superior and if thy just work hard enough (and suppress everyone else more) then you’ll believe it to. Or else.

There are people who claim that astronomical housing prices in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco are due to a scarcity of land. But there is enough vacant land (“open space”) on the other side of the 280 Freeway that goes past Palo Alto to build another Palo Alto or two — except for laws and policies that make that impossible.

After all, Central California is suffering from a massive drought, but they won’t divert water to the farmers because of an inedible fish, the delta smelt. It’s “environmentally” more important than farmers and crops.

So they’ll  happily create a dust bowl in order to save their fish. Then turn around and blame global warming for it. Thus, they are not at fault for doing nothing about it.

https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/you-smelt-it-you-dealt-it/

As in San Francisco and other parts of the country where housing prices skyrocketed after building homes was prohibited or severely restricted, this began in Palo Alto in the 1970s.

Housing prices in Palo Alto nearly quadrupled during that decade. This was not due to expensive new houses being built, because not a single new house was built in Palo Alto in the 1970s. The same old houses simply shot up in price.

It was very much the same story in San Francisco, which was a bastion of liberalism then as now. There too, incredibly high prices are charged for small houses, often jammed close together. A local newspaper described a graduate student looking for a place to rent who was “visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another.”

That is part of the unacknowledged cost of “open space,” and just part of the high cost of liberalism.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 

You Smelt it, You Dealt It!

Background -2009: California has a new endangered species on its hands in the San Joaquin Valley—farmers. Thanks to environmental regulations designed to protect the likes of the three-inch long delta smelt, one of America’s premier agricultural regions is suffering in a drought made worse by federal regulations.

I love smelt. Slathered in tartar sauce that is… 🙂

The state’s water emergency is unfolding thanks to the latest mishandling of the Endangered Species Act. Last December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued what is known as a “biological opinion” imposing water reductions on the San Joaquin Valley and environs to safeguard the federally protected hypomesus transpacificus, a.k.a., the delta smelt. As a result, tens of billions of gallons of water from mountains east and north of Sacramento have been channelled away from farmers and into the ocean, leaving hundreds of thousands of acres of arable land fallow or scorched.

For this, Californians can thank the usual environmental suspects, er, lawyers. (And whacko enviromentalists that value a smelt over humans) Last year’s government ruling was the result of a 2006 lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other outfits objecting to increased water pumping in the smelt vicinity. In June, things got even dustier when the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded that local salmon and steelhead also needed to be defended from the valley’s water pumps. Those additional restrictions will begin to effect pumping operations next year.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he “doesn’t have the authority to turn on the pumps” that would supply the delta with water, or “otherwise, they would be on.” He did, however, have the ability to request intervention from the Department of Interior. Under a provision added to the Endangered Species Act in 1978 after the snail darter fiasco, a panel of seven cabinet officials known as a “God Squad” is able to intercede in economic emergencies, such as the one now parching California farmers. Despite a petition with more than 12,000 signers, Mr. Schwarzenegger has refused that remedy.

Perspective: California’s San Joaquin Valley is the salad bowl of the world, providing the majority of fruits and vegetables for the entire nation. But, with another man-made drought looming, the San Joaquin Valley is in danger of becoming a dust bowl unless immediate action is taken to change policies that put the needs of fish above the livelihood of people.  (Natural Resources Committee-US Congress)

http://naturalresources.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=5921

JUMP TO 2014:

A California appeals court sided with environmentalists over growers on Thursday and upheld federal guidelines that limit water diversions to protect Delta smelt, in a battle over how the state will cope with its worst drought in a century.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court should not have overturned recommendations that the state reduce exports of water from north to south California. The plan leaves more water in the Sacramento Delta for the finger-sized fish and have been blamed for exacerbating the effects of drought for humans.

Reaction from both sides was swift in the national political issue. In a blog post, Damien Schiff, an attorney for growers, said the ruling “bodes ill for farmers, farm laborers and millions of other Californians dependent on a reliable water supply.”

Efforts to save the Delta smelt, which lives only in the wetlands stretching north of San Francisco, have been described as a humans versus fish battle.

Kate Poole, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said growers’ hopes of taking more water out of the Delta wouldn’t solve California’s problems.

“It’s the drought, not the Delta, that’s affecting the water supply this year,” Poole said in a statement. “While we can’t make it rain, we can take charge of our water use by investing in smart water practices that protect and preserve our water supply.”

At issue is a 2008 report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which concluded that the fish’s existence was threatened and recommended limited exports of water to farmers and southern California. Farmers and allies sued, and a lower court called the federal biological opinion “arbitrary and capricious.”

However, in the opinion on Thursday, 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee ruled that the lower court should have been more deferential to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bybee, an appointee of President George W. Bush, is considered a consistent conservative voice on the 9th Circuit.

“We recognize the enormous practical implications of this decision,” Bybee wrote. “But the consequences were prescribed when Congress determined that ‘these species of fish, wildlife, and plants are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.'”

The Untouchable fish! The Sacred and Holy Anointed By Government. Thou shalt not touch thy holy fish! Even Human harm is not enough to stop the veneration of The Holy Fish!

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, which represented wildlife regulators, said it was pleased with the ruling.

Paul Weiland, an attorney who represented Kern County Water Agency and a coalition of Central Valley water users in the case, said he hopes the ruling will clear the way for all sides to come together and make progress on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

The plan seeks to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystems and secure California water supplies into the future. A draft of the plan is currently open for public comment.

“While these cases are pending it is difficult for the parties to make concessions,” he said. “To the extent that this hits the reset button, it works to everyone’s advantage in the sense that the parties don’t have to be sticking to their litigation positions anymore.”

We Won! F*ck you! Get over it!  It’s the Law! Sound Familiar…. 🙂

That progress could be delayed if one or more of the parties in the case ask the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case or ask for a Supreme Court review, Weiland said.

Thursday’s ruling could also pave the way for a ruling in a pending case involving the water needs of wild salmon and steelhead trout in the state, which involves many of the same players. A February hearing on that case was postponed until after the Delta smelt decision was handed down.

The Delta smelt case in the 9th Circuit is San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority et al. vs. Sally Jewell et al., 11-15871.

The raucous crowd of farmers, farmworkers and supporters chanted “wa-ter, wa-ter, wa-ter” as participants raised signs saying things such as “Turn on the pumps, chumps!”, “Environmentalists are against migrant workers.” and “U.S. Senate: Don’t leave us high and dry!” (Hanford)

Gee, I wonder if that makes environmentalists racists? 🙂

An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore The Delta, says Delta farmers are on the verge of losing farms, and salmon and other fisheries are suffering too. (PNS)

But don’t blame the smelt because I’m an environmentalist and I only blame humans. Oh, and the Mama Government and Big Brother need to fix this.

Missing the point that the Government isn’t the solution to the problem, Government IS THE PROBLEM! 🙂

“If California had its priorities straight, we’d be building water storage instead of a train that may never come,” <CA Rep. Jeff >Denham said in a reference to high-speed rail that drew huge applause from the packed audience.

But Jeff, the Agenda is The Agenda. And you need a High Speed rail from Nowhere to somewhere more than farmers need water to grow food!

Larry Starrh, a farmer from Kern County, wondered whether Tuesday’s hearing would lead to the same dead end. “Southern California doesn’t believe their water’s at risk,” he said.

So why would they care. 🙂

“We hope to get the attention of the Congress and get some action,” said Fresno farmer Phil Pierre. “There’s got to be some common sense brought to this.” (Hanford)

Good Luck with that. Common Sense and The Left are Holy Water meets Vampire!

see also: https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/of-fish-and-foul/

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

“The Delta will be at zero outflow, which means we will begin to have salt water intrusion into the Delta,” she explains. “We have farmers and marinas that will be experiencing loss of fresh water that they need for their services and water levels.” – See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-20/water/group-asks-feds-wheres-drought-aid-for-delta-farmers/a38276-1#sthash.nxgcM86O.dpuf
An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore The Delta, says Delta farmers are on the verge of losing farms, and salmon and other fisheries are suffering too. – See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-20/water/group-asks-feds-wheres-drought-aid-for-delta-farmers/a38276-1#sthash.nxgcM86O.dpuf

An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore The Delta, says Delta farmers are on the verge of losing farms, and salmon and other fisheries are suffering too. – See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-20/water/group-asks-feds-wheres-drought-aid-for-delta-farmers/a38276-1#sthash.nxgcM86O.dpuf

An environmental group is calling on the federal government to provide drought relief to Delta and northern California farmers and business owners, and not just those on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore The Delta, says Delta farmers are on the verge of losing farms, and salmon and other fisheries are suffering too. – See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-20/water/group-asks-feds-wheres-drought-aid-for-delta-farmers/a38276-1#sthash.nxgcM86O.dpuf

Bribe and Pass

Remember last September when I talked about the Delta Smelt. This inedible fish was being touted as being absolutely essential to the Delta water system in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California.

So much so, that they were creating a dust bowl on the family farms in the area.

The environmentalist were happy.

The government was ignoring the economic impact.

Well, the government turned the water back on recently.

The water spigots are back on, at least temporarily, in California’s Central Valley. Turned off to protect a tiny fish, they happen to be in the districts of two congressmen “undecided” on health care reform.

One could chalk it up to good fortune or just good constituent service. But in the middle of a contentious health care debate marked by Cornhusker Kickbacks and Louisiana Purchases, we may be forgiven if we find an announcement by the Department of the Interior regarding California’s water supply a tad too coincidental.

On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced it was increasing water allocations for the Central Valley of California, a region that depends on these water allocations for local agriculture and jobs. The timing adds to our suspicions.

According to the Interior announcement, “Typically (the Bureau of) Reclamation would release the March allocation update around March 22nd, but moved up the announcement at the urging of Senators (Diane) Feinstein and (Barbara) Boxer, and Congressmen (Jim) Costa and (Dennis) Cardoza.”

Blue Dog Democrats Costa, who represents California’s 20th Congressional District (Fresno), and Cardoza, who represents the 18th (Stockton to Modesto), are both listed as “undecided” in the upcoming vote on health care reform, whether it be on the Senate bill itself or the “deem and pass” resolution known as the Slaughter rule, after Rules Committee Chairman Louise Slaughter.

In affected areas, the jobless rate has hit 14%, with farming towns like Mendota experiencing jobless rates nearing 40%. Agricultural losses could eventually total in the billions. All to protect a minnow, while politicians use the San Joaquin Valley as a bargaining chip in what some might consider a political bribe.

Call it the Water Bribe.

Naturally, the Congressman deny it. But since Environmentalist have been fighting this tooth-and-nail for years the timing is suspicious and nothing in politics is ever coincidence.

And that’s hardly been the end of it.

Since the End Justifies the Means to Democrats there isn’t any moral or ethical line they won’t cross to win.

Bribery is easy enough.

Whatcha wanna bet that the water gets turned off again soon.

There was The Here-Comes-The-Judge Bribe:

The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

His brother was a “wavering” Democrat Congressman.

<<wink wink>>

Alan Mollohan (D-WV) has had a pesky FBI investigation hanging over his head for a few years. Now, presto, right before the health care vote, it went away. The Justice Department, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, announced that the FBI was closing the inquiry.

Poof! it’s gone.

Amazing how that works 😦

Then my favourite of the new round of Bribes: The Bismarck Bail-Out

Scene: Bismarck, North Dakota.

You have inserted into  the Health Care bill a totally unrelated government takeover of the Student Loan process. So private businesses and bank would be shut out of the loan business.

(Can you say guaranteed  right to College Education coming soon…)

Did you know that more than 1/2 of the “deficit” reduction projections in the Health Care bill are related to the Student Loan takeover??

EXCEPT FOR: (wait for it!)

A new element, included in the plan issued on Thursday, would give a specific right to the Bank of North Dakota to issue federally subsidized student loans, meaning that it would be the only lender remaining outside of the Education Department’s direct-lending system.

TA-DA! 😦

Past Senate Health Care Bribes

$250 million over six years in expanded federal Medicaid funding. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.)

$300 million increase in Medicaid funding in Louisiana. Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), Sen. Paul Kirk (D., Mass).

Three years of expanded federal Medicaid funding. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)

Special treatment for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii), Sen. Daniel Akaka (D., Hawaii)

billions in new funding for something called “Disproportionate Share Hospital” (DSH) payments (financed, in large part, by $18.5 billion in cuts to DSH payments in other states). Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.), Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.), Sen. Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.), Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.)

And of course, the Cornhusker Kickback (all Medicare cuts are void but only in Nebraska.

And “gator-aid” 800,000 Floridians get to keep Medicare Advantage while everyone else doesn’t.

The Democrats say the reconciliation bill will kill these last two, but nothing about the others, and since on Reconciliation they only need 51 of the 59 Democrats to vote for it, so what if Florida and Nebraska vote against it now. That’s their political cover.

Just watch.

Once we had a Congress and congressmen who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for our freedom and liberty. Now we are stuck with the likes of these.

Keep Fighting to the last, even if it does seem like the Alamo.

Even after it passes, keep fighting.

There’s Cap and Trade and Amnesty to come.

Remember in November.

After this is done and dusted you are the next Bribery target.

And the largesse  will be flowing by the billions.

And the media spin will tilt the axis of the earth.

So hold on tight it’s going to be a very bumpy ride.

Of Fish and Foul

The Delta smelt.

Ever heard of  it?

Me either.

Until recently that is. Then I did some homework.

And what did I find, radical environmentalists who value fish over people. No great surprise there. Humans are evil after all.

Now, what we have are farmers who can’t farm because they don’t have enough water. They don’t have enough water because protecting this inedible  fish is more important than the farmers who grow crops in the San Joaquin Valley of California and feed not only us, but many around the world.

The inedible (according to science websites) fish is more important than, say Tomatoes.

Jobs.

Families.

Did you know there are food lines in this area because the families can’t farm.

The unemployment rate is the area averages 20% and can go as high as 40%.

In these tough economic times of “Hope and Change” and “saving and creating jobs” here are jobs and hope not worth saving. But an inedible 2-inch long fish is.

However, using the weapon of the Endangered Species Act, environmentalist groups sued, and on December 14, 2007, Judge Oliver Wanger of the United States District Court for the Eastern district of California issued an Interim Remedial Order. The Order remanded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the United States Department of the Interior, to issue an opinion or permit that dramatically reduced the delivery of water from the Delta.

The result has been the diversion of tens of billions of gallons of fresh water away from vital agriculture and population needs and directly into the Pacific Ocean. A precious resource essentially wasted.

The impact on farmers in the area has been devastating with the San Joaquin Valley unemployment rate reaching 14% and leaving thousands of previously productive farming acres scorched and unusable. In addition, water utilities in southern California have already begun raising rates and creating tiered pricing to address the 85% reduction in imported water. To make matters worse, California is already under drought conditions, and in combination with the Delta pumping restrictions, local politicians are calling for Draconian reductions in water use by individuals of 40%. (examiner)

California Fish & Game:

By the end of 1993, the population trend for delta smelt changed from stable to increasing. However, annual changes in the population appear to be affected by the amount of outflow from the Estuary which varies from year to year due to precipitation and water management. In 1994, the population trend as measured by the fall abundance survey indicated that the population was at the lowest point in the 26 years of the survey. In 1995, with the extreme amount of rainfall we have received, there is concern that a large portion of larvae that were spawned may have been flushed out of the Estuary.

In just one year it went from increasing to the lowest level in 26 years.

But it went on the Endangered Species list in 1993, when it was “stable to increasing”.

But the next year it was  crisis!

Hmmm….sounds familiar somehow… 🙂

But 15 years pass.

The environmentalist say  it’s population is an indicator of health in the delta region so they used the Endangered Species Act to divert the water from the farm towards the ocean instead just recently in 2008, 15 years after the Endangered Species Act listed them, Citing endangerment of Chinook salmon as one of the reasons also. (more on this later).

Then, when I saw the special last night on Sean Hannity’s show (yes, that evil right wing extremist!) they had a ‘defender’ of the faith of environmentalism on and all he could do was shout about the harm the farmers were doing to the salmon and how “greedy” farmers were “selling their water to Southern California”. He also a member of a federation of fish farmers too.

What water?  The water they don’t have to farm with to begin with?

Then in doing my homework came across and old bit I editorialized on back in 2007 when I was on message boards. In 2007  Starkist, the famous tuna company, was mysteriously give an exemption from minimum wage laws that swept American Somoa. One of the major investors in the company is Paul Pelosi. Yes, you guessed it, the husband of Sen. Nancy Pelosi, the then just named new Speaker of The House, who was going to “drain the swamp” of corruption. Del Monte Foods, which owns Starkist (sold to them by Heinz – as in Heinz-Kerry) based in San Francisco has tuna plants in American Samoa.

Also, Nancy Pelosi owns wine orchards in North California.

And then when you see the environmentalist all talking about salmon. I know, it’s not tuna, I began to wonder.

Then I started reading about environmentalist who wanted to start solar farms, as in “global warming” friendly solar farms in the Bay area.

“Green Jobs”

Sound Familiar?

And it began to stink, and not of dying smelt.

Delta smelt make a convenient scapegoat, but driving smelt and salmon to extinction by eliminating the ESA won’t solve the Valley’s problems.  What’s needed is a far more comprehensive program of investing in alternative water supplies like groundwater banks and water recycling, continuing to improve agricultural water use efficiency and practices, developing “solar farms” and new green jobs, and helping people get through these tough, dry years. (NRDC blog)

The NRDC, National Resources Defense Council were one of the plaintiffs in the recent court case that shut off the water.

Since Nancy Pelosi is cited as one of the power players who refuses to reverse the ruling I began to wonder about politics, power, and money.

All this talk of Salmon, “green jobs” and “comprehensive reform” just makes my Cynic Radar buzz.

I have not made up my mind yet, but as a very cynical individual I have to wonder what’s really the end game.

Much like the end game for health care is not affordable health care for everyone.

You got to wonder.

From LA Times op ed in 2007:

“A slightly closer look at the delta smelt shows us a third reason to rescue the fish from oblivion — it’s actually pretty impressive. While most fish are hard-wired either for salt or fresh water, the delta smelt tolerates both, a talent that allows it to exploit the brackish zone where the waters meet. Before there were giant aquatic vacuum cleaners in its midst to send water south, it could afford to be a weak swimmer because it mastered the cyclical ebbs and flows of the estuary, exploiting the system’s inhalations and exhalations to get where it needed to go.

Finally, the Torah says that if you save an individual, you save an entire universe. How much truer that is for a whole kind of creature. Nothing else on Earth lives the way the delta smelt does, senses the world the way it does, looks like it, moves like it, fits into an ecosystem the way it does. If we drive it from existence, we will have obliterated an entire world, willingly, in order for a while longer to grow cotton, rice and alfalfa in the desert, to keep our swimming pools topped off and open, to keep the price of water cheap.”

There are many problems with this, the biggest being that the delta smelt is unique, living in both fresh and saltwater areas. Well, that’s not unique, at least according to the US Dept of Energy “ask a A Scientist”:

Approximately 2% of all 21000 species of fish actually move from freshwater to saltwater or from salt to fresh at some point in their lives, the move would kill any other fish.

And there the cheap liberal class warfare “greed” shot about pools. Sound like liberal tactics you’ve seen recently?

The Judge who ruled in 2008 in favor of the environmentalists:

In issuing the injunction, Wanger agreed with the plaintiffs that the reduction of exports to their agricultural operations would result in “irreparable” economic and environmental harm in violation of NEPA.(The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions.)

Plaintiffs have shown that irreparable harm will likely occur in the absence of injunctive relief, including loss of water supplies, damage to permanent crops, including orchards and vineyards, crop loss or reduction in crop productivity, job losses, reductions in public school enrollment, limitations on public services, impaired ability to reduce the toxic effects of salt and other minerals in the soil, groundwater overdraft, increased energy consumption, and land fallowing that causes air quality problems,” said Wanger.

And this is  why he ruled to TURN OFF THE WATER!

Anyone else see the Orwellian doublethink here?

Because this is exactly what did happen BECAUSE he turned off the water to save the inedible, not unique, 2-inch fish.

So, if the ruling to turn off the water to save us from the above, and the above is the result of the ruling then the ruling had the opposite effect.

So, in this era of the “greatest recession since the great depression” why is no one in Washington interested in reversing the ruling?

Hmmm…

The silence from Washington is deafening.

So there has to be a different end game in mind.

“Green jobs”

“Comprehensive reform”

Be Afraid. Be very afraid.

Oh, and enjoy your imported, more expensive foreign produce all in the name of a 2-inch inedible fish.