Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finally, Someone Who Isn't Intimidated by Las Vegas

Press Release from Great Basin Water Network:

Pioche, Nev. -- Last week, the Seventh Judicial District Court in Pioche, Nevada issued a strong, critical reversal of the State Engineer’s ruling on the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s water rights applications in Cave, Dry Lake, and Delamar Valleys in rural eastern Nevada.

In July 2008, the State Engineer issued his decision on SNWA’s applications, filed 19 years earlier in 1989. Because the ruling grossly overestimated the amount of available groundwater in the valleys, and granted the Southern Nevada Water Authority an amount of water that would have resulted in inevitable disastrous consequences for rural Nevada ranchers and the environment, the Ruling was appealed in the summer of 2008 by a group of protestants to SNWA’s applications represented by Simeon Herskovits of Advocates for Community and Environment. Oral argument was heard in a courtroom packed with Lincoln and White Pine County residents in September 2009.

In the Oct. 19, 2009 decision, the Court strongly rebuked the State Engineer, finding that the ruling “results in an oppressive consequence for the basins affected, with the State Engineer simply hoping for the best while committing to undo his decision if the worst occurs despite the exceedlingly long time required to reach equilibrium and the effects which will eventually spread out from the basin of origin and affect the down-gradient basins. Capriciousness by the State Engineer is the reasonable conclusion.”

Simeon Herskovits, attorney for the petitioners in the case said of the ruling, “We applaud the District Court’s reversal of an obviously unsound decision by the State Engineer. There can be no doubt that the long term interest of all Nevadans will be best served by the Judge’s decision to use common sense and reason in applying Nevada’s water law.”

The ruling represents yet another obstacle in the mounting resistance to the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s massive, unprecedented effort to acquire and pump hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water each year from rural Nevada through a 300 mile pipeline to feed its growing population. It also falls on the heels of heated controversy surrounding the negotiation of a potential agreement between Utah and Nevada to divide the waters of neighboring Snake Valley, which straddles the Utah Nevada border. That agreement is a prerequisite to the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s planned pumping of even more water from the Snake Valley, and has met with strong resistance on both sides of the border. The ruling also comes at a time when financing of the pipeline has been put into question given the rising costs associated with such a project and the downturn in Las Vegas’s economy.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority was quick to attack the ruling and the well respected senior judge who issued it. Says Steve Erickson of the Great Basin Water Network, “SNWA is staying true to its proven track record of trying to bully its way to the results it wants, and of concealing and distorting the scientific evidence concerning the basic underlying hydrology of the region and the damning environmental impacts its pipeline project would cause.”

Susan Lynn, of the Great Basin Water Network responded to SNWA’s attack on the Judge by saying, “Such a response is consistent with SNWA management’s inability to engage in self-critical reflection about this astronomically expensive, utterly misguided, and environmentally catastrophic project.”

Although the Southern Nevada Water Authority has stated that it plans to appeal the ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court, the petitioners are confident that the ruling will stand.”

This press release is GREAT news. The SNWA watergrab is no longer a sure thing.

To be continued...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hunting the President 2

Fox “News” wants you to believe that President Obama is like Richard Nixon.

President Nixon had a secret “enemies list.” People on that list were harassed by the IRS, spied upon, etc. But only two people on Nixon's list were reporters. In contrast, the Obama administration doesn't want to deal with Fox News. That's a far cry from an enemies list. Moreover, Fox has earned this.

It's no surprise that Fox News has been carrying on a smear campaign ever since Obama was inaugurated. For example:

Fox News' War on the White House

Fox “News” has declared a propaganda war on our Nation's President. They want him overthrown. What they're doing should be illegal. If I had as many nasty lies told about me as Fox “News” has told us about President Obama, I wouldn't want to deal with them either. This isn't conservative media, this is spiteful GOP propaganda.

President of Media Matters, Eric E. Burns, has written in Huffington Post; “Fox is currently conducting a witch hunt against administration members. After Van Jones (whom I personally greatly admired) resigned, Hannity told a crowd, “We got rid of one, and my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other one.””

Doesn't anybody remember Monica Lewinsky? That fiasco was the culmination of a 10 year campaign to destroy the Clintons. There really was a massive right-wing conspiracy. They tried everything. They made up stories. They abused the press. They humiliated our President over personal matters. And ultimately they came up with nothing significant. But they kept Clinton too busy to accomplish much.

I highly recommend the video The Hunting of the President. It documents quite thoroughly how the Clintons enemies pulled every dirty trick they could think of – and almost succeeded at a coup de gras.

The Hunting of the President

The wing-nut back stabbers almost succeeded at image assassination of President Clinton. That's what it was – an attempt to kill the president, politically.

...And they're at it again.

Only this time, they have total control over a major television “news” source – and significant influence over all the others.

To not do something about Fox's relentless attacks would be a sign of weakness. (With the resignation of Van Jones, the “Fox” already smells blood.)

In case you didn't know, a US court has determined that it is perfectly legal for this quasi “news” channel to lie. They have free rein to say anything they want without fear of regulators. And since competing news agencies have skeletons of their own to hide, don't expect them to reveal the truth about what is happening at Fox.

If America is to survive and prosper, we need to make logical decisions based upon true information. Anything else is self destructive. And by now, it should be quite apparent that this is not happening. Our nation is literally on the verge of collapse because of a number of awful decisions made based upon manipulated information.

This is a matter of utmost national security. But only the citizens of this country have the real power to do anything about it. Most importantly, we need to utilize the free market. Just stop watching Fox “News.” And let their advertisers know why. If Fox goes broke, the other news channels will quickly tow the line.

Those who pay the propaganda pundits don't care about the truth. They care only about power. Apparently, they see using a multitude of lies to manipulate the masses – as “managing the human herd” – with emotionally charged false information. Neither President Obama, nor the American people should put up with this blatant manipulation of our minds.

Our present actions determine our fate. We need to speak up, now. Or we will again be ignored – with consequences we haven't begun to imagine yet.

The wolf is at the door. We need to see this for what it is; a conspiracy to overthrow our government. There are those who want our leaders, and therefore our nation, to fail. They are far more dangerous than any terrorist. And yet, they pose as patriots.

Where the hell is Homeland Security?

Not only is Homeland Security silent, but they appear to be helping the conspirators. We hear of reports that law enforcement squads are extremely lenient towards protesters supported by the powers-that-be, even if they bring guns.

These people are entrenched!

And they like to use Karl Rove (Rovian) tactics; lies, cheats, and character assassination.

Speaking of Karl Rove (you know, the guy who had to leave the Bush Administration in disgrace). Karl Rove now has a job as a writer for the Wall Street Journal! The Wall Street Journal! That's right, Rupert Murdoch (Australian rag magnate, who now owns majority interest in the Wall Street Journal), is turning the Wall Street Journal into another Fox “News.”

But it's much bigger than this.

  1. Other elected representatives have also had to endure these politically motivated attacks.

    Example: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have both been the subject of numerous political attacks – veiled as news. Even small local elections can be manipulated by local news affiliates. Consequently, the Rovians have a terrifyingly invasive amount of influence.

  2. We have been manipulated into accepting exceptionally poor political decisions. Example: Documents show the Pentagon has used psyops (psychological operations) against the American people to manipulate us into supporting the invasion and occupation of Iraq. “The New York Times David Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting about how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from the policies they defended.”

  3. A number of Rovian groups exist to extend the profits of numerous entrenched industry “leaders.”

    Examples: A leaked memo shows that the coal industry was coordinating a propaganda blitz attacking global warming science. And industry backed anti-health care reform groups spent the Summer disrupting health care town hall meetings.

  4. This has been going on for a long time.

Wires That Control the Public Mind

There are unscrupulous people who intend to invisibly run our government by manipulating the gullible.

If we allow them to, they will eventually overthrow America.

Yet, to a large extent, they already have.

They might achieve a coup de gras with Senator Harry Reid.

And since they have still been able to stonewall the House and Senate, they have effectively made it impossible for President Obama to enact any real change.

But they didn't overthrow President Clinton.

They can be stopped.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Liberal Libertarianism

In my last entry, I attacked free-market economics. In this entry I will recommend we need more of it. But I am not contradicting myself – because free-markets are not utilized evenly.

If you are poor, you likely live primarily in a free market. However, if you are of the privileged class, free markets are for the other guys.

Consider this:

Although the poor outnumber the rich by a huge margin in this country, you've never heard the population of the poor referred to as “too big to fail.”

And, of course, though the big banks got themselves into trouble gambling with sketchy loans; the American government has decided that the rest of us shall be the equivalent of these problem gamblers' enablers.

...But don't take my word for it. Both filmmaker Michael Moore and Congressman Ron Paul have spoken out on this.

Michael Moore has been called a Socialist. Ron Paul has been a Libertarian. They may not agree on anything else, but they both agree that the American people have been robbed by the big banks... And they both agree that essentially nothing has been done about it – by our Government.

At this rate, it seems inevitable that things will have to get worse before they get better.

I highly recommend both Michael Moore's movie; CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, and Congressman Ron Paul's book; END THE FED.

Michael Moore and Ron Paul both have it right – at either end of the spectrum.

A government's function (in its economy) should be to help the under-privileged out of poverty and the over-privileged out of complacency.

And our government is failing at both.

How bad will things have to get before we face these truths?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Nobel For That Ivory Tower Economist

With all this mass media opinion and “reporting” about President Obama not deserving the Nobel prize, allow me to mention someone else who didn't deserve the Nobel prize.

Milton Friedman didn't deserve the Nobel prize in Economics.

That's right, free-market economics is a farce in the real world. Since the 1970's, not one country on the planet who has embraced free-market economics has seen greater prosperity for a majority of their citizens. (Of course, some of the people in these free-market economies are extraordinarily rich – at the expense of the rest of the country's people and environment – which is why some influential people still support his assumptions... They're getting filthy rich!)

Milton Freedman was an ivory tower intellectual with a convincing argument that simply hasn't panned out.

His basic premise is correct – that economic markets have a tendency for being self-correcting. But so what? The real world is just not that simple or predictable.

Here are some of the weaknesses of Free-Market Economics:


  1. A society that focuses on a simple free-market economy tends to neglect its health, education, social justice, sanity, safety, and sustainability – and is less able to report the truth about this neglect.

      Example: Almost 45 thousand Americans a year die in part due to lack of health insurance. Approximately 50 million Americans don't have health insurance. And every American with health insurance is at risk of being denied coverage by their insurer. Yet, in spite of these terrifying statistics, Americans are reluctant to change our health care system – because the information they receive from television is slanted towards insurance companies, drug companies, and the health “care” industry. The reason; just turn on your TV. You can't watch a show without seeing an expensive ad about some “treatment” for what ails us. In a simple free-market system, profits are more important than everything else – including the truth.

  2. Irresponsible behavior in a real world “free” market system is often rewarded.

      Example: The big insurance companies have manipulated our government and our mass media to the disadvantage of everyone else. They have raised their rates and lowered their payouts. They have lowered their taxes and changed laws to make it very difficult to sue them, no matter what they do. Consequently, they've made obscene profits. And consequently, investors want to invest in their companies.

  3. Free markets only respond to change. Simple free markets just cannot anticipate change well enough to make a real difference.

      Example: We have known since the 1970's that the world is running out of oil. Yet, here we are, over 30 years later, facing peak oil; and totally unprepared. Many of us live in homes in the suburbs, miles away from where we work. And for the better part of that 30 years, we have been buying bigger gas hogs to make the commute. We ship in all our goods, including food, from thousands of miles away. And we have no backup plan.

  4. In the race to get rich in a free-market system, millions of people are bound to make poor decisions with horrendous consequences.

      Example: Scientists have known about Global Warming for decades now. (I first heard about the Greenhouse Effect in the mid-1970's – when the science had already been well established.) Scientists now predict that the Arctic Ocean will be melted during the summer within 10 to 20 years! And yet, corporate profits are still more important than the fate of the Earth's climate. Somehow, the free-market pundits have been able to convince many of us that the economy is more important than the environment. Of course, this is obvious nonsense, because any economy is only a subset of the Earth's environment. And if the balance of the environment topples, the economy (and therefore we) will eventually suffer immensely.Link

  5. The self-corrections of economic free-markets can be very painful.

      Example: When the price of oil goes through the roof and coastal cities flood, the economic markets will self-correct – by collapsing. Millions of people will be left homeless and starving. Had we anticipated these risks and done a better job of preparing for them, we could have designed a far more resilient economy.

  6. There can never be a truly free market.

      Example: Markets are being manipulated by the greedy – whether we like it or not. The fossil fuel industry suppresses sustainable power generation. The drug industry suppresses alternative health options. Lobbyists manipulate regulators. Astro-turf organizations manipulate gullible people to manipulate the tax structure. The military/industrial complex manipulates government spending. Insiders manipulate the stock market. Bankers manipulate the money supply. And of course, advertisers manipulate consumers.

Our only option is to minimize the detrimental manipulations and design into our economy intelligence, fairness, resiliency, and the ability to adapt.

Allow me to make one thing very clear. Capitalism is not inherently evil. We need some limited amount of free market economic thinking. However, history has shown us that given the freedom to choose; we all choose to act irresponsibly sometimes. And some of us choose to act criminally. If we don't set boundaries and responsible rewards; some people will simply take advantage of everyone and every thing they can.

Humanity has already lost 30 critical years to an oversimplification of how our economy operates within our planet's environment – an oversimplification that was validated by a Nobel prize in economics.

Milton Friedman was wrong.

But Milton Friedman is dead.

Milton Friedman can't send his Nobel back and say he's sorry. And his followers are getting too rich pillaging.

It's up to us to figure out a better way.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Nobel Prize for what He Didn't Do

Congratulations President Barack Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize!

However, I checked out some of the titles of mainstream American news reports:

Washington Post – Obama's Prize: Misunderstanding or Mockery?

Associated Press – GOP, even some liberals, dismiss Obama peace prize

Wall Street Journal – Nobel Committee's Decision Courts Controversy

Bloomberg – Obama's “Premature Canonization” by Nobel Panel Draws Criticism

Fox News – Obama Doesn't Deserve the Peace Prize

Geez... I tell you...

He doesn't get any respect.

Why is the American press so unhappy with Obama's success?

The truth is; President Obama hasn't really done much yet. We're still in Iraq. There are more troops in Afghanistan now. And we still could end up at war with Iran.

But then again; if you listen closely to what the Nobel presenter said, Obama has done something altogether extraordinary – nothing (a fascist government would do).

As I have mentioned in a previous blog entry; the United States was slipping into fascism during the Bush years. President Barack Obama put a stop to that.

Yes, the verdict is still out.

Yes, we still have a long way to go.

But for a while, America was well on the way to fascism. And now we are not.

Amazingly, some Americans have associated Obama with Hitler. But the rest of the world knows better. President Obama has, at least for a while, kept a new Hitler from rising in America.

Thank you, President Barack Obama!

...And why are so many American news reports so negative? Follow the money... It is very likely that some of those who own the mass media stood to profit immensely from America's demise as a Democratic Republic.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Americans admire honesty, responsibility, and bravery.

We're desperate for heroes.

So, why are these qualities so rare in Washington?

We know the answer.

Because heroes don't often last long.

So; it's exhilarating when we do see someone in Washington taking a stand (which everyone should be taking).

These are the type of elected representatives we want. The American people want officials who have the will to stand up and speak the truth. We're tired of lies. We're tired of the ruthless getting richer. We're tired of our future being destroyed.

Americans overwhelmingly voted for President Obama hoping that he could be our hero. As we have now seen, he's only going to stick his neck out so far without millions of us to back him up (or push him). Even as the President of the United States, there's only so much Obama can do. We need the Senate and House to stand up for us too. And it isn't happening.

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Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Capitalism should not mean legislation to the highest bidder.

Americans are sick and tired of practically evil sell-out Republicans and wimpy sell-out Democrats. If this keeps up, 2010 will be the year of the Third Party.

Our system is not working right:

We need heros – now!

And a few people have stepped up – sometimes under unusual circumstances.

It is disgusting that for years now, the likes of Karl Rove have gone after an organization like ACORN – with the obvious intent of keeping poor people from voting – and they've been getting away with it. Karl Rove seems to even have gotten away with the mass firing of US Attorneys – for not prosecuting ACORN.

In this travesty, there is a ray of real hope. The “ACORN Standard” for policing federal expenditures just might get used on some real criminals – unscrupulous federal contractors.

Senator Bernie Sanders recently said; "The sad truth of the matter is that virtually every major defense contractor in this country has, for a period of many years, been engaged in systemic, illegal, and fraudulent behavior, while receiving hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money."

Thank you Senator Sanders. We just might see some improved standards for Government contractors – if we step up and support what few heroes we do have in Washington.

The brutal reality in America's government is that a candidate can't get elected these days without piles of dollars to support their campaign.

Our politicians have just adapted to their environment...

It's time to change their environment.

All we have to do is NOT vote for the candidates with the big contributions from the usual suspects. In a very short time, we'll see a different group, with a far better agenda.