Monday, November 12, 2012

An Open Letter To SNWA's Pat Mulroy:

(This letter is directly addressed to Southern Nevada Water Authority's General Manager Pat Mulroy. Please excuse any confusion in the presentation if you are not Pat Mulroy.)

Retire now Pat. This is your best opportunity - while your still young enough to do those things you've always dreamed about

You're at the top of your game. You just accomplished a deal with Mexico that gives Lake Mead a buffer... (Hey! You've found another better option than the watergrab!) And you've been treated like a guru by the press. But that won't last. Your big projects always have big cost overruns. And now you're slamming headlong into Southern Nevada's biggest water project... ever. The watergrab. We already know this is your downfall. It's going to be cripplingly expensive. It's bound to decimate the high deserts of Central Nevada. And most of the people paying for it won't be the people benefiting from it. The watergrab is bound to explode right in your face.

Las Vegans can't afford it.
Rural Nevada can't afford it.
Life on Earth can't afford it.

But if you try to cancel the project, there will be millions of painful questions about why you spent hundreds of millions of dollars on it. Ironically; canceling a project which you, yourself, once called the; “singularly most stupid idea anyone ever had” is likely political suicide.

You're cornered. No one knew that things would turn out like this back in 1990. No one knew that the population of Las Vegas would level off. No one knew that the cost of offshore desalination would drop so much. No one knew that the Great Basin Water Network's attorney would make your hideously expensive team of attorneys look like amateurs. No one knew that our hydrologist and the Environmental Impact Statement would make such a convincing case that the environment is in so much danger. No one knew that your own hydrologist would turn on you and predict environmental disaster. No one knew that one of your primary partners in the watergrab, Harvey Whitemore, would end up indicted. No one knew how well Las Vegans would understand “predatory lending,” and how quickly they will recognize predatory lending on this project. And no one knew that all this bad news couldn't be suppressed – on the Internet.

Your best option is to let someone else make that fateful watergrab decision.

If you quit while you're ahead, most people will believe that you've done a great job. Sure, there may be some controversy, but there will always be controversy. ...Besides, what will you care? You'll be retired.

You've become an icon of water conservation. But the watergrab is poised to spoil all that. The world is bound to notice the who-cares-what-we-kill audacity of wanting to take what little water there is in the natural deserts to waste on so many artificial lakes, water fountains, swimming pools, golf courses, lawns, and multi-headed showers.

Las Vegans have a critically important life decision to face. You and your watergrab have become an impediment to the city's maturity.

Las Vegas can either continue to sustain unsustainable growth, or learn to live sustainably. There is enough water now. Even if Colorado River flow does drop, and the present population of Las Vegas are required to use less; cutting back on waste would result in a minor inconvenience. Contrast that with the trashing of South/Central Nevada to the point that its only destiny is the dumpsite of the Nation – and the draining of water resources that could only support Southern Nevada temporarily – which would leave Southern Nevada truly desperate for water in the long run.

I love the desert. The natural desert is beautiful. Like everywhere natural, being out in it is like a form of Eco-Therapy. We feel healthier in the natural world, because we are. Killing a big part of it would be a sin... a sin!

Sure; you can keep lying about how responsible SNWA is (and that taking out a river of water from a place that has no rivers will have no effect); but sooner or later, people will see through all this "monitoring and mitigation" B.S.
  • So what if you monitor the extinction of endangered snails and fish – and the localized extinction of horses, antelopes, etc, etc, etc, etc. So what if you monitor what is essentially the extinction of a beautiful high-desert ecosystem unique in the world.
  • And so what if you decide what the mitigation should be – and when you feel like paying it.

Even if you somehow temporarily convince the angry people who will be forced to pay for all this mitigation that this expense will be no big deal, the courts have already decided otherwise.

This can't end well. And for political reasons, you can't back down.

May I offer a suggestion. Retire. Come join us. Come live with us here in Central Nevada. Why do I know you're welcome? Because you can't live here and be for the watergrab. They would be taking your water. They would be killing your desert. You would bond with the land. Everyone does.

Some of us out here in Rural Nevada understand that we are the closest thing that life has to an alarm system. This watergrab is going too far. This is stepping out of line. One day, your name will be synonymous with the catastrophic desertification of the Great Basin. Oh, excuse me; it already is. The only way to stop that is to get out now.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

What Hasn't Been Said Enough About Our Elections

Does anyone remember the “Swiftboat Veterans for Truth”? They were lying.

When all that matters is winning, somebody has to lose – and those who lose the most are the people who believe the lies. 


It doesn't have to be that way. We could all win together.

As we witness the nations of Europe practicing “austerity” by saving their rich at the expense of everyone else, we have the choice of not following suit.

And what a choice.

We can pick between “things aren't going to get any better” or “things would get a lot worse.”

I'd like to cast my vote for “fixing things.” But that option doesn't seem to be on the ballot.
And why not?
Because there's not enough money in it for the greedy to think long term.
Ironically, the act of actually fixing things aren't really allowed in the political debate.

We watch the candidates debate over the somewhat ethereal deficit – yet never mention climate change; the force behind the ferocity of hurricane Sandy (and the droughts, and the tornadoes, and the flooding, and likely even Snowpocolypse).

Politics has become the act of distraction, deception, and disgust. Most of our votes will be votes against someone.

The Grand Old “Austerity” Party has shown us their true colors. They will lie... and they will cheat (on every occasion they can) so they can steal when in control. And who will they steal from? Well, let's just say (lie'n) Paul Ryan of the Republican Party wants to “invest” Social Security funds on Wall Street. Those are funds from the very people who have been duped into voting against their own best interests. These are the very people who get most of their “news” from for-profit media. (Not that there aren't a few good people in mass media, they just have be careful not to agitate their sponsors – which makes them liars of omission.)

The Savings and Loan collapse of the 1980's was a sign.
The Home Loan collapse of 2008 was a sign.
There a powerful people in the world who only care about what they can take – they have a lot of control in this country – and they may even stand to profit from America's downfall.

Remember; the Grand Old “Austerity” Party was the driving force behind deregulation of both the Savings and Loan industry and the Banking industry. Hmm...

And who does the “Austerity” Party pick for their chief downsizer? “Myth” Romney. A vulture capitalist with very close ties to the big Wall Street banks. And to top it all off, he won't show us his tax returns.

What kind of example of leadership is that? Are we supposed to believe that if one doesn't pay their taxes, they're more likely to get rich? That seems to be the case. The oligarchy has set a terrible example. America now has a culture of corruption the likes we have never seen before. Yet oddly; the Grand Old “Austerity” Party seems to consider that corrupt group their base.

Though there are good people in public office, the electoral system is rigged to keep them weak. Campaign contributions are in actuality required bribes. And the mass media just loves to pounce on public officials who aggravate their sponsors. Having a conscience and a spine in Washington pretty much assures one of a brief career – if any. Consequently, all we are left with is a bunch of part-time puppets to the uber-greedy.

The Republicans have apparently totally sold out to those who want to continue to loot and pillage until there's nothing left. And the Democrats are either unable or unwilling to stop them. In critical votes, such as the elimination of Glass/Steagall, some Democrats have been quite willing to join the Republicans.

Is America better off than it was 30 years ago? Candidate Ronald Reagan promised us less government regulations (you know, more freedom). That is definitely now true for the oligarchy; but the rest of us are stuck with Homeland “Security,” a failed drug war, privatized prisons, and more regulations and limitations on our liberty than ever in the history of the United States.

We now know what a corporate takeover of government looks like. We're witnessing a total takeover attempt right now.

And we know what the oligarchy plans to do (if they can). They are going to see to it that the rich don't have to care about the poor – and that the middle class pays for everything. And because the middle class is shrinking, those in the middle class will end up working like slaves. But that's not all. With austerity measures; the middle class tax dollars that get spent on services for the middle class will be minimized. So, even in hard times; the the pork keeps flowing. And the Stock Market keeps rising.

That's just corporate capitalism.

The system is rigged to ultimately take everything from us...
They call it “maximizing their profits.”

...but voting won't be enough. least not until we vote on issues.