Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who Sees the Forest for the Trees?

For some time I've peripherally observed the issues surrounding the proposed Caltrans' project at Richardson Grove State Park. That is until I read the February 8, 2011, Times-Standard's rather hyped news report headline: Richardson Grove rally takes a violent turn - protest against road construction project spills into Caltrans lobby. That is when I realized matters had become more ominous and I wondered why. One of the local blogs that I follow, Redheaded Blackbelt by Kym Kemp, was writing about this project after she became alarmed at some of the language being used by people objecting to the project. Since her husband works for Caltrans she has in inside connection and vested interest. I've posted links for her current postings at the end of the article. Some of the commentary is very revealing why there is such a issue and why it continues to escalate.

Watching this dispute unfold produces several questions about why certain situations are allowed to happen. For example here is a short excerpt of Eureka City Police Chief Garr Nielsen:
Aside from minor injuries to the two officers, Nielsen said that none of the protesters was injured during the demonstration. No officer used his baton, Taser or pepper spray during the incident. 
"All in all, it went as well as it could have given the situation," Nielsen said, adding that the protesters could have been arrested at any time during their more than three-hour stay in the building but that he decided to let the protest continue until 5 p.m. "It's just too bad that it had to get confrontational like that at the end."
Chief Nielsen had previously said:
"Quite frankly, I didn't think these people were going to get so defensive," Nielsen said, adding that multiple people kicked officers, while others simply lay down on the ground.” 
I'm not quite sure how someone laying down on the ground is “violent.” He says “he didn't think these people were going to get so defensive.” How he can justify that statement is beyond me when he opened the door to these people and let them illegally occupy that area for three hours. If they were outside the law, and as he says, “could have been arrested at any time,” why were they allowed in there in the first place? It seems to me he was setting these people up for a confrontation.

I've illustrated the above news article and police commentary to demonstrate what, it seems to me, is the root of the problem. Notice what the Times-Standard reported both from demonstrators and Caltrans. First, at no time I can ascertain has the Times-Standard has reported nothing of substance on these contentious issues that fully addresses the demonstrator's concerns. Consistent with that, notice what Caltrans District 1 Director Charles Fielder says:
Fielder said that work for the project, which is dependent on a water quality permit he expects to receive later this month, will be up for bid in the spring and could begin as soon as May. 
Plans do not call for any old-growth redwood trees to be removed. 
'This particular project is very minor in nature, and yet when you look at some of the information that gets posted and a lot of it is simply incorrect," Fielder said. "Either people are misinformed, or they choose to be misinformed.'” [Emphasis added]
"People are misinformed," for that he bears no responsibility? Some people think differently: 
Perhaps due to the advocacy of the project by our elected officials and inadequate media coverage dismissive of our concerns while unquestioningly accepting the Caltrans spin. 
What has been lost in the latest round of media coverage, as has been the case all along, is the fact that this project cannot be justified on any grounds whether practical, economic or moral. [Emphasis added]
"Cannot be justified on any grounds."These are strong words. Has Caltrans adequately answered these issues to any reasonable persons skeptical judgments? Personally, I don't think so and here is why.

His statement, “choose to be misinformed” demonstrates a "dismissive," condescending and disparaging attitude that is wholly offensive. These people have genuine concerns with questions that need answering in a respectful and decent manner. They DO NOT need to be told how to think or what to believe. At the same time these protesting against this project DO NOT need to be hyping clearly indefensible issues when they are promoting another agenda.

If, as Mr Fielder says, these people are “misinformed,” why hasn't he seen to it that the proper information is put forth in such a way there can be NO dispute or contradiction? That would require Caltrans talking TO the general public, in particular those objecting, and not AT them. So far Caltran's efforts to communicate clearly hasn't got the job done. In so doing they, in particular Mr. Charles Fielder, are partially at fault for the current impasse and unnecessary public demonstrations.

Simply put, if what Mr. Fielder says is true and from what I've read seems so, what Caltrans has posted: “Plans do not call for any old-growth redwood trees to be removed,” then that issue comes off the table or becomes mute. Anyone that can prove otherwise needs Caltrans to accept such evidence and properly deal with that matter in timely manner. If not, then anyone that continues to promote Caltrans' cutting of old-growth redwoods is simply lying and trying to cause trouble – they become illegitimate and Mr. Fielder's attitude and statement is justified.

What would it take for Caltrans to accommodate these people's “misinformation” by taking these known issues that are in dispute, designate a website to this matter and one by one lay out the facts for each of these issues that everyone can see and present that information in simple, straightforward, comprehensible language? Let the facts speak for themselves. 

It may seem to Mr. Fielder, Caltrans and the Times-Standard newspaper that this whole matter is nothing more than misinformation-caused “tempest in a teapot.” It may be great for the Times-Standard to publish these kinds of misleading headlines: “Richardson Grove rally takes a violent turn” when publishing the proven facts rather than the personal opinions of someone responsible for enforcing a contested project, would eliminate such escalating possibilities – real violence.

Links: 1) Here. 2) Here. 3) Here. 4) Here. 5) Here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Caltrans - Why This?

Caltrans removes protestors' banner
This is the picture record in the Wednesday, February 23, 2011, edition of the Times-Standard newspaper. Click on the picture to enlarge and you can read what they say about this incident.

If this banner is not legal, my question is: Why were they allowed to put it up in the first place?

Actions that that threaten or endanger the motoring public are serious. From what I can tell from the posted photographs there were at least two policing agencies monitoring that protest demonstration. Their failure to stop those people from putting up that banner requiring this, the partial shutdown of the highway, is puzzling, to say the least.

The newspaper says: "The banner was taken as evidence and Caltrans officials said the agency will seek reimbursement for the expenses incurred for the removal." I wonder who they plan on going after for this money since no one was arrested.

I wonder if all of the "tempest in a teapot" is worth someone getting hurt?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Caltrans Comes Through - Not Soon Enough

Another demonstration - protest, this time at Richardson Grove.


This is the picture that greeted traffic on CA Highway 101 at Richardson Grove State Park Monday afternoon February 21, 2011, according to the Times-Standard newspaper report: Protestors rally at Richardson Grove.

What's wrong with this picture? What "lies" "ruins lives"?

There are more pictures posted here and here. One of the signs says: "If you cut the roots you kill the trees" "Caltrans stay out of Richardson Grove State Park" "The road is wide enough"

And another sign says: Caltrans bad for: Nature, Working People, Local Economies, Life"

What you see in the picture [inset below] is all that the Times-Standard reported. My question is WHY?
An estimated 50 people gathered Monday afternoon at Richardson Grove State Park to protest the proposed Caltrans project that will widen certain segments of U.S. Highway 101. Officers from the California Highway Patrol were on scene, and a smaller group of protestors also congregated at the Garberville Town Square earlier Monday. Scanner traffic and the CHP Traffic Incident Web page indicated that the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department and the CHP were monitoring the protest from a nearby location and had contacted Caltrans District 1 Director Charles Fielder about the event. At one point, passersby reported that protestors were standing in front of big rigs, preventing them from passing, but officers on the scene were unable to substantiate the reports. 
The motoring public does not need people demonstrating and hanging signs over the highway when they are trying to get through a narrow congested section of a very busy highway. This picture is a good example of why this action is offensive. The motoring public does not need to be assaulted this way. So, why hasn't Caltrans addressed these issues that's got all of these people upset? These kinds of situations need to be avoided. I've got to wonder what the Highway Patrols excuse was. [Source]

These demonstrators need to understand that their protest actions contradict their statements and actions. You don't threaten safety to protest safety.

If widening the road to the degree defined by Caltrans "ruins lives" someone needs to explain WHY. Otherwise the demonstration is bogus. Someone needs to prove beyond doubt what the "lies" are. How come the Times-Standard is unable to find one of these demonstrators. From the pictures they certainly look pleasant and friendly enough. Then sit down, and get them to define what their issues are and why. It's easy enough to paint up a sign that says: "Caltrans bad for: Nature, Working People, Local Economies, Life" it's not so easy explaining why the proposed widening is "bad for nature, working people, local economies and life." Then take these concerns to Caltrans and get them to address them. Mr. Phil Frisbie has communicated with and he certainly seems concerned and reasonable enough. Then put this information out in the newspaper so that everyone can see what is the truth and what is just so much hyperbole.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Caltrans Comes Through

Occasionally I am pleasantly surprised by people. Really! For the the Joe Blow Report that is saying something. Looking at my blog commentary, you might get the idea that not too many people visit this website. Well, you might, but I follow Google's Analytics and that tells me something altogether different. I know what pages people read and I know how long they stay on those pages. The lack of comments either speaks to their issues or my lack of connection to the reader. There may be other reasons, regardless back to the purpose of this article - I, frankly, got surprised.

This is what showed up on the Comment section of my Saturday, February 12, 1022, posting of: "Bullshit Bazoo" relevant to the Update II regarding the comment by a Caltran's employee, a Mr. Phil Frisbie, Jr. - Public Information Officer / Web Content Administrator. This comment posted by Mr. Frisbie got caught in my Blogger Spam Catcher and I missed it for a couple of days.

This is important and well worth emphasizing because how we treat one another on the Internet, in particular blog commentary, speaks exactly to how we treat one another in person. The discussed issue and resultant controversy, the Richardson Grove proposed highway upgrade, as far as this Report is concerned is caused by the elitist attitude of Caltrans and the duplicitous response by a certain segment of society. What results from such an avoidable situation is what I consider an over-the-top demonstration that ill serves the demonstrators and succeeds only to alienate the police.

Enter Mr. Phil Frisbie, Jr.:
 phil_frisbie said...
First, let me apologize for my confusion. I browse with JavaScript off and your email was not visible. I should not have assumed it was blank because you were attempting to be anonymous; I should have enabled JavaScript to make sure.

As far as the attribution; it took me several looks over your page, but now I see how you attribute your sources. 
These were my first visits to your blog, and I am sorry we got off on the wrong foot. 
Phil Frisbie, Jr.
Public Information Officer / Web Content Administrator
February 18, 2011 7:59 PM
To me, this says a whole lot about the character of Mr. Phil Frisbie, Jr. If this is a demonstration of the INTENT of Caltrans when dealing with the people they serve, then we'll see a whole change in attitude. Mr. Frisbee, who is responsible for this obligation will make sure that the general public is well served with simple, to the point information and relevant facts that respects their rights to determine an acceptable and proper course. If people are deemed competent to vote then they are competent enough to know what and why they are voting. Respect works both ways.

Personally, I greatly appreciate Mr. Frisbie's response and offer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Phony Baloney

Obama's Budget

The experts who study these things believe that, thanks to the trust fund, Social Security has enough money saved up to meet its obligations for about the next 25 years.

So, who is the liar and what is their game? What is the real purpose behind all of this frenzy of balancing the budget by cutting entitlements?

Spending TRILLION's of dollars America does not have on PHONY wars that serves ONLY to placate Republican Elitist Warmongers' paranoia and then attacking the American people at their heart to justify their debauchery by attacking the very money they were entrusted to save and protect, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, is downright evil.

This disingenuous attack on Social Security by both Democrats and Republican's is the MOST phony of them all. When President Obama tells the American people there is NO money for any entitlements, then everyone will see the betrayal and know who is guilty for the deception.

Reuters: Geithner: Reform Social Security but keep benefits

REUTERS: Phony Social Security reform arguments: When will media get it?

Stop crying "fire" in the Social Security theater
February 16, 2010 — Kudos to Mark Miller, a contributor to Reuters’s Prism Money blog, for his post Monday morning calling out NPR, the Associated Press, and NBC’s David Gregory for perpetuating the misleading idea that Social Security is one of the key drivers of the federal deficit. 
Thanks to the energetic efforts of deficit hawks, the notion that Social Security is a leading cause of the deficit has become part of the Beltway consensus. But, as Miller — who’s been pounding this drum for some time — points out, “the consensus is wrong, and so is much of the reporting” on this topic.
Read more of the article.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bullshit Bazoo


Bullshit Bazoo [UPDATE Below] [UPDATE II]

A recent demonstration protesting proposed work at Richardson Grove as defined by Barbara Kennedy in her "My Word" article in the Thursday, February 10, 2011, Times-Standard is clear on the subject of Caltrans “spin.” I asked Kym Kemp on her blog “Redheaded Blackbelt” why there were no current websites addressing the concerns of the public and answering the questions raised by these demonstrators and other concerned citizens. She offered me two links, one that is basically generic publicity brochure put out by Caltrans and the other to a blog article by her. (Caltran's brochure for comparison.) Barbara Kennedy says:
"Perhaps due to the advocacy of the project by our elected officials and inadequate media coverage dismissive of our concerns while unquestioningly accepting the Caltrans spin, other groups seeking to heighten public awareness have taken a different approach. Those folks attending the rally itself spanned all ages and diverse segments of our community and were clearly concerned about the effects of the project.
What has been lost in the latest round of media coverage, as has been the case all along, is the fact that this project cannot be justified on any grounds whether practical, economic or moral." [Emphasis added] You can read her complete article here.
Then you have Kym's article where she lets her petticoat show: "Just the Facts ma’am ..."
You also have this from Kym, posted February 7, 2011: Huge Semis And A Military Convoy–Flyer From The Protest - You can get a good idea about the attitude these SoHum people have for the demonstrators reading their comments, specially Ernie Branscomb.

My problem with all of this is that there really isn't any current, up-to-date objective reporting. It's just too easy to brand people or accuse people who are really concerned with the environment, their children's future and community well-being as some sort of kooky terrorist. (That's the only thing that could justify the EPD deploying officers with fully automatic rifles, if true.) If what Kym Kemp, whose husband works for Caltrans, says is true, then there's been spin on both sides of the project.

Then there is Stan Binnie's My Word article, “Nothing good can come to redwoods as result of Richardson Grove project” in today's Saturday, February 12, 2011, Times-Standard. Interestingly, his article is not currently posted on the T-S website. At least I couldn't find it. Located here today Sunday, February 13, 2011, Times-Standard.

He presents himself as somewhat of an authority on such matters, as he says: “Before moving to California, I worked as a horticulturist for the University of Wisconsin. My educational qualifications are a B.S. Degree in Horticulture and M.S. Degree in Plant Pathology from the University of Illinois. In the 25 years I worked in Waukesha County, a rapidly urbanizing area west of Milwaukee, I witnessed the death of hundreds of mature maple and oak trees from damage to their root systems during the construction process.” He then goes on to discuss possible damage to roots larger than 2 inches and his lack of confidence in who, if any, will monitor this issue to protect the longevity of these old-growth trees. He continues with propose the obvious contradiction of “constant foot traffic” damage to a redwood's longevity caused by compacting the soil around a tree, damaging its network of fine surface roots and restricting the intake of water and nutrients with the “heavy equipment crushing their roots or the fact that the project will require the cutting, filling and compacting of soil over the delicate root systems. The bottom line is that, as far as the trees are concerned, nothing good can come of them as a result of this project.”

My problem with Mr. Binnie's commentary is that it misrepresents decades of well established facts. (Enlarge the picture.) Look at the present highway and tell me that the pavement doesn't run over the top of all those old-growth redwood trees root systems and has from the very first day that highway was constructed. The number of cars and trucks that's passed through Richardson Grove is beyond count. Everyone of those trees has had crushed roots, damage to the network of fine surface roots and a restriction of water and nutrients for decades. Those trees are still alive. So, how can anyone in good-faith justify this book-learned nonsense, that what Caltrans proposes is detrimental to those trees?

As far as the actual issues raised about this “project,” it appears to be either a “spin project” and a total lack of consideration for the general public or a tempest in a teapot. His observations about the news media's disinterest in making any “effort” to “obtain statements from opponents of the project” is obvious in their reporting. When doesn't the newspaper simply accept the self-serving news or press releases from the police department and publish them without any question?

However, Mr. Binnie does define the actual “truth” motivating this whole issue and set the “intent” behind the opposition to the “project.” In his own words: “My wife and I moved here nearly eight years ago to escape the overdeveloped, congested and hectic pace of San Diego. We liked the idea that there were fewer people, less traffic, a slower pace of life, that there were many recreational opportunities and that this area was home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, including parks where magnificent old-growth redwoods are growing.” [Emphasis added]

As a man that put his chainsaw to many an old-growth redwood and who hauled many a load of logs down through Richards Grove in the mid-sixties I too sympathize with Mr. Binnie's sentiments and take pride in the fact this is my family's home for many generations. Whenever my wife and I decide to take the “scenic route” we always thank the people that had the necessary foresight and fervent belief in self and what is valuable to make sure these parks were set aside for everyone's benefit. We all share responsibility for the protection and preservation of these parks.

What we don't need is the bullshit politics and over-the-top “spin” from all sides and a complicit news media. What we need are the facts laid out in simple terms that are consistent with accepted science and reality. Then everyone can make up their own minds like responsible adults.

UPDATE :: Sunday, February 13, 2011]

Typical propaganda peddled by the likes of Humboldt County's premier wordmeisters and extreme authorities on all matters relevant, i.e., "contradictions between Cal-Trans and science." The only contradictions are between what people say and what they do. Decades of facts speak for themselves and defeat the worthless opinions of people promoting their own personal agenda. At least Mr. Binnie had the common decency to set out his agenda BEFORE contradicting himself and everyone else that supports the basis of his "expert" nonsense.

[UPDATE II :: Tuesday, February 15, 2011]

One of the reasons this article, “Bullshit Bazoo,” is predicated or based upon, is the fact that Caltran's information approach to their proposed Richardson Grove project is sorely lacking and deficient. Rather than approach their obligation to provide justifiable, easily understood information and facts to support their decisions and propositions, they produce a wholly deficient “let me tell you how it is” generic brochure with some additional rather convoluted pieces of information on their website and expect that should be good enough. Based upon the latest demonstration at the Caltran's offices in Eureka on Monday, February 7, 2011, and other issues raised in blog commentary it is not.

This morning's Times-Standard of Tuesday, February 15, 2011, "McKinleyville residents express their frustration on rezoning" offers a similar situation with the County Planning Department's handling of “multifamily rezoning as well as its general approach to planning in the unincorporated area.” That “approach” as defined by a McKinleyville resident as “top down.” They, all of the government representatives and officials SAY they will recognize and respect the rightful concerns of the public, but what the DO is the very opposite. Rather than address the central is the “County staff” made excuses for why “they” were in a bind along with the county and expected the unhappy, dissident landowners to just simply shut up and go along with being told how it's going to be, never you mind the adverse consequences.

This brings me to the comment posted to this article apparently by a Caltran's employee, Phil Frisbie, Jr. - Public Information Officer / Web Content Administrator. Herein lies the same attitude – dictating without any consideration for the facts. Rather than spend his time productively by answering the central issue I raised with Caltran's over their handling of this project, he's telling me how to write my blog. Typical with the Elitist Attitude, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Mr. Frisbie, Jr. justified my article, “Bullshit Up The Bazoo.”

[Source and Source]

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Kirk Accord – Democracy Hypocrisy

[UPDATE Below] [UPDATE II :: So who's tilting at windmills now Mr. Kirk?
[UPDATE III - Latest Installment: The Moral Failing of Conservatism]

Anyone that is following the latest events, the Rolling Revolution that is wafting over the Middle East will soon realize that what all of those people are experiencing is NOT limited to just them. We here in America suffer under the same kinds of issues. A brutal totalitarian government mere serves to emphasize the loss. The observing astute know that we too are in a state of revolution. Just not out in the streets shutting down the country. The American people thought they could bypass that requirement by voting in Barack Obama. What they didn't know, but should have known, is that he NOT one of the people and does not represent them. More and more people are beginning to see that truth and are wondering what to do to save themselves. Perhaps, they can take a lesson from the lowly Egyptian as they workout their "last-ditch" stand. Unfortunately, these despotic governments, allowed to run their full course, will see their countries destroyed before they will recognize the legitimacy of their people.

[UPDATE :: Friday, February, 11, 2011 - Latest Report from Egypt]

As of this morning, Friday, February 11, 20100, Hosni Mubarak renounced his rule of Egypt. He turned power over to the Egyptian military's Supreme Council. Based upon their latest announcements, it is their intent to move the country to elections and a civilian government. Many of the Old Guard are still there filling their entrenched institutional rolls. There are nearly 400,000 security (secret police, etc.) in that country. Are they going to respond peacefully to the will of the people? Will the “people actually get to decide”? Or have they been setup for a masterful betrayal? Depends upon how much control or influence the United States is able to wield over those people. Right now they are euphoric.

The question remains, are the Egyptian people truly FREE? Have they actually established their right as equal human beings to be recognized and accepted as a legitimate people? I can't see that happening as long as Israel dominates that region of the Earth.

The change that makes the difference, the one that leads to a shift in the "collective consciousness" starts with defeating the "fear barrier." Next come the sense of self. An inner knowing that you are valuable; that your voice equals all other voices. At that point you get control of self; you actually and truly get free. That is what happened to the a major portion of the Egyptian people that were willing to make the necessary sacrifice. They became an unstoppable force. Even President Obama recognized that reality coming from those people. Such people can never be dictated to again. No one can tell them how to think or what to believe; that they are incapable or not ready to take control of their lives. Out of respect for their value you provide the credible information and then they decide.

As many of you that follow local blogs know, Eric Kirk, is the author, editor and chief honcho, and by word and deed he has defined himself supreme prognosticator and authority of and on all things political at his blog, SoHum Parlance II. According to some, this blogger is one of the more popular in Humboldt County. Needless to say, I follow along since he's featured on this blog's sidebar. If I was forced to define his political stance based upon what he's published, I'd say he's a proud Obama supporting, rather pragmatic Democrat. His discussions with me indicate that he is rather one-dimensional; a fundamental realist while at the same time defending the absolute rights of the people to define and judge law. In plain English that means he does NOT support “Rule of Law,” but “Rule of Man.”

This reality was never more apparent in his latest postings and comments regarding the revolution in Egypt. Here are the links, starting with latest to the oldest: 1) Here. 2) Here. 3) Here and. 4) Here

To get a real sense of his thinking and positioning you need to read the comments and pay particular attention to what he and Ernie writes. It is a real Bert and Ernie sideshow and would be funny if it wasn't so deadly. You might want to start here with Bert's (Eric) contribution.

When you read his comments you need to ask yourself if he is totally and completely behind the people and supporting their right to freely form their own government? Or is he defending and supporting the Obama government to defend, support, and finance the continuation of a despotic totalitarian brutal dictator? You'll find that he's in complete agreement with Ernie Branscomb on this issue. As far as they are concerned those juvenile Arabs, in particular the Egyptians, are not ready for something as sophisticated as Democracy. In fact you will find he thinks exactly the Vice President Omar Suleiman. He is Obama and the Jew's handpicked replacement for Mubarak. It's all laid out in The New York Times and Glenn Greenwald's "Obama's Man In Cairo."

George Bush set the American standard that apparently was to simplistic for these people to understand: “Either you're for me or you're against me.” In this age of transparency, these hypocrites are exposed and the Egyptian people see it for exactly what it is.

Glenn Greenwald's latest: The Egyptian Mirror concludes with this:
"We've eagerly sent our money and aid for decades to ensure that he wields power over Egyptians; all that's changed is that his true face has been exposed in a way that prevents us from turning away and denying what we support."

"The fact that we don't actually regret anything is compellingly demonstrated by Obama's efforts to ensure the empowerment of Egypt's new "Vice President," Omar Suleiman, who has been Mubarak's -- and our -- brutal domestic enforcer and oppressor for years.  Pragmatic arguments can of course be assembled to justify that support -- exactly the same way that support for Mubarak can be pragmatically justified.  And that's the point:  moral proclamations notwithstanding, we're not doing anything different with Egypt now.  We're doing what we've always done:  subjected the people of that region to hard-core oppression in order to advance what we perceive to be our interests (though, as 9/11 proved, that perception about self-interest is dubious in the extreme).  That behavior would almost be tolerable if we were at least honest about it, but pretending that we're so very inspired by the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people -- all while we have long acquiesced and still acquiesce in the extermination of those aspirations -- is a bit too much to withstand.  But as long as we can keep Looking Over There to those bad people and bad things, none of these contradictions will be particularly bothersome."
Deepak Chopra has an article on this very subject. The Winter of Their Discontent: What Will the Arabs Do? He concludes,
“Throw the cards in the air; it’s anyone’s guess where they will land. In the end, what determines the fate of a society is very mysterious — the movement of collective consciousness. No one can predict when the collective will decides to change, yet once it does, its power is always unstoppable.”
It is this “unstoppable power” that I have waited a lifetime to witness.

These two local propaganda puppets, Bert and Ernie have recorded their positions for posterity. They are NOT on the side of the people, nor do they support Democracy for the Egyptians or any Arab nation. They both made that very clear in what they wrote. Such hypocrites are revealed by their actions and judged by what they do. There is a big difference between a pragmatic man and a man of principle. A fact clearly demonstrated here.

They truly and tragically represent what is going on in America today and also represent the ongoing struggle facing all Americans that believe in dignity, honor, respect, freedom and justice.

[UPDATE :: Thursday, February 10, 2011]

Informed Comment in today's "Wael Ghonim vs. Barack Obama: Change we Can Believe in, Yes we Can" puts this whole matter of people versus tyranny in proper perspective. Juan Cole:
It is no secret that President Barack Obama has been in some regards a profound disappointment to the American Left, and his erratic and often disgraceful performance on the Egypt crisis exemplifies his faults in this regard. (Tom Engelhardt puts it best regarding the administration: “It has shown itself to be weak, visibly fearful, at a loss for what to do, and always several steps behind developing events.”) Obama just seems to lack empathy with the little people and is unwilling to buck the rich and powerful, even though they all opposed his run for the presidency. As Iran’s speaker of the house put it, the Obama administration, faced with a choice of supporting the youth revolution or the camels unleashed on it, has chosen the camels. It makes a person think there should be rule that no one can run for the presidency who didn’t have a proper father figure in his or her life (Bill Clinton, W., Obama), since apparently once they get into office they start thinking the billionaires are their long-lost parent, whom they have to bend over backward to please. [Emphasis added]

Obama dealt with the Wall Street crisis by rewarding with more billions the corrupt and/or grossly incompetent financiers who threw millions of Americans out of work and out of their homes, and by appointing persons to deal with the crisis who had been among its instigators. He declined to end the abuses against the Bill of Rights of the Orwellian-named ‘PATRIOT Act,’ even though he had a Democratic House and Senate. ...
Continue reading.

[UPDATE :: Monday, February 14, 2011]

The Moral Failing of Conservatism

When it comes to RANK hypocrisy, Eric really outdoes himself with this commentary. Not that what he says isn't true, it is his inability to apply the same moral norms he preaches about "conservatives" to himself that is so revealing. Be sure to read all of the comments. They are extremely telling as well.

What he accuses the Republican Conservatives of doing, ignoring a serious and relevant issue, he turns right around and does the very same thing. By so doing he exemplifies the very issue motivating the revolutions forcing the non-elitist men and women to take desperate actions. Notice in Egypt that the Ruling Elite still have not accepted and recognized the people's right to speak for themselves. In Eric Kirk's own words: [His] "silence is truly pathetic."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Police State Example Served Up Locally

This is an update to the following post: Is The U.S. Really A Police State?

Since the 9/11/2001 incident after George W. Bush took control of the United States government this country has sunk deeper into a lawless state of anarchy. The Ruling Elite, a small group of wealthy individuals and corporations encompassing all relevant political parties, has literally trashed the U.S. Constitution. That universal Law is only as good as the people make it. Unfortunately, they've decided the Rule of Man is more to their liking and subsequently have co-opted, corrupted and perverted the Law and the Courts with their arrogant, self-serving lawlessness. Glenn Greewald has a timely article today: Guantanamo death highlights U.S. detention policy - You may think that what happens to a few "rag-head" Arabs that supposedly hate our guts has nothing to do with you or your family and the long-held belief that our home is our castle and we are always safe there, you may want to re-think your beliefs.

Thursday's February 3, 2011, Times-Standard has an extremely revealing expose by Jeffrey Schwartz in the My Word: Up in arms: Search warrant folly. You may think the we are people with certain, guaranteed rights with honorable, decent and just men stationed in high offices to protect those rights. Armed to the teeth, masked gunmen can't just cave your door in sometime in the early morning, shouting police, drag you and your family out of bed, providing you didn't do something stupid, like trying to defend yourself and your family in your own home, on your own property, and get shot dead, or can they. Mr. Schwartz says they not only can, but do on a regular basis right here in Humboldt County.

Today we see people living in the more brutal, domineering totalitarian police states beginning to stand up for their personal and collective rights as equal human beings - both men and women. What's becoming more and more widespread in this country has been going on in these other countries for decades. All with American blessings. Considering the fact that Mr. Schwartz had the courage to write that article, making us all aware of what's going on in our names, tells me we won't wait decades to put a stop to this lawless corruption.

What puts everyone's life, liberty and citizenship in jeopardy is who Mr. Schwartz says is responsible for this, what I consider criminal conduct and perversion of the law, the gutless and sycophantic District Attorney and Superior Court Judges. They legitimize this outlandish police action, what amounts to a pure, raw act of terrorism, without any apparent substantive evidence of probable cause other than someone's unproven accusation. This situation puts everyone under the gun and at risk.

What is to stop anyone, an irate neighbor, a family member or anyone else from calling the police and telling them some wild, unsubstantiated lie about you? Mr. Schwartz says:
But if you own a handgun or rifle, just imagine this: A judge issued a warrant to search your house because someone you know saw you with it and they don't know whether or not you have a license to own it.
Sadly, Jeffrey Schwartz doesn't offer much hope for all of the common, law-abiding people that live in this county, other than to say:
"It remains to be seen if it is OK with the higher courts and juries in civil rights actions against law enforcement officers." [Emphasis added]
 "Higher courts." Our history tells us where that goes. Courts (Judges) protect themselves in these kinds of situation involving police power. And "juries in civil rights actions against law enforcement officer"? The problem is NOT with the "law enforcement officers." It is with the District Attorney and the Superior Court Judges.
For the complete article: Up in arms: Search warrant folly click the link or continue reading.