Waterboarding and Other PZ Hobbies
Two emails from a friend, one of the Los Osos 45 [posted with permission]. There are two things to note: One is that it’s amazing to me that Bev still has a sense of humor left. And, Two, her notation that the Regional Water Quality Control Board could have “papered the whole Zone with postcards letting people know . . .” about the CDO’s & etc, instead of randomly picking 45 people to jerk around, presumes that the intention of the RWQCB was to let everyone know. I would contend that the real strategy – if there was one with so hastily and ill conceived a looney scheme as slapping CDOs on a whole community, a process that could take years and years to “prosecute,” with little or no on-the-groundwater result – wasn’t to inform the whole community, but to terrorize, divide and conquer, try to cut deals, and apply political pressure. All intensely unethical, possibly illegal (electioneering) and – ironically – unnecessary -- since there were, from day one, far better solutions at hand that would have resulted in real ground-water improvement, all of which were options that were available a year ago.
Bev’s observations, as one the Los Osos 45, really requires anyone paying attention to question the competency, legality and legitimacy of the Board’s policies. What’s happened to this Board is very disturbing in a regulatory agency that has a vital role to play in the whole system, and especially disturbing in a regulatory agency that apparently has allowed itself to run amok . . . or to have been run amok.
Unfortunately, as Bev’s comments make clear, very few are paying attention.
I know your computer is down, but thought I’d send this little story for when you get back on line.
The other day my boss came into the office to make small talk and to ask me how things were shaping up for the school year. So I told him that my program was falling into place, that I felt better organized than I was a month ago, and that my next obstacle was the Water Board.
Living in SLO, he doesn’t know a whole lot about our plight. Though he knows something is going on with Bill and Me, he is sick of following it and doesn’t any more. So when I mentioned THE WATER BOARD, his first thought was not of Jeff Young, Roger Briggs, etc. al. he thought I was making some obscure reference to that new form of torture called ‘waterboarding” that the Americans are now using to extract information from suspected terrorists, where they tie a person to a board and dunk them under water till they’ve almost drowned, I guess. A modern version of the dunking stool, only more “diabolically clever.”
He had no idea how brilliant that reference was until I told him I meant our very own Water Board and that we are due for our next pair of hearings in early November. [postponed—again -- until December, thereby causing more hardship for many] Because of my boss, Los Osos has the opportunity to add some new jargon to its sewer vocabulary to take its place along with CDO’s, ACL’s, dischargers, effluent, and aquifer. We can redefine waterboarding to refer to the torture of Los Osos by the Water Board and its cohorts who ask the Water Board to torture us. I can hear it now, “Let’s WaterBoard them!” “Roger, I thin you should WaterBoard the whole PZ and bankrupt the town.” “Waterboarding is the only thing they understand.”
Welcome back to cyberspace,
And Entry Two:
Recently I ran into a resident of the PZ at a meeting. He was nice enough to convey his condolences vis a vis the CDO. One of his commiserations among the, "it's terrible what the CSD (sic) is doing to you" was, "It could be us." My reply was, "It WILL be you…unless we can pull off some sort of miracle. Oh, and by the way, it’s the RWQCB, not the CSD." Barely able to spit out the acronym intact, he averted his eyes, mumbled something incomprehensible, smiled sheepishly, still not looking at me, and moved away.
Just another one of those PZers who thought that we 45 alone carry the CDO burden for the town, poor us, never allowing into his consciousness that we are not "there but for the grace of God... ." We are them.
How many others think that we are the randomly selected sacrificial lambs, and that the rest are off the hook?
Their bald ignorance is the RWQCB's fault. For what they spent to send those last-minute notices by courier to each one of us CDO defendants last spring they could probably have papered the whole Zone with postcards letting people know where they live (in the PZ), that they are in line (and will be prosecuted), and that they have till 2010 to hook up or else.
Ah, Ignorance really IS bliss. Sometimes I wish I could be them.
Remember the “water boarding” story, where the SLO resident thought I was talking about the torture of suspected terrorists when I mentioned the water board hearings. I think waterboarding should become the new idiom for what will be happening to Pzers for the next several years unless someone comes to their senses. It could even become part of the American lexicon with a meaning far broader than simply Los Osos or Al-Qaida. Consider how the torture of people who are only suspected of being terrorists could be vaguely related to the torture of PZ residents for whom the RWQCB has no site-specific evidence. In a few years the phrase could generalize to mean something really bad that happens to you over which you have no control. Think of the possibilities.
Now, should we laugh? Or cry.