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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA , for September 12, 07

Deadly Doldrums

Comedian Bill Maher thinks the whole country is suffering from “Bleep-up Fatigue” --only he didn’t use the word “bleep” – to describe the utter despair and exhaustion he feels when he picks up a paper and reads another headline about another bungled mess the President and his crony administration are involved in, and since there have been so many bleep-ups, instead of more outrage, he now simply shrugs and says, “Of course, what else could we expect from this guy? He’s a complete bleep-up.”

I knew exactly what Maher was talking about when I scanned Molly Hennessy-Fiske’s L.A. Times story on a new Bush biography. The author pressed Bush as to just why the Iraqi army was disbanded soon after the invasion. That one act is now seen as the key decision that led to a whole series of disastrous unravelings. Said Bush, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”

“[Author] Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, I. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000 strong army without pay.

“Yeah, I can’t remember; I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ Bush said, adding: ‘Again, Hadley’s got notes on all this stuff” – a reference to national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley.”

Of course Bush can’t be expected to remember any of this stuff. He’s just the Commander in Chief. Better check with Hadley. He’ll have notes on all this, maybe. Or maybe not, because, as the story pointed out, Douglas J. Feith, who was “ . . . then undersecretary of Defense for policy and an architect of the Iraq invasion,” said “ . . . the excerpts [from the interviews] raised interesting questions about how the pivotal decision was made.”

. . . raised interesting questions? This from the guy who was, as the Times notes, “ . . . deeply involved in the decision-making process at the time, working closely with Bush and Bremer.”

Of course, Feith can’t be expected to know anything about this, he was just the undersecretary of Defense for policy. Why would anyone expect him to know who decided anything when The Decider himself doesn’t remember? Or care? That’s how this administration ran their war --- things just happened; darnedest thing.

Insufficient troops, insufficient up-armoring on the Humvees, insufficient flak-vests, an unpaid, still-armed Iraqi army disbanded, huge stores of Iraqi weapons unguarded and soon gone, along with huge stores of U.S. weapons gone as well, not to mention pallets and pallets of U.S. greenbacks all disappeared. Who knew? Stuff happens, said former Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at the time. Darnedest thing. Rummy declined to comment on these new revelations. Probably couldn’t remember either. Why bother? Running a war was obviously not worthy of attention by a Secretary of Defense or the Commander in Chief.

And so the Bleep-ups continue to spill out of the headlines, each now morphing from a shock into eye-rolling exhaustion: Gonzales at Justice has scampered out the door? Of course! Another conservative Republican, anti-gay, family-values kinda guy is caught soliciting gay sex in a public toilet? Tap-tap-tap. Of course! Meanwhile, more dead and maimed soldiers come home to a crumbling country where bridges fall down because of lack of maintenance because tax cuts for the rich take precedence over maintaining the Value of The Commons. Of course! And millions more citizens join the rolls of the medically uninsured, while a poorly regulated credit industry helped bust a housing bubble that saw a few on Wall Street get rich while the schnook on the street actually did end up on the street, his home repossessed by the bank, while the President flies off on another typical frat-boy “secret mission” to pop up in a well-protected Anbar province military base for a little Hoo-Rah! front page photo-op with the soldiers, some of whom will likely die while he “plays out” his war until the elections in hopes of handing his mess over to somebody else. No accountability on his watch. Of course!

Thus, the exhausted nausea of Bleep-up fatigue. What else from a government being run by an astonishing array of incompetents, fully supported by an elected and reelected hack-filled, poisonously grid-locked congress that puts party loyalty, maintaining power, and keeping their corporate K Street Masters happy above all else?

Well, of course!

28 comments:

TCG said...

I'm wondering just how much Bleep-up fatigue the people of Los Osos have right now.

Will they let what they must know is right slip away, again, because of the constant pounding of the no-project group?

Sorry to always bring the sewer into it, but this is what we have become. I would like to read and write about something else in the future.

Churadogs said...

TCG said...
I'm wondering just how much Bleep-up fatigue the people of Los Osos have right now."
"
A LOT.

"Will they let what they must know is right slip away, again, because of the constant pounding of the no-project group?"

No. The County Process put this thing back on the track IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON ALL ALONG. (See Ron's Sewerwatch Blogsite to track just how this thing went into the ditch in the first place.) Plus, this community has been lied about for so long and the various people doing the lying have created a false narrative. You see it, for example, in anonymous poster "4crapkiller"'s repeated use of the word "obstructionist," or the mantra-like word "anti-sewer." Those are misleading and often meaningless buzwords that blinded (and still continue to blind -- that's why they're repeatedly and deliberately used) too many people to what was really the issues and the problems.

"Sorry to always bring the sewer into it, but this is what we have become. I would like to read and write about something else in the future.

7:57 AM, September 12, 2007"

That choice was yours. I've posted many non-sewer columns, only to have people return to the sewer immediately. The choice is theirs to make as well. On a funny note, you make it sound like somebody was sitting next to you at the computer this morning with a gun to your head saying, "type about the sewer, type about the sewer, type about the sewer," and in a fearful trance, you did. (Remember that classic National Lampoon magazine cover with the wide-eyed dog, a revolver to his head, and the headlines, "Buy this magazine or we'll shoot this dog!"

Here's something I found after the column above was at the printers and posted. Belongs as an epigram to this Can(n)on, methinks, (and also applies to Los Osos, not only The Country):

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." Kurt Vonnegut, quoted in The Dener Post. hahahahaha. Too true.

4crapkiller said...

To Ann Balooon, a political note since you want to get on your Bush hating agenda again:



http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1550.htm

Ever hear of the Logan Act?
"§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004)."

Apparently Dennis hadn't boned up on his Law or American History lately before he committed this felony: As a citizen, I expect this law to be enforced, else Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Harry Reid,Edward Kennedy, et al will feel it their duty to further undermine the State Department.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

Let me ask an interesting question. How much is it worth (to you ... in $/month) to have the train back on the right track?

You see, even if we were to agree that in 2001 the train went on the wrong track, the cost of getting to the right track seems really high. As Richard pointed out, once you add together the various costs associated with the recall, it will now be about $300/month (or more) to have an out of town plant when it was only $200/month to have TriW.

I think that we should not so be so sloppy as to divorce the cost question from the technology and location question. There has been a cost of the recall and I won't presume that everyone agrees, but I don't think that out of town is worth more than an additional $50/month to me ... especially when you consider the TriW project was going to have some serious odor-scrubbers and a park component that would be used and appreciated by some.

Revealed said...

Think of it this way:

National politics runs parallel to our situation in Los Osos. Bush refers to Hadley, the Dreamers refer to Richard LeGros. They're community leaders, not thinkers! Of course they can't bring any sort of debate to fruition. They're just as inept as President Numbnuts here.

Mike said...

Bush sent in troops to a sand pile 3rd world country similar to Lost Osos... say, maybe he'll send some in here to guard the County contractors putting in the MEGA SEWER on the Tri-W site and the BIG PIPES buried 28 ft deep in all our streets!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote Yes on 218, vote early and vote often...!!!!

Shark Inlet said...

To our most recent friend, Revealed ...

I would suggest that if you are going to say that the decision to go to war in Iraq without counting the cost first was a mistake, the most appropriate Los Osos analogy is the recall.

Both groups (the neocons and CCLO/LOTTF) had one possible outcome in mind and downplayed the possibility of any other possible outcome. The very campaign literature that promised $100/month and a ready to go plan with an out of town site sounds rather hopeful in retrospect, much like the promise that we would be greeted as liberators and that the oil revenue would cover our war costs.

Both groups are guilty of hubris.

What I would like to see is a comparison of the debt/person run up by the Bush administration for the war effort with the debt/person run up by the post-recall board in their effort to move the sewer out of town "no matter what it costs".

That last quote is what I find most galling about the post-recall situation. When Chuck told us this ... that he didn't care what it cost ... I know that it was just rhetoric ... but that rhetoric was rather revealing. That many people cheered this asinine statement just goes to show that there a a lot of people who are really idiots or that there are a lot of people who didn't really care about the literal meaning of his words.

Mike Green said...

Yep, gotta admit, Los Osos is probably the country's poster child for effects of poor government.
Bottom to top one failure after another.
The only thing I can remember that could be construed as a political victory for us is the time we all stood down the state parks department and prevented a toll booth to Montana de Oro.
Panama is looking good,
Mexico's Lake Chapala sounds wonderful too.

Mike said...

Hey, but now the bankrupt CSD thinks it's got a new fish on the hook... who in their right mind would take a General Manager's position with this Board?

Mike Green said...

ME ME! I'm currently underemployed and I don't know squat about running a CSD! (well, maybe a thing or two, but I'm trainable)
Give me a call!

Mike said...

Hear it only pays $100K

4crapkiller said...

On the LOCSD CLOSED MEETING AGENDA:

A. POTENTIAL LITIGATION (Government Code, §54956.(b)
Conference with District Counsel pursuant to Government Code section 54956.9(b) to discuss facts and circumstances which, in the opinion of the legislative body and on the advice of counsel, create a significant exposure to litigation against the District. The facts and circumstances of this matter are known to the potential plaintiff and involve a challenge under the federal Endangered Species Act relating possible disturbance of the Morro shoulderbanded snail habitat at the Tri-W site.

Well I know the LOCSD scraped the Tri-W site and pushed some dirt around with a bulldozer. This happened after the Coastal Permit was let expire by the LOCSD and the County.

Is this something that came from the bulldozing? Anyone know? Is this just something else that the property owners will have to pay because of these bozos and their money hungry attornies?

4crapkiller said...

To Mike Green:

By the time you get a chance to move, the LOCSD BOARD will have so many liens on your property because of bad government, living under a bridge will look good if you do not find another job.

Richard LeGros said...

Hi 4crapkiller,

About the potential litigation being discussed in the upcoming closed session.

The LOCSD has let the CDP expire on Tri-W. Additionally, when the board stopped the project in 2005 the EPA’s Section 7 permit was withdrawn by the EPA (hence the County grading permit was voided with it). What does this all mean?

The LOCSD now wishes to stop paying rent (costing +/-$20K/year) on the fence that surrounds the property by removing said fence (cost of removal unknown). This sound easy enough; however, the site has lost its grading permit under which the work could have been performed. That permit had a concurrence and a mitigation plan with the US EPA / US Fish and Wildlife Service concerning the protection of endangered species (the Morro snail to be specific). With the permit gone, the LOCSD has been 'advised' by US Fish and Wildlife Service that the district should apply to the Service for review and approval of a plan by which endangered species will be protected. While the Service may not force the LOCSD to apply for this review, the Service has warned the LOCSD that if the work is performed without proper review and permits that the LOCSD leaves itself wide open to lawsuits and possible fines (like the fines recently issued by the Service to local private property owners that graded their property without permits).

As I see it, the LOCSD has several options:

1. Do nothing and leave the fence in place. This option will not work.

Because the fence has fallen over in places, the fence is now laying upon snail habitat (Dune Heather) The Service deems the fallen fence as 'harassment' of the snail and its habitat. Additionally, the snails are known to be at the fence line and under sand bags because the Morro Group found them when they recently inspected the site. Because of the 'harassment' caused by improperly maintained fencing, the LOCSD needs apply for a permit.

2. Take down the fence without permits. This option will not work.

Taking (meaning kill) or harassing a snail or habitat while removing the fence will result in lawsuits and/or fines costing much more than the fence rental).

3. Apply to the Service for a permit. This option will work.

The permit process takes time and money (About $10K-$15K). The LOCSD claims that it does not have the money to get the permit, or money to meet the conditions of the permit.

In all, the LOCSD must follow the laws which all of us must obey. For the LOCSD to try to avoid the law as they claim poverty is a moot argument to the regulators.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Mike said...

hmmmm....they don't have the money ($10K - $15K) to obtain a permit, but they have money for a GM...???

Richard, when will these fiscal managers of our tax dollars finally run out of money...??? They continue to spend money on poor legal advice with consequences! When will LAFCo step in to halt the red ink?

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Mike,

LAFCO will never dissolve the LOCSD. Never.

The legacy of the current LOCSD board will be local government unable to resolve any local issues or have any power to serve Los Osos. The reason is simple....no money. Government without money means no government at all.

Regards, Richard LeGros

4crapkiller said...

To Richard Legros:

I hope you are wrong, but fear you are correct. The lack of "Due Diligence" by the attorneys and the majority of the board members has the potential to continue to pile debt for which only the property owners are responsible.

I fear that even if we elected Ann Baloooon as dictator of the district, her great intelligence, knowledge, and skill could not get us out of this mess. Her biased opinions certainly have contributed to the mess. She has been the cheering section in print for these BOZOS. Of course she and the rest of the peanut gallery, will blame it on the former board.

How about this one Ann? Just another crisis added to along list of stupidity and total lack of understanding reality. But Ann, you too, are sooner or later going to pay for it, and double! Bwaaaaa! Pass the hat to Ron Crawford!

Ron said...

Richard wrote:

"The reason is simple....no money."

Speaking of no money, regarding Taxpayer Watch's debt to the county for their silly, divisive and expensive attempt to dissolve the Los Osos Community Services District -- the same District that many of them were responsible for creating in 1998 -- Paul Hood, Executive Officer, SLO LAFCO, in an e-mail dated, Tue, 11 Sep., 2007, wrote:

"Taxpayer Watch is making regular monthly payments (of) $1,000. The balance owed is $19,247. The full amount due is payable by July 1, 2008."

O.k.... so... let's see here... July, 2008 is less than 11 months away, they're paying $1,000/month, and they owe more than $19,000... doesn't sound like you're going to make it, Richard.

I have a question. Who's ponying up the $1-grand a month? Are you folks in Los Osos noticing a lot of flyers for "Taxpayer Watch Bake Sales," or do they have another revenue source?

Oh, and I almost forgot... I posted a new piece at SewerWatch. Stop by if you get a sec. Interesting stuff, of course.

4crapkiller said...

If we manage to elect a new board of sensible people and get new attorneys, the peanut gallery will still continue their harassment at meetings. Woe is us!

TCG said...

It is a distinct possibility (is that a probability?) that if our CSD Board had more money available, it would just waste more, with a similar net effect.

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4crapkiller said...

Yup, they are not sending the money to support Ron. His opinions are only worth diddly squat! Hey Ron, tell us about all the property out of the district to put a sewer plant on that was available for sale at the time before TRI-W was purchased? You can leave out Andre1, which was impossible.

Mike said...

Hey Ron, how much have YOU "donated" to the Pizzelflop 13 defense fund?

Quite a few more than the CDO 13 plus Gail, are fully behind TW, in fact dollars raised would astound even your insensiblity! TW is indeed alive and well. Too bad the LOCSD can't say the same!

Shark Inlet said...

Richard,

Yes, it seems as if LAFCO won't voluntarily dissolve the LOCSD because the County would be hurt by such an action. However, I would argue that such a decision should be made on the merits, not based on self-protective behavior on the part of LAFCO members. Also, there is a provision to require LAFCO to allow dissolution via a vote of the residents.

Sure, I'm just trying to escape the debt run up by the post-recall board and trying to spread it across the County and sure I feel a bit guilty about it ... but please remember two things ... Ron will then have to pay his share and the County created the mess in the first place and then made it a whole lot worse by approving tons of additional development even after they knew there was a problem.

I'm a feelin' crusty today.

Mike said...

You ain't alone Shark... would love to have Ron have to PAY his fair share of this fiasco!!!

Churadogs said...

FRAUDyCrap sez:"Of course she and the rest of the peanut gallery, will blame it on the former board."

Once again, the self identified FRAUD is unable or unwilling to connect the dots. Even Inlet's last posting follows the bread crumbs back along the trail into the Time Before CSDs when the structural failures of this train were being laid down, systemic flaws that, uncorrected, lead directly to the trainwreck. But then, a self-identified FRAUD shouldn't be expected to be able to connect dots.

richard sez:"LAFCO will never dissolve the LOCSD. Never."

Like you, Did Taxpayer Watch know that before they filed for dissolution? If not, why not?

Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

No.

Why not?...ask TW

Regards, Richard LeGros

PS: Did you not know, prior to voting for the recall, that stopping Tri-W would result in all the financial and political damage that has occurred (despite repeated warnings by many government agencies)?
If not, why not?

4crapkiller said...

Ann Balooooooon:

Until the Andre1 site was fully vetted it was valid. The property was available for sale. It was unknown whether or not PG&E would allow access to the site UNDER the power lines by giving a variance to their deed restrictions. It was really a good site, many projects such as nurserys etc. exist under power lines. However when they stated that they would not because they wanted the potential of placing a large underground electrical transmission line into the ground under the power lines, and wrote a letter to that effect, the site was found NOT usable. The letter was proof of previous conversations.

Another balooooooooon poped:

In the meantime, didn't the recall group advocate this site as a place for the Nelson Environmental system? Was not a copy of the PG&E letter to the LOCSD circulated for all to see? Did not someone get up at a LOCSD meeting and speak about the letter and the site. What other site was available out of town? Perhaps you do not know, a SERVICE DISTRICT has no power to eminent domain property OUTSIDE it's district boundries. What other site was available?

Hey baloooooon: Ever read LAFCO law? It was expected that they would put the dissolution up to a vote of the property owners who formed the district and were responsible for it. It is part of the law. This would have been the democratic way. It was reasonable.