In my previous post, I noted a link to Ron Crawford's latest posting, "The Tribune -- STILL worse than Nothing" -- and the next day, here's Exhibit A:
Front page story on, uh, what, exactly? Headline said: "Reclamator creator touts plan for Osos" " The maker of the purported toilet-to-tap device says a proposed partnership with the idstrict will solve the town's problems -- including bankruptcy."
Front page. Big type. Woooo! I could almost feel the hearts and spirits of the community rising as Tribune subscribers wandered out into the cold and wet soggy morning to pick up their papers. Ah, We Are Saved!
Urrrrnnnkkkk, not even close. Buried back on the page 6 jump are the unpleasant "facts" that should have alerted the editors that this story isn't ready for prime time.
Before ANY decisions get made about Mr. Murphy's "Reclamator," somebody --- Mr. Murphy? -- needs to go into federal? state? court to get a ruling on a whole bunch of things, including a definition of "discharge," and "pollution" and a ruling on the discharge numbers allowed under 83-13, among other things. Also, somebody needs to get a ruling over jurisdiction of septic tanks, and "discharge" of whatever is leaving whatever it is that's processing household wastewater and such like.
Without those rulings, this headline is nothing but paper-selling hokum. What went missing is the solid research that would nail down Mr. Murphy's claims and the RWQCB's claims -- i.e. asking that Mr. Harvey Packard formally declare that Mr. Murphy's device WILL NOT be allowed within the PZ and just as formally and officially indicate the policy and court rulings that support that official ruling. (What was noted in this non-story is Mr. Packard saying Murphy's plan wouldn't have an effect on the RWQCB's fine -- no mention of the RWQCB's declarations concerning CDOs and "discharges" within the PZ. THAT's the issue that's still gone missing in all stories about Mr. Murphy and his "Reclamator:"
Here's what the Tribune needs to nail down: An Official, final, legal ruling by the RWQCB on Mr. Murphy's device. Until that's forthcoming, then all we have here is Gamesmanship by Headlines starring Regulators, the County and an Entrepreneur.
And the public interest be damned.
Meantime, while the whooped-up headlines likely caught everyone's attention, they probably missed the small "More Coverage Inside" box which was snuggled next to the sub head, in tiny print, "Sewer project: County officials say work will go on after being denied $5 million in federal funding, Page 6.)
Ah yes, a PLAN FOR OSOS on the front page, big time, and $5 mil down the drain in tiny type buried inside. Yep, that's our Tribune.
Had my own letter to the editor show up in the Tribune. I was struck by a Jan 18th letter from Lorraine Bailey who very clearly was not happy with the movie, "No Country For Old Men," but did like "Charlie Wilson's War."
My response: "In her Jan. 18 letter ("Bad flick, good flick") Lorraine Bailey notes that she found "No Country for Old men" the worst movie she'd ever seen, in part because the critics "forgot to comment on the story line about a serial killer who murdered innocent people." In "No Country for Old Men," the professional hitman, played with chilling weirdness by Javier Bardem, killed about six people [hmmm, maybe have to correct that to seven? the possible 8th still isn't clear to me. There were so many other "hunters" after the hunter, hard to know just who got whom] to complete his mission, hence Ms. Bailey's bad review. On the other hand, she found that "Charlie wilson's War" provided "knowledge, humor and entertainment."
I found that an interesting comparison -- a hit man with six kills versus Charlie Wilson -- because clearly the critics also must have forgotten to inform Ms. Bailey that the direct blowback from Charlie's humorous and entertaining little war was Sept. 11 and the ongoing Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The kill rate in those conflicts is now in the hundreds of thousands of "murdered innocent people with plenty of blood and horror."
If the death toll of murdered innocents is the deciding factor, surely Charlie's little war would get "four tickets," while "No Country for Old Men" would barely rate as a humorous children's story by comparison." --end--
To be fair, Ms. Bailey likely wasn't familiar with the U.S.'s 30-year-old "great game" with Russia, part of the cold war with a still existant Soviet Union, and likely unfamiliar with that direct blowback. And Mike Nichol's light touch likely focused on the loonier aspects of that under-the-radar-we-deny-it-all quasi-black OP. And to be doubly fair, "No Country" is a harrowing film.
But for me, there is a bothersome "Springtime For Hitler" aspect to "Charlie's War," that has kept me from the theatre. The critics haven't been too kind either. Comedy, even black comedy is hard to pull off. And comedy involving so many dead . . . . mmmmm, even harder.
But I suspect "Charlie's War" is likely a perfect movie for a country that has litttle or no historical memory and so has little interest in or ability to connect the dots.
Speaking of Dots
Little blurb in the Trib: There's a new website that posts all those wonderful little dots from the Bush Administration that led to the Iraq war. The Center for Public Integrity has created the website so people can search for various buzz-words, i.e. look for the famous "mushroom cloud" reference, and up will pop the documents fin which the words appeared.
The database is at http://www.publicintegrity.org/.
For anyone paying attention at the time, or for anyone familiar with governmenal weasle-words and spin and media hype, those muddy little dots were all too clear. As was the failure of the Congress to do its job. Well, too late now.
But, look on the humorous and entertaining bright side: Maybe this data base will serve as a resource a few years from now for some screenwriter looking for a sparky, new comedy called "Georgie's War," a laff-a-minute comedy including hilarious scenes of whole pallets of gazillions of crisp dollars being "lost" in Baghdad's chaos, missing weapons caches, many of which likely turned up later as IED's aimed at American Soldiers. The Keystone Kops possibilities are endless.
Dr. Strangelove, anyone?