Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Nation Running On Stupid

From the L.A. Times, Aug 12, an article on new rules being rushed through by the Dept of Interior (gotta rape and pillage and get those building contracts signed before the Prez leaves office, make money while the sun shines) that would prevent the endangered species act from being “’a back door to climate change policy,’ the Interior secretary (Dirk Kempthorne) said.”

“In a statement Monday, the Interior Department declared that even if a federal action such as the permitting of a power plant would lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, the decision would not trigger a federal review “because it is not possible to link the emissions to impacts on specific listed species such as polar bears.”

“The draft rules obtained by the Associated Press would bar agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats.”

“The new rules were expected to be formally proposed immediately, officials told the Associated Press. ‘That would give the administration enough time to impose the rules before November’s presidential election. A new administration could freeze any pending regulations or reverse them, but that process could take months. Congress could overturn the rules through legislation, but that could take even longer.”

Well, just another reason why have absolutely NO confidence in anything this administration does or says . . . “ . . it is not possible to link the emissions to impacts on specific listed species such as polar bears.”

Uh, Secretary Kempthorn, take your chewing gum out of your ears, sit down and pay close attention. Polar bears require thick sea ice. Lots of it. They live on it all winter, far away from land and thus protected from land bears. Females den up in it to give birth. They stand on it to snare seals when the seals come to their regular breathing holes in the ice. While polar bears are great swimmers, if there are larger and larger gaps in the sea ice, the bears will drown while swimming to get to the other side of huge open areas. There are more and more large open sea areas because global warming (caused by combustion emissions, such as power plants) is causing the ice pack to melt earlier and results in larger and larger areas of open sea. It is predicted that in a relatively short period of time, there will be no polar ice cap.

No ice, no polar bears.

See? Simple.

But clearly, not for a nation running on (and being run by) stupid.

Thank Goodness, Then, There’s Some Smart In SLOTown

Tribune reports that the SLO City Council will meet tonight, Wed, Aug 13, in the city hall chambers at 7 pm. to hear from the public concerning a new ordinance to prevent “light pollution” from outdoor lighting. It would require lights (streetlights, security lights, etc.) on all new projects be designed to keep light shielded so it doesn’t uselessly spread light to neighboring areas and hence results in preserving our “night sky.”

More and more cities are moving in this direction and more and more lighting fixtures are being designed to be, not only more efficient, but work more efficiently because they’re directional. (Doesn’t make sense to light areas 50 feet up in the air when you’re trying to illuminate the ground, a sidewalk or parking lot.)

And with reduced light pollution, many neighborhoods will have a better shot at once again being able to see the night sky. (One of the benefits of living in my beloved Bangladesh by the Bay. When it isn’t overcast, we can still see the lovely stars since there aren’t streetlights all over the place.)

Nice, a town running on Smart.

Karma Strikes Again

Peter Y. Hono, Times staff writer, reports that Ed McMahon, Johnny Carsons’ former sidekick and pitchman for a wide variety of products, is being sued by a Huntington Beach lender to repay a loan. McMahon secured the loan with his house and he’s now in default and may lose his $4.6 million dollar home. Him and about a bazillion other folks, in the same boat.

Well, all I can say is Karma has caught up with Ed. Serves him right. For years he promised me a million bucks from the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. Sent me letters saying, Dear Mr. Ann Calhoun (Ed never could spell) YOU may be a winner. Year after year I waited for Ed to arrive at my doorstep with my money, but he never came. Instead he kept giving MY millions away to OTHER people.

Feh! Well, now Karma’s caught up with the guy. HOOOO-HA!BOOYAH!Yah!Yah!AAYEEEEEE!. Hop . . . hop . . . hop. . . fist bump!

O.K. I Know What You’re Thinking, That’s MEAN!

Yes, it is, mean as sin, but all perfectly natural.

Again from the Times, “Victory dance is only human – or is it?” an article noting that “Chimps do it. Gorillas do it. Michael Phelps does it too. . . . The exuberant dance of victory – arms thrust toward the sky and chest puffed out at a defeated opponent – turns out to be an instinctive trait of all primates –humans included, according to research released Monday. . . .

“Scientists from the University of British Columbia and San Francisco State University looked at thousands of photographs of judo matches taken during the 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games in Athens, for such classic in-your-face victory moves as clenched fists, thrown-back heads and outstretched arms.

“The images of the 140 blind and sighted athletes from 37 countries revealed that Paralympic athletes blind from birth struck the same triumphant stance as sighted Olympic athletes. Since the blind athletes could not have learned the victory dance by watching others, the scientists concluded that the behavior was innate.

“They found that the dance was the same for all, regardless of what culture or country they came from. “ and that “This display of human pride and exuberance . . . closely resembles the dominance displays of chimps and monkeys, which also feature outstretched arms and exaggerated postures, researchers said.”

Interestingly, “ . . . researchers unexpectedly found that sighted athletes from individualistic societies, such as in the U.S. and Western Europe, tended to put on a brave front, outwardly appearing to stand tall in the face of defeat and shame, the report said.

“[researcher Jessica Tracy] speculated that the athletes were intentionally hiding their feelings – consciously overriding their innate urge to signal defeat – because losing is so stigmatized in their cultures.

“We have been taught that even if we screw up in live, to hide it,” she said.

“It’s just like politics in the West, she added, ‘It’s not OK to say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’”

Which inability, of course, leads to a Nation Running On Stupid.


Ron said...

"Feh! Well, now Karma’s caught up with the guy. HOOOO-HA!BOOYAH!Yah!Yah!AAYEEEEEE!. Hop . . . hop . . . hop. . . fist bump!"

Mr. Ann Calhoun, you are very funny.

There, I wrote a take that actually has a something to do with the main post.

Now... on to something awkward, and the reason why I'm here this morning:

Since Taxpayers Watch, unlike my mom's gardening club, doesn't have a web site, so, I have no idea how to contact them, and I'm researching a story that involves them, and I have a question for them, and I know that the person I have the question for reads and posts in Ann's comment sections, I'm kinda forced to do some of my research here... publicly, and that's awkward.

Here's my question:

Richard, why doesn't your name and signature appear on the "Stipulation for Entry of Judgement" that "members" of Taxpayers Watch signed in 2007 so that LAFCO wouldn't pursue their lawsuit against TW?

The SEJ has the signatures of Joyce Albright, Robert Crizer, Sharon Fredericks, and, your boy, Gordo. But no "Richard LeGros."

Why isn't your name and signature on that document, Richard? Apparently, unlike Albright, Crizer, Fredericks, and Hensley, you're not legally on the hook for that $27,000 LAFCO bill, just them.


Thanks for the opportunity to ask my question, Mr. Calhoun.

Now back to your regular programming...

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Realistic1 said...


Richard was a signator to the petition to dissolve, just like the other 3499 citizens who signed. Since when does signing a petition make one subject to litigation?

Mike Green said...

Well it all goes to show you that signing a petition is a lot safer than voting for a slogan.
Maybe government by petition would lead to less stupid in the world........nah.

Travel update, click on my name

Ron said...

Richard, thank you for your reply.

You wrote:

"The County did not see the need to name me in the lawsuit."

Right. Exactly. That's why I asked my question in the first place, that you've yet to answer. (I guess I'll have to go and bug Paul Hood again to get a real answer. He's great at that.)

Here's what I don't understand... Sharon and Robert don't act as spokespeople for Taxpayers Watch, like Richard. However, Sharon and Robert were named in the lawsuit, and Richard wasn't.

Why isn't the most vocal, visible, co-founder of Taxpayers Watch -- a recalled CSD Director (1 of three, with another, Gordon Hensley, named in the lawsuit) -- NOT on the hook for that $27,000 LAFCO bill, yet, two people that I've never heard of, and wouldn't recognize if I bumped into them on the street, on the line for thousands of dollars for that complete-waste-of-time, undemocratic, failed dissolution attempt?

That strikes me as odd... very, very odd. (I wonder if Sharon and Robert are pissed that their financial necks are on the line, but Richard's isn't... huh, interesting.)

Richard wrote:

"the County did not name some or all of the remaining 3500 folks who signed the dissolution petition either."

I have another question:

Richard, do you and Gordon consider those "3,500 folks" to be "members" of Taxpayers Watch, and, if so, are those "folks" aware that you run around in official circles referring to them as your "members?"

Off to go check Mike's update...

franc4 said...

Real 1 sez,

" Since when does signing a petition make one subject to litigation?"

Yet, TW is using basically this as the basis for their law suit againt the individual members of the LOCSD.....isn't it?

It sounds as if that's what they (LOCSD) did.....sign a petition, yet they are facing litigation. Where's the difference?

Realistic1 said...


You obviously don't know much about the TPW lawsuit.

The directors aren't being sued for signing the recall petition.

The directors are being sued because they used public money to settle private debts they incurred before they were elected.

They are also being sued because they used dedicated tax revenues for purposes other than they were collected for. That's against the law.

The TPW petition to dissolve the CSD (signed by 3500 citizens)has nothing to do with the the current lawsuit. The two things are not related.

Realistic1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Realistic1 said...


Richard offers his opinion about the activities of TPW - that doesn't make him a spokesperson.

He signed the petition to dissolve - that doesn't make him a spokesperson for TPW - nor does it make anyone else who signed it a spokesperson.

Ann Calhoun signed the petition to create the CSD - did that make her a director or a spokesperson for the CSD? I don't think so.

Steven said...

Richard was present during the deposition of Lisa Schicker in the TPW lawsuit... does that make him a member?? it sort of puts him in a position to speak for the organization doesn't it?

I wonder... Richard, were Sharon or Robert present at that deposition? If not, did you fill them in on what happened?

Mike said...

Does any of this sniffing around trying to sound like you are some blogging sleuth actually accomplish anything...??? Or is this just another attempt to divert attention from the truth...???

The TW Lawsuit begins October 6 and then we can all quit second guessing what's legal and whats perceived to be legal... May the best case win...or is that what Ron is afraid of...???

Contact Taxpayers Watch at:

P.O. Box 6884 Los Osos, CA 93412

Thank you for your continuing support of our efforts.

Joyce Albright, Chair
Sharon Frederick, Treasurer

Churadogs said...

If TPW has a "chair" and a "treasurer" (above) is it registered with the State as a nonprofit organization, or some sort of "AKA, doing business as" official entity? Or something "official?" Or is it just a bunch of people who made up a name, "voted" themselves chairmanship and treasurer titles and who have no "real" organizational status? Are the only real "members" the Chair, secretary? & Treasurer? (As is pointed out, signing a petition doesn'tmake one a "member" of anything.

Mike said...

Ann, I would be very disappointed to learn that you do not know the TaxPayers Watch organization... and do you really think it only a ragtag group who made up a name...???

I'm sure you know better, at least I would like to think you know better... If not, well that would explain a lot of things you have said...

Ron said...

Chruadogs wrote:

"Or is it (Taxpayers Watch) just a bunch of people who made up a name..."

"A bunch" seems to me like a generous phrase to describe the people behind Taxpayers Watch.

As far as I can tell, it's basically six people -- the three extremely bitter, recalled CSD Directors, then Robert Crizer, Joyce Albright, and Sharon Frederick.

And, that's it.

"Mike" wrote (the reason I put that in quotes is because "Mike's" post is signed "Joyce Albright, Chair/Sharon Frederick, Treasurer"... uhhhh... whatever.):

"The TW Lawsuit begins October 6 and then we can all quit second guessing what's legal and whats perceived to be legal... May the best case win...or is that what Ron is afraid of...???"

Dude (or Dudettes), afraid? I don't even know what you're talking about. "The TW Lawsuit?" Yea, I guess I am afraid. I'm afraid that you are going to have to be MUCH more specific than ""The TW Lawsuit."

Then "Mike" wrote:

"Ann, I would be very disappointed to learn that you do not know the TaxPayers Watch organization"

Uhhh... again... Dude(ettes)... NONE of us "know the TaxPayers Watch organization," because you guys/gals are so shady.

Get a web site. Out.