NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Monday, February 28, 2005

More problems with perception

Grown Ups catches another environmentalist with a perception deficit.

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More No Growth Rationalization

Jim Hurley establishes a no growth position in "Population cap" raises questions, in a February 28, 2005 Other Voices.
And the unrecognized elephant in the room is the fact that the 150,000 cap assumes that the cities will maintain current county zoning in their annexations. But the county has little or no control over the growth in the coming annexations to Grass Valley. Be afraid.


What is the difference between a population cap and a cap on the zoning which defines the maximum population? It is profound. If it were a population cap, there would be no restriction on development until the population reached 150,000, perhaps 40 years from now. But, since the buildout population (i.e. the population potential) of the existing General Plan is already at (or greater than) 150,000, the constraint applies immediately.
(Emphasis added)

Mr. Hurley, is a member of the Rural Quality Coalition, which advocates no growth, or only the growth they approve. He and his organization demonstrates the attitude uncovered in a Harvard study of 300 housing markets to determine why housing prices are climbing so fast, pricing millions out of the housing market.
Our preliminary evidence suggests that there was a significant increase in the ability of local residents to block new projects and a change of cities from urban growth machines to homeowners' cooperatives.
(Emphasis added)

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Taxing Transportation Question

Are ready to pay more taxes for better roads, or would you perfer a pay as you go with a taxi meter in your car. Check out my post at NC Transportation.

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Merchants of Despair

Victor Davis Hanson has another great historical perspective on the Mideast Wars at National Review Online. He predicts:
By the end of this year, formerly critical liberal pundits, backsliding conservative columnists, once-fiery politicians, Arab "moderates," ex-statesmen and generals emeriti, smug stand-up comedians, recently strident Euros — perhaps even Hillary herself — will quietly come to a consensus that what we are witnessing from Afghanistan and the West Bank to Iraq and beyond, with its growing tremors in Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, and the Gulf, is a moral awakening, a radical break with an ugly past that threatens a corrupt, entrenched, and autocratic elite and is just the sort of thing that they were sort of for, sort of all along — sort of...
I predict that our local liberals will continue their lunatic opposition to President Bush and his policies.

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More PNM Book Reviews

Dean Barnett (no relation to the author) reviews Thomas P. M. Barnett’s book at Tech Central Station, Mind the Gap: Revisiting 'The Pentagon's New Map'

I am a strong believer in Barnett’s vision of our future, and I high recommend his book if you are interested in foreign affairs, or in business. Business leaders must plan for tomorrows markets in a global market place. Even if they do not sell internationally, there is a foreign manufacture who is just waiting to take their domestic market share. Remember, Wal-Mart buys $81 billion in products from China. Understanding the Core and Gap relationships, as defined by Tom Barnett, are vital to understaning the dynamic of tomorrows marketplace, domestic or global.

You can also read the review and Tom's comments here.

UPDATE: Tom has posted five more reviews and comments.

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Too Much Hot Air - No Debate

Jim Groom is concerned about Generational warfare, February 26, 2005
Bush and Congress are selling Social Security reform to the young. Why the young? Simple: Selling requires "generational warfare." Remember "class warfare?" Hold onto your wallets; we are in for a bumpy ride. Wake up America. Don't be fooled again!

ooo

Have you really listened to the radical and bizarre offerings from Washington? Hearing Bush offer simple figments of imagination, fantasies of the air without clarification is disturbing. The issue demands serious debate and Bush's conclusion is my way or the highway. Purely ideologically driven nonsense and wrong for America. Be vigilant, America.
Mr Groom demands serious debate, yet he adds little to the discussion. If President Bush is wrong, Social Security does not need to be repaired, what is Mr Groom’s solution? The math is quite simple, the young will have to shoulder the burden of baby boomer generation, when there will be only two workers for every retired person on Social Security in 2050.

Michael Tanner, CATO Institute, points out in USA Today, 1 February 2005, that the problem was recognized long before President Bush took office.
Social Security will begin running a deficit in less than 15 years — that is, it will begin to spend more money on benefits than it brings in by taxes. At that point, to continue to pay promised benefits, the program will have to draw on the Social Security Trust Fund.

Crisis deniers have made much of the trust fund recently, suggesting that it guarantees Social Security's solvency until 2042, or even 2052, according to some projections. However, it was President Clinton — not President Bush — who pointed out that: "These trust fund balances are available to finance future benefit payments … but only in a bookkeeping sense."

Clinton's fiscal year 2000 budget explained that trust fund assets are not "real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits." Rather, these funds are "claims on the Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures."

Thus, in less than 15 years, the federal government will have to begin finding billions of dollars to continue paying benefits — by cutting benefits, raising taxes or borrowing even more money. Overall, Social Security's unfunded liabilities total nearly $12 trillion, and the longer we wait, the worse it gets. Estimates suggest that each year that we wait to reform Social Security costs between $150 billion and $600 billion more.

Lets start the debate, what is your solution Mr Groom? More details on the crisis here.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Unintended Consequences of Rules

Future of traffic rule uncertain City examines controversial '2-second rule' by Britt Retherford, February 25, 2005
For the past two years, projects in Grass Valley have been stalled, tweaked, and even halted - all in the name of traffic and a particular rule that determines if, when, and where a new business can be located.
ooo
Councilman Dean Williams said he wants to make it into an even more strict "one-second rule." This would essentially create a moratorium on building anything at all in Grass Valley, Swarthout noted.

Has any one noticed that the Cities and County fret about the lack of affordable housing, yet they go about making rules that inhibit the development of such housing. See my 20 Feb. posting on a Harvard study of 300 housing markets. It is folks like Dean Williams, speaking for the Neighborhood Associations that want to tighten up the rules, that will someday be moaning about the lack of affordable housing.

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Piety Hill Press

The number of interesting Nevada County web logs is growing. Bo Salisbury is posting at the Piety Hill Press

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Travel Day

Posting may be light tomorrow, we are returning home from our wonderful island vacation. We were fortunate to have a WiFi broadband connection in our B&B room. Whale watching while blogging is a real adventure. The Bay View Inn in Captain Cook, on the Big Island, is highly recommended if you are e-mail or Internet addicted, or if you just want a great place to relax , leave the laptop home.

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A chronology of climate change

The global warming scam, By Derek Kelly, PhD in Asia Times
During most of the last billion years the Earth did not have permanent ice sheets. Nevertheless, at times large areas of the globe were covered with vast sheets of ice. Such times are known as glaciations. In the past 2 million to 3 million years, the temperature of the Earth has changed (warmed or cooled) at least 17 times, some say 33, with glaciations that last about 100,000 years interrupted by warm periods that last about 10,000 years.
We have had global warming and cooling 17 to 33 times, with out human intervention. Humm...

Be sure to read the whole article. Dr Kelly lays out global warming events over the last 15,000 years.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Global Warming Personal Attack

Sid Heaton rant in Writer's agenda clear, February 23, 2005, makes me wonder what happened to the Union's policy of no personal attacks in the letters to the Editor.
Russ Steele has escaped! No longer confined to his monthly screed in the Letters page, Russ has interjected his usual crank theories on global warming into the ordinarily benign world of book reviews in three of the last four Prospectors.
On vacation for the last three week, I do not know which books Sid is concerned about. The only global warming books reviews submitted so far was State of Fear, By Michael Crichton Apparently this is the review that got under Sid’s skin:

“Wow, you have got to read this book, said Ellen as she finished the last page. “Its about global warming and eco-terrorism, some of your favorite subjects.” I had given her the book for Christmas, because Michael Crichton is one of her favorite authors. State of Fear is a techno political thriller that provides insight into how eco-terrorists operate, how they are funded, and use the press to push their hoaxes on the public. In this case the hoax is global warming, which is currently being used by eco-terrorists to harm the economies of industrialized nations.

This unique novel includes an eighteen-page reference section, and a five-page policy statement outlining what Crichton learned while writing the book. ”Nobody knows how much warming will occur in the next century.”

State of Fear is great storytelling for those who would never read a science book, a great way for non-scientists to learn about the global warming hoax, and those who are promoting it. This is not a perfect book, the reference section leaves out key documents, and both sides of issues are not fully addressed. And, yes I really enjoyed this fast paced book.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Filtered Bush Budget

Debbie Polhemus Budget has no values, February 19, 2005
I read the news about the president's budget, and I reject the values it reflects.
And here is the problem. Debbie did not read the budget, she read a reporters interpretation of the budget summary. Few if any read the whole budget, it is too long and too complex. Since 90 percent of the press is admittedly liberal, many with a strong bias against Bush, what they write about the Bush Budget goes through a filter. Debbie gets her information from a filtered summary.


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Monday, February 21, 2005

Through a Liberals Eyes

Harry Wyeth, write the U.S. is the 'exceptional society',February 21, 2005

Here we go, looking at the world through the lens of a liberal brain, American is BAD:
1. The U.S. is the only large democracy without a national health system that guarantees health care for all. All the countries of Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and even Mexico offer a legal right to medical care. The U.S. is the only country that ties health insurance to employment, thereby assuring that those without jobs may lose their health insurance.
Well anyone can get health insurance that wants to pay, it is not free. Any person can go to the emergency room and get care. In Canada the free health insurance costs each family individual over $7,000 a year in taxes. The wait for an MRI is two to six months. Most heart transplant candidates die before scheduled for a surgery.
2. America is the only large industrialized nation that has refused to endorse the Kyoto protocols for reducing global warming from carbon dioxide emissions. Even Russia has signed on to this modest effort to at least maintain emissions at their current levels while allowing some leeway for underdeveloped nations to improve their economies.
Is Australia a large Industrial Nation? They have refused to sign. Italy will not longer be a member after 2012, the impact on their economy is too great. Russia signed only to be “friendly to our European friends, President Putin does not believe in Global Warming,” said a senior staff advisor.
3. The U.S. is the only country in the world where the metric system of measurement is not generally used.
Agreed, having both metric and and standard tools to work on my cars is a pain in the butt. I remember, we were going to transition to the metric system, but the outcry was too great for our political leaders and the requirement was remove. The American people had spoken.
4. We are the only democracy that allows our president to be chosen by an Electoral College system that does not ensure that the most popular candidate is elected.
We are not a democracy, we are a republic. If the majority of the American people want a change, then we need to change the Constitution. Where is the outcry for change?
5. Increasingly, America seems to be driven by religious-motivated politics. There is one area of the world that exceeds our devotion in this respect, of course, and that is the set of Islamic "republics" dominated by Muslim zealots.
And what about our secular zealots, lead by the ACLU.
6. The U.S. is one of the few developed nations that still imposes the death penalty. The process of execution is far more costly to taxpayers than life imprisonment and does not seem to be doing much to resolve the problem of violence and crime.
What? This is a stupid statement, look at the falling crime stats on the Bureau of Justice Statistics web site here.
7. Conversely, the U.S. is a leader in violent crimes and legal access to handguns. The gun culture here is matched mainly by countries such as Yemen, Colombia and Afghanistan.
"The United States provides a valuable point of comparison for assessing crime rates because the criminal justice system there differs so drastically from those in Europe and the Commonwealth. Not only are criminal penalties typically more severe in the United States, often much more severe, but also conviction and incarceration rates are usually much higher. Perhaps the most striking difference is that qualified citizens in the United States can carry concealed handguns for self-defence. During the past few decades, more than 25 states in the United States passed laws allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns. In 2003, there are 35 states where citizens can get such a permit.

The upshot is that violent crime rates, and homicide rates in particular, have been falling in the United States. The drop in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world.”
Check out stats more crime stats here.
8. We are the only sizable nation that does not have diplomatic relations with Cuba, a harmless country that could benefit from interaction with us.
It is not harmless, but I agree, with US trade, this communist regime would collapse
9. Americans are notably uninformed about world affairs, geography, languages, and different cultures. This is partly due to the geographic isolation of North America and the size of our country, but observers throughout the world have commented on the "ugly American" for decades.
Yea, we are ugly Americans until the world needs our help, then we are the world saviors. A good part of the ugly American label is justified. We travel extensively and have seen many of our fellow Americans being ugly. It is a sad commentary
The United States is a leader in some fields, including certain environmental areas, science, and finance, but mostly we are on a different track than the rest of the world. The Euro is becoming the world's most accepted currency, the dollar is losing value, and American leadership and influence are steadily dwindling. Need we wonder why?
Really? I wonder why so many people from around the world want to come to America? People around the world both embrace things American and, at the same time, decry U.S. influence on their societies.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Affordable Housing Prices & RQC

There is an interesting article in the Feb. 12th-18th Economist. It discusses an article coming out in the American Economic Review which asks: Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up? I have included the abstract below. The paper is based on a Harvard study of 300 housing markets. I found the last sentence of the abstract most interesting: “Our preliminary evidence suggests that there was a significant increase in the ability of local residents to block new projects and a change of cities from urban growth machines to homeowners' cooperatives.”

Can we all say Rural Quality Coalation?

=====================================
Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?
Edward L. Glaeser
Joseph Gyourko
Raven Saks

Since 1950, housing prices have risen regularly by almost two percent per year. Between 1950 and 1970, this increase reflects rising housing quality and construction costs. Since 1970, this increase reflects the increasing difficulty of obtaining regulatory approval for building new homes. In this paper, we present a simple model of regulatory approval that suggests a number of explanations for this change including changing judicial tastes, decreasing ability to bribe regulators, rising incomes and greater tastes for amenities, and improvements in the ability of homeowners to organize and influence local decisions. Our preliminary evidence suggests that there was a significant increase in the ability of local residents to block new projects and a change of cities from urban growth machines to homeowners' cooperatives.

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Beale Update - Yuba Highlands

Yuba Net Local/Region
Local opinion: Don Rivenes: Yuba Highlands
Author: Don Rivenes, Nevada City CA
Published on Feb 19, 2005, 09:11

Rivenes is against Yuba Highland because it produces urban sprawl in the county side.
The Yuba Highlands project is a classic example of sprawl – a proposed new town 20 miles from the nearest urban area. This development spreads out over large amounts of land; puts long distances between homes, stores, and job centers; and makes people even more dependent on driving in their daily lives.
He prefers Smart Growth
Principles of Smart Growth include: preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas; provide a variety of transportation choices; strengthen and direct development towards existing communities; create a range of housing opportunities and choices; and foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place.

Has anyone noted that Don Rivenes is also against the four developments proprosed to be annexed to Grass Valley, which is an existing community with a strong sense of place. Where new home will be close to stores, job centers with convenient access to public transit. Could it be that Mr. Rivenes is against all new development?

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In Defense of Global Warming

Ken Davis writes in the defense of Global Warming in Closed mind a waste, February 19, 2005

It is always nice to get some support for your argument, especially when The Union publishes Tom Van Wagner’s critical letter of my Global Warming Other Voices twice, one in January and again in February. But, I really liked Ken'a closing statement.
A closed mind is a wonderful thing to waste.
We see alot of wasted minds in the letters to the editor.

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Boring Hate

Steve Kinsman writes of Despicable behavior, February 19, 2005

What is the purpose of all these letters attacking President Bush? It seems like one or more a day. The election is over. We have chosen our leader for the next four years. My guess it is a kind of therapy? The writers have so much hate for Bush gnawing at their innards, they have ot let it out in letters to the editor. I was not happy with President Clinton, but I did not hate the man, just question his judgment. We can all benefit from some thoughtful analysis of President Bush’s decisions, but hate filled letters are a just bore.

Wayne at Grown Ups has some thoughts about maturity worth noting.

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An Articulate Other View

John A. Howard in Another view of Bush inauguration, February 19, 2005 says it better than I could in a well thought out and articulate Other Voices.

There is nothing wrong with idealistic speeches if you are honest in your beliefs and back up what you say. The Inauguration Day speech was a "Job well done." The Democratic Party and its sympathizers just don't get it. They lost the election and now we must listen to why we the uninformed neo-conservatives who can be easily manipulated caused this defeat.

Well done Mr Howard!

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Friday, February 18, 2005

New Thinking with a Liberal Twist

Terry Lamphier thinks Now is the time for some new thinking is a February 18, 2005 Other Voices

Is there anyone besides me who is tired of seeing the same arguments over and over again on these pages? I'm hoping in this column to kick-start some new thinking so that we can move some of the debate forward.

As a conservative I often disagree with Mr. Lamphier, but his call for some new ideas is more than welcome. Since I am one of the contributors to the global warming argument, lets start there.
No. 1: global warming and the environment. Does it really matter whether global warming is a natural cycle or man-made? Evidence is, it is some of both and it IS happening. The point should be, "are we doing what we can to understand it, and, as necessary and feasible, to mitigate the effects?
ooo

Make no mistake, we appear headed for some major challenges to civilization within our lifetimes; I hope those who minimize concerns about the environment are right.

I agree, the best approach is to accommodate global warming. I do not agree, we are in for some major global warming challenges in our lifetime. The Arctic and Antarctic ice is not going to melt and flood the world in our life time. Global warming is not causing more storms violent than normal in our lifetime. Global warming is a long term cycle, which humans, animals and plants will adapt to. They have for millions of years!

We will examine some more comment on other issues later

UPDATE: I think Wayne at Grown Ups caps the issue, no farther comments necessary!

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Housing Reality Check

Richard Colombini wants a General plan reality check in the February 17, 2005 letters to the editor.
Unlike Mr. Carville, I don't see the "necessity and desirability of a development such as Loma Rica Ranch." I always had visions of this county growing via infill houses and small developments at a reasonable pace, which would give local contractors employment and would avoid the noise, dust, and extra traffic that a huge construction project would generate. To me, growing "within our means" and sticking to our General Plan is the best way to reach the goals this community has established!
The reality is California’s population is growing and the state is demanding that each county house their fair share of this growth. If we fail to plan for more housing, the County and the Cities loose access to grant money.

If we do not build more houses, supply and demand takes over, and the cost of housing continues to rise, driving out our young people and critical service people, who can not afford to live here.

A yet to be published Harvard University study of 300 housing markets, points to government regulation and politically organized citizen groups who resist new development, as the main causes for rapidly rising housing prices and the dirth of affordable housing. More on this study later.


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New Laptop

New Mac laptop arrived by FedEx today, but it took three and one half hours in the largest Hawaii traffic jam I ever saw to get to the pick up point. It was worth the wait.

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Catching Up One

Michael Schwalm is Analyzing the inauguration speech, in a, February 12, 2005 Other Voices

I have a lot of issues, with Mr Schwalm's Other Voices, but for now let's just review his first statement.
Democracy is not viable without complete freedom of speech. In the U.S. a small handful of people own all the television and cable media which is where most Americans get their information
Yes, a small hand full of liberal outlets used to control our news. In true Democratic form the Internet web loggers, talk radio and Fox News (fastest growing cable news network) is changing where people get their news. In fact, any citizens with a computer can publish their own version of the news, or hold the liberal press accountable. Cases in point are Trent Lotts racist comments, Dan Rathers blather about the Bush military record and Eason Jordan at CNN who claimed the troops were targeting journalist. All went down in flames, once challenged by citizen journalist. According to the Pew Internet in American Life Project:
On a typical day at the end of 2004, some 70 million American adults logged onto the Internet to use email, get news, access government information, check out health and medical information, participate in auctions, book travel reservations, research their genealogy, gamble, seek out romantic partners, and engage in countless other activities. That represents a 37 percent increase from the 51 million Americans who were online on an average day in 2000 when the Pew Internet & American Life Project began its study of online life.
Millions are not longer held captive by a small handful of people [who] own all the television and cable media. Wake up Mr Schwalm.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Busted Laptop

Well, we arrived in broadband land, but the Mac screen is blank, a little airplane damage. New one should arrive by FedEX tomorrow. Sorry for the delayed posting We will catch up

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Vacation Posting

I am on a short vacation trip to radio free Mendocino, so unless I find a broadband cybercafe, I will have to limit my commentary. Will try to catch up when I find some broadband access.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Frogs in the frying pan full of hot water

Edie Lau -- Bee Staff Writer on Panel reviews cap on gas emissions
The Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday reviewed a state cap on automotive greenhouse gas emissions without much of the debate that has dogged the controversial rule.
It would appear, that the public is willing to pay more for their cars and light trucks, rather than question the global warming junk science that the Air Quality Resource Board is using to justify this increase. Go figure.

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Monday, February 07, 2005

Global Warming Update III

The Assembly Transportation Committee held a hearing today on regulations requiring auto manufacturers to sharply reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists say contribute to global warming. Not!

The regulations were adopted by the Air Resources Board last September, to be phased in starting with 2009 vehicles. The Transportation Committee is looking to see if the regulations follow 2002 legislation that made California the first state to adopt the global warming fraud by demanding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from autos. This is going to cost every new car owner from $1,050 to 3,000 per vehicle, starting in 2009.

The only problem with this whole farce is the ARB based their decision on the United Nations Third Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change, which showed a huge hockey stick of rapid growth in global temperature. However, Canadian scientist Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have found a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program use to produce the global warming “hockey stick.” The IPCC model produces the same rapid increase in temperature over the past 50 years, when test data made up of random numbers is used in place of the 70 different climate records, mostly derived from tree ring growth patterns.

That is right, random numbers produce the same results as the tree ring temperature data. Now, I ask you, do you want to pay more a $1,050 to $3,000 for you new car based on a computer math error?

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Thinking the Unthinkable

Fred Levien wants us to be Thinking the unthinkable, in an Other Voices February 7, 2005.
"Thinking the Unthinkable-A Nuclear Terrorist attack on the U.S.A." Don't like that subject? Neither do I. But like it or not, it's a real and valid threat. I have spent the last 15 years in the business of "Information" for the U.S. military and decided that this topic was worth exploring. I would be untruthful if I said I wasn't a little nervous addressing this problem. But I believe that at this time, it is very likely that we will see a terrorist nuclear detonation on U.S. soil. Three momentous occurrences drive me to say this: The loss of control by Russia of its nuclear weapons stockpiles; the fanatic hatred of the U.S. by the Muslim terrorist world (Point of fact: the Saudi Government's daily newspaper just published an article in which it charged that the U.S. military was harvesting and selling human organs in Iraq.); and finally, the resources being provided to the terrorists by several nations that want, above all else, to see the United States crippled.
If you want to find out who those countries that want to harm the US and are supporting the Muslim terror harboring nations, read Treachery: How America’s Friends and Foes are Secretly Arming our Enemies, by Bill Gertz Bill Gertz provides Treachery readers with information they will not see in Pentagon press releases, or daily press briefings. He gives readers an insiders look at how our friends and foes are arming terrorist organizations, including Saddam, even after the Second Gulf war started. Our tanks were attacked with sophisticated French antitank missiles, which had 2002 dated serial numbers. Leading up to the war Germany shipped dual use technology, that could be used for nuclear production.

Beyond our “friends” arming Saddam through the UN’s Oil-for-Peace Program, nuclear proliferation is a growing global threat. Gertz documents how both our “friends” and foes are targeting US nuclear and Department of Energy facilities to capture our weapons technology. Once this technology is on the street, it can fall in to the hands of terrorists, accelerating global nuclear proliferation. Proliferation, that goes beyond North Korea and Iran, into the hands of international terrorists.

While Gertz suggests classic responses to nuclear proliferation, such as strengthening our military and intelligence capabilities, the real solution is for the American people to wake up to the growing nuclear weapons proliferation threat. If not, the nation will have to recover from a attack more horrific than 9/11. This is a must read for everyone who is concerned with national defense, it is a keeper. Once you understand the threat, express your concern to your Congressional leaders and newspaper editors. Gertz’s message -- It is time for action on nuclear proliferation!

Thanks for taking the initiative Mr. Levien. Lets hope the Union readers respond in a positive way. I will predict you will be attacked for your effort. Time will tell.

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Ignore Global Warming headlines, read the details

The danger is hot air, not global warming, By Ross Clark, London Daily Telegraph
"Biggest-ever climate simulation warns temperatures may rise by 11 degrees C". Inevitably, the story was widely reported in these alarmist terms. Yet when read in detail, the Nature paper told a different story. The climate change simulations were run 2,000 times, each time with slightly different assumptions. Only the very highest estimate predicted a rise of 11C. Most simulations suggested a rise of around 3.4C, while several actually predicted a fall in global temperatures (though these were discarded by the researchers on "technical grounds"). Moreover, the simulations proposed no timescale for the predicted changes.
Emphasis added. It would appear that, scientists were cherry picking the data, to produce scare mongering headlines, rather than real science. It pays to read the full report, not just the summary which is often written to fill a political need rather than promote the advancement of science.

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The lefties get no respect

Another brilliant article by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online, The Global Throng Why the world’s elites gnash their teeth. It is long but worth your time.

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What's the value of Community TV?

Britt Retherford's article Forces gather to save NCTV Facing financial problems, station looks to Comcast, February 4, 2005, raises some interesting questions.
Blaming Comcast for an impending money crisis that could lead to its closure, Nevada County Television has formed its own task force to lobby for support from area residents, and local and state government elected officials.
What is the value of Community Television?

If it is valuable to the community, why must it depend on Comcast for funding?
One plan is to spearhead NCTV's own fund-raising campaign, Sitzer said.

"I want to do a week fund-raising drive, culminating in a telethon. We are going to show the community we are a valuable station, but that won't put pressure on Comcast."
Now that is the right attitude, let the viewers of Community Television to support it. I have always wondered why NCTV and it predecessor, did not adapt the KVMR model, which is public supported radio. If NCTV is valuable to it’s viewer, then let them support it. Blaming Comcast is short sighted, and a bit self serving. However, it could be that NCTV has so few people watching that it cannot be viewer supported Then that raises the question, what is it's value?

A modern cable plant has more community value than just public television. Comcast is upgrading the cable plant and will bring much need competition to SBC, which has failed to bring broadband communications to large segments of our community. Segments that are currently served by Comcast, and more that can be with expansion of the current systems in to new neighborhoods.

With an upgraded cable plant, Comcast can offer customer new services including high speed internet, telephone services using voice over IP technology, and I-NET to public agencies. I-NET will link public facilities, with data, videos and audio services. I-NET will provides for greater integration of government services and give citizens more access to government meetings via the Internet.

So, kicking out Comcast in a fight over public television that few people watch will be a disservice to the whole community. Let’s hope our Supervisors take the larger view of the cable plants value.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Simple terror reduction?

Sterling Warr-Pryer writes about Reducing terrorism without loss of life, February 4, 2005
What if instead of being the arrogant big bully of the world, the U.S. made unilateral preemptive strikes of caring around the world? We could create help centers for needy villages regardless of race, religion, or politics. If a small health clinic cost $2 million, a school $.5 million a fleet of community tractors $.5 million, and a water improvement team $1 million, the cost of one week in Iraq (latest estimate $1 billion) could create 250 centers around the world. One "Iraqi month" would spawn 1,000 centers and one year 12,000 centers.
While Sterling appears to be a compassionate individual, his view of the terrorist problem are too simplistic. Terrorism is a religious war. It is about power and control of a few religious leaders over the many. When the US Troops arrived in Indonesia to help rebuild villages after the tsunami, the Muslim government ask us to leave in 90 days. They did not want us spreading our ideas about individual freedom. The Iraq terrorists are fighting against democracy and individual freedom, they blow up the power plants our troops are rebuilding, destroy water and power facilities out troops repaired, bomb hospitals and schools our troop are rebuilding. If schools, clinics, clean water and reliable power are the solution to terrorism, whey are the terrorist destroying them?

The best solution is individual freedom, connection to the global economy, international foreign investment, and then let the freed people build their own infrastructure, schools, and medical facilities. They will appreciate and care for them more, than if they were a gift from the great Christian Satan.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Britt Retherford reports on A look ahead - Grass Valley officials plan for future regarding traffic, housing and community involvement. February 3, 2005
Grass Valley city officials met Wednesday afternoon to plan the city's future - or at least plot out the next two years of it.

Councilwoman Lisa Swarthout said she was displeased with the way the Richardson and Bennett streets intersection project turned out and that future multimillion projects currently on the table need more study.
ooo

"I think it is important for us to know what the citizens want," said Councilwoman Lisa Swarthout, adding that during her nine years on the Planning Commission, there was often a disconnect between understanding what the City Council's directives and goals meant when making decisions that affected residents' lives.
I am confused, about Lisa Swarthouts concerns over the Richardson and Bennett streets intersection? Did she express her concerns and they were not reported? I am even more confused about her complaints over the lack of planning, when I discovered she was a Planning Commissioner for nine years. So, did she contribute to in the lack of planning on this intersection? Did this need for more planning result from citizen complaints about limited Post Office access? It always pays when planning to do some second level thinking. "What are the second level consequences of this decision." Does this design fix a simple problem, but create a more complex problem, or maybe two?

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Union recycling global warming letters

The Union decided to recycle Tom Van Wagner’s Leave science to scientists, originally published on 1 January under What Credentials, now again on 2 February with a new title. Well that gives me an opportunity to provide some additional information on Arctic and Antarctic temperatures, which are not warming more than they did in the early 1900s, before the big increase in CO2. Yes, see the graphs. My orginal post is in the January Archives.

After taking a personal whack at me for being a writer who lives under a rock, Van Wagner wrote:
Dude, the Arctic is melting! Chill!
Well according to the latest scientific evidence the Arctic, or Antarctic for that matter, are NOT melting. Some regions are warming, but not the whole area. Read junkscience.com

Graphical evidence for Arctic temperature is here. Antartic temperature graphic is here. While the graphs are provided by Junkscience.com, note the data source is NASA. For a complete discussion of the data go to Junkscience.com here.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Beale AFB Update:

BRAC Update from Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation
Today congressional leaders submitted their recommendations for appointments to the BRAC commission. As you may know, Congress recommends names for six of the nine commission members: The Speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader suggest two people apiece; the House and Senate minority leaders each recommend one nominee.

APPOINTMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., named former Rep. James Bilbray, D-Nev. (1987-1995). Bilbray was a member of the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence committees during his years in the House.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., chose retired Army Gen. John G. Coburn, former commanding general of Army Material Command and the service's deputy chief of staff for Logistics, and retired Adm. Harold W. Gehman, Jr., former commander of Joint Forces Command and supreme allied commander of the Atlantic.
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., chose former Rep. James V. Hansen, R-Utah (1981-2003), and Samuel K. Skinner, an Illinois native who served as President George Bush's chief of staff and as Transportation secretary.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., submitted two names: former Rep. Vic Fazio, D-Calif. (1979-99) and Wade Sanders, a San Diego attorney and former deputy assistant secretary of the Navy.

NEXT STEP: The president must submit all nine nominees to the Senate for confirmation by March 15th.. By May 16, the secretary of Defense must recommend a list of bases for closure. The BRAC commissoin will then review the Pentagon list and makes its own recommendations to the president by Sept. 8. By Sept. 23, the president must approve or disapprove of the list.
If the president in September approves the commission's recommendations for base closures, Congress will have 45 legislative days after he submits the list - or adjournment sine die - to pass and win Bush's signature on a resolution of disapproval. Otherwise, the closures take effect.
If, on the other hand, the president disapproves of the commission's recommendations, the panel has until Oct. 20 to submit a revised list. The president then has until Nov. 7 to approve the list or the process ends.

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Grown Ups beats me to the punch

We keep hearing about how US Troops killed 100,000 Iraq civilians in letters to the Editor. Bunko, that Lancet study has been discredited multiple times. More at Grown Ups

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