horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Friday, November 19, 2004

Kind of an update to wednesday's post on what we could call the hunting/fishing vote or and the america's natural heritage vote, Ancient Forests, Salmon, Endangered Species Act Face Congressional Threat Next Week
Senator Gordon Smith, an Oregon Republican, has announced plans to attach a rider to the omnibus bill that will override all environmental laws and prohibit any judicial review for a post-fire logging project on the Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon. [1]

This would allow logging on ancient forest and roadless areas of up to 370,000,000 board feet of timber in a 20,000-acre area--enough trees to fill 74,000 log trucks. Citizens would have no right to appeal through the courts.

Also known as the Biscuit Project, such logging would endanger roadless areas, ancient forest reserves, wild and scenic rivers and salmon runs in the Siskiyou Wild and Scenic Rivers Area.

Federal agencies such as the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as independent scientific experts, have said Sen. Smith's rider will likely increase fire risks in the area for up to 30 years. It would also retard the regeneration of old-growth forests. Sediment flowing into streams will choke fish spawning areas.

As much as 40 percent of the units mapped for logging contain live trees. Independent analysts have found that the logging project would cost taxpayers over $40 million, mainly on roadbuilding for timber industry trucks.

Paying corporate welfare with our natural resources is arcane to say the least. If you're looking for something constructive to do besides being really depressed, try being a pain in the ass. Fax the rascals. and
call your Senators and Representative's DC offices at 1-202-224-3121 (capitol switchboard). Once you are connected to the office, ask for the staff that works on National Forest/Environmental issues. Tell them that you:

Oppose efforts by Senator Gordon Smith to attach his Lawless Logging Rider on the omnibus spending bill. The rider will override existing environmental laws and prohibit judicial review to promote the largest public lands logging project in modern history - the Biscuit post-fire logging project on the Siskiyou National Forest. This rider is intended to override the current judicial process that is underway by stripping away all forest and river protection laws for the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area in Southern Oregon and slamming shut the courtroom doors to citizens, leaving roadless areas, ancient forest reserves, wild and scenic rivers and salmon runs at risk of being destroyed by logging and roadbuilding.

Sample Fax Letter:
Dear Representative/Senator X (fill in name):

I am writing to ask you to oppose attempts by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) to attach an extreme legislative rider on the omnibus spending bill, which would override existing environmental laws and prohibit judicial review in order to legislate the largest timber sale in modern history -- the Biscuit post-fire logging project on the Siskiyou National Forest. Senator Smith's rider is intended to override the current judicial process that is underway by stripping away all forest and river protection laws for the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area in Southern Oregon and slamming shut the courtroom doors to citizens, leaving roadless areas, ancient forest reserves, wild and scenic rivers and salmon runs at risk of being destroyed by logging and roadbuilding.

Senator Smith’s rider would allow logging of over 8,000 acres covered by the Roadless Area Conservation Rule and would allow logging in old growth reserves -- designated for the protection of old-growth forests, wildlife habitat and biological diversity. Independent analysis has shown the Biscuit Project would cost taxpayers well over $40 million, wasting taxpayer money on logging the backcountry instead of protecting homes and communities from wildfire.


Even government agencies – EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service – along with independent scientists with expertise in satellite mapping, soils, forest ecology, fisheries management, and restoration have found that: the project will likely increase fire risks in the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area for up to 30 years; extensive logging as proposed by the Forest Service will retard the regeneration of old-growth forests; excessive sediment flowing into streams from roads and fire lines will likely choke critical fish spawning areas; and as much as forty percent of the units mapped for logging contain live trees.

With five National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area is one of the best remaining refuges for wild native salmon and steelhead left on the Pacific coast. The rivers and streams that could be severely damaged by the logging proposal support 27 unique runs of at-risk anadromous fish, including Coho salmon, spring and fall Chinook salmon, winter and summer steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, green sturgeon, white sturgeon, and Pacific lamprey. The Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon contain a wealth of other significant ecological values, including a distinctive and diverse geology, unparalleled botanical richness, numerous endemic and highly restricted plant species, unique flora and fauna habitat, unparalleled recreation opportunities, and clean water.

Please help block Senator Smith's attempts behind closed doors to attach this extreme legislative rider to the omnibus spending bill.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Address
State, City, Zip

Let me address two things. One, you can do nothing and Senator Gordon Smith and the special interests he represents wins, or you do act and just maybe the rats run for cover. Your choice.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
US Anthropologist, Author

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Via Bull Moose
Instead of fighting for a square deal for all, Republicans today place corporate interests ahead of consumer interests. When regulators, such as those in my office, try to call them on their cronyism, they portray our efforts as bureaucratic meddling in free markets. But we did not investigate Wall Street because we were troubled by large institutions making a lot of money; we took action to stop a blatant fraud that was ripping off small investors. We sought to right the wrong, reestablishing the level playing field that is a prerequisite to market competition and ensuring that every investor enjoys the same opportunity to profit that the insiders have.

Between the borrowing/spending and the cronyism the only legacy that the current conservatives will leave is that which a hobbeled middle-class will pay, not just in taxes, but in services they will have to do without.

via AmericaBlog
"The bill, if approved by the House in a vote expected on Thursday, would authorize the third big increase in the federal borrowing since President Bush took office in 2001. Federal debt has ballooned by $1.4 trillion over the past four years, to $7.4 trillion, and the new ceiling would allow borrowing to reach $8.2 trillion," wrote the New York Times.

"With no end in sight to the huge annual budget deficits, which hit a record of $412 billion this year, lawmakers predicted on Wednesday that the new ceiling would probably have to be raised again in about a year."

Revenue idea, tax the bumper stickers that say Don't Blame me, I voted for Kerry.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

How the progressives had a huge vistory in Montana and how it could apply to winning the west. Lot's of analysis going on about the elections, most of which I've just skimmed. Post mortems may be neccessary, but they are by their nature generally depressing. In Top Billings How a Montana Democrat bagged the hunting and fishing vote, and won the governor's mansion. , David Sirota gets down to the nuts and bolts of how Brian Schweitzer won the race for governor.
To understand why hunting and fishing is such a big deal in Montana, consider this: The state has a population of 971,000; in 2001, 723,000 of them fished, hunted, or watched wildlife, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. Though the state has plenty of land for hunting and fishing, the residents don't take kindly to any effort to restrict their sporting pursuits. Yet throughout the Mountain West, Republicans, working with conservative think tanks, have pushed privatization and property-rights regulations that have the effect of doing just that. In the late '90s, for example, the Montana Republican Party platform, along with Brown's running-mate, Rep. Dave Lewis, tried to restrict the state's treasured Stream Access Law, which demands private landowners allow non-commercial anglers to fish on streams crossing through their property. The legislature also attempted to sell off large chunks of state land, much of it prime hunting territory. Some outdoorsmen became worried that the state's deficit woes would be used as a Republican rationale to reduce spending on public land management programs and sell off even more valuable hunting real estate

Sirota and Schweitzer have definitely tapped into something here. Sport fishermen I know are at least 60% conservative, but constantly whine about the condition of rivers and lakes where they go to fish, not to mention the fish that have canerous leisions from toxic waste. the outdoors..our forests, oceans, rivers, and mountains are part of our american heritage and the only ones that really care about that heritage as a group are liberals. This issue is going to catch fire in the next couple years as more corporate special interests are given a pass to ride rough shod over the rights of not just hunters and fishermen, but families that enjoy the outdoors.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

With the King's coronation just around the corner its hard to be positive for us patriots, so here's some somewhat positive trends in the pipeline.

Fast Forward: Innovation Station
The end of outsourcing?
If companies are outsourcing strategy, innovation, R&D, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution what exactly are they left with? Sure, outsourcing saves money in the short term and specialists tend to be better than generalists. But as Tom Peters says, you can't shrink your way to greatness. Maybe 2005 will see a move back to in-house innovation and the realization that whilst ideas, provocations, and catalysts can come from the outside, research, development and implementation can't.

Conversations as catalysts for change
Theodore Zeldin will readily admit that most of his ideas will fail. But let's face it, so will most of ours. Surely it's better to go out in a blaze of glory as a beautiful failure than as an invisible and mediocre success. Zeldin's ideas are mostly focused on work and ways of making work more satisfying. He is also a champion of conversation and says that if more people talked to each other properly they would discover new interests. Shared interests and conversation spark ideas -- and ideas can change the world.





 
My Ecosystem Details