Stupid Patriot Tricks

‘Patriot’ makes some paranoid

A songwriter from Eugene told the Legislature last week the USA Patriot Act was stifling her creativity. She fears she might be branded a terrorist. “Last week,” she said, “I was censoring a song I wrote. It’s a scary time.”

It is testimony like that that makes a mockery not just of English – an artist cannot “censor” her own stuff no matter how hard she tries – but also of the very notion of civil discussion of public affairs. When people think in a way that gives rise to talk like that, what’s the point of rational discussion?

It is on the basis of such paranoia that the Legislature was being asked to pass a resolution asking Congress to repeal or amend this federal law, enacted a few weeks after Sept. 11, 2001.

Some things are so stupid, only an intellectual could believe them

What Are They Thinking?

What Were They Thinking? (washingtonpost.com)

EVEN THE MOST ARDENT supporters of the AmeriCorps national service program acknowledge that it’s been woefully mismanaged. In the burst of volunteerism that followed 9/11, the program’s parent agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service, managed to enroll thousands more participants than it could afford; it didn’t have enough money set aside to pay the education awards available to eligible volunteers. The painful implications are just now being felt, with thousands of volunteer slots about to lose funding.

And so, in what seems a parody of bureaucratic thickheadedness, what did the corporation do? Handed out bonuses, of course — at the very time that its supporters in Congress were waging a mighty, and ultimately unsuccessful, campaign last month to get the organization money to bail itself out of its self-inflicted mess. Bonuses went to some of the very senior officials who were supposed to be keeping track of the agency’s finances — indeed, some who received e-mails warning them about the “very real future problem” ahead.

So the mangers of this “volunteer” program received bonuses even after getting advance warning about over extending the program. Is this lack of judgment something that needs to be rewarded?

Almost as disturbing is the conclusion that the Washington Post draws from this.

The programs funded by AmeriCorps do much good work, from tutoring disadvantaged children to building houses for the homeless. Yet while President Bush wants to increase the number of volunteer slots, some members of Congress remain implacably opposed to the program, one of President Clinton’s signature achievements. And so the program has enough problems without shooting itself in the foot this way. The spokesman, Mr. Scott, said in e-mails to this page that “we now realize that the timing of the awards was problematic” and that the board will review the rules, including “whether, in the future, cash awards should be given to senior managers if the organization has not performed successfully.” This is an open question? Too bad someone didn’t use some sense before giving this kind of ammunition to critics.

It isn’t bad because the mismanagement, this raises no questions with them about how the program should be managed or if it is good return on the “investment”. No, they are upset because it gives critics ammunition.

They show a blind loyalty to a government program, no matter how it is run. The important thing is not to make sure that the taxpayer’s money is used wisely, it is to ensure that criticisms are never heard.

Forest and Fire Management

B&B fires to merge

The Booth and Bear Butte fires covered nearly 39,000 acres and were burning about 4 miles apart through rugged mountains covered by tinder dry undergrowth and debris made up of fallen trees and branches killed by a beetle infestation.

Whadayaknow, a newspaper article that actually mentions the blowndown and beetle kill that fueled most of the fire. The same stuff that the environmental lobby sued to keep from being removed under the pretext that it would harm the forest.

Do you think that paragraph will survive in newspapers outside Oregon?

Lessons from fire

The huge fires near Santiam Pass are a good example of inadequate management of our national forests. For many years, travelers on Highway 20 noticed the stands of dead and dying trees in that area. Bugs and plant diseases were to blame. The Forest Service scheduled salvage sales in the area, but evidently not enough.

President Bush has proposed legislation to make thinning sales easier, less tied up with procedural requirements and judicial review. Environmentalists continue to insist that he just wants more logging, as if that were a crime.
Bush looked at those fires during the past week. The experience must have affirmed his conviction that he is right: More has to be done with our national forests than to let them die and burn.

Money is part of the answer. There isn’t enough money in the government to do all the restoration work that needs to done on federal lands. More has to be allocated.

In addition, though, federal forest managers must be freed from the red tape that keeps them from moving as fast and decisively as they otherwise could to try to get our forest to a healthy state. (hh)

This editorial appeared in our local paper. The editor is known to be pretty conservative and as such is regularly ridiculed by liberals. He does come up with some off-the-wall stuff, like city yard inspectors and stuff like that.

In this case, he pretty much nails it. If anything he is too easy on the environmentalists.

More ISP Problems

Comcast is supposed to send another tech out tomorrow. The last one checked everything, swapped out my modem at my insistence, and said that he couldn’t find any problem.

In the past week, I have had Inernet service only for short periods of time. I never know whether I’m going to connect or not. When I called again, I spent 10 min on hold, got one of the tech support drones, he checked the history of my complaint and transferred me to a higher up tech support drone. I spent a hour on hold before I got to speak to that guy. The upshot is, they do see by pinging me that the packet loss is at an unacceptable lever (too high for them to proclaim not a problem) and they are sending a “line” tech out tomorrow.

Hopefully I can post this and with luck, I’ll be posting as usual tomorrow. (or not)

No Surprises Here.

Conservative
Where do you fall on the liberal – conservative political spectrum? (United States)

brought to you by Quizilla

However, to the liberals there is no such thing a being somewhat conservative. Any conservative position at all means you are to be considered a hood-wearing, shotgun toting, beer-swilling, racist that wants to subjugate women and minorities and will shoot anyone that argues with you.

Interesting, the blurb for moderately liberal reads almost exactly the same, with the far-left inserted where the far-right is

Local Busybody Stopped In Her Tracks

Gravel stops woman in her tracks

Salem resident Sharon Huston lost a face-off against a dump truck Tuesday morning and ended up trapped up to her knees in a gravel pile.

Huston, 58, was trying to stop a gravel delivery to a city water project that she said had disturbed her sleep for a week.

She refused to budge from the spot where Boring-based Camrock Excavation Inc., a private contractor, needed to pile its gravel.

A Camrock supervisor told her to move. She figured that if she stayed put, they would take the pile elsewhere.

She thought wrong.

“I was talking to the man, and he got mad and told the truck to go ahead and dump. And I’m just standing there,” Huston said.

The pouring gravel trapped Huston where she stood. It took a neighbor with a shovel to free her from the pile, she said.

I laughed my ass off when I read this. I do not know this lady, but I know her twins. They think that the sun shines out of their asses and expect the rest of the world to accommodate them whatever their demands.

A city spokesman said:

“This is something that we find absolutely unacceptable, and we will certainly make that clear to them,” he said. “A city crew would not behave in this manner.”

He said he didn’t think that Salem’s contract would allow the city to penalize Camrock Excavation.

Of course, this type of action should not be condoned, no matter how satisfying. The proper thing to have done was to have shut down the project and send her the bill for the the work done so far and inform her that she would be financially responsible for any future repairs due the the failure of the existing water main.

I bet she would have slept well then.

How Noble! (and convenient)

‘Don’t Let Them Pull the U.N. Out of Iraq’ (washingtonpost.com)

In an interview today, three days after the truck bombing that killed Vieira de Mello and 22 others at Baghdad’s U.N. headquarters, von Zehle would not say what the two men talked about. He said it was “personal.”

But at a ceremony at Baghdad’s airport, where the diplomat’s body was placed on an airplane to be returned to his native Brazil, one of Vieira de Mello’s colleagues gave voice to one of the utterances that von Zehle had recorded.
“Don’t let them pull the U.N. out of Iraq. Don’t let them fail this mission,” Benon V. Sevan, the head of Iraq’s U.N.-administered oil-for-food program, quoted Vieira de Mello as saying to von Zehle.

More On The Forest Fires

The B and B Complex fire is still burning. Overnight it jumped from 10,000 acres to 24,000 acres.

5_Fire_Activity_Northside_Booth.jpg
North Side of Booth Fire. Not beetle kill, normal timber saved from Bush's Initiative. Thanks, Tree-Huggers.

There was a huge area of beetle-killed timber north of Hwy 20. If you drove the highway, you could see it as a big white patch in the forest north of the highway near the Santiam Pass. It all died years ago, from beetle infestation. You know, the one that the environmentalists insisted we should not spray for. Harmful, you know. So, there’s a huge area of dead timber out there, getting dryer and dryer. Harvesting of the dead timber could not be allowed because that would mean cutting trees and that will never do, the environmental lobby drew their lawyers and started suing. That effectively put an end to salvage logging.

Environmentalist have achieved the miracle of transforming any tree, no matter what it’s age, into “Old Growth”. The dead timber also was transformed into “Old Growth” somehow and was never allowed to be harvested. It would have resulted in what effectively have been a huge clear cut because the beetles killed all the trees in this area. Now we will have a charcoal bin instead.

The fire hit that beetle-kill last night. What a blaze. That area is not going to have large trees that survive, all the trees were already dry tinder and what had grown is not old enough to survive. At least they were saved from Bush’s Healthy Forest initiative.

There are also some disturbing rumors going around about the origins of the fires. Word has it that they both started within hours of each other and that there had been no lightening in the area for at least a week before. Fire investigators are going be looking long and hard at causes. I’m sure that some will immediately jump to the conclusion that they were started by President Bush to help his forest initiative, but most people around here think that if these were not natural fires, the “environmentalists” would be a more likely place to look. There’s no evidence for either view but we’ll see how it works out. I doesn’t make sense for anyone of either view to start them, but the “Environmentalist Activists” are not the sharpest knives in the drawer and there are many loggers that are very frustrated at having their livelihood shut down by distant do-gooders.

In the latest press release:

According to aerial reconnaissance, eight sleeping cabins, an auditorium, and a shower house burned at the Round Lake Christian Camp today. Structural crews have successfully protected structures in other areas that have experienced fire activity.

I’m sure that the fact that this was a church camp is of great relief to many. Any loss to Christians is seen as a good thing by many of the same people that oppose cutting trees before they burn.

Crews are using back fires and expanding the forest roads, that are so terrible, into fire breaks to try to contain the fires. I’m sure this will be unacceptable to the “activists” but during a fire, there ability to sue is diminished. I’m sure they probably are suing over something, but no one will listen to them until after the fire. Then they will find some points to win on, collect their legal costs from the tax payers, and keep their legal advisers happy at our expense.

Media Merger OK for Hispanics, Wrong For Anyone Else

A Good Media Merger (washingtonpost.com)

Evidently a maid or gardener working for one of the WaPo editors said that they supported the merger of two Spanish-language media company’s.

Although the WaPo has been very loud in its opposition to media mergers, in this case they had make an exception. After all, they want their servants to be happy so they won’t dress the baby in non-designer clothes or forget to clean up the dog crap in the yard.