|The Whatcom Excavator||
The latest bad healthcare idea (Bloomberg): throw in a nice bag of weed in Washington or Colorado. Make it cool or make it hurt... Some "choice," there.
WE noticed this article, about the girl who went in for a routine tonsillectomy and ended up on life support. This family has been criticized as publicity hounds for doing what any parent would do: Give their child every chance for life, as long as any scrap of hope remains.
The McMaths are fighting for life. On Monday, they won a court order that prevents Children's Hospital of Oakland from pulling the plug on Jahi until Jan. 7. Her relatives have been attacked as "publicity hounds" for doing everything possible to raise awareness about the young girl's tragic case. They've been criticized as troublemakers for challenging powerful hospital officials. They've been labeled "selfish" and ignorant because they are praying for a miracle.
So who locally will be making the decision to pull our loved ones off of life support? God knows, there are plenty of reasons to have fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) when it comes to our health care these days. For example, what are the central planners cooking up here? Or here? Buzzwords like "Local Health Reform" and "Transforming Health Care in Whatcom County" leave us with a queasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs, especially with all the news events of 2013 under our belts. Transforming has become a dirty word, especially when we like our health care, and we want to keep our health care. On who's authority does anybody deem to transform it? And who the hell are these people, pray tell? In 2014, with a new panel of county council members, WE think it would be a good time, and very worthwhile to ask some probing questions.
All that said, perhaps you'll enjoy watching the U.S. Air Force Band in its first ever flash mob performance, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's "Milestones of Flight" gallery on December 3 which began with an original arrangement of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" then "Joy to the World,"
Whatcom County Council proved how irrelevant it has become institutionally tonight. Our legislature is toast. It's become a puppet show. The balance of power has tipped.
In a hotly contested 4-3 vote, they decided to turn-down a motion proffered by council member Barbara Brenner that one of our elected representatives should participate with other interests on the Planning Unit in local watershed planning. What she suggested was that council, which serves as our countywide Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors, should take a government seat on this state-recognized local effort which has serious work on its plate. The Flood Control Zone District gets millions in taxpayer money annually that drains into the county "natural resources" budget, and it's a government agency in its own right. (WRIA Watchers long since discovered that most of this water related money drains into the county executive's staff salaries and to consultants, with only a pittance directed to actual flood control anything.)
Back to the story. When Brenner's idea was defeated (voted down by wafflers Carl Weimer and Ken Mann, plus the notoriously feckless Sam Crawford and lame duck Kathy Kershner), council then voted to ask permission – permission! – of the "IG's" to participate. What or who are the IG's? They're the Joint Board, made up of the Mayor of Bellingham, the manager of Whatcom County PUD #1, the two tribes (Lummi and Nooksack shake-down artists) and Whatcom County’s head boy, executive Jack Louws. Council has been told they would have to ask their permission, and maybe get to sit with the JB's "staff" people.
This is a far cry from what state law says about local watershed planning. It's supposed “to provide local citizens with the maximum possible input concerning their goals and objectives for water resource management and development," "ensuring that the state's water resources are used wisely, by protecting existing water rights, by protecting instream flows for fish, and by providing for the economic well-being of the state's citizenry and communities."
Council as the Board of Supervisors has been picking up the tab for the lion's share of expenditures for years. Council used to say it wanted an open, inclusive process that favored no special interest or to favor some individuals over others.
Fast forward (through incremental usurpations of authority) to now: Council has become so weak it was told to come on bended knee, that they have to ask to be involved in business central to life as we know it, and they accepted the slap-down. Louws said they might be allowed to participate if it suits the Joint Board's goals, whatever those are.
We – the people – can’t rely on this county council. They've been sidelined, with no role in water planning. Most of this council doesn't have the horse sense to understand their most important duty of all, which is to guarantee due process, defensible work, and fair handedness.
They’ve abandoned the public to the whims of the five hungry wolves, who've been draining millions in tax money from county citizens every year and achieved zilch, zero, nada, bupkis in the way of a real water plan.
You might think that the lousy treatment given Kathy Kershner by the left after her reconveyance vote (strategically intended to secure her re-election?), should have been an object lesson in playing hardball on the council. She should get behind the idea that the council is supposed to represent the people's interest against the increasingly insular and bureaucratic executive branches and lawsuit-happy enviro-trolls.
Stop and consider what this latest council put-down means to citizens. Our legislators were told point-blank that they have to go to Kelli and Jack and Jilk and the tribes when for ten years or more that group has refused to let their deals be known or for their "staff's" work to be reality checked. The last thing they want is checks and balances.
Do we have a completed watershed plan, solid information in hand that everyone can rely on? Is there any empirical evidence of how much water there is, where it is, or how it should be put to best use? More important, should the public have any confidence that our water resources will be fairly allocated when all the power's in the hands of this unrestrained little oligarchy? Heck no. The JB or IG's (the wolves) control the testing, the numbers, the works. No peeking behind the curtain!
Open, fair-handed, and realistic watershed planning has been thwarted once again, and Louws made it clear tonight that the "IG's" as they call themselves have no intention of giving up their greedy monopoly. Clearly, the public has not a snowball's chance of being heard.
Power is a very dangerous commodity in the hands of an unaccountable few. Council made it clear tonight they have neither the appetite nor the savvy to confront the status quo. King Jack let them know who rules this county. The citizens are S.O.L.
WE have quoted Thomas Sowell more than once, and its time to reflect on this priceless quote again:
“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or dangerous way of making decisions than putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
As you know, WE consider ourselves a local concern, but the Affordable Care Act is something that can cause big problems locally. ObamaCare has been promoted as a way to make health care affordable to everyone, but the true objective might be quite different. This article by Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online caught our eye.
November 23, 2013
WE see that the Whatcom Tea Party took exception to the mean spirited Democrat party mailers that have been going out to voters in the past few days. You may be one of the unlucky recipients of one or more of these spit bombs.
The mild mannered law-abiding "We The People" crowd responded politely to the gross misrepresentations by posting a piece entitled What's Wrong With This Picture? where they wrote,
The Whatcom Tea Party objects to being used to smear honorable candidates. The candidates being smeared here have not been running as Tea Party candidates. We wish the Democrats would have left us out of this. We are a non-partisan organization. Non-partisan does not mean unprincipled, but we deliberately do not endorse or disparage any candidates.
Here's the distorted picture of the Tea Party fabricated by the Whatcom Democrats:
The article patiently explained how government can and should work for us, and that they object when it works against us. WE tend to agree.
But wait! There's more! In a second article, What's Wrong With This Other Picture?, they repeated the same preamble, but over a blood red slaughterhouse picture. Here they caught on that perhaps these mailers meant (in a vicious way) to intimidate voters; that the Democrats may want to so disgust the "undecideds" about local politics and the process that they won't vote at all. This material is so ugly it just may alienate some from wanting to exercise their rights.
Here's the factually-absurd slaughterhouse mailing, for the morbidly curious:
On the Whatcom Tea Party facebook page, they suggested that if you find candidates' campaigns disgusting, send back a strong message by way of your ballot.
WE love it! That's exactly what elections are for. The public has got to reject this bloodstained bomb-throwing tactic. It's too low for a civil society to accept.
Rewarding partisan ugliness with with positions of power would be oh so wrong. Is that the Whatcom County you want to live in?
Over the weekend, the Bellingham Herald endorsed Rud Browne, Barry Buchanan, Ken Mann and Carl Weimer, saying (and WE quote) "[Kershner, Elenbaas, Knutzen and Luke] want government to "get out of the way" at a time when more is required." (Emphasis ours.)
The Bellingham Herald has unwittingly made voters' choice dead simple.
If you want your life here to be governed more, vote for Browne, Buchanan, Mann and Weimer.
If you want this area's government to have tangible limits, vote for Kershner, Elenbaas, Knutzen and Luke.
The rhetorical goal was, as always, the mobilization of partisan bias: to identify restraint as outside the mainstream.
Allow us to share one basic principle about government: Up to a certain point, government services actually do provide more freedom and self-determination when they're carefully contained. Government work that serves essential needs more efficiently than we could meet them alone allows us to attend to our own endeavors without being unduly or unjustly burdened. But beyond that point, government crosses the line to burdensome and oppressive governance. Instead of leaving us free to mind our own business, government starts sticking its nose into our business. WE believe government crossed into the realm of oppressive governance a long time ago.
There have always been loopy blue laws, but WE thought the nation got past most some time ago. Alas, the lust to rule seems like a hiccup in human nature. Take a trip to the Nanny State and explore how easily good intentions slip to petty tyranny, and "nudge" becomes "shove." The appetites of some to govern is a wonder to behold.
If personal and civil liberty mean little to you, and the thought of a ballooning local bureaucratic state seems safe - well, you know who to vote for. The Herald told you so.
Could this problem be solved with more freedom, instead of less? ~ Penn Jillette
WE saw an article over at WhatcomWatchdog that you may have missed:
I spent some time looking into the background of the PowerPastCoal.org campaign. I thought I might find out who exactly they are. I'm sure glad I did some more research because I discovered a tangled mess of organizations involved.
The gist of the story is that we have a large number of "non profit" organizations contributing money to influence our local elections anonymously, and it isn't easy to track. In fact, it's very confusing. Most people wouldn't bother. Thanks to WhatcomWatchdog for even attempting it.
By Don J. Easterbrook, Ph.D.
Mark Twain popularized the saying: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” After reading the recently released IPCC report, we can now add, “There are liars, damn liars, and IPCC.” When compared to the also [recently published 1000+-page volume of data on climate change [http://climatechangereconsidered.org/]] with thousands of peer-reviewed references, by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), the inescapable conclusion is that the IPCC report must be considered the grossest misrepresentation of data ever published.
As MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen stated, “The latest IPCC report has truly sunk to the level of hilarious incoherence—it is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.”
From the IPCC 2013 Report:
After all these years, IPCC still doesn’t get it—we’ve been thawing out from the Little Ice Age for several hundred years but still are not yet back to pre-Little Ice Age temperatures that prevailed for 90% of the past 10,000 years. Warming and cooling has been going on for millions of years, long before human-caused CO2 could have had anything to do with it, so warming in itself certainly doesn’t prove that it was caused by CO2.
The IPCC’s misrepresentation of data is blatantly ridiculous. In Fig. 1, the IPCC report purports to show warming of 0.5°C (0.9°F) since 1980, yet surface temperature measurements indicate no warming over the past 17 years (Fig. 2) and satellite temperature data shows the August 13 temperature only 0.12°C (0.21°F) above the 1980 temperature (Spencer, 2013). IPCC shows a decadal warming of 0.6°C (1°F) since 1980, but the temperature over the past decade has actually cooled, not warmed.
From the IPCC Report:
There just isn’t any nice way to say this: that is an outright lie. A vast published literature exists showing that recent warming is not only not unusual, but more intense warming has occurred many times in the past centuries and millennia. As a reviewer of the IPCC report, I called this to their attention, so they cannot have been unaware of it. For example, more than 20 periods of warming in the past five centuries can be found in the Greenland GISP2 ice core (Fig. 3) (Easterbrook, 2011), the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods were warmer than recent warming (Fig. 4), and about 90% of the past 10,000 years were warmer than the present (Fig. 5).
Not only was recent warming not unusual, there have been at least three periods of warming or cooling in the past 15,000 years that have been 20 times more intense, and at least 15 have been five times as intense (Easterbrook, 2011).
From the 2013 IPCC Report:
As shown by the figures above from peer-reviewed, published literature, this statement is false. No one disputes that the climate has warmed since the Little Ice Age of approximately 1300-1915 AD—we are still thawing out from it. Virtually all of this warming occurred long before CO2 could possibly be a causal factor.
From the 2013 IPCC Report:
This is a gross misrepresentation of data. The Antarctic ice sheet has not been losing mass—the East Antarctic ice sheet, which contains about 90% of the world’s fresh water, is not melting—it’s growing! The same is true for Antarctic shelf ice. The only part of Antarctica that may be losing ice is the West Antarctic Peninsula, which contains less than 10% of the Antarctic ice. Temperature records at the South Pole show no warming since records began in 1957.
Some melting occurred in Greenland during the 1978-1998 warming, but that is not at all unusual. Temperatures in Greenland were warmer in the 1930s than during the recent warming, and Greenland seems to be following global warming and cooling periods.
Arctic sea ice declined during the 1978-1998 warm period, but it has waxed and waned in this way with every period of warming and cooling, so that is not in any way unusual. Arctic sea ice expanded by 60% in 2013. Antarctic sea ice has increased by about 1 million km2 (but IPCC makes no mention of this!). The total extent of global sea ice has not diminished in recent decades.
The statement that Northern Hemisphere snow cover has “continued to decrease in extent” is false (despite the IPCC claim of ‘high confidence’). Winter snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere shows no decline since 1967, and five of the six snowiest winters have occurred since 2003 (Fig. 7).
The IPCC used only spring snow, which includes March-April, while winter snow cover includes November-April. The IPCC used the spring snow cover data to contend that because of CO2-caused global warming, less snow is occurring on Earth.
The amount of snow cover at any time is always a contest between the amount of snow and rate of melting. Thus, winter snow cover is likely to be most affected by the amount of snow. Not many areas at low elevations get a lot of snow in March and April, so the spring snow cover is likely to be most affected by the rate of snow melt. (Yes, it does snow in March/April and it does melt in Nov-April, but, overall, the dominant processes controlling snow cover are somewhat different). We have all seen bitter winters with large snowfall followed by a warm spring—you can’t really judge how snowy the winter was by how much snow remains at the end of spring. The question is, if you want to judge whether or not snow is disappearing from the Earth, which would you choose, spring snow cover or winter snow cover? The IPCC looked only at the spring snow cover over a two month period and totally ignored the winter snow cover over its six month period. The spring snow cover is more a reflection of how warm the spring was whereas the winter snow cover is likely a better measure of how snowy the winter was. Keeping in mind that the question is whether or not snow is going to be a thing of the past (as contended by some CO2 advocates), including the winter snow cover is critical.
And you can’t fail to take into account that during the past 100+ years we have had two periods of global warming (~1915 to ~1945 and 1978-1998) and two periods of global cooling (~1890 to ~1915 and ~1945-1977), so we shouldn’t be surprised to see trends change with time. We only have satellite coverage for the past 3-4 decades, which happens to coincide with the most recent warm period so we shouldn’t be surprised to see a declining snow cover trend during that period. But what about the preceding cool period (1945-1977) and the warm period from 1915 to 1945? How reliable is the snow cover data from 1920 to 1980? Probably not anywhere near as good as during the satellite era.
The point here is that by using only the spring snow cover to contend that snow is declining does not tell the whole story.
From the 2013 IPCC Report:
Sea level rise over the past century has varied from 1 to 3 mm/yr, averaging 1.7 mm/yr from 1900-2000 (Fig.8.) Sea level rose at a fairly constant rate from 1993 to about 2005, but the rate of rise flattened out until 2009 (Fig. 9). What is obvious from these curves is that sea level is continuing to rise at a rate of about 7 inches per century, and there is no evidence of accelerating sea level rise. Nor is there any basis for blaming it on CO2, because sea level has been rising for 150 years, long before CO2 levels began to increase after 1945.
These are only a few examples of the highly biased misrepresentations of material in the 2013 IPCC report. As seen by the examples above, it isn’t science at all—it’s dogmatic political propaganda.
Don J. Easterbrook is professor of geology at Western Washington University.
There was national coverage of the absolutely outrageous and violent behavior that a mob near Western Washington University engaged in Saturday night. It is not known how many of these rioters are students at Western. The few people who were arrested were reportedly not students. The question remains, where did the nearly 500 rioters come from, exactly?
WE do know that in and around Western, these hundreds of people vote, and that they are constantly courted by environmental PACs and Whatcom Wins!
These little darlings did a nice number on the environment right there. Do they have any idea how big the carbon footprint is for all that beer? And whatever they belch out after drinking it? Not to mention the mess they made of the neighborhood: tearing down stop signs, pointless vandalism, littering ... everywhere. Way to nurture nature! Yelling “Faggot!” Oh yes, that's a nice tolerant attitude toward homosexuals. All hail diversity! These are the people that Bellingham wants to protect from dangerously negligent landlords. WE wonder who really needs the protection. Al Gore should come down from Mt. Olympus and give them all a very good spanking.
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