Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 9-6-11

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“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

Video with John Stossel and Richard Tren regarding DDT

Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality!
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Thought For The Day
By Rich Kozlovich

Recently I linked an article about the efforts of activists in and out of government who want to stop the construction of a pipeline from Canada that would carry a substantial amount of crude oil into the country. Normal people would consider this to be a good thing. But of course that explains why the activists are against it claiming it will cause the potential demise of some beetle. One of the statements used by the bureaucrats at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was that their decision was "based on science and not of policy".

Three things! First, they admitted that they didn’t really know what was causing this particular beetle’s slow demise. Second; their statement that this decision was based on science and not on policy makes me wonder why they would say that because how can policy be based on something else; and if so what that something else might be. Third; this statement reminded me of something Margaret Thatcher one said; “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.” So if this decision was really based on science they shouldn’t have had to tell anyone; it should have been obvious. If it isn’t, then shouting it from the roof tops won’t help explain the stench of bad policy based on ideology.


Part 1 of this piece Sunday compared the cost of the Regional Desalination Project with the cost, in current dollars, of the New Los Padres Dam that was planned, but not built, 20 years ago.  The estimated construction cost for the desal project is $197 million more than for the dam, and annual operations and maintenance costs would be $8 million greater for the desal project. Under these circumstances, why in the world would we want to build the Regional Desalination Project?   That decision was based on the assumption that the dam could never be approved because of its adverse impact on the steelhead trout and California red-legged frog, threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The dam would increase water flow below the dam, but it would block the steelhead migration to and from the steelhead spawning area above.



A furry little roadblock may stall the city's plans to extend State Street. And the 1.5-mile project to link the 210 Freeway to Fifth Street on the Westside could cost millions more because the federally protected San Bernardino kangaroo rat has been spotted in the area. "We could be really high (in) mitigation costs, depending on how much habitat we're impacting," City Engineer Robert Eisenbeisz said. The city has $2 million - mostly through Measure I funding, a half-cent sales tax passed by county voters in 1989 - allocated for environmental and design work, but the project may balloon to $40 million, with as much as $18 million going toward mitigating damage to the kangaroo rats' habitat. At the same time, Eisenbeisz said mitigation work could cost as little as $3 million to $5 million.


Money will protect Yamhill County habitat for Fender's blue. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is coming to the rescue of the Fender’s Blue butterfly, an endangered species once thought to be extinct. The federal agency, which administers the Endangered Species Act, provided two grants totaling $767,000 to protect the butterfly’s habitat in Yamhill County. One grant provides $500,000 to acquire a permanent conservation easement on 284.6 acres of habitat in the Mount Richmond Conservation Opportunity Area, to benefit the Fender’s blue butterfly and the flower where it spends much of its life, the Kincaid’s lupine. The easement also will protect the Nelson’s checkermallow.

My Take - If the easement is 1/2 million dollars how much would the land sell for?   How much will it sell for after this easment.  Of course this merely allows for that amount to be spent, it doesn't mean anyone will actually get that kind of money.  Please follow the link on conservation easments.  You have all the obligations and no privileges, and in this case even if you sell it the new owners are stuck with it; which can really make it difficult to sell.  Of course you can just give it to the government if you prefer; I'm sure that is what they prefer.  There are some who seek to preserve their property after they are gone so they agree to such things, but these things aren't really as voluntary as it sounds in many cases.  It has been pointed out that in many cases this has merely been a way of depriving people of their rights. 

By Dr. Jy Lehr

Federal and state legislators have recently been focusing on eliminating duplication of government programs that could be combined or eliminated to save billions of taxpayer dollars. Yet the elimination of one colossal duplication could save billions of dollars but has not been mentioned: Essentially all of the work done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is duplicated and in fact done far better by the collective wisdom of our 50 state environmental protection agencies….. EPA has become a wholly owned subsidiary of environmental advocacy groups and serves primarily as an obstacle course for economic growth…. Today these research laboratories too often do the bidding of overaggressive regulators merely seeking to cherry pick data to support their predisposition to regulate…..

It has become quite apparent that EPA is no longer acting for the benefit of society in general. It was a great idea in 1971, but the agency bears no resemblance to that fine organization of long ago. The current Congress is looking to make changes. This is a good place to start.



The butyl methyl sulphide molecule whips round an axis defined by its single sulphur atom. Researchers have created the smallest electric motor ever devised. The motor, made from a single molecule just a billionth of a metre across, is reported in Nature Nanotechnology. The minuscule motor could have applications in both nanotechnology and in medicine, where tiny amounts of work can be put to efficient use. Tiny rotors based on single molecules have been shown before, but this is the first that can be individually driven by an electric current.

My Take - The Luddite greenies are against nano-technology. 


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax -
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."

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