Sunday, November 20, 2011

Career Politicians good for ...

Career Politicians good for ...

November 20, 2011

By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights and natural resources researcher, London, Ohio

Expecting a clique of career politicians -- steeped in the toxic, corrupt brew that exists within the Washington, D.C., Beltway -- to 'achieve' a trillion-dollar cut in America's budget is like trying to sew a dress with no needle and no material. It's just not going to happen. This is the same cadre that gifted three-quarters of a trillion dollars to their banking and manufacturing pals, remember? This is also the same bunch that thinks honorably immigrating and becoming honest, naturalized citizens, is the same as illegal entry and residence. Doing drugs is not somehow less distasteful if you "didn't inhale."

Career politicians seem to take regular, hardworking, honest Americans not only for granted, but also, apparently, as someone not worthy of respect. In truth, honest, hardworking Americans are far more deserving of respect than those that would sell us 'down the river' for ... what? Is controlling many global entities engaged in commerce -- often to the considerable detriment of both the 'workers' in those countries as well as those in countries where those 'sweatshop' goods are sold -- really worth treating other human beings like chattel? Look to those purporting to "represent" you in Washington, D.C., for your answer. The 2011 election is over, so the masquerading, posturing and 'political promises' can now be viewed as the mirages they were.

Career politicians and elected officials are neither interchangeable nor synonymous, though they can be. Those that make a career of politics -- spending decades in the confines of Washington, D.C. -- are different from those who venture into the Beltway with the hope and moxie to make a positive difference.

I've tried to honestly consider just what, exactly, career politicians are good for. After much thought, very little comes to mind. This is a group of folks whose 'beliefs' can often be purchased by the highest bidder, who sway in the political wind like a hurricane ravaged palm tree, and who are so distanced from the real world of the public that they don't pump their own gas, mow their own yards, or answer their own phones.

In almost sixty years of life, I've phoned and spoken to only a handful of politicians, and none of them were 'career politicians.' Of those, all but one are no longer living, but those I could call and speak with, directly, were: Alabama Governor George Wallace, U.S. Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-ID) and Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett. That a person does not find it necessary to distance him or herself from the public, is a character trait I admire, no matter what the 'political party.'

Being in touch with, and available to, the public, is something that keeps people in touch with reality. No one should expect to be able to hold a lengthy conversation with an elected official, but having the ability to communicate -- and be respected by that elected official -- is crucial to the health of America.

Perhaps we should be changing what a career politician is and does by settling for nothing less than what we, ourselves, would do, were we in that position. Would we have the backbone and moral fortitude to be what we are in the 'private sector'? Would we simply make excuses for our transgressions and seek to 'move on' past our criminal actions, or would we 'rise above it' and not go there, where so many have gone before us? It's easy to say, "Beam me up, Scotty!" and leave it all behind in a starship bound for another galaxy, but what would we do when there's no Scotty and no transporter?

While we are preparing for our seasons of thanksgiving, reverence and festivities, let's take time to consider how much we have to lose by letting our great nation continue on its current 'slide' -- and how much we have to gain by stooping to offer her a hand back up to the wonderful Christian nation she still is. Let's clean up our act and our country and not leave the cleanup tasks to those that have soiled her in the first place. Neglect is abuse, also. If career politicians are good for something, let them be an example of how things were once done in America!

706 words.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Official Public Comments on what is misnamed "Klamath Restoration Draft EIS/EIR"

My Official Public Comments on what is misnamed "Klamath Restoration Draft EIS/EIR"

November 15, 2011

Julie Kay Smithson, property rights and natural resources researcher, 213 Thorn Locust Lane, London, Ohio 43140.

It is said here: that "This is the official website of the Department of the Interior, and other federal and state agencies that are involved in carrying out obligations set forth in the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, including the Secretarial Determination on Klamath River dams. Use this website to stay up to date on issues surrounding the Secretarial Determination and the environmental analysis that will be conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)."

Instructions for submitting "feedback" (one can only believe that "feedback" is synonymous with "comments") are located here:

Any schemes to remove any of the four dams on the Klamath River -- in Oregon and/or California -- are just that: schemes. If there were any validity to claims touted by those involved in CLOSED DOOR 'negotiations' regarding the Klamath Basin and its four dams, those claims were rendered null and void by the few years of secretive and selective clique of "interested parties" involved. The very fact that -- in order to "have a seat at the table" and be included in these highly suspect "negotiations" -- one had to agree "in principle" to the scheme, makes it more rotten than Denmark! While those living and working in the Klamath Basin may, by virtue of their proximity to the "forest," not be able to see it for the "trees," I am in Ohio and can clearly see the intent of these schemes, and the power behind them, pushing the Trojan horse at the gates of economic independence as though the power brokers were merely arriving for an afternoon tea!

Nothing that seeks to destroy the entire economy and culture of the Klamath Basin for the past hundred years, can be called an "agreement" or "agreements." Both the "Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement" (208 pages) and the "Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement" (378 pages) are nothing more than stalking-horses: decoys. Neither settles anything other than which fox gets to dine in the hen house first! Even the number of people originally adamantly against any such things as would steal their ability to do one or more of the following: own and utilize private property as they have done so in the past; have a home, job and future in the Klamath Basin that is of their own accord; raise their families and contribute to a vibrant place in the Pacific Northwest through the fruits of their endeavors; rest and die in peace, knowing that their families, friends and co-workers will have a place, too, in their beloved Klamath Basin; grow and harvest food and fiber in the Klamath Basin, whether it be the plethora of food crops, fish, timber, minerals, livestock, or hunting/fishing opportunities that abound -- have been ground into the dust of the Basin by the forces aligned against their very existence.

Rocket science is not needed to know that the people of the Klamath Basin -- living and working in this area of northern California and southern Oregon -- are good people with multigenerational experience and expertise. No one coming from distant Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, or Sacramento, California, governmental locations, has any right to erase promises made to good people, war veterans and their families. No one anywhere has the right to sway people by the mirage of promises made, knowing that the intent is to rid the Basin of its very lifeblood. NO ONE. The Klamath Basin is a wonderful place to live, work, farm, ranch, hunt, fish, etc. -- not in spite of its inhabitants and private property owners, but BECAUSE OF THEM!  

I look askance at people who have been downtrodden by this sham, which purports to somehow be a good thing for anyone or anything in the Klamath Basin. From the farmers and their families to the livestock, animals, wildlife and waterfowl of the Klamath Basin, these "agreements" bode ill for the entire Klamath Basin. An ill wind blows upon the Klamath Basin, and the thought that one "secretary" of a federal agency -- who obediently does the bidding of his bosses and lets people think of him as a "rancher" -- plans to make a "secretarial determination" about the four dams that have been part of the underpinning of the Klamath Basin's economic independence and freedom for almost a hundred years, makes my stomach turn. Ken Salazar is not an expert on the Klamath Basin, its dams, people, water, flora, fauna, and economy!

My gut feeling -- which stood me in good stead for the twenty-seven years during which I drove semi-trucks safely on America's highways -- is that these schemes are the death knell of the Klamath Basin as those that love this special, blessed place now know it.

Rather than allow themselves to be litigated into extinction or cowed by such a wooden decoy with a bellyful of armed forces, I pray for those in the cross hairs of these "agreements" to realize what is happening in time to stop it. How? Stop it the same way you would stop any trespasser trying to steamroller what rightfully belongs to you.

Would you allow someone to steal your home? Children? Car? Bank account? Family history? Future? How is this scheme any different? It is all of these things, and more.

I may not live or work in the Klamath Basin, but its potatoes, horseradish, and other crops contribute to my health and well-being. Its people are my friends. Its history is part of my country's history. I depend on its economic and cultural health as I depend on my nearby neighbors' efforts to grow, harvest and market what may look to some like items on store shelves, but that, to me, look like freedom and heritage! Stop the destruction of the Klamath Basin via the very real reason that Ken Salazar and his “interested parties” have no right to steal your -- or my -- future! Tell him so! You would not venture into the part of Colorado owned by him and his kith and kin and tell them that you were going to make a “determination” that would put them immediately out of reach of the property rights, past, present and future that they'd built!

1,070 words.

Names don't make it so

Names don't make it so


November 15, 2011


By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights and natural resources researcher

Calling a litigious outfit an "environmental group" is like trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Where is the proof that litigating almost every natural resource plan in America to a halt -- or forcing "mitigation" in the form of vast acreage offered up at the altar of "habitat" -- has actually made a positive difference to any specie of flora or fauna? Where are these self-proclaimed "environmental" organizations when America's border with Mexico is piled high with human excrement, bales of marijuana, discarded water containers, etc., ad nauseam? The selfsame "environmental" organizations -- including, but far from limited to -- the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, "The" Nature Conservancy, etc. -- are strangely mute during conflagrations that incinerate millions of acres of that "habitat" which they proclaim to the public is in dire need of "protection."

Someone holding a chain saw is no more a forester than the litigious groups -- milking the "Equal Access to Justice Act" (5 U.S.C. § 504; 28 U.S.C. § 2412) for all it's worth -- are "environmentalists."

In my carefully studied opinion, a farmer, rancher or master gardener -- whose private property has been responsibly stewarded for many generations and is still productive, fertile and healthy -- is more qualified to be called an environmentalist than those cloaking themselves with that word.