If you just listened to the rhetoric on the other side, you would probably come to the conclusion that the main obstacle to returning prosperity to the Basin is those darn dams along the Klamath river. If we could just get rid of them, we could all once again live in harmony with each other and with nature.
The gospel according to KBRA preaches that if we can get those dams to come a tumblin' down, then fish populations will magically return to numbers only seen before western europeans inhabited the land. There would be so many salmon running up and down the Klamath river we would no longer need bridges — one could just walk on fish from one side to the other.
However, this thinking all hinges on the the assertion that the Klamath River Dams are the single, significant cause for a decline in fish population during the past 60 years. What if this assertion is wrong? Could there be other explanations for fish population decline that we haven't explored or have dismissed because our world view of “dam removal or die” prevents us from seeing the truth?
The Herald and News did it again. They just can't help themselves. In Saturday, August 13th's edition on page A5, editor Steve Miller quibbles,
“To the strategists in the left and right camps, everything that anyone else says is biased. As well, no one from between the wings can simply think what the camps do or say or propose is wrong, or vain , or bad policy... it can't be other than premeditated political speech.”
Mr. Miller is making the case that reality consists of three main points of view: a “left” or liberal view, a “right” or conservative view, and finally a “middle” or neutral point of view.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.” You may have learned this lesson in grade school when someone wanted a different story to be read than the one you wanted. Or maybe at home when a sibling got to choose a different television show than you wanted to watch that evening. Their opinion ruled the day and you had to live with it.
However, the problem is that not all opinions are equal. Moreover, some opinions are downright dangerous.
When someone chose a different story or television show than the ones you preferred, there was adult supervision. They weren't allowed to choose anything, but only certain things within a safe range. The opinion of some that “green is the best color”, while others claim that “orange is the best color” is certainly up for debate. But when it comes to matters of public policy the stakes are considerably higher, and something else must come into play — truth.
KlamathNews.net is proud to announce that Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum is now blogging on our site. Commissioner Linthicum is tired of the misquotes, one-sidedness and out-of-context statements published by the Herald & News concerning himself and the issues he cares about.
Therefore, Commissioner Linthicum published his first “unfiltered” thoughts today on our website.
We welcome the Commissioner and hope you appreciate being able to read his words and ideas — without the H&N filter. You read and decide for yourself what to think. The H&N can go pound sand. Visit Commissioner Linthicum’s Blog >
Unintended consequences are results that were unforseen or not well thought out when a decision was made. For example, the uninteneded consequence of little John-John playing with a ball in the house is that he accidentally knocks over his brother's dominos. He didn't mean to, but it happened because of his decision to play with a ball near his brother's dominos.
Sometimes there are positive unitended consequences. However, more often than not, complex problems that are “fixed” with a simple solution usually lead to negative ones.
Does the KBRA have unitended consequences? Of course it does. Here are just a few:
For those living in the Klamath Basin, math has changed a bit. If you asked a local what “2+2 equals”, they would tell you “4” . If you asked someone what “4+4 equals”, they would say “8”. And if you asked them what “KBRA equals” they would reply, "Jobs."
Really? KBRA = Jobs? That's the answer?
Hmmm. Let's review the back-work to this equation to make sure there aren't any mistakes.
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to visit an old fashioned car show. The Klamath Kruise is an annual favorite — gazing upon all those old restored cars and trucks as if they just rolled off the assembly line. It's a lot of fun looking, hearing, smelling and remembering (and wondering) what it was like "back then".
But when it comes to nature, can it be restored, like a 1952 Studebaker? Can nature be rolled back the way it was 50 years ago? How about people, can we be restored? Now thinking about it, can cars really be restored? In the case of cars, they are a non-living, man-made creation. Therefore the answer is yes, cars can be restored because all the parts can be swapped out with originals. But with living organisms, such as people and nature, restoration is not quite that simple. While face lifts, hair regrowth, tummy tucks and botox try to roll back the clock, it's a mere illusion. After the procedure is done, we are still the same age, no matter what we've had "altered" to try and say otherwise. In the end reality rules the day. The same can be said about nature. It is silly to think we can roll back the sands of time and pretend it is 1911 by removing this or adding that. It is 2011 and nature has adapted and moved on. Moreover, nature is such a complex set of systems, sub-systems and super-systems, the idea that humans can alter something and restore nature back to what it was 100 years ago is a very utopian notion.
If you have driven around the Klamath Basin within the past year you have most likely seen those yellow sign with black letters with the following equation: KBRA = Jobs! For those not in the know, KBRA stands for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. According to a KBRA website,
“The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is a settlement agreement among residents of the Klamath Basin that creates a solid path forward on long-standing, stalemated resource disputes in the region.”
The main resource disputed is water — who gets it, how much and when. In a wet year, like 2011, water disputes are all but gone. However, during a dry year like last year and 2001:
In the latest round of debates concerning the Federal Budget and Debt Ceiling, President Obama said we need a "balanced approach". The President claimed in order to solve the government shortfall we need to cut spending and raise revenue. This is the only sensible approach.
Additionally, Mr. Obama mentioned we need "shared sacrifice". But what does that exactly mean? The term stems back to World War II when the country, on whole, had to give up certain amenities in order to help win the war. The idea is if everyone gives a little, it adds up to a lot and great good can come of this. Liberals love this concept.
However, that's not what Mr. Obama is asking for. When he talks of shared sacrifice he would like to raise tax rates on those making above $250,000 a year (including businesses). Notice he is not demanding everyone contribute a little more, just those over making $250,000 a year. The President's idea is that the "millionaires and billionaires" can afford to give more and strongly suggests they have a moral obligation to do so. They ought to give more for the greater good. This is what is fair.
Earlier this week it was reported that Chuck Collins & Company have abandoned their attempt to recall Klamath County Commission Cheryl Hukill. Instead they will focus on recalling Commissioner Al Switzer only. According to Collins the reason for this change of heart is because they don't want Governor Kitzhauber selecting a county commissioner. Interesting how this wasn't discovered before their recall campaign began. I think I mentioned this in my last blog post — yeah, I did (see the fifth paragraph).
While this might be an honest admission it begins to reveal Collin's effort is an emotionally driven campaign, not a rational one. It's like the teen boy who wants to borrow his parents car for the evening. The dad says, "No you can't...." and the teenager then throws a tantrum on how his dad is unfair, and mean, and doesn't care about him or his friends. When the teen is done with his rant, the Dad explains, "... I wasn't finished. Let me try again. You can't have the car tonight,... because it is out of gas. If you have money to fill the tank, then you can use the car." In the same way, Collins & Company have decided to throw a tantrum because they don't like something. Their tantrum is to recall Al & Cheryl whom they feel most responsible for the damage done to "public safety" among other items. That said, don't you think the rational approach would've been to have first gather the facts about how replacement commissioners would be selected instead of first starting a recall for both?