Saturday, September 22, 2012

Countdown To CAOmageddon: Flaw #48 - Confabulation

Confabulation is often called "honest lying." According to Wikipedia,
Confabulation is a memory disturbance that is characterized by verbal statements or actions that inaccurately describe history, background, and present situations. Confabulation is considered “honest lying,” but is distinct from lying because there is typically no intent to deceive and the individual is unaware that their information is false. Although patients can present blatantly false information (“fantastic confabulation”), confabulatory information can also be coherent, internally consistent, and relatively normal. Individuals who confabulate are generally very confident about their recollections, despite evidence contradicting its truthfulness.
It is frequently associated with delusions of grandeur, and the CAO process has been dominated by an attitude that individuals and their opinions are worthless compared to bureaucratic ambitions. Every time we hear Adamus say, "According to Science" (and we hear it almost every time he speaks), we're hearing confabulation. What reasonable person with a healthy psyche presumes that his lone voice embodies "Science," especially when so many credible scientists disagree with him? What group of damn fool Councilors laps up such drivel?

According to the WAC, Adamus' BAS synthesis should have been peer reviewed to be considered BAS itself. It was not. So much for the opinions of "Science." I believe it (and its author) would have been thoroughly discredited had it received a proper peer review, as even the modest review by Dr. Tim Verslycke (and others) suggests.

And speaking of "peer review," we'd like to hear more about the widespread rumors, which have persisted for weeks now, concerning Council Chair Patty Miller's alleged wetland filling activities. According to several sources on Orcas, she has been filling in wetlands like mad in an effort to reduce her personal exposure to the harsh restrictions of the proposed CAOs, ahead of her vote on the matter. These alleged activities have occurred at the very same time she has been the Chair presiding over deliberations about wetland protections. That's the story, anyway. The Trojan Heron wrote to the County's new "fact-checker" website yesterday afternoon (see below) and directly to Council Chair Miller requesting comment, but we have yet to receive a response. Maybe she was busy.

If any readers have any information to share about these alleged activities, please feel free to post a comment. In the words of the County fact-checker website, we would very much like to clear this matter up one way or the other by:
provid[ing] straightforward facts and information to correct errors and misperceptions that have appeared in widely circulated sources.
We'd like to think the fact-checker people at the County could live up to their mission statement (assuming they respond at some point), but based on the confabulation of the CAO process, the County hasn't been doing a very credible job of providing straightforward facts and information.

What say you?

From: Trojan Heron <>
Date: Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM
Subject: Patty Miller Filling in Wetlands

For weeks, Orcas Island has been replete with persistent rumors that Patty Miller has been using rented and purchased excavators to fill in wetlands on her property in advance of the CAOs taking effect.  Several reliable sources allege that this has been occurring throughout the time that Miller has led deliberations on the wetland CAO.

Would the County or Councillor Miller like to respond to these reports?

Trojan Heron Newsblog


  1. Hey flyboys. Google up Ms. Miller's digs on google maps for a GPS and go to it. (The County Website is just Sooo handy too) Streaming video would be nice, but still pics might be revealing too.

    Patty: You and others on the council said OK to the invasion of privacy to every resident in this County. (Damn, at one point, I thought that snoring next to me might be Howie) So there is this old expression: "What goes around, comes around."

    And I have a new one: "With the new age Internet, you're toast."

  2. It is hard to talk about this while protecting those with first-hand information. However, according to people I consider to be reliable, Patty has been seen at the controls of an excavator working in the wetlands on her property.

  3. These are legitimate questions to ask of the Chair of a Council that is about to impose totally re-written land use rules that neither the Council nor staff can explain, that many San Juan Islands residents vehemently oppose, and that will impose punitive burdens on her fellow islanders for years to come...not to mention the cost to the County of the lawsuits.

    Patty needs to respond to the question. If she is re-organizing her wetlands she needs to explain 1) if she is doing it in conformity with current County law, and 2) why she feels the need to do this prior to approving what she apparently feels are good new laws...presumably good for her and good for her fellow citizens?

    If she doesn't want her wetlands to be subjected to these new laws she should be honest and say the laws are bad, and vote against them. And if she doesn't want to be subjected to the new rules, yet votes in favor of them, she should have enough integrity to resign her position.

    PS> Patty has said she "has no choice" but to vote in favor of the CAO. What does that mean? Too much money coming in from lobbyists? Can't say no to Friends?

  4. I can confirm that there certainly are rumors being bandied about. Many people here on Orcas are talking about it. Word is that Patty rented equipment to bulldoze. Word is that Patty purchased an excavator to fill in.

    I wonder what Dr. Adamus would say about the poor frogs.

  5. According to science, there seem to be rumors. There is currently insufficient data to draw significant conclusions. Therefore, a precautionary approach is warranted. Accordingly, a no risk approach to Patty Miller is required by regulations.

  6. First let me say that it scares the hell out of me to comment. Its been over three years since I applied for a permit for an addition to my business. In that time I have learned about what its like to have the county, the freinds, and your competitors work against you.
    I own Orcas Rental and Saw. Over the years I have rented to Patty several times. On Monday 8/13 I went out to grease my excavator. I could hear it running behind the house in the woods. When I came up to the machine I saw Patty at the controls digging a ditch with a 1' bucket and putting the mud on a dirt road that ran farther into the woods. It looked like a ditch, and there was a roll of pipe near by. As I was greasing the machine she explained to me that she was doing this because in the winter the tractor would get stuck while moving the horse manure out there. In fairness I am not a wetland expert. But mud in August did seem odd. I went and looked up the county wetlands map, and it looks to be a class 2 wetlands where I believe I was. In fairness , I have found the county wetlands maps not to be too acurite. She rented it for another week and I did not venture out to grease, it had been made clear they would do that. Pattys partner Ray then came in to pay his bill and tell me "what he thought of me" and that they would never rent from me again. He made it very clear that that was his response to me, and not Pattys. She would have her own. He told me that they had all there permits and that he wished I would have filled a complaint. In fairness I don't know if it is wetlands, wetland setbacks, if they have a permit from the county, the Department of Ecology, and the Army Corps of Engineers. This is the future though. This same scenario will play over and over again in the next few years. The way this is handeled by the powers that be will be telling. My experience has been and still is a nightmare, your results may vary.
    Steve Pearson

  7. Thank you for speaking up, Steve. Maybe Patty will respond to clarify the situation further. The situation of neighbor telling on neighbor is a fact of life around here, encouraged by the Council and by the Friends. We have learned from the Vivien Burnett story of the frequent hypocrisy of those who want to impose/enforce laws on everyone else. Legal or not, George Lawson has a guest house, San Olson, Kyle Loring, Vivien Burnett ... and Stephanie Buffum has a "bunkhouse" and troublesome septic.

    Do we really care? Do we really want to know about other people's private lives. No. But these are the people who say the rest of us can't have these things. These are the people who say we're destroying the planet if we live like them. Somehow they always find a way to be in compliance, or avoid enforcement. But people like you ... like us ... don't.

    Thank you for speaking up. Sorry for your troubles, and we will print your story of County abuse, if you are willing to write it up.

  8. Maybe Sharon Kivisto, Commissar of Das Islander will print a Rumor Control in Miller's defense, quote CDPP chapter and vers, and prohibit any public comment.

    Or, Acting Ensign Intern at the County who serves as scrivener of the new County Fact Checking Page could provide some helpful clarifying information on Patty's Permits.

    And Der Islander could parrot the as this hypocritical echo chamber gets louder and louder and louder ...

  9. Holy cow. Ahooooooooogggaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh

    I am Nick Power.

  10. Steve Pearson:
    You are a brave man. I salute you.
    Thank you.

  11. I find it interesting to see that a local Eastsound businessman, Scott Lancaster, owns a business that in some ways competes with Mr. Pearson's tool rental/sales establishment.

    I find it also interesting that Mr. Lancaster has been one of the folks leading the charge to run Pearson's store out of town, using the oppressive power of county government. Along with the owner of the other competing business.

    I'm sure Mr. Lancaster will fit right in with the rest of our "representatives" when the people of Orcas send him to Friday Harbor as their council person, assuming they are so foolish.

    And isn't it delicious that Patty rented her tools from a store that the County has been trying to destroy?

  12. I don't think the county was trying to destroy Mr. Pearson's store, Errol Speed and Scott Lancaster were. The county approved something that was questionable or screwed up in other ways, but they told him to go ahead.

    Folks, Mr. Pearson got attacked by Competitors. Just remember that. His competition used the county system to attack him because he would be offering up competition.

    Be careful who you vote in, as many may grind their many axes once in power.

    Thanks again Mr. Pearson, I hope you find peace in your life and vindication.

  13. There seems to be a long more to this story than it first seemed.

    It will be important to hear Steve Lancaster and Errol Speed's side of the story.

    Especially before the ballots go out.

    Directly causing economic harm to another to damage them is not competition. It is something far different, and malign.

    Eastsound seems to have a local mafia and may be about to send a goomba to serve on Council.

  14. No response or update from the County or Councillor Miller yet ... not even a "we'll get back to you" ... so it's not possible to update this story with their perspective on the matter.

    However, we would very much like to hear from the parties directly involved to correct any misinformation that might be associated with this story.

    Will keep readers posted as/when/if information comes in.

  15. Is it "Scott Lancaster" or "Steve Lancaster"?