Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scientific and Governmental Misconduct

Back in September, we covered the plight of a small oyster farm in Drakes Estero in Marin County, California. With respect to government bullying and scientific misconduct, that story sounds eerily like our own. To top it all off, the local band of environmental zealots down there (Environmental Action Committee of West Marin) is headed by none other than Amy Trainer, the former in-house attorney for the Friends. Small world.

The accusatory environmental narrative leveled at the oyster farm is essentially identical to the one put forward by the Friends against homeowners here. Funny how that is, don't you think?

Back in September, everyone was waiting for Interior Secretary Salazar to make his decision on whether to shut down the oyster farm or let it continue operating. His decision came down today: he is ordering the shut-down and removal of the oyster farm, which has been in the Estero for about 90 years.

A few posts back, we heard Nick Jones, one of our local oyster farmers, call shellfish farming "perhaps the most environmentally positive form of food production on the planet" because, among other reasons, filter feeders actually cleanse the water. We also heard Nick say that to expand his operation, it will require $30,000 in permit fees ... and that's before the new requirements of the Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs) and Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) go into effect.

I don't think ordinary citizens quite understand the magnitude of the bureaucratic discretion, or the extent of the overlapping jurisdictions, or the multiplicity of environmental watchdogs that exist today. An alphabet soup of laws, agencies, and interests groups are watching every environmental move we make. When I hear citizens say that the San Juans are unprotected, or when they suggest parallels between today and the anything-goes days in which Rachel Carson lived, I have to wonder what rock they have been sleeping under? Just a partial list of pertinent environmental organizations and laws would include CAO, SMP, GMA, CWA, SDWA, NPDES, PSP, AAOG/LIO, EPA, DOH, CDPD, WDFW, DFW, Ecology, Tribes, Stewardship Network, Friends, and on ... and on ... and on.

As the Drakes Estero Oystergate affair shows, if "they" can't find a real reason to condemn you, they are not above drumming up a fake one. Every person in the San Juans needs to know about Oystergate. Here is what Senator Dianne Feinstein said about Salazar's decision.
The National Park Service’s review process has been flawed from the beginning with false and misleading science.
For more information, read the Washington Post article and/or watch the video below. The video is especially good. I strongly encourage you to watch it. If you have difficulty viewing the embedded video, you can view it at this link. The related blog is here. You won't believe the parallels to our CAOs and SMP.


  1. Whoa--and those folks even dedicated thousands of acres as wilderness . . . they still came after them. I guess they'll close the ranches next. Great work, Mr. Secretary. Hope you're not heading up this way. (Always hard to tell, since you give only a day or two notice.)

  2. And then don't actually come here... But hold your meeting a ferry ticket away...

  3. United Nations Agenda 21 in action:

    "Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of society as a whole."

    Source: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I),Vancouver, BC, May 31 – June 11, 1976. Preamble to Agenda Item 10 of the Conference Report.

  4. The above citation referring to Agenda 21 says so much.
    The CAO is ostensibly about "critical areas". But I would love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall during some of the FOSJ meetings. In my opinion, virtually anything the FOSJ does is driven by a desire to make life for humans in the County as difficult and as expensive as possible. The goal is to turn our home into a wildlife preserve, devoid of human impact. According to the FOSJ /21 zealots, we are supposed to move to urban centers, the more miserable the better, where we live in ultimate- unit high rises, take public transit to government unionized jobs, and spend our evenings enriching ourselves through multi- cultural activities. We might even attend a presentation on how the San Juan Islands were "rescued" from the human infestation in the early 21st Century by a strict adherence to Agenda 21 goals.

  5. There seems to be a pretty strong case against the pattern of scientific misconduct that accompanied the bullying, the total disregard for the original management plan for Pt. Reyes that assured protection of its rural character in perpetuity. Oh, did I mention that one of the main environmental extremists involved down there came directly from the Friends of the San Juans?

    I hope Congress holds investigative hearings to review the strong evidence of scientific misconduct fouling the waters down there. Otherwise only expect this kind of behavior to become far worse for us and our children here.

  6. I fear that referring to Agenda 21 (which I find way too far fetched to believe in, BTW) just plays into the oppositions´ hands. Go ahead and believe that it is a motivating force if you want -- but know that your reference to it marginalizes our bona fide, concrete and less paranoid conspiracy driven arguments.

    The extreme arguments -- on both sides (witness the freedom foundation/extremist property rights argument of CAO proponents -- just weaken the more rationally based objections of which there are plenty.

    I am Nick Power, and I am not convinced that Soylent Green is People.

  7. Unfortunately, the UN's Agenda 21 isn't something that you can choose to "believe" in or not. It is what it is. You can choose to believe it's not related but Agenda 21 does exist.

  8. Well I haven't seen any black helicopters recently and the UN is hardly a monolith global government goose-stepping on our wetlands but here's the deal:

    There are well funded organizations that excel in "injecting" ideology into local government ordinances.

    This is as American as apple pie.

    We like the laboratory of the states because different policy alternatives tackling similar problems can be tried out, compete in the larger "marketplace of ideas" (thank you Thomas Jefferson) and presumably we get better laws and less federal intrusion one size fits all complications of big government. (Yes, your mileage may vary but that's the idea.)

    So there are big outfits. I don't care if you are talking about the National Rifle Association or Emily's list or the Moral Majority. Lots of them are global. Amnesty International, many others.

    They all work pretty much the same at least where the US is concerned. They push to inject their DNA into a friendly state legislature to create "model legislation". Then they use their lobbying power to push similar laws into other states.

    Do you think that Agenda 21 is any different? No it is not. There is a fairly powerful organization called Local Governments for Sustainability. It works to inject the Agenda 21 DNA into local government land use ordinances.

    Part of this DNA was built and funded by the Federal Government under Bill Clinton's President's Council on Sustainable Development established shortly after the Rio accords. The PCSD went on to fund the American Planning Association to develop and disseminate detailed urban and regional planning guidelines which were then incorporated into graduate programs at major university, leading to a generation of professional planners trained in the application of this DNA into local land use policy.

    This is not a conspiracy. This is not a nightmare. It is fairly transparent. And the intentions are not necessarily bad ones, but the road to hell is always paved this way.

    And at some point you find that for some folks, the means after awhile justify the ends and solid science no longer matters, the US and State constitutions begin to appear as bothersome irritants and quaintly antiquated for today's complex society.

    And then brother, you got problems. So so, this is not some kind of wild eyed conspiracy. This is tragically just business as usual, and frighteningly mundane.

  9. There ARE black helicopters. They are owned by DHS and Customs. I believe they are SH-60's, painted black, with gold " Department of Homeland Security" in small letters on the side. I know, because one of them and a special Cessna 206 chased me down at KFHR after my flight appeared to match the drug smuggling path from Abbotsford to Jefferson County. A nice young man in a green jumpsuit with a 9mm Beretta strapped across his chest politely asked for " my papers" as I emerged from the cockpit. No problems ensued. But, THERE ARE BLACK HELICOPTERS!
    Your explanation of "mutated DNA" in the hearts and minds of graduating planners is so true. My nephew is one of them. He expounds on "NEW URBANISM" which is just so much BS for waging jihad against suburban and rural lifestyles. THEY WANT US IN "WALKABLE" URBAN HIGH DENSITY HABITATION ZONES WITHOUT PERSONAL MOBILITY DEVICES (like cars).
    This is a religion for them.

  10. Agend 21 may be far fetched, and the UN is joke. However, even though the UN may not be directly involved in implementing nonsense like our CAO and SMP, etc., their goals and world views are effectivly being implemented all across our nation by our own politicians and citizens. This is being done politicaly so at some point, if want to stand a chance fighting this crap, we are going to have to define what side of the political fence this is coming from. Why are so many unwilling to come to grips with this? It is just not true that both sides are behind this.

  11. I don't think the new urbanists have their sites set on the San Juans. I'd stick to worrying about real things like the CAO and SMP. Back to reality...

  12. I side with Mr. Power. Once the major party label gets applied it is an immediate turn-off for those rational people who like to think things through without any help. And injecting moon beam stuff does not help us here.

    Both major party ops are in a near panic that so many folks are turning away and becoming truly "independents or decline to state." Look at your ballot, already we have this weird "prefers XXX party" label. How much longer will it take until we do get non partisans in public office. So it is sad, I think, that SJC decided to turn back the clock and hand County Government back to the political hacks.

    On the bright side, at least we threw a couple of em out of office on the way back to the old treadmill. And the voters have got a lot of homework ahead of them coming up real soon. Could be interesting and it will be important for us to dig deep in the dirt...for far too long this place has been too respectful and just plain easy going.

  13. As an aside, for folks who are interested in an approach that embodies the spirit of the last commenter, you might want to check out a group called "No Labels" ... their mottos include "Not Left, Not Right, but Forward" and "Stop Fighting, Start Fixing."

    As I have pointed out before, there are Democrats who have awakened to the way faux environmentalism has taken over parts of the Party. Whoever is fighting against faux environmentalism, we must encourage them. It is perhaps most important that environmentalists recognize this, because as the scientist in the Oystergate video notes, faux environmentalism is killing environmentalism. Here is a link to a talk by Democrat Rosa Koire at WWU in October.

    There are no winners in the faux environmental game, except perhaps the egos of the eco-glorymongers who notch pointless victories but do nothing to actually help the environment (or people).

  14. Got it.

    Agenda 21 = Plan 9 from Outer Space

    Thanks for setting me straight.

    Now, just tell me what planet the FOSJ beamed in on and I'll go quietly to the little pretty pastel urban behavior pod that awaits me.

    "Be seeing you"

  15. Oh geesh ... Plan 9 from Outer Space ... the worst movie ever made. I had forgotten about it. Seems like a fitting description for the way the County works :-)

  16. Here's a shocker. It's time for a FOSJ member to give us, the public reading TH, a look at what you are getting from the mother ship. Why not?

    If you believe FOSJ is a good and worthwhile organization, what's to hide?

    If you are troubled about the current direction of FOSJ, if you want it to continue to exist, then it is in the best tradition of such organizations to correct the mistakes this one is now making.

    FOSJ is killing the environmental movement in SJC. You need to clean house.

  17. It's about money. The oyster farm owners on San Juan were major players in the early days of the FOSJ, and they earned a pass. All you need to do is to pay the extortionists and you get your permits, or get on the board and then you don't even NEED permits.
    I get requests every week to join some enviro green tourism program and get "certified" as green or sustainable. If they had a form to fill out listing how we are in fact, sustainable, and certification hinged on an assesment of our practices, it would be OK. Instead the only criteria for certification is that our check clears the bank.

  18. The Eco-Indulgence

    “As soon as a coin in the coffers rings, a soul from purgatory springs.” Johan Tetzel (from Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Thesis)

  19. It's no longer America: "welcome to the USSR" (Beetles 1968). The bureaucrats will never touch the ranches bordering Drakes Bay; they have been in existence since the Mexican Grant days, and most of the properties are owned by Italians with strong ties to Sicily :) It's a tough time; we're governed by authentic idiots to put it mildly. It is up to all of us to vote into office the "next three" that will represent Islanders instead of their own ideas of grandeur.

  20. Where do folks like Amy Trainer think their food is going to come from?

  21. Curious why San Juan County voted in the November 2012 election to elect political representation that has aided the ability of eco-zealots (re-wilders) to further the taking of private citizens property rights. The entire State of Washington had a genuine opportunity to elect representatives that would've fought to preserve your rights, but we replaced one pretty liberal, cozy with the eco-zealots, governor with Inslee who is one of them.
    I'm just saying...time for everyone to wake-up!
    Have any of you read the book; "Behind the Green Mask," by Rosa Koire? It's time to raise your voices and get vocal about what the agenda is if you want a fighting chance to win

  22. And yes I whole heartedly agree that people had best do better at vetting the candidates than whether they wear an "r" or "d" beside their name. Vote for what they've actually done in their personal/public life; not what they tell you they'll do in a campaign.
    There are horror stories just like this going on all over the U.S. Pt. Reyes received a lot of public attention, but there are private property owners, farmers and ranchers all over the nation who are asking WTF is going on?!?!