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Delta leaders oppose HR 1837 water grab

On July 5, Restore the Delta and sixteen other Delta community and political leaders sent a letter to Congressman Tom McClintock, Chair of the House Sub Committee on Water and Power, to express widespread and growing opposition to HR 1837, sponsored by Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA).

The Delta leaders describe H.R. 1837 as "an attempt to prioritize junior water contracts held by a limited number of San Joaquin Valley growers over the senior and superior water rights of Delta farmers, and other farmers whose land falls within the Delta watershed." They also criticize the bill's "threat to increase Delta pumping without proper fish screening."

In addition, they take aim at the bill's attempt to repeal the San Joaquin River Settlement Agreement, a ambitious plan to restore water and salmon to the river below Friant Dam.

"Attempts to reverse this promise for San Joaquin River restoration sends a bad message to Delta communities," the letter states. "Since the inception of the State Water Project and the Central Valley Water Project, promises made regarding the export of surplus flows and proper fish screening at export water facilities have been broken repeatedly. If Congress were to break yet another promise regarding restoration through legislative action, it would signal to Delta communities the Federal Government’s sacrifice of the Delta for the benefit of another region in California."

Environmental leader urges support for lawsuit against MLPA Initiativ

John Lewallen, a longtime environmental leader on California's North Coast, is urging everybody concerned about true ocean protection in California waters to support the lawsuit by United Anglers of Southern California, the Coastside Fishing Club and Bob Fletcher against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

"A California Superior Court lawsuit challenging the authority of the state to let the private Resources Legacy Fund Foundation operate a process of setting up Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in violation of the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Coastal Act, and other state laws, deserves the support of all Californians," said Lewallen.

"United Anglers of Southern California,, versus the California State Fish and Game Commission, has an excellent legal team which has won a string of victories, and is headed for a July 11 hearing to discuss the heart of the case: whether the state has operated under the proper authority to issue the regulations that it did," Lewallen stated.

In 2010, this legal team won a case establishing that the privatized Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) had to follow public meeting laws, specifically the Public Records Act. BRTF public records clearly showed that routine illegal private meetings were held in the process of setting up Marine Protected Areas on the South Coast and North Central Coast.

The Declaration of Independence: Fanfare for the Common Man and Woman

Here's how I began a post six years ago

    There are many reasons that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Europeans immigrated to the United States after it was discovered and before it became a country; some of which were economic, religious, or political, everyone of those people had a story.

    This, is one of those stories. And from this one, independence was born.

President Zero Has No Clue

Related: 24 Stats Explaining Why Neo-liberal (Reaganomics) Policies have Destroyed America as We've Known It. And how about this, Dan Lungren is a lying two-faced hypocrite, which you already knew ... but here's proof. Or Clueless

    From today’s radio address:

      Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.

Remembering Peter Falk for Columbo’s Takedowns of High Functioning Sociopaths

I want to acknowledge Peter Falk’s passing this past week in light of his Columbo TV character’s being a POPULIST icon.

I celebrate him for Columbo, relentless nemesis to the Gucci’d “above the law” types who tried to use power and money to cavalierly escape responsibility for profound crimes against humankind.

I celebrate the Columbo series’ enactments of takedowns of the down and dirty high and mighties, since we are now seriously in the Season or maybe we should call it Age of the “High Functioning Sociopath” (so defiantly in your face in Bushworld and, alas, even more in your face in Obamaworld -- Dems as amoral as Repubs, duh), with our economy captured by them, our quality of life and that of our children and their children, etc., drastically diminished by them, and the massive gratuitous violence (with millions of innocent victims killed, maimed or displaced) perpetrated by them -- with NO risk to them, by the way, except their immortal souls. (I find myself praying more and more for an especially horrendous hell for this wealthy criminal ruling class.)

We desperately need populist heroes, in real life and in art! We need them, past, present and future.

Science Friday: Emma B asks the wrong question | 8 Prehistoric creatures from your nightmares

1st off, the youtube is of an animatronic Platybelodon at the Shanghai Museum of Natural History. And the 1st article is an open letter to a little girl - and anyone else - who's been misinformed and manipulated by ignorant creationists. The question she's encouraged to ask shouldn't be, "Were you there?," the question should be, "How do you know?" And The 2nd article is of eight little known extinct animals who're like Rodney Dangerfield, because "they get no respect"

Dear Emma B

On 45th Anniversary, Medicare Under Siege

On 45th Anniversary, Medicare Under Siege
By Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Doris Matsui

Forty-five years ago today, Medicare began operation and senior citizens started to use their brand new Medicare cards to obtain medical care. As President Lyndon B. Johnson stated, older Americans began to receive guaranteed access to care "not as an act of charity, but as the insured right of a senior citizen. July 1, 1966 marks a new day of freedom for our people."

Many of us cannot imagine what it was like before Medicare, but back then, the need was clear. Before July 1, 1966, 51 percent of senior citizens were uninsured - unable to find coverage from private insurers who didn't want to cover them. Without health insurance, getting sick or injured could mean going bankrupt, going without needed care or even dying needlessly.

President Johnson knew the value of Medicare, but he also knew we would need to work to protect it. "This program is not just a blessing for older Americans," he said. "It is a test for all Americans - a test of our willingness to work together. In the past, we have always passed that test. I have no doubt about the future."

Commission selects effective date for South Coast marine reserves

(Stockton) The California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday, June 29 chose Oct. 1, 2011 as the "effective date" for implementation of the marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California under the controversial Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

"In a 4-1 vote, Commissioners selected this day to better inform affected ocean users of the new regulations in the South Coast Study Region, which spans from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border," according to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Game.

Commissioners Richard Rogers, Michael Sutton, Jack Baylis and Jim Kellogg voted for the October 1 date, while Commissioner Daniel Richards voted against it.

The Fog of War

Great interview and great music. The soundtrack of the movie "The Fog of War" features the life of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He served under President Kennedy and Johnson. He reflects on his part in the bombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.

This film could have been titled "The Evil That Men Do". McNamara talks about war crimes he and others have committed. He observes the failures of government officials at the highest level to understand the basis of the wars they direct. I have to ask, can we learn from history?
Source: The Fog of War Movie. Most of the book can be found at The Fog of War Book

Music includes War What Is It Good For, Earth Anthem, I Just Can't Wait to Be King, We'll Meet Again

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!
By David Swanson

The Declaration of Independence is best remembered as a declaration of war, a war declared on the grounds that we wanted our own flag. The sheer stupidity and anachronism of the idea serves to discourage any thoughts about why Canada didn't need a bloody war, whether the U.S. war benefitted people outside the new aristocracy to whom power was transferred, what bothered Frederick Douglas so much about a day celebrating "independence," or what the Declaration of Independence actually said.

When you read the Declaration of Independence, it turns out to be an indictment of King George III for various abuses of power. And those abuses of power look fairly similar to abuses of power we happily permit U.S. presidents to engage in today, either as regards the people of this nation or the people of territories and nations that our military occupies today in a manner uncomfortably resembling Britain's rule over the 13 colonies.

Or perhaps I should say, a large portion of us take turns being happy or outraged depending on the political party with which the current president is identified.

HYPOCRITES: Obama Administration Pushes Internet Freedom Abroad While Urging Crack-Down At Home

HYPOCRITES: Obama Administration Pushes Internet Freedom Abroad While Urging Crack-Down At Home
Left-leaning Demand Progress calls administration to task for Internet censorship policies

Washington, DC -- The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. The United States this month signed on to a statement praising a pro-Internet freedom report by the United Nation's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, even as the U.S. pushes new domestic laws and regulations to censor the Internet, restrict users' Internet access, and criminalize more online activities.

Those efforts, pushed by the Obama Administration, its Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, and certain members of Congress include:

1) Senate Bill 978 -- the "Ten Strikes Bill" -- would make unlicensed online streaming a felony -- punishable by 5 years in prison.

2) Senate Bill 968 -- the PROTECT IP Act or "Internet Blacklist Bill" -- would give the government the power to force Internet service providers, search engines, and other "information location tools" to block users' access to sites that have been accused of copyright infringement -- the initiation of a China-style censorship regime here in the United States.

3) It was reported last week that the Obama administration is facilitating a "three strikes" style deal between Internet Service Providers and intellectual property rights holders to reduce bandwidth and restrict web access to certain sites for users who have been accused of copyright infringement. As CNET reported:

Science Friday: Beyond the Sea

This is a post on the mostly dire state of the oceans, the first article documents the over-fishing of the Atlantic; the 2nd, is a report on a study by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean on how human action has resulted in warming, acidification and increased hypoxia; the 3rd, talks about how the California Current teems with life; and lastly, a youtube of the song, Beyond the Sea

What were the oceans like before over-fishing? David McCandless visualises the Atlantic's past

    It's hard to imagine the damage over-fishing is wrecking on the oceans. The effects are literally invisible, hidden deep in the ocean. But there is data out there. And when you visualise it, the results are shocking.

    This image shows the biomass of popularly-eaten fish in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1900 and in 2000. Popularly eaten fish include: bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sea trout, striped bass, sturgeon, turbot. Many of which are now vulnerable or endangered.

Why Tax-On-Millionaires Is a Slam Dunk

This article is from awhile ago, but the info is still very much relevant. And again, if you have any question of the income disparity between the 1% and the rest of us, watch the accompanying video

Why Tax-On-Millionaires Measure Is a Slam Dunk


    The case in California: Since our last discourse on the subject, the massive gap between the wealthiest 1% and everyone else in the population has gained more traction as a political issue in California.

    Paradoxically, the recent idiocy of Capitol Republicans, who blocked a popular vote on whether to extend a few modest taxes and fees