Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Seventy Nine and the Silence of the Editors; Brian Dahle gets a Bill!

The mountain in the background is Mount Lassen. This photo I took on my little illegal foray into Lassen Volcanic National Park. I had the place to myself, courtesy of Doug LaMalfa, who was quite active in pushing for the government shutdown (despite his denials in a letter he sent a friend of mine today).

LaMalfa knows no shame really. He is part of a new breed of right wing extremist politicians whose world view are so tight, no amount of fact, truth or matter of the heart will cause any change in the hard hearted politicians. LaMalfa doesn't believe government is good for much of anything. Charity should take care of the poor. In his world, Somalia is probably the most free nation on earth: plenty of guns; charity is the welfare system; no government regulations to ruin a free market.

These guys, the "Suicidal Seventy Nine" members of the House of Representatives are dangerous. They aren't particularly bright; they just lead very myopic lives. And their zealotry is frightening. They see nothing beyond their own rice farms.

So in keeping tabs on the Newspapers of Northern California today: None of them have had an editorial that blames the Government Shutdown on LaMalfa. In fact, it is day 8 of the crises and there is very little acknowledgement that the Shutdown is happening. Come on David Little, editor of the Chico ER, what's up with you avoiding the issue? And Bruce Ross of the Redding Searchlight, a bright fella, better than most around here, whose politics more resembles Joe Scarborough rather than Rush Limbaugh----why so silent Bruce?

In other matters: Assemblyman Brian Dahle did get a bill signed by Governor Brown today. The bill he wrote with a Democrat is good in that it calls for clearing undergrowth in a way to cut down the severity of wildfires. The only problem is that it extends the legal diameter of a tree that is cut from sixteen inches to twenty-four inches. This is no longer clearing undergrowth; it is a slippery logging bill that got snuck through the legislature. There was no outcry from environmental organizations about the bill. The bill would have been better if the current sixteen inch max diameter would have been honored.

Of course, the Redding Searchlight was pleased that Dahle managed to get a bill through the legislative process. They have an obvious affection for the guy who used to participate in coyote hunting competitions on his land. Jim Nielsen was the Senator who sponsored it on his side of the aisle. That should have been warning enough that something slimy was going on.

Dahle does have an idea to create pellet facilities from the bio mass that is cleared from the thinning of the undergrowth. And there is plenty of undergrowth to clear. I wonder if he would go so far as to have either State government funding for these factories or maybe even have them be owned by the State of California. As such, that would make Brian Dahle as much of a Socialist as Obama. It would be good to see his idea come to fruition. Although you have to be a bit skeptical:  Most times when Republicans mention "thinning" and forests, it really means "logging".  Logging operations in California must be planned and approved by the California Department of Forestry. Clearing undergrowth doesn't require that extensive of a permit process---so it just might be a quick way around a regulatory process. Twenty four inch trees makes it worth their while to log.

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