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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
THE CLIMATE CHANGE HOAX
By Matt Kokkonen, Candidate for 33rd Assembly District

Global warming is probably one of the most contentious issues currently. Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, documents his belief that humans are the cause of this warming and of an impending catastrophe on the planet. Therefore, many experts call for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. Dissenting experts claim that global warming is cyclical as evidenced by the several historical ice ages and periods of warming. They also point out that the increase in carbon dioxide has always followed periods of warming rather than being caused by the warming.
 
In order to substantiate the claim for global warming, accurate historical data must be available. Weather data has been recorded and collected by the National Weather Service. Its U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is comprised of1221 reporting stations within the 48 contiguous United States. These records generally include the period 1900 – 1995. Each station is subject to certain quality-control and homogeneity testing and adjustment procedures. If the data is not reported, it is filled in with data from other nearby sites. Obviously, this can and has introduced major errors in temperature readings.
 
The National Weather Service through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)   has also established standards for the proper siting of the reporting stations and the sensors. They define five classes of sites:
     Class I - Sensors are located at least 100 meters (330 feet) from artificial heating or reflecting surfaces, such as buildings, concrete surfaces, and parking lots.
     Class 2 - Artificial heating sources are located 30 meters (100 feet) away from sensor.
     Class 3 - Artificial heating sources are located 10 meters (33 feet) away from sensor. Introduces an error of 1°C
     Class 4 - Artificial heating sources are less than 10 meters (33 feet) away from sensor. Introduces an error greater than 2°C.
     Class 5 - Temperature sensor located next to or above an artificial heating source, such as a building, rooftop, parking lot, or concrete surface. Introduces an error greater than 5°C.
 
I went to observe two of the1221 climate-reporting stations. The one in Paso Robles has placed the sensor on a concrete pad, with cars parked against the pad and a building next to it. In addition, it is located next to a major city street with constant heavy automobile traffic. Consequently, the readings from this reporting station have been high, showing an error greater than 5°C or approximately 8°F for several years. It is most disturbing to realize that erroneously high readings from stations like this have been used by climatologists to claim man-caused global warming.
 
Cal Poly also has a climate-reporting station. Its sensor is located five feet from the gravel road and 40 feet from a concrete walkway next to buildings. However there are broken down RVs right next to the sensor. One of them has been sitting there for several years as a heat sink. In addition, there are several chemical test pools between 100 and 200 feet away.
 
Both of these stations fail NWS’ own standards and reporting procedures. In fact, research done by Meteorologist Anthony Watts of “SurfaceStations.org” shows that almost 90% of the 1221 stations report rising temperatures because they are badly sited. It shows that the data has been seriously erroneous. The temperature readings have been consistently too high. The foundation for the claim for man-made global warming which is based on historical data gathered from San Luis Obispo County’s two reporting stations is fallacious. Unfortunately, the reported temperature data, not the earth, is cooked by man.

Matt Kokkonen is a San Luis Obispo financial planner and political activist. In 2008, he was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 23rd District, receiving over 80,000 votes. Currently, he is a candidate for State Assembly in the 33rd District.
 
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Dear President Obama
By Andy Caldwell

I am writing to you to ask you for your help.  I understand your country has suggested that poor countries like the one I live in could be the beneficiaries of $100 billion per year to mitigate the impacts of global warming.  In spite of the fact that any warming we have experienced is negligible at best, we would nonetheless be happy to take money from your people.
 
We are not exactly sure what to do with the money however.  You see, over three billion people like me live on $2.50 per day or less.  We don’t exactly generate much of any pollution.  We don’t have clean water, cars, refrigerators, air conditioning or heaters.  We are simply poor.  When we have food, we do cook it if we have some fuel for a fire, typically wood or coals or dried dung.  Would we have to eat all our food at room temperature if we take your money? Many of us live in very simple houses made of natural materials, or wood, tin, or cardboard.  Will these materials still be okay as long as they are renewable or recycled?
 
Would it be all right if our country uses your money to become industrialized and raise our standard of living?  Or, is that why China and India are having a problem with your proposal?  That is, would raising our standard of living necessitate industrial emissions of some sort that would defeat your goal of saving the planet? 
 
Speaking of saving the planet, I would like to speak with you about saving lives.  I recognize the hypothetical deaths that could arise from global warming, but in the meantime, I was wondering if we could use the money to address real causes of death in countries like mine?  Do you actually deal with real world problems?  If you do, we could sure use your help to save lives in imminent danger.
 
There are tens of millions of babies in Africa that have died unnecessarily from malaria because environmentalists from your country in essence banned the production of DDT.  This ban is still in effect even though spraying for mosquitoes in and around our residences was never controversial, only the use of the chemical in open fields.  Could we use the money to produce and use DDT?
 
There are many places in the world where tribal, ethnic, religious and civil wars are resulting in man-made famines and misery like you wouldn’t believe.  Untold numbers of people live in squalid refugee camps.  Could we maybe use your money to come to the United States?  We don’t care how warm it is there due to climate change, it would be better for us there than here.  If not, could we hire your military to come protect us?  Our mothers and sisters are getting raped, and our fathers and brothers get shot or have their arms cut off.  It is really bad.
 
Additionally, we lose tens of thousands of lives every year from the ravages of Mother Nature.  Typhoons, earthquakes, floods, drought, pestilence, and the like.  It would be great if we could use your money to modernize and protect our communities with engineering standards that would help us to withstand these ravages as your country does.  The question is, how can we build our infrastructure without the use of unsustainable materials such as concrete, steel, and petroleum based products like asphalt?
 
A final plea.  Please don’t give the money directly to our leaders, they keep the money for themselves and never do anything good with it to actually help the poor.  Your country should know that by now.
 
 
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 41 year resident of the Central Coast.
For contact information, visit the COLAB website at
www.colabsbc.org
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Friday, December 18, 2009
Rules of Engagement
Are we fighting a war or not?   Sometimes I wonder. Wars are generally all-out efforts to kill the enemy and destroy their ability to fight. The goal is to win, and to do that it’s necessary to kill people and break things.
 
However, there are some rules, although not everyone observes them. The most widely accepted are The Geneva Conventions, which Wikipedia describes as follows:
 
The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three additional protocols that set the standards in international law for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war. The singular term Geneva Convention refers to the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of World War II, updating the terms of the first three treaties and adding a fourth treaty. The language is extensive, with articles defining the basic rights of those captured during a military conflict, establishing protections for the wounded, and addressing protections for civilians in and around a war zone. The treaties of 1949 have been ratified, in whole or with reservations, by 194 countries.
 
Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity. Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault. Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion. However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war.
 
Unfortunately, as terrorism has appeared on the scene, the generally accepted standards of The Geneva Conventions have fallen by the wayside. Terrorist combatants wear no uniforms, represent no specific nation and observe no rules, including attacking and killing women and children, even those in their own societies. 
 
Furthermore, the forces of Political Correctness have influenced our military mindset to the point that the United States has exceeded the basic standards of The Geneva Conventions by imposing extraordinary Rules of Engagement (ROE) on our military, which can jeopardize their safety in combat zones.
 
Based on individual soldier accounts, WorldNetDaily reports that current ROE restrictions include:
·        No night of surprise searches.
·        Villagers are to be warned prior to searches.
·        Afghan National Army or Afghan National Police must accompany U.S.   units or searches.
·        U.S. soldiers may not fire at insurgents unless they are preparing to fire first.
·        U.S. forces cannot engage insurgents if civilians are present.
·        Only women can search women.
·        Troops can fire on insurgents if they catch them placing an IED but not if they walk away from where the explosives are.
 
In addition, the ROE often require varying levels of approvals before action can be taken.
 
One company commander has been quoted as saying, “We can’t do anything if we don’t have the ANA or [the Afghan National Police]... We have to follow the Karzai 12 rules. But the Taliban has no rules…Our soldiers have to juggle all these rules and regulations and they do it without hesitation despite everything. It’s not easy for anyone out here.”
 
Imposing restrictive ROE’s is not just some theoretical exercise in winning the hearts and minds of the Afghans, that they have caused the loss of life is well documented. For example, in one case, four U.S. Marines (fighting in Kunar Province) twice radioed for artillery support during a combat action, which was refused. As a result, they were killed. Who knows why those in command would not or could not give their authorization?
 
So, while we are supposed to fight with one hand tied behind our backs by observing PC Rules of Engagement, our enemies are free to engage in the most heinous actions, torturing and beheading people, hiding among the local population, using them as shields, committing the most violent acts against both our military forces and civilians alike.
 
Under the circumstances, my conclusion is that we should be less concerned about the constraints of The Geneva Conventions than taking the fight to the terrorists without hesitation. The idea that we can fight a war in which we hamstring our military because of some PC notion that we are morally superior to our enemies is counterproductive. My sense is that they also believe they are better than their enemy, us, which permits them to win by any means possible, no matter how despicable.
 
© 2009 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
 
Read more of Harris Sherline’s commentaries on his blog at www.opinionfest.com
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Monday, December 14, 2009
Is Medicare Really A Good Deal?
Suppose you don’t want the government’s health care plan for seniors? What then? Can you opt out?
 
You may wonder: Who would not want Medicare health insurance? It’s generally touted as the best health care plan that money can buy. However, it’s not such a good deal for the taxpayers. At last count, the program was some $11 trillion dollars in debt, that is, it had an unfunded liability of $11 trillion.
 
The reason Medicare seems to work well for senior patients is because providers’ fees for services, doctors, hospitals, labs, etc., are not set by market competition. Instead, they are unilaterally established by the federal government. In other words, fees are not determined by the free market. The government decides how much they will pay, regardless of cost. What’s surprising is that, even with that advantage, Medicare consistently loses money.
 
Furthermore, Medicare health insurance is not really an option or much of an option for seniors, because it’s mandated by the Social Security Administration, which operates the program. Seniors who wish to opt out are confronted with a penalty that would be prohibitive.
 
The Institute for Health Freedom (IHF) provides some interesting but somewhat startling information about Medicare that is generally not known:
 
·        “Medicare has the final say on hospital and doctor fees and threatens to expel doctors from the program if they charge patients extra for ‘deluxe’ versions of services already covered by the program.”
 
·        “Medicare dictates what services and treatments are ‘medically necessary’ and covered” for patients. “Some patients have found that Medicare coverage has actually hurt, rather than helped their treatment regimen.”
 
·        “Medicare requires that claims be submitted to the federal government and audits provider/patient information for fraud and abuse. Seniors who want to maintain a truly confidential doctor-patient relationship might opt to pay privately.”
 
·        “Individuals entitled to monthly (Social Security) benefits which confer eligibility for (Hospital insurance) may not waive...entitlement.” If a senior wants to avoid the requirement to enroll in the Medicare benefit program, he or she is required to repay all retirement benefit payments they have previously received from the Social Security program.
 
·        The federal government enforces mandatory enrollment in Medicare by requiring citizens to sign up for Medicare hospital coverage (Part A) at the time they apply for Social Security benefits.
 
IHF also reports that Medicare was not originally supposed to work this way: “When Medicare was created in 1965, Congress promised that the program would not interfere with citizens’ freedom to purchase private health insurance. The original Medicare law…included the following provision” (which remains unchanged):
 
Sec. 1803 OPTION TO INDIVIDUAL TO OBTAIN OTHER HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTION: Nothing contained in this title shall be construed to preclude any State from providing or any individual from purchasing or otherwise securing, protection against the cost of any health services.
 
However, the Medicare law was also subsequently amended to include a provision that “penalizes physicians who accept private payment for Medicare-covered services: any doctor who does so must stop seeing all Medicare patients for two years.”
 
Considered in light of the current health care debates in Congress, the foregoing information offers strong evidence about how Medicare health insurance coverage has been mandated for seniors and how existing government health care programs can be imposed on patients and changed at the whim of Congress.
 
While the rationale for forcing all seniors to sign up for Medicare may make sense from the standpoint of providing a large base of participants to generate sufficient revenue for the program, it’s important to bear in mind that what the government bestows it can also take away from citizens.
 
It’s also worth noting that when the time comes to fund the $11 trillion deficit in the Medicare program, it will have to be done by increasing taxes or reducing services, or both. Furthermore, the health care bill that is currently being considered by the Senate proposes to expand enrollment in the Medicare program by lowering the age requirement to 55, to provide health care services for many of those who are currently uninsured, while, at the same time, cutting Medicare funding by $500 billion over five years. This will immediately add an estimated 35 million new enrollees in addition to the approximately 45 million people currently enrolled in the Medicare program (in 2008). 
 
So, how can Medicare possibly continue to provide the same level of services to seniors when the number of enrollees is increased by 75% and its funding is cut by about 40%?
 
As usual, the actions of Congress turn logic on its head.
 
© 2009 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
 
Read more of Harris Sherline’s commentaries on his blog at www.opinionfest.com
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Thursday, December 10, 2009
Perceiving the Truth from Propaganda
Andy Caldwell, Santa Maria Times,  12/10/09 
 
I have been afforded the opportunity to interview academics and scholars from throughout the world.  I have to say I am quite frightened by what I have learned.  I am even more concerned about what the average citizen does not know about what is happening in our world today.
 
For instance, due to a virtual media blackout, unless you peruse certain internet sites or watch Fox News, you have not heard about what is perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time involving some leading scientists and academics on the subject of global warming.  The scandal has been dubbed Climategate.  It involves the most important and central scientists in the world who have led the effort which would serve to scare us into believing that the core manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors of the world are destroying the planet and something must be done immediately or else. 
 
Well, somebody hacked into a computer and made public a number of very incriminating emails exchanged among these leading scientists which detail fraud and a coverup.  The facts are, the planet quit warming ten years ago and nobody on Al Gores bandwagon wants to fess up to the fact.  In fact, in spite of the scandal, just the opposite is true.  Barack Obama is slated to go to a meeting in
Copenhagen to encourage negotiations that will serve to produce a global treaty to save the planet.  Such a treaty would undermine our national sovereignty and destroy what is left of the manufacturing and industrial sectors of our economy.  It will cause all of our energy prices to go through the roof and actually result in energy rationing as will Californias own version of these type of regulations.
 
In
California, we have a similar scandal involving rules affecting diesel engines.  It turns out that the lead staff member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) faked his Ph.D and in the process cast a huge cloud of uncertainty over the findings of a series of studies that stand to cost the California economy over $20 billion.  To make matters worse, it was discovered that some members of the Air Resources Board knew about the academic fraud and kept the information from their fellow board members and the regulated community for as long as they could.  I have interviewed bonafide scientists from UC Irvine and UCLA and they assure me that the diesel engine rule is based upon junk science.
 
In light of these scandals, it really turned my stomach to witness Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for a picture of what
San Francisco is going to look like when it is underwater due to rising ocean levels, due to melting ice caps, due to global warming.  In light of Climategate, he could not be more oblivious.  He has also thus far ignored the CARB scandal even though he is directly responsible for the agency as it is filled with his own political appointees!
 
All this brings me to a quote from the late Michael Crichton, the famous physician, author, director and producer who wrote a book called State of Fear, which dealt with the subject of a coverup concerning global warming.  In a speech to the Commonwealth Club in
San Francisco, Mr. Crichton said the following,  I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
 
Andy Caldwell is host of the Andy Caldwell Show and the Executive Director of COLAB.  For contact information, visit the COLAB website at
www.colabsbc.org
 
This column first appeared in the Santa Maria Times.
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Friday, November 27, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving!
I would like to invite you and your family to take a few moments today and consider how, and more importantly, why, our country first celebrated Thanksgiving and contrast that to our sentiments today.
 
Thanksgiving Proclamation 1777 by the Continental Congress, which was the first ever National Thanksgiving Proclamation:

IN CONGRESS
November 1, 1777

For as much as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these United States to set apart Thursday, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please God through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, Independence and Peace: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth "in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost."

And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.
 
It is seriously doubtful that any public school in the land will take the time to study or recite this historical proclamation for it is obviously chock-s full of very offensive sentiments, including, charging the citizenry with the duty of giving Thanks to God, and praying for: the forgiveness of sin; for business and farmers to prosper; for success of our armed forces; for religion to prosper; and that schools would cultivate the principles of liberty, virtue and piety! 
 
Where are such men today, as these that laid the foundation of so great a nation?  More importantly, where in the land can such faith be found?
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 41 year resident of the Central Coast.  For contact information, visit the COLAB website at www.colabsbc.org
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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Voters and Taxpayers to Suffer Another 101 Ripoff in the Making?
Twenty years ago, voters agreed to tax themselves for road improvements throughout Santa Barbara County. Measure D raised the sales tax rate one-half of 1 percent, and paid for a lot of freeway-construction and road-maintenance projects.

One project promised by the measure but not completed was the widening of Highway 101 from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria. The project was scrapped because of politics.

I was at the meeting when the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) defunded the 101 widening project. Because the project was specifically promised to the voters in the ballot materials, it took a super-majority of the members of SBCAG to eliminate the project from the voter-approved list of projects.

The South Coast politicians who served on the board didn’t want the widening because they said a three-lane freeway would remind people too much of Los Angeles.

North County politicians only agreed to defund the project if they could take the money that was intended for the South Coast project and spend it here in the North County.

I vehemently objected, because I believed politicians were breaking their word to voters.

A few years back, SBCAG tried to renew Measure D, although they wanted to raise the tax to three-quarters of a percent.

I did not support the measure for three main reasons — I did not like the increase in the tax rate, I believed too much money was being diverted to alternative transportation projects and away from freeway, highway and local road construction, and, I did not believe the South Coast was firmly dedicated to widening Highway 101. Measure D was defeated.

After all that, a new Measure A was proposed. This measure earned the support and endorsement of COLAB and the Taxpayers Association.

It did not raise taxes. It gave more local, discretionary control over expenditures, and voters were guaranteed the 101 widening project would be the highest-priority project.

The measure passed, and I have subsequently been appointed to serve on a Citizen’s Oversight Committee to ensure that the will of the voters gets carried out.

Well, guess what? After our initial meeting as a Citizen’s Oversight Committee, we were presented a project-funding scenario cooked up by public works directors from throughout the county. This scenario serves to phase, in order to delay, several projects promised to the voters, including portions of the widening of 101.

Let me be perfectly clear. What has been proposed is not the elimination of the 101 widening, but a delay in the original timetable for the construction schedule of the project. I believe any delays in the construction schedule are unacceptable because, in essence, we have been anticipating the completion of this project since first promised in 1989.

If the public works directors have their way, the 101 widening will not be completely finished until 2033. I don’t believe other projects should be funded ahead of the projects that were promised. Do you?

To say that I am outraged would be an understatement, and I am not alone. The Citizen’s Oversight Committee voted unanimously to convey to SBCAG that we do not believe the plan they will be considering at their meeting at the Betteravia Government Center Nov. 19, at 8:30 a.m., complies with the letter or the spirit of Measure A.

I guess it all depends on how one defines “highest priority.”
If you can’t make this meeting, then at minimum, please relay your concern to your mayor and/or county supervisor.

Andy Caldwell is executive director of COLAB and a 41-year resident of the Central Coast. For contact information, visit the COLAB Web site at www.colabsbc.org
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009
HAPPY VETERANS DAY
by Richard Cochrane
November 11, 2009

The Sergeant was a hero in the tiny West Virginia town where I grew up. On Armistice Day, as my grandparents insisted on calling Veteran’s Day, there was a parade led by a solitary figure in an ill-fitting Marine uniform limping just behind an honor guard with flags waving. Behind him came other men in caps festooned with medals and such shouldering rifles as they solemnly struggled to stay in step. The Union High School band would march stone-faced playing something patriotic and generally in tune. The whole thing was herded by a glistening white fire truck that was the pride of the local volunteer fire department. Eventually they all arrived at the cemetery at the north edge of town where other men talked and the rifles cracked sending me and other boys scrambling for the prized spent cartridges, and then it as over except for a cook-out at one relative’s house or the other, and the obligatory visit to each pair of grandparents.
There would be the stories of Uncle Charlie who had been gassed at Verdun, and was never quite right since; the “Hatch boy” who disappeared somewhere in the Pacific before I was born, and of the Sergeant himself who left his leg on someplace named Guadalcanal and who will forever march at the head of the parade.
Soon the men clustered in assorted chairs out back under a cloud of tobacco smoke and talk turned to the upcoming high school football game. The women disappeared into the kitchen to do God knew what. My cousins and I debated what game to play or just argued and fought over nothing.
As I look back it was as close to Mayberry as any boy could get. But, I expect it was a variation of ten thousand other towns. Another page was turned on an America that would never change but has.
The town’s still there; the high school’s been “consolidated”, and the people are almost all dead or gone – I’m told there are 1,800 souls there now – even the white fire truck has been retired to sit silently in honor.
It is all about honor and remembrance.
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Monday, November 9, 2009
Dr. Baskerville’s Book - Taken Into Custody
There is an ethical clash within the author’s repeated stated "purpose" for the writing of this book and its resulting claims once read.

It is my hope you will be willing to take a deeper look into the continuing misstatements by Dr. Baskerville.   Hyperbole appears to be his chosen way to attack ideas and legislated American human rights he doesn't like.

For example, in reaction to the Newsweek article about divorce in this country, Dr. Baskerville, writes....".....millions are appalled when they discover that they can be FORCED into divorce..." (the capital letters were written by me to point out his unethical misuse of language).

Americans are being "forced" into divorce??  He can only mean by using that incorrect term, that divorce legally happens in the United States when one spouse wants out of a marriage.   Yes, that is every married American citizen’s legal right to request under the laws dealing with civil marriage.
 
He clearly doesn’t like the present legal reality that no American citizen can be imprisoned for a lifetime in a marriage that has failed.

However, his unethical choice of words regarding the divorce right under the law, provides the evidence that Dr. Baskerville is working to wipe out the right to divorce in almost every aspect, not merely to change a faulty domestic court system (which is what he has been claiming the reason behind the writing of the book).
 
Within Christianity: Neither Jesus Christ nor Paul were willing to deny the human-right to divorce for just-cause. Both taught a right to divorce and nowhere in the Bible are children ever connected to that right (that is, presented, by them, as a reason for a Christian, to not act out this God-given human right...yet, Dr. Baskerville "uses" - in my view "misuses" children as a pawn in his clear effort to wipe out the right to "no-fault" divorce in the United States).

The divorce right in the mind of God has nothing to do with children in the sense of "justice" in marriage. When people deal with the divorce right within Christian morality, much of the stress for children can be overcome.

It is clear by Biblical teaching that children can survive and also flourish within the justice of that right and the moral way that right is undertaken.

It is my hope that you will review this commentary (below) of Dr. Baskerville’s written contentions about his efforts regarding changing the domestic family court system (if the author would have consistently stayed within this area of examination - the domestic family court system - one could support his ideas. He doesn’t stay there).
 
The implications to the misuse of language by Dr. Baskerville, clearly steers the reader/listener into another legal area that is a separate legal issue and results in making the claim that the divorce-right, itself, should be removed and placed only within the definitions of a divorce-right that Dr. Baskerville accepts.

Thank you

~ VIEWPOINT ~
 

All Americans Should Examine Carefully -- Dr. Baskerville’s Battle To Turn Back the Legal Clock on "No Fault" Divorce In the United States.

What a thing serves exposes the motive behind the effort.

Dr. Baskerville claims to be working for ways to reform the Family Court System.

The following quote reveals much more than a desire to reform the Family Court System (because of his viewpoint that it has failed children and many spouses).   He presents those parents -- mostly men -- wrongfully kept from their children by manipulation of the court by the ex-spouse.

Quote of his view on how to remedy the family court system problem (my underlining):

"…(a) setting reasonable limits on unilateral divorce when children are involved; (b) establishing a rebuttable presumption of equally shared parenting for children of divorce or separation; and (c) restoring and enforcing the fundamental rights of parents to the care, custody, and companionship of their children."

The first thing one notices in reading his requirements for how to reform the family court system is that only (b) and (c) have to do with the Family Court System re the alleged failures regarding custody battles that he outlines in his book.

It is inescapable that item (a) is a clear attack on the right to "no-fault" divorce law. It is the legal foot-in-the-door that would wipe out "no-fault" divorce law (the majority of legally married couples will have children in their lives at some point).

If someone would have told you that there would be citizens of the United States, who would be working to bring a law into existence that would allow ONE spouse in a divorce action (the spouse who does not want the divorce), to control the right-to-divorce of his/her spouse because they share children, would you agree that the spouse who acted out his/her legal right to divorce, should lose his/her Constitutional right of due process because they share children?

Putting aside (for a moment) that this "law" would be setting-aside the Constitutional right of due-process for the spouse who wanted the divorce, destroy (for all intents and purposes) "no-fault" divorce in the United States, and define the basis for a right-to-divorce within a concept of "possible harm to children" the implications of such a law enacted doesn’t stop with this tossing out the right-to-divorce of the spouse who does want the divorce.

It would set-up a legal right for one spouse to imprison the other spouse in a failed marriage.

Once instituted into Law, the personal and financial problems would begin for the spouse who wants the divorce at the moment this "legal" right would be activated by the spouse who did not want the divorce or who had initiated a "no-consent" response based on it, in order to control the spouse who wants the divorce.

This type of law would allow one spouse to virtually blackmail the spouse who wanted the divorce. Echoes of such demands, quickly resonate in the brain, "If you don’t pay me what I want, I’ll not agree to the divorce."

"If you don’t sign over all our property to me, I’ll not agree to a divorce." On and on and on....

This so-called "law" would no-doubt become known as the "Law of Spousal Vengeance" - a ruthless idea instituted and protected by our legal system.

Unbelievable you say? Not according to Dr. Baskerville. This is what he is working for today.

One of Dr. Baskerville’s Problem Premises:

A Baskerville Premise is that marriage can only be defined a legal contract.

In spite of the fact that there is no logical/moral/legal (or historical) basis to arbitrarily define the marriage relationship today as inherently a legal contract, it is insisted that marriage can only be defined a legal contract in the United States.

Because marriage can be a legally defined relationship within the United States doesn’t mean that people who live within a sexually and financially faithful relationship and make the choice to be married within that choice, aren’t married (within/under their system of morality).

Marriage by personal contract is marriage to the couple who wish to design their marriage through this legal means. The "State" has no presumptive (or constitutional) right or basis to define and control marriage for every citizen.

Legal marriage within any given system of Law is a man-made relationship (defined and framed) by instituted family law.

Marriage can only be defined as a "relationship" within human society. Depending in the country lived in, it may or may not have held legal requirements on the couple.

In early America, marriage had no legal (national or state) requirements on the couple within it.

There were some religious communities that provided a level of control on marriages and divorce for those who chose to be members of that community, but there is no historical or legal basis for Dr. Baskerville to present marriage or divorce in the light that he does today as being inherently a legal contract.

It is a mistake in the logic to claim the right (through the power of the "state") to control all adult citizen’s personal choices in regards to the right-to-divorce because of a stated effort that to stop possible harmful consequences of divorce actions on children, we must give the spouse who does not want the divorce the legal right to stop it (this would result in a legal assertion that assumes that the spouse who wants the divorce is inherently guilty of hurting his/her children merely because he/she wants a divorce).
 
In other words, getting a divorce is an act of child abuse.

A very dangerous precedent to set-up in law.

This Baskerville type of mind-set (the all-powerful "state") was rampant during the movement toward prohibition. The American people did not and do not want the "state" to control their every personal choice and they rejected prohibition (in spite of a failure of some people to drink responsibly). They were right in this desire.

It is arrogantly mischievous and immoral to claim as Dr. Baskerville does that the 'state' should control the divorce right and deny "no-fault" divorce to couples who have childrenbecause he thinks the "state" (and one spouse) should control the other person in marriage who wants a divorce. This is the arrogant claim made by all those who think they know what is best for all others. They are called tyrants.

That his idea, his claim, that his desired "one-spouse" legal control over the other spouse (who does want the divorce) is being worked-for because of children of the marriage, claiming it would be his real reason for supporting such a change in law... can reasonably be seen as in actuality to serve to mislead and manipulate the system, because when a couple agree on divorce, he apparently sets no challenge to the divorce taking place.

So, what happened to his declared basis for this change in law as being for "children" ?--- If he finds it okay for a couple who agree to divorce, divorce, his entire alleged basis that divorce, itself, harms children disappears. 
 
Clearly, he is admitting at this point, that the manner by which divorce is undertaken and lived out is what may provide harm to children of divorced couples.

The truth is that it is not divorce, itself, that has the potential to hurt children but the way divorce is undertaken by the couple that may bring stress into the lives of children of divorce and the lack of shared-parenting support/incentives by the present family court system.

Therefore, it is logically compelling that the claim that divorce, itself, may bring injury to children is not the underlying reason for his work toward providing a "one-spouse" control over the divorcing spouse’s life, but supports his desire toward outlawing "no-fault" divorce, itself.

His ideas about divorce rights have fatal flaws and they should be exposed to those who might be and are being influenced by them.

Another Baskerville problem premise:
 
The 'point' that Stephen Baskerville continually attempts to make, that '....there is no other contract in law except marriage that can be broken unilaterally by one party...' implying to the reader, as though in marriage today each person has been given individual power (immoral license) under 'no-fault' over the spouse that business contracts do not have.

To state the no-fault divorce right, this way, is manipulative and untrue.

No-fault divorce makes one legal statement.

It is this: That the 'state' will not define who is to blame when a marriage fails. The court, however, remains within legal marriage obligations and attempts through family court to see justice prevail (because this family court system may be badly flawed today has nothing to do with the 'no-fault' process wherein couples choose to leave their married relationship).

It is a misuse of reason and fact to attempt to equate business contracts with a marriage relationship. Every civil/business contract that is entered has every aspect of the requirements regarding each person involved in the contract spelled out (marriage - even under the U.S., legal system of family law do not have them spelled out).

The word, 'unilaterally,' is misused (abused) by Dr. Baskerville.
 
 Civil Contracts:  Within all civil/business contracts, one person may break that contract unilaterally (I’m using his manipulative use of that word here to make a point). It’s called factually, 'breaking the contract'....

The consequences of 'unilaterally' breaking any civil contract still allows legal redress for the other person(s) named in the contract.

This is true within the 'no-fault' divorce system of today. The spouse that obtains the "no-fault" divorce under our legal system is still required to undertake the obligations that come along with the marriage laws within our society.

Dr. Baskerville is offensive to the truth (and illogical) for using the term 'unilaterally' to confuse the truth about the domestic court system failures (when it does fail a spouse or children) with the right to divorce under the "no-fault" divorce laws.

He intentionally or ignorantly mixes up the issues.

The facts are important: 1. One issue he speaks to is the failures within the family court system that should be remedied by requiring evidence of wrong-doing before an ex-spouse is allowed to make claims (charges) against the other spouse. And, 2. The other issue he clearly is working for is to have United States divorce law changed so that it will be able to control the right-to-divorce, itself (based on his personal views of what should be a basis for ending a marriage).

Logic provides the evidence that he "uses" children as the suggested compelling reason for allowing the law to give the spouse who doesn’t want the divorce, the legal right to stop it, because he wants to wipe out all "no-fault" divorce laws. This is what his ideas about controlling the right-to-divorce serve.

No-fault divorce laws interfere with that stated desire.

The potential for children to be injured by divorce is not a compelling reason for taking away the constitutional rights of any individual in the United States to a right-to-divorce. Antagonistic marriages also have the potential for harm to children. 

Within the view of American Human Rights Under Law:  We live in a Republic that has provided the right of due process for every citizen.
  
No individual citizen should ever have a legal right to suspend these rights or take away these rights at any time or for any length of time from another citizen.

This dangerous idea can be defined: It is called slavery

Divorce is a result, not a cause.

The idea of giving one spouse (the spouse who doesn’t want the divorce) the overreaching legal right to control the right-to-divorce of the other spouse (merely because the couple share children) is eminently incompatible with our Constitutional right of due process for every citizen within our country and any attack on this right should be vigorously challenged.
 
In my view, he makes the case against his own book by his inconsistent and contradictory reasoning and unethical use of words regarding the issues examined. These realities indicate that his book should no longer be published as it now is written, or that, he should rewrite his book within a consistent position of arguing for a change within the domestic family court system that upholds the right of shared-parenting whenever divorce is undertaken
under civil law.
Posted at 15:11 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Thursday, October 15, 2009
Board making costly mistakes
By Andy Caldwell
I have never seen the county in such dire financial straits as it is now, nor have I seen members of the Board of Supervisors more seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are on the verge of de facto bankruptcy.
 
Let me give you a couple of examples of the board spending time, energy and money on issues that are neither pressing nor compelling.
 
Last week, the board approved the Santa Ynez Community Plan. This plan was 10 years in the making and cost over $2 million to produce. What does it accomplish? Absolutely nothing.
 
The plan basically freeze-frames existing development, in spite of state mandates that require every community throughout the state to accommodate its fair share of growth.
 
In view of the fact that the county gets most of its discretionary revenue from property taxes, the board's action to freeze-frame development in the Valley indicates they just cut themselves off from future revenue enhancements. Why not just re-adopt the previous plan, and save $2 million?
 
Soon, the Board of Supervisors is going to consider the adoption of a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for dogs and cats. Unless the cities in the county specifically adopt the same policy, this policy will only apply in the unincorporated areas.
 
The county appointed a task force and sent nearly a dozen staff members to a series of meetings over the past year and a half to come up with this plan that will require pet owners to get permission from a vet to keep their pets intact.
 
People who can't afford to pay for spay/neuter services, or who can't convince a vet to let them keep their animal intact, will simply not register their animals. People who want intact animals will simply obtain them from jurisdictions that don't adopt this same rule.
 
Additionally, most of the problems with stray dogs and cats occur in cities, so this program will accomplish nothing. I can, thus, assure you this program will be an utter failure.
 
Speaking of the expense of doing nothing, supervisors caved to the California Coastal Commission. We will now sit idly by while Goleta Beach washes into the ocean.
 
In the old days, we would have used a low-tech, relatively cheap solution to build a seawall, or we would have dumped a gazillion tons of sand and rocks into the ocean to save the beach and a lot of very important county infrastructure, such as the main roadway into UCSB.
 
But, our politically correct Board of Supervisors tried to come up with a high-tech solution that would have cost some $15 million. Instead of either of these solutions, the Coastal Commission opted for what it calls managed retreat.
 
What does that mean? Let the beach wash away.
 
Judging from past experience, this will be the policy until we reach a crisis stage, and then we will spend triple or quadruple the money to do what we should have done in the first place.
 
So, now the county is going to spend a small fortune and waste a lot more time studying managed retreat, instead of either appealing the Coastal Commission's decision to the Legislature, or taking the Coastal Commission to court.
 
In addition to these improvident programs, the board is also spending a couple of million trying to prevent growth on the Gaviota Coast, and trying to guess what the state mandates are going to be with respect to anti-global warming efforts.
 
By the way, a study came out indicating that regulations cost the California economy some $500 billion per year. Maybe the board should study that study.
 
Andy Caldwell is executive director of COLAB and a 41-year resident of the Central Coast. For contact information, visit the COLAB Web site at www.colabsbc.org.
Posted at 10:48 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



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