Monday, September 28, 2009
Eco-rules pose major threat
By Richard S. Quandt / Guest Commentary

There is a dangerous movement afoot in California to force businesses that rely upon natural resources to pack up and leave the state.

This is being done indirectly, through legislative mandates implemented by various state agencies, boards and commissions under the guise of protecting the environment.

Those industries targeted by eco-regulations are farmers, loggers, miners, drillers, truckers and builders. They are some of the oldest and most important businesses that provide us with food, fuel, housing and transportation.

Our state Legislature, dominated by urban environmental interests, continues to pass unattainable environmental mandates on rural business, such as farming. The clearest example of this trend is taking place in the rural San Joaquin Valley, where water deliveries that would irrigate over 150,000 acres of crops and orchards have been curtailed. The pumps that convey this water have been ordered turned off by U.S. Fish & Wildlife, a federal agency, due to concerns over the delta smelt, a finger minnow that is thought to be inadvertently swept into these pumps.

Under environmental mandates, the smelt is to be protected at all costs - even if it means fallowing farmland, increasing food imports and displacing some 40,000 workers who work in agriculturally related jobs.

Those who work in the nation's richest agricultural valley are now standing in food lines, receiving canned and processed items packaged in Mexico.

Central Coast agriculture is not immune from this environmental madness. For example, staff at the Central Coast Regional Water Control Board is seeking to impose numeric standards for tailwater in agricultural drainage ditches. These new standards being discussed are 20 times more restrictive than traditional drinking water standards protective of public health.

The reasoning behind these new standards is they are needed to protect not humans, but aquatic habitat. The data supporting these unachievable standards comes from laboratory toxicity tests run on water fleas that don't even live on the Central Coast. The fleas were selected due to their extreme sensitivity by bureaucrats, so as to orchestrate an arbitrary low water-quality standard that even pure Sierra snowmelt won't meet.

What worries me is that a runaway regulatory agency may use such an unattainable standard as justification to force Santa Maria farmers to turn off their wells and stop irrigating their crops.

Does aquatic habitat have more value than growing food?

If we support environmental policy that precludes farmers from irrigating crops, can we replace that loss with produce grown in other states and countries? Are we safer and more secure if we rely upon foreign countries for our fresh produce?

The public needs to understand that environmental mandates have economic consequences. Food does not come from a supermarket, but is grown by a farmer who is competing with farmers in other states and countries.

Citizens need to understand that many of the rigid environmental laws that have extreme results need to be changed in favor of a more balanced approach.

Finally, voters need to elect individuals to policymaking positions who place more value on nurturing families, instead of protecting fish.

Richard S. Quandt is president of the Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

September 27, 2009
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Monday, September 21, 2009
The Danger of Politicizing Health Care
By Jerry Scheidbach

Millions of Americans have been stirred up to protest the government takeover of health care. If most of your news comes to you filtered through the liberally inclined bias of the msm, you probably think the concern is coming from mostly well-off white racists who could care less about healthcare for the needy, and are only concerned about what it will cost those who actually pay taxes, or whether they are going to lose their insurance plan and be forced into the much feared public option, complete with rationed health care. The truth is that most of the opposition is coming from folks who do believe we need health care reform, who believe that health care ought to be sufficiently affordable for all who need it, who voted for Obama, or who, like me, find that the one thing we like about Obama is the fact that he is black. Yet, if you have been paying close attention, you know that much of the opposition is coming from concern about the government politicizing health care.

The cost is way over the top: a cool trillion––more than $17,000 per household, at a time when the Obama budget deficit is expected to top 10 trillion. A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you are talking about some real money. But this is not the greatest danger of ObamaCare.

The public option eliminates the private sector insurance providers and makes the medical professionals, who provide our health care, virtual employees of the government. The specter of long lines, waiting lists, and a significant degradation in the quality of care comes from what we have learned has happened in other countries which went down this path––a la Canada, France and Britain––so it is reasonable that Americans would be concerned about the public option. However, the public option is not the most serious problem with ObamaCare.

Rationing is impossible to avoid. Spokespersons for the White House keep telling us that it’s all nonsense, but ask them if they have read the bill. They haven’t. The President hasn’t even read the thing. Our Representatives (that’s a joke) are willing to vote into law a bill they have not read. I’ve read it! Look at HR 3200, section 122, page 29 lines 4-16. It’s right there. It definitely provides for rationing. And, not only rationing because of availability, but also based on age, and the cost of treatment versus the value of the life extended by the treatment. This health care bill is a Trojan horse that is carrying Dr. Death into our society. I mean there are entire portions of this bill that could easily have been written by Dr. Kevorkian. And who is surprised?

This is a health care bill constructed under the auspices of President (Alleged) Obama – who was the only senator who opposed the Born Alive Protection Act. (That’s the law that requires abortion providers to acknowledge that a baby who survives an abortion has a right to life.) This bill was constructed by people who think in the same vein as Senator Boxer, who made the statement that she believed a baby does not have a right to life until it is taken home from the hospital. Ezekiel Emmanuel is Obama’s chief medical advisor, credited for shaping this bill. This man’s public and published statements about end-of-life care read like something out of Hitler’s Fritz Lenz eugenics policy guidebook for the Nazis. Such people want control of our end-of-life medical decisions. Obama said he thought the nation should engage in a conversation about whether life enhancing medical treatment given to terminally ill patients is a sustainable social model. Don’t you think we should have that conversation before we vote such policy into law? This bill makes the fundamental principles of eugenics the public policy of our federal government. Think about that!

I certainly do not trust end-of-life questions to politicians, especially in the hands of politicians who can rationalize the murder of babies in the womb. Exactly how far do you think that is from rationalizing the murder of old people who are deemed an inconvenience to society?

In my many travels into the countries of the former Soviet Union, I’ve heard first hand horror stories of patients who suffered by the politicization of health care. The most benign stories were of patients having much needed care delayed, as a punishment for their political opinions, while another was rushed to the front of the line as a political favor. When Reagan was being wheeled into surgery after he was shot, he quipped to the surgeon, “I hope you’re Republican.” Let the government politicize your health care, and that might turn out to be a very unfunny joke––on you.

Jerry Scheidbach, Thg., BA, MA, pastors Lighthouse Baptist Church, serves as guest professor at various Bible Colleges, and hosts The Brain Massageä Radio Show. To contact or to learn more about pastor Scheidbach, go to santamarialighthouse.org.
Posted at 14:02 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
California: State in Emergency
California, on the brink of bankruptcy, has amassed debt in excess of $200 billion.  No other State faces a problem of this magnitude.  I will always serve to remind you that California’s Legislature began racking up tens of billions of dollars in debt before the current national recession began, with the tacit support of voters who approved tens of billions in bond measures.  Gray Davis was recalled, principally because of debt burden, but nothing was gained in the process.  The deficit has since soared.
Taxes in the State of California seriously hinder our economy, but another reason the California economy continues to spiral out of control has to do with the regulatory climate in the State.  The regulatory climate also serves to explain why the State of California will be the last in the nation to recover, if we recover. 
All of the sectors of our economy, including manufacturing, industry, energy, housing, transportation, farming, ranching, fishing, timber, and mining have been hemorrhaging jobs as they have suffered the death of a thousand cuts due to regulations imposed upon us by our own government.  Less business activity, either due to taxes or regulations, means fewer jobs and that means less revenues to the State.  It is a viscous cycle.
A combination of State and Federal Rules, has created a cumulative impact unique to our State.    The combination of regulators and regulations including the California Air Resources Board, the State Water Quality Control Board, the State Coastal Commission, the CA. Department of Fish and Game, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Global Warming Reduction Act (AB32), the Diesel Engine Rule, and the Endangered Species Act have served to relegate our economy, which was once one of the largest economies in the world, to Third World status.  Our debt burden and the regulatory climate are preventing economic recovery.
Examples?  With respect to land, Santa Barbara County has more species speciously listed as endangered than any other county in the continental United States.  The resultant confiscation of thousands of acres for conservation purposes is obliterating property tax roll revenue.   Organizations have abused the Act to set land aside from development of any kind, including farming, and our government has only acquiesced. 
With respect to air, our air is so clean on the Central Coast that we only fall out of compliance with some of the strictest air quality regulations in the world but a few hours per an entire year.  Yet, local companies are forced to spend millions every year for permits and regulatory compliance that will not achieve any measurable improvements in our air quality.  AB32 and the Diesel Engine Rule will only make matters worse as it is slated to cost California businesses over $186 billion!
With respect to water, there is very little water pollution in our region and in fact, there is very little water to begin with!  Our rivers, streams and creeks are typically dry throughout the year.  And, most of our farmers utilize drip irrigation to minimize water runoff from their fields.  Yet, our farming economy is about to suffer from some of the most draconian standards imaginable in the regulatory quest for even cleaner ditch water!
To learn more, contact me to RSVP to a dinner conference on October 29 in Santa Maria.  The title of the Conference is “California- State in Emergency: Taxes, Regulations and Junk Science”.   The presenters will be Steve Milloy of Junk Science.com, Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and Damien Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation.  The cost to attend the dinner conference is $35.

Read About the event - CLICK HERE

Purchase tickets - CLICK HERE

Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 41 year resident of the Central Coast.  You may contact Andy by phone at 929-3148, or by email at andy@colabsbc.org
Posted at 14:13 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

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