Friday, February 27, 2009

Striped Bass in the Penobscot River

The most ambitious environmental restoration project in the history of New England is now occurring on the Penobscot River.

A key part of it is wrong.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stevie Wonder at the White House

"What's really exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as, through the love and the caring and the commitment of a president, as in our president, Barack Obama. It's exciting 'cause I know my children will be able to say, 'I was born when there was the first African American president. Yeah, I can do that too!' But not only can they do that, but all children of all various ethnicities understand that they can speak in truth. They can talk about loving and caring about this country. They can talk about being a united people of the United States of America. They can live that dream that Dr. King talked about so long ago. And if those in this country and throughout the world - you can put down your spirits of hate and open up your hearts to receive God's ever commitment of love, then we can be a united people of the world. If we can think that big, and feel that strong, then I believe, as is said to me by my God, impossible is unacceptable. We don't know the miracles that will be bestown on us because of that."


Big Brother
Stevie Wonder: Talking Book

Your name is big brother
You say that you’re watching me on the tele,
Seeing me go nowhere,
Your name is big brother,
You say that you’re tired of me protesting,
Children dying everyday,
My name is nobody
But I can’t wait to see your face inside my door

Your name is big brother
You say that you got me all in your notebook,
Writing it down everyday,
Your name is I’ll see ya,
I’ll change if you vote me in as the pres,
The President of your soul
I live in the ghetto,
You just come to visit me ’round election time

I live in the ghetto,
Someday I will move on my feet to the other side,
My name is secluded,
We live in a house the size of a matchbox,
Roaches live with us wall to wall,

You’ve killed all our leaders,
I don’t even have to do nothin’ to you
You’ll cause your own country to fall.

The Narragansett Indian Tribe

The home page of the Narragansett Indian Tribe contains one of the best short summations of the real, actual history of the treatment of Native Americans by our New England governments. This is the stuff that they lie to you about in school. Thanks to the unnamed person who wrote it.

Bobby Jindal, Volcanoes and Stream Gages

The budget item for "volcano monitoring equipment" ridiculed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on the teevee last night is actually for all of the data collection equipment operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Most important and numerous of these are stream gages.

The USGS has thousands of stream gages all over the country, and 230 in Jindal's own state of Louisiana. You can get real time data on these on-line, 24-7. My bookmarked one for Maine is here. Check it out.

For a century, USGS stream gages were a stick in a stream bolted to a bridge abutment that measured the height of the stream at that spot, at that moment. Once a day or once a week a person would look at the stick and write down the number where the water touched the stick into a log book which was sent once a year to the USGS. This data collection is our only source of information about the long term flow behavior of our nation's rivers and streams, which is critical for calculating their flood potential and risk.

Today, an electronic sensor takes the place of the stick. Using solar panels for power, these gage stations relay the water level measurements via satellite to the USGS and to their servers so anyone can get the data instantaneously. Many gage stations are also equipped with automatic air and water temperature sensors as well. All of this stuff is stored in USGS computers and becomes part of the historic data record for that gage station, which can be retrieved by anyone at anytime with an Internet link.

In my profession as an advocate for rivers and migratory fish populations, the data gathered by the USGS gage stations are priceless. USGS gage station data are the core of many legal actions I have taken to protect rivers from pollution and dewatering. This stuff is irrefutable in court.

These gages cost a lot to keep working and maintained, just because there are so many of them. They are one of the most important data gathering networks the U.S. has.

Stream gages are also the only way to accurately predict the severity of a flood -- before it happens. Without modern, operating stream gages and real time link-ups via satellite and computer, you're blind. You've got nothing to predict the actual progress of a flood and make critical evacuation decisions. Having this data at your fingertips can determine if people live or die.

That's what a lot of the $140 million is for that Gov. Bobby Jindal ridiculed: using knowledge and technology to save peoples' lives from floods.

Seems Gov. Jindal's rather moist, river and bayou studded state could use this type of fancy lecktronick water height measuring stuff. Especially given that a tiny little ole crick called the Mississippi flows almost sort of close by. And especially given that Jindal believes in the literal truth of a certain very large flood destroying the entire flat Earth.

And Golly Gosh in Galoshes, here's the stream data shizzle for Louisiana !!!

I do not mean for the above to diminish the value of volcano monitoring equipment operated by the USGS. Just the opposite. Aa and pahoehoe !!! Pele/Jindal 2012 !!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ask Dr. Geography: Affirmative Action

Dear Dr. Geography:

Why is it that so many people are complaining that children of wealthy parents may get an edge in college admissions in today's recession when for years affirmative action has favored the admission of unqualified minorities in the name of diversity?


Hampered in Hamilton

Dear Hampered:

Oh shucky darn. You got us there. Like you, I was deeply distressed when Harvard and Brandeis and Smith and Wesson and Lesley and Gore and Wellesley and Emerson and Palmer and Gordon and Lightfoot decided to let in only one White Puritan for every one hundred Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Massachusett and Narragansett.

As I recall, Samuel and John Adams had to claim to be the illegitimate cousins of Pometacom, Uncatena, Tispaquin and Weetamoo just to get their applications slipped under the door !!!

There has been a drought of Cabots, Lodges, Salstonstalls, Hatches and Ames admitted to Harvard compared to the effluvium magnum of Sousas, Soares, Gomes, Cardozas and Arrudas we have allowed entry to these hallowed halls in recent centuries.

Not to mention their slatternly, tattoo'd, multilingual daughters!

I blame the Chinese.

Press 1 for English !!!

Yours Inter Alia,

Dr. Geography

Ask Dr. Geography: Are Colleges Commie?

Dear Dr. Geography:

Here is what I think. Colleges and universities are incubators for unfettered Liberalism and liberal thought. It's not a bad thing at all for their enrollments to plummet. Spending big bucks to go through school only to come out the other side as a 'shovel-ready' worker is clearly a waste of money, and the bastions of 'higher education' will see the effect of that imbalance through lower enrollments.

This is your proverbial 'silver lining.'

Do you agree?


Chris from New Hampshire.

Dear Chris,

You are right. All schools from K-12 should be banned. They just encourage kids to go to college.

Colleges are designed as inclined planes, with condoms, that lead to the atheistic commie Muslin supremacy lifestyle that makes us want to play soccer and fly fish and wear kilts and gaymarrykayak at Chappaquiddick.

Thank God we still have places like the outskirts of Mansfield where real Americans can huff old ATV gasoline and watch TV sports on a 60 inch flat screens in darkened bars on sunny days and put a nail gun volley through their hand while using the other to flip the bird to a Cape Verdean person whose ancestors have been here since the 1600s. With condoms.

Yours in solidarity and ouzo and desecrated Amoskeag graves,

Dr. Geography

Kerry Hardy -- A Maine and American Hero

This is a photo by Tim Watts of blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) at Ticonic Falls on the Kennebec River. In Penobscot, an alewife or blueback herring fishing place is called Mattamiscontis, in the Kennebec dialect it is called Amasacontee, and in the Wampanoag dialect it is called Namaskitt.

I met Kerry Hardy in March of 2007. He rode his bicycle 50 miles from his house in Rockport, Maine to the state capitol in Augusta, Maine to testify at a fish passage legislation hearing that was cancelled by the Marine Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature before we had a chance to speak.

While Ed Friedman, Kathleen McGee and I were waiting outside in the hall cooling our heels, they introduced me to Kerry. I learned he was an avid student of the Penobscot and Abenaki Indian languages, had in his head the vast geography of Abenaki place names in Maine and like me had memorized most of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm's seminal works which preserve the native place names of the Penobscot River valley and adjacent areas.

Talking to Kerry made me feel like I had found a long lost kin. He now has a book on this important subject coming out in June, published by Down East Press.

Last week, Kerry Hardy gave the following testimony to the Natural Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature:


Dear Natural Resource Committee members,

I'm writing to ask you to amend LD 330 to include the lower Androscoggin River, all the way to Merrymeeting Bay, in the proposed upgrade from Class C to Class B water quality.

I have attended numerous public hearings and work sessions in the past several years trying, mostly in vain, to spur legislative action that would help Maine's anadromous fish populations. Here, for the most part, is what I've seen:

1) Executive branch malfeasance tainting the entire legislative process.

By "executive branch" I'm indicting everyone from the companies that currently own this branch of our government, to the Governor himself, to the Commissioners more willing to serve him than the resources they supposedly guard, to the smooth-talking "under-Commissioners," who know that if they can deliver the desired legislative results to the Governor, they too will be a Commissioner of Something, someday. With this in mind, they willingly corrupt the work of legislative committees by stalling, misleading, confusing, and even outright lying to them.

2) Legislative branch abdication of its constitutional duty.

Our legislators are given too many bills to process, too little time to do it, and almost no pay in exchange for their time. Legislators face constant pressure from the executive branch to conform to its agenda, and a steady stream of misinformation to help bring this about.Sadly, it's working; the executive branch has effectively neutered the legislature in this state, thereby removing one of the two checks on runaway executive branch power. That leaves only the judicial branch in the way-- and we know who gets to appoint judges.

3) Judicial branch becoming the only meaningful arena for environmental action.

No less a Mainer than George Mitchell said, "It's a sad day when you have to sue the EPA to make it do its job." Just substitute "MDEP", "MDIF&W", or "MDMR" for the "EPA" in this quote, and you pretty much summarize the state of environtmental affairs in Maine. These days, the only significant gains are occurring in courts.

I bet you already knew this. Moreover, I'm not trying to make anyone feel ashamed as a legislator. As far as I can tell, most legislators and most environmentalists are quite alike: they do what they do as an act of conscience, and certainly not because there's any money in it! By contrast, the executive branch and all its hangers-on, including the lobbyists who are always in your ear, are paid very well to do what they do, and have a way of keeping their jobs for years and years; while legislators are just underpaid part-timers who come and go, and who get to take the heat back home when "Augusta" does something stupid.

This depressing state of affairs isn't going to change overnight. However, at least some parts of it are easily remedied-- by realizing that the resource agencies in Maine today are little more than political flunkies; by asking hard questions when they come before you; by requiring direct answers and actions from them; by checking their facts often enough to keep them honest; and by balancing their testimony against that offered by conservation-minded citizens or groups. When Andy Fisk tells you what the Governor wants you to hear, he earns his day's pay; when I travel to Augusta to testify, it costs me a day's pay-- consider our respective motivations, and how these might affect our testimony!

Most importantly, by voting your conscience-- regardless of all the helpful coaching from the Blaine House and its many arms-- you can start restoring balance to our state government.

In all of the various legislative sessions I've attended, never once have I heard a state official say to a Committee, "This is something we legally have to do; it's required by the Clean Water Act." Quite the contrary, our resource agency personnel do all they can to support the prevailing legislative belief that compliance with this Federal law is somehow optional. It isn't!-- and when our legislators fail to realize this, they only set the stage for more court battles that the State will lose. The law is clear enough, and for a legislature to disregard it-- whether through active lawmaking, or much more commonly through passive inaction-- is a colossal waste of time and resources.

Maine's repeated failures, in all three branches of government, to comply with national environmental law is the main reason why the Federal Government has had to intervene on behalf of species like Atlantic salmon and river herring. If we continue this dismal performance, we hasten towards a future where many more such decisions will be federally imposed. As legislators, you cannot keep your heads in the sand with regard to the Clean Water Act-- it's real; it's not going to go away, even if the Governor wishes it would.

Please use your vote to address these issues, by amending LD 330 to include the lower Androscoggin River.

Thank you,

Kerry Hardy
Rockland, Maine

Monday, February 23, 2009

Atlantic Salmon History Project

The history of New England's fishing industry since 1500 is about the intervention, funding and lack thereof of governments in the fishing industry.

Being ignint of this history is just plain ... ignint.

The macroeconomic debates we hear today are not markedly different from what we see in legislative debates and petitions from 1720 or 1870.

The tension is invariably between short vs. long term returns.

Those favoring short term returns invariably win the debate, because they can produce those returns ... voila ... faster !!!

Those favoring long term returns (which require short term restraint) are always handicapped because we cannot time travel 50-100 years in the future and see the actual results of each approach; and when we can (as these documents allow us to do) then people just pretend these documents do not exist.

This is why conservation almost always loses and why we have very few fish left.

It is not by accident.

This is why I spent 3 years collecting these documents.

Most have never been seen before.

Do take a look.


Ask Dr. Geography: Southern Secession

Dear Dr. Geography:

If we were to immediately grant secession to the southern states, would they be a first world or a third world country, in the aggregate?



Dear Curious:

Think Romania under Nicolae Ceausescu. But stupider, more polluted, more corrupt and more violent. And don't eat the water.

Yours Et Cetera,

Dr. Geography

Ron Huber Writes ...

Augusta man files lawsuit against
Maine DOT easement at Sears Island

For Immediate Release Feb 23, 2009

AUGUSTA – An Augusta man has filed a petition in Maine Superior Court asking for Maine Department of Transportation's Sears Island Conservation Easement be set aside. The move follows Thursday's filing of a similar petition in Knox County Courthouse by a Rockland, Maine man.

Douglas Watts filed his Petition for Review of Final Agency Action on Friday afternoon in the Kennebec County Superior Court.

Watts describes himself in his petition as "an avid user of the Penobscot River and its tributaries near Sears Island since
1982." and wrote to the court that the conservation easement signed by Maine DOT and Maine Coast Heritage Trust "will irrevocably harm his ability to continue using and enjoying the Penobscot River and these tributaries as he has done since 1982."

He is asking the Court to "rescind the Jan. 22, 2009 conservation easement until the MDOT has fully complied with the requirements of the Maine Sensible Transportation Policy Act and the Maine Site Location of Development Law."

White Phosphorus

U.S. made white phosphorus shells were used in the destruction of Gaza.

How Humpty Dumpty Broke

"Everyone was pinning their hopes on house prices continuing to rise," says Kai Gilkes of the credit research firm CreditSights, who spent 10 years working at ratings agencies. "When they stopped rising, pretty much everyone was caught on the wrong side, because the sensitivity to house prices was huge. And there was just no getting around it. Why didn't rating agencies build in some cushion for this sensitivity to a house-price-depreciation scenario? Because if they had, they would have never rated a single mortgage-backed CDO."

From Wired.

Says former Federal Reserve Board Governor Susan Schmidt Bies:

"As regulators, we didn't see the whole picture of how poorly the loans were being underwritten, because there's so many regulators in this country. None of us saw the whole picture, and we didn't tighten down enough, fast enough on it," Bies said.
"I think everybody just really lost touch with how much the underwriting of loans had deteriorated," Bies said.
Before the collapse, she said, "every bank risk model, every securitizer, broker dealer, all the rating agencies, were all basically where I was."

"I just didn't realize it was as bad as it was," she said.

Does God make you dumb?

Click to enlarge.

This graph expresses the percentage of people in each state who rate religion as very important to them on a "daily basis" against each state's performance on some type of standardized intelligence test.

Does it make sense? About as much as Leviticus.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kennebec Journal hates French People

My local newspaper thinks teaching kids to avoid anti-French prejudice is a big, stupid waste of time.

My response:

This editorial, in its arrogance, ignorance and superficiality, makes the perfect case for Rep. Bolduc's bill. What is missing from Maine history curricula is the truth: that what we call "Maine" today was largely built on the illegal and sick exploitation and prejudice of immigrant groups, particularly the French and Franco-Canadians. There is still very strong anti-Franco prejudice in Maine. People who have Franco names who speak French or who even express pride in their Franco heritage are still treated by some as "dumb Frenchmen." Understanding the roots of where this prejudice came from is the key to getting rid of it. This editorial argues that the solution is for everyone to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it does not exist nor ever existed. Not a smart move. Good for Rep. Bolduc. Bad for the Morning Sentinel/Kennebec Journal.

Learning in depth about ethnic prejudice is how you stamp it out. Glossing it over is how you let it continue.

The MS/KJ solution is like saying the best way to learn differential calculus and n-space topology is to let the little tykes learn to add and subtract and then shove them out on the lawn.

Heavens, the damage that can be caused by kids learning too much about their own history.

They might become edumacated !!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Housing Mess Explained ... With Jokes.



Watts v. Maine Dept. of Transportation

This Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 I walked down the hill and up the hill and across the hill to the Kennebec County Court House and plunked down my $150 and filed my civil complaint against the Maine Department of Transportation to stop their attempt to violate the U.S. Clean Water Act and destroy Sears Island, the last and largest undeveloped island in Penobscot Bay and the Penobscot River.


Anyone can do this stuff.

It's like voting, but more effective.

My co-plaintiff, Mr. Ron Huber of Rockland, has more details.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Markos Moulitsas finally gets it.

Nobody above the age of 12 will take seriously someone named "Kagro X" or "Meteor Blades" or "DarkSyde."

Oh well. Apparently, "Meteor Blades" is still protesting in his Doctor Dentons. Maybe he will change his name to "Farty Pants."

Monday, February 09, 2009

Steroids are worse than torture.

Based on his own words, President Barack Obama seems to consider the use of steroids in major league baseball to be more repugnant than human torture.

On Monday night, Obama publicly scolded Alex Rodriguez for letting down the children of the U.S. by taking steroids.

Yet, a couple minutes later, he said later that the U.S. personnel under his command who have approved of and actually tortured human beings should not be disciplined because they did it "to stop terrorism."

This is a troubling mindset.


A person making minimum wage has to work 25 years to make $500,000.

But a bank CEO cannot survive on $500,000 a year.

What a fragile, wilting species.

Don't be a Bigot Wimp

"How can 2,000,000 blacks get into Washington, DC in 1 day in sub zero temps when 200,000 couldn't get out of New Orleans in 85 degree temps with four days notice?"

This question was posed in an email sent out by Florida Republican State Committeewoman Carol Carter of Hillsborough County.

She later sent out this email:

"I have been asked to send this apology for my earlier email. I am sorry that it was received in a negative manner. I do hope that we are going to be allowed to keep our sense of humor. As you can now see, it went to very few people. I did add Todd Marks in this apology, as he is in the mix now. I am also sorry to learn that some of these persons are not real team players. There really was no reason for this to go beyond those that I emailed ( 8 people). This was not an email blast as I do not have that capability.


She then resigned.


From LGM.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

400 Years in 40 Days

Obama has a problem in that most of the foreign policy staff and policy and momentum he has inherited believes his kind needs to be kept in iron shackles or bombed or put to useful work in a cane field.

Try reversing 400 years of cultural warping in 40 days.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Phila says ...

If I had a million dollars to spare, I'm sure I could get almost any white supremacist on earth to publicly recant his or her views. The problem is, what I'd probably end up with, for all my trouble and expense, is a white supremacist with a million dollars in the bank.

Excellent essay by Phila.

No, Seriously ... That's the Point !!!!

Rachel's reaction throughout this is priceless.

Mandatory Gay Orgies to Begin ...

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the federal "Defense of Non-Gay Marriage Act" unconstitutionally denies benefits to gay federal employees' spouses.

The ruling says, in part:

"The denial of federal benefits to same-sex spouses cannot be justified simply by a distaste for or disapproval of same-sex marriage or a desire to deprive same-sex spouses benefits available to other spouses in order to discourage exercising a legal right afforded them by the state," Reinhardt wrote in his Feb. 2 order....

ha ha ...

Whites destroy Wampanoag Indian cemetery.

Even the dead are not safe.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Message to Obama.

The Republicans hate your fucking guts. They want you to fail and they will do anything they can to make you fail. No regular citizen of the United States gives a fuck if you please Republicans. Nobody cares what Republicans think. They lost the election. You won. Start behaving like it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Blame the Poor

I wish these poor people would stop causing tax problems for the rich. -- Syd B.