Friday, September 11, 2009

California's West Side Water Issue

So close yet so far away? It is said that into every life a little rain must fall. But in the case of Wast Side Water the rain would be a welcome relief to the drought being perpetrated by invironmentalists and policticians. Now it has come to my attention that Fox News is planning another visit to our valley on this Thursday September 17th.
As a farmer for 12 years and a pastor for the past 14 I have firsthand knowledge of the drastic effects water shortages can have on our valley. The current man made water shortage on the west side coupled with the housing crisis and recession present a triple threat to the people of that agriculturally rich region. Those communities though removed by a few miles are extensions of us as a whole. This truth was never as real as it was on September 12th 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11. Just as the ripple effects of the Sept. 11th 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center affected the totality of our nation. So to now we must realize that the humanitarian needs and the lack of agricultural output produced by the lack of water deliveries to our west side have produced a ripple effect across the entire valley economy.
We cannot afford to turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the suffering of those so near to us simply because we have water. We must understand that what affects our valley neighbors affects us as a whole. That joblessness and revenue loss have measured affects and can no longer be ignored. Now it appears that Fox News is returning once again to bring attention to the situation. I was made aware of their upcoming visit by Brandon Shoemaker a parishioner and friend. He is a Republican running for the 31st district assembly seat in the 2010 election.
As a community leader I feel it is my civic duty to inform myself on the issues facing our community, state, and nation. When I received Brandon's e-mail I was so glad to hear that Fox News was returning to additional recognition to the plight of the farming communities affected by the mismanagement of our state water resources. Last time they came they devoted only one segment of their show to this issue. I am hoping that they will be able to devote even more airtime on this next visit.
In connection with that I felt it was advisable to gather information regarding the issue as I see it. There are basically two things I feel might benefit our discussion on the water issue.
Firstly, UC Davis does a report for the US government on California’s contribution to the overall US export market in all areas. This is an eye opening report and brings clarity to the need for this valley as the bread basket of America. That report shows California produced 14.8% of the US agricultural exports in 2006. That is a staggering statistic. Additionally a bipartisan group called California Economic Strategy Panel appointed by the legislature in 1993 has the responsibility to and I quote; “develop an overall economic vision and strategy to guide public policy. The Panel engages in an objective and collaborative biennial planning process that examines economic regions, industry clusters, and cross-regional economic issues.” Where are they in all this? Why hasn’t this group recognized the plight of this region and sounded the alarm to law makers. Someone needs to hold them accountable.
The bottom line is environmentalists funded by our state and federal tax dollars and supported by our state legislature our running the show. The old adage, “food grows where water flows” is true! And transversely when the water doesn’t flow the food doesn’t grow. As a result of the mismanagement at the state level jobs are lost, whole communities sit in dusty ruin and our overall California exports diminish.
What this nation needs right now is less interference by environmentalist and legislature. They need to open up the doors for job creation instead of destroying jobs and by extension whole communities, for the sake of a few fish that to my knowledge are plentiful throughout the western hemisphere. The real story here is that a federal biological study done by the USBR and sited by a report at the CalCamber shows no significant increase in the smelt population as a result of shutting down the agricultural diversion pumps.
Additionally the real culprit to the reduced population in all fish populations from the Striped Bass to the Longfin Smelt appears to be the introduction and over population of the overbite clam. From my investigation, the overbite clam is not indigenous to the ecosystem of our fisheries, and feeds on the same natural food source as the smelt. (see page 43 last paragraph of the USBR report)
I realize this posting has become quit tedious and so I relent. Never the less I felt knowledge of the facts was in order. I hope this brief but tedious delineation of the issues helps in some way to bring some accountability to those with the power to send the water to our valley, and shine the spotlight on the insanity of those who would support the misguided notion to continue withholding water from this vital agricultural region of California.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Who is this Ron Bloom character?

So how will Obama’s appointment of Ron Bloom affect American business?
In a recent [i]Washington Post article, Obama is said to have named Ron Bloom as his senior counselor for manufacturing policy. That article which is quit timely in respect to the recent uptick in polls showing a less than favorable approval rating for how this administration has handled the recession reveals several important facts about Mr. Bloom.First is says that Bloom, "was previously the influential figure in the national labor movement before joining the administration's auto task force earlier this year." Translation: Bloom was previously a Big Union Executive. The fact is Mr. Bloom, [ii]“was previously the special assistant to the President of the United Steel Workers based out of Pittsburgh since 1996. Before that he worked as an Investment Banker.”The second thing has to do with wages. And while it is not tied directly to the first by the writer of the article, it is to this reader (me) directly connected to the first fact. The second point I refer to is this, [iii]Obama said Bloom's "extensive experience with both business and labor" would help in "creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs of the future."
Now think about that for a moment, his (Mr. Blooms) previous experience as a big union executive will help us in creating, “good paying” “manufacturing jobs” in the future. Now I don’t want to belittle the creation of any job, but what’s the long term job future of a union worker. To spend all of his life supporting the salaries of fat cat union executives and voting for the Washington bureaucrats that pass the laws that benefit the unions.
So what are the similarities between a union worker and a cotton picker from the 1700s? Let’s see, union workers work tirelessly driven by task masters called union supervisors. Union workers do this day in and day out without question.
Why do they do this? They do it for life benefits provided for them by the union who basically owns them for the time they are union employees. You don’t believe that, just step out of line and see the lashing you will get. They will strip you down and leave you on unemployment. They use their position as employer negotiator as leverage to keep the masses in check. In the event of an uprising they quickly remind their workers of the alternative of not “belonging” to the union. Then they go on strike to demand from the employer who is to great measure handcuffed to the union at this point more benefits. At first glance working for the union may seem the way to go for a guy looking for work. Only one thing, it do not really lend itself to the American dream. There is not a lot of upward mobility in that model. It’s all who you know! The idea that you can reach the top is not part of the equation in this manufacturing model. You are not allowed to dream big in this model. The idea here is to just punch your time clock and be thankful that you are working. Still for many in our nation this kind of punch in punch out work would be welcome relief in a economy of joblessness.
However, personally I hold greater aspiration for a common laborer than to be sentenced to a 9 to 5 job the rest of their lives. That to me is not the American dream nor is it true freedom. True freedom and the thing that built this nation into one of the greatest nations on earth is outlined in the Declaration of Independence as the right to, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.” It is the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in those words that made this nation one of the most productive, and affluent nations on earth for the past two centuries. Yet at the forefront of Obamanomics is not the pursuit of those ideals but the undermining of those ideals. The truth is all liberal progressives have managed to do with their policies is keep the poor beholden to them for the government entitlement programs they enjoy. And that is all they want to do!
Therein is the true lie. On the one hand the liberal promise progress and new opportunities for the poor and disenfranchised. But they have never truly delivered on those promises. All they have done is kept the poor “POOR,” and the disenfranchised dependent upon them.
Why? Because true reform, the kind that teaches a person how to fish instead of merely dolling out fish fragments would relieve the poor of their dependence upon the liberal progressive bureaucrats in Washington. Their goal is not to liberate but to castrate, to remove every notion that we can get ahead without government help. And the sad thing is people are buying this stuff. People are voting for it over and over again, they buy into the deceptions of smooth talking politicians who promise the moon and deliver nothing. And if by chance they do deliver it is merely for appearance sake. Rarely if ever have they done anything that truly changes the lives of the poor. It is merely to garner the next round of votes for an upcoming election.
I realize liberals love to site Medicaid and Medicare as liberal programs. But did those programs help the poor or merely provide fragments from the master’s table. Think about the last time you heard of a person on food stamps making anything of their selves. Never! The only way you make something of yourself is take the risk, abandon the program, and do something new. The program should only be a bridge not a lifestyle. And while manufacturing work is a legitimate, noble rewarding life style not to be shunned. It should not be looked at as the end to beat all, especially if that job includes my subservience to a bureaucratically controlled union. However that is exactly what the Obama administration wants.
Which is why appointing Ron Bloom as the Manufacturing Czar makes perfect sense to the liberal progressive elites in Washington. He is their stoolie, their ace in the whole. With his help we can destroy all competition and expand the reach of the union which we basically control with our votes. When we control the unions we control the workers.
Think this is far fetched do you? Then explain why would Obama appoint a ex union executive to sit on one of his Czars seat when a much simpler solution is right in front of them. Read the remainder of this article at my blog entitled, "American Financial Meltdown Looms Large."


American Financial Meltdown Looms Large!

At present any action on Obama's part that doesn't actually create job could send this economy over the edge.
I know from personal experience what the policies of this president will produce. As a farmer for 12 years I watched as the pressures for higher wages and increase in government restriction forced famers to automate where ever possible.
Take just the grape industry for an example. Throughout the 60s and 70s, most of what needed to be done on the farm was accomplished by hand labor. Then in the 80s and 90s we saw many changes in labor laws and government environmental requirements placed on farmers. Wages increased dramatically and so did regulations regarding insecticide use and other overhead costs to farmers. In order to keep up with these government mandates and wage increases farmers had one of two choices. Increase the price they receive for their crops or cut the cost of production.
Since the price of goods was set by the markets they knew the first thing to do was seek ways to cut overhead through automation. Thus slowly over the past twenty years farmers have been forced by labor shortages, wages increases and increased government regulations to go automated. As a result workers hours were replaced by machines. Now 6-8 men can do what 200 men used to do.
Now what makes us think that the introduction of more unions into the manufacturing sector will not translate into the same scenario? The truth is Obama’s business inexperience and liberal progressive advisors are steering this nation down a road to financial ruin and colapse. If the result of higher wages and increased government requirements caused the loss of jobs in the farming community, it will surely create the same dynamic in the financial sector.
Changes in wages or regulations inevitable force manufacturers to evaluate their ability to provide goods and services within the framework of those changes! Then in an effort to ensure profitability manufactures go automated in order to reduce costs. This in turn results in less jobs for those seeking employment.
The union higher ups and government bureaucrats controlling the strings are never hurt in this game of wage increases and greater government regulations. It’s the business CEO who get blamed for their heartless approach to corporate profits. Labeled as greedy, they have to automate and reduce jobs to create profits.
Listen people we have to stop seeing corporate profits as a bad thing. When corporations make profits Americans get jobs. “Where profits flow Jobs Grow” Instead of chocking business that are profitable through higher taxation government should be giving tax incentives to businesses that can turn corporate profits into long term job creation. But this is a conservative work model. That is why liberals fight against it. Have you ever wondered why liberals dislike such a common sense model as this? I mean really what is behind their dislike of conservatives work models.
This is my opinion and you don’t have to believe it, but if you think on it a while it makes more and more sense the longer you consider what I am about to reveal to you.
The real reason liberals don’t adopt conservative plans to fix the economy is that they don’t want to loss control.
Now when you are done calling me names and hating me for that last statement consider the following.
What have liberals gained by painting themselves as the upholders of human rights?
They had gained the trust and allegiance of the poor, the elderly, and minorities. What is their angle in this, to garner votes for upcoming elections of course!
But what about substance, have they really ever helped the poor. That depends on what you define as helped. If you mean meeting their basic needs yes. If you mean providing a way out of poverty, not so much! We have more poor people today than ever before. This is not a result of republican policies though. This is squarely a result of liberal progressives thinking they know best. If you don’t believe me answer the following question. When and how has poverty in the US measurably decreased as a direct result of any liberal policy?
No rather you can trace every increase in advantage to capitalism. No one is bettered by a system that feeds on itself. You can’t have a entitlements without a source of income to sustain it. Therefore every entitlement program is indebted to capitalism is some way. If corporation don’t profit then money stream is cut off to entitlement programs of every kind. When people work and corporation succeed money flows to entitlement programs both publically and corporately.
Now I realize that comes off as a far right perspective but is it true? I mean really isn’t that where this is all heading. Isn’t this really all about the government being in control of the whole manufacturing sector? What about the non-union manufacturers who are just as vested in our GDP? These also contribute to the jobs market and they are the counter balance to the complete unionization of this nation.
You say no, you say that the business sector would be unaffected by the implementation of a manufacturing Czar. And it doesn’t matter that he has known ties to big unions. It doesn’t matter that he sees workers as merely laborers designed to keep the machine going forward. Where is the American Dream in that?
Isn’t this just another example of how President Obama is steering this country away from a capitalistic economic model to a more socialistic model? The verdict is still out on whether President Obama actually knows what he is doing or whether he is just flying by the seat of his pants, and hoping everything works out in the end. It seems that this administration has no clear cut strategy on how to actually help our flailing economy. In an effort to seem proactive and on top of things they have passed several bills, a $800 Billion Stimulus package and the $410 Billion dollar Omnibus Bill.
But with his job approval rating falling and the ground swell of negative vibes coming out of all camps, one might wonder if just holding off on appointments might be a good idea at this time. Which begs the question, why? Why Ron Bloom? Why now?