Fish policies upheld in court ruling
Judge says feds have steelhead discretion...John Ellis
A federal judge in Fresno ruled Monday that the U.S. government has discretion to recognize differences in steelhead fish populations when determining whether they are eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger issued a 168-page ruling on two challenges to how the National Marine Fisheries Service viewed California's steelhead populations.
One case challenged the government's practice of counting hatchery steelhead populations separately from wild populations.
The Pacific Legal Foundation had argued that Endangered Species Act listing decisions could be based on the numbers of hatchery steelhead produced each year. Based on that, the foundation had asked the court to remove five separate populations of steelhead from the list of endangered species.
In his decision, Wanger wrote that the "best science available" used by the NMFS "strongly indicated that naturally-spawned and hatchery-born [steelhead] are different."
In the late 1990s, an entrepreneurial mechanic with a wife and one child bought a house for $65,000 with a down payment of $1,500 and took a fixed-rate FHA mortgage. His wife, a beautician, got a job as a clerk at a discount store. In the midst of the speculative real estate boom in Merced six years later, with three children now and a warehouse job, he took out an equity loan for $126,000, did some remodeling on the exterior (new stucco, paint, new lawn turf, foam sculpture), bought furniture, a big-screen TV and a nearly new Cadillac Escalade. It is estimated that about $35,000 went for the home improvements and goods. Where did the other $91,000 go? It didn’t go into the property. Why wasn’t the equity loan monitored for home improvements?Read More »
We wish to congratulate the law firm of Donald B. Mooney and Associates, Donald B. Mooney and Marsha A. Burch, representing Sheryl Gray et al., for successfully arguing against the Madera Ranch Quarry, Inc. (Jaxon Baker) environmental impact report for an aggregate mine in Madera County. The state Fifth Appellate District Court decided for the neighbors of the proposed project, against Baker and published the decision, which can be used as case law in CEQA cases, particularly those involving aggregate mines.Read More »
Letter: Andrew Lahde, Lahde Capital Management
By Andrew Lahde...10-17-08
Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, thar would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding.
Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.
Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.Read More »
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The local McClatchy Chain outlets blared the good news this morning that the stock market rebounded yesterday. Hot damn! Today the Dow lost 110 points, the S&P 500 lost 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq composite lost 3.5 percent.
We didn't notice the list of foreclosure announcements was any shorter in the Merced Sun-Star. Yesterday, in fact, we noticed that the Sun-Star's publisher had received a notice on his $507,000 home in McSwain. Evidently, we’ve had a real estate speculator running the paper during most of the boom. Mr. Vander Veen must have believed the propaganda he has been publishing.
The only politician calling for a moratorium on foreclosures is Barak Obama, also the best funded presidential candidate. However, here in Merced, an Obama lawn sign from the campaign office is reported to cost $10, and a tee shirt, $25. Blue Dog idiocy at the wheel as usual.
Maryland's newest Blue Dog congressman, Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-formerly Merced, ought to stop down at the old U of M and have a chat with Herman Daly, a distinguished economist recently retired from the World Bank to the university department that once fostered the work of Mancur Olson. Olson is important to the Valley because without his theoretical guidance, Brooks Jackson would not have been able to write so clearly his illuminating study, Honest Graft (1990), a seminal, prophetic work on political corruption in Congress that focused on the career of former Rep. Tony Coelho, Michael Milken's Friend-Merced.Read More »
On a weekend when the whole world is holding its breath to see how investors will respond tomorrow to numerous bailout plans here, there and everywhere, a story about a Bush administration plan to gut more crucial provisions within the Endangered Species Act might seem unimportant.
It is not. If the Pomboza, that awesome duo of former Rep. Richard Pombo and Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Maryland's newest congressman, had had their way in Congress, the act would have been gutted long before now. And the result of that would have been even more destruction of natural resources for the construction of more over-priced McMansions, bought by speculators for more subprime mortgages to default on when the boom busted. Yet, at precisely the moment when the values of the ESA, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts as well as state environment laws like the California Environmental Quality Act, and the people who have tried to defend them before land-use authorities and in court, should be respected more highly at least for the damage they prevented to the environment and to the global economy, the Bush administration is trying to do by administrative order what Congress three times denied by legislation during this regime, whose corruption has not yet begun to be fully analyzed.Read More »
They look upon Fraud as a greater Crime than Theft, and therefore seldom fail to punish it with Death: For they alledge, that Care and Vigilance, with a very common Understanding, may preserve a Man's Goods from Thives; but Honesty hath no Fence against superior Cunning: And since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual Intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon Credit; where Fraud is permitted or connived at, or hath no Law to punish it, the honest Dealer is always undone, and the Knave gets the Advantage...Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift (1735), Chapter Six, "A Voyage to Lilluput, p. 47.
The foreclosure rate in the erstwhile congressional district of Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Annapolis, greatly exceeds that of the entire state of his present residence, Maryland. Anne Arundel County, near Annapolis, has a rate similar to Marin County's.
The Merced County public wonders if he picked up a deal on the foreclosure market in Maryland.
Regardless, as his votes on the bailout bill show clearly, Cardoza stands foresquare on the side of finance, insurance and real estate, except for whatever pork the bill might have provided by Senate additions and more earmarks the second time it passed through the House. In other words, he stands against the defrauded homeowners losing their properties in foreclosures in his (Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin County) district. One can hear the pious, self-righteous tones: "Lack of personal financial responsibility!"Read More »
When you can't trust your own political parties but can trust your governor, congressman and both US senators to do the wrong thing most of the time, it is time to seek an older, more reliable political affiliation, like the HOUSE OF WINDSOR/SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA!
Prince Charles' opposition to genetic engineering continues despite great criticism.
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The Independent (UK)
Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet
In a provocative address to an Indian audience, the Prince echoes Gandhi with a stinging attack on 'commerce without morality'...Geoffrey Lean
It is less than two months since Prince Charles was on the receiving end of a fusillade of scientific, political and commentariat criticism for voicing, yet again, his concerns about GM crops and foods. He was widely accused of "ignorance" and "Luddism"; of being too rich to care about the hungry, and even of trying to increase sales of his own organic produce. It was put about that Gordon Brown was angered by his intervention.
I have been reading Richard McCormack and his Manufacturing and Technology New for several years to continue my education in what has happened in manufacturing cities like the steel town I lived in for a few years once. McCormack has always been the soul of solid journalism, passionate about manufacturing but factual to a fault. In this article, he puts the case bluntly for manufacturers -- managers and workers -- against these finance, insurance and real estate whining crybabies, in terms of character and in terms of the creation of wealth. I would add, which he does not, in terms of patriotism.
McCormack describes the American tragedy in as few words as anyone could do and a great deal fewer than most that have tried. It explains why McCain pulled out of Michigan today.
Manufacturing and Technology News
Commentary: Manufacturers Know All About Economic Collapse
By Richard McCormack
It is sad what has happened to the United States.Read More »
NEW ORLEANS -- Returning to the apartment after Hurricane Gustav feels like watching a clip of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. The air, the stillness and the stark definitions of form make everything almost appear to be black and white. Eerie. There are no people in sight. A car passes every 15-20 minutes. While the city has been abandoned, nature has been quick to re-gain a foothold. I have been gone seven days and the once familiar surroundings resonate with something akin to treachery. Do I need a passport in this alien landscape? Is it safe?
Bugs I have never seen before attach to the car window. Insects, like miniature tornadoes, swarm around rotting garbage bags. A gray possum scampers across the parking lot toward the dumpster in broad daylight. Birds lined up on the handrail of the second-floor porch of the apartment. Mostly crows, looking down at me. Unconcerned with my presence. I start to climb the stairs and they shuffle and flutter up as if asking me, “What are you doing here? This belongs to us now.”
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First things first. I am always intrigued about what gets done in the aftermath of a hurricane. Entering the city, along the shortcuts and back streets---all of the gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants are closed but the giant billboard announcing the Power Ball payoff has been up-dated to $87 million. You can’t find a bag of ice for 10 miles in every direction but somebody climbed up there and updated the bankroll. Who are those guys?
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