Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Senate Pyromaniacs
The Wall Street Journal ^ | November 13, 2003 | Editorial

Posted on 11/13/2003 5:56:58 AM PST by OESY

Edited on 04/22/2004 11:50:20 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Terrible as it sounds, we're beginning to wonder if someone shouldn't spark another hundred-thousand-acre wildfire. That seems to be the only thing that will force Senate Democrats to take action on the rotting forests that cause the West's annual infernos.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: Colorado; US: South Dakota
KEYWORDS: bush; california; daschle; environment; healthyforests; oregon; senatedemocrats; southdakota; wildfires; wyden
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-26 last
To: Vineyard
You are incredibly patient with our green, Marxist friend here. By the way, in Lake Arrowhead, there were 500 trees per acre where there used to be 50.
21 posted on 11/13/2003 8:29:23 PM PST by The Westerner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: OESY; RonDog; Carry_Okie
The story of its derailment is one of Senate Democrats playing a double game -- with constituents who favor action on the fires on the one hand, and extreme green groups who pay election bills on the other. RonDog, you are free to link and excerpt this little rant of mine to your new thread. The main thread article above is too important relative to our complaints for me to insert this at your thread. So bring this to the attention of your new "friend," Mr. Block.

Look. He's of the hostile-to-us-non-elites TV medium.
By what magic do you suppose such a creature is about to be allowed to provide a different view of us?
Do you really think this man is one of a crew of new brooms who will clean up the seemingly-everyday-more-disreputable world of TV news and change it into even a fair minded medium, let alone a conservative ally?
How can you really think he's really your friend or capable of being our future friend if when even the WSJ can't or won't inform us with enough information that would provide us the means to demand that government financially ruin these miscreants and thereby defund their political stooges?

You have even claimed that Hugh Hewitt would be interested in Carry_okie's ideas. Yet that man has never referenced any of C_O's wonderful ideas, or hinted at even a single of his links between enviro-groups and their questionable government and business cronies and funders of those groups. Hewitt hasn't done it anymore than has Paul Gigot with extreme green groups, which is so typical of his cutsey little phrases that hint but don't reveal.

This is the kind of thing that makes me question the judgment of any person at FR who thinks any broadcast media, even that of "conxervative" talkshow hosts, are anywhere as really concerned as the average FReeper with the dirty dealings that go on at the higher, money-manipulating levels of our society.

That level, in case you haven't figured it out, includes those who pay talkshow hosts and TV media commentators and pundits who get multi-million dollar bookdeals.

And you know I have good reason for my skepticism when even the venerable WSJ can't be counted on to deliver all the facts we need to know.

22 posted on 11/13/2003 10:01:06 PM PST by Avoiding_Sulla (You can't see where we're going when you don't look where we've been.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RonDog; Avoiding_Sulla
Hi RonDog, no, I didn't put him up to this.

Here's what I think is Avoiding_Sulla's important question:

Will somebody please remind me why the Wall Street Journal is a conservative icon?

There is a reason that much of corporate America is no longer conservative (what there is left is because of its remnant of entrepreneurs); it is because the unconstitutional regulatory power of government has become power for sale. It's play or die. I think this excerpt from my book explains the more visible mechanics:

High-level executives in target industries are usually smart people. Once government gets its hands upon the factors of production, it isn’t long before industry leaders recognize a patronage system for what it is. Those with sufficient political pull are obviously tempted to sell out their competitors and manipulate the deal. They can salve their guilt with the excuse that, when a system is capable of either handing them an oligopoly or destroying them, they had better take advantage of it to survive. Of course, being one of the winners in the marketplace doesn’t hurt so much either. Once they learn the game and start to take control of it, the temptation to dominate the market with public money becomes addicting.

The corporate winners can then use their profits to start a tax-exempt foundation with which to fund political advocacy without the annoyance of campaign contribution limits. They use the funding to lobby politicians and direct groups of NGO activists to gather data supporting specific action.

The regulatory system thus ends up as a troika of NGOs, industry oligopoly, and government regulators. The strategies take several forms. To provide an intuitive framework with which to understand some of the behavioral undercurrents, we will use those famous fables from Uncle Remus, respectfully and faithfully recovered from Afro-American Oral History by that noted (and unjustly maligned) anthropologist, Joel Chandler Harris. We will refer to this example as “The Briar Patch Effect.” The principles are as follows:

  1. There are economies of scale associated with regulatory compliance, as with any other cost of production. Capable compliance to rules becomes a barrier to entry and a means to target existing competitors.

  2. Rules can be tailored to the advantage of those possessing property with favored attributes. Competitors can be targeted by similar means.

  3. Selective enforcement, through bribes, friendships, and political connections, is a problem as old as government itself.

  4. Regulatory constraint of supply can raise the capital value of remaining assets in production through monopoly profits. Advocacy can be a very a good investment.
For a more detailed exposition from first principles of why the system works this way, consider the first chapter. Warning: it's a pretty deep read.
23 posted on 11/13/2003 10:32:42 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Vineyard
I would agree with much of your thesis but for the following:

But dead wood on the ground is not the major fuel contributor that you suggest. After a few months with rain - the dead wood starts decaying. It quickly absorbs moisture and is far less significant to any fire than the live trees (or the diseased trees that are dying or dead, but still standing).

Decay mechanics are highly situational. In Southern California it is so dry that decay can be fairly slow unless insects get into the wood to break down the structure. Bark beetles aren't enough; it takes termites. Some organic material on the ground helps get a groudcover going because of moisture retention and shade, but a good many of those need fire to germinate as well as to clear pathogens and grasses.

I haven't done it in that area, so I can't call myself an expert, but I'd hazard a guess that (where it hasn't burned) they are better off pulling most of the logs after thinning (except for some needed to serve as trash dams and water breaks), chipping the slash, waiting a year while they nail every weed they can find, and then patch burning in late spring (after the surface has dried but before the vegetation moisture content has dropped). It's an intensive process and can take almost daily monitoring for weeds. Grazing might help in places both for weed control, soil structure, and plant nutrition.

Seriously, weeds are that important. If they get away from you it gets horribly expensive (and possibly futile) to try to stop them. Typically, what I have seen is that after a fire the enviros get all excited about the native plant bloom, they ignore the weeds and try to prevent anybody from using an herbicide, and then the weeds get going and take over. Then the greenies wail about the disaster, not seeing that it was their own failure to recognize the system as it is, as opposed to how they would wish it to be.

24 posted on 11/13/2003 10:51:21 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Avoiding_Sulla
What are the names of these extreme green groups who pay election bills?
Why do they still have 501(C)3 tax exemptions?
Who are their largest contributors to these extreme green groups?

Excellent questions -- in need of answers. Unfortunately, the WSJ doesn't begin to get venerable until one gets to the editorial pages, so we'll never find the answers in the columns of their Washington bureau staff. However, John Fund of the often does a good, credible job. Bartley, Noonan and Morrison are favorites also.

25 posted on 11/14/2003 5:32:35 AM PST by OESY
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
I'm not against logging. I'm against some of the logging jobs I've seen, like what has been done at our Scout Camp a couple of times where the company said they'd do one thing and did another.

We had a blowdown ourselves. I was in a crew that had to go into the camp on short notice and cut down hundreds of trees that were blocking roads, leaning over program areas ready to fall, etc. We cut down a bunch of these and dragged them out of the way. The lumber company said that they'd come pick up the logs.

Instead what happened was that they picked up the logs, cut down a bunch of other trees that were perfectly healthy and should have been left standing, left slash lying around to fill up with ticks and provide fire hazard, and basically scalp and abuse the camp.

I understand that unnatural forest management techniques have led to a problem that will require non-optimal techniques to resolve. Damage has been done, and damage will be necessary to alleviate it. I agree that removal of trees is both necessary and desirable. I agree that logging companies can have a role in this. But I don't trust the Bush administration to do this without compromising the recreational and conservationist purposes of the forests in the name of profit.

National forests have many roles. One of them is providing raw materials for the paper and lumber companies. But it is not the overriding interest; there are many others. Rhetoric about the fire disasters in California should not be used to mask or justify abuse of the National Forests for corporate interests.

Once again I come back to the model of what's being done in the Superior National Forest/BWCAW. Why can't that model be followed, or adapted, to the California situation?

26 posted on 11/14/2003 8:27:40 AM PST by RonF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-26 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson