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Posted on June 18 at 4:11 p.m.
If the arrival of Panga boats on the coasts of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County is a conspiracy perpetrated by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, I have some questions:1. Who actually purchases the panga boats and from where are they purchased?2. Does the cost of the panga boats come out of the Sheriff's budget? If so, is the business manager at the Sheriff's Department one of the many conspirators?3. Were the panga boat passengers that were captured in Montano de Oro State Park in SLO County actually actors (and conspirators) pretending to be panga boat passengers?Without any intent to disparage Spiritwalker in any way, and with all due respect, the panga boat conspiracy theory just does not make sense to me. To accept the theory as even plausible, we are required to accept the existence of facts that are not supported by any evidence. It makes much more sense to believe that the panga boats are what they appear to be, which are very sea-worthy vessels brought here from Mexico in order to circumvent the process of legal entry into the United States.
On Another Panga Found On Tajiguas Beach
Posted on June 14 at 8:16 p.m.
I read this great article and have been following all the comments. I have not commented myself because I did not want to get sucked into some of the ethnic animosity. Also I admit to a lot of ambivalence in issues like this. Being a liberal, I acknowledge that the "drug war" as created crimes that would not have been but for the drug war. On the other hand, long ago (in the 70s), I flirted with the drug world and realized that it had no good future. Early on in these flirtations any idiot will realize that there is no good future in this business. To be unable to extricate yourself from it is both tragic and stupid. We cannot blame the "drug war" for people (white, black, brown, or whatever) making stupid decisions about how to make a living. I went to work making minimum wage rather than sell drugs and I worked my way to success. That choice is available to everybody. I agree that we need different drug policies, but we should not let people claim that they are victims of the "drug war" when they are really victims of their own stupid decisions.
On Gangbuster or Gangbanger?
Posted on June 12 at 7:22 p.m.
The most profound irony of this saga would be if Nancy Crawford-Hall was the one who paid Pappas' debt. If that is the case, then Ms. Crawford-Hall would end up being the single largest contributor to Doreen Farr's political campaigns. Considering Ms. Crawford-Hall's distain for all things liberal in general and for Ms. Farr in particular, her payment of $700,000 to the Farr campaign would provide enough irony for a decent post-modern novel. The only good thing to come out of all this is that the outcome may discourage frivolous lawsuits by vexatious litigants.
On Supreme Court Rejects Pappas Case
Posted on June 12 at 12:12 p.m.
Nathan Alley is correct on both points. However, it is common to finesse the potential impacts of "upsets" away from Class I by saying that the scenario is too speculative to actually assess. Also, there have been plenty of "takings" lawsuits based on requests to change the zoning (for example, agriculture to residential) when such requests have been denied. Granted, the City would be in a stronger position than Venoco in such a lawsuit, but you never know how a court would decide that issue. But to repeat, Nathan Alley is correct on both points although there may be legal nuances that Venoco may decide to exploit.
On Revised Carpinteria Oil Proposal Unveiled
Posted on June 10 at 9:15 p.m.
Morgainele, what? You did not address any point that I made in my post. I am confused. My point is that this project could be designed to mitigate all environmental impacts, but it is unlikely that Venoco would be willing to spend the money to do so. I don't have do some research as I already know quite a bit about projects like this. I agree that there are problems with fracking that have not been acknowledged and addressed and fracking in formations which seem to be connected to natural seeps seems particularly problematic. All oil and gas production and processing projects hold the potential to cause great harm to the environment, but the technology exists to mitigate these risks. The problem with the oil companies is that they do not want to spend the money to mitigate these risks. Here is an example: I don't have the exact numbers, but I would bet that if Venoco paid to replace every MTD bus with diesel/hybrid electric bus, they could mitigate every pound of excess greenhouse gas emissions from this project. As far as "living up to promises" goes, that is easy. The City would simply require the delivery of the promise before the permit is approved. I don't particularly trust the oil and gas production industry. Nor do I believe that petroleum is the best energy source into which to place our long term energy development investment. However, this source of energy can be developed in a manner that actually produces less environmental impacts over the long run if the companies are forced to spend the money to mitigate all the potential impacts. Whether or not Venoco will sign up for spending that money remains an unanswered question. I would suggest that Morgainele do some research, and stick to the unemotional science type.
Posted on June 8 at 4:37 p.m.
If Venoco is serious (which it appears they are) and smart (jury still out) they will submit a project description that mitigates all environmental impacts to less than significant thresholds. This can be done, it just costs money, which they will get back in the long run. If the EIR demonstrates that all impacts have been mitigated to insignificant levels, the City of Carpinteria will be in corner and have to approve the project or risk a law suit that they will lose. I will bet that Venoco is not smart and will try to save money by wiggling out of mitigations and end up with unmitigated significant impacts, which will doom the project.
Posted on June 5 at 8:01 p.m.
I am afraid that I have to come to Starshine's defense here. Atheists are one of the most maligned and discriminated against minorities in the world. If we use logic in our attempts to express our opinions we are accused of trying to destroy the faith of the religious. If we use humor to knock about the silliness of religious belief we are accused of being rude and narrow-minded. We are supposed to just shut up and walk to stake like repentant apostates. Well Willy 88 you may think that we are disgusting, but we are not going to shut up.
On Atheists Saved!
Posted on June 5 at 9:56 a.m.
I wonder if Fr. Rosica violated his vow of obedience by contradicting the Pope? Catholic faith requires Catholics to believe and accept that the Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals, which means the Pope cannot possibly commit an error when he speaks ex cathedra (which just means when he is speaking as Pope) in matters of faith and morals. At least that is what the nuns taught me lo those many years ago. I think Fr. Rosica needs to go back to 5th grade catechism.
Posted on June 4 at 10:12 p.m.
Tam, I do not totally disagree with you since Plato was my first favorite philosopher. However, use of the term “keen sense of beauty” raises my argumentative hackles a bit. Who is it, in fact what species is it, that gets to be the arbiter of whom has a “keen sense” whom does not. This seems to be somewhat subjective to me. I believe that all beauty can be reduced to layers of symmetry built on layers of symmetry. Evolution has taken a simple physical thing like symmetry and built on it through eons to create signals for fitness. Thus, the peacock’s tail and the plumage and dance of the bird of paradise were built into more complex forms over time by evolution and each layer was simply another layer of symmetry. Even in human art, the successful modern abstract painter is successful because he or she had found a symmetry and modern atonal music even has a complex symmetry, at least the good stuff does. Perhaps evolution has designed a sense of layer upon layer of symmetry in auditory, visual, taste, tactual, and even olfactory senses to assist living things not only to choose fit mates but to help them also choose fit environments. Look closely at all things you may consider beautiful and, I believe, you will see increasingly complex layers of symmetry as the key element.
On Survival of the Beautiful
Posted on June 4 at 12:01 p.m.
Interesting. However, I feel that you and Rothenberg give rather short shrift to the selective benefit of advertising fitness to prospective mates. In my view the arguments are strong for our concept of "beauty" being signals for survival and fecundity fitness, especially if an organism demonstrates that it is so fit that it can afford to waste resources on otherwise unnecessary and not useful physical attributes. On the other hand, this view does not answer the question about music and our ability to discern if a voice is in pitch or not. Perhaps our ability to enjoy music and discern correct pitch is simply a side effect and ancillary benefit of the auditory acuity that evolved because it provided other non-aesthetic survival benefits.
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