“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Clear cutting Tuna and a lesson in living.

Using one mile long nets to fish is the equivalent of shooting buffalo from a train. It is cutting every tree in the forest. If a one mile net is not ridiculous how about a ten mile net or a fifty mile net?

Just because something can be done, does not mean it should be. A true conservationist and a true conservative should object to the concept of pillaging a sustainable reproducible asset to extinction.

One life time does not make a universe. A happy man understands his short privilege at seeing and understanding life. He is inspired by the immensity of the universe in time and space. He is excited by the seasons and the God given bounty of life. A good man understands the gift, the blessing and the boundaries of decent stewardship.


  1. "Ben (the son of) Zoma said…

    Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot, as it is said: 'When you eat the toil of your hands you are fortunate and it is good for you' (Psalms 128:2)…

  2. I never said that the Iranian election would be either free, nor fair, bob.

    Just that it was the culmination of Team43's policies of democratization and it's pledge to keep Iran form developing nuclear weapons.

    Guess, if those reported election results hold, that Team43 failed, yet again, aye?

    Such a shame, that we are left with the proposals of Barack Obama, in place of the tried and truly failed policies of GW Bush.

    Takes a lot of fish, to feed 6 billion people. Want to save the fish, control the population of people.

  3. Which means rationing not just health care, but procreation.

    As they tried in China, with their "One Child" program.

    People or fish, which is more important to save, to protect?

    And at what cost?

    If the Tuna are killed off, then the Asians may well starve, as did the American Indian, after the US Government exterminated the buffalo.

    Nah, it is not even similar.
    At least not motivated by the same desires. The fishermen are not leaving the tuna to rot, but do get them to markets that consume them.

  4. Up there with climate change to some.
    One real, one unreal, to me.

  5. Which leads to less fishing, which leads to more fish and increased fishing, again.

    Unless the fishermen catch them all, in which case would have been better to feed the folk, once, than to teach them to fish.

    Fishing is the Christian way to feed the hungry masses. We need more fishermen. .

    It is God's way forward, no?
    The ordained food source and preferred job description, with regards sustainability.

    God will provide the fish, just as it is written

  6. Related in a roundabout way. Via Drudge comes this very interesting article US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive.

    The US rust belt cities could reinvent themselves as smaller, more pleasant, more sustainable, Mattie-friendly communities.

  7. Older Pennsylvanians, around Philadelphia in 1740 recalled that the local rivers, bays and brooks, could at an earlier time produce enough fish from a morning's fishing so as to tax the ability of a horse to take it home. By 1740, a day and nights fishing could lead to nothing.

    In 1683, William Penn opened fishing rights in all navigable streams to anyone. It was recognized that with rights come responsibility and restrictions were placed on weirs and nets. In 1767 common sense laws were written to protect the continued presence of fish based on the observation that "much diminished great quantities which were formerly to be found."

    In my garden I have found arrow heads and stone tools from the Lenape's that go back seven thousand years. They farmed hunted and fished this area for at least five thousand of those years.

    When the Europeans arrived, there were 20,000 scattered in villages around the rivers and in seasonal hunting camps. Obviously with greater populations comes change. That is not an argument for less common sense and conservation but more.

  8. Farming and fishing are enterprises that are best left to local people who understand the capacity and importance to their lives and area and care more about their legacy than the immediate needs of their bankers and day trading stock holders. Assets held in the hands of the former are considered for generations and the latter for minutes.

    Admittedly I am opposed to massive corporate structures that control most things. There are some natural monopolies but the downside risks to most others is something to be avoided IMHO.

  9. Larsen posted Whit's link @ BC.
    Looks like a photoshopped backhoe image of a miniature balsa/cardbord house.
    ...but seems like the real thing would be easy to find and photograph.

  10. It's much harder to impose regulations on a global scale across diverse economic and social boundaries. Even at a scale of the EU or the North American Union, it is difficult because of the disparities in income and education.

    The demand for fish is a result of the raised living standards seen throughout the world. If the economy reverses the trend toward higher standards, the demand for meat such as fish and beef could recede. On the other hand, if the living standards continue to rise, ecological awareness could follow.

    The problem is how to regulate the international fishing industry and more importantly how to enforce those regulations. As distasteful as it sounds, that is globalization, which BTW some are now saying could, like the economy, go into reverse. That could be a reprieve for world fish stocks.

    The whirled is changing. We had a sudden economic tsunami after a long bull run of the capitalist system. Now, there are many (socialists, communists, anarchists, fascists) who want to step in and take advantage of the chaos and uncertainty. This is a dangerous time to hand over more power to government.

  11. Why do we think it is OK for an international hedge fund to control fishing fleets or farms?

    I recall a few years back where family controlled timber industries were taken over by highly leveraged wall street pinstripers that would not recognize the difference between a redwood or a maple. They accumulated great stands of trees necessary to sustain the lumber businesses they acquired over generations.

    They made these acquisitions, mostly with borrowed money from savings and loans. The first order of business was to reduce the debt and did so by massive unstained cutting of logs and sold the logs in bulk, bypassing the local processing mills and loading them onto Asian ships.

    The ships were floating saw mills and processed the exported logs into lumber sailing to Korea, Japan and China. The bankers, Asians and pinstripers did not give a shit about the towns and villages in Oregon and Washington. They did not care about the consequences of the long term.

    They cared about their moment and all else be damned.

  12. It probably takes a fair amount of anarchy in your heart to make you a good Republican.

  13. It's time to start giving out condoms to the world...

  14. Maybe PAY guys and gals to have their tubes tied?

  15. I've heard a lot of talk lately about an unregulated, out-of-control whirled financial system driven into ruin by greedy Republicans drunk on unfettered capitalism. Every frustrated, angry, anti-capitalist seems to be coming out of the woodwork with an opinion and a proposed regulation. It's been said that the whirled economy cannot recover until we invent a "new financial system." That could take a long time.

  16. That way leads to extinction, WiO or the dominance of groups antithetical to western ideals. Know what/who I mean?

  17. Other than the issue of racism, the economy and governmental system of the 1950's seems about right to me.

  18. More commentary on the economy. Rural Mich counties turn failing roads to gravel

    We're running out of money... services will be cut long before taxes.

    State and local tax burden rivals or exceeds the Fed's.

  19. The next G8 summit is being held in Pittsburgh, not far from where my parents retired to. It's not a surprising choice. Since the 1980's and the decline of the region's steel industry, the city's had to seek economic regeneration along other avenues, and through fits and starts has been pretty successful in doing so.

    Detroit (the whole of Michigan really) and other cities now face a similar, decades-long challenge.

    Michigan is advertising heavily on television - and AM radio, I assume - to attract business to the state. More heavily than they were three, four years ago. The writing's been on the wall for some time. The degree of desperation has just increased by an order of magnitude.

  20. Other than the issue of racism, the economy and governmental system of the 1950's seems about right to me.

    Sat Jun 13, 11:12:00 AM EDT

    The US economy of the 1950's was very much a consequence of the economic devastation of the world's other industrial powerhouses of the 1940's and two decades of depressed household consumption in the US.

    Got a plan to repeat it?

  21. Yes I do.

    * Close 75% of the law schools.
    * Convert the closed schools to schools of
    science, engineering and manufacturing.
    * Award high school science majors with a
    3.75 grade average a four year
    dependent on grades in college.
    * Change tort law to loser pays.
    * Ban class action law suits.
    * Start up manufacturing firms in rust belt
    areas, would be completely tax free for
    ten years.
    * Start an annual lottery (leasing to buy)
    500 acre farm sites carved from federal
    land for farming and cattle raising family

  22. We need steel mills, nuclear power plants, a new national highway system for trucks only, coal gasification plants, modern tool companies, new space vehicles,new airtraffic control systems, better missile defense , far fewer military bases overseas, a larger navy and a domestic cargo fleet.

  23. Do that and give me a call in ten years and let me know how it's going.

  24. We have become better stewards of the farmland out this way since the 1950's.

    Particularily in the area of soil erosion.

    This has been done in many cases in conjunction with Uncle Sam, whose friendly helping hand is not always a bad thing.

    Also, in the national forests, we now have the concept of sustainable yield, where no more is taken out than grows each year. And clear cutting is pretty much a thing of the past. Also, ramming roads in along creek bottoms has gone away, as it silts up the rivers, hurting the fisheries.

    All this is just good sense, and I think everyone across the political spectrum supports it.

  25. * Change tort law to loser pays.--

    That's a good idea. The others are as well.

  26. Many of the ideas on how to handle the national forests came right out of the

    Forestries Department, University of Idaho

  27. That land wss stolen from the Indians, al-Bob.
    You are evil.

  28. "* Start an annual lottery (leasing to buy)
    500 acre farm sites carved from federal
    land for farming and cattle raising family
    Cows and people burp and fart, empowering "cattle raising families" is evil.
    We must empower a Jihad against
    Global Climate Change.

  29. Rufus has labored in vain to point out that we are still the world's number one manufacturer. But the industries and pockets of the country most benefiting have altered and shifted over time.

    Our post-graduate, and many of our graduate, science and engineering programs are still unrivaled and sought out by the young and ambitious the world over. (As Germany's were until the mid-to- late 1800's.)

    We enjoy degrees of stability and flexibility in the economic realm (assisted by our unique constitutional regime and geography) that almost no other country can recognize or aspire to. At the same time, we can't reproduce an era that was to a great extent the concrete outcome of a previous one and to which a different set of global circumstances applied.

    Nostalgia's good for movies, not for policy.

  30. "We enjoy degrees of stability and flexibility in the economic realm (assisted by our unique constitutional regime and geography) that almost no other country can recognize or aspire to."
    our taxes on industry are second, only to Japan.
    The One will make things worse.

  31. He's not full of shit on that matter. (And on some days he's the only person stepping through the door here who's not.)

  32. (And on some days he's the only person stepping through the door here who's not.)

    You can think those thoughts, Trish, but you're supposed to say 'em outloud.

  33. Jee.Zus.CHRIST.Doug.

    Are you going to Eyeore your way through the day?

    Are you aspiring to Rat's position as the guy who, if you were holding a winning lottery ticket, would be itchingitchingitching to deliver bad news from the oncology lab?

  34. 'Rats not here,
    I felt it my duty to stand in for the rodent.

  35. USA Bad,

  36. We "saved the whales" (yes, I believe that's a Good Thing,) and we can "save the tuna." By doing, basically, the same thing.

    Bobal's right. A lot of the stuff we railed at the government for were actually Good Ideas. The Wetlands did need some help, and we gave it to them. It IS good to try to keep species from going extinct.

    Admittedly, the courts get a little carried away, sometimes; but when is that Not the case.

    I got your FOS right here, Doug. Swanging.

    The Top individual income tax rate in the 50's was 90%. I pass.

    We didn't have indoor plumbing when I entered the first grade. I pass. I just went 20 hours without electricity (all electric house.) Never again. How soon we forget.

  37. And, Trish is right, we had the last (only) production lines standing.

    If the world wanted it they Had to buy it from us.

    A car got about 12 mpg, and you, routinely, put in a quart of oil when you filled up with gas. A transmission was good for about 30,000 miles, and the car itself was, essentially, through at 50,000.

    No AC, AM radio (maybe,) rayon tires good for about 10,000 miles. No power steering, or power brakes.

    Call Long Distance? Maybe, if you were Rich.

    The Good Old Days. You can have'm, kiddos.

  38. not supposed to say 'em outloud

  39. Sorry, bob. The deed is done.

  40. The cars have gotten better, that's one thing for sure.

    I'm amazed at this used Nissan we bought. We'
    re touching 160,000 miles, doesn't use a drop of oil (though I think there's a tiny little leak around a seal, down under) doesn't have a squeek or groan, get's great gas mileage, very quiet--taken all in all, one heck of a good deal.

  41. The veneer of civilization is mighty thin, guys and gals.

    The news from the Lab, trish, might just get you to donate a new wing, to bobal's Out Patient Nursing Clinic and Bar, right across the way from the steepled church.

    Covering the patients physical and spiritual needs in just one stop.
    The spirits can flow, while in the church, or after, at the local watering hole that'll come to be known as the Bar Bobal of Moscow.

  42. Impatiently waiting here for Doug's riff on tuna.

  43. For a mere $28,000 he'll name one of the out patient waiting rooms after you.

    Which is peanut dough for a lotto winner, or anyone else, looking to gain a measure of immortality.

    Or to anyone looking to buy a new American, Big Three, automobile.

  44. The donation gets you one of those little engraved plaques, right above the light switch.

    So that you are always associated with the light.

  45. The veneer of civilization is mighty thin, guys and gals.--

    That's true. You started out well there, Rat.

    The rest of it I can make no sense out of whatsoever.

    But, here's a drink, I'm buyin'.

  46. Doug said...

    Rufus is FOS.

    Rufus said...

    ...I got your FOS right here, Doug. Swanging

    Google said...

    Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) also sometimes called oligofructose or oligofructan, is a class of oligosaccharides used as an artificial or alternative sweetener. FOS exhibits sweetness levels between 30 to 50 per cent of sugar in commercially prepared syrups.


    Before givin' up and goin' back to bed, I saw Trish decoded the puzzle for me...

    He's not full of shit on that matter...

    Thank you.


    So, Doug? No clever riffs on tuna today?

  47. Rat, I just got in the mail, a few minutes ago, my monthly copy of "Vital Signs" the monthly news letter of "The International Association of Near Death Studies", of which I am a dues paying member.

    Cheer up, there may be always something more.

    Lots of evidence for it.

  48. The rest was directed to Ms trish, bob, and only references your real estate plans as a way to cross reference the spiritual and booze.

    As booth would be needed, regarding the itchingly bad news from the oncology lab.

  49. One thing you can never accuse rufus of is being artificially, or otherwise, sweet.

  50. "Ben (the son of) Zoma said…

    Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot, as it is said: 'When you eat the toil of your hands you are fortunate and it is good for you' (Psalms 128:2)

    Linearthinker (the son of Ben) said...

    True affluence is not in having everything, but rather in needing very little.


    A different Ben, but the theme lives on.

  51. Here in this news letter is an article of an interview with Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado, titled "Braving the PSI Frontier"

    This article is not propaganda, none of the authentic Near Death Studies literature is that, but rather a discussion of aspects of our lives that should be of interest to us all.

    Also in this issue:

    Web site redesign underway

    New digs, new library

    Overhaul of board operations

    Now's the time to come "On Board"

    Goodbye to Allen Katzoff

    and much more

  52. True affluence is not in having everything, but rather in needing very little.--

    Yes, and I noticed, and feel the same way myself, now I'm getting older, that mom, and my aunt, wanted very little, as they aged, my mom doing some reading, and thank God the washer/dryer was right over there, and my aunt, migrating to her little garden, and taking good care of her little French poodle, and reading the newspaper each evening, very carefully.

  53. Also, in the national forests, we now have the concept of sustainable yield, where no more is taken out than grows each year.

    No, bob. Forty years ago we had the sustainable yield concept. We now have ecosystem stability, a Lysenkoist wet dream of the green movement.

    And clear cutting is pretty much a thing of the past.

    Clear cutting has its place depending on species mix and judgement of professionals, not enviromental wackos.

    Also, ramming roads in along creek bottoms has gone away, as it silts up the rivers, hurting the fisheries.

    This too was on its way out forty years ago. I've also seen grazing permittees blamed for their stock silting up the streams. I went a little further up one channel and found natural bank failures in a roadless area. Seems Gaia wasn't sufficiently sensitized by the Audobon Society.

  54. Deuce @ Sat Jun 13, 10:27:00 AM EDT.

    An excellent summary.

    More on that topic, specifically the Pacific Lumber Company manipulations by the same crowd can be found in Alston Chase's In a Dark Wood.

  55. hmmm, well you may be right on the time line of some of this.

    However, I take my stand on bulldozing roads along creek beds.

    I've seen what that does.

    As to clear cutting, I'm open to arguments, though I think the best policy is usually to take the big ones, leave a lot of little ones, and let it heal.

    Forestries Department, U of I, tries to put some science to these questions.

    Rat wants to sell off the national forests, so they can be used by those best able to use them.

    Actually, anyone can make a bid on any job in our national forests. I did myself once, a tree thinning job.

    I think our national forests are a true treasure. But, you got to get off your ass and do some real hiking to get the benefit.

    I want them kept as they are, so the younger ones can have the same pleasure I've gotten out of them.

    And not have Rat's rich friends putting up "No Trespassing" signs.

  56. Those high mountain lakes out of McCall, Idaho-- diamond jewels in a golden basket, I'm tellin' ya.

    Naational Forest land.

    But, you got to work your ass off to get to 'em.

    That's why they are so precious.

  57. I'm just an ol' Sweetie; Y'all know that.

  58. Rufie, the Sweet Thang.

  59. Hey, Desert Rat:
    What did I miss,
    re: the oncology lab?
    That's outside the realm of jokeland.

  60. Just found it:
    al-Bob taking my faux 'Rat seriously.
    No harm, no foul.

  61. Warning: Anecdotal evidence follows.

    Time: Late 90s
    Place: Sierra Nevada
    Setting: Experimental forest research project conceived to test effectiveness of standard USFS practices in meeting environmental mandates on a microscopically monitored "typical timber sale."
    All aspects of the project were conducted by regular FS staff, e.g., planning foresters, resource specialists, timber sale administrators, using standard practices prescribed by the myriad of regulations, SOPs, etc.

    The only thing unique about the project was the degree of scrutiny that each activity on the ground was subjected to, and then measured against an exhaustive pre-disturbance inventory of initial conditions.

    It was conceptually a much needed objective evaluation of the impacts of forestry practices and could have provided valuable feed back for validating those practices, or indicating where improvements might be needed.

    All was going smoothly until the sale administrator, applying the usual operating season constraints designed to reduce damage from wet season operations, i.e., soil compaction, erosion, road damage, etc., suspended operations under the normal contract provisions.

    At that point, the the cadre of "scientists" under whose auspices the whole unholy logging activity was being conducted in the name of an objective evaluation of standard practices, went ballistic. Extension of operations was demanded into a period of wet winter weather, outside the Normal Operating Season, and contrary to standard contract practices. Seems that the worthy scientists stubbed their toes on the damned realities of weather, budget constraints and fiscal year programming that the rest of the unwashed outfit struggles with year in and year out.

    Their schedule called for completing logging in the affected units that year, and to hell with the impacts on the ground, or the effects on the objectivity of the study's outcomes.

    This is the wonderful new world of "scientific forestry" brought to US by the enlightened manipulation of the agency under Bill Clinton.


    Sorry if this ran overlong.

  62. Doug, you're testing my patience.

    What's happened? Did Sonia give you some nookie and relieve your prurient stress levels?

  63. One could just as easily ask who is testing whose patience.
    I'm starting to wonder if you are aware of Pelosi's sub minimum wage enterprises.

  64. Be more specific.

    The vineyard workers, or the hotel maids and busboys?

  65. Jeeze, now he's googling Thai Plastic Surgery Shops.

  66. I recognize when I've met my match on some of this forest stuff, details and all, with LinearThinker.

    Therefore, I withdraw a bit, and, cool my wounds, and take time to think things over.

    I insist, however, the national forest are a good thing for us all.

  67. Amen to that, al-Bob.
    We got Teddy and that Photographer Dude on our side, too.

  68. Ansel Adams

    One of the earliest practitioners of trick photography.

    A pioneer in the use of selective photo lab filtration to bring out unnatural photogenic qualities.

    Too bad he died before Photoshop.

  69. Still missing that Tuna Refefernce, Linear?

  70. "Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm,
    is rich forever."
    John Muir

  71. Starkist, it is.
    Let's see what Starkist/Pelosi has to offer.

  72. Bring it over to the next thread, Doug.