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Somebody brought this comment to my attention. It’s posted over on Fred’s blog.

Eric Kirk is a conservative. Eric Kirk is no Democrat. Eric Kirk gave himself away on his own blog when he tried to say that Mike Thompson is a member of the Progessive Caucus. No legitimate Democrat could possibly be that clueless. Come out of the closet Eric Kirk. You are a Republican!

It’s a keeper. Even better than a comment I got a few months ago.

Eric Kirk is just another pot smoking Gallegos clone

How many pot smoking Gallegos clones are there?

I think I’m going to put together a collection – sort of a best hits. They date back to my very second blog post, again over at Fred’s, back in May. Two posts, and somebody says:

You’re losing your credibility with every post Eric.

What can I say? I work fast.

In an odd twist in the Scooter Libby trial, a handwritten memo from the VP’s office seems to imply at least knowledge on the part of the president about the personal attacks on Wilson/Plame that has been denied. From the Truthout article by Jason Leopold and Marc Ash.

But Cheney’s notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby’s perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush’s vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame’s undercover role with the CIA?


Last week, Libby’s attorney Theodore Wells made a stunning pronouncement during opening statements of Libby’s trial. He claimed that the White House had made Libby a scapegoat for the leak to protect Karl Rove – Bush’s political adviser and “right-hand man.”

“Mr. Libby, you will learn, went to the vice president of the United States and met with the vice president in private. Mr. Libby said to the vice president, ‘I think the White House … is trying to set me up. People in the White House want me to be a scapegoat,'” said Wells.

Cheney’s notes seem to help bolster Wells’s defense strategy. Libby’s defense team first discussed the notes – written by Cheney in September 2003 for White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan – during opening statements last week. Wells said Cheney had written “not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy that was asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of incompetence of others”: a reference to Libby being asked to deal with the media and vociferously rebut Wilson’s allegations that the Bush administration knowingly “twisted” intelligence to win support for the war in Iraq.

However, when Cheney wrote the notes, he had originally wrote “this Pres.” instead of “that was.”

During cross-examination Tuesday morning, David Addington was asked specific questions about Cheney’s notes and the reference to President Bush. Addington, former counsel to the vice president, was named Cheney’s chief of staff – a position Libby had held before resigning.

“Can you make out what’s crossed out, Mr. Addington?” Wells asked, according to a copy of the transcript of Tuesday’s court proceedings. “It says ‘the guy’ and then it says, ‘this Pres.’ and then that is scratched through,” Addington said.

“OK,” Wells said. “Let’s start again. ‘Not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy …’ and then what’s scratched through?” Wells asked Addington again, attempting to establish that Cheney had originally wrote that President Bush personally asked Libby to beat back Wilson’s criticisms.

“T-h-i-s space P-r-e-s,” Addington said, spelling out the words. “And then it’s got a scratch-through.”

“So it looks like ‘this Pres.?'” Wells asked again.

“Yes sir,” Addington said.

As such, Cheney’s notes would have read “not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.” The words “this Pres.” were crossed out and replaced with “that was” out, but are still clearly legible in the document.

Seems odd that Cheney would have left the memo intact, but if looking at the whole memo you’ll note he was writing at the bottom of a memo to him which I’m assuming came from Scott McClellan since Cheney’s notes were intended for him. The VP stamp at the top of the page may have made it a firm record already. But then why didn’t he scribble it out more thoroughly?

So far nothing in the mainstream media that I can find, but I just did a cursory Google check. It is a bit speculative as to its significance. But at minimum, it raises a serious question.

The photos are from Truthout. Click on them to enlarge.

Hey, why not January? Two days before the Iowa caucus? I do object to the fact that two states which are 99 percent white set the tone for the whole primary season.

But this guy at San Francisco’s Beyond Chron makes the progressive case against moving the primary.

As Ben Franklin said, the definition of “insanity” is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Once again, California politicians complain that our state never gets to choose a presidential nominee because the race is over by the time it gets here. Now the state legislature wants to push up our presidential primary even earlier than before – in the vain hope that we will decide from a wide-open field in 2008. But other states have the same idea too and we may end up having a national primary on February 5th – only one week after New Hampshire. While a February primary could be seen as a boon for progressive activists, the subsequent low-turnout June election poses grave risks, particularly given the attempt to qualify a statewide initiative to ban rent control.

The February primary is a bad idea for many reasons, and California should not fuel the madness. First, it is unlikely that California will get to decide the outcome of the presidential race, even with an earlier primary. Second, a front-loaded schedule puts insurgent candidates at an insurmountable disadvantage, virtually guaranteeing that the establishment candidate (i.e., Hillary Clinton) will win. Third, pushing the whole primary schedule further back forces candidates to campaign even earlier and raise even more money. Fourth, having two California primaries (the presidential one in February and the legislative one in June) will help right-wing propositions sail through in a low-turnout election.


Already, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is gathering signatures to place a “son” of Proposition 90 on the ballot – probably for June 2008. While its language makes it sound less extreme than Prop 90, it is actually worse because of its retroactive effect and would eliminate rent control in California. The religious right will also try to place an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot – it would also likely be voted on in June 2008.

California’s a very blue state – but past elections have shown that a low turnout can pass right-wing propositions. In March 2000, California had a low statewide turnout — the average voter’s age was fifty – and the state passed a legislative ban on gay marriage (Proposition 22) and a drastic juvenile justice initiative (Proposition 21) by healthy margins.


From the Times Standard:

Federal fisheries and wildlife agencies stuck to their guns in a final demand to require Klamath River hydropower dam owner Pacificorp to install ladders for salmon and other fish if it wants a renewed license to operate.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service’s stance on providing ways for fish to get above the dams to spawning grounds that have been cut off for decades changed little since its draft report last year. The agencies also issued a scalding indictment of Pacificorp’s proposal to trap fish and truck them above and below the dams instead.

Advocates for removing the four dams in question believe the order may grease the skids toward a settlement with Pacificorp that would involve tearing the dams out. It would be the largest dam removal project in the country.

Grease the skids?

There’s more through the link. As always, watch out for defamous statements in the article’s comments section.

In fact, recent events have kind of taken the pleasure out of the project for the moment.

The Redwood Times article got it wrong. I’ve received no e-mail. I will continue to make posts about People Productions whenever they’re in a news story I deem important.

I should note that my prediction has come true. The participation in the discussions about the Reggae controversy has dropped since the attorney posts were made here the other night. I was all ready to blame it on them and start up another Reggae conversation to break the spell, but I can’t think of anything new to talk about. It may be that the topic is a bit talked out right now, which would be fine with me.

On the other hand, this thread contains probably the most useful discussion on the topic to date. I don’t have anything to add to the conversation, but if you all want to renew it up here, that works for me.

I’ve a few things on the backburner, which I may finish and post in the morning if I get the chance.

In the meantime, the teachers got their raise (yay!). Gallegos hired a new investigator. And Mexicans and Arabs going to invade America (it’s on TV, it must be true).

I’m sure you can find something to talk about in there.

Addendum: Sam the Soundman sounds off over at Bob D.’s blog. He explains why he joined the exodus of coordinators. It also represents the first use I’ve seen of the inevitable play on words with “Boots.” I’m surprised it took this long.

Early this morning Noelle McBride gave birth to a boy. She and Tony Frasier, the father, have not yet decided upon a name. The boy joins a family which includes daughters Seora and Iana.

Tony is the owner of Island Boy sauces, which are available in local stores, which by the way gives 10 percent of its profits to education and sustainable agriculture projects in Jamaica. My personal favorite is the Irie Ginger!

Update: I just met the baby tonight. Doesn’t look like Winston Churchill.

For Immediate Distribution
29 January 2007

Redway, CA – January 2007
Institute for Sustainable Forestry (ISF)

ISF’s Recent Study Shows the Long-Term Financial Advantages of Community Forestry on Maxxam’s Scotia Pacific properties: Despite up-front costs, ecologically-responsible management returns higher economic rewards than industrial forestry model over 60 year period.

Much of the current debate surrounding Pacific Lumber Company (PL) and Scotia Pacific’s (Scopac) recent bankruptcy filing is focused on the funds extracted from the company and environmental considerations in elements of its Headwaters deal. This debate is a losing strategy for Humboldt County.

PL management takes the position that approval of key THPs by the California State Water Board (SWB) will provide access to additional inventory that will enable PL to sustain its operations and retire the company’s debt. Yet increased harvest of standing inventory on the Scopac properties will do nothing to increase the future yields necessary to make payments 10 or 20 years from now. This strategy is unsustainable in both environmental and economic terms.

In their efforts to defend the terms of the Headwaters agreement and the SWB’s rulings on PL THP’s environmental groups like BACH, EPIC and HWC take the position that PL’s financial difficulties arise from its highly leveraged financial position and profit taking by PL’s parent company Maxxam.

Both sides in the current debate express a commitment to long-term financial and environmental sustainability. Neither side articulates an economically and ecologically viable strategy to create a profitable and sustainable financial structure for PL properties.

It’s time for efforts to resolve this dispute to focus on creating the financial mechanisms, policy instruments and ownership structures that will enable new owners and investors, committed to conservation values as well as long-term productivity, to make the necessary financial commitments.

ISF’s “Limited Appraisal and Valuation of Scotia Pacific Timberland and Timber” (

A recent study released by the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Forestry (ISF) makes it clear that neither the Community Forestry Model nor the Traditional Timber Management Model has the potential to retire PL’s current bonded debt over the next 30 years.

Figure 1: The difference in harvest revenues over time between traditional industrial forestry and the ecologically-responsible ‘community forestry’ model. (Click on the graph to enlarge).

ISF’s appraisal values the Scopac properties three different ways: it evaluates comparable sales of similar timber properties and it compares discounted cash flows based on traditional timber management as well as environmentally friendly “community forestry” standards.

ISF’s evaluation demonstrates the long-term financial advantages of an ecologically-responsible “Community Forest Management Model.” Using the Maxxam’s Scotia Pacific properties as a case study, forestry consultants at BBW Associates found that this balanced, environmentally-sensitive approach to forestry would generate $1.1 billion more income than traditional industrial timber management over a 60-year period, but will also require significant up-front capital investment to ensure fiscal sustainability over the first 20 years.

Managing Scopac properties based on community forestry standards offers significant benefits in both economic and ecological terms:

• Increased late seral stage stand conditions from 12% to 54% of the overall acreage in the first 30 years, 100% in 60 years.

• $3 billion in long-term debt-free income over the second 30 years – double the long-term income and local economic impact of the Traditional Timber Management Model in the same period.

• Steady increases in forest inventories and productivity throughout 60+ years that will position Scopac properties to maximize their biological capacity to meet a significant proportion of California’s lumber needs on an economically and environmentally sustainable long-term basis.

• Steady increases in the provision of ecosystem services throughout 60+ years including carbon storage, water quality and in-stream and upslope wildlife habitat.

However, strategies aimed at that rebuilding an economically and ecologically viable operation will require a reduction in harvest volumes, and income, over the next two decades.

Now is the time for efforts to resolve these issues to focus on creating the financial mechanisms, policy instruments and ownership structures that will enable new owners and investors, committed to conservation values as well as long-term productivity, to make the necessary financial commitments.

For further information contact ISF at 707-923-7004 or at

PO Box 1580
Redway, CA 95560

I may have more to say the New Republic article tomorrow, but I find some of the points interesting enough for discussion on their own. It’s basically a study of the right wing think tank studies which have resulted in conclusions about systematic exclusion of conservative faculty and ideas on college campuses. I’ll throw together some thoughts in the morning. Here are some highlights.

Professors are all Democrats, except those who are communists. Professors all hate Bush. Professors favor like-minded students and love converting those who love God, country and the president. You’ve read all the claims and more, in right-leaning blogs and columns. Frequently, these claims are based on studies — many have been released in the last two years — of professors. Party registration is documented, or professors respond to surveys, or syllabus content is rated.

A new study being released today aims to debunk all of those studies. “The ‘Faculty Bias’ Studies: Science or Propaganda,” takes eight of the recent studies on faculty politics and judges them by five general tests of social science research. Today’s study finds that the eight all come up short in adhering to research standards. The new study was sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and the work was conducted by John B. Lee, an education researcher and consultant who said that once the AFT commissioned the work, it did not restrict his approach or findings in any way.


Lee’s analysis finds some support for the first theme. “Taken together, these studies at best suggest that college faculty members are more likely to be Democrats than Republicans,” he writes. However, even on this theme, he notes that the studies tend to exclude community college faculty members and to focus on faculty at elite institutions — probably skewing the results.

The second theme takes a more thorough beating in the study. “Among the most serious claims the authors make is that this liberal dominance results in systematic exclusion of conservative ideas, limited promotion opportunities for conservative faculty, and expression in the classroom of liberal perspectives that damage student leaning,” Lee writes. “These claims, however, are not supported by the research. Basic methodological flaws keep a critical reader from accepting the conclusions suggested by the authors.”

The flaw Lee identifies most frequently with this theme is one in which researchers note a correlation and — in Lee’s opinion — then see a causal relationship without sufficient evidence that one exists.


The new AFT study looks at eight studies, including some that have attracted substantial attention (both praise and criticism), such as work published in 2005 in The Forum that analyzed faculty attitudes at four-year institutions and concluded that conservatives, practicing Christians and women are less likely than others to get faculty jobs at top colleges. That study was based on a survey of 1,643 faculty members. Other studies looked at faculty attitudes in certain disciplines or at certain institutions.

Some of the studies were prompted by specific events, such as the American Council of Trustees and Alumni’s “How Many Ward Churchills?,” which analyzed class materials online at top institutions and found that the controversial Colorado professor’s ideas — which have been in the news while his university has considered whether to fire him — are shared by many professors. Some of the reports are by social scientists, published in peer-reviewed journals. Others were issued by associations that are players in the culture wars of academe.


Lee said that to test the validity of the studies, he wanted standards that could not be considered partisan, so he used a 2006 statement by the White House Office of Management and Budget about objectivity in research. Based on that statement, he asked five questions about each of the faculty bias studies:

  • Can another researcher with a different perspective replicate the results using the information provided by the author?
  • Are the definitions used in the studies clear enough?
  • Does the research eliminate alternative explanations for the results?
  • Do the conclusions follow logically from the evidence?
  • Has the author guarded against assumptions that could introduce systematic bias into the study?

Using this framework, Lee gives the studies failing grades. Four studies had data that could be replicated, and he gave three studies acceptable reviews on clarity of terms, but it was downhill from there, and he argues that none of the reports can truly back up their contentions.


Another theme he returns to over and over again is one of demonstrating (or not) causal relationships. He notes that there are many explanations for political trends and demographics among the professoriate, so it is unfair to assume that a liberal tilt (assuming one exists) reflects bias. He notes, for example, that the studies do not explore whether there could be non-political explanations.

This last point is salient I think. The conservative pundits quoting the studies simply point out that the history, sociology, and literature departments tend to be dominated by liberals, without reference to the ideological makeup of business administration or engineering departments. They point out how many liberals are hired compared to conservatives, but they provide no ratios for the applicants. Maybe there are correllations between ideology and actual interest in various disciplines.

The conservative response might not contain much substance, but it is certainly abundant in vehemence.

Anne Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (which issued two of the reports reviewed), criticized the AFT for commissioning the study. Via e-mail, she said: “Faced with mountains of evidence from ACTA and others documenting a troubling lack of professionalism in the academy, AFT chooses, instead, to shoot the messenger. In doing so, far from undermining ACTA, it discredits itself. AFT’s study is severely flawed. It is filled with inaccurate and tendentious interpretations — for instance, framing the debate in terms of politics rather than professional standards outlined by ACTA; applying irrelevant ’scientific’ standards to textual analysis; and offering such shoddy research that the sections on ACTA totally confuse and conflate two different reports, rendering the critique invalid, even laughable.“

Got this from Bob Doran’s reggae blog.

This press release came Monday Afternoon, Jan. 29:


Please note that this year’s Reggae on the River festival will take place on August 3rd, 4th, and 5th at French’s Camp in Piercy, California. Any rumors you may have heard to the contrary are false.

The Mateel Community Center and its board of directors, together with the new production company 2b1 Multimedia, look forward to another excellent year at Reggae on the River® 2007. A major shout out of thanks and recognition goes out to all of our supporters who come from all walks of life. Reggae on the River® is more than a destination. It is a cultural idea.

In The Spirit of Unity. Peace.
Yvonne Hendrix
Press Coordinator
Reggae on the River

What seemed significant was the location — “at French’s Camp” — not on the Dimmick Ranch.

Bob’s comments are in italic, and I agree, the wording is significant. Not sure what it means in the big picture, but maybe they’re just deciding to let Tom off the hook and work with somebody who wants to work with them. The drama continues.

Update: I’m hearing on the grapevine that the wording of the post was in error. Developing.

Jo-Ellen Clark Petersen interviewed me last week as part of her voices in the community series. It was before the deluge, so it seems like ancient history. However, some of the subject matter was ironically very pertinent to recent events on this blog. And thanx no doubt to the excellent editing of Jo-Ellen I actually sounded articulate!

It’ll be aired again tomorrow morning, probably around 8:20. I think I was the last story. You might want to listen at 8:00 however as she also conducted an excellent interview with Justin Crellin of the Mateel about Saturday night’s event. The good news is that the Mateel will be opening again soon, at least for the time being.

I was actually interviewed briefly on KHUM this morning, and I’m going to be interviewed again at about 9:30 tomorrow morning on KSLG – all about the current Sohum tribulations. My 15 minutes have apparently arrived.


January 2007