Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fairview Gardens: Where Environmental Values and Economic Values Don't Mix, Do They?

I wonder when environmentalists and union members will meet. In my lifetime?

It would make a powerful movement and could get a Democrat elected President -- maybe Barack Obama is attracting both if he could just meet with John Edwards and bring it all together. Then again, is Clinton not as far away from Edwards as I thought?

The face of change is increasingly about who has the extra couple of delegates and the Southern and rural vote. Ironically, John Edwards being a white male was his downfall but perhaps will work brilliantly to his benefit. What say you?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama sucks. That is what I say. If he wins the Dem nomination, I am voting eagerly for McCain.

2/12/2008 9:00 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Is this subject post about Fairview Gardens or national politics?

The first comment fully supports the votes and overwhelming lead of Pledged Delegates for why Anonymous comments should violate Party rules.

2/12/2008 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama can't bring anything together, because the votes in the Dem election are breaking down purely on gender, race and ethnicity, and not on any flexible philosophical and political differences that can be bargained into a compatible whole.

Something deep is very wrong with this election when experience, political philosophy and credentials are so carelessly thrown aside, and replaced with strict voting breakdowns on race, ethnicity and gender only. As if nothing else matters.

And maybe that is the lesson that is more important than the economy, our world position, and feckless leaders with training wheels. It is the lesson from the OJ Simpson trial: perception is more important than truth.

Obama gets the impatient uninvolved youth, blacks, and white men.

Clinton gets seniors, white women, Hispanics and Asians and party regulars.

McCain gets the rest of the white men.

What does this tell us really about what is going on in our country? These consitent voter demographic splits go well beyond someone's position on the war.

How can any of them bring any of these distinct, non-political polarized groups together?

Obama is just as likely to fail, as they claim Clinton would. Because the voter rift is deep and dark and unspoken. All it can do now is come out and explode in our faces, as our countries real troubles worsen in this current exorcism on race, gender and ethnicity.

McCain has neither the talent or energy to be more than a status quo shareholder. He is the last Hurrah of the old order.

If no candidate can make serious inroads into these polarized distint gender, race and ethnicity splits before the nomination, there is no healing after.

I think you can bet white men across party lines will vote for McCain, so all you get is not a healed nation but 4 more years of Republicanism.

I am sorry Obama has already split this nation with his arrogant and greedy song and dance "hope" show, putting himself first and everyone else second. That is not how a healer works. I have not seen him once address these issues. He is as vacuous as Geo Bush was during his campaigns. All slogans and no substance.

Obama actually inspires very few people other than those already narrow constituencies, who seem more interested in sticking it to someone else, than sticking together. He exists in a polarized echo chamber. He is not a national candidate.

He is the creation of a narrow special interest group on superficial qualities only.

Those who are ready to bolt and pout, if they don't get their way is how they come across. This is not a crowd that inspires healing. This is a crowd that inspires fear and retribution at any cost.

Obama is the divisive one, and yet again we will be stuck with a split nation and not between Dems and Republicans. But this time between gender, race and ethnicity.

Obama has polarized the race issue. Clinton has polarized the gender issues. Neither can heal. One can only be out-numbered in this sort of race. That is not healing. That is mob rule.

But as they say, we always get the government we deserve.

Selling out to Obama's narrow and divisive appeal as a Democratic nominee will invariably lead to four more Republican white male years. Clinton would lose too because male fear and hatred of women also runs deep.

I hope we do not fail to see this emerging lesson. Only then could we finally start healing. Men don't want a woman as their leader. And ultimately white men of all political persuasions don't want a black man as leader either.

Anyway you cut it, women again are getting screwed in America, just as much as blacks. And that needs to come out of the closet because we are not the greatest nation on this planet. We are among the most backwards when it comes to race and gender politics.

2/12/2008 9:59 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks FDS -- yes, Florida and Michigan should get to vote again. Premiere Anon should have given us a bit more...

The post is a micro look at what what is going on in national politics. Worker housing and homeowner rights versus organic environmentalism? Sounds like a battle royale and one very like what is happening in the Democratic Party.

The problem is that the people that are really saying something are immediately ignored and don't end up with a voice -- because they don't look like change. Let's see who has their voice heard loudest on Fairview Avenue, hunh?

2/12/2008 10:23 PM  
Anonymous alternative to Hillary trolls said...

If anything, the story about Fairview Gardens and their illegal on-site worker housing with no sewer connection really is a story about illegal immigration and no federal will to enforce existing immigration laws and how the agricultural industry is totally, totally addicted to illegal immigration.

Wank away on that, endless stream of Anonymous warriors.

2/12/2008 10:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

To anon 9:59pm I say "Bravo!"

Probably one of the most articulate, insightful and intelligent posts I've ever read on this or any other local blog.

I tip my hat to you. You are 1000% right on!

2/12/2008 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is so inspirational about yurts and ratty trailers with no toilets and running water? Get rid of them. Is this the picture of sustainable America you want me to buy into?

2/12/2008 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Republican I am enjoying watching the Democrats fight about nothing and basically waste time, money and attention on nothing but who is most liberal and who likes girls the most and who is most popular with people of different colors.

How about fighting about ideas not gender or race. How about telling us what you stand for rather than who you stand for. How about telling us how you will defend our nation in an unannounced world war by the Islamics. How about telling us your solution to energy and climate change.

The Dems are so caught up in who they are and who supports them that they cannot share one new idea or solution and this summer they will tear one another apart as the Clintons will be carried out of the convention in hand cuffs or on their supporters shoulders as the winners, and in November either Obama's voters stay home or Clinton voters vote for McCain.

For once the Republicans picked the right candidate for the right time.

2/13/2008 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire process as exciting as it seems is showing the uncomfortable underbelly of the party. Obama excites but his wins in caucuses are suspect since participation there is left to whoever shows up and shouts loudest usually wins ( look at our own city council for the microcosm of that).

Clinton to date has been winning the votes cast (of course Obama has momentum so that could change) but she is not exciting people the way he is whether this is good or not remains to be seen since the actual numbers of the excited may not mean anything in the general election because that definately will not be a caucus.

As for Florida and Michigan they both had a huge turnout and why shouldnt their votes count? Isnt that the DNC acting like the Supremes in 2000 with the screw you one more time ballad being sung by Howard Dean. If the people of Florida chose to vote then who gave the DNC the right to say only by our rules and if thats the case shouldnt they pay for the election rather than the taxpayer, wouldnt that only be fair?

Its only getting uglier and with the racebaiting/gender baiting, rules imposition from above, split among the base the party nationally is starting to look more like the GOP with their conservative - moderate wars that ruin it for them here in California. Lets hope it gets better soon because if its a brokered convention the GOP will probably win again and if the argument of pledged delegates with wins versus popular vote continues it dosent seem hopeful.

I hope somebody wins decisively in Texas, Ohio and PA.

2/13/2008 12:37 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

You know 9:59, I was going along with you till the last paragraphs. You fall into the same trap as all bigots. You deign to judge people by their gender and race. As if you could possibly know that all men hate women and all whites hate blacks and all Americans hate immigrants. I deign to judge you as a prime example of what's wrong with the political discourse in this country.

Not surprizing though considering the professional journalist feed this beast every day by showing the stats and parsing the vote in terms of gender, race et al. Makes good copy and sells newspapers. Not a bit of bias there.

You want change?

Scrap the grossly corrupt two party system. Reapportion the Senate by population as states rights don't matter any more. The Jack Booted DEA is a perfect example.

Make the Attorney General and the Supreme Courts elected offices.

Outlaw any type of ordained or professed religeous leader from holding public office.

Make primary and secondary education the highest priority ahead of all entitlement programs.

Cap injury lawsuits and make lawyers share the cost if they lose, not just gain when they win.

Make all forms of corporate malfeasance a criminal act and cap executive pay.

I agree with you Sara, that Edwards lost out because he physically resembled Bush but his real downfall was he tried to talk intelligently to the people about real economic disparity and most people are to ignorant to understand him and they'd rather vote with their emotions than their brains.

People in this country would rather listen to some bimbo on the View wonder if the world is round and tsk tsk skanks like Lohan, Hilton, Moss and Winehouse and gawk at 5000 pictures of Spears' cellulite plastered ass...and we know the professional journalist love to feed that beast too.

2/13/2008 6:02 AM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

To Anon 9:59: What a load of garbage. Your statements have little factual basis. Sure, you're right that blacks favor Obama, just as white men favor McCain and women favor Clinton. If you think that's going to change in some national moment of political clarity, you're really out of touch with reality.

You use the words "divisive", "polarized", "arrogant" and "greedy" to describe Obama. This sounds to me like the pent-up prejudice you ascribe to everyone else. Obama is running his campaign without race involvement. Others outside, like you, try to bring that in. His message is inclusion, but you seem too jaded by politics to accept that at face value.

And to say that he is supported by narrow voting blocs is just wrong factually. Read the paper this morning; look at the blowout numbers from all demographic groups.

Obama has tapped into the wide dissatisfaction with politics-as-usual. When you listen to him it's not an embarrassing campaign speech that you've heard from every candidate for the past 40 years.

If you've lost hope for the possibility of positive change, that doesn't mean there's no hope left.

2/13/2008 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Go Obama! said...

Wow. You Obama bashers couldn't have it more wrong. You Democrat bashers have it just backwards. The Dems are not fighting much over policy because Obama and Clinton are pretty darn close on the big ticket issues, and whoever gets the nod will be president(Seriously. McCain? Come on...) so we can all look forward to universal health care and taxes on the upper class to pay off Bush's war and get our troops home by 2010 regardless of who gets the nomination. Yay!

I've yet to meet a fellow Dem that isn't ecstatic about having two amazing candidates to choose from and agrees: even if my candidate loses, I'll happily cast my vote for yours for President.

Now, that may be simplistic, but anon 9:59's rant makes a number of claims that are completely false. For instance, Obama's primary sweep over the weekend revealed that voters of all age, gender, class, race, and color are voting for him. He's not particularly divisive, although all candidates are to some measure. But Obama? He has about much universal appeal as is possible, my friend, and the primaries are a testament to this.

Also, anon 9:59, riddle me this: Of Obama, you write -

"He is the creation of a narrow special interest group on superficial qualities only."

Oh really? What is the narrow interest and what is the group? And I'm asking seriously. If you're going to make such broad and unsubstantiated claims, you'd better be able to back them up.

Go Obama!

2/13/2008 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Beltway voters are heavily black. Wash DC is primarily all black. Virigina and Maryland are still in the sphere of southern black states Do you get out much?

Making inroads into black women and poor blacks are not taking Clinton's base - it is just more of the same old, same old blacks voting for Obama because he is black and not because he is the best candidate.

You can't spin this one away. Barack's stump speech is getting very old because he cannot point to a single thing he has done on a national level, including showing up for his own Committee on Foreign Relations meetings.

Let the Republicans finally put him through the public vetting process instead of this Stick it to Hillary (aka: we really hate/fear women) media bash he misinterprets as support for his dog and pony show.

He creeps me out and his rabid supporters will alienate the rest of sober Americans. It is the 1960's all over again and Obama is the new McGovern.

No one is bashing Obama because he is black because there is no reason to. But people are supporting him because he is black, and that is demeaning to the entire political process.

Just as supporting Clinton only because she is a woman or McCain only because he is a white male. And that is really what this election is all about. Nothing in Obama's canned message inspires me and I see no way he can heal an America he has so little understanding or contact with.

2/13/2008 7:35 AM  
Anonymous worker bee said...

I doubt Anon 7:35AM is interested in the facts, but check it:

From Wikipedia:

2005 Washington D.C. Demographics:

39 Percnet White, 58 percent black.

2005 Maryland Demographics:

70 percent white, 30 percent black.

2005 Virginia Demogrpahics:

75 percent white, 21 percent black.

From CNN:

Obama did well with Democrats across race and gender lines Tuesday night, and seems to be eating away at Clinton's backbone of support: women.

According to exit polls out of Virginia and Maryland, Obama won roughly 60 percent of the female vote -- a demographic that has carried Clinton to success in past primaries. Clinton fared worse among men -- more than two-thirds in both states chose Obama.

Meanwhile, Obama scored his highest percentage of African-American support to date, winning close to 90 percent of that voting bloc in each state.

The two evenly split the white vote in Virginia, while Clinton slightly beat Obama among whites in Maryland.

In most past primaries, Clinton has held an edge among white voters. Tuesday, Obama even beat Clinton among Latino voters, a group that has heavily favored Clinton in most past primaries.

People of all kinds are supporting Obama, whether you believe it or not. And remember: Obama is not the first black man to run for office. Black voters have not historically voted for the black candidate. It just happens the black candidate is a world class leader this time around. But either way, it's hard to blame them for showing some solidarity. 1965 was not that long ago.

2/13/2008 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the comment of 9:59 anonymous.

Wow. You really have it in for white men! Let me ease your burden and deny your contention.

This white man is voting Obama and I am a "pro-stay with it in Iraq citizen with a son in the fight (front page story in the Newssupress) who also detests "Arlington West" and free city parking for Code Pink in Berkeley.

I think hmmm "Lincoln-like" when I hear Obama. One last point, SA 1 is very astute when he says the following about your post:

"You know 9:59, I was going along with you till the last paragraphs. You fall into the same trap as all bigots. You deign to judge people by their gender and race. As if you could possibly know that all men hate women and all whites hate blacks and all Americans hate immigrants. I deign to judge you as a prime example of what's wrong with the political discourse in this country."

Don Jose

2/13/2008 10:02 AM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

To Anon 9:59 and 7:35: I assume you are the same anon:

You can’t just spew out this stuff without regard to facts. And your offensive statement that: “it is just more of the same old, same old blacks voting for Obama because he is black and not because he is the best candidate” completely disregards reality. You ask us to look at Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Okay. Have you looked at 9 contiguous Midwestern states that Obama has won? And ultraconservative Idaho? Or Maine? Or Washington? These aren’t the “same old blacks” you think are his main support. Even Virginia, which you cite as proof, has less than 20% black population. So even if you eliminated every black voter, Obama would have easily beaten Clinton.

Yeah, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but the opinion doesn’t count for much when there’s no facts behind it. If you don’t like Obama, fine, but don’t contribute to the misinformation. And you don’t need to manufacture race as an issue—the Republican party will start to handle that one for you very soon now that Obama is in front.

2/13/2008 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John SR

Its a fact only the hardcore turn out for primary caucuses, most people who actually go and vote dont go to caucuses therefore its not a accurate sample of actual voters and demographic trends. Mrs Clinton was doing better in primaries where actual votes were cast, however yesterdays actual primaries may be showing a change for the better for Obama in terms of proving he can win across the demographics.

However to act like its all going good when one candidate cant get a organization to win a caucus and the other cant win popular votes in the big states CA, NY, FL (and before you say FL dosent count look at the amount of people who voted and reconsider) is to be out of touch with reality.

Personally Im fine with either but very nervous about where this could go. Oh well this is probably my last post anyways isnt tomorrow the cut off :)

2/13/2008 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stick by my guns here. Race, gender and ethnicity are playing too strong of a role in voters choices in the Democratic nomination process.

Run the numbers and get back to me. Exceptions do not make the rule.

And quit just belly-aching only about the black vote and Obama. Clinton is getting screwed by the anti-woman vote too as much as she is being helped by the pro-woman vote.

It is time for either Obama or Clinton to be able to stand alone on issues and away from gender, race or ethnic consituencies and stand decidedly and uniquely on neutral issues.

But they can't, so up to this point the votes continue to break down along gender, race and ethnicity. It is too bad Obama did not care more for the Democratic party than he does for himself and settle for a VP position and let the Dems have a chance for 16 years of good behavior. His take no prisoners attitude of wanting it all now or nothing is what is splitting this party apart.

He is too extreme to be a national candidate and stop thinking the support he gets in the primaries that cater to the extremes of a party are going to get him elected nationwide when faced with real opposition.

Obama is only lying when he claims he "voted" against the war and that makes him unique. Yeah, tell me again if Colin Powell had double-teamed him had he actually been in the Senate when that vote was taken, which way he in fact would have voted. And get back to me on that one too.

A few votes in marginal caucuses in small states which are increasingly suspect monitors of actual voter opinion do not win your argument.

But your arguements do underscore the rabidness of the Obama camp. It has become a cult and you fail to grasp the subtlties of this argument in your rush to defend, strike out and wound.

Will you support Senator Clinton if Senator Obama does not get the Democratic nomination?

And to tell the truth, I will have a hard time supporting Obama simply because I have have learned to loathe his supporters.

2/13/2008 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is Obama going to bring change when he hasn't changed anything so far? Pleasse do not respond with any reference to race, gender or ethnicity.

Please respond with examples of substantive change he can solely point to that he brought to the table:

1. Energizing youth to bombard caucuses and not stick around is one - I concede that one.

2. Translating "Si peudes" from the farmworkers movement into English "Yes, we can" is another. (Is this an ethnic issue response?)

What can we do with him that we could not do with any other candidate?

(No references to gender, race or ethnicity in your answers)

2/13/2008 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Trolling said...

Could the Trolls for Hillary at least try to mention the chickens at Fairview Gardens?

Do something to appear like you all are not the hired flamer working on a computer from a basement in Ohio.

2/13/2008 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama hugely outspent Clinton in the Beltway states - more ads over a longer period of time. That is what tweaked Clinton's increasingly solid base.

Nothing that can't be repaired. And also shows Obama "support" beyond his own race support can be bought and is not that strong.

You will need to show a lot more than a few extra purchased votes in the Beltway to prove you have a national candidate with any real substance or staying power.

2/13/2008 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As actual reports about caususes are starting to come in, these look more like endurance contests than valid registries of a state's vote.

Sure, Obama can pack them with his grass-roots cadres, overwhelm the system with numbers and make it daunting for others to stick it out and be counted.

But you can not get past the fact caucus vote states in no way, shape or form are representative of who or how a state as a whole will go.

Building the Obama argument upon caucus states is building it on very shifting sands.

The worst reports are those where the Obama people rushed in, voted and split. Leaving the actual work to the party stalwarts who had to stick around until delgates were assigned.

This often left Clinton supporters to be turned into nominal Obama delegates, because of the squads of Obama supporters only showed up to stuff the ballot box, but did not stick around to do the work.

Take note, Obama people, this is how your "movement" is coming across -- it is looking worse than a very bad night of speed dating.

Too bad your bedtime stories did not include the Tortise and the Hare.

2/14/2008 1:59 PM  
Blogger John Quimby said...

Get the facts on Fairview Gardens Farm. Find out how a 12 acre farm which uses no chemical pesticides or fossil fuel fertilizer can support over 300 local families with fresh organic food while paying workers a decent wage.

Find out how many reviews the composting toilet has already passed. Ask yourself why you would flush expensive water down the toilet or spray pesticides into the air when there is an effective alternative.

Ironically, I suspect that the vocal minority represent a greater safety and toxic chemical hazard than a farm toilet. Consider that Pet wastes, toxic "weed n feed" fertilizer, a garage full of sprays, old paint, petroleum by-product and massive trash and water waste is the rule in most suburban homes. And what about crime? It's way higher in the housing tracts.

Fairview Gardens is a great working resource that has pioneered significant programs that feed people and educate many of us about sustainable food production and living well within our means.
It reminds us that food doesn't come from a store. It comes from farmers.

By the way, the average age of the North American farmer is about 57.
We're running out of time to teach the next generation in our country how to feed itself.

2/14/2008 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Fred and Lamont Sanford said...

John Quimby, you are absolutely right. That post is the best, most cogent, well written post that we have ever read on any blog. Kudos!!!

On Obama we're not sure that the book isn't being judged by it's cover, and we're waiting for his Dukakian tank drive.

Here's a little rhyme that Aunt Esther came up with:

John Mc Cain, Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama.
What an election it would be if we'd never heard of OSAMA!

Also, isn't it wonderful that the Navy is going to try to blow something up with one of their missles in the next few days?

Together in patriotism,
Fred and Lamont Sanford

2/14/2008 8:48 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Hey, Fairview Gardens is a great concept. The weird thing is, I mostly get produce from other guys and the farmers' markets. The Fairview stuff is just not as good as other organic stuff. Weird.

It is worrisome that Fairview Gardens got to evade all sorts of County code because real insiders (Buttny, for example) had an insiders' touch with the County.

I wish Buttny et al could have been as ethical as Harold Washington was in Chicago: when he got elected, he treated all Chicago neighborhoods *equally*, knowing that black neighborhoods would see an incredible increase in public services, but white neighborhoods only a modest decrease.

Instead, Buttny and the County showed unbelievable favoritism to the causes they supported. Just made conservatives angrier, and in the end, has smeared Fairview Gardens unnecessarily.

2/15/2008 8:11 AM  
Blogger John Quimby said...


What's weird is how you tied a local organic farm to Harold Washington - but I've gotta give you points for style!

Regarding your comment:

"It is worrisome that Fairview Gardens got to evade all sorts of County code because real insiders (Buttny, for example) had an insiders' touch with the County."

Where did you read that?

The situation at Fairview Gardens Farm predates both Goleta City and current county officers. Fairview was a farm before Buttny was in diapers.

Are you sure you aren't spreading somebody elses' manure?

2/15/2008 7:12 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Buttny worked for Fairview Gardens before he ran for Supervisor but after he was former Supervisor Wallace's aide.....perhaps it means nothing, perhaps it means something.

2/15/2008 7:33 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

And John Buttny worked at Fairview or for Fairview after the election. Matt Dobberteen is a bit of a County insider too.

Look, a farm labor camp without plumbing is a bit odd in a suburban subdivision. Wonder why the SEIU never chewed them out, not to mention the UFW.

John and Matt are good guys, but they tweaked the knobs on County oversight down way, way low. Eventually the City of Goleta has caught up with them.

2/15/2008 10:32 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Not worry JQ, the agri-nazis have got all the instructions programed into the the GPS driven auto tillers, planters, fertilizers, sprinklers, weeders and harvesters. Whatever they miss will get picked up by the rent-a-field hands.

We don't need no stinkin' farmers.

2/17/2008 5:13 AM  
Blogger John Quimby said...


I'll admit I wasn't aware of the connections mentioned above.

The older I get the less I seem to know about a lot of things.
It's bound to make a man cranky from time to time.

So I've made myself a Blogabarbara promise to try and not wander too far away from what I know.

I know that Michael Abelman repeatedly smacked his head in frustration at the difficulty of maintaining just one small piece of farm land in what had been one of the most productive agricultural districts in the world.

I know that I've spent 7 years learning how to farm a few acres of my own. I've learned there's no magic that can make farmers in a generation and we lose more American farmers every day.

I guess that's okay if you like to eat Chinese apples and whatever they're sprayed with.

I don't know about all the issues on the table. What I think I see is the continuing insanity of a county that approves unsustainable designs for development in a land without adequate resources. Another toilet that flushes drinking water is enough to make a thoughtful man wonder.

And so it is that the one imperfect example of a useful way forward is under attack from people who seem to think that conformity is the highest achievement of civilization.

Meanwhile I can't buy gas from Exxon without borrowing money from

A couple of years ago, I heard two old farmers greet one another at a plowing match. One said, "How are ya now?" The other answered loudly, "I've got my health, my land is paid fer and I own all my equipment."

In farm country, that's prosperity.

2/17/2008 11:24 PM  
Anonymous sa1 san said...

"And so it is that the one imperfect example of a useful way forward is under attack from people who seem to think that conformity is the highest achievement of civilization."

Another form seems to be to do as little physical work and mental calculation as possible. Every new product seems to be designed for the least amount of thinking and input to use. Dumb down everything so a fith grader can use it. Bigger market that way. Right?

Don't learn how to read a simple 25 cent map, let the $400 GPS machine tell you audibly so you don't even have to know how to read.

Better video games scores not better baseball scores is what most kids desire. Read a book? Better to watch the latest Hollywood crap movie on the portable or built-in DVD in the car.

How many fathers can even teach their sons how to change a tire on the car. Better to watch a movie and wait for AAA.

Don't get me started on our aversion to "risk" and security. Hence TSA, warning labels of anal discharge, second hand smoke obsession, draconian DUI enforcement, feinting at the peek of a naked breast, weapon searches everywhere, video cams watching everything, gov't wiretaps...

No wonder this is the most obese generation.

Sorry this is a little less organised than I'd like but it all hit me at once and I'm late for the subway...

Sara, I think this would be a good blog topic. How many modern "convieniences" are taking away our natural human abilities.

2/18/2008 2:37 PM  
Blogger John Quimby said...

sa1 - HA HA HA HA HA!

I'm laughing 'cause my kids can't even FIND a video game right now. Seems they forgot to do their homework.

But they are signed up to play baseball this spring. (And dad's getting more workouts playing catch with the kids.) I'm with you on this topic.

2/18/2008 5:35 PM  
Anonymous eric broberg said...

As local boy with fond memories of traipsing about Fairview Gardens, I am outraged by the “improvements” foisted upon the organic farm by the Goleta Planning Commission and “dismayed” neighbors. Of particular concern to me (I won’t discuss here the paternalistic/racist attitude of the neighboring suburbanites towards the farm workers on-site, but that is another important conversation) is the apparently upcoming elimination of Fairview Gardens’ greywater and composting toilet systems in a time when these techniques are becoming more and more appropriate for wider adoption and education. Water and nutrients will now be flushed and piped off the farm, at great cost, into a sewage facility and (polluting) the ocean, instead of re-used to grow organic food and recharge the groundwater. All in the name of “upgrading,” “progress,” and elitist, so-called, “sanitary conditions.” Properly designed compost toilets are completely hygienic and do not smell bad – I’ve sat on quite a few and never had to hold my nose. As long as basic safety rules and common sense are used, the risks associated with a composting toilet system should be no more significant than any other situation where there may be some level of fecal contamination (such as using a water-based toilet, changing baby diapers, taking a bath).
Very few places in the county are experimenting in proper ways to re-use our own nutrients with the safe use of compost toilets. With the rising cost and diminishing supply of fossil fuels, we ought to be looking to these systems as an alternative to petroleum-based fertilizers trucked in from somewhere else. Our own bodies produce nutrients -- right here, right now -- that we can use (again, totally hygienic after composted) to make rich, dark, and fertile soil, instead of thoughtlessly flushing them out to expensive, unnecessary sewage facilities and the ocean. “Upgrading” the compost toilets for flush toilets connected to the sewers is a huge setback in terms of needed education through demonstration, and once again discourages people from establishing appropriate toilets for themselves in a climate of illegalized sustainability.
The need for widespread education about these systems becomes more urgent when one considers the larger picture of the global politics of excrement. Incredible numbers of poor people in the developing world do not have access to toilets or sanitation systems. The result is a vast health problem which causes children, in particular, to contract fatally infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera. Outfitting these slums and rural areas with expensive flush toilets and sewer systems will probably never happen because of the cost. Latrines or septic systems are no alternative. During the wet season they regularly overflow anywhere and everywhere and get into the drinking water. “The obvious solution to removing the problem of fecal matter getting into the drinking water is to build dry compost toilets which are unaffected during the wet season and which anyone with the smallest amount of rudimentary construction skills can build themselves” explains sustainable designer Geoff Lawton.
Compost toilets are the most appropriate solution to this vast global health problem. A contributing reason to why their proper design and construction is not being taught on a large scale is that compost toilets are still viewed by many as unhygienic, and a symptom of “poor living conditions.” The sooner this myth is dispelled in industrialized countries and compost toilets are recognized for their beneficial functions, the sooner they will be adopted in developing countries where the middle and upper classes often mimic the attitudes of their counterparts in the North.
The issue of greywater, in a dry region such as Santa Barbara County, is a no-brainer. Two facts, obtained from Wikipedia: “Simply dumping greywater on the soil, from an ecological standpoint, is less damaging than sending highly treated greywater directly into natural waters” and “There have been no documented cases of greywater-transmitted illness in the U.S.” Other drought-vulnerable, arid areas, such as Australia, have required greywater by law and even set up rebate programs for its implementation. Yet in Goleta, they would rather shoot it out into the ocean. This is ridiculous. Water shortage is a huge issue. Water wars are on everybody’s tongue. Will we be fighting wars in South America for control of the Guarani aquifer while we continue to throw away perfectly re-useable “waste” water?
Honestly, let’s abandon this absurd notion of “progress” that holds its snobby nose against (mis)perceived “unsanitary conditions” and sends us thoughtlessly down a path of thirst, soil nutrient loss and dependence on expensive, polluting sewage systems. For all of us and our future together, I hope that the Goleta City Council, the neighbors of Fairview Gardens, and Fairview Gardens itself can come to their senses on this. Let’s hold them to that.

3/28/2008 5:11 PM  

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