Friday, October 12, 2018

La Plata County Land Use Code - UPDATE - meeting Nov 27, 1:30-4:30

Since this blog was started in order to offer objective information as a counter to some malicious outside interest groups who invaded our community (in particular Koch’s Americans For Prosperity a brainwashing organization dependent on misrepresenting facts in order to fan fabricated fears. For supporting information see bottom of this post.) intend on instigating mistrust and tension amongst neighbors, rather than constrictively supporting our democratic processes that are already set up to deal with the Land Code and issues.

Something everyone has an opinion on and loves complaining about, but when it comes to the nitty gritty of doing the boring work that needs to be done, few show up.  In any event, I figure I should share the following official update.


La Plata County Land Use Code
Policy Input:

La Plata County is working on the land use code revision project as a county-led effort that draws on internal resources, reviews of land use codes from similar counties in Colorado, and existing work products to craft a code that works for La Plata County. There are a number of policy issues that the Board of County Commissioners will give staff direction on how to address in the code revision process. The Board of County commissioners is considering these policy questions and will be providing staff direction after seeking public input on each of the issues, as well as considering best practices from a staff review of land use regulations in six other Colorado counties.

One of the most critical policy topics the Board of County Commissioners will consider is zoning, and we want your input to help guide the direction given to staff on how the revised land use code contemplates zoning. Your input will help inform the Board of County Commissioners decision-making on land use regulations. 

Background documents
Agriculture Plus Zone District (memo)
Overlay Zone Districts (memo)
Euclidean Zoning Policy Considerations (memo)
Zoning Comparison Exercise
Comparative Zoning Model
Potential Problems with Euclidean Zoning (memo)
Policy Consideration for Non-Conformities (memo)
Legal Overview of Zoning's Purpose & Implementation (memo)
Zoning Classification Implications on Tax Assessment (memo)

The board will discuss this topic and take public comment at a work session from 1:30-4:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 27 in the Board Room of the La Plata County Administration Building, 1101 E. 2nd Ave., in Durango.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fruits of our Failures to Engage, McConnell thanks ‘victim clowns’

During a dialogue over at ATTP the following article was introduced with: Can better communication move people from a state of apathy to action on man-made climate change, or will it take a catastrophic Black Swan climate event* to do so?  For more about the apathy problem, read…

It struck me as ironic coming on the heels of yet another profoundly damaging Democratic Party failure.  That is their inability to stop the GOP Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination atrocity against democracy.  It serves as yet another example of avoiding the real issue and talking past each other.  So I selected the following quotes before trying to enunciate what’s missing. 

"Climate change apathy, not denial, is the biggest threat to our planet”
By Leo Barasi, Oct 5, 2018, The Guardian

The easy way to cut emissions – closing coal power stations – is exhausted. Now the public has to be convinced to make sacrifices

“Partisanship is a problem, too. Arguments about climate change are often polarised between left and right, and the public widely see it as a left issue. This is a problem because people are more likely to believe what they hear from those they identify with, and to reject what they hear from others. …”
“And there are more psychological barriers. Cutting emissions requires people to trust authorities to be competent, honest and fair – a tall order at a time when only a third of people say they trust government. …”
“Yet, daunting though these barriers are, they can be beaten with political leadership and honesty. …” (nice, a wave in the general direction of the need for truthfulness, but it still misses the boat)
Begs the question how many ‘Black Swan’ events do we want.  Have you checked in on the running tally over at the Understanding Climate Change channel lately?,

Regarding Senator McConnell gloating: “Mitch McConnell thanks ‘these clowns’ (aka rape victims) for protesting Kavanaugh”  by Kaiser,  October 08, 2018

My response:
I read Barasi’s, can’t disagree with a thing. Although lets be honest that article was simply a repackaging of what’s been written many times, for decades now. It’s as ‘right on’ now as it was in the 90s, the problem is with its omissions.

I could not find a thing addressing the influence of lavishly funded and very methodical, strategic attacks based on deliberately dishonest media campaigns, intent on sowing confusion rather than constructive debate and learning.

You know, all those deliberate campaigns to lie about the facts, all intended to confuse an under-informed and rather apathetic public.  Instead, I’m told to look on the bright side.

I’m told that it would be impolite and only a jerk would dare actually talk right into contrarian faces and directly at their lies. 

Only a jerk would make a point of explaining God is in our minds and hearts and is profoundly personal; that no human has a one on one relationship with god, not now, not ever! That what we have is ego and personal drive to do better and have more. That what we need is each other to keep ourselves honest and moral.

Nope instead I’m told keep it polite, don’t ruffle any feathers. I’m wondering should my example be those old white men/women sitting on the Judiciary Committee who keep within everyone’s comfort zone. 

Even if it meant being incapable of exposing Kavanaugh’s rabid partisanship, which was on full display, threatening promises and all. Then standing up to demand that we recognize that in America, such behavior disqualified a person from judgeship, before anything else is even considered!! But no, our Democrat leaders fold yet again.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Considering Kavanaugh and the failure to communicate

I had an interesting exchange today.  Related to my constant agitating climate science communicators about the need to directly engage contrarians, and just as repeatedly, being rebuffed by the big boys.  See, I've been repeatedly reassured: Climate science contrarians, or for that matter these days die-hard Trump supporters, are a “lost cause” and a distinct minority of the US population.  There’s not much point in interacting with them on social media or elsewhere.    

Seems to me simply looking at the degeneration of our public discourse, and the current attack our governmental agencies makes the folly of that smugness self evident, but evidently not.  Be clear this is about the dialogue on the street, and in media outlets, outside of the scientific community.  

We NEED to DIRECTLY ENGAGE contrarian characters and their arguments and misinformation for many reasons.

How else can we understand our own positions and arguments, if we can’t enunciate them in challenging circumstances?

How can we understand what’s going on within their heads and hearts, if we never actually listen to them?

How can we convince onlookers if we’re afraid to confront and expose the deliberate dishonestly of science's critics?

and so on.

In any event, in an ongoing dialogue at ATTP I responded to a pal's sidestepping non sequitur with the following:

I wrote: "Guess I’ll never get you to discuss my actual content –  blithe dismissal is as far as your interest goes. But, than it seems we’ve turned into a society that rather talk past each other. {Have you checked political polls lately, looks to me like the fruits of our general apathy and that god-awful laziness when it come to actually confronting what the other is trying to express.}"

This prompted his angry complaint: “… your propensity to falsely define me, for example. cc wrote:
"Have you checked political polls lately, looks to me like the fruits of our general apathy and that god-awful laziness when it come to actually confronting what the other is trying to express."
Implicit in your statement is the belief that I am not paying attention to what is going on in US politics. …
I'm sharing my response mainly because it drifts into the current Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination which serves as a perfect example of the fruits of intellectual's benign neglect of the lower classes, and which has been weighing heavy on my heart these past days.  

Oh please STOP already!  It’s not all about you! Excuse the sloppy rhetorical device. 

I’m trying to discuss the need for more direction citizen dialogue, engagement, motivation, networking - you know a healthy Democracy demands an informed and engaged citizenry and all that.

Please, I was asking about the fact and not poking at you.   

Consider what we have witnessed in America this past week.  You know the Kavanaugh hearing and the voter opinion polls that look like they’ve gone though a wild 15/20 point swing.  Republicans have suddenly been justified and energized and Democratic momentum seems to have evaporated.  What happened?  How can that be understood, what does that portent for the coming election?

Then my point:
Kavanaugh was a very passionate partisan, even belligerent and threatening.  A man who felt free dropping conspiracy theories without offering a shred of evidence, in order to distract from the actual issue at hand. 

Kavanaugh delivered an emotionalized, personalized, angry, even threatening diatribe.  He showed himself to be the great white American male playing the victim card like a consummate performer.  He used anger and indignation to evade all questions and America ate it up because of, …  Why?

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Staggering Hypocrisy of Brett Kavanaugh

Published by MSNBC on Sep 28, 2018
MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent, Ari Melber, gives his definitive take on Kavanaugh’s hearing and what he revealed. Melber notes how during his testimony, Kavanaugh’s mask fell, as he went from blasting a political party to darkly alleging conspiracy theories and political hit jobs he can’t prove. Kavanaugh’s testimony ultimately became the most direct partisan language a Supreme Court nominee has ever used in a confirmation hearing in the modern era.

By happenstance I wound up hearing most of the Senate testimony from both Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh.  Ford was impressive and persuasive from start to finish.  Kavanaugh surprised me, at first blush he was convincing, but then he kept the drama queen anguish going a bit too much.  Worst he repeated himself again and again as if glued to a script.  
Then refusing to invite an FBI investigation, that really produced some of the drama.  Specially Senator Durbin questioning Kavanaugh – starts at 2:00, then after 3:00 min, the guy does mooshup, pathetic.  Here he got me back to seeing the spoiled brat, now busted and facing consequences for the first time.  It’s pathetically typical and predictable, look at him, one can almost smell him shitting himself.
Allegations of sexual misconduct aside, the guy doesn’t belong on real court bench, he’s a partisan animal, not a judge.  As for the allegations, considering his brag about being the high school jock seems like it fits right in with being a bit of an opportunistic sexual predator, so he made no points with that self-description.  I hope the FBI does get involved and figure out who's lying. 
By Sean Wilentz, professor of history at Princeton.
Helaine Olen, The Washington Post
Charles Pierce, Esquire 

 Published  by Mercury News on Sep 27, 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh refused to call for the Federal Bureau of Investigations to reopen its inquiry into his background after Senator Dick Durban (D-Illinois) asked him to request that through White House counsel Don McGahn in a Senate Judiciary meeting on Thursday Sept. 27, 2018.

The staggering hypocrisy of Brett Kavanaugh
Helaine Olen, The Washington Post
Published 10:04 am PDT, Monday, September 24, 2018

But there is something else worth remembering, too. Kavanaugh was not only a part of special counsel Ken Starr's investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky; he was also one of the lead Torquemadas of it - zealous in the pursuit of his goal to the point of cruelty. If Kavanaugh's nomination survives till Thursday's scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, at least one senator should ask him why he thought it was so necessary to ask Clinton such graphic questions about Lewinsky.

Let me be clear: Kavanaugh not only thought Clinton needed to be questioned about his relations with Lewinsky; he also wanted Clinton to be interrogated in the most detailed and specific way possible. He drew up a memo with a series of 10 sexually explicit questions about Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky. He claimed he wanted to establish Clinton had no defense for his "pattern of behavior." As a result, "[the] idea of going easy on him at the questioning is thus abhorrent to me," Kavanaugh wrote in the summer of 1998.

To say that the questions Kavanaugh came up with for Clinton were prurient doesn't do justice to the gross invasiveness and detail he sought. These queries …


Brett Kavanaugh Was Involved in 3 Different Crises of Democracy
All of which he used to benefit himself.

Of all the perilous nonsense involved in the Great Penis Hunt of 1998, the most singularly indecent episode was the relentless fishing expedition into the suicide of Vincent Foster, the first White House counsel of the Clinton administration. On July 23, 1993, Foster shot himself… 

(now 1995) Subsequent investigations failed to stop the onslaught.

In fact, it was this conclusion that was partly responsible for Fiske's being replaced by Kenneth Starr, who, because he is Kenneth Starr and a hack, opened the investigation again and handed it off to an ambitious lawyer in his office named...Brett Kavanaugh. From The Washington Post (emphasis added):

In early 1995, however, Kavanaugh offered his boss, independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, the legal rationale for expanding his investigation of the Arkansas financial dealings of President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, to include the Foster death, according to a memo he wrote on March 24, 1995. Kavanaugh, then 30, argued that unsupported allegations that Foster may have been murdered gave Starr the right to probe the matter more deeply. Foster’s death had already been the focus of two investigations, both concluding that Foster committed suicide. 

“We are currently investigating Vincent Foster’s death to determine, among other things, whether he was murdered in violation of federal criminal law,” Kavanaugh wrote to Starr and six other officials in a memo offering legal justification for the probe. “[I]t necessarily follows that we must have the authority to fully investigate Foster’s death.” …


Why Was Kavanaugh Obsessed With Vince Foster?

He needs to explain why he followed right-wing conspiracy theories about the White House aide’s suicide.

By Sean Wilentz

Mr. Wilentz is a professor of history at Princeton.

Sept. 5, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, has testified to the Senate that “a good judge must be an umpire — a neutral and impartial arbiter.” He and his supporters want us to believe that he would be such an umpire on the Supreme Court. But does his record support him? The refusal of the Senate Judiciary Committee majority to share thousands of highly pertinent documents naturally raises skepticism. 

But there is plenty already in the public record about which Judge Kavanaugh has yet to be held accountable.

Anticipating the imminent publication of Kenneth Starr’s memoir of the Clinton impeachment, I looked into Judge Kavanaugh’s files in the Office of Independent Counsel records, housed in the National Archives. 

What I discovered sheds light on how Mr. Kavanaugh made his way in his early career, and how he flagrantly breached his role as a neutral public servant and followed the imperatives of a political operative.
Mr. Kavanaugh served under Mr. Starr as associate independent counsel between 1994 and 1997, and then again in 1998. …


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Frightening Normalization of Trump Values.

This morning after reading a Durango Herald editorial, The Times called an audible and fumbled(9/6/2018) a couple comments caught my attention.

People need to get a grip. The world isn't falling apart because of Trump…”
The Herald needs to note and call attention to the fact that there are some massive attempts by the larger liberal news media to unseat the democratically-elected president of the United States. Why is the Herald, which used to pretend to be objective, a part of that movement?…”

The whole thing got me to thinking about the Normalization of Trump-think and Republican’s causal allegiance with Trump’s most destructive values.

I compiled a list.  After posting it I decided to do some web surfing to find supporting details for my various observations.  Since the Durango Herald probably wouldn’t appreciate me posting all these links over there, I’m going to post my annotated comment over here:

Seems to me the most horrifying thing going on is all this casual thoughtless normalization of Trump-think:  

A man who's political bones were made, peddling an absolutely malicious toxic lie - namely, President Obama’s supposedly missing birth certification, with the screamed implication that Obama was an illegitimate president to be held in contempt. (

A man who’s entire political career is based on deriding and demonizing his enemies, real and imagined. (

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Senator Cornyn, it's your absolutist GOP who are the ruthless Kavanaugh Mob !

Cornyn accuses democratic citizens of trying to impose 'mob rule' on GOP efforts to ram the Kavanaugh nomination through in lightening speeddespite a majority of citizens opposing the current rushed process and disapprove of Kavanaugh sitting on the Supreme Court in the first place.  

You got some nerve Senator Cornyn, and fellow Republicans!  The GOP has developed political dirty tricks, midnight legislative maneuvers, voter suppression efforts, and even lying about fundamental well understood geophysical facts into high art forms.  Yet you call us a mob?  Here's a good read:
GOP ramming unpopular Brett Kavanaugh down America’s throat is another democracy death blow | Will Bunch 
Here's just a few of the more salient things that America still doesn't know about President Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh ... {Continued after a few more words}
Another important read:   How Republican dirty tricks paved the way for Russian meddling in 2016 - By Michael Koncewicz, March 9, 2018, Washington Post  
For us on the outside looking in, it's you Republicans who look like a lawless mob with disregard for 2/3 of the citizens of your/our country.  It worse you seem to have vandalism in your hearts and dreams of destroying our pluralistic society!  All for a Me First, profits are more important than people world outlook.    

What do you expect Mr. GOP ?  

Read our United States of America Constitution!  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Trump's GOP #CultureOfCorruption

Courtesy of David Nir  -  Daily Kos Staff,  August 27, 2018
Everywhere you turn, congressional Republicans are mired in scandal and ethical disaster:
  • In upstate New York, Rep. Chris Collins
  • In southern California, Rep. Duncan Hunter
  • In Virginia Beach, staffers for Rep. Scott Taylor
  • In suburban Ohio, Rep. Jim Jordan
  • On the gulf coast of Florida, Rep. Vern Buchanan
  • In the suburbs of Phoenix, Rep. David Schweikert
  • In Orange County, California, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, ...

La Plata County Land Use Code - UPDATE - meeting Nov 27, 1:30-4:30

Since this blog was started in order to offer objective information as a counter to some malicious outside interest groups who invaded our...

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