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Season of Lists: 5 People I’d Rather See as Person of the Year

December 20th, 2007 by Celeste Fremon


On Wednesday, Time Magazine named Vladimir Putin its Person of the Year
because of Putin’s “extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability,” said Richard Stengel, Time’s managing editor.

Oh, please! That’s like saying a mom’s a good parent because she calmed her toddler down by knocking him to the floor then locking him in a closet.

Yes, sure, Putin deserves to be in the top 25
, maybe even the top ten. But he just ain’t number one—either in a positive or negative sense of the honor.

Instead of putin I’d have gone for one of the following (in no particular order):

1. Google – Access to information is everything.
And Google is the vehicle that guides and propels us through the maze that is the World Wide Web. It’s changed the way we think about information—and the way we think, period.

2. JK Rowling – She was
in Time’s top five, (as well she should be) The woman has inspired more kids to read than anyone in my lifetime. I rather liked this option, but apparently Time didn’t. At least not enough.

3. Mark Zuckerberg (the Facebook guy) - What MySpace began, Facebook bettered many times over. It’s not so much him, per se, but the notion of social networking on the web that seems worth recognizing as an idea that’s changing the way we view community and has only begun to explode.

4. The WGA Striking Writers - The battle for the future of digital entertainment. Okay, it’s a long shot idea, but worth considering.

5. The monks of Burma - They demonstrated for all the rest of us the stunning power of moral authority.


Okay, now your turn.

Posted in International politics, media | 45 Comments »

45 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    As I was Time’s Person of the Year in 2006, I am qualified on this matter.

    Putin was a bad choice for either good or bad reasons. I would put Ann Coulter ahead of him. Of course, killing defectors in other countries with polonium 210 is quite creative.

    Al Gore came in number two, but he is demanding a recount.

    Conservative college students could be a possibility for being able to exist and complete their work in left-wing, hostile environments.

    I would put our troops at or near the top. Iraq moved off the front page once our troops moved aggressively and are getting the job done.

    But, wait, this is for Time–not some publication that is actually middle-of-the-road. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who questions the Holocaust and threatens the free world with nuclear ambitions would have been a good choice for them, but he blew it by making Iraq free of homosexuals.

  2. Woody Says:

    Oops. Last minute rush caused an error. I meant “Iran” free of homosexuals.

  3. "reg" Says:

    I’d make the publishers of Time “Person of the Year” in the world of media on condition they gave us all a break and put their crappy little anachronistic magazine out of its misery. Does anyone know anybody who actually reads or subscribes to the thing ?

    When you consider that George W. Bush has been their Person of the Year 25% of the time since 2000 and that Rudy Giuliani was Person of the Year for 2001, it puts this bit of overblown hype in perspective. That said, Al Gore would have been the best choice since this ritual is mostly symbolic, Gore’s issue is the toughest, most urgent we face and Gore’s unlikely “comeback” as a world-historic figure in the rarified realm of celebrity “causemongers” (eclipsing even Bono) is a great story. Also a bit of the authentic middle-brow cachet of the Oscars and the Nobel Prize might have rubbed off on Time’s increaslingly irrelevant enterprise. Certainly better than Putin or that piece of tin foil they gave it to last year.

    (Cue Woody for a round of Holocaust…I mean Global Warming Denial. The thing I love about these guys is that on the outside chance they’re right, the worst that happens is we’ve retooled the world economy toward renewables, promoted conservation and energy efficiency, generated a new wave of technological innovation, reduced pollution and achieved greater energy independence, most of which we should be pursuing with deliberate speed, global warming or no. If they’re wrong, our grandchildren face near-total disaster. But who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity to slime Al Gore ? )

    I’d also argue that if the characterization of Ahmadenijad as posing an imminent threat of World War III and the destruction of Western Civilization as has been pushed by the Bush administration – or at least the neocon factions – were, in fact, true he would deserve the coveted cover. Fortunately, that’s hysterical bullshit and the guy no more deserves to be kingpin at our supermarket checkout stands than Tehran deserves a rain of bunkerbusters.

  4. Woody Says:

    In large part because of Gore, the world is being retooled for the biggest waste of money in history with no consideration for cost/benefits, a drastic reduction in standards of living, millions of jobs lost, and transfers of money from productive nations to the third world–all for some glory for Al, grants for dishonest scientists, control of commerce by the U.N., and infliction of pain on the U.S. by envious countries. If this was such a big problem, why didn’t the Clinton-Gore administration address it?

    If I am wrong, which I’m not, it would be cheaper to adapt than to try to stop what is inevitable.

    What “if they are wrong” and Iran does have nuclear weapon capability? The end of life as we know it would come a lot faster than through global warming.

    A new nomination for “Persons of the Year”–stupid, gullible people who will buy into any scare and are willing to part with their money (and my money) for phony cures for phony problems.

  5. "reg" Says:

    Deep thoughts – If Iran has a nuclear capablility it means the “end of life as we know it” is near!

    What a steaming pile of childish crap from a “stupid gullible person who will buy into any scare.”

  6. Woody Says:

    Fine, reg. Ignore the fact that radical Islamics have a goal to kill infidels and that they hate America for helping Israel. If you think there is no threat of a nuclear device being transferred to terrorists, smuggled into this nation, and detonated in a major city, then you should be demanding that we quit wasting money on monitoring and searches of freight.

    Life as we knew it changed on 9-11. Life as we know it will change more if Iran develops nuclear weapons. Life as we know it will be worse than alleged global warming if nuclear weapons are detonated in U.S. cities.

    No wonder Americans don’t trust Democrats on matters of national security and as admitted by HRC.

    “But, if certain things happen between now and the election, particularly with respect to terrorism, that will automatically give the Republicans an advantage again….”

    For Time’s Persons of the Year: Partisan idiots who put American interests behind political gains.

  7. "reg" Says:

    “In large part because of Gore, the world is being retooled for the biggest waste of money in history”

    I’m impressed with Al Gore’s awesome powers. Clearly should have been Person of the Year, as I proposed ! Just think what he could have achieved if he’d been allowed to assume the powerful office he was elected to and didn’t have to resort to dumb stuff like slide shows to persuade the entire world to do his bidding. (Are we sure he didn’t actually invent the internet ?)

  8. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Truthfully, I’d have picked Gore—both because of my personal preferences and because I think he fits the parameters best. But since that seemed like the most obvious (and because he came in second), I decided to leave him off, just for the hell of it.

  9. "reg" Says:

    Woody, your analytic powers on national security issues are almost as awesome, complex and convincing as your global warming denial.

  10. Woody Says:

    “Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn’t it?”

    “Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that ‘liberals’ will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists.”

    “Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It’s so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.”

    Or, to sum it up: “If Democrats had any brains, they’d be Republicans.”

    LINK: U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

    LINK: 35 Inconvenient Truths- The errors in Al Gore’s movie

    LINK: The Anti “Man-Made” Global Warming Resource, STOP the hysteria

    As I said before, Democrats put political gains over the interests of our nation.

    If threatening our way of life and our future is the best measure for man of the year, it’s Al Gore hands down.

    reg, you hardly have any intellectual superiority over me or other commenters, so you can cut it out with your condescending comments. I suspect that there is something psychological about that practice related to you trying to make yourself feel important, so get treatment.

  11. Mavis Beacon Says:

    I think Gore is pretty much the clear choice. And I’d vote against Google or Facebooks as I’m not a fan of picking internet ventures every year (unless they go with Witnessla). How about Barry Bonds as a symbol of the collision between American cultural and political discontent? I wish we could go back in time, pun apologies, and pick Cheney for ’03 – he set some events in motion that he did quite garner enough credit for back when it was happening.

    p.s. Reg’s comment makes me worried that he doesn’t go to the dentist.

  12. Randy Paul Says:

    I would vote for the following:

    Roberto Savino, the author of Gomorrah, for, at great personal risk, putting the history of the Camorra out there for the world to see.

    Luis Moreno Ocampo, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for having the persistence to indict a Sudanese Government Minister for crimes against humanity.

    The Burmese monks and Ang San Suu Kyi for obvious reasons.

    Baltazar Garzón – simply because it’s so long overdue.

    Ingrid Betancourt, because she’s a decent person dedicated to making her country and just place and is paying such a horrible price for attempting to do so.

  13. Woody Says:

    Hey, I’d vote for Randy Paul. Might as well for as meaningful as is Time’s selections.

  14. Randy Paul Says:


  15. Woody Says:

    You can’t even take a compliment.

  16. richard locicero Says:

    Woody is all for global warming because he’s looking forward to all that beachfront propery in Cobb County.

    The level of scientific literacy in this country is so dismal that, when we’re all picking up trash for the Chinese, there will be a good sound reason for same.

  17. Mothership Says:

    Mavis, if reg goes to a dentist and has the transmitter removed we won’t be able to communicate with him. Where else can we find ignorantly rabid defenders of Ahmadenijad who lay the blame squarely on a conspiracy by “hysterical neocon factions” and their Jewish warmongering allies? (Who made up the Holocaust as an excuse to get him and other peace loving Muslim jihadists.) We need reg! There are too few of his kind left outside of certain halls of academia!

  18. richard locicero Says:

    Don’t you just love these neocons who see an obviously silly and demented figure like Ahadenijad who has less authority than I do over Iran (real power is with the Ayatollahs) and who is the but of jokes amomng students (who see him rather like we see Bush) and who presides over a country with no real industrial base as the second coming of Herr Adolf.

    This is why the rest of the world now looks at us and wonders just when we went bonkers and what the sane members of the world community should do about it.

  19. "reg" Says:

    Maggie, you need professional help.

  20. microchip manufacture defect / recall notice Says:

    IF the rest of the world “wonders just when we went bonkers,” ric and reg provide the evidence. Amazing how they found each other and attract a couple more (while turning off anyone close to mainstream. Why do they also have to be so crude and vile to everyone else, though? It reflects so badly on the old left. It must be a microchip implant defect.) They seem to have the backing of Celeste and Marc Cooper, so thank goodness they’re all blogging and writing and not running the country or city.

    Otherwise, she’s a nice lady and I’ve met her at a few events. Hats off to anyone with so much energy and ability to drive around daily to so many places in two counties.
    And her support for the cops and law enforcement is good to see from someone on the left.

    The Times opines that the financial disclosure rules are unnecessary and won’t prevent anything from going down, that it’s not worth the risk of losing good beat cops; the Daily News opines oppositely. The DN always opposes any privacy protections, and the Times usually comes down (correctly) in favor or privacy except where public safety is concerned. And in this case, it really isn’t.

  21. "reg" Says:

    “crude and vile” – You hold the record in these threads, lady ! A bit of self-awareness is in order.

  22. Listener Says:

    Richard: This is why the rest of the world now looks at us and wonders just when we went bonkers and what the sane members of the world community should do about it.

    Heh! Yeah, I’m wondering right along with them. And, depending on how well we do between now and the time Bush leaves office I hope they’ve got an intervention strategy already to go.

    I hear we’ve single handedly revived Teh Red Threat. Ie; Apparently, Putin has vowed to bury us once again. Happy Holidays from our current Commander in Chief.

  23. Randy Paul Says:

    You can’t even take a compliment.


    Actually, I know what damning with faint praise is.

  24. Woody Says:

    Hmmmm. It seems that Putin has done better than Bush or Clinton as head of a major nation.

    LINK “Citing sources inside the president’s administration, Belkovsky claims that after eight years in power Putin has secretly accumulated more than $40bn (£20bn). The sum would make him Russia’s – and Europe’s – richest man.

    “In an interview with the Guardian, Belkovsky repeated his claims that Putin owns vast holdings in three Russian oil and gas companies, concealed behind a ‘non-transparent network of offshore trusts.’”

  25. richard locicero Says:

    Well that may or may not be the case but the credibility of the so-called “Oligarchs” on matters financial and on matters of looting the State of Russia are, shall we say, somewhat suspect.

  26. richard locicero Says:

    I must say that I miss the comments of “Jim Rockford” who usually presented an argument. Woody, Lucinda, and Maggie are all trying out for the coveted post of “Ann Coulter” Wannabe but are lucky to hit the mark with Michele Malkin. But I urge them to continue. Maybe Richard Mellon Scaife surfs the net and will come accross their pearls of wisdom and decide to subsidize a book or two over at Regnery. I hear Wingnut Welfare pays very well.

  27. Weasel Prize Award Notification Says:

    Fact that ric would lump maggie and lucinda in with ann coulter just shows the deranged sloppiness of his mind, along with reg and randy paul and the others they attract to each other. Minds as sloppy as they themselves must be, the grubby bitter crowd with open-toed sandals on dirty feet (and stinky sneakers in cold weather), shapeless old denim or cords, lurching up to people and shouting vilely at them, refusing to go away. The motley outcasts at the edge of society too dumb to hear anything anyone says outside their myopic, illiterate, desperate circle, closing ranks to hurl vile barbs at their betters. Convinced their isolation is because everyone else is too dumb to recognize their briliance.

    (Now ric is defending Putin by smearing his critics as assumed liars? The Putin who has put oligarchs and political opponents in jail on trumped-up charges, kills potential whistle-blowers and critical journalists with either elegantly administered doses of poison or a neat shot to the brain — yes, this would be reg and reg’s Communist hero. But of course, this is all Bush’s fault, since “we have single handedly revived The Red Threat,” Listener astutely adds. Unlike Ann Coulter and Woody (yeah, we all sound so much alike) I think Bush/ Cheney are incredibly naive about world affairs — but reading the comments on this blog, from the even more pompously ignorant Society of Outcast Weasels, I can see what he might be reacting against.

    To you, the most important award of the year: A matted and stuffed Mangy Weasel.

  28. richard locicero Says:

    Excellent work! Almost up to Malkin’s standards but with practice I’m sure you’ll get there!

  29. Woody Says:

    reg defends Ahmadinejad, rlc defends Putin, and Celeste backs Al Gore. I guess that taking up for Stalin has become passé.

  30. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    Woody, by lumping Celeste defending Gore into the same category as Comrades reg and ric defending Amadinejad and Putin, you undermine the argument.

    Surely Gore is a hypocrite who makes millions on speeches about “green issues” and selling his cleverly-concocted bogus “credits” so that he can continue to fly private jets and provide energy for his huge homes — and his film included a lot of pseudo-science and comically over-the-top scare tactics — but that doesn’t negate the fact of global warming. Ice caps even in Himalayas are melting, which means there’s no runoff for the forests and agriculture, animals and lakes die out, etc. (But much of this is caused by developing economies which have no pollution controls to speak of, which is why pushing Kyoto, as he wants, which just burdens the U. S., is the wrong way to go.)

    Gore is actually a crafty capitalist using fools like ric and reg to make megamillions while passing himself off as a saint and would-be savior. But don’t kill the message because of the messenger. (Celeste and Mark Cooper backing ric and reg is more akin to “taking up for Stalin.”)

  31. Woody Says:

    Shadow, you’re right. I thought about that when I made the comment and shouldn’t have. Thank you for pointing that out.

    However, I have been encouraging Celeste to find a better class of friends than the cigar smoking, wine sipping, Gore cheering, Democrat voting, U.S. bashing, media defending, big government pushing, student indoctrinating, small brained liberals.

    However, I do have to disagree in large part with you about global warming and its effects. I’m not sure that today’s temperature of the Earth (whose temperatures vary considerably and with different trends by region) is the ideal or mean temperature nor that we can have any meaningful effect on it. I need proof by the scientific method, not political consensus, before I part with my dollars on some harebrained scheme.

  32. Woody Says:

    More: List of Climate Change Skeptics Grows

    Add your name to the list!

  33. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    Interesting link, Woody. David Wojick, a U. N. (not U. S.) “expert reviewer” questions whether greenhouse gases can be causing the warming of the oceans and earth’s surface (things he doesn’t dispute) while the atmosphere stays constant. He thinks this has more to do with variables involving the sun.

    Here in L. A., there is a common perception that there is atmospheric warming, that it’s been getting hotter over time. Surely these recent summers from New England to Florida have also been horrible, and I think the western deserts are setting records.

    I’ll say this: there’s no harm in cutting things which cause greenhouse gases, indeed, cleaning up the unbreathable and filthy air in the huge developing economies, from China to India to Egypt, immediately improves air quality and cuts death rates from contaminants. Here in L A County, people who live in landlocked, congested areas like the Inland Empire and near the ports, suffer more lung disease and deaths than the average population. So cleaning up the air to improve short-term quality of life is a vital imperative — IF the dominant majority of scientists are rights, this will affect the temp of oceans and earth’s surface; if not, we’ll have cleaner air. Can’t go wrong with this direction.

  34. Woody Says:

    Shadow, you can’t go wrong, except that the return on global warming spending is not likely to be close to the return on investment of spending on education and medical research. With limited resources, you can’t go wrong with those, and they have a more proven return than global warming solutions, even with its side benefits.

    It’s all about the best allocation of a limited supply of money.

    Also, consider a family living in rural Georgia will not receive the same benefits of cleaner air, but their costs will still have to be as great. There’s another world outside of Los Angeles.

    Fifteen or twenty years from now after all the dire predictions have failed to materialize, people will wonder why Al Gore received a Nobel Prize for nothing and came in number two for man of the year.

  35. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    Woody, “return on investment of spending on education” is the worst advice for LA. Where as you read here, the LAUSD misspent $300 million on a payroll system that didn’t work, consulting fees to fix it (still not fixed), $50 million overpayments to teachrs, while many teachers are still angry at being underpaid. And for a city with the highest real estate prices in the country (except Manhattan, where it’s literally apples and oranges to compare), we still emerged with the lowest big-city test scores, and that will never change with the current demographics and trends. The amount of waste alone could fund a banana republic.

    As for the guy in rural Georgia driving a polluting truck, he IS impacting the country, because emissions don’t stay neatly right about his town. And here in Cal, our tough emissions standards mean we spend more per car then elsewhere, some $2000 in conversion fees if it’s brought in from out of state, e.g. No way is the rest of the country paying for us — we’re biting the bullet in a number of ways and per capita, causing less pollution than elsewhere.

    Another way we’re taking on more than our share: the Port of L A is the busiest in the nation, getting cargo from China to Latin America and Africa, many of those ships heavily polluting. And 80% of the (heavily polluting) traffic going to those ports is from out of the region. (Bush actually proposed letting Mexican trucking companies come into our state and borders, without adhering to our emissions standards or vetting personnel for anti-terrorism/ safety issues. It was the Democrats who shot this down.)

    So when I cite health hazards, it’s because we’re absorbing health and financial costs for areas across the country that DON’T have similar clean-burning requirements for trucks and cars. This is something not accounted for by the Bush admin. which punishes L A and Cal for being a “blue state,” while leaving us with a hugely disproportionate burden when it comes to everything from ports/ shipping to educating and providing medical care for the illegal immigrants the Bush admin. has done nothing to curb.

  36. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Well put, Shadow

  37. Woody Says:

    Shadow, the guy in rural Georgia may not have a polluting truck, but he has to have it pass an emissions test every year…plus, with westerly winds, his pollution heads out over the Atlantic. Nothing makes me sicker than having to pay to have five cars inspected every year plus take the time off to do it. And, once I had to pay $500 for a “repair” because my car emitted something like six parts per million of a certain gas over the allowed limit. Wow, was that money well spent to save the Earth!

    What you don’t realize is that California’s problems are not similarly felt in other parts of the nation. Just because you can’t manage your educational system doesn’t mean that other areas don’t. Just because you have pollution because of overgrowth and smog concentrated by your mountains to the east doesn’t mean that other parts of the nation have similar concerns. Just because you allow illegal immigrants to take over your town doesn’t mean that we do or should.

    What you really mean to say is that California is a bad steward of its assets and, so, you expect everyone else has to conform to whatever solution you think is best for the problems of California. I disagree.

    California, Massachusetts, and New York have different desires and problems that Georgia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky don’t share. Let’s allow the states and local communities decide how to spend money rather it being dictated from Washington by members from highly populated but a minority in number of states.

    The fact that Celeste agrees with you makes your conclusions suspect…even though I like Celeste.

  38. Woody Says:

    To connect global warming and expecting some to follow the lead of other states:

    LINK “BOSTON — A flurry of heavy storms has decimated the state’s snow- and ice-removal budget, leaving MassHighway coffers empty before the first day of winter.

    “The state used its $24 million budget during the fall snowstorms. Tomorrow marks the first day of winter, but 26.3 inches of snow already have accumulated this fall in Pittsfield, according to the National Weather Service. MassHighway spent a total of $41 million on snow removal last year.”

    So, what is L.A. doing to prepare for winter snow removal?

  39. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    As I said, much of California’s burdens with education, healthcare, smog, and the ports, etc., actually stem from the failure of federal policy, from not stemming illegal immigration to expecting us to maintain the busiest port in the nation and surrounding roads which serve the whole country, without providing us our fair share of funding.
    (I don’t agree with some of our more liberal Hispanic pols on immigration, but the fact is, until the feds stem this, we’ve got to deal with these immigrants in a human way. With virtually no help from the feds. And even state Republicans would rather send transportation funding to one-light Republican towns than to L A or San Francisco.)

    The thousands of deaths and illnesses from this pollution mean we need to restrict the kinds of trucks that can have access, but that is an expensive and complicated issue which is being worked on now. Your emissions tests in Georgia or elsewhere are not as rigorous as what we have in California. (Yes, I sound like the Democrats here, and they’re right on that.) However, traffic congestion in the Atlanta region is also notorious, and you’d do well to think about the impacts of that. (Why do you need 5 cars?) We’re leading the way when it comes to becoming a “green” state, and L A’s mayor wants to go even further — if anything, we’re subsidizing the rest of the country by doing what the feds should be.

    In California we’re actually extremely efficient with how we utilize limited funds for police, especially when it comes to public safety and anti- terrorism efforts. I believe it was written about here as well: the cooperation between LAPD. FBI, Sherriffs ofc., etc., plus a newly developed computer system, makes up in large part for having funding which is way lower than what we are entitled to as the second-biggest national terror target and third-largest city.

    Not sure what your pt. is in 38 re: snow removal. You may know we have more than our share of natural disasters from fires (and we spend a lot of money every year having to clear brush, subject to fire dept. inspections), earthquakes and floods. What are Boston and Atlanta doing to prepare for these possibilities (and what does it have to do with global warming?). When it comes to the atmosphere, we’re all connected, like it or not. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted a few years back, two days later and for almost a week thereafter, the yellow, noxious fumes reached our coast and hung over the city. Just a dramatic e.g. of how winds blow pollutants across the globe.

  40. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    By the way: I am reminded by an editorial in yesterday’s L A Times (lamenting how the Bush admin. shot down Cal’s proposed even tougher EPA regs which go in effect in 09, ibcluding the ability to limit tailpile exhaust from out of state trucks), that it’s not just the Himalayas and surrounding lands that are experiencing threats to agriculture and quality of life from less snow in the mountains: we’re experiencing that right here. Since we supply the bulk of the country’s year- round crops and fruit, what would that to do the country?

    Read that Atlanta’s main reservoir also is drying up, but the locals there just don’t take the matter seriously enough to put serious conservation or contingency plans into place.

  41. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    Finally, re: my top picks: I’ll second the monks of Burma, doing what the Tibetan monks have done for decades in even greater obscurity and facing an even more rutherless army. Except now, “the revolution is televised.” Who knows how the Tibetan situation would have turned out if the early violence, destruction of almost all their monasteries and murder of at least a million monks, would have been caught on cell phones and distributed through the internet?

    So yes, Google has revolutionized some things for the better, but the accumulation and sale of our formerly private records has been harmful, too. Not on my list.

  42. Woody Says:

    Good grief, Shadow. You’re likely to be attacked by reg for consecutive comments, since he wants to hold on to the record for those.

    I need five cars because I figure that, with that many, one of them is bound to start in the morning. Oh, and two of them sit in the front yard on blocks.

    Atlanta was running short of water because the nutty environmentalists were having their way by sending huge amounts of water downstream so that mussles in Florida wouldn’t have to worry about brackish water. Once we sent state troopers to Buford dam, the Army Core of Engineers surrendered and reduced the flow. Problem solved.

  43. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    well, at least I’m not serial commenting just to snipe at someone!

  44. Woody Says:

    Shadow, I apologize. I really didn’t mean to snipe, but I was tired and was reacting in part to a comment that I had just read from reg.

    I see most of our problems coming from a “one-size-fits-all” mentality of state and federal governments, run by out-of-touch bureaucrats, telling the local governments and citizens what they should be doing.

    If you took state and federal mandates out of the local public schools, then they might actually have enough time to teach rather than fill out paperwork and enough money to buy necessary resources. If they let me pay a $100 penalty to plant trees rather than spend $500 in car “repairs” to clean up six parts per million of a pollutant, then the money would be better utilized.

    On several issues, you and I would likely never agree. I don’t blame Bush for California’s problems and a lot of other problems where people want to pass on the blame or suffer from BDS. Also, I’m an environmentalist in the practical sense, being able to balance costs and benefits. Others, and maybe yourself, tend to want to strive for a perfect world without seeing the impact on more urgent and more important matters crying for limited resources.

    Again, please accept my apology.

  45. David Horowitz's shadow Says:

    Woody, I wasn’t referring to you re: sniping, but everyone’s favorite sniper, reg. However, I don’t agree with your latest comments, on the whole. For reasons I don’t want to belabor again. Except that in some cases, local and state rights should trump federal, but when it comes to anti-terrorism, natural disasters like fires and floods — and environmental issues like protecting our environment from corporations which do things like dump toxic waste into rivers, or auto companies which lobby the feds to irrationally oppose Cal’s EPA restrictions which the whole country should be adopting to prevent some states from offsetting environmental improvements made in California.

    As for education, I agree that many teachers and parents are opposed to the fed “No Child Left Behind” regs, for creating too much paperwork and “teaching to the test.” On the other hand I agree with LAUSD Supe Brewer that some schools need to follow state regs MORE closely, because local controls have meant all kinds of failed experiments, trying to toss out “gringo”-centric cultural values in the teaching and literature, etc. There has to be some standardization.

    Another group I’d have liked to see honored by Time: the brave groups of students who went to the polls in Venezuela to prevent Chavez from stealing another election. (Most pundits assume Putin was picked for his strong negative influence in the world, but naturally ric would take it as an endorsement.)

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