Archive for the 'Absolute Horseshit' Category
I love Kevin Durant but I can hardly stand to watch the NBA finals without boiling over because his employer is the Chesapeake Energy Corporation, practitioner of hydraulic fracturing. Chesapeake has hired scientists and soulless PR firms to promote the idea that the science is not in and the debate is still open, in hopes they can abscond with huge profits by the time it’s all sorted out. They even created some bullshit public support front called Friends of Natural Gas New York.
Meanwhile, the area to be fracked is a “too big to fail” watershed that, among other things, hosts the birthplace of American fly fishing.
Ban Hydraulic Fracturing in New York, please.
Part of what makes Montana super-badass is that all streams designated as “navigable” in the state are in the public trust, not just the water but the streambed beneath. Additionally, the state has accepted a very broad definition of “navigable”. Due to a recent Supreme court ruling, that designation may now be in jeopardy.
Over the past decade, the State Supreme Court has liberally applied the designation of navigable and repeatedly upheld the public trust law when various wealthy asshats attempted to keep the unwashed masses off “their” rivers. A few years ago some jackass at the capitol saw this as an opportunity to make money.
In 2007, the state of Montana joined a lawsuit to sue PPL Montana, the private corporation that runs and manages the dams in the state, for $41 million in unpaid rent plus interest. Their claim was that the riverbeds are owned by the state, so any commercial operation utilizing that land (the streambeds) should give the state a cut. The rivers involved in this lawsuit are the Missouri, Madison, and Clark Fork. Multiple complicated court cases followed but eventually the State Supreme Court once again upheld their definition of navigability and had no choice but to find for the state. PPL appealed and, last December, the case went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Last week they issued a ruling that threatens the future of the Montana stream access law.
“To be navigable for the purposes of title under the equal-footing doctrine, rivers must be “navigable in fact,” meaning “they are used, or are susceptible of being used . . . as highways for commerce” . . . it is doubtful that the segments in this case would meet that standard . . . Thus the State Supreme Court was wrong to conclude . . . that portages were insufficient to to defeat a navigability finding.”
The U. S. Supreme Court made one important addition to their decision. “Montana’s suggestion that denying the State title to disputed riverbeds will undermine the public trust doctrine–which concerns public access to the waters above those beds for navigation, fishing, and other recreational uses–underscores its misapprehension of the equal-footing and public trust doctrines. Unlike the equal footing doctrine . . . the scope of the public trust over waters within the state’s borders is a matter of state law.” I don’t speak legalese but what I interpret this to mean is that the U.S. supreme court tried to limit its decision to the definition of navigability to commercial issues only, leaving the recreational definition in the care of the state. It appears, however, that their ruling may create the possibility of altering Montana’s stream access laws to be more like those of other states.
For now, our rivers (and the beds below them) remain public but this case creates a very bad precedent. You can bet that many landowners are licking their chops and preparing their legal teams armed with a decision from the highest court in the land. This is all on the Treasure State. Montana chose to press this issue over a paltry $4o million, knowing full well that the outcome might threaten our stream access law and a significant factor in our tourism economy. Shameful.
If you want to read the whole court opinion yourself, here it is:
“…the spilled condensate was discovered last Thursday by a township employee inspecting a gas pipeline facility nearby. The spill had run into Bigger Run Creek, a tributary of Raccoon Creek. He had no information about whether fish or aquatic life were killed, but cleanup crews placed absorbent material in the creek on Friday.”
Hey Front Range – maybe you should have wondered where the water was going to come from before you approved all the rampant development of the last couple decades? Just sayin’…
Lots of sites going dark today, WordPress included, but we figured since it was already a bit dim (and musty) around here anyway, we’d just post this.
(btw, image totally ganked from somebody on the intarwbz without permission)
And this just for clicks.
Austin, how about you?
Tulsa, that’s a nice place. Driven through there a couple of times.
Nope. Going fishing.
Really? Never fished the Kenai but I’ve heard of it.
FIFTY pounds? Wow, that’s a big one.
Nope, never done that.
Mostly fly fishing.
No, with flies.
That would be tough. Hard to cast an egg sack with a fly rod.
No, no problem. I’ve got plenty of room.
Want some gum?
No, seriously, I’ve got a whole pack.
No, your breath’s not THAT bad, take one.
No, it’s an iPad.
Yeah, pretty cool. Great on long trips.
Mostly reading books and watching movies.
No, haven’t seen that one.
Yeah, didn’t like that one. Not much of a Will Farrell fan.
A father and son after the apocalypse.
The end of the world.
No. I don’t have extra headphones.
Because there’s only one headphone jack.
Probably so I wouldn’t have to share my movie with a meddlesome bait-chucking Okey with foul breath whose walrus ass is hanging over my armrest and taking up half my damn seat.
Towanda Creek is a small Susquehanna trib in northern PA. It’s a put & take trout stream at its upper end, and becomes more of a smallmouth thing later on. There’s a thousand streams just like it, maybe you know one or two.
It already suffered from low summer flows before the hydrofrackers moved in and started drawing water off to mix with sand and salt and proprietary chemical brewskis to make fracking fluid to be injected into their gas wells. Thousands of gallons of water are used for this, and it’s gotta come from somewhere, and in July you can just hope they leave enough for the fish.
Fish find ways to survive low flows. Well, some of them do anyway, at least for a while, we hope. But now there’s been an accident at a gas well near the headwaters, and words like “uncontrolled” and “blowout” and “emergency” are being used to describe the spill of fracking fluid that swamped the well site and dumped into poor Towanda Creek. Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, named after the bay to which their vomitous oopsie will ultimately flow, are up 3%. Way to go, pricks.
Haven’t heard of it? House Resolution 1 is the current bill before the House of Representatives, the attempt to address our massive federal deficit. I think most of us would agree that fiscally, we need dramatic changes in the way this country has been doing business. Borrowing 40¢ on every dollar the government spends is insanity, not to mention completely unsustainable.
The unavoidable bottom line, regardless of political partisanry, is that we are simply spending way too much money, and we can’t continue to do that. I get it. But as an angler and hunter, HR1 truly scares the living shit out of me, and I’m trying my damndest to no be alarmist here. It is obviously a huge bill, but here are just a few of the details that you might want to be aware of, and learn more about, if you care about the future of angling, hunting and conservation in this country:
- Amendment #215 (Rep. Bishop – UT) would strip the entire budget of the National Landscape Conservation System. Among other things, the NLCS manages 2,000 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers. This Amendment would also de-fund management of important sportsman destinations such as the Missouri River Breaks in Montana, which supports some of the healthiest elk and Bighorn sheep populations in the state. Cutting this funding would also have significant effects on many rural communities that rely on sportsman dollars.
- Amendment #216 (Rep. Mckinley – WV) would greatly undermine strip the EPA’s ability to uphold the Clean Water Act by stripping it of the authority to veto permits to the Army Corps for disposal of dredge and fill material in our nation’s waters that it deems would create unacceptable adverse impact, and to designate certain areas as off-limits for such disposal. In short, sludge – even toxic sludge, could pretty much be dumped anywhere they wanted to.
- Amendment #177 (Rep. Herger – CA) restricts funds from being used to implement and enforce the Off-road Vehicle Travel Management Plans (known as Subpart B of the Travel Management Rule), which the Forest Service has spent the last six years working with the public to develop. Unmanaged OHV use can destroy wetlands, severely impact wildlife habitats, cause soil erosion, damage important cultural resources and spread noxious weeds. To get a handle on its management of OHVs, the Forest Service initiated a Travel Management Planning process with extensive public involvement to identify a manageable trail system on national forests. This process is nearly complete. If this amendment were accepted, the investment of time and resources in developing Travel Management Plans for units of the National Forest System would be for naught, and the ecological impacts and recreational user conflicts associated with unmanaged OHV use would grow.
- HR1 would also cut $393 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund - a program that pays for itself through offshore oil and gas receipts. Using the Land and Water Conservation Fund to enhance habitat protections and recreational access helps to sustain hunting and fishing traditions and the outdoor economy.
Why HR1 would, for example, feel the need to cut a program that pays for itself, like the LWCF, hints at some of the possible motivations hidden in HR1. We absolutely need to tighten our fiscal belts. But when you take a close look at the cuts that HR1 focuses on (and perhaps more significantly, the many areas that it doesn’t), it’s very hard not to see a political agenda going on here. We can’t let hard economic times be used as the excuse for a bill that caters to corporate interest to the lasting detriment of our public lands, and our hunting and fishing heritage. And to do this under the premise that it’s about ‘fiscal responsibility’ when the cuts hint at a very specific agenda, is nothing short of manipulative artifice.
I would also recommend reading Hal Herring’s excellent piece posted today on Field & Stream’s blog:
And the negative impacts of HR1 described above are only a small part of it. You can find out more about the many harmful riders attached to HR1 by going here.
Recently it’s been brought to my attention (several times) that fly fishermen tend to be backstabbing, petty, vindictive, self-righteous, and downright misanthropic (and not in the good way). This is not in reference to the fly vs. gear fishing dichotomy, we’ve all heard that story and the narrative is both deeply ingrained and repetitive. I’m not going to pick up that rotten salmon and try to revive it.
Lately these conversations that I’ve had (both electronically and in real life with actual beer and inarticulate grunting pauses) have been about the venom that we fly-fishermen seem to have for one another. For a group of people that cultural and linguistic theorists would lump together in a singular “Discourse Community”, we sure do seem to hate one another, and I am as guilty as the rest of you. Think about it, how many times have you wished brutal bodily harm on the guy who got to that one hole you’ve been dreaming about before you did? How many curses have you flung (either under your breath or at the top of your lungs) at the boat that cut you off just as you were getting set up for a productive bank? How many of us have heard and told the stories of stream-side fist fights or (at least here in Montana) drawn firearms?
For me the bile rarely manifests in riverside confrontations; that’s not my style. Besides, when I’m actually fishing it’s pretty hard to piss me off. I tend to get all itchy in the crotch when it comes to the things that happen around the making of money in relation to fly-fishing, especially in the writing and publishing arenas. I particularly spend far too much time (both in my head and out loud) bitching about people “in the industry”. I do this either to their faces, their inboxes, or just to other people that I happen to know (or have some sort of magical internet connection with).
Currently I’ve been talking a whole lot of shit about a guide/writer who seems to have made it his mission to sell out some of the few secrets that remain in this heavily fished part of the country. The truth is that I think destination writers are the scourge of the artistic earth. In my view they are either lazy or lacking in actual talent and so they have to get their work published on the strength of a little known resource rather than on the merit of their wordsmithing. Usually I verbalize this in a less tempered and more reactionary way however, criticizing the person’s worth as a human being rather than even attempting to see the world from his or her perspective. The thing is, I know this guy, he’s a nice guy. I don’t want to “eat his children” as Mike Tyson once said, and I don’t actually think he’s “a pathetic meatpuppet with the articulative capacity of an ocelot and the dental hygiene of a camel” as I said to a friend about him last week. But I do wish he would shut the fuck up and stop writing about the places that guides fish when they’re not guiding. There’s a reason that we don’t take clients there.
A certain industry magazine and I had a falling out last summer when they wrote up the two shops in this area that I think are solely interested in pimping out the fisheries and making the money. I wrote an overly dramatic and long-winded email to the editor who responded by essentially telling me to calm the hell down. He went on to say (quite politely) that I should be careful about where I deposit my excrement considering that we are all trying to eat off the same table. It was the same advice my father gave me when I was a freshman in college and I slept with two girls who both lived on the same floor that I did (sorry Dad, but it appears that I’m not that quick a study, I’m getting the same advice about proximity of shitting and eating 15 years later). I was probably making way too much out of nothing, and introducing a whole lot of negative back-talk for no good reason. Perhaps the editor was right. I have no right to stand in judgment, but yet I judge all the same. We all draw our lines in the sand according to our interpretation of morality–”Across this line you DO NOT!”–it’s just that mine happens to be the right one.
None of this is new ground. I’m not saying anything original here. If there is a point to my rant, it is to say this: I lament the anger that I feel toward all those other fishermen, especially the soulless industry types (who are in actuality generally really nice guys) and I realize that I have no justification for it, but I feel it just as strongly and just as viscerally as ever.
So for those of you who will curse my name this coming year: I salute you. As a good friend of mine used to say (it really was his mantra), “we’re all assholes, every last one of us”. Amen, and fuck you.
Post Script– Please do note that I didn’t actually mention any names in the above narrative. That’s gotta be worth something, right karma? RIGHT?
Really? Coupled with a toothless law that the folks at the CRC dept can’t enforce anyway?
Here’s a tip for the WDFW and the ODFW – Make it hurt if you don’t turn in your catch records. Screw the “friendly reminder” or ODFW’s lame-ass “you could win a boat if you turn in your combined tag!” bullshit. Steelhead ain’t exactly thriving, so wouldn’t it behoove you to gather as much data as possible before they’re ALL gone? I know y’all don’t like California much, but at least CDFG has the balls to make the failure of turning in a steelhead record an enforceable misdemeanor.
Alternately, the WDFW and ODFW could sack up and make it like SE AK and the ADFG – no bait use in 35+ systems and counting, coupled with zero retention on roadside waters and a one daily / two a year limit with a 36″ minimum everywhere else (at the risk of grievous bodily harm if us locals catch you). Several zero-pass weirs and a pile of index streams with weekly snorkel surveys are in play for the ADFG, and yet you fruitcakes in OR and WA won’t even make anglers turn in a catch record?
Remain vigilant. Seems to me, though, that this should be easier for fisherfolk than for others. Assuming everybody’s lying, I mean.
Punchline: it’s also the trout opener in NY. Set up your own joke, you’re so damn funny.
“…in France, those who are fooled on April 1 are called the “Poisson d’Avril” (the April Fish). A common prank (especially among school-aged children) is to place a paper fish on the back of an unsuspecting person. When the paper fish is discovered, the victim is declared a “Poisson d’Avril.” While it is not clear of the origins of fish being associated with April 1, many think the correlation is related to zodiac sign of Pisces (a fish), which falls near April.”
A paper fish. On your back. Haha jerk, now you’re an April Fish. Yeah that’s hilarious.
Drink coffee from this thing and nobody but you will know WTF, and you’ll be forced to explain again and again why your mug features a sketchy picture of Grampy in a bib wearing shades, and who the hell is Buster, and that it’s a fishing thing, yes really, well mostly kinda, all of which will of course become supremely tiresome and annoying, especially considering the price you paid for the weird-ass mug, which will make you even more surly, which is the perfect frame of mind for coffee.
See? We think of you. You’re welcome.
Rock Creek is under attack by the same sort of internationalist cocksuckers that have no reserve when it comes to bending over the very landscape for a quick fuck and a buck in places like Bristol Bay, Chetco River and so on. You needn’t worry about the buck, pilgrim.
And yes, you are correct to assume that the cocksuckers have the bond by now.
Just in from AP:
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Washington Rep. Doc Hastings says he’ll use his position as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee to block any bills related to breaching lower Snake River dams.
Hastings says salmon runs are recovering under current management practices and dam breaching is the last resort.
The Tri-City Herald reports the Republican congressman was in the Tri-Cities Wednesday and spoke to the Pasco-Kennewick Rotary Club.
Hastings says he’s concerned that tearing down any Snake River dam puts every other dam at risk. Environmentalists favor removing dams to restore Snake River salmon runs.
A challenge to Montana’s Stream Access Law working its way through the State Legislature. Yep, Anglers are rightfully opposed.
The hilariously named Idaho Governor, Butch Otter, gets all foamy and sad over new federal regulations to protect the bull trout. He should go cry on Larry Craig’s shoulder. Also, the Idaho Reporter gets my nod for “best headline”.
In “not at all related” news, 1 in 5 anglers had to either cancel a trip or stop fishing an area due to access problems.
Republican Lawmakers are to Fucksticks as Sky is to
In the spirit of the $100 nipper:
It’s yours in the comments
Personally, I’m waiting for the matching necktie.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists — Brutalist Bricks
Seems like every other Ted Leo record is a flat out classic. This is that record. Straight ahead, literate, spikey punk n’ pop with lotsa charm.
Pantha Du Prince – Black Noise
Super chilled, blissed out kinda barely there electro squibs n’ blips. It’s hard to find an electronic record that won’t bug the shit out of you after two listens. Black Noise has never bugged me. Not even once.
Scout Niblett — The Calcination of Scout Niblett
Scout Niblett kicks so much ass it’s not even funny.
Alasdair Roberts and Friends — Too Long In This Condition
Another trip the middle ages where plauge abounds, there’s nothing to eat and the king wants to put your head on a pike. Good times.
Grinderman — II
Makes me yearn for the Birthday Party, but I’ll take a spasmodic Warren Ellis and a yowling Nick Cave over Arcade Fire any goddam day.
Otis Gibbs — Joe Hill’s Ashes
Good pissed off political folk punk. Imagine if Billy Bragg was born a shit-kickin’ good old boy.
Will Oldham and the Cairo Gang–I don’t care what anyone says,Will Oldham is not turning into the Eagles.
Bacon’s apparently still stuck in 2009 Picks
Pelican — What We All Come to Need
Chill metal and no lyrics. Badass for solo fly swinging sessions on the iPod and way better than listening to jetboats ferry Dudes around all day.
Bill Callahan — Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle
Skeena 2010 soundtrack, powerdrive north to see some old friends, eighteen cups of Tim Horton’s rotgut coffee eating holes in my ulcer and no-hands pissing in a Houston park and ride’s gravel. Sun was rising over the Bulkely Valley and I was feeling the only kinda religion that matters. The tune ‘Faith/Void’ kills it: ‘It’s time/to put God away.’
Atmosphere — Blood Makes the Blade Holy
Sluggo proves he can still rock the wordwork and bring it back to the Lucy Ford days.
The Moth Podcasts Dunno if this qualifies as a record, but the stories are hilarious, often tough or uncomfortable and real. I do a lot of driving to rivers. I can’t stand pundit radio, right or left. And if I gotta hear NPR’s Click and Clack EVER again…NOTE: Sadly, The Drive-By Truckers’ The Big To-Do didn’t make this and a podcast did. A fucking podcast. Pretty much because The Big To-Do was weak-ass and proved Patterson Hood’s ego never shoulda fired Jason Isbell. We suffered through Brighter Than Creation’s Dark in the hopes TBTD would show promise, but well, I’m calling it: R.I.P DBT.
Creek’s Softer Side of 2010 Pick
Tall Hours in the Glowstream has been getting all kinds of attention from me the last few months and is clearly my pick of 2010. Call it Cosmic Country. Call it indie folk. I just call it good. The album is based on the river that flows through the band’s hometown. River music, indeed.
The New Mastersounds – Ten Years On
More badass Brit funk and soul. Reworked Grace Potter’s already great “Nothing But the Water,” got Grace to sing it, and made it even better. Catch them if you can, but wear your greezy pants.
OK Go – Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
Geek pop was never so much fun. Well, since TMBG. Whatever. Highlight: “WTF?”
John Butler Trio – April Uprising
Pissed off legions of neo-hippie fans by producing 15 tightly-written songs, mostly under 5 minutes long, while still showcasing some tasty guitar stuffis. “One Way Road” is one damn well-crafted tune.
Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune
I hesitated, having been repeatedly bummed by the flood of Weekend At Jimi’s-style posthumous releases, but this ain’t them. This includes the final throes of the Experience, following Electric Ladyland. It’s nothing shiny and new, but it’s got the voodoo stank, and I don’t imagine there’s much of that left lying around.
Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Gnarls Barkling Cee Lo gets a nod just for “Fuck You,” which rightly got a lot of attention. Way beyond a novelty song, it’s HQ Motown with about the best hook ever, and good luck getting it out of your head. Huge props for the video production too. I need me some backup singers.
Now aint that some shit?
I’m feeling pretty pedestrian after reading the above picks. I’ll easily second Wook’s OK Go and Cee Lo selections. Other stand outs for me this year were Vampire Weekend’s Contra (best tracks IMHO are Giving Up the Gun, Diplomat’s Son and Giant).
California, or at least a certain idealization of California, seems to loom large in my picks this year. Neo-surf rock from Wavves went into heavy rotation and Best Coast sounds a bit like Neko Case moved to Hermosa Beach and got a tan.
Albums not released in 2010 but that I discovered this year include Richard Hawley’s Lady’s Bridge, found via the trailer for Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Canadian roots music from Stan Rogers and The Beaton Family of Mabou.
Speaking of retro soul, hard to miss JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound’s cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”
Then again, I’m probably just losing my edge.