Saturday, November 22, 2014

saturday night videos

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

The Hunger Games: Catching Paranoia

The Hunger Games: Catching Paranoia (Featuring Agenda 21) (VIDEO)

AUTHOR DECEMBER 3, 2013 10:54 AM
Agenda 21 is the Hunger Games
Alex Jones thinks that Agenda 21 will lead to a real-life version of The Hunger Games. The resulting conspiracy theory mash-up is full of nutty paranoia.
If you are like millions of other movie-goers, you saw the second installment of The Hunger Gamesthis past holiday weekend. Catching Fire has made almost $300 million since its release on November 21st. Many viewers on both ends of the political spectrum see their own beliefs reflected back at them in the tale of a dystopic future. Income inequality, sadistic games and government control feature in the plot, giving liberals and Tea Partiers both fodder for their arguments.

Alex Jones goes one better with a Hunger Games and Agenda 21 mash-up.

Our favorite right-wing conspiracy nut and frothing-at-the-mouth ranter, Alex Jones, has combined his interpretation of the Hunger Games with one of his favorite conspiraciesAgenda 21 is a UN paper that deals with sustainability. It covers several topics including poverty, land use, health and the environment. It is nothing more than a blueprint for sustainable development, non-binding and non-threatening. Unless you are Alex Jones (or Glenn Beck).
According to Jones, Agenda 21 is going to result in “the end of humanity and… freedom.” Of course, in Jones’ world, President Obama is a dictator. In Jones’ world there are a lot of fantasy scenarios. In fact, as we speak….
“… all over the country the military is rolling out, preparing for war, not with Al Qaeda but with the Tea Party, with gun owners, with veterans, with Christians.”

Jones displays a frightening level of paranoia.

Seriously? Don’t you think that if, indeed, the military were “rolling out” here in America we would notice? I mean, it’s rather hard to hide a platoon or a phalanx of tanks or whatever a “rolling out” military consists of to Jones. And, naturally, the targets would be people like him. His insistence that the UN has “New World Order” troops and that they are analogous to the Hunger Games‘ Peacekeepers reveals a freakish level of paranoia.
This is all coming true, this is all happening, this is actually the Agenda 21 exact plan,”Jones said. “This woman [Suzanne Collins] who wrote it [the Hunger Games] is either a total patriot and aware of what’s going on and super smart, or she’s a total operative. We’ve tried to contact her many times, obviously.”
Because she couldn’t just be a writer with a good grasp of sociology and history along with a great imagination. Jones is desperate to find out whether Collins is on “his side.” He’s worried that we liberals will “steal” The Hunger Games from conservatives and if the author is not on Jones’ side, she will support that “theft.” His pretzel logic is truly breathtaking:
“They have created the crisis, this is socialism we’re seeing with fascism on top, now their answer will be more of this. They’re saying they hope to cause a leftist revolution with this film and others, so that’s why it looks like it’s anti-establishment because the establishment is so sophisticated that they have to steal our energy.”
Truly dizzying “logic.” This is a man who can’t understand what either socialism or fascism really is. He has created a bogeyman of staggering proportions, one that is so clever that it has twisted the establishment to look anti-establishment just to steal the thunder of the
crazies conservatives. Those tricky liberals!

A view from the other end of the political spectrum.

Jones and his fellow conservatives have glommed on to the totalitarian aspect of The Hunger Games, and it certainly is a dismal thing to contemplate. But the man who plays President Snow has his own ideas about the politics of the films. In an interview with Screen Rant, Donald Sutherland expressed his hopes about what could happen:
“Hopefully they will see this film and the next film and the next film and then maybe organize,” Sutherland said. “Stand up. They might create a third party. They might change the electoral process, they might be able to take over the government, change the tax system.”
Sutherland, a lifelong lefty, was very active in protests in the 1960s. He was against the Vietnam War and took the part of Hawkeye in the film M*A*S*H (1969) because he felt that movie made a statement. Though it was set during the Korean War, it was an indictment of the war that was going on at the time. Sutherland hopes that the Hunger Games films could “be another Battle of Algiers.” That film was an inspiration to many insurgent groups.
Alex Jones is freaked out about the UN’s Agenda 21. He worries that “New World Order” troops are going to come for him because he own guns and is Christian. Perhaps what he should worry about is the poor coming after him because he’s rich. And that he got that way by scaring his audiences. That he uses the Hunger Games film series that wants to be cautionary on all levels to suit his own agenda is nothing less than what you’d expect from him. Can he just go crawl into a bunker somewhere and spare the rest of us his paranoid rants? I’m sure Katniss would prefer that.
Here’s the rant. Lay in supplies — it’s a long one:

The Tinfoil Hat Song

These Baby Boomer, "New Urbanist" Architects Hate the Marin Suburban Lifestyle (aka "sprawl")

These self styled elitist advocates of "New Urbanism" hate the typical Marin Suburban lifestyle. If you live in Novato, Marinwood, Terra Linda, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Strawberry, Tam or Sausalito, within 1/2 mile of the 101, your neighborhood could be targeted for redevelopment into a "sustainable community" of condominiums, public housing, bike paths and trolley cars.

The first speaker is noted "New Urbanist" Peter Calthorpe of UC Berkeley and  He lives in an exclusive estate in Berkeley Hills far removed from the urban environment he says is better for humanity. Wouldn't he prefer living close to the Ashby Bart Station? He also was a consultant on the first proposal for Marinwood City at Silvera Ranch for 6000 homes in the 1990s.  Susan Adams won her Supervisor seat campaigning against this development with the slogan "Cows not Condos" but signs praises for Plan Bay Area,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Citizen Marin Forum, "Future of Marin" November 13, 2014

Citizen Marin Forum, "Future of Marin" November 13, 2014 featuring Kevin Haroff, Royce Maclemore, Richard Hall, Susan Kirsch and moderated by Dick Spotswood..

Four notable citizen leaders in Marin discuss the problems with Plan Bay Area and the urbanization of Marin.

Here are our show times for the program "Citizen Marin Forum" on Marin TV's Community Channel:

+ Sun 11/23/14 03:00 PM Channel 26
+ Wed 11/26/14 05:00 PM Channel 26
+ Wed 12/03/14 06:00 PM Channel 26
+ Sun 12/07/14 11:00 AM Channel 26

Thursday, November 20, 2014

PLAN BAY AREA POLICY MAPS outline upzoning, new fees, and incentives for developers in Marinwood-Lucas Valley

and please study the shocking changes planned for the Bay Area.

The MTC published these policy maps to help planners visualize the "opportunities within the grand vision" of the One Bay Area Plan.  They call for massive urbanization throughout the Bay Area through a combination of upzoning, transportation funds,  urban growth boundary, development fess (or penalties) and grants.   
You'll find that you may have to pay a fine of up to $50,000 (above current development fees) to discourage residential development in outlying areas.  Non-residential development may have to pay a fee of up to $20.00 per square foot.   Other development in the "approved areas" (such as the Marinwood Priority Development Area) may receive grants for building.   The Marinwood PDA is a "transit neighborhood" and will be upzoned to 50 units per acre vs. 4 single family houses per acre on most streets now.  We will add from 1500 to 4000  housing units to the current area East of Las Gallinas.
Make no mistake, the One Bay Area Plan is nothing short of a radical scheme to reshape the bay area communities, economy, transportation, and government.  This overambitious central plan will create an effective  "city state" and strip away property rights, local democracy and economic opportunity for millions. 

Supervisor Susan Adams needs to address the community with the Truth. She has served on the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) for over 9 1/2 years including two years as Vice President.  

Supervisor Susan Adams spent 9 1/2 years on ABAG
and served as the Vice President for 2 years.

Enough, Ms. Adams! Please tell us of the full Plan Bay Area plans for Marinwood-Lucas Valley!

Marin Supervisor Steve Kinsey is the President of MTC

"No Way for Citizen Votes on Plan Bay Area" The Day Democracy Died.

A special session of ABAG decides against holding a full vote for Plan Bay Area. Novato's Mayor Pat Ecklund Objects.  Scott Haggerty, Alameda County Supervisor, complains the plan screws the rural and suburban communities.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sprawl, Schmall... Give Me More Development

    L. Brooks Patterson
    Brooks Pattern,
    Oakland County , MI County Executive
    Editor's Note [ The term "sprawl" is a prejorative for "suburban placetype" to deride its inhabitants and lifestyle.  For the planners at ABAG, Marin County Supervisors and the Planning Department, it must be eradicated through "densification and compaction" infill development.  We are only seeing the leading edge of the plan with the tax-exempt affordable housing.  Next stage, we will see upzoning of our neighborhoods to allow 20-50 units per acre.  SB-1 is an initiative before the California senate that will give broad powers to condemn properties along major transit corridors to build high density dwellings that are NOT BLIGHTED. This means that the Marinwood Priority Development Area designation is not needed to condemn properties and build.  It can happen ANYWHERE within 1/2 mile of 101 corridor. The fact remains that a single family home in the suburbs to raise a family remains an American Dream for the vast majority of Americans. ]
If you think four-letter words are dirty and nasty, how about that six-letter word: sprawl.
To the doom and gloom crowd, "sprawl" ranks right up there with the plague, leprosy, and the French.

Well, let me state it unequivocally: I love sprawl.  I need it.  I promote it.  Oakland County can't get enough of it.  Are you getting the picture?

Sprawl is not evil. In fact, it is good. It is the inevitable result of a free people exercising their cherished, constitutionally protected rights as individuals to pursue their dreams when choosing where to live, where to work, where to educate, and where to recreate.

Let's stop the hysteria and honestly ask ourselves what is sprawl?  "Sprawl" is the  unfortunate pejorative title government planners give to economic development that takes place in areas they can't control. In reality, "sprawl" is new houses, new school buildings, new plants, and new office and retail facilities.  "Sprawl" is new jobs, new hope and the fulfillment of lifelong dreams. It's the American Dream unfolding before your eyes.

Today, if a company pulls up stakes, abandons a suburban location and moves into the central city (often doubling or tripling the commute time for its employees), the anti-American Dream doom-and- gloomers call it "economic revitalization," and they praise it.

But if a company, a residential builder, or a family moves out into the suburbs, it's condemned by the anti-American Dreamers. "It's sprawl," they hiss, "it's bad."  They demand new laws be imposed turning local control over to state government planners charged with discouraging, containing, shutting down, stopping and reversing growth outside central cities.

The anti-American Dreamers would have you believe that suburban growth is at the root of all problems that beset our cities, both in Michigan and across our country.  They seem to believe that citizens left thriving cities, and that it was their departure that caused high crime, high taxes, invisible public services, and failing public school systems.

Anybody who believes that line of thinking is taking denial to a whole new level. Sprawl did not cause the decline of the cities. Cities declined because they squandered their assets. High crime rates, high taxes, failing schools, foul air and a lack of open green spaces forced people to move.

Sprawlers, like me, simply wanted a home with green grass on a safe, well maintained street, a quality neighborhood school that actually educated their children, a good job, nearby parks and recreational spaces, and a local government that actually delivers the services their taxes paid for. In other words, they wanted a place like today's Oakland County.

Some of the more disingenuous anti-Dreamers complain that we are blacktopping Oakland County. They claim that our farms and forestland is being gobbled up by developers, those nasty people who build single family homes instead of high density housing projects.  They are concerned that Oakland County, and indeed all of America, will soon be one big Blockbuster parking lot.  But the facts refute their hysterical myths.

First, the truth is that any responsible examination of Oakland County's robust, vital and life-sustaining development clearly shows that the sky is not falling. Oakland County's satisfied residents, responsible business leaders, and the elected and appointed officials of our 62 cities, villages and townships have done a good job as stewards of Oakland's 910 square miles.

This is demonstrated by how we have developed our land resources.

Check it out: single family homes, a primary goal for many families seeking their share of the American Dream, take up 38.5 percent of the total land in Oakland County. Vacant land is the next largest land use, at 13.6 percent. Recreation and conservation uses (permanently set aside) follow at 13.3 percent. Lakes and rivers take 5.9 percent of our land area; agriculture uses 4.2 percent, industry follows at 4.2 percent, public spaces use 3.8 percent, and commercial uses account for only 2.1 percent.  (The remaining 13.4 of land use is made up of utility right-of-ways, railroads, and mobile home parks.)  We have a balance of land uses that works!
Secondly, according to readily available research, Michigan today is still 91 percent rural.  And at the present rate of development, Michigan has a couple of millenniums left before it would be a totally urbanized state.

What about the claim that America is being paved over?  Well, the total land in the United States is 3.6 million square miles.  Of that total land mass, some 126,000 square miles are considered urbanized.  This means that less than 3.5 percent of America is "developed" urban area.

Are the developers really gathering up all the farm land and forest acres for their own greedy purposes?  Not hardly.  Today there is more forested land in Michigan than there was 100 years ago.  While the amount of land being used for farming is declining, it's not primarily because of development, but rather because of improved productivity within the farming industry itself.

Today, due to technological improvements, we grow and produce more products for market on substantially less land.  In fact, a substantial percentage of our farming produce is now shipped overseas. We still easily feed ourselves as a nation.

One final myth debunker: How much land do we have? Try this: if every man, woman and child in America were forced to relocate to the State of Texas, each of us would have 3/5 acre to call our own.

So the next time you hear the word sprawl, embrace it.  It simply means economic development.  It means jobs.  It means the freedom to choose. It translates into quality of life.

And the next time somebody rubs your face in the word sprawl, take a long, hard look at that person.  Too often you will see some limousine liberal who long ago fled our cities. Now, they want others to go back and take their place. They want to use the power of government to force you back into a city, or a neighborhood, or a housing type they chose not to live in themselves. They want to force you back to the city to help purge themselves of their perceived sin of abandonment.

If you remember nothing else, please remember this: it's all about the pronoun "it".  "It" is the subject of intense competition.  "It" is the most sought after thing in the country.  "It" is called economic development.  If you don't have "it," and someone does, "it" is a bad thing called "sprawl."  Ask yourself, if "it" is so evil, why do they want "it" so badly that they compete for "it," they give tax breaks to attract "it," give incentives and create enterprise zones to secure "it?" You know the answer.

L. Brooks Patterson
Oakland County Executive

"Evil Suburban Sprawl" must make way for apartments.

VIDEO: "Will our new neighbors be forced to live in a toxic environment?"

"Is Bridge Housing aware of the Microwave tower,  toxic waste and the health effects of living so close to the freeway?" 

Brad Wilban, Bridge Housing VP responds at the October 27, 2012 meeting at Mary Silvera School about the proposed Marinwood Village 82 unit low income family apartments.

What about the environmental INJUSTICE of warehousing people in this toxic environment?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Makings lives better—by making them worse.

Will future Marin rush hours look like 1970s Beijing?
 By Kristian Roggendorf
So-called “liberal” utopianism results in a society that has neither liberty nor blissful living. Case in point: the ongoing car versus bike wars in Portland. While the civil war has calmed down a bit lately in the Rose City, it appears to be heating up elsewhere around the country.
Over a decade ago, I watched with amazement as Randall O’Toole, free market transportation guru, described the stated intention of urban planners in Portland to create Los Angeles-style traffic congestion in our fair city to “encourage” people to use mass transit. Even at LA levels of congestion, mass transit ridership doubled—to an entire 6% of commuters. That kind of sterling logic has brought the narrowing of major arterials, the creation of one-way streets, and other such “calming” efforts to the issue of bike transit. 
If you can’t see the sarcasm in the previous sentences, you might also fail to see the absurdity of the fact that now, the utopian dream of planners is to re-create 1970s Beijing—with thousands of bicyclists grimly huffing to work in rain or dust—in the middle of our 21st century American cities.
Ed Braddy, American Thinker writer, lays out the nonsensical practice of “proving” the superiority of cycling (no matter one’s particular disability, apparently) to the car in what he calls “these phony bike versus car contests.” One such contest, this time presented by folks who are presumably not as high on bikes as the local gearhead set, pits a car against a bike in Gainesville, Florida. I lived in Florida for about 6 years, and visited Gainesville all of once. “Oppressive”—a term I have only seen on TV weather reports in the citrus state—doesn’t begin to do justice to the notion of Gainesville in July. It is at least a hundred miles inland in all directions, surrounded by swamps (University of Florida ain’t called the Gators for nothing), and typically breezeless. The “test” pits two actual businessmen against each other—meetings to go to, errands to run—to show how absurd it is to think that bicycles are a valid commuting option for the vast majority of people, irrespective of their physical condition.
Truth be told, I’m in favor of bike lanes on almost all roads.  The safety afforded by such lanes is obvious. But to leap from that obvious point to suggesting that bikes can be anything other than a very occasional means of travel for most people is either completely unrealistic, or achievable only through mass coercion and radical and draconian punishments. God bless and keep safe those folks who do ride their bikes wherever they can. But asking everyone to do so is in line with the most myopic of totalitarian impulses, and in no way merits the term “liberal” anything.
Kristian Roggendorf is a Portland, Oregon based attorney

What is RIGHT about Social Justice for all of us?

How to Stifle Dissent about Affordable Housing in Marin

True Democracy requires True Freedom of Speech.

By Mimi Steel

These days, if you look at most government meetings that require public input, they are billed as “visioning sessions to build consensus”.  To the untrained ear, this sounds like a noble goal but the goal of these sessions is anything but noble.  Visioning is a term of art that refers to the Delphi Technique.  The technique was designed to make sure that the public “chooses” the outcome desired by the organizers.  A good way to describe “ visioning” is that it is  the meeting equivalent of a multiple choice test, except that  the correct choice(s) or best answer(s) are probably not one of the options and there is no place for mark “none of the above.”

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are in the middle of developing a 25 year soviet style top down plan that combines housing, transportation and land use.    This regional plan would force some drastic changes to communities throughout the region (7 million people in 9 counties and 109 cities).  Until a year ago, very few people were aware of the plan.  Those who were aware were generally stakeholders who stood to benefit from the policies and their uniformed/misinformed surrogates.    Then suddenly some Bay Area concerned citizens crashed the party and the game changed.  They quickly realized that the sessions, conducted using “visioning,” were manipulative and deceptive .

With average citizens showing up at these meetings and voicing their dissatisfaction with the plan and the disingenuous meeting format, MTC-ABAG realized they had a potential public relations disaster on their hands.  Board Member Ecklund expressed concerns that the process was not successful on July 19, 2012, listen here. The MTC-ABAG board discussed that the visioning sessions were “painful” on November 9, 2012, listen here . Both videos clearly acknowledge there were problems with the execution of the public outreach sessions.  So they changed the format for the new sessions coming up in January 2013 in a letter entitled  Plan Bay Area Public Engagement Letter dated December 7, 2012 . Different format, same objective of giving the appearance of public input while controlling the outcome of the debate.

It’s time for MTC-ABAG to come clean and develop a format that insures fair, honest and open dialog at the next round of public input sessions to discuss Plan Bay Area / One Bay Area.  Here are some suggestions:

  •  Public outreach meetings for One Bay Area (Plan Bay Area) must be conducted in the evening in every county to allow working, taxpaying citizens to attend.
  •  Sessions must be televised and covered on local radio programs in each county so that the public really does have an opportunity to get engaged and weigh in on this
  •  Promoters, supporters and surrogates of MTC/ABAG must be clearly identified as they have a vested interest in promoting the favored plan. These entities or individuals will not be eligible to vote on the plans.
  • The format must be changed from the previous “visioning sessions” to an open forum where a panel of concerned citizens can present information on each of the key areas. Each panel will have 10 minutes to present or refute MTC/ABAG arguments presented to date. This format will provide for diversity of opinion and give citizens their fair share of time to speak on these subjects:
    • The effectiveness of smart growth concepts—where have these concepts been successfully employed? Where have they not performed as claimed, and the consequences
    • The issue of public transit vs individual automobile
    • The issue of forced, subsidized high density housing near mass transit
    • The issue of whether zoning authority should lie with a nine-county panel rather than locally elected city councils and planning boards:
    • The ethics of demanding that a city comply with the One Bay Plan or lose their road repair funds.
    • The assumption that you can balance jobs and housing to insure minimum commutes
    •  MTC-ABAG must present the annual measured and recorded GHG levels for all nine Bay Area Counties from 2000-2010 to comply with California Executive Order 5-3-05..By presenting these figures MTC/ABAG will provide the 2010 baseline GHG levels for periods going forward. If measured (not calculated) GHG did not go down then –on what basis can you assure us that this 2030 plan will accomplish any reductions? If it did go down, what proof do you have that your plans were the actual cause of the reduction?

The taxpaying, concerned citizens of the Bay Area are awake and aware of what is going on.  We are not going  away .  We want an honest debate on the issues.  If citizens decide they do not want the plan for their  town or county, they should be free to walk away from it without any repercussions, such as loss of road repair funds.  We look forward to MTC-ABAG rethinking their public input strategy or there will be more “painful” experiences moving forward.
Marinwood-Lucas Valley is receiving 71% of all affordable housing in Unincorporated Marin

Sunday, November 16, 2014

85% of us are low income?

One of our volunteers was posting notices in the neighborhoods and saw that someone posted another notice, "85% of us are low income".  Of course, unlike some people in town,  we will not tear down this sign simply because we question it.  We welcome the discussion about what "low income" means. It is particularly relevant to the discussion of low income housing.

What can this person mean by "85% of us are low income"?  Statistically speaking, the maximum number of people that can be considered low income is 49%.  But that is calling "low income every family making lower than the mean average of all incomes or less than $89,000 average family income in Marinwood/Lucas Valley.     Does this also mean everyone with a dollar more than average income is "high income"?   Are they "morally obligated" to support all of those less than of average income?

What percentage of people in  Marinwood/Lucas Valley do you think are to be considered low income?  At what income level shall we tax ourselves to  provide tax free housing and other subsidies?  What amont of support should we offer?

Maybe the person meant "85% percent of us have trouble making our bills in this economy" .  I can agree with this statement.  I'd rather all of my expenses were lower. The food, gas, mortgage, and taxes are killing us.

We have 6000 people in this Valley.  Statistically speaking what percentage of them should be considered low income to you?

If you want to be part of the conversation, you must be willing to speak up.  Talk with your neighbors. Learn more about the 2012 Housing Element for Unincorporated Marin. 
Keep free speech alive. 

How to Demolish a Single Family House (Tips for Developers)