Comments by Eckermann

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Posted on December 17 at 9:45 p.m.

This is a Kabuki dance in which the City of Goleta and Venoco are partners. If you look at the final statements reported, both the City's lawyer and Venoco see room for "discussion." All State Lands did was give Venoco some negotiating room. I would bet that the outcome of this will be Venoco agreeing to an " end of operations" date as part of accepting a permit to produce 421. If you're not used to it, it's difficult to watch a Kabuki dance. It moves slowly and according to time honored tradition. Keep your eye on this one though. The plummeting price of oil and the pending development of properties west of the plant only make the Kabuki more complex and interesting.

On State Lands Approves Ellwood Oil Well

Posted on December 17 at 9:34 p.m.

Thanks Starshine, great piece! I moved about a lot in my younger years and was the victim of bullies in various and sundry locations around the world. One day, for some inexplicable reason, I was fed up with it and told the bully that I would meet him for a fight after my crossing guard duties after school (yeah, I was a crossing guard geek). The rest of the day, I was consumed by the fear of the beating that I was going to endure. Classmates came up to me with the condolences. I arrived at the assigned time and place for my beating, and the bully never showed up. After that experience, I was never subjected to bullying again. Bullies often would try to taunt me, but I called the bluff every time and never had to fight. I was skinny and little and did not present much of an opponent, but when it got down to actually fighting, I was willing to take the beating and bullies weren't willing to take the risk that I might get a single punch in. Bullies are worthless cowards and losers (as Starshine points out). They become failures in life and deserve their comeuppance. Our prisons are filled with them.

On A Letter to the Bullied

Posted on December 11 at 4:29 p.m.

The whole torture thing is sad, disgusting, and disheartening, but alas not surprising. Humans have been resorting to evil to fight evil for our entire history. The examples in history or countless. My favorite is Vlad III of Wallachia who, in the mid-15th century impaled thousands of Ottoman Turks who were invading his little Romanian principality. He was outnumbered and probably figured that he could scare the enemy away by being more depraved and vicious than they. We humans are funny animals, we can be brave and good and heroic, but we also have the capacity to be the cruelest, most vicious, and most evil thing in existence. And it matters not whether one is an American or from any other place on the planet. What really burns me though is that my taxes went to pay for that evil, which makes me complicit in it.

On Last Train to DogVille

Posted on December 11 at 2:20 p.m.

Welcome home Donnie. I remember when your dad was called Donnie in Ventura. Looks like his son grew up to be a talented young man who has develop a wisdom beyond his years. Keep up the stoke kid, it's the best part of surfing.

On A Santa Barbara Homecoming

Posted on November 16 at 4:08 p.m.

I guess NikkiN that if any public servant spends thirty years serving the community while constantly improving his or her experience and education and remaining dedicated to doing a superior job, then he or she can't escape the appellation of "good ol' boy." I thank Patterson for his service and dedication and wish him a long, active, and enjoyable retirement.

On Undersheriff Don Patterson Retires

Posted on November 11 at 8:04 p.m.

Dewdly, my analogy works not because it compares messages but rather because it compares extreme speech which provokes response. I am not defending Miller-Young's response to such speech. However, the speech issue becomes secondary when one party begins to chase down another and engage in physical confrontation. At that point it is very difficult to discern who is the aggressor and who the defender. I suppose a court room might be the place to split those fine hairs, but my point is, why bother? From my perspective, the person that chases becomes the aggressor due to the act of chasing. A long time ago, I witnessed dramas like this play out at the beach between surfers arguing over which one of them had the right of way on a wave or who violated the surfing etiquette. By the time the dispute landed on the beach, it was very difficult to tell who was the original aggressor. The police almost never got involved in such disputes because of that ambiguity and the tendency for the local witnesses present to defend the local surfer. If someone steals your sign, call the cops and let them deal with it. Don't chase that person down and instigate violent contact. At that point, culpability for the whole mess becomes ambiguous. I should avoid Nazi analogies, but they are so perfect for comparisons of extreme speech that is likely to incite violence that I could not resist.

On Anti-Abortion Group Sues UCSB, Professor, Students

Posted on November 10 at 8:37 p.m.

So, if somebody steals my sign and, rather than calling the police, I chase after that person and engage him or her in a physical confrontation, and in the process my arm gets scratched, I get to sue that person? Let me put it this way, say that I am a Nazi and I have a sign that shows concentration camp ovens and the sign says something about it being a good place for Jews. And then say that a Jewish person is offended by my sign and takes it from me and I chase that person across a long distance and engage that person in a fight. And say that Jewish person kicks my behind and steals my sign. Does the Nazi get to sue? My point is, if you chase after someone who has stolen your sign and the subsequent confrontation turns physical, who is the aggressor at that point? Isn't this a case of co-combatants? Of course this a case of two silly people wrestling over a stupid poster, but is our legal system really going to accommodate a lawsuit based on this silliness?

On Anti-Abortion Group Sues UCSB, Professor, Students

Posted on November 9 at 1:34 p.m.

Barbara S., I respect your point of view and appreciate the rational and polite manner with which have comported yourself on this string of posts. However, I believe that your analogies or anthropomorphisms comparing dog behavior with human behavior and human systems and institutions of justice are incorrect. If a dog bites a human or attacks another dog or a cat, that is not analogous to a human driving under the influence or texting while driving. People who attack or kill other people are placed in long term custody or "euthanized" by way of the death penalty. First-time violent human offenders go to prison. We don't attempt to require them to undergo behavior modification therapy. We lock them away to separate them from society. I believe that it is much more humane to euthanized a violent dog than to incarcerate it for the rest of its life is some cage. Also, nobody would want to pay for a doggie prison system. Dog behavior modification techniques are not guaranteed to be effective over the long term and it is simply not worth the risk to give a dog with a violent past a second chance.

On The ‘Dangerous’ Dog Dilemma

Posted on November 6 at 7:33 p.m.

Long ago, I spent a great deal of time in the Ventura County oil fields. They are old, some of the first developed in California, and back in the 70s, some were well managed and some were not. I remember, unlined open sumps as big as an Olympic sized pool. There is no doubt a great deal of pollution associated with these operations. I would not even hazard to guess how we would approach cleaning it up. And natiivegeo, we surfers on the South Coast like our tar balls just fine. They make the decks of our surfboards distinctive and recognizable throughout California. If you don't like tar on the beach, please stay up there in shark land. As it is, too many of you come down here to use our beaches.

On Oil Industry Polluting Ventura?

Posted on November 6 at 7:21 p.m.

I never thought that I would agree with Peter Adam about anything, even the color of the sky. However, I have to admit that I am 100% in agreement with his sentiments on this issue. Dogs that attack and kill other animals and that attack and bite humans should be euthanized, period, end of the story! I suspect that Mr. Adam is shaking his head about all the fuss over this. In the rural world in which he grew up, a world (at least the Midwestern version) of which I am very familiar, dangerous and vicious dogs were simply shot dead and left in the woods. Sometimes there were bad feelings between neighbors about such justice, but the government authorities were seldom involved unless rabies was suspected. Dogs that attack other pets and/or people should be euthanized. Let's not spend any more time and resources on this issue.

On The ‘Dangerous’ Dog Dilemma

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