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Comments by Eckermann

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Posted on September 25 at 3:13 p.m.

At this point, I am neither strongly in favor or strongly opposed to Measure P. However, in the oil company rhetoric, I see the same rhetoric that they have been using for more than 40 years every time there has been an attempt to regulate their pollution or process safety methods. Like Chicken Little, they cry that the sky will fall (or maybe like the little shepherd boy they shout that the wolf was coming) if the regulation is adopted. Lo and behold the regulations were adopted and sky did not fall and the wolf did not appear. Oil production, processing, and refining activities continued as before only due to the regulations the activities polluted less and were safer. My question is: Since the sky did not fall and the wolf did not appear after the previous warnings, why should I believe them now?

On Fracking and Wastewater Dumping Exposed

Posted on September 24 at 10:02 a.m.

Well that certainly looks like an ugly monstrosity. You know, after how we European usurpers treated the Native Americans, I can't really blame them for making a buck in any legal way available to them and for sticking their collective thumbs in our eyes with ugly developments like the one proposed here. I don't blame them either for not trusting whitey to consider the Chumash best interests in any land use negotiation. However, it would be nice if the Chumash could show the wisdom of recognizing the negative effects that their actions are having on the community and make every attempt to mitigate those effects to the greatest extent feasible. After 522 years of bad blood though, I doubt that it is going to get friendly any time soon.

On 12-Story Hotel by 2016?

Posted on September 22 at 8:17 p.m.

As a taxpayer, I don't mind paying to keep this sociopath away from people for the rest of his life. However, it might be cheaper to release him when he is 75 or 80, when he will be too infirm to be dangerous to others, and let him get on with some sort of minimum social security and Medicare. The taxpayers would still be footing the bill but I bet it would be cheaper.

On Macias Found Guilty

Posted on September 22 at 2:48 p.m.

I really enjoyed the show (even the new songs). The musicianship was stellar and the mix on the voices the best I've heard at a Bowl show for a long time. I could hear and understand every word sung. Still's guitar work was virtuosic and original and it is unbelievable to me that Crosby and Nash can still sing like that at their, shall we say, venerable and dignified ages. There were three things I liked about the new song "There's Somebody Home:" 1) Crosby's voice, 2) The strange and beautiful chords that he achieved with that weird tuning, and 3) the message that the most important thing about choosing a life partner is to find someone whose ideas interest your mind. Is that a trite sentiment? Maybe, but all too often love songs sing the praises of intense emotion and forget that relationships have to be intellectually stimulating as well if they are going to survive the long haul. Stephen's voice is what it is and only sounded bad because he was singing with two older men who appeared to be channeling pre-pubescent choir boys. Loved the show.

On Review: Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Posted on September 21 at 8:37 p.m.

I love it when people use "the government" as a default boogey man. Folks, we are the government. We get the government we vote for. We get the government we deserve. The economy is kind of different. We only get to vote on the economy second hand (by voting for government) so we are separated from influencing the economy by several orders of separation. Both liberals and conservatives make claims to be the best choice for a robust economy that benefits all, but neither really know for sure that their respective policies will actually produce the effects they promise. No matter how densely you may want to build housing in Santa Barbara, rents would not come down because the demand to live here is effectively infinite. The low wages are an indication that the demand to work here is also infinite. The supply and demand curve of classical capitalism would tell us then that there would be a downward pressure on wages and an upward pressure on rents in this economic environment. Hence the need for a little puppet master action by government on both sides of that equation.

On The High Price of Renting in Paradise

Posted on September 21 at 3:07 p.m.

Way back in 1978, fresh our of college, and after of year of searching, I landed my first technical career track job in a small Southern California coastal town. The job paid $6.56/hour ($23.12/hour in today's dollars). That salary allowed me the freedom to rent a single wall construction studio house with old fashion open wire electrical and sketchy plumbing. The house was located in a part of town that was called backed then "the other side of the tracks" and I had bikers and gang members for neighbors. The rent was $150/month ($530/month in today's dollars), which was a little more than 10% of my gross monthly salary. Fast forward to now: My younger child recently graduated from a prestigious university with a science degree and after a year of searching got an entry level technical job which required that degree. The job pays $12.00/hour. Rent on a studio in this town is $1,000/month (50% of the gross monthly salary provided by $12.00/hour). Not only have the salaries of entry level technical positions that require college degrees not kept up with inflation, but the growth in rental costs have outpaced inflation by double. Both sides of that equation are unjust. Those who decry the attempt of government to regulate wages and rents would be well advised to admit that Adam Smith's invisible hand is making it impossible for people to live in a civilized manner and sooner or later those people will turn the politicians for relief. I will be here to say I told you so.

On The High Price of Renting in Paradise

Posted on September 20 at 10:54 a.m.

I am going to have to agree with John Locke on this one. If we are going to accommodate our state institutions to one religion, we will eventually have to accommodate all religions. There are all manner of high holy days among the many and diverse religions that humans have invented over the millennia. What's next? Are we to cancel classes on All Hallows Eve' in deference to Wicca and then also the next day, November 1st which is All Saints Day, for the Catholics. When I lived in the South, Wednesday evenings were a big deal for Baptists. Should we cancel Wednesday evening classes at UCSB in deference to the Baptists? This could go on and on. Where does it stop?

On UC Delays Start Date for Religious Holiday

Posted on September 18 at 8:25 p.m.

Well DJ-Jazy, you must be right. For my part, I am seldom 100% certain about that which I know. I am never certain about that which I am ignorant.

On Blood-Bloated Ticks Nesting in a Dog’s Ear

Posted on September 18 at 7:31 p.m.

Well nativegeo you got that wrong. I never worked directly for the oil industry. My liver is fine by the way. And DJ-Jazy, you assume that I have never met the engineers at SME or ERG or Greka. That is an interesting assumption. I admit that I was harsher than I normally choose to be on these posts, but over the last 40 years, I have seen more foul ups in the oil patch than I can count (including badly and dangerously designed refinery processes, incompetent erosion control protocols, ignored explosion hazards, and on and on). The smaller the company the more corners they cut and the worse the hazards were. I have to give ExxonMobil credit. That is a first class operation although they tend to treat other oil companies the way that cats treat mice, not nicely.

On Blood-Bloated Ticks Nesting in a Dog’s Ear

Posted on September 18 at 5:02 p.m.

I don't think that Measure P is that well written, but I will probably vote for it for one major reason. The oil industry in Santa Barbara is full of buffoons and idiots. So is the environmentalist crowd. However, when conducting operations such as cyclic steam injection, the utmost care must be taken by the smartest and most skilled engineers and technicians one can find. Unfortunately, "smartest" and "most skilled" are not words that describe most of the folks that work in the oil industry in Santa Barbara County. If Exxon owned the North County oil fields, I would not be concerned. But the third and forth tier fly by night operators who purchased the sticky goo in the played out oil fields in Cat Canyon and other locales up North, frighten me with their incompetence. If you catch your 4 year old playing with matches, you take them away.

On Blood-Bloated Ticks Nesting in a Dog’s Ear

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