Propaganda and the Party Line
Some time ago the present governance heralded a just released “scientific” study justifying their propagation of the ill fated sewer program. Snippets of some quote by some pol that did not read the full report appeared on the city’s web site and since then the usual councilpersons and their obligatory apologists have misquoted the misquote of something that they themselves did not take the time to read.
So of course this author made the mistake of actually reading the original report. And worse, furthered the mistake by actually talking to the lead scientist that conducted the study and was the lead author of the final paper. Hence then, for the record …
The original scientific report is entitled “Human Fecal Indicator Bacteria and Pathogenic Viruses in Offshore and Human Recreational Risk in Nearshore Water of the Florida Keys”. The lead researcher/author is Dr. Erin Lipp from the University of Georgia.
True to form the report is quite interesting. Sans the excruciating technical details in the 53 page report (God forbid anyone else has to get bogged down in the details), the study identified a bacteria that can only come from us defecating humans and can live (in a matter of speaking) in the ocean long enough to be measured. This bacterium was identified in the ocean and gulf waters off the Florida Keys. Great. Now here is the line from the report that the blind apologists loved:
A critical local and regional source of stress is the widespread use of in-ground wastewater disposal (~30,000 septic tanks and cess [sic] pits).
My, my, my. Those pesty septic tanks and there be that darn fecal in the water thing again. The local pseudo-intelligentsia went to town.
Uhm … but for someone that has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and has prestigious research to his credit, the quoted sentence is a red flag.
After coming across this gem, this author emailed Dr. Lipp (after having a very pleasant and collegial conversation a couple of weeks earlier – she had provided the full report) and posed the following question. “Only from septic tanks?” To date, there has not been a reply to the email or to several phone calls. Here is why.
As per the United States Geological Survey, Monroe County and two environmental organizations, in the Florida Keys, there are 25,000 septic tanks AND 7,000 cesspools AND … ready for this … 700 shallow injections wells plus 3 Class I injection wells. The 7,000 cesspools – an open area where sewage is deposited – are illegal. The Key West treatment plant lacks nutrient removing tertiary treatment systems and therefore releases millions of gallons into near-shore wells.
So … all of that fecal thing they measured came from exactly where?
Do we all remember how the greatest president to ever grace us with his infidelity won the first election? “It’s the economy stupid!” Well, “it’s the cesspools and shallow injection wells stupid!”. Just in case the island geniuses missed it, “it’s not the septic tanks stupid!”.
The shallow injection wells are so offensive that the USGS commissioned a series of studies where they actually drilled test shafts near the shallow injections wells and found --- there be that darn fecal thing again.
Just in that extremely remote chance those that claim to herald the end of human civilization due to septic tanks missed it, here is but one of the USGS depictions from one of their many studies:
Fecal indicator bacteria can be derived from a variety of sources in addition to humans and this trend may reflect the multiple land based sources of pollution to this area.
No, seriously? Of course, that quote would never appear on the city’s web page.
To date, this report has not undergone the rigors of a scientific study – namely, it has not undergone a peer review. Additionally, this report to date has not been published in any scientific journal.
So … using the existentialist logic employed by one of the candidates for city council when responding to the question “why did you say that the people who were complaining of hydrogen sulfide poisoning were doing a stunt?”, this “study” is a stunt (recall that said candidate went into a speech about peer-reviewed published studies and such would only make observations credible, ipso facto, the 900+ plus people complaining of hydrogen sulfide symptoms were doing a stunt – just like the thousands of Vietnamese and US veterans decrying the use of Agent Orange were doing a stunt and hence not to be believed because Dow Chemical and Monsanto (two of the makers of Agent Orange) had no scientific study supporting the Vietnamese’s or US soldiers’ claims that the defoliant caused grotesque birth defects).
Let’s end this section with a prophetic sentence from the same pseudo-scientific report the special interest denizens trumpeted as validating their ruse:
At Higg’s Beach in Key West, which is frequently closed due to high indicator counts, the estimated risk was 7.9/1,000 and was 2.5/1,000 at Bahia Honda State Park.
Those numbers are microbial risk assessments based on viral detection. The EPA limit is 0.1/1,000.
Keep drilling those deep injection wells boys and keep laying down those sewer pipes in Marco Island and you can be quoted on the next EPA study too!
Propaganda and the Party Line Part II
Analogous to the above sickening guffaw is this urban legend that the governor will mandate sewers on Marco. This myth has become so ridiculous by evolving via the old telephone game that it has morphed into “… and I personally spoke with the governor himself and he told me that if we don’t put sewers in he will order them using the National Guard.” Everyone on Marco supporting sewers either spoke with the governor or knows someone that spoke with the governor.
These claims reminds one of the Ferris Bueller movie where everyone claimed to have known Ferris and spoke with him despite the fact that no one had – but it was cool to say so. Similar to this nonsense are Elvis sightings and tons of asbestos planting by septuagenarians. Oh, and the pictures of same.
At first blush, it would seem that those souls that actually paid attention in sixth grade civics class would have scoffed at the notion that the governor could order such a thing, given that we are – well, sort of – a democracy. But then reality must take hold for after all this is Marco Island and the U.S. Constitution and natural law and regulations don’t and won’t apply until the councilor whose partner is the largest Republican party contributor fades from this earth. Hence this author’s mistake number two by looking into the matter.
So as to save the space and the reading time for those that decry the length of the articles appearing herein, we have documented evidence from the governor’s office that no such conversations took place, that there will be no mandate from the governor and that the Florida National Guard is not coming to enforce anything (except perhaps to execute by firing squad the city councilor that LEGALLY deleted his emails only to be charged by the politicized regional policia). Aside from the fact that the Guard is too busy in Iraq, the governor’s office was kind in what he said and what he did not say. He did not say what the present governance has been promoting. We have the documents and the records of the communications. Case closed.
Speaking of Emails
Thereby ensuring the complete and utter corruption of whatever feigns as the Collier County legal system, the only councilor that has been steadfast against the STRP and other special interest sleaze was “charged” with violating the (lack of) Sunshine Laws for … deleting emails.
When this charade first surfaced, the author started reading myriad cases on this particular issue only to come across an avalanche of decisions unequivocally proving the sham of the charges.
Not that the “law enforcement” pressing this issue care about legions of cases disproving their contention mind you. Here is but one out of over a dozen nearly identical decisions:
Moreover, the Supreme Court has rejected a similar argument that the mere placement of a document in a public official’s file makes the document a public record. In Shevin v. Byron, Harless, Schaffer, Reid & Associates, 379 So. 2d 633 (Fla. 1980), the Supreme Court rejected the decision of the district court of appeal that "in effect said that section 119.011(1) applies to almost everything generated or received by a public agency.” Id. at 640. Instead, the Supreme Court held that only materials prepared “with the intent of perpetuating and formalizing knowledge” fit the definition of a public record. Id. [Times Publishing Company vs. City of Clearwater, Case No. 2D01-3055]
If to support the present governance on Marco Island, the Collier County juris prudence would pursue any venue, even those analogous to the wonderful work of other unbiased legal pursuits such as that of Chief Justice Roger Taney.
Just when you thought you heard the last of formerly-defunct, recently-resurected, local neo-nazi sponsor of klan-like rallies hate group, here they are again. So this time they create this “anonymous” (they are so brave and macho, aren’t they?) web site replete with lies and slurs, and then spam a bunch of people (the spam in this case is NOT a federal crime contrary to what the island’s self proclaimed computer savants have claimed – besides, Hate Slate members would be exempt anyway), and life goes on here on Marco and for the English and poli-science majors that imagine themselves to be “journalists”.
So for entertainment purposes, we back-tracked the web site (domain) to the IP address 18.104.22.168. This IP address is for a server hosting several other nonsensical web sites, all provided by Godaddy.com. Of interest, the server that hosts the Hate Slate’s anonymous web site also hosts a puerile blog about podcasts and a porn site. How appropriate.
The identity of the person that registered the hate web site is “protected” – a service readily accomplished by paying a fee. Too bad (for them) that the veil of cover is readily and easily breached.
Speaking of the Hate Slate
The best quote from the best book of the year is so apt for this group:
As a child in the deep south, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan; as an adult, I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along.
“My Grandfather’s Son” by Clarence Thomas
Yep, one person started to wonder the same thing when caught unprepared (and un-armed) at their first rally when the shouts of “Shoot Them!” resonated off the church walls and into the hearts of the then city manager and one city councilperson in attendance.
Just about the time there was an outcry about pipe pitting, this author wanted to look into the matter scientifically. So, a high-end water testing company was hired – as in paid for – to test the water at a modest Marco Island abode.
The high-end water testing company came with all sorts of sophisticated equipment and fancy looking devices and slug around a bunch of big science words. And of course took enough water – at the point of entry into the house – to fill a bathtub. The report was eagerly awaited.
And then it came in the mail. Everything that was tested for – and it was a lot – given how much was paid it didn’t seem like enough – was NOT FOUND.
Read that again. Everything that the high-end water testing company tested for in the water, they could not find. Meaning, that there was no traces of anything in the city water.
This was found to be quite odd, so clearly there was a mistake. A call was placed, and lo and behold, the high-end water testing company confirmed that there is nothing – nothing at all – in the water. So the conversation went like this:
ME: You found nothing?
ME: There were no traces at all of those elements and bacteria you tested for?
HEWTC: That’s right, no traces whatsoever.
ME: So, we get distilled water from the City of Marco Island?
HEWTC: It seems that way.
The high-end water testing company (HEWTC) is the same company used virtually daily by the City of Marco Island.
You Can’t Make this Up
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on the phone with the present governance’s astute public works director who is assuring the federal agency that there is no dewatering occurring on Marco Island. The agency puts the comic character on hold, calls the revolutionaries and asks them to take some pictures. The good fellas proceed to do so of the dewatering that, according the gumba on hold, was not occurring. The pictures are taken … with embedded GPS coordinates and GPS time stamps, and are immediately sent to the EPA.
We just can’t wait to read the present governance’s response to the EPA’s demand letter. As was written in these pages, the EPA knows a lot more than the present governance wants the rest of us (especially federal agencies) to know.
Speaking of Pictures
The Nuremberg File has been updated continuously over the past year, now with 222 pictures. We particularly like the ones with the GPS coordinates and the ones taken after the EPA was assured that no dewatering was happening on the island.
And Lastly …
Speaking of dewatering, on December 28, 2007 at 8am the lift station, on Winterberry Drive and approximately across from the tax office, was being pumped out. A portable pump was sucking some liquid out of the lift station and into a grate that lead into a waterway. And that lift station has purportedly yet to be used.
Here is an idea … The new city emblem can be a small group of nice Hispanic guys sporting Gucci sunglasses and cell phones wearing neatly pressed shirts with the letters QE (more predictive would be “QED”) embroidered above the pocket with a background of gleaming new trucks similarly emblazoned and sitting around a portable pump that is sucking out effluent from a lift station.
What an epitaph to Marco Island – QE crews pumping out lift stations for eternity.