[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster
A heartbreaking story is unfolding on the California and Oregon coasts: thousands of fishermen are threatened with total extinction from the Pacific Fisheries Management restrictions on salmon issued last April.
The Klamath river and watershed is the very last refuge of a once mighty salmon population that used to swarm every single creek and river north of San Louis Obispo just eight generations ago. In a desperate attempt to save what's left draconian salmon limits were enforced, effectively cutting any revenue this year for salmon to zero. Every boat owner with payments is facing financial disaster and a wrenching prospect of life away from the sea.
Fishermen suffering from Katrina received federal aid in a week, but repeated attempts by governor Steroid and congressional reps have led to nothing--in an election year from a Congress that spends like Bush lies. Why?
To hide the truth of why the Klamath fishery collapsed in the first place: three years ago, in a criminal genuflect to farmers who captured federal water policy, the Klamath was starved of cold water for farming. The fishery collapsed with tens of thousands of dead salmon bloated on the banks. If one hasn't heard this story it's because the fishermen and river people gutted in this disaster of 2002 didn't mean anything to corporate interests, so our corporate press ignored it.
That's why governor Bicep can't get any help: the criminal freaks who run our country are embarrassed at the collapse of the fishery and want as little attention paid to the story as possible.
Kevin Drum had a terrific post recently that explicitly exposed the absurd logic currently dictating our disastrous occupation of Iraq--if we leave we'll lose all credibility. Hello? We have no credibility. If we leave we'll destabilize the place, but of course our very presence makes the middle east more unstable by the day. If we leave we'll be perceived as weak, but staying weakens us more every hour, nobody denies it.
We're staying in Iraq for the same reason we won't help our pacific salmon fishermen: the simple truth (we lied to go to war, we wrecked the Klamath salmon fishery) embarrasses the crooks who run our country. Doing the right thing would make them look bad, so forget it.
The men and women on the boats have devoted their whole working lives to this very dangerous, cherished way of life. Brave self-sufficiency by Americans working hard to make it mean nothing to Bush or Cheney, they'll simply smash these people's lives just so they won't lose face. Sound familiar?
"Many believe that their decision is influenced at least in part by the fact that a disaster declaration would implicate the administration's controversial water policy."
A very careful local reporter will get a sentence like that published. The truth that we sacrifice our people to hide the truth will never, ever be reported in our national corporate press.