from July 2011, Culture
For those living in the Klamath Basin, math has changed a bit. If you asked a local what “2+2 equals”, they would tell you “4” . If you asked someone what “4+4 equals”, they would say “8”. And if you asked them what “KBRA equals” they would reply, "Jobs."
Really? KBRA = Jobs? That's the answer?
Hmmm. Let's review the back-work to this equation to make sure there aren't any mistakes.
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to visit an old fashioned car show. The Klamath Kruise is an annual favorite — gazing upon all those old restored cars and trucks as if they just rolled off the assembly line. It's a lot of fun looking, hearing, smelling and remembering (and wondering) what it was like "back then".
But when it comes to nature, can it be restored, like a 1952 Studebaker? Can nature be rolled back the way it was 50 years ago? How about people, can we be restored? Now thinking about it, can cars really be restored? In the case of cars, they are a non-living, man-made creation. Therefore the answer is yes, cars can be restored because all the parts can be swapped out with originals. But with living organisms, such as people and nature, restoration is not quite that simple. While face lifts, hair regrowth, tummy tucks and botox try to roll back the clock, it's a mere illusion. After the procedure is done, we are still the same age, no matter what we've had "altered" to try and say otherwise. In the end reality rules the day. The same can be said about nature. It is silly to think we can roll back the sands of time and pretend it is 1911 by removing this or adding that. It is 2011 and nature has adapted and moved on. Moreover, nature is such a complex set of systems, sub-systems and super-systems, the idea that humans can alter something and restore nature back to what it was 100 years ago is a very utopian notion.
If you have driven around the Klamath Basin within the past year you have most likely seen those yellow sign with black letters with the following equation: KBRA = Jobs! For those not in the know, KBRA stands for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. According to a KBRA website,
“The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is a settlement agreement among residents of the Klamath Basin that creates a solid path forward on long-standing, stalemated resource disputes in the region.”
The main resource disputed is water — who gets it, how much and when. In a wet year, like 2011, water disputes are all but gone. However, during a dry year like last year and 2001:
In political discourse the goal has always been the same: win the argument. But today it feels a little different than yesteryear because it's: win — at all costs. Said another way, often the ends often justify the means. With this win at all cost mentality, something is sacrificed — the truth. Candidates tend to shade the facts one way or another when it concerns themselves and often outright lie about their opponent’s views.
One sad casualty in this "new politic" is the real meaning of Self Interest. Ask anyone what this term means and most wouldn't have any idea. Those who do respond usually confuse self interest with being self-centered or selfish.
Self Interest is a crucial conservative concept for the general public to understand. Without a proper understanding conservatives become easy targets, quickly labeled by opponents as greedy, mean spirited and self-serving. So what does Self Interest mean?