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Klamath Courier March 15, 2006 Page 12, Column 3 By Pat Ratliff

As I See It

Knowledge is Power

I remember well the first time I heard the phrase "knowledge is
power", or at least the first time it sunk in.  It was at an auction
on the first bucket brigade convoy.  It really struck me as something
to remember.

There's another phrase, I think from The Art of War, which says "know
thy enemy".

As we live our every day lives, and fight our every day wars, I
sometimes wonder how much we know our enemies.

Actually, in our water struggles, it often seems we don't even know
who our enemies are.

Every day, someone new is filing a lawsuit, or coming out in a
newspaper saying the most asinine things you can think of about the
water situation.  More often than not, the facts and figures they
recite don't make a lick of sense.

If you're like me you mutter and curse under your breathe, say for
the seven hundredth time you're going to write a letter to some
editor (which we never do), you file the person or group away in some
crevice in your mind, and go about your daily business.

Often, we think that what was said is so crazy that no one will believe it.

Of course the reality of the situation is that if it's said in a
newspaper, many people will believe it.  Many people can't tell the
difference between fact and opinion.  The bigger the newspaper, the
more people are inclined to believe every word printed in it.

With so many completely insane things being said about water usage
around here, I think we would all do well to think about where this
misinformation is coming from.

Often, when some enviro group files a suit, they have 10 or 20 other
groups sign on with them.  When I see the name of some Audubon
Society group from Florida signed on, I tend to think they just
signed on because someone told them it would be good.  After I see
then signed on for the fifteenth time, I begin to classify them in
the enemy camp.

It makes you stop and wonder though.  Not only why would some little
group thousands of miles away want to sign onto a lawsuit, but how
were the logistics of that action ever even put into play?  Somebody
had to contact them, send them some sort of literature, convince the
members it was in their best interests to become involved, etc.

I think it's safe to say that someone has a network out there.  How
much do we know about this or these networks?

The same questions could be asked about newspapers.  If a newspaper
prints a ridiculous article, which they should know better than, or
at least check out their facts, is that being dumb or are they part
of that group opposing us?  I would hope for both sides of a story
being printed at the very least, but you know you won't often see

I won't mention any names but, if the Oregonian prints 25 articles in
a row without ever contacting anyone from the Klamath Basin to check
facts or ask questions about the other side of the story, which camp
would you put them in, friend or foe?

The same thing could be said about the myriad of governmental
agencies which seem to have decided they have the ability to right
the wrongs in the Klamath Basin.

After years and years and millions and millions of dollars, they have
yet to begin to even move in that direction.  What is for sure is
that their budgets have swelled and they have brought more and more
of their personnel into the fray.

Just like many of the environmental groups, they thrive and flourish
on friction and conflict.

So much governmental and other money is being spent on every whacky
study and group, it's no wonder nothing is being accomplished.

The cash cow is in town folks, and everyone seems to be lined up
waiting for a steak.

I won't mention any names, but, do you realize the BOR, the US Forest
Service and the US Fish and Wildlife service are all donating money,
time and personnel not only to attend but also to sponsor the so
called "Chadwick Consensus Training meetings?

Your tax dollars are being spent on feel good meetings where people
are instructed they must agree to want removal of the dams on the
Klamath River, among other things.

Know your enemy.

If it looks like a duck and talks like a duck, no matter how many
times they tell you they are really helping you, it's still a duck.
That most chilling of scenarios, which instantly puts fear into the
minds of every man, woman and child across the nation is relevant
here also; "We're from the government, and we're here to help you."

Know your enemy.  Knowledge is power.



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