November 24, 2005

Jacobs rides to the rescue on Asian carp eradication


As families gathered for Thanksgiving across northwest Illinois, the main topic of conversation for young and old at the table this year wasn't Iraq, taxes, bird flu, or the Bears. It was who in the world could we depend on to step forward and create a public/private partnership to protect us from Asian carp. What was the use of living if it was in a world dominated by these souless fat jumping bastards.

Well, fear no more. Senator Jacobs, with his finger on the pulse of the electorate, has stepped into the breach to propose carp related program activities.
State Senator state Mike Jacobs says he is anxious to get something done about the problem of the Asian carp that now infest many of Illinois waterways.

The Moline Democrat says that while the invasive fish are an ecological nightmare, they could be the source of new jobs and other economic benefits for the state.

Jacobs says that when the legislative session opens in January, he will propose a public-private venture and request 900 thousand dollars in state funds for Schafer's Fisheries, the largest wholesale fish supplier in the Midwest.

Schafer's, which has branches in Fulton and Thompson, recently started production of an organic fish fertilizer. The company is also considering several options to create and fill the market for Asian carp including a protein extraction plant, a frozen fish pattie and vacuum-packed carp.
Mmmmmmm Vacuum-packed carp, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

Some carp have escaped the southern fish farms and made their way north along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and could soon reach the Great Lakes. An electric barrier south of Chicago, which gives the fish a non-lethal jolt, is designed to prevent them from entering Lake Michigan.

Asian carp, which often leap out of the water, can grow to more than 100 pounds.

As filter feeders, they're affecting the Illinois River food chain by eating plankton needed by native fish.

The silver species which leaps from the water makes boating dangerous when the large fish crash into boats, hitting people and damaging equipment.

They grow quickly, have no natural predators and won't bite a hook. One fish can produce 2.2 million eggs.

Some experts believe the electronic barrier installed to keep them out of the Great Lakes has come too late.
From the U.S. EPA:
Federal and state agencies completed construction of an electrical fish barrier as a demonstration project to study the effectiveness of preventing species migration between the River and the Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the temporary electronic dispersal barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, Illinois, at a cost of approximately $2.2 million. It was activated in April, 2002.

In late October 2004, construction will begin on a second, more permanent barrier. The new barrier, scheduled to be completed in February 2005, stretches two rows of electrodes across the canal approximately 220 feet apart. The electrodes pulse DC current into the water, causing fish will turn back rather than pass through the electric current.

The cost of this permanent barrier is $9.1 million. These funds are 75% federal and 25% non-federal. The State of Illinois has committed $1.7 for the non-federal share.

So the state and federal government have a barrier in place which it going to be made permanent at a cost of over $10 million dollars all together. Is handing a private company nearly a million bucks to harvest the raw material they'll then process and make a profit on really in the public interest?

Having private interests harvest this invasive species is a fine idea. It's win-win. Someone like Shafer's can harvest the fish or buy them from independent fisherman, and then process the fish into various products and, with good management, make a profit and expand their business and create a handful of jobs in the process.

But where I'm confused is, why does Shafer's, which I'm sure is a fine company, need nearly a million bucks of our money to do this? If they need start-up capital, shouldn't they go to their banker like everyone else?

If the state were paying them simply to eradicate the carp and say, bury them or something as a means of protecting the fisheries and waterways, then that would be one thing. They'd need to be paid to cover their costs. But this proposal isn't about getting rid of a potentially harmful invader species. That should be able to be accomplished in the free market without taxpayer funded subsidies.

Shafer's is going to process the carp into potentially profitable by-products. Why shouldn't they pay for the raw materials for their business like every other business in the country, or world for that matter? Yet Jacobs is pointing to his proposal to hand them nearly a million tax dollars as if it's a great accomplishment for which we should all be grateful.

As long as someone says the magic words, "public/private partnership", and "jobs", are we supposed to just swallow that it must be ok and we shouldn't ask exactly how many jobs, at what pay scale, will be created and what we're getting in exchange for our nearly one million dollars? The question should be asked, how much is Jacobs proposing we pay per job created.

What gives? Somebody straighten me out here as to why Jacob's proposal is good for anyone but Shafer's and perhaps the few lucky people who may get one of the added jobs. And don't say it will get rid of carp. Thankfully, with several commercial uses for carp byproducts, that could be accomplished in the marketplace without public dollars.

What do you think?

24 Comments:

At 11/25/2005 11:11 AM, Anonymous voterguide said...

DOPE,

Taking Asian Carp out of our waterways and turning them into protein extraction plant, frozen fish patties and vacuum-packed carp is not a very profitable business. Unless government leads the way, no private business will see any rational reason to harvest this ecoligical nightmare. That why a public/private partnerhip works so well here.

Don't look at return on dollars, but rather return on maintaining our waterways and keeping Illinois' boaters safe (two boaters on the Ilinois River have already been killed by jumping Asian Carp).

You may not realize it but people come to Northwestern Illinois to fish and play on our waterways. If we stand aside and looke we will soon find that the only fish left in our water is the Asian Carps. When one looks at the Illinois River, a million dollars seems like a very small price to pay to keep our rivers full of bass, walleye, catsfish and from becoming an ecological nightmare!

While the DOPE calls it "pork," Senator Mike Jacobs says "the invasive fish are an ecological nightmare, and instead they could be a source for new jobs and other economic benefits for the state."

Now that you have more facts DOPE, are you still against Sen. Mike Jacobs proposal to turn a problem into money?

Well, how about it Dope?

 
At 11/25/2005 11:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yes.

First of all, thank you for the response and providing the Jacobs perspective.

Until someone can provide a source for the assertions you make re: it not being profitable to process and market the carp by-products, I'd have to still question the wisdom of providing a million tax dollars to a private concern for this effort.

It's one thing to simply say that the money is needed. It's another to show or provide credible evidence that it is.

A million bucks is a heck of a lot of money for a project which appears to be a straight giveaway to one company.

The questions and concerns in my post were not specifically addressed and still stand.

There's still no firm estimate of the number of jobs this would supposedly create. Still no real evidence that the harvesting of carp and marketing of the various by-products could not be commercially viable.

The appearance is that someone cooked up this scheme to take advantage of the Asian carp situation to grab a million bucks from the state taxpayers.

There's still no evidence that the commerical harvesting of these pests couldn't easily be funded by traditional methods or that public funds are required to be injected into the process.

The carp are no doubt a serious concern for a variety of reasons, and action is already being taken to prevent their spread into the Great Lakes. That the public interest is served by trying to reduce and control their populations is not in dispute.

The state should provide surveys, information, monitoring, etc. as they currently do.

But in this instance, we're incredibly fortunate that a commercial solution exists! This is a great situation where, confronted with a threat to the waterways, it's found that the pest can be commercially harvested for profit. What could be better?

Why not take advantage of that without squandering one million tax dollars which obviously are so desperately needed for other things, such as helping actual human beings with food, shelter, education, etc?

And if you maintain that this money is required because processing of the by-products are unprofitable, then will taxpayers be expected to continue to subidize this company in perpetuity?

Or is this the case of the company being handed their start up costs and more on the taxpayer's dime, essentially using the taxpayers to get a no-interest, no payback "loan"?

Could Shafer's get a start-up loan at a bank to make the necessary investments to get this operation up and running?

If not, why not? And why should the Illinois taxpayer hand them the money?

Someone's not being straight-up with the public about this yet.

In my very humble opinion, it's not been shown why public funding is necessary.

 
At 11/25/2005 12:14 PM, Blogger CountyDemo said...

When Channel 2 CBS news in Chicago heard about Senator Mike Jacobs' idea, they called it a "Novel Plan." Yet the anonymous owner of a little read local blog seems incapable of understanding why government is the only one with incentive to provide the dollars to harvest these ecological nighmares, and turn them into new jobs and other economic benefits for the state.

For the second time DOPE, there is no profit in private business buying a million worth of equipment to harvest the Asian Carp. However, using our tax dollars to off-set the high start-up costs of equipment, the project becomes self-sufficent and worksto help save our waterways!

If you think a million dollars in tax money is too much to spend to to ensuresee the Mississippi River doesn't become an ecological nightmare, you are entitled to your opinion. But I think most taxpayers are more than willing to spend a quater to keep our rivers from becoming an ecoligical nightmare. Don't you DOPE?

 
At 11/25/2005 5:35 PM, Blogger diehard said...

How about exporting them to China? They are rapeing us of all of our other natural resources.
Why not get rid of a natural resource we dont want?@

 
At 11/25/2005 6:15 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

CountyDemo...

First, I don't care what words some dingbat reporter at a Chicago TV station choses to use when referring to Jacobs' carp proposal.
"Novel" can mean a lot of things. Like when someone gets a hair cut that makes them look hideous, you could say that it's a "novel" haircut. Novel means different, but doesn't imply good or bad.

And you're right in one respect. I DON'T understand why our tax dollars have to be given away to a private interest to do what they should be expected to do, and likely could do, on their own. I might note that it's not me that you've got to to convince, it's Illinois taxpayers, and in my opinion, you've still fallen short on making us all understand why this giveaway is prudent or necessary.

As usual, you throw out the magic word "jobs" in hopes it will make readers' eyss glaze over and their brain shut down.

And, I might add, rather than immediately going to the trough to try to take public money and give it to a private interest, did the good senator even THINK of having a study done to see if it was commercially viable to do it WITHOUT tax dollars?

HA! I feel safe in saying that he doesn't have a clue if it could be done without tax dollars, but instead just sees a chance to give a well-off constituent a huge gift of public money.

While it may be the "way it's done", too often politicians have been able to get away with these hand-outs which, while they may or may not create a handful of low-wage jobs, in reality go straight into the pockets or bank accounts of the business owners, who then return the favor and the money makes it full circle back to the politician who made it possible to make the grab in the first place.

There's no guarantee of jobs from this, nor have you made it known how many jobs and at what wages.

Are we supposed to jump up and down and clap about giving up, say, $20,000 a piece to create jobs paying barely over minimum wage with no benefits????!!

Talk to me. Why fuzz up the jobs angle so badly?

"Jobs" have been very good for legislators and particularly business owners who have effectively looted the government. All a politician has to say is "jobs" and people just roll over.

Taxpayers should be able to decide how much they're willing to part with to create a job and what sort of job they are.

Instead of all the clap-trap about public good, of which there's precious little, why not be honest and just say the proposal is for the taxpayers of Illinois to give a no-strings, nearly million dollar GIFT to one company?

Here are the reasons this deal is FISHY:

A. no proof or study showing how processing these carp by-products would be unprofitable and why

B. No explanation or rationale for exactly WHY Shafer's is unable to get the start-up costs anywhere else but from the public.

C. NO explanation for why, since this is essentially a business start-up loan, Jacobs' proposal is a GRANT, rather than a LOAN, as it properly should be. And no explanation for why, if it's true that Shaffer's can't make money on the fish by-products as you state, they need a one time gift, rather than long time subsidies in order to make it work.

D. No statement as to the exact number of jobs expected to be created, at what wages, and with what benefits,

Until those issues are dealt with honestly, this deal looks like a dog (or a big ugly fish) for all taxpayers that give a damn what's being done with their money, especially when the state is essentially broke and cutting programs for schools, etc. left and right.

 
At 11/25/2005 6:23 PM, Blogger shamalamadingdong21 said...

This will be my last post on the inside dope and i do not intend to even read it in the future.

You started this blog to provide a forum for discussing local politics and now you have turned it into a "How can I spin everything Sen. Jacobs does into something negative so that I can create a controversy to bring traffic to my site blog."


There will be a new forum coming soon from a new source of leadership in the local democratic party. The new forum will be designed to encourage unity and progress, communication and cooperation and will be a source of problem identification and solutions. We will get back to an honest, open debate on the issues and get away from the politics of personal attacks. Negative campaigning and politicking has turned the public off and unless we come together with a positive message of hope and optimisim, and offer solutions to the problems which face average people everyday, the Democratic Party risks falling back into the Reagan era.

Dope, I call on you as the leader of this blog to set a better example. Maybe I am under the wrong impression, but when this blog started I thought you were a Democrat seeking to strengthen the Democratic Party in this area. But, to the limited audience out there it appears that this blog has deepened the existing divisions, created new ones and added a level of animosity among the anonymous participants trying to guess the true identitiy of those making the personal atttacks.

I am outta here. Have a nice life!

 
At 11/26/2005 3:06 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Shama,
Sorry you feel that way, but you're dead wrong.

Despite the fact that you have the sheer gall to come here and denigrate, insult, and mischaracterize the very blog you're using to promote your own, I've decided to post your huffy comment anyway. I wonder if you'll be as open-minded on your blog. Somehow, I doubt it.

I must say your characterization of this blog is utterly untrue and unsupported by reality. It's unfortunate that you feel discussing things on their merits is somehow unfair. Guess you'd prefer a rubber-stamp approval of everything any Dem does? Mindless support of the status quo? If more of the same is your idea of leading the party forward, good luck.

I appreciated your thoughtful comments until you started parroting talking points. When you were independent, you really added a lot to the discussion.

If more people like yourself would have participated more often, you could have easily made this blog more of what you hoped it would be. I've even offered an open invitation for anyone to write their own posts. Only a couple people took the opportunity, and notably, you weren't among them.

I've begged and extended repeated invitations for party officials, candidates, elected officials, or groups to use the blog to post notices, announcments, events, opinion pieces, or simply to participate in any way.

It's not for lack of effort on my part that almost no one has. I certainly don't feel at fault. It's like they sit there like zombies staring at the blog as if there was some impenatrable barrier there. The fact that they didn't utilize this great opportunity is not due to my lack of effort to get them to do so, believe me.

Your complaints rings hollow for many more reasons as well, too numerous to discuss here. I'd very much appreciate it if you'd contact me via email as I'd love to refute your claims in more detail.

I regret to say that your suggestion that I sit here trying to find ways to knock Jacobs for the sole reason of increasing traffic is simply stupid on it's face.

I've challenged others and I'll challenge you. Cite one thing that I've posted here that wasn't true about Jacobs or anyone. So far, silence. You can't.

First, you certainly have little or no idea whether posts regarding Jacobs increase or decrease traffic, and frankly, neither do I.

I do know that the days I've gotten the highest number of vistors, there was nothing about your new boss on the blog.

It's simply further evidence of the rampant ego and arrogance involved that you all assume that Jacobs stories drive traffic. What a joke.

Secondly, it's kind of funny that you think that posting things that people might actually find of interest is somehow suspect.

I guess if your standard for success is how little traffic a site attracts, I'm an utter failure.

Good luck with that mindset on your new blog. Maybe if no one reads it, you'll then pronounce the effort a great success.

If the Jacobs' have recruited you for this effort, congratulations.

Very generous terms were discussed to have me turn over control of this blog, but unlike you evidently, I value my independence highly. Hope your deal to essentially be the mouthpiece of the powers that be is as lucrative.

And I hope your goals of peace and unity and a bright shining tomorrow for the party come true. Maybe clicking your heels together three times might help.

You can work on message, organization, GOTV, PR campaigns and all the rest until you're blue in the face, but I'd suggest that until you take a hard look at our elected (or appointed) officials and their actions once in office, the public will never follow. If you want to be a hack mercenary servant to power, be my guest. I respectfully decline.

They're the ones that hit the public where they live, so to speak, and that's where the fortunes of the Democratic party lie.

More and more PR and spin when they're not serving the public or when we disagree with them is not the answer, in my view.

Unfortunately, my experience here forces me to be a bit pessimistic about the chances of your laudable goals coming to pass. After all, we're Democrats and thankfully, we value independence.

Can I assume you won't be allowing anonymous comments on your blog? That should truly stiffle honest opinion, which may be your goal since you apparently think dissenting voices are bad for business.

It's a shame that this was your last comment. Otherwise you could have let us know when the new blog is up.

Best of luck.

 
At 11/26/2005 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sham will return. He's addicted.....

 
At 11/26/2005 10:51 AM, Anonymous Betty Boop said...

I think Sham's full of crap Dope. He's obviously been "assimilated" into the Jacobs camp.

And compared to the hundreds of posts you put up, very few have been about Jacobs. You can't help it if he does stuff that deserves exactly the kind of attention you give it.

I love the graphic, and I think you've done wonders for us Democrats out here.

The party organization is stiff and boring, and it seems that these guys want a web site that reflects that. Good luck to 'em.

Keep doing what you're doing Dope. We love it.

 
At 11/26/2005 12:25 PM, Blogger youngridemocrat said...

What a shame the host of this blog chooses to take pot shots at an excellent public policy proposal!

If you had any idea about the ongoing and growing problem of Asian Carps in the Illinois River, the Mississippi River and -- if we don't stop them -- into the Great Lakes including Lake Michigan. The fact is that most folks are asleep at the switch on this issue. The feds are ready to turn off the electric fence, and if they do that the carp may leap into Lake Michigan and scour out all wildlife. That would put an end to Lake Michigan as we know it.

But back to the Mississippi, our lifeblood and key source of economic and recreational life. To generate the quick action needed, the public sector must act in concert with the private sector. I just spent my morning talking to conservationists deeply concerned about this issue in Springfield.

When any public official, whether it's Jacobs or Madigan or whomever, steps forward to shine a spotlite on this serious waterway problem we should all applaud. The budget issue is a sham. IN a state budget of $55 billion, a grant for $900,000 is very doable. If that is the cost to save the Mississippi and the Illinois River, and perhaps the Great Lakes, then let's spend that money and let's go after this predatory fish. The time is now.

 
At 11/26/2005 1:16 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Youngridem,
Thanks for the demagoguery, distortion, and spin on this issue.

I find it extremely curious that no one addresses the primary concern I raise in the post.

I'm not complaining because Sen. Jacobs is concerned with this issue, though I'm skeptical that he'd give two hoots about it if someone didn't come to him with this scheme to hand out money to business owners. I've stated clearly that it is a serious issue, and provided quotes and links so that everyone can find the facts about this threat. The fact that the carp are a serious problem is NOT in dispute. No need to make it sound like they're coming to drag our children out of their beds at night.

You mention the effort to prevent the carp from spreading to Lake Michigan, which is an entirely separate issue that Jacob's proposal doesn't address.

You completely distort my argument by trying to suggest that I'm somehow saying nothing should be done about the problem. Again, distortion and a red herring, ignorant of what I've said.

And you skim every so lightly over the main question I'm asking, which is this:

WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO HAND OUT NEARLY A MILLION BUCKS TO A PRIVATE COMPANY TO DO SOMETHING THEY COULD PROFITABLY DO ON THEIR OWN???

Your argument that nearly a million big ones are nothing compared to the enormous state budget is frankly appalling and reveals the attitude responsible for voters being so turned off and justifiably disgusted with politics and politicians.

It reminds me of the words of old Everett Dirksen, who said, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon, you're talking real money."

You suggest that it's just funny money, so who gives a damn if Sen. Jacobs wants to hand it to Shafer Fisheries? That's a thoroughly disgusting argument in my opinion.

If you can't figure out why it's a little bit important to watch where the increasingly scarce public money goes and to ensure that it's going where it's most needed, not as a GIFT to some pals of a politician, then there's no arguing with you, you're too corrupt to see reason.

Take a few steps back. Start thinking of the interests of the average citizen, not just serving a politician's interests.

It appears that for some reason, cynicism has overtaken your common sense.

 
At 11/26/2005 2:48 PM, Blogger voterguide said...

"I will provide the posts and the site, you provide the debate!"

- The DOPE (_ _ _ _ _)
February 13, 2005


If only you had kept to your word DOPE, loyal readers wouldn't be quitting your blog.

Like Shama , youngridemocrat, and all those before us, I am also turning in my membership. But please don't fret DOPE, I'll be tuning into the new web site that Shama talked about.

If nothing else, I learned that you are really a DOPE! thanks for the laughs!

 
At 11/26/2005 5:15 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I wouldn't belong to any club that had you as a member! Are you crazy?? haha.

Anyway, adios, muchachos.

I did exactly as I said I would. You just didn't provide the debate. All you provided was a bunch of self-serving tripe that insulted everyone's intelligence.

I held up my end of the bargain completely. You and your ilk were the ones who had a fit when people actually wanted to debate.

See ya, and best of luck with your bought and paid for "blog". Can't wait to see how exciting THAT is. What are you going to call it? The "What I would say if I could think and write by people that I'm paying highly to think and write for me" blog?

It just won't be the same without you. Thank GOD!

 
At 11/26/2005 6:31 PM, Blogger youngridemocrat said...

Well, well, what have we here.
Are we getting ourselves all whipped up into a little Thanksgiving plate of whipped potatoes over the Asian Carp issue.
It's time to take a deep breath and pull back from the Thanksgiving table and talk with civility and reason.

Ms. Dope, you raised some relevant issues to which I will quickly respond.

I am in favor of allowing a business help us attack the Asian Carp problem in the Illinois River and the Mississippi River because from what I know they (Shafer) are the only business doing this at the present time. The state money would immediately be invested in new equipment needed for catching and processing the fish. That is the action needed now.

Now, if this business becomes successful down the river then I wouldn't want anymore state money heading their way. But the time is now, and they are the only business capable of handling this smelly business at the present time.

I am willing to spend $900,000 to save a multi-billion dollar industry -- that would be our rivers and streams and lakes, that would be our tourism and fishing industry. For me, $900,000 on the front end of helping to save us from losing billions of dollars ... well, as a taxpayer that makes good sense to me.

I don't know how advocating this public policy initiative was transformed into "demagoguery, distortion and spin" that leads to more cynicism in government, etc.

I guess I don't make that connection. When someone advocates a public policy position because they care about improving some aspect of our civilization, is that cynicism? Is that spin?

I hope this has led to some enlightenment on my position, and on the need for a more civil discourse here in the Quad Cities on issues of concern.

All my best.

 
At 11/26/2005 8:05 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Young,
Thanks for taking another stab at this. Yes, I do get... frustrated... that's what it is. I don't know if it's that I'm not able to clearly articulate my argument or what, but it seems sometimes that the responses of yourself and others is like you've either never read my post and comments or you completely misinterpreted them. Thus the frustration, which, as we all know, is within spitting distance of anger.

The first part of your comment seems devoted to arguing as to why Shafer's, as opposed to someone else, should get this money.

Again, I would hasten to point out that this seems to introduce a fact not in evidence, to use a legal phrase.

I've never argued nor even been concerned about WHO gets this money. The fact that Shafer's apparently is the only one in position to do this is not in dispute.

This does remind me however of the exact rational given when the Bush administration gave billions of no-bid contracts to Halliburton and it's subsidies. They too, when pressed to justify this, simply said that they were the only company with the capacity to do what they wanted done.

So... let's establish clearly. There's no argument about WHO this money should go to. OK?

The argument is whether it should go to them (or anyone else) AT ALL.

You sort of glance off of this, but move quickly along by saying it's necessary to make a gift of a million tax dollars because, well... I guess just because.

I'm asking in all seriousness and as calmly as I can... even though it's for about the seventh time now... why is it necessary for taxpayers to subsidize the start up costs for a company to harvest and process Asian Carp?

And the second part of this question is, why can't Shafer's, when they go to a banker or other financing source, use exactly your argument, namely that extracting and processing the by-products from these fish will be profitable in the long run, in order to easily borrow start-up financing like any other business would do in the same circumstances??

These two questions are both legitimate, necessary, and so far, not answered by anyone.

I'm hoping someone can provide the answers to these questions. As it stands, I don't believe the good senator nor anyone else can do so, and Jacobs has, like many other legislators, was just approached with this scheme, felt it would benefit himself and perhaps the state, and jumped on the idea without ever asking, or finding out, whether it was truly necessary to spend tax dollars or, as I feel confident is the case, that Shafer's could fairly easily find this start-up capital from normal channels without the taxpayers of Illinois picking up the tab.

Nearly a million dollars, despite your maintaining that it's peanuts, represents the tax bill of hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents. Do you really think that, given the choice, these taxpayers would agree that their hard-earned tax dollars should go to in essense a giveaway to Shafer's?

 
At 11/26/2005 11:09 PM, Blogger youngridemocrat said...

Again, spending $900,000 to save the state from losing a multi-billion dollar industry and what is the issue?

I love the waterways of this state and of the midwest. The Asian Carp represents the greatest threat to its livelihood in decades. To help the only business in our state that currently deals with this problem, I think is the right course of action. I don't want to wait a few years for other businesses or underfunded government bureaucrats to attack the problem.

That's what this is about - do you want action or do you want to wait.

No one is planning to get rich off of killing fish. But when the EPA under Bush has shown itself incabable of getting the job done, and is now threatening to turn off the electric fence, we have to turn to the state.

Again, this is no time for impugning the motives of those who want action. No one is going to get rich or famous from killing these predatory fish. This is not a glamorous industry. But we will all be poorer, much poorer, if the life of our rivers and streams is destroyed (not to mention the recreational life on our waters).

It's time for action.

 
At 11/27/2005 3:29 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Am I talking to a stump???!!

That is quite possibly the most sterling example of a bunch of grade A spin I've ever read. And I mean that with all due respect.
You really brought your A game. ha!

I'll quote your comment and respond within it.

-Again, spending $900,000 to save the state from losing a multi-billion dollar industry and what is the issue?-

Um… I’ve stated the issue in terms a 6 year old could understand at least 5 times now. But you seem to be utterly deaf and blind when it comes to recognizing or answering it. I’ve got faith that you can comprehend it, so I’ll try once more:
WHY SHOULD STATE TAXPAYERS SHELL OUT A MILLION BUCKS TO A PRIVATE COMPANY TO START A FOR-PROFIT VENTURE WHEN SAID COMPANY COULD EASILY RAISE THE MONEY FROM PRIVATE INVESTORS AND/OR BANKS?

and an additional question that must be answered as well:

IF the state has to get involved at all, which I maintain it doesn't, and if as you say this industry will be prosperous and self-sustaining, why must this be an outright GIFT to this company, rather than a loan as it properly should be?

-I love the waterways of this state and of the midwest. The Asian Carp represents the greatest threat to its livelihood in decades.-

OK. You felt it necessary to profess your love of the waterways of this state and the midwest in order to suggest that I don't? Again, nice try.

And for about the 8th time, the fact that the Asian carp is a threat to our waterways is NOT in dispute. You can quit hammering that now.

-To help the only business in our state that currently deals with this problem, I think is the right course of action.-

OK, now we're getting down to the nitty-gritty, almost. You feel we should fork over a cool million to "help" this company.
That's an honest opinion, which I dispute for reasons I've argued repeatedly. But what I want to know is WHY? Why help them with a gift when there are plenty of investors and/or bankers which would love to get in on the ground floor of this solid investment?

-I don't want to wait a few years for other businesses or underfunded government bureaucrats to attack the problem.-

Who does??!! Certainly not I. Here's a whopper of a spin. You try to imply that, if the taxpayers don't shell out a million crucially needed tax dollars to this company, that we'll have to "wait a few years" for other businesses or those evil bureaucrats to take care of it.

That's so slick. It really is. Except of course it invents a false choice out of thin air. Now you're suggesting it's either give Shafer's the handout, or have them finance it themselves and wait a few years. Who told you that? Or did you just make it up to create a false choice?

Would it take any longer for Shafer's to get financing from investors and/or banks than it would to get funds from the state? I suggest that no one knows the answer to that question, and if the state hands out this money, no one ever will.

-That's what this is about - do you want action or do you want to wait.-

NO, that's NOT what this is about. Don’t try to distort the issue. It’s NOT about getting action vs. waiting. You’re distorting and spinning like mad there.

It’s about Shafer’s getting the start-up costs from regular channels, private investors and banks, vs. giving them a handout of a million tax dollars which are vitally needed elsewhere in a state that is facing fiscal crisis!!

It's not about "getting action" or waiting! You willfully ignore the possibility that we could get just as much "action" without throwing away a million vital tax dollars!

-No one is planning to get rich off of killing fish.-

Why not? They should. After all you said in your first paragraph that this is going to be a "billion dollar industry", and now you say no one's going to get rich? Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

-But when the EPA under Bush has shown itself incapable of getting the job done, and is now threatening to turn off the electric fence, we have to turn to the state.-

Boy, that's just blatant misdirection and muddying the issue. Even you have to admit that.

You want to find public funds to maintain the electric fence? Sounds good to me. After all, there's really no return on errecting and maintaining an electric barrier across a river. That's a proper role for government funding.

But we are NOT talking about the electric barrier to prevent the spread of carp to Lake Michigan. We ARE however, debating giving amillion dollar hand-out to a private concern for establishing a profit making industry. Now that's an issue that is certainly debatable.

Just don’t try to change or muddy up the subject, please.

-Again, this is no time for impugning the motives of those who want action.-

Do you work for Bush??? It sounds exactly like his minions when they say that this is no time to question why we went into Iraq! Hell yes it’s time to question that, and it’s time to question the motives of those “who want action” when the action they want is to reach into taxpayers pockets, pull out a cool million, and hand it over to their business pals, especially when, as I maintain, it’s neither necessary nor smart to do so in order to address this problem.

And it's also a slick way to imply that anyone who is against a state handout to Shafer's is against action being taken. Again, an utterly false choice.

-No one is going to get rich or famous from killing these predatory fish. This is not a glamorous industry. But we will all be poorer, much poorer, if the life of our rivers and streams is destroyed (not to mention the recreational life on our waters).-

First of all, which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Is this a “billion dollar industry that only one company can create, as you state in your first paragraph? Or is “no one” going to get rich from it? Which is it? You seem confused.


-It's time for action.-

You got that right. We agree. I think it's time for Shafer's to take action by starting to raise capitol for their new multi-billion dollar industry.

The type of action you prefer evidently is a legislator signing off on a million dollar giveaway to the company.

Thats the bottom line. I've laid out my argument as best I can.

I still wish you could answer my two simple questions:

WHY SHOULD STATE TAXPAYERS SHELL OUT A MILLION BUCKS TO A PRIVATE COMPANY TO START A FOR-PROFIT VENTURE WHEN SAID COMPANY COULD EASILY RAISE THE MONEY FROM PRIVATE INVESTORS AND/OR BANKS?

and an additional question that must be answered as well:

IF the state has to get involved at all, which I maintain it doesn't, and if as you say this industry will be prosperous and self-sustaining, why must this be an outright GIFT to this company, rather than a loan as it properly should be?

 
At 11/27/2005 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is where Sen Mike Jacobs went wrong -- he is simply doing what others have done for generations in office who follow this mold of "public" service. He is giving tons of dough to the rich and powerful.

Where Mike goes wrong is the fact he can't resist holding a press conference every time he sneezes...

If he'd sit back and shut up once in a while, then Mike would have less damage control to handle which he has proven he is pretty bad at when trying to spin "his position" once the damage has been done.

 
At 11/28/2005 11:18 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'd like to note that I'm still awaiting a reply from YoungRIDem to my two simple questions.

I assume they're in the process of gathering information which should rationally have been in hand before this proposal was made.

A case, like Bush's invasion of Iraq, of trying to make the facts fit the pre-determined action, rather than the other way around as it should be.

I await the clear and concise answer to my questions. Perhaps they'll be convincing. I'll keep an open mind.

 
At 11/29/2005 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Dope, I just figured out where all of Mike Jacobs guts are.....

Look at the picture of him on the fish - he's "spilling" his guts all over -- a fishey excuse huh?... heh heh.

 
At 2/05/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger WALRANGER5 said...

All these comments on the asian carp are interesting, however when you look at eradiacation, all current plans will not work. The target to harvest carp is roughly 10% of population even if they never spawned again, it would take 10 years, but they do spawn multiple times a year doubling or more thier numbers so they will always be there forever! they are fighting now over who will pay for the barrier who will pay forever?killing the river is cheaper and a dead carp is dead forever!as long as they exist they can get in the great lakes!

 
At 3/29/2006 11:25 PM, Anonymous Duane Chapman said...

walranger

We have a really poor handle on carp populations and how much of a fishing effort will be required to knock back their populations (or from the other side of the coin how much the fishery will support - a danger in these kinds of efforts is that you develop a market and an industry and then you end up managing FOR the darn things) Anyway, scientists are working on trying to develop models that will determine the populations and how many fish must be harvested, but we are a long way from being there yet. If one market takes the population down 10% and another takes it down another 10%, until the population is controlled, that would be great. This is not the only effort to find a market for these fish. There is no way to "kill the river" and eliminate all the carp. It simply cannot be done, and if it could be done, the cost in terms of expense and negative impacts to the river would be enormous. You'd have to kill all the fish in the entire Mississippi River drainage up to the Missouri Dams in South Dakota - If I recall correctly this is something like 30% of the United States.

 
At 3/29/2006 11:31 PM, Anonymous Duane Chapman said...

Quote from voterguide: "Don't look at return on dollars, but rather return on maintaining our waterways and keeping Illinois' boaters safe (two boaters on the Ilinois River have already been killed by jumping Asian Carp)."

I do not think is is true that there is a verified human mortality due to being struck by a carp. Certainly it is possible, and if it has happened, then I would surely like to hear about it (and I am sure that I would have). I did see one media quote that there had been a death, but when I tracked it down, the information came from a fisherman, not the authorities. I'm a fisherman myself, but the group as a whole is well-known to be unreliable in their testimony.

 
At 11/12/2006 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asian carp is a Chinese delicacy. I have several companies in China lined up to buy Asian Carp from the U.S. They are willing to pay almost a dollar per every half pound of fish. Local fisherman sell for 14 cents a pound.

Soon I will be putting boats out on the Illinois river and harvesting this wonderful, free, raw material and selling it for huge profit in China.

The demand from China's 1.2 billion is obviously insatiable. It's a win-win. Shafer doesen't need 900,000 from the government. They just need to do what they keep doing, catching fish, but they need to sell to China, not make this fish into fertilizer.

That's what I plan to do. And I am sure to get rich in the process.

 

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