The Wolf You Feed

by Karen Kwiatkowski

Legend has it that one evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.

As guidance for individual lives, it works. In philosophy or religion, this story has a sure place. But when it is applied to government, there may be a completely different lesson to be learned. And Americans are going to learn it soon, ready or not.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen rightly understands that the national debt is the biggest single risk to the enterprise to which he has devoted his entire adult life, the military industrial complex. Well, his actual words were, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” He went on to explain that the debt “limits” the government’s ability to “resource” the military.

The “resourcing” Mullen is worried about includes all the junk in our collective military trunk, all the people currently in uniform, in civil service and contractor suits and khakis, and the millions of retirees (of which I am one), all of the facilities in 177 countries around the world, the spy/eavesdropping/technical surveillance infrastructure and people, and the costs of war/occupation/endless training and puppet–prop-uppery in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Pakistan, Colombia, South Korea, etc. All of this equals, to Mullen, “national security.”

But of course, the overblown national security enterprise is less about real American security than the security of the ruling classes, and international and central banks interested in fiat currency “stability” and global commodity “predictability.” At a basic American citizen and community level, it is also, sadly, about income security.

But the military, and its extended security complex, has done little but creatively account for its needs, and ask for more each year. In lieu of making real and serious cuts, and reducing America’s inappropriate and costly empire, Mullen and Gates fear-monger global security, and promote false patriotism.

We may be leaving Iraq, but we leave it (or fail to) under the US Forces Korea model, with 50,000 combat-hardened and ready troops and a host of large facilities ready to deal with the communists at any moment, or jihadists, or maybe just a formidable troop of fantastical camel spiders.

Incidentally, in early 2004 I wrote an article for the now defunct website explaining the bureaucratic, command and strategic parallels between the post-armistice occupation of South Korea and the similar plans for Iraq. Of course, I didn’t have any more insight than anyone else – the statement had been made by a Pentagon spokesperson of some kind. They didn’t continue to talk in these terms. But the joke was real, and it was on the Iraqis and the US taxpayer.

Today we read, without surprise, that billions of dollars of American wealth (present and future) have been wasted, squandered and lost in various unfinished, subsequently destroyed or simply paid-for-never-started projects in Iraq. Many of these projects were on the to-do list – the schools, hospitals, water purification systems, prisons, roads, bridges or electrical power plants – because we destroyed them in 2003 and 2004, or ruined them years earlier with our endless bombing during the UN sanctions period. Those closest to the missing money – US military and state department implementers and contractors, US allied governments and contractors, and Iraqi puppet class contractors know where it went. And, while they certainly share our concern, they’d also like to say, “Thank you very much!”

The old Cherokee with his two wolves was wise. The wolf that grows strong is the wolf we feed, and we can choose. However, when this parable is applied to the wolf of state, the massive military industrial sector of our otherwise ailing economy, withholding sustenance may no longer be an option.

Just over 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote a friend that, “The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.” Only when we again adopt this spirit will we be able to end the empire. Meanwhile, the wolf we have been feeding so generously is now powerful, arrogant and angry at its first real hunger pang.

August 31, 2010 … LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty and Power and The Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here or join her Facebook page.



World Bank + Suez = More Profits, Less Water

In 1997, global water giant Suez privatized a major swath of the public water system in the Philippines’ capital city with World Bank backing. Now, more than a decade later, the government is preparing to quell potential riots over water shortages.

To learn more about water privatization’s failure in the Philippines and the promise of alternatives, click here to read a story from Corporate Accountability International’s report “Thirsty for Change.”


Herbicide treatment for Rainbow Lake now a possibility

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2010 5:00 am | Updated: 4:37 pm, Wed Aug 25, 2010. … Sean Dieterich – The Independent

LAKESIDE – After years of waiting and watching Rainbow Lake become infested with weeds, concerned citizens might finally be able to fight back.

The Show Low Creek Watershed Enhancement Partnership (SLCWEP) and Rainbow Lake Coalition have raised the needed $30,000 to be able to treat the lake with the Environmental Protection Agency-approved herbicide Sonar AS. The organizations believe the herbicide can contain the weeds, called the Eurasian Milfoil, for four to eight years.

The infestation of the Eurasian Milfoil began over 30 years ago. Al Crawford, Chairman of the The Shores Homeowners Association (HOA) Lakefront Committee, said sediment from the residences’ septic tanks had been pushed into the lake from heavy rains and upstream erosion, exaggerating weed growth. The residences are now on the town’s sewer system, but in 2000 the weed infestation led the State of Arizona to declare Rainbow Lake impaired in its recreation functions.

After the use of weed harvesters and an unsuccessful attempt to introduce sterile white amur carp into the lake, SLCWEP and the Rainbow Lake Coalition proposed the use of Sonar AS as a short-term solution. The organizations proposed the use of the herbicide given its success in lakes and reservoirs in other states and is seeking a contract with AquaTechnex, a lake management company, to apply Sonar AS through its office in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Shores HOA committed $15,000 for half the cost of the herbicide in May; the rest would have to be raised. Crawford said they began raising the other $15,000 during a town hall meeting July 23 at the Lakeside Fire Department. He said they have met their Sept. 15 deadline, so they can now start planning and executing the contract with AquaTechnex.

He said when the herbicide is applied, AquaTechnex will apply it over the entire lake using a special boat with pumps and dispensers so an effective concentration of 10 parts per billion is reached in the lake. After 10 days, they will then check the concentration of the lake and apply more as needed to get the concentration back up to 10 parts per billion. This process may then have to be repeated one more time.

Crawford said the goal is to stay between five and 10 parts per billion during treatment of the lake. He said Sonar AS poses no harm to humans or fish swimming in the lake.

Before obtaining the contract, Crawford said they want written approval from the Show Low-Pinetop-Woodland Irrigation Company. The irrigation company supplies water for family lawns and gardens from Woodland Lake to Show Low, as well as a couple greenhouses and some range land. He said an AquaTechnex representative met with the irrigation company board a couple months ago about the benefits of Sonar AS and believes the meeting was positive.

When your educational systems ranks near the bottom of all 50 states do you really expect anything else … ?


Who is keeping watch on our water.. ?

Phoenix, I don’t think so, as they continue to privatizes their water system … really think Suez gives a damn about how SAFE the water is they provide to you …

If so then you just might consider viewing … FLOW ...

Phoenix keeps watch on water quality, supply
by Lynh Bui – Aug. 23, 2010 03:41 PM … The Arizona Republic

Making sure residents have clean water on demand is one of the biggest responsibilities of the Phoenix Water Services Department, but water officials are also working on long-term strategic issues to make sure that service will always be there.

Phoenix is watching three issues related to the city’s water supply. The city has partnered with other organizations to learn more about climate change’s effect on water supplies, salt in water and pharmaceuticals in the wastewater system.

To keep abreast of these complicated issues, the city has paid $239,767 this year to continue its membership with the Water Research Foundation. The city’s membership in the foundation will give Phoenix access to millions of dollars worth of research and reports used to help keep the city’s water system safe and up to federal regulatory standards.

Environmental regulations from the federal government are constantly changing, said Ray Quay, assistant director of the city’s Water Department. Understanding water issues and staying up to date with research helps the city comply with changes and manage the city’s long-term changes with the water system, he said.

“This research is becoming increasingly complicated and expensive,” Quay said. “Phoenix by itself would not be able to do all the research required to provide the knowledge to manage our system.”

Next year alone, the Water Research Foundation is expected to fund about $4.5 million worth of research in the three strategic areas related to water supplies in Phoenix. … SEE LINK TO FOLLOW ON WHO AND WHAT WATER RESEARCH FOUNDATION IS AND WHO CONTROLS THE INFORMATION IT CHOOSES TO PROVIDE …

Climate change … Understanding this emerging issue is important because it will affect the city’s long-term water supply and demand, Quay said.
Utilities generally estimate water demand based on rain levels and temperatures, but climate change could affect those variables.

“How we as utilities can participate in mitigation of climate change and how we’re going to adapt to climate change is really new, and we don’t have a good handle on what it means,” Quay said.

Salinity … Water in Arizona has a fairly high salt content because much of it comes from the Colorado and Verde rivers. Although the salt levels are high, they are within the standard for what is considered potable water, Quay said. That may change in the next few decades. Water-bottling companies, large resorts with reverse-osmosis systems, water softeners and other variables are contributing salt to the water stream. “The salt level is getting to a point where it may reach a level where it may be unusable,” Quay said. If the salt content does get too high and has to be removed, water providers will also have to find ways to dispose of the extra salt, Quay said.

Pharmaceuticals … The medicines people consume eventually wind up in the wastewater system. The impact of those byproducts is still unclear, and there is very little information on the subject. Quay said further research will allow the city to determine how to deal with the impact of pharmaceuticals in the water. … Actually there is a plethora of information available from sources around the world on pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and personal hygiene products, fertilizers in the water provided to you and me by both public and private water purveyors. … but what most water purveyors do not want to reveal to you is that currently they don’t have a clue on how to eliminate these residuals in the water they provide to you and me … nor for that matter do they have a clue on what (if any) residual quantity is safe.

Climate change and salinity are issues that affect the entire region, not just Phoenix, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.

The association is a collaboration of the Valley’s 10 biggest cities, including Phoenix, to manage water resources in the region.

“We basically are all working together on the water planning activities to confront some of the big issues that we’re facing now,” Olson said.

He added that managing demand will also be important to ensuring that the water supply in Phoenix remains sustainable.

“How we size our system is based on our projections of demand,” Olson said, “and if it’s going to be a hotter, drier climate, we have to relook at our reservoirs. We’ll have to look at how we store the water that is available to us.”

Read more: at



Area’s aquifer is not replenishing

Posted: Monday, August 30, 2010 6:00 am … Updated: 4:06 pm, Sun Aug 29, 2010.

Mike Leiby – The Independent … WHITE MOUNTAINS – Ongoing issues with water rights on the Little Colorado watershed are as yet unresolved.

However, Little Colorado RC and D Coordinator David Newlin spoke to the Pinetop-Lakeside Town Council in chambers at Town Hall during a 6:30 p.m. work session preceding Thursday’s regular council meeting at 7 and told councilors he is hopeful they can be soon.

The main focus of his presentation was that the water that comes out of the Coconino aquifer is old water that was deposited tens of thousands of years ago. He said that as that aquifer is depleted it does not recharge quickly. The C-aquifer is what supplies the White Mountains.

He said samples taken from some of the wells in and around Show Low indicate the water coming from them is around 4,000 years old itself. What that indicates according to Newlin is that the notion that snow melt recharges local wells relatively quickly is in error.

“If you are pumping water from a well that is dropping a foot or two, or five or 10 or 25 feet a year such as happens in Gallup, New Mexico…you are ‘mining’ your aquifer and it’s not replenished.”

We do not experience the kind of depletions he cited in Gallup, nor is there a water shortage in The White Mountains, according to Newlin.

However, water users need to be aware that we live in a desert state and all studies point to the C-aquifer as one that takes a very long time to replenish. Water conservation needs to be the perpetual modus operandi in Arizona and The White Mountains.

Before relinquishing the podium Newlin provided the council with a map of the Little Colorado RC and D asking that they post it in a location which might help residents better understand that no matter where a person lives, keeping abreast of local water issues so they can plan/act accordingly benefits everyone in the end.

Reach the reporter at


Hoover Dam is not the problem nor could it ever be the solution

…Hoover Dam is not the problem nor could it ever be the solution … The overriding problem was faulty allocation of Colorado River water and a strident belief that water flows in the entire Colorado River basin would not fluctuate from the flow rates upon which the Compact of the River was promulgated…

Hoover Dam never had ability to solve all Colorado River conflicts

by Michael Hiltzik – Aug. 22, 2010 12:00 AM … The Arizona Republic

The most striking sight greeting visitors to the Colorado River gorge known as Black Canyon used to be the great wedge of alabaster concrete spanning the canyon wall to wall. But in recent years, Hoover Dam, that enduring symbol of mankind’s ingenuity, has been upstaged by another sight signifying nature’s power to resist even the most determined effort to bring it under control: a broad white band stretching along the edge of Lake Mead like a bathtub ring, marking how far the reservoir has fallen below its maximum level.

The nearly decade long drought in the Colorado River Basin, which has lowered Lake Mead by about 120 feet from its high-water mark, reminds us that the promises made for Hoover Dam were always unrealistic. Delegates from the seven state capitals who met in 1922 to apportion the river’s bounty (under the supervision of then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover) were led to believe that the river, once dammed, would provide all the water their states could conceivably need to fulfill their dreams of irrigation, industrial development and urban growth.

To the federal officials eager to get the dam project approved, this was a necessary subterfuge, for without it the states would never reach agreement and the dam would not be built. But today, we must confront the consequences of that founding fiction. Hoover Dam truly made the West, but it has also confined it in the straitjacket of an ever-intensifying water shortage.

Promises based on the seemingly magical power of new technologies are almost always excessive. This year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dedication of “the greatest dam in the world” on Sept. 30, 1935, we should also recognize the dam’s equivocal legacy to the West and to the nation.

Read more:



Snowbowl vote postponed
Arizona Daily Sun… Joe Ferguson and Cyndy Cole

Flagstaff council delays vote on snowmaking source
Sierra Vista Herald and Arizona Daily Sun… Associated Press

Snowbowl discussion continues Thursday
Arizona Daily Sun… Joe Ferguson

Members of the public divided over Arizona Snowbowl
Arizona Daily Sun… Cyndy Cole and Joe Ferguson

Quotables: What They Said At Snowbowl Hearing
Arizona Daily Sun

Council skeptical of drinking water proposal for Snowbowl
Arizona Daily Sun… Cyndy Cole
Flagstaff should approve updated snowmaking plan …The Arizona Republic

Flagstaff City Council considers snowmaking source … Arizona Daily Sun… Associated Press

Snowbowl showdown set for Monday
Arizona Daily Sun…Cyndy Cole

Making snow with drinking water due consideration
Arizona Daily Sun

THESE HEADLINES … with an implied declaration have been appearing with increased regularity for the past year. And that declaration is that “artificial” snow making should be allowed at the Snowbowl ski area in Flagstaff.

Implicit in this appeal is an underlying assumption that the water used to manufacture this artificial snow is SAFE and will not today or in the future become the source for yet another human illness or unwitting pollution of our environment.

This appeal demand we consider who declares your water … safe … and let me perfectly clear … that decision damn sure does not include honest consideration of your input. Make no mistake, that declaration is made behind closed doors by a select-consortium which is principally interested in promoting in this instance a single for-profit-private-business not you, nor your health, not the environment.

The time-frame and process utilized to conduct hearings, take evidence, answer questions raised by John Q Public is a highly controlled, skillfully choreographed and manipulated to accomplish one thing … deny YOU voice by convoluting the process to the point where you give up and then they declare all the “rules” (which they designed) have been strictly adhered to and they can press forward as they originally intended.

This process is today utilized by nearly every conceivable organization public and private as it has proven extremely effective in a society where we feel “pressed” and without the time to do or to accomplish all the things we want.

Today, in America and especially Arizona, where honest investigative reporting is no longer in vogue, mass media responds as one should anticipate … you dance with the one who brought you … and mass media is supported by advertizing dollar$ … and advertizing dollar$ come from for-profit-interest$ … who are not always ethically predisposed.

Whether “fake” snow should be allowed at the Snowbowl is a most worthy discussion and one which should take place ONLY in an environment which supports and endorses full, honest, open disclosure and full transparency.

Conducted under such conditions I can live by the decision thus rendered, but not when conducted under the prevailing “smoke & mirrors” …