Cambrian: Opinion

Some things I get, but there are some things I just don’t

I certainly don’t get why someone would steal a kayak from the priest and nuns’ scarecrow scene near Cambria’s Catholic Church. Did the thief wish to do some paddling in San Simeon Cove? Or was he paddled on his behind for skipping Catholic Mass as a kid, and this was his peculiar settling of scores?

I also don’t get how the CCSD could have failed for months to plug up several holes in the fence surrounding its treatment plant. The apparent negligence resulted in the cheerless euthanizing of three deer that entered through those holes and gravely injured themselves.

Still on the subject of the CCSD, I also don’t get why the board can’t simply appoint the candidate who came closest to winning the last election to the post vacated by Muril Clift. Why is it hard to reason that the candidate receiving 20.35 percent of the vote (1,089), right behind Jim Bahringer’s 1,557 votes and Mike Thompson’s 1,541, should be next in line?

California scene

I truly don’t get why homeowners with rooftop solar should pay a monthly fee to the utilities, including PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. Are these utilities attempting to kill — or at least do harm to — the movement to turn California into a clean energy state?

To wit, a recent utilities’ application to the Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission requests authority to begin charging monthly fees to homeowners with rooftop solar.

Also, utilities want to reduce by 50 percent the money solar homeowners receive for pumping surplus solar electricity back into the grid. Anybody with a paramecium’s intellect can see it, clearly and conspicuously: Utilities believe that folks who get electricity from the sun — and not from their profitable electrical generating stations — pose a threat.

Think about this for a minute. Are Californians whose goal in using the sun — reducing greenhouse gases and reducing utility bills — going to be obstructed because of corporate greed?

If the rapacious utilities get away with this, it would not be as corrupt as Volkswagen’s tricky diesel software that hides dirty emissions, but it would be up there with the worst of ideas. Yes folks, invest in solar, but we’re going to extort money from you for being such an environmentally and economically smart homeowner.

National scene

I don’t get why interviewers let politicians get away with using the term “amnesty” in describing the legislation passed by the U.S. Senate in 2013 (on a 68-32 vote), that would have provided 11 million undocumented immigrants with a challenging but valid path to citizenship?

Why is it “amnesty” when over a roughly five-year period applicants must: a) pay fines for being here illegally; b) learn English; c) pass national security and criminal background checks; and d) serve America in the military or in another social capacity?

However, I do get why former House Speaker John Boehner was too chicken to bring the legislation up for a vote in the House: he knew his far-right extremist Tea Party members would grind it into the mud of ideological wrongheadedness like a 500-pound gorilla squashing a newborn gnat.

I don’t get why, during his U.S. visit, Pope Francis was called “a Marxist,” but I do understand the dark nature of the rubbish Rush Limbaugh gets millions of dollars annually to spew forth on talk radio.

I don’t relate to the warped logic of the hundreds of Oregonians who gathered at the Roseburg, Ore., airport, screamed epitaphs and displayed rude signs as President Obama arrived to console the nine families whose loved ones had been murdered in cold blood on their nearby college campus.

Okay, okay, they apparently bought into the NRA’s misinformation, that somehow the government wants to take their weapons. Flimsy though that argument is, the gun lobby is a purveyor of powerful propaganda.

Actually, I remember well national polls in 2013 showing that more than 90 percent of Americans supported background checks for would-be purchasers at gun shows. No one has ever claimed that universal background checks will halt gun violence. But NRA-backed Senate conservatives used a filibuster to block a vote that would have at least made an effort to do something.

Meanwhile, I really don’t get why anyone in Washington, D.C., gave consideration to the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. This pipeline — from Canada to Texas — would allow the dirtiest oil on the planet to be pumped through America’s heartland, then loaded aboard tankers in the Gulf of Mexico and shipped to foreign ports.

I don’t get how Americans would benefit in any conceivable way. A few temporary jobs? Please. Instead of wasting breath to debate this dreadful proposal, America should be planning pipelines that will carry water from the wettest areas of the U.S. to the drought-stricken West Coast.

Raise your hand if you think that’s a better idea than Keystone. Thanks!

Freelance journalist and Cambria resident John FitzRandolph’s column appears biweekly and is special to The Cambrian. Email him at john fitz44 @gmail .com.