Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


On 6/1/15, California state officials imposed a water ban, after record low rain and snowfall.  The scarcity was evident from the Sierra Nevada's shrunken snowpack to the dry wells of the Central Valley.

Graphics from the Los Angeles Times showed the progression of the drought from 2011 to the present, by using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that tracks dry conditions.  The drought worsened in 2014 and 2015 and had marginally subsided this year, until recently, when 100 degree plus temperatures became common and devastating fires began sweeping through southern California. 

Water from Lake Success flows through a concrete-lined ditch east of Porterville, California.  The reservoir's level had fallen during the drought, and the water that is still available flows through ditches to farms that hold senior water rights.  Downstream, the Tule River has been left dry, eliminating a source of groundwater recharge in an area where many wells have gone dry.

California is the country's top agriculture producer, and the drought raised tensions among farmers, government officials and environmentalists.  It has experience its driest four-year period on record.

Nevertheless, Donald Trump told supporters, that no such dry spell exists.  He claimed that state officials were denying water to Central Valley farmers to prioritize the Delta smelt, a native California fish nearing extinction.  He insisted: “We’re going to solve your water problem.  You have a water problem that is so insane.”

Trump’s comment came after Governor Brown issued an executive order updating water restrictions.  According to a news release by the California Government Operations Agency, the water rules were imposed in hopes of building the state's resilience in the long-term water conservation measures through monthly water use reporting and bans on clearly wasteful practices such as hosing off sidewalks, and driveways. 


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