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26 November 2007


Jeff Pelline

Here's to the "power and the glory" of The Union!

Hi George,
I'm glad to provide some visibility to your blog — I hope it is a success and generates lots of user comments. But I feel you attacked all those hills with misleading statements (about our growth and your right to publish your own opinion, unfiltered, in our paper), and they required some explanation. Again, the points are these:
•The paper's Web site is growing impressively. (The number of registered "browser profiles" — a figure that anybody can see — and growing traffic are just two examples). It is the only truly interactive site in our area, with unfiltered comments, Web updates, blogs, video, audio, etc.
•As you point out, everything you submitted was published, in print or online — no matter how thorough or unthorough. You even got to publish it on the front page of the Web site!
•Minor point, but Russ Steele got involved because he responded to your blog and suggested the two of you work more together than apart. As you point out, you have worked together closely in the past.
Again, if you can find another forum around here (or most anywhere) that provides all these features, I'm all ears." Advertise" the "power and glory" of The Union? You bet. There's lots to cheer about.
As a blogger, I hope you're open to the same kind of criticism that professional journalists are: whether it's questioning the thoroughness of your reporting or the "wind length" of your writing. In journalism, it goes with the territory.
You can count on me and others to continue to offer those observations about the facets, features and foibles of what is your blog.
Hope this clears things up from this end; glad to see we're in agreement on the parts that are important! Happy blogging!

George Rebane

Exhibit A

Dear Reader, I leave Jeff's above comment as a prime example of his journalistic prowess, in this case for unsubstantiated accusations that I ever "attacked all those hills with misleading statements (about our growth and your right to publish your own opinion, unfiltered, in our paper)". The Union has a complete archive of my writings in their newspaper and on their website. Throwing in a snippet or two of any "misleading statement" would settle the matter, and then tying it somehow to my starting this blog would enlighten us all.


Isn't it interesting that Jeff Pee-line always has to have the last word. Too bad he's sucked all the joy out of the newspaper....

Jeff Pelline

I can see where in for some real insightful commentary here. Oh well.

Anna Haynes

Hello George, and welcome to the unwalled blogosphere. I do enjoy (and covet) your writing style.

I have 2 questions - one for you, one potentially for Jeff P. Both are optional, of course.

For you - in order that I might position your new blog appropriately on Nevada County Voices, would you be willing to share whether your views on global warming have evolved?

For Jeff (or for you George, if you know) - are The Union's reader blogs equipped with RSS feeds? (last I checked, they didn't seem to be, but that was a long time back)

thanks much -

George Rebane

Hi Anna - Welcome and thanks for the visit. What a delightful way to phrase your question. With the insertion of that one word "evolved", one immediately sees the sequence of images that ends in the ape becoming a bent yet upright Neanderthal, and then proudly striding forth as the enlightened and erect Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Alas, my thinking on climate change is still characterized by the SESF piece that you link to and my current position is that summarized by the climatologist Dr. Fred Singer, also available on the SESF site (BTW, thank you for linking to it from Nevada County Voices).

You and I were both trained in the sciences and therefore must remain true to our professions, that is unless we plan to demand a full refund from our respective institutions for not teaching us anything. So I continue to study with keen interest the arguments from both camps and, when appropriate, expect to respond in the Keynsian fashion - "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?" I hope that others will also.

In sum Anna, you will be the final judge of where to consign Rebane's Ruminations on your blog. I suspect though that I will have to share space in the right column under the proper warning label "Read with caution". Read with caution indeed, because it is my intent to assault any and all calcified belief systems that happlessly wander onto my blog.


Jeff Pelline

What's a "potential" question?
Anyway, a new version of The Union's Web site will be released shortly with many further upgrades, including RSS feeds.

Dr. B.

I have had almost the exact same problems that you have had with Jeff Pelline. I wrote an "Other Voices" column several weeks ago and they change the title and the tone of the column without my permission. This created an entire misdirection of what I wanted to say and because of that, people's comments attacked me personally in the total point of the column was lost. When I sent an e-mail to Jeff Pelline, he responded by stating "if you can't the heat, get out of the kitchen", which was very arrogant and condescending and speaking to me as if I am a child. I copied this to Jeff Ackerman, and he has not responded. I am new to this community and I like to get involved in local things, however, I do not believe I will ever deal with this newspaper again. I have written many articles for a number of different publications in the past and there are several books that I have written and I have never dealt with anyone like this. He took absolutely no responsibility of the change of the title and he had to have the last word. Very childish!


Dr. B, please take up blogging; the fine software running Nevada County Voices would never think of changing your title, and will send readers over to your unadulterated commentary.

We need more local bloggers. Please, Dr. B - go to, sign up, pick a name for your (Blogspot) blog, and unwanted meddling with your writing will become naught but a sad memory.


> "my current position is that summarized by the climatologist Dr. Fred Singer"

oh dear.

George, if you Google
"Fred Singer" "peer reviewed" retired denial
you'll find that maybe you don't want to associate yourself too closely with Mr. Singer.

"Despite the caption on the ['Swindle'] programme, Singer has retired from the University of Virginia and has not had a single article accepted for any peer-reviewed scientific journal for 20 years. His main work has been as a hired gun for business interests to undermine scientific research on environmental and health matters. Before turning to climate change he has argued that CFCs do not cause ozone depletion and second hand smoke does not cause cancer."

You might also check his Wikipedia entry.

And you might consider why the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and a bazillion other scientific associations have issued statements affirming the urgency and probable human cause of global warming (here's an enumeration), and why it is that you stand so firmly in opposition to them.

Jeff Pelline

Nobody was more arrogant than Dr. B. When his words (not ours) were challenged by some people in the community (as well as his professionalism), he blamed the paper, rather than being introspective. It's an epidemic around here, at least in some circles.

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