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Lost at Sea

As I mentioned on Friday, Joe Benson has been officially terminated from KPRL radio in Paso Robles. He was notified by certified letter on Thursday. Check out the KPRL web site and you’ll see that all trace of Joe has been removed. Dick Mason now officially has the job. I don’t know what options, if any, Joe has, but it will be interesting to see how the KPRL listeners respond as word gets out. The Tribune hasn’t said a peep about this latest chapter yet. Let’s hope the local press picks up the story.

Also sad to see that popular LA Times columnist Al Martinez is being shoved out the door after 30 years as the Times tries to cut the budget. The media business can be tough and cruel and harsh, but both Joe Benson and Al Martinez deserve better.

On a more positive note, Tom Madsen, Pastor Doug, Bill Benica, John Lindsey and I will be out in Cayucos Monday afternoon at 3 for the 7th annual “Lost at Sea” rememberance. This is a tradition started up by the late, great Atascadero Joe, who wanted a way to remember all of those who have gone out to sea and not come back. This is a beautiful, moving ceremony that takes about 45 minutes total. Brief ceremony at the base of the pier and then we walk the pier together as a wreath is placed in the water. Please come join us if you can.

Tom and i will be back on the radio on Tuesday. Adam Hill and Sue Luft will drop by to talk about smart growth and what’s happening in the county. We’ll also be taking a look this week at all the craziness in both Washington and Iraq. I’m tempted to start here, but it’s Memorial Day, so let’s keep the focus on remembering those who served — and sacrificed — in order that we may have the freedom and quality of life we enjoy today.

  1. Ted Bancroft
    May 29, 2007 at 4:43 am

    Thanks to everyone who was involved in “Lost at Sea.” I was there this afternoon and it was a very moving experience.

  2. Anonymous
    May 29, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Media is not a tough business! Just look at the Fox Enterprizes and Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and the great Bill Orielly! These “media” sources are racking in the huge bucks!
    What is tough is “hate media”…Americans are tired of the liberal spin!
    Open your eyes, and join the big bucks bandwagon!
    Hate will never sell, especially when mixed with half truths and Sorros talking points!

  3. Anonymous
    May 29, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    sorry this is off topic, but I just couldn’t help but mention that Iran has no problem arresting loud mouth American/middle eastern females.
    Iran may be wrong but at least they have a pair!

  4. Anonymous
    May 29, 2007 at 3:08 pm


    I was there also for the frist time and it was truly a moving experience. I will be back next year.


  5. Russ
    May 29, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Had a great Memorial day at Cayucos. Thanks to David, Tom and the rest of the KVEC crew on a job well done.

  6. Thomas W
    May 29, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    My personal thanks to all of you that came out to the Cayucas ceremony this year. I think that it was the largest crown we’ve ever had there. My personal thanks also to Pastor Doug and Bill Benica and all of the Military heros that were there contributing for all their hard work on putting on such a solemn and moving event. This is truly what Memorial Day is about.
    I hope all of you can make it next year.
    Tom Madsen

  7. Anonymous
    May 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve been to a lot of Memorial day ceremonies throughout the years and this was the most meaningful. The ceremony had heart! Thanks to KVEC, Bill Benica, USCG, Pastor Doug. Also a very big thanks to the guy with the bagpipes (Paul?) and to the three Navy guys (Bill Houston, John Lindsey and Steve?). You all did a wonderful Job!

  8. Anonymous
    May 29, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    you just couldn’t WAIT to get “Santa Maria Bill” on again! OFF goes KVEC….it’s just NOT worth my time.

  9. Steve
    May 30, 2007 at 12:44 am

    Bill? is good radio. Phil Hendrie would be proud. A guest with major character flaws is amusing.

  10. Anonymous
    May 30, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Dave, it would be more intresting if you pressed Bill to provide more evidence to his facts, he threw them out without much challenge from you. Bill state on a few occassions stuff that would have been headline news if reported but where were the headlines, He is not a favorite of many in the media.. Lastly the evidence of the pentagon was released after The shoe bomber was tried. You can do any internet source and see that newly released video, also the pics that were taken at the Pentagon were that of a wrecked 737, you can not just set up a set like that without some one blowing the whistle. Lastly the show was okay, but you challenge you right leaning guest a bit harder than your left leaning guests, I like the show but a bit more of the devil advocate would be nice.

  11. Dave Congalton
    May 30, 2007 at 6:06 am

    To this last Anoymous,

    You offer a valid critique of today’s segment with Santa Maria Bill. I should press him more because like many of you I don’t agree with everything Bill says and I think he’s completely wrong on 9-11.

    The only meager defense I can offer is that there simply isn’t time once the phone calls start rolling in. It was wall-to-wall phones today from 4:30 to 5:30 and I’d rather give the callers a chance than listen to my own babble.

    To the Anonymous posted not believing the difficulty of working in the media, just ask Joe Benson and Al Martinez how they feel. Both have long histories of loyalty and dedication to their craft and both were dumped.

    With all due respect, you don’t have a clue about what you’re talking about! Personal opinion.

  12. Rich from Paso
    May 30, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    On working in the medai: As an Iraqi Freedom veteran, I know exactly how you feel, Dave.

  13. Paul
    May 31, 2007 at 1:39 am

    Hey Dave nice show with S.M. Bill, are you trying to give Art Bell some competition? What a bizarre old man. Didn’t he say we were supposed to invade Iran this month?

  14. don
    May 31, 2007 at 2:01 am

    newstand greg needs to turn the page

  15. Anonymous
    May 31, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Dave, I posted the response the you wrote back on, I agree the media is a hard place to work in, if your ratings are not good or you fall out of favor, then you are gone, look at the two examples that you gave and I could add a few more; what I was referring to in a bad way was the current or past presidents being a media favorite (either on the regular or internet blogs), it seems in todays world items that should be left unsaid are now front page headlines and jucier the problem the better. The media of the past respected some of the privacy of the president. Roosevelt had Polio and that was never reported, Kennedy had other medical problems and other life style issues that were also never reported. Leaks out of Washington that are mainly done now to hurt the sitting president, not to better the country. I used these to presidents as an example because if they were in office today the “scandal” would be all over the “24-hour news”. Your right, I might not have a clue, but I try to use the critical thinking skill learned so long ago to better my understanding of the situation. I do listen a lot and I do appricate what you do for the community. Thanks again for allowing the views of many to be heard.

  16. NewsstandGreg
    May 31, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Dave, Tom and all who were there at the Memorial “Lost At Sea” ceremonies. Thank you for all you do.

    I was there a couple of years ago, remembering my own Vietnam Western Pacific Cruise of 1969-1970.

    The USS Constellation was then and is now, the largest conventionally powered (non-nuclear) aircraft carrier. Four and a half football fields long. 5000 crew members at full tilt.

    We had finished launching F-4’s and other aircraft sorties over Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The ship was headed for our home away from home, Subic Bay, Philippines.

    First we had to transit the stormy South China Sea. Seemed every time we did this, it was an angry ocean!

    Halfway home, the “high winds and heavy seas” warning blasted throughout the ship’s speaker system. Next thing I knew…we heard “man overboard.”

    The ship stopped, our destroyer escorts steamed in circles looking for the man who, seconds earlier, was standing watch on the aft starboard catwalk (right rear).

    A huge wave had crashed upon the ship and washed him away. After an hour of searching, we pressed on. Man overboard. It was a cold night.

    My thanks to the late Atascadero Joe, who I liked very much for reasons that have little to do with his political viewpoint.

    Honoring those who have been lost at sea is something that has no political label. It’s a humanitarian act. Those who knew Joe better than I probably would say he’d agree.

    –Newsstand Greg

  17. Anonymous
    May 31, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    please turn the page greg, the friggin sixties are over!

  18. Anonymous
    May 31, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    “Honoring those who have been lost at sea is something that has no political label. It’s a humanitarian act. Those who knew Joe better than I probably would say he’d agree.”

    –Newsstand Greg

    Amen Greg!

  19. NewsstandGreg
    May 31, 2007 at 11:35 pm


    Thank you for listening. Now, what “page” would you refer me to?

    It was interesting taking the mainstream media (MSM) to task for not doing its job.

    Which is summed up in the phrase: talking truth to power. Asking the hard, tough questions to get at the essential facts of a story. Going where the story leads.

    Which also means,when necessary, quizzing the Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, Republicans, and anyone else who plays a part in news item.

    These topic are among those most people are very interested in:

    * Iraq – progress, or ?
    * US Attorney firings
    * 9/11 – unanswered questions
    * Islamic terrorism
    * Anti-terrorism: are we safer?
    * Will Los Osos ever get a sewer?

    When reporters do their job, we read the info we need. If it’s not in the pages or tv screens of the MSM then we go elsewhere.

    Where? The internet “news” and blogsites. These are updated daily and chock-full o’ questions regular people have on their minds.

    When these sites keep digging for truth (wherever it may take them) and engage their readers in a two-way rapport, then we have a happy situation where information consumers get what they need to know, not what someone wants them to read.

    It’s no wonder, in a sound-byte world, the networks and metro dailies are losing readers and viewers. They used to be watchdogs. Now they’re lapdogs.

    Here are the websites we mentioned on Dave’s 6pm program segment:

    Google News
    L.A. Observed

    Talking Points Memo
    Daily Kos
    Huffington Post
    Yahoo Most Emailed Stories
    Drudge Report
    Drudge Retort


    Also mentioned:

    Little Green Footballs
    Powerline Blog
    and the grand daddy of them all,
    Free Republic.

  20. NewsstandGreg
    May 31, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    To whomever it concerns,

    This summer will be the 40th anniversary of the “Summer Of Love” which was felt across the country, though San Francisco was ground zero: 1967.

    Yep, Mr. Whomever, the sixties ARE over, it would seem.

    Yet members of my family are now serving in the US military in Iraq. All this time since 1967 and here we are involved in ANOTHER undeclared war, killing 3335 since the “mission accomplished” statement.

    Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. You may be able to live without memory, but I will not. –Newsstand Greg

  21. Anonymous
    June 1, 2007 at 12:07 am

    remember the past greg, don’t live in it. turn the page , this world is far different than summer of love. to me you sound like a internet liberal weirdo who is way out of touch

  22. shell
    June 1, 2007 at 1:01 am

    Good job on Sunday’s Cayucos pier observance.

  23. Gregory
    June 1, 2007 at 3:19 am

    Anonymous (5:07pm),

    Glad to meet you. Let me say that I post with at least my first name, and it would most neighborly of you to do the same.

    Let me get this straight. In your opinion, I sound “like an internet liberal weirdo who is way out of touch.”

    OK, I use the Internet and you could label my political viewpoint “liberal” if it helps your reasoning.

    Weirdo? Way out of touch?

    Out of touch with what? Pop music?
    News topics people are interested in? What the Right thinks of the Left?

    Yes, the world keeps spinning around, and time marches on into the future with the Internet.

    That’s what I was talking about with Dave, how the Internet provides us all the opportunity to talk with each other and learn new truths. One might hope.

    What are you in touch with that you think others are missing?

    –Newsstand Greg

  24. Marilyn
    June 1, 2007 at 5:11 am

    I think the colonial circumstances now are exactly the way they were during Vietnam. The bogey man then was the Communists.

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union, we needed another “Axis of Evil” to justify the never-ending cold or hot wars. Now it is the “Islamic Terrorists.”

    Ultimately it is the poor people in both the Middle East and in this country who will pay the dearest prices. Neither ruling elite here nor over there will suffer the heartache that every mother who lost a child to a lie will.

    The working poor and middle class are nothing more than either cannon fodder in the armies of imperialist nations, or the slave wage laborers who produced the goods so that other poor people can buy them to make large corporations richer.

    That’s what the world has always been about and that is what it is today, except it is much worse now.

    Follow the money trail and you will find who controls what and who really is benefiting from this war.

    It is atrocious that our disabled soldiers have to beg for every crumb and the working people cannot even pay their health care bills because they have no health insurance and many are tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to health care organizations. Half the people filing for bankruptcies before the new laws were enacted did so because of medical bills. Now, they cannot even declare bankruptcy because this administration made sure that they will be fleeced more.

    Meanwhile our soldiers continue to be lied to in order to continue an indefinite occupation of the Middle East.

    How cruel it must be to tell a soldier that his or her commander in chief lied to send them to a cesspool while asking the same soldiers to just shut up and do their job. That is the cruelest sacrifice a person can ask of those who have given up a lot, including jobs, homes, marriages, mind, spirit, and limb for a nation that does not even deserve to lick the speck of dirt on their shoe.

    To hell with Bush and to hell with the liberals and conservatives. They are all pieces of scum who are trying to ease their own sense of guilt while making excuses for this war or for how we should not pull out now.

    Yes, those who do not remember the past do repeat it and those who actually remember and have the power keep getting away with the lies and the brainwashing because of the idiots who cannot see beyond their emotions and prejudices.

    The war in the Middle East will come to an end not with the help of liberals or conservatives, not with the help of all the “god fearing” zealots and proselytizers, but with the insistence of the men and women who were lied to in the first place. And that time may be upon us when we least expect and we had better all be ready to answer for the lies we helped create and justify.

    Hopefully, days of remembrance such as the one this week will humble all of us to the preciousness of the lives we helped waste by our apathy or by our greed and sense of power.

  25. Anonymous
    June 1, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Greg the word weirdo was maybe wrong. You sound like a cannabis user who is stuck.

  26. NewsstandGreg
    June 1, 2007 at 9:18 pm


    Thank you for adding to the conversation. For the record, I have not smoked/ingested any psychotropic drug of any kind for the past 14 years.

    (A successful sober life demands that commitment from me.)

    So, I’m a “…user who is stuck.”

    I’ll presume that you mean I’m “stuck in the 60’s.” Gotta tell you that I pondered your comment for some time last night.

    Is this what you mean? “Stuck in the 60’s:” one who continues to wear bell-bottoms, tie-dyed t-shirts, leather sandals, listens to old Jefferson Airplane records, and talks about peace and love, saying “groovy, man!” etc.

    Hmm. Perhaps not. Could be what you mean is someone who still thinks that “people have the power.”

    One who knows John Lennon was a peacemaker and social leader and a target of the Nixon administration. One who believes it is still possible for voters to make a difference.

    But today, if I read your thinking correctly, today we’re all much more cynical about everything. Everything. Government, more jobs, better health coverage, etc. Everything.

    Nothing to believe in. “Politicians” will never change their stripes, it’s hopeless…etc. Is this the “realistic” view you have now?

    Maybe your criticism is about my faith in the “can-do” progressive “spirit” of the Sixties. Against the Vietnam War, for civil rights and womens’ issues. We CAN change the world.

    Perhaps you have no willingness to participate in civic life, or “know” that the prevailing “conservative” outlook is just fine, so I better get used to it.

    I sincerely hope you’re willing to stay in the game and use the Vote. Talk about the issues that matter to you and your friends, neighbors and workmates. Network with others and join the “netroots” and work for change.

    Inform yourself by visiting multiple websites with various points of view. soon, like Dave, you’ll decide there are a few news sites that appeal to you and get you the facts you need and want to know.

    You’ll probably also find yourself watching/reading the MSM a lot less. And getting better information for a balanced world view.

    Then, with whatever viewpoint you have, we’ll have an even better, more productive conversation. –Newsstand Greg

  27. paul
    June 2, 2007 at 1:38 am

    Marilyn, answer to who?

  28. Marilyn
    June 2, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    We will have to answer to the tens (hundreds) of thousands who will return from the war or the ones we may send later on if this war continues.

    We will also have to answer to the newer generation of Americans and others who will not be left with much because of theft by the military-industrial-corporate complex.

    Watch the prices of goods and services in the next few years and watch and see if people will see a comparable rise in wages.

    Also, try to stay up on the corporate profit margins in comparison.

    There are other things involved including mental health and other health issues with the military, but I won’t go into it because we have beaten that horse to death.

    Also, watch what is happening at the G-8 Summit today in Germany and see what kind of issues and what kind of imposition the 8 world leaders are trying to place on the poor people of the world. They never seem to resolve the issues they said they would resolve (AIDS, health and poverty), despite the continuous promises and pledges (speaking of pledges, where is the 4 billion dollars pledged in 2001 to rebuild Kabul?). In their place, we see more global control by corporations and more poverty because people are kicked off their land to make way for privatization and corporate control.

    It is all connected to the war on Iraq and the poor people and, our soldiers are poor and working class in most cases.

    Maybe the mainstream media is not paying much attention to the suffering going on among returning National Guardsmen, especially, but there are numerous cases of lost homes, jobs, spouses, children, and lives. The pitiful attempts to address the problem are not benefiting the people who need them but the people making the money providing those pitiful services.

    If you want to really know what is going on with our military, go out and talk to a number of them and talk to the ones who need help. One soldier’s opinion does not represent the opinion of all and, when soldiers make public statements about how they are behind the war, many of them do so because they are repeating the company line. This is nothing new. Most of them live in fear of losing their jobs and careers, the same way all the CIA and government late blooming whistle blowers remained silent before and after the war. They only came out after they were out of the “loop.” Our soldiers, at this point in time at least, will not say much, but pushed hard enough, they will, especially if there is a draft.

    But if this war keeps getting more privatized with mercenary companies running most of it, that may not come about but what may come about is increased fleecing of the American people to pay for the $180,000 (and rising) jobs of contractors and to pay for the $35.00 for a plate of greasy food given to the soldiers. Who do you think is footing the bill for that one? It is the working people of this county, you and I.

    Remember Vietnam?

  29. Paso Mike
    June 3, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Looks like Marilyn does not like this country very much. Sounds to me like she’s a mindless socialist.

  30. Marilyn
    June 5, 2007 at 1:35 am

    To Paso Mike,

    This has nothing to do with “liking” this country or not. It has to do with what is just and moral.

    I ask again, what is wrong with socialists? Maybe corporate capitalism is better? At least in a socialist country, you will not be left homeless on the street because you cannot afford to pay your surgery bills. In a socialist country, you are guaranteed a place to live. Granted, socialist countries are not perfect either, but at least they do provide the basic survival needs.

    What good is making a lot of money if you are going to spend it on stupid things that really have nothing to do with quality of life but everything to do with standard of living, and there is a difference between the two.

    What good is owning an SUV if you cannot afford to go to the doctor or afford to even pay rent without having to work 2 jobs?

    Why should some people own 5 mansions when millions of others are living in shacks and are homeless.

    Call the homeless shelter and ask them how many working families live in their cars because they do not make enough many to afford rent in good old San Luis Obispo?

    Even Syria has free health care for all, including the Iraqi refugees displaced by US aggression and the occupation of Iraq, and that is the “terrorist” country this administration was rattling its sabers against. Free college for everyone, even medical school. I knew a Syrian doctor who went to the medical college in Aleppo for free. How many doctors in this country do you know went to university free. I know many doctors here who are still paying their loans years after the fact and those are people who save lives.

    Why should Halliburton CEOs and merchants of death make more than a doctor does? Does that make it ok because Halliburton’s wealth was accumulated through capitalist “enterprise?”

    Hey, if you like being pushed around by those who really have the money, who am I to stop you?

  31. Anonymous
    June 5, 2007 at 4:39 am

    Venezuela would be a excellent government for Marilyn to work for.

  32. Rich from Paso
    June 5, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Marilyn: Do you have a clue on just what kind of foolish “apples and oranges” argument you just made? To compare the United States to any one country is just silly. There are 300 million people living within our borders right now. Only the EU even comes close to the US and that is 15 different countries under one roof. Sure it is hard to give every, single, person everything they need, but the United States does a better job of it then almost every country in the world. I am sick and tired of the US being dragged down because shitty little third world nations, like Syria, have one thing that they can hang their hat on. Free medical school? I gurantee you that that Alleppo trained doctor will immigrate to the United States the first chance he gets (no way that is a woman doctor in Syria) because the US is where the money is. How much does Syria pay to the United Nations every year? I’m sure it doesn’t come near the one-third of the budget the United States pays. Who built and put the Hubble Space telescope into orbit? The United States did. How many countries have man-made objects traveling outside the solar system? One – the United States. How many vaccines curing previously debilitating diseases has Syria cured? None. The United States has cured around 9. I have never heard of cancer patients flying to Alleppo for cancer treatment; I have heard of thousands coming to the United States for treatment. No country has the standard of living of the United States; some are very very close, but the United States is still the destination of choice for millions of the world’s travelers. Women and minorities many not have it perfect here, but is it a damn sight better than any one of the Arab nations… or China … or any nation in Africa… or India… or South America. The United States has the number one economy, the number one military, the number one medical system, and the number one standard of living. Do I feel at all guilty over that? Hell no! We earned that right through three world wars for freedom (counting the cold war) and being the economic engine for positive change around the world. We are blessed with a ocean on the east and west coasts and only two neighbors to share the abundant resources that are found on this continent. I will never ever feel bad about being number one in the world regardless of how much you try to shit on my country for all of its problems, real or perceived.

    June 11, 2007 at 2:43 am


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