Sunday, August 02, 2015

PNN - Food Sleuth & Revolution Trut



PNN 8/2/15


rws            7:00-7:15
brook         7:16-7:30
melinda     7:31 - 8:15
tangerine   8:16-8:58

0. Open Mike Night

SCPA Call for Open-Minded Mic Nite! August 6
Seven speaking slots still available.
TO SIGN UP please click here
FULL INFO please click here

1st THURSDAY, August 6 is Open-Minded Mic Nite! 
6:30pm Thursday, August 6, 2015
Hosted by Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Location: Front Street Civic Center, 2205 Front St. Melbourne FL 32901
Free and open to the public. Donations graciously accepted.

SPEAKERS get 3 minutes to speak + 2 minutes for Q+A.
Advance registration is required.
Topic and brief summary of what you want to say is required to register.
Submittals are reviewed by a 3-person team.

1. TransCanada Keystone XL Hits New Turbulence As South Dakota Permit Hearing Implodes Over Pipeline Corrosion, Market Demand


By Julie Dermansky • DsmogBlog Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 14:11

Holes too big to fix were poked in TransCanada’s narrative that its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will be the safest pipeline ever built. And questions were raised about how the pipeline company’s financial dealings are set up during Public Utilities Commission hearings in Pierre, South Dakota this week where state regulators are tasked to decide if the company is capable of following the rules the state set when the original Keystone pipeline permit was granted in 2010.
A team of lawyers representing Native American tribes and the grassroots group Dakota Rural Action took the upper hand during the proceedings as they tried to have a TransCanada executive’s testimony impeached. The proceedings took on a circus-like atmosphere when TransCanada was unable to prevent lines of questioning it didn’t like. 
The commissioners seemed unsure of its own procedures. At one point, Commissioner Gary Hanson expressed frustration that he was having trouble drawing a distinction between TransCanada’s evidence and its advertising statements.

The testimony of TransCanada’s key witness, Corey Goulet, president of Keystone Pipeline Projects, turned out to be an important centerpiece of the hearing.
In pretrial testimony filed by Goulet, he stated the company would have no problem meeting the Commission’s amended conditions.

However, TransCanada’s promises to build safe pipelines have been called into question with several high-profile incidents involving its existing pipelines, particularly the corrosion problems with the Keystone 1 pipeline. 

TransCanada 'root cause analysis' document, made available online by DeSmog on Tuesday, shed troubling light on the external corrosion encountered on the Keystone 1.

‘ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS’ DOCUMENT CREATES HEADACHES, QUESTIONS FOR TRANSCANADA

When Goulet was questioned about the significant corrosion discovered on the Keystone 1 pipeline in Missouri in 2012 — when the pipeline’s wall had corroded in one spot to the thickness of a dime — he downplayed the incident, claiming that none of the defects were close to rupturing. 

“None of the defects, in my experience in 30 years of pipelines, would be injurious from the perspective of being close to rupturing. Therefore the only problem would have been the depth of corrosion,” Goulet testified. (Audio of Goulet testimony, relevant corrosion section at ~ 32:45 – 33:40)   
Bruce Ellison, one of the lawyers for the interveners, had handed Goulet a copy of the company’s root cause analysis report of the incident, before pointing out the corrosion area was much larger than Goulet had described. One of the defects involved a section of pipe where the wall had eroded 96.8 percent, which Ellison noted was close to a rupture incident.
TransCanada lawyers objected to any reference to the report because Goulet claimed he had never seen it and that it was classified. But since the report had already been entered into evidence, the interveners’ lawyers were allowed by the Commission to continue questioning him. 
In the course of discovery, TransCanada provided the report in question as part of the unclassified documents, and therefore could not exclude the report from evidence, the Commission said.

After that dispute was settled, Goulet admitted he knew the location of sites where the pipeline had been dug up for inspection and repair. 

As indicated in the ‘root cause’ report, Site 5 was only 200 feet from the Mississippi River, the primary drinking water source for 18 million Americans, as well as agricultural water for crop production. 
Evan Vokes, former TransCanada employee turned whistleblower, and an expert witness for the interveners, told DeSmog he has never seen a pipeline coating corroded as badly as the failed coating of the Keystone 1. It looked as if “it had been gnawed at by rats,” he told DeSmog.

Another former TransCanada employee reviewed the report and found it shocking. The fact that damaged sections of the pipe were repaired instead of replaced concerned him greatly. “We cut out better pipe than what I’ve seen in those pictures,” he told DeSmog. 

TRANSCANADA’S TAX REVENUE CALCULATIONS OFF BY A LOT

Goulet testified that the considerably lower amount of taxes TransCanada paid was less than had been estimated before construction — although the tax rate has since increased. 

While he stated he didn’t know the technical details of how the taxes are applied, he went on to testify that “TransCanada Pipeline LP is the owner of the Keystone XL pipeline,” explaining that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada Corporation. While TransCanada Corporation has assets in excess of $50 billion, not all of that value would be assessed for tax purposes. Only the subsidiary’s assets would, Goulet explained. While TransCanada estimated that Keystone 1 would deliver at least $45 million in tax revenue to communities, Goulet admitted that the company has only paid $18.4 million over the first 5 years of the pipeline’s operation. That’s roughly a third of what TransCanada had estimated as the benefit it would deliver in tax revenue to affected communities.

 Goulet cited higher capital and operating costs for the discrepancy, blaming regulatory delays, technical changes, and inflation were responsible for the costs ballooning to nearly $2 billion for the Keystone 1 project. (Audio of hearing, relevant section on taxes at ~ 1:22:15 – 1:32:00)

The tax revenue discrepancies could have real impacts on communities that bank on the future of the Keystone pipeline.

“In Harding County a bond was passed and a new school was built on the premise that TransCanada’s pipeline taxes would help pay for it,” Bret Clanton, a member of Dakota Rural Action said.

TRANSCANADA BULLISH ON BUILDING KEYSTONE XL DESPITE OIL PRICE SLUMP 

In afternoon testimony (audio from ~1:48:00 on), David Diakow, TransCanada’s Vice President, Commercial, Liquids Pipelines, opened the door to information that related to TransCanada’s business dealings related to the project.  

Diakow revealed that the company intends to build the pipeline no matter how low the price of oil goes. (audio ~ 1:54:40 – 1:57:15)
Robin Martinez, a lawyer for the interveners, described what came next as unusual in an email to DeSmog,

“Paul Blackburn, one of the attorneys for the intervenors in the proceedings, started to question Mr. Diakow about market demand for the KXL pipeline. He began inquiring as to whether TransCanada’s customers were demanding changes to their contracts, which TransCanada objected to, claiming their contracts and communications with customers were highly confidential. TransCanada then argued that Mr. Blackburn’s questions relating to market demand for the pipeline were not relevant to the question of whether or not TransCanada could meet the conditions imposed by the Commission when it granted the original permit in 2010. However, by placing Mr. Diakow’s written testimony into the record they opened the door to full cross-examination of him under the applicable administrative procedure rules. Apparently not wanting to have him questioned, TransCanada withdrew him as a witness and asked the Commission to strike his testimony from the record.”

The Commission limited the scope of all further testimony for both parties to be pertinent to the amended conditions of the original 2010 permit, strictly limiting evidence presented for the remainder of the trial.

Peter Caposella, the lawyer representing the Rock Sioux Tribe said in all his years as an attorney, he had never seen a plaintiff remove their own witness in such a manner.  

As the near failure of the Keystone 1 line proved, the consequences of siting TransCanada’s bitumen-carrying export lines so close to drinking water supplies is a risk we can ill afford to accept in an age of water scarcity and climate disruption. 

Even if President Obama denies the permit for the pipeline to cross international borders, the next administration could reverse that decision. 

However, if the South Dakota Public Utility Commission decides TransCanada isn’t up to the job, TransCanada will have to start the entire re-permitting process again. 




3. In the U.S., the censors are far more numerous
DeSmog Blog
Western societies are the censorship capitals of the world, where public figures who run amok the extremely narrow confines of publicly permitted speech are required to conduct elaborate rituals of verbal self-flagellation
We hear a lot of kvetching in the Western press about censorship in Russia. The ever-amusing Josh Keating over at Slate tells us that Russian bookstores have been pulling Maus from their shelves because the graphic novel features a swastika – that dastardly Putin at it again, banning Nazi propaganda: “Before we scoff too much, it’s worth remembering that Maus has been challenged by skittish school libraries in the United States as well, but the case does illustrate something about how censorship works in contemporary Russia.”
(Before we scoff too much, American retailer JC Penny came under fire in 2013 due to aMichael Graves teapot because said teapot bore an uncanny resemblance to Adolf Hitler.)
In light of this, a recent round of ginned up “outrage” has me so puzzled and wondering if maybe we should be wondering ourselves if we are living in a censorship-free society. Pop singer Ariana Grande was filmed – without her knowledge – in a doughnut shop, licking a doughnut and then daring to disparage a tray of what I can only assume were bacon grease-filled deep-fried butter bombs with bacon-butter icing. The singer, viewing the tray, said the following: “What the f*** is that? That’s disgusting. I hate America. That’s disgusting.”
So, naturally, Americans got offended and Grande was shamed into issuing an extensive public apology and canceling scheduled appearances. Actor Rob Lowe weighed in, calling her apology “lame.” TMZ called her comments “fat-shaming.”
Here I was thinking that part of being American means you get to say “I hate America.” I thought we were Je Suis Charlie. I guess not so much.
Sergei Dorenko calls this horizontal censorship. In “The Geometry of Censorship,” Mark Ames analyzes Dorenko’s “vertical” censorship, of which he accuses the Kremlin of employing, and compares it to the “horizontal” censorship of the West:
This was contrasted to our “horizontal” censorship in the West: rather than coming from a tyrannical top-down force, our censorship is carried out horizontally, between colleagues and peers and “society”; through public pressure and peer pressure; through morality-policing; and from within oneself, one’s fears for one’s career, and fears one can’t necessarily articulate, fears that feel natural rather than imposed upon.
Under vertical censorship, you know exactly who you fear, and therefore, who and what to avoid or sneak around and oppose. But horizontal censorship feels like it comes from everyone and anyone, depriving the censored of martyrdom status.
Which makes our “horizontal” censorship in many ways more effective and powerful than the cruder Kremlin “vertical” approach to censorship—according to Dorenko’s theory.
I do not intend to take a pro-doughnut licking stance, but I do think that this incident is indicative of a distinct problem in American society. Celebrities and other public figures must issue heartfelt and repeated apologies after their remarks are made public, and are still socially and professionally shamed into retracting their comments. Unless they are Donald Trump and say things Americans secretly agree with and/or find hilarious, many times they are unable to recover their professional standing.
It may be easy to dismiss the pastry-related peccadilloes of a 22-year-old pop singer, but horizontal censorship gets carried over from the entertainment sector into political and foreign policy debates.
In Western society, horizontal censorship is tied to the offender’s self-worth. One misplaced comment or one poorly-worded Tweet, and suddenly that person’s value as a human being goes off the cliff.
Examples of social and cultural censorship in the United States are legion – from the Dixie Chicks criticizing George Bush and radio stations voluntarily pulling their music, toSeth Rogen having to apologize because he didn’t like the movie American Sniper. The example that is particularly heinous is the personal and professional attacks endured by Dr. Stephen F. Cohen over his stance on Russia and Ukraine.
Cohen, a professor emeritus at Princeton University and New York University, a former adviser to CBS News on U.S./USSR relations, and my spirit animal, has consistently dissented from the party line on Russia and Ukraine and has been rewarded for his pains with character assassination in the American media. Even the virtuous Slate got in on the action – running an article about Cohen, entitled, ‘Putin’s Pal':
As Cohen made Russia’s case and lamented the American media’s meanness to Vladimir Putin  in print  and airwaves, he was mocked as a “patsy” and a “dupe” everywhere from the conservative to the liberal.
Now, as the hostilities in eastern Ukraine have turned to the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Cohen is at it again—this time, with a  long article  in the current issue of The Nation indicting Kiev’s atrocities in eastern Ukraine and America’s collusion therein.

The timing is rather unfortunate for Cohen and The Nation, since the piece is also unabashedly sympathetic to the Russian-backed militants who appear responsible for the murder of 298 innocent civilians.
Never mind that Cohen has been consistently proven right. Never mind that there still is no conclusive evidence that the Eastern Ukrainian rebels are responsible for MH-17.

The shameful treatment of Dr. Cohen is particularly pernicious because, like during the lead-up to the Iraq War, it ignores a voice of peace among those clamoring for war. Only recently has the “liberal” Huffington Post seen fit to include Cohen’s viewpoint on the Ukraine crisis. Considering that U.S.-Russia relations deteriorated to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War while HuffPo jumped enthusiastically on the anti-Russian bandwagon from Sochi onward, their recent about-face appears as a weak attempt to appear unbiased.
In fact, this type of opinion-shaming isn’t limited to Western media sources. Earlier this year, I received a private message on a social network from a Ukrainian in response to post I had written in a news article’s comment section. I kept it so I can quote it here: “i hope you get ill and die in pain, you dirty russian c**t troll” (Asterisks mine.)

Censorship in the United States comes from all corners, in deleted Tweets, extensive groveling apologies, and condescending lectures on what not to say to vegetarians. In authoritarian, vertically censored societies, the devil you know has told the citizenry what speech is and is not acceptable. In horizontally censored societies, the devil you don’t know can appear at any time, to police your words, actions, and where applicable, deem you, your apology, and your value as a human being worthy of acceptance and you of forgiveness.
It sounds a lot like what Keating refers to in Slate:
We may associate censorship in authoritarian countries with jackbooted police marching into libraries to confiscate banned literature, but more often, in Russia at least, it’s self-censoring for fear of violating intentionally vague laws.
As the Times wrote recently, ascribing the reaction of Moscow theaters to a new law banning obscenity in public performances, cultural figures in Russia today describe a climate of confusion and anxiety. One publisher was quoted as saying that in Soviet times, at least we knew the rules.

If Keating’s fear-mongering has any basis in reality, then it must be a brave new world to those who remember living in the Soviet Union to finally experience Western-style horizontal censorship first-hand.

Which is worse – overzealous compliance with laws that, while admittedly vague, give citizens a guideline about what might fall under their purview – or a society that claims to be free and open but has consistently shown that it hasn’t evolved much beyond its infamous witch trials?

I think we can all agree that censorship in all forms is wrong, but I do think that we would all have one less problem without America’s puritanical exceptionalism.




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Sunday, July 19, 2015

PNN - A Progressive Critique of the ACA (Obama Care) with California Lynne and Jersey Dave


PNN
7/19/15

RWS               7pm
Brook              7:15pm
Lynn & Dave    7:30pm


1. Any Aggrieved Party

Netroots Leadership, through your inaction in relinquishing control of the stage and the agenda not only betrays the spirit of democratic exchange of ideas it disrespects your invitees. You've taught a doubly bad lesson. 

I have more than 20 years experience producing special events, public events, concerts and festivals and I was shocked when I heard about the mismanagement on display if what I've heard actually took place at yesterday's Netroots Nation CONVENTION.

I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong) well meaning activists took over the stage and drove presenters away. Through your inaction you have announced that you are not a responsible party managing a serious political event. You are simply cavalier amateur who invited a bunch of angry people together with no adult in-charge and no one taking responsibility for security or order. This is a recipe for disaster. You may have gotten an inkling that you are irresponsible amateurs playing with mob-dynamite.

You have placed a billboard over your event, stating "Any Aggrieved Party" is free to take the stage and disrupt this poor excuse for a political convention. Your denial of responsibility has set back the progressive movement decades.

The fact that these particular protestors have a valid greivance and that the speakers who were disrupted were invited to speak to a admittedly diverse audience, with a wide range of opinion does nothing to mitigate the dangerous precedent set and the terrible decisions made to permit the stage to be over-run.

I understand the dynamics and discomfort activist leaders face when they are called upon to challenge or channel righteous indignation. The bottom line is this. If you produce public events you must accept the responsibilities that are inherent in staging an event. If you fail to appreciate the inherent dangers and difficulty you have no business producing even a birthday party.

When control, and security is dissipated and the agenda is handed off to the mob, no matter how well intentioned, disaster is the only possible result. Let's leave aside, the failure of protestors to respect the design of the event. (Every event depends on a modicum of civility) If activists refuse to understand the purpose of dialogue and dispense with alliance building then they don't belong on a convention stage.  Activists sometime value disruption for disruptions sake. These activists fail to comprehend the necessity of coalition building. They should be shunned until they mature politically. Regardless how counter productive their disruption was and what damage they are doing to potential alliances, they did what some activists always do, behave counter-productively. I reserve my criticism for the activists who undertook to produce this event and failed.

When you throw your hands up on stage security, and hand off the agenda to any microphone hog, you have given up any control over both safety and security. You have just taught the world, that any handful of disruptors, inside or outside the progressive movement, not only that you have no stomach for the necessary security that produces a safe event, but your agenda is available for hi-jacking.

Next time whether its Wall Street Bankers, Animal Rights Activists, or Militant Librarians , you have taught the any aggrieved party may take the stage and there are no adults in the room. 

You have shown just how easy any small group of disruptors, the foolish, the delusional or the mercenary, that the visual takes precedence over substance and you hold no responsibility to control even the stage much less the activity inside your event. 

There is a moral responsibility when you invite four or more into a space and present an agenda. 
You undertake to produce not just a room of chairs and a portable stage and sound equipment, but you undertake a public safety responsibility that you shirk not only at your expense but you place every life of your attendees at risk.

I have had to disarm a gun toting rock star, require a world class performing duo evacuate a stage, and stop a show, that would otherwise place performers and bystanders at risk. I hope the next NETROOTS events is produced by a more serious and responsible team, because allowing a small disruptive group to take the stage and prevent invited speakers from making their speeches is not the work of mature leadership. And nearly as important these political figures could have become allies instead of victims.

So far free speech, was the only victim. No small disaster there. But human lives are placed in danger when an event goes off the rails. Its not just democracy that took a body blow. Human safety was compromised when responsibility was ignored. Absentee-LEADERSHIP  of this conference placed thousands of lives at risk. This must be understood. If not it will be at the peril of the Progressive Movement.  


3. We are all Greeks Now
The poor and the working class in the United States know what it is to be Greek. They know underemployment and unemployment. They know life without a pension. They know existence on a few dollars a day. They know gas and electricity being turned off because of unpaid bills. They know the crippling weight of debt. They know being sick and unable to afford medical care. They know the state seizing their meager assets, a process known in the United States as “civil asset forfeiture,” which has permitted American police agencies to confiscate more than $3 billion in cash and property. They know the profound despair and abandonment that come when schools, libraries, neighborhood health clinics, day care services, roads, bridges, public buildings and assistance programs are neglected or closed. They know the financial elites’ hijacking of democratic institutions to impose widespread misery in the name of austerity. They, like the Greeks, know what it is to be abandoned.
The Greeks and the U.S. working poor endure the same deprivations because they are being assaulted by the same system—corporate capitalism. There are no internal constraints on corporate capitalism. And the few external constraints that existed have been removed. Corporate capitalism, manipulating the world’s most powerful financial institutions, including the Eurogroup, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve, does what it is designed to do: It turns everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to be exploited until exhaustion or collapse. In the extraction process, labor unions are broken, regulatory agencies are gutted, laws are written by corporate lobbyists to legalize fraud and empower global monopolies, and public utilities are privatized. Secret trade agreements—which even elected officials who view the documents are not allowed to speak about—empower corporate oligarchs to amass even greater power and accrue even greater profits at the expense of workers. To swell its profits, corporate capitalism plunders, represses and drives into bankruptcy individuals, cities, states and governments. It ultimately demolishes the structures and markets that make capitalism possible. But this is of little consolation for those who endure its evil. By the time it slays itself it will have left untold human misery in its wake.
The Greek government kneels before the bankers of Europe begging for mercy because it knows that if it leaves the eurozone, the international banking system will do to Greece what it did to the socialist government of Salvador Allende in 1973 in Chile; it will, as Richard Nixon promised to do in Chile, “make the economy scream.” The bankers will destroy Greece. If this means the Greeks can no longer get medicine—Greece owes European drug makers 1 billion euros—so be it. If this means food shortages—Greece imports thousands of tons of food from Europe a year—so be it. If this means oil and gas shortages—Greece imports 99 percent of its oil and gas—so be it. The bankers will carry out economic warfare until the current Greek government is ousted and corporate political puppets are back in control.
Human life is of no concern to corporate capitalists. The suffering of the Greeks, like the suffering of ordinary Americans, is very good for the profit margins of financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs. It was, after all, Goldman Sachs—which shoved subprime mortgages down the throats of families it knew could never pay the loans back, sold the subprime mortgages as investments to pension funds and then bet against them—that orchestrated complex financial agreements with Greece, many of them secret. These agreements doubled the debt Greece owes under derivative deals and allowed the old Greek government to mask its real debt to keep borrowing. And when Greece imploded, Goldman Sachs headed out the door with suitcases full of cash.
The system of unfettered capitalism is designed to callously extract money from the most vulnerable and funnel it upward to the elites. This is seen in the mounting fines and fees used to cover shortfalls in city and state budgets. Corporate capitalism seeks to privatize all aspects of government service, from education to intelligence gathering. The U.S. Postal Service appears to be next. Parents already must pay hundreds of dollars for their public-school children to take school buses, go to music or art classes and participate in sports or other activities. Fire departments, ambulance services, the national parks system are all slated to become fodder for corporate profit. It is the death of the civil society.
Criminal justice is primarily about revenue streams for city and state governments in the United States rather than about justice or rehabilitation. The poor are arrested and fined for minor infractions in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere; for not mowing their lawns; for putting their feet on seats of New York City subway cars. If they cannot pay the fines, as many cannot, they go to jail. In jail they are often charged room and board. And if they can’t pay this new bill they go to jail again. It is a game of circular and never-ending extortion of the poor. Fines that are unpaid accrue interest and generate warrants for arrest. Poor people often end up owing thousands of dollars for parking or traffic violations.
Fascist and communist firing squads sometimes charged the victim’s family for the bullets used in the execution. In corporate capitalism, too, the abusers extract payment; often the money goes to private corporations that carry out probation services or prison and jail administration. The cost of being shot with a stun gun ($26) or of probation services ($35 to $100 a month) or of an electronic ankle bracelet ($11 a month) is vacuumed out of the pockets of the poor. And all this is happening in what will one day be seen as the good times. Wait until the financial house of cards collapses again—what is happening in China is not a good sign—and Wall Street runs for cover. Then America will become Greece on steroids.
“We are a nation that has turned its welfare system into a criminal system,” write Karen Dolan and Jodi L. Carr in an Institute for Policy Studies report titled “The Poor Get Prison.” “We criminalize life-sustaining activities of people too poor to afford shelter. We incarcerate more people than any other nation in the world. And we institute policies that virtually bar them for life from participating in society once they have done their time. We have allowed the resurgence of debtors’ prisons. We’ve created a second-tier public education system for poor children and black and Latino children that disproportionally criminalizes their behavior and sets them early onto the path of incarceration and lack of access to assistance and opportunity.”
The corporate dismantling of civil society is nearly complete in Greece. It is far advanced in the United States. We, like the Greeks, are undergoing a political war waged by the world’s oligarchs. No one elected them. They ignore public opinion. And, as in Greece, if a government defies the international banking community it is targeted for execution. The banks do not play by the rules of democracy.
Our politicians are corporate employees. And if you get dewy-eyed about the possibility of the U.S. having its first woman president, remember that it was Hillary Clinton’s husband who decimated manufacturing jobs with the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and then went on to destroy welfare with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which halted federal cash aid programs and imposed time-limited, restrictive state block grants. Under President Bill Clinton, most welfare recipients—and 70 percent of those recipients were children—were dropped from the rolls. The prison-industrial complex exploded in size as its private corporations swallowed up surplus, unemployed labor, making $40,000 or more a year from each person held in a cage. The population of federal and state prisons combined rose by 673,000 under Clinton. He, along with Ronald Reagan, set the foundations for the Greecification of the United States.
The destruction of Greece, like the destruction of America, by the big banks and financial firms is not, as the bankers claim, about austerity or imposing rational expenditures or balanced budgets. It is not about responsible or good government. It is a vicious form of class warfare. It is profoundly anti-democratic. It is about forming nations of impoverished, disempowered serfs and a rapacious elite of all-powerful corporate oligarchs, backed by the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and a militarized police that shoots unarmed citizens with reckless abandon. The laws and rules it imposes on the poor are, as Barbara Ehrenreich has written, little more than “organized sadism.”
Corporate profit is God. It does not matter who suffers. In Greece 40 percent of children live in poverty, there is a 25 percent unemployment rate and the unemployment figure for those between the ages of 15 and 24 is nearly 50 percent. And it will only get worse.
The economic and political ideology that convinced us that organized human behavior should be determined by the dictates of the global marketplace was a con game. We were the suckers. The promised prosperity from trickle-down economics and the free market instead concentrated wealth among a few and destroyed the working and the middle classes along with all vestiges of democracy. Corrupt governments, ignoring the common good and the consent of the governed, abetted this pillage. The fossil fuel industry was licensed to ravage the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species, while being handed lavish government subsidies. None of this makes sense.
The mandarins that maintain this system cannot respond rationally in our time of crisis. They are trained only to make the system of exploitation work. They are blinded by their insatiable greed and neoliberal ideology, which posits that controlling inflation, privatizing public assets and removing trade barriers are the sole economic priorities. They are steering us over a cliff.
We will not return to a rational economy or restore democracy until these global speculators are stripped of power. This will happen only if the streets of major cities in Europe and the United States are convulsed with mass protests. The tyranny of these financial elites knows no limits. They will impose ever greater suffering and repression until we submit or revolt. I prefer the latter. But we don’t have much time.


4. Holder Back at Home
they held a corner office on hold for him on the 11th floor at Covington & Burley
at the intersection of Every Large American Bank and the Rubberized Justice Department 
clients list: JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup - REVOLVING DOOR - Scandal Free
Covington drafted the MERS Agreement that cooked the mortgages - 
Last year, Holder bought a condo 300 feet from the firm’s headquarters. The National Law Journal headlined the news, “Holder’s Return to Covington Was Six Years in the Making,” as if acting as the nation’s top law enforcement officer was a temp gig. They even kept an 11th-floor corner office empty for his return.
If we had a more aggressive media, this would be an enormous scandal, more than the decamping of former Obama Administration officials to places like Uber and Amazon. That’s because practically no law firm has done more to protect Wall Street executives from the consequences of their criminal activities than Covington & Burling.  Their roster of clients includes every mega-bank in America: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America. Yet Holder has joined several of his ex-employees there, creating a shadow Justice Department and an unquestionable conflict of interest. In fact, given the pathetic fashion in which DoJ limited punishment for those who caused the greatest economic meltdown in 80 years, Holder’s new job looks a lot like his old job.
You could actually make a plausible argument that Covington & Burling bears responsibility for the Great Recession: In the late 1990s, Covington lawyers drafted the legal justification for MERS, the private electronic database that facilitated mortgage-backed securities trading. MERS saved banks from having to submit documents and fees with county land recording offices each time they transferred mortgages. So it’s unlikely you would have seen mortgage securitization at such a high volume without MERS, and by proxy, without those legal opinions. Of course, securitization drove subprime lending, the housing bubble, its eventual crash and the financial meltdown that followed. Though evidence pointed to MERS’ implication in the mass document fraud scandal that infected the foreclosure process, former Covington lawyer Holder never prosecuted them, and now he’s back with the old team.
Covington’s real meal ticket is white-collar defense. They literally promote their aptitude in getting bank clients off the hook in marketing materials. I wrote in Salonlast March about the firm’s boasting, in a cover story in the trade publication American Lawyer, about avoiding jail sentences and reducing cash penalties for executives at companies like IndyMac and Charles Schwab. Included in the praiseworthy article is Lanny Breuer, who ran the Justice Department’s criminal division under Holder. Breuer, a vice chairman at Covington, vowed not to represent companies under Justice Department investigation, but his presence in a marketing document specifically wooing bank clients is clear: Sign up with Covington, and you get access to insiders at the highest level.
That’s precisely Eric Holder’s value to the firm. He’ll never end up as lead litigation counsel for Citigroup, and he can’t be involved in any cases dating back to his Justice Department tenure for two years. But he’ll be able to advise behind the scenes, a compelling prospect for banks in trouble. As we have seen over the last decade, relationships and influence matter more than the letter of the law in determining whether white-collar criminals face justice.
Holder, who Covington partners voted to bring back unanimously, gave himself away to the National Law Journal by comparing his post-Justice Department career to former Carter Administration Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti. After his tenure, Civiletti also rotated into private practice for the high-powered firm Venable, and was known around Washington as the first lawyer to bill $1,000 an hour for his services.
So this is a money hustle, using the knowledge gleaned from inside government to assist corporate clients. Holder made $2.5 million in his last year at Covington, and the firm actually said out loud that they see him as a “rainmaker.” The head of Covington’s management committee told the Wall Street Journal that Holder would be a “strategic architect” for institutions looking to navigate “a major investigatory matter or perhaps a crisis-management situation.”  Holder pronounced himself eager to make money for the firm, and wants to be “a player” in litigation. There’s no mystery here: Holder will be a fixer, an insider looking to help corporations beat the rap.
Hilariously, Holder seems to think he took an “appropriately aggressive” stance against Wall Street while at DoJ, one that might risk his relationship with future clients. I’m not sure that even needs to be rebutted. Holder’s conduct in prosecuting financial fraud was so embarrassing that by the end I would have preferred he juststopped trying. Not only did the public relations maneuvers masquerading as crackdowns not fool anyone, they actually harmed the concept of justice. They normalized the idea that big banks could just buy their way out of trouble, cutting prosecutors in on their ill-gotten profits.
And we’re all still waiting for anyone at a high level in the financial industry to be marched out of his office in handcuffs, nearly a year after Holder said at New York University, “We expect to bring charges in the coming months.” Maybe he was talking about criminal charges for corporations, which the Justice Department is now willing to do after having eliminated any consequences for a guilty plea. If Holder thinks his record is aggressive, I’d hate to see what he considers nonchalant.


5. Bonita Springs WIN to Keep out Fracking... Up next Court
    SW Florida Conservancy will join the suit as will Food and Water Watch


6. Ode on a Right-Wing Troll
To the right wing troll " Mr. Olsen"
Mr. "Olsen" superman's buddy, when you say Senator Sander's is for "big" government you offer your readers two fallacious assumptions if you think the government is small now, you've not been very observant.
We the people, who are "our government" have as many offices, and civil servants as we require.
Now to your more important mistake you repeat the right wing "complaint" fact free as always, that a government that serves the citizens rather than the corporations is more desirable. Again let me point out fact free.
If you'd actually prefer NO GOVERNMENT there are examples available I cite Somalia, Yemen or the merely dysfunctional Syria, Libya or Iraq.
But I suspect you do like CLEAN WATER, SAFE MEDICINE, CONTAMINATION FREE WORK PLACES, and proper schools and libraries that are free and accessible.
But feel good, you've earned your thirty pieces of silver attacking THE PEOPLE's right to self government.
Pull your blankey back over your head, double check both pistols are still loaded and check your hounds water bowl is still full with government guaranteed safe drinking water, before your turn back to denouncing the people's elected government.


7. Fracking EPA wants it two ways

The EPA has a responsibility to protect the health and well-being of the American people, but their draft study is a failure. Submit your public comment — the American people deserve better protection from fracking.

The EPA's top-line finding was very different than what the assessment actually found. The headlines stated that fracking doesn't cause "widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources."¹ But in reality, the EPA was unable to convince any fracking companies to cooperate in the study, yielding very incomplete results. Without being able to test water before, during and after fracking near fracking sites, the EPA is in no position to claim that water contamination from fracking is not “systemic” — they simply don't know!

And in addition, the EPA study did indeed identify numerous harms to drinking water resources from fracking. But the EPA discounted these everyday harms as not "widespread and systemic," allowing the industry to have a field day claiming that fracking is finally proven safe. We are already encountering lawmakers who are saying “even the EPA says fracking doesn’t threaten water supplies” thanks to the industry-led media spin on this report.

Now the EPA is asking for public comments on their draft fracking assessment. We need to make sure the public weighs in to counter the industry spin. Submit your comment to the EPA — don't downplay the dangerous impacts of fracking on drinking water.

This isn't the first time the EPA has caved on fracking. They've also dropped investigations into drinking water contamination from fracking in Dimock, PA, Parker County, TX and Pavillion, WY and have refused to meet with families directly impacted by fracking.² It is appalling to see the EPA chalk up the experiences of those who have been living with contamination as nothing more than collateral damage — everyone deserves clean drinking water. 

Putting a resource as precious and universally important as drinking water at risk is simply unacceptable, and the EPA, which is charged with protecting Americans from environmental risk, should be working to do everything it can to safeguard these vital water resources. Tell the EPA to protect the people, not the polluting oil and gas industry.

This study on fracking’s impacts on drinking water is far too important to leave up to voluntarily provided data from the very corporations that profit from fracking. 





8.PsyOps - COPS 
These psychologists advised the CIA on how to reverse-engineer techniques that had been used to teach members of the US military to withstand torture and use that information to develop tactics to use on detainees.
Jessen has not publicly commented on the report. Mitchell said he cannot legally confirm or deny his participation in the program, but spoke to many news agencies after the report’s release. He told Al Jazeera America that the report is an effort “to rewrite history.”
“It’s easy in hindsight to look when you get five years, sitting in a comfortable cubicle, drinking Starbucks, talking about how much more capable you’d be. It’s easy using hindsight to suggest we could’ve done it differently, this wasn’t necessary. It’s easy to do that. I completely understand it — hindsight bias, we call it in psychology. It happens. It’s why people think we should’ve been able to predict 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. It’s the same thing essentially.”
Alberto Gonzales – White House counsel
Before he became US attorney general, Gonzales circumvented the Justice Department while working as White House counsel to give permission for torture techniques. He has not publicly responded to the report.
Condoleezza Rice – national security adviser

As early as July 2002, Rice, then the national security adviser, gave the CIA permission to waterboard alleged al-Qaida member Abu Zubaydah. She has not publicly responded to the report.
Cofer Black – CIA counter-terrorism chief
The director of the CIA’s counter-terrorism center from 1999 to 2001, Black went on to become vice chairman of the private security company Blackwater. He has not publicly responded to the Senate report but said in 2008: “I’m not a big fan of interrogations, but you know, life’s tough and there are no easy answers. The American people have to decide if they want interrogations done or not.”
Jose Rodriguez – CIA counter-terrorism chief
Rodriguez took over for Black as CIA head of counter-terrorism. He destroyed 92 tapes documenting torture, including footage of multiple waterboardings of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In response to the report, he told Fox News: “The CIA’s been thrown under the bus.”
He said that important information was collected through torture and eventually led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
“It was very successful, and for those of us who were there, it’s just amazing that they could have come to this conclusion,” Rodriguez said. “Those of us who read the intelligence coming out to the black sites every morning and who acted on that intelligence know the value, and basically, it led to the destruction of the organization.”






9. FREE SPEECH ZONES RETURN TO FLA

Gov. Scott steals a page from the shrub and creates a FREE-SPEECH-ZONE (In Cape Coral) 
[ You probably thought Cape Coral was part of the United States of America] blocks away from where he appeared.

Anything, any violation of the CONSTITUTION - to protect his delicate ears from any UNTOWARD criticism.... 

Too bad he shows no such concern for our environment! - 

BRAVO to those Brave Souls who thought that FREE SPEECH (1st Amendment Rights) applied here in Scott's Florida - 
I say Scott's Florida - because the evidence suggests its not your land or my land ... Am I right?
(Woody Guthrie not withstanding)






NETROOTS DISRUPTION


Any Aggrieved Party
listen

Netroots Leadership, through your inaction in relinquishing control of the stage and the agenda not only betrays the spirit of democratic exchange of ideas it disrespects your invitees. You've taught a doubly bad lesson. 

I have more than 20 years experience producing special events, public events, concerts and festivals and I was shocked when I heard about the mismanagement on display if what I've heard actually took place at yesterday's Netroots Nation CONVENTION.

I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong) well meaning activists took over the stage and drove presenters away. Through your inaction you have announced that you are not a responsible party managing a serious political event. You are simply cavalier amateur who invited a bunch of angry people together with no adult in-charge and no one taking responsibility for security or order. This is a recipe for disaster. You may have gotten an inkling that you are irresponsible amateurs playing with mob-dynamite.

You have placed a billboard over your event, stating "Any Aggrieved Party" is free to take the stage and disrupt this poor excuse for a political convention. Your denial of responsibility has set back the progressive movement decades.

The fact that these particular protestors have a valid greivance and that the speakers who were disrupted were invited to speak to a admittedly diverse audience, with a wide range of opinion does nothing to mitigate the dangerous precedent set and the terrible decisions made to permit the stage to be over-run.

I understand the dynamics and discomfort activist leaders face when they are called upon to challenge or channel righteous indignation. The bottom line is this. If you produce public events you must accept the responsibilities that are inherent in staging an event. If you fail to appreciate the inherent dangers and difficulty you have no business producing even a birthday party.

When control, and security is dissipated and the agenda is handed off to the mob, no matter how well intentioned, disaster is the only possible result. Let's leave aside, the failure of protestors to respect the design of the event. (Every event depends on a modicum of civility) If activists refuse to understand the purpose of dialogue and dispense with alliance building then they don't belong on a convention stage.  Activists sometime value disruption for disruptions sake. These activists fail to comprehend the necessity of coalition building. They should be shunned until they mature politically. Regardless how counter productive their disruption was and what damage they are doing to potential alliances, they did what some activists always do, behave counter-productively. I reserve my criticism for the activists who undertook to produce this event and failed.

When you throw your hands up on stage security, and hand off the agenda to any microphone hog, you have given up any control over both safety and security. You have just taught the world, that any handful of disruptors, inside or outside the progressive movement, not only that you have no stomach for the necessary security that produces a safe event, but your agenda is available for hi-jacking.

Next time whether its Wall Street Bankers, Animal Rights Activists, or Militant Librarians , you have taught the any aggrieved party may take the stage and there are no adults in the room. 

You have shown just how easy any small group of disruptors, the foolish, the delusional or the mercenary, that the visual takes precedence over substance and you hold no responsibility to control even the stage much less the activity inside your event. 

There is a moral responsibility when you invite four or more into a space and present an agenda. 
You undertake to produce not just a room of chairs and a portable stage and sound equipment, but you undertake a public safety responsibility that you shirk not only at your expense but you place every life of your attendees at risk.

I have had to disarm a gun toting rock star, require a world class performing duo evacuate a stage, and stop a show, that would otherwise place performers and bystanders at risk. I hope the next NETROOTS events is produced by a more serious and responsible team, because allowing a small disruptive group to take the stage and prevent invited speakers from making their speeches is not the work of mature leadership. And nearly as important these political figures could have become allies instead of victims.


So far free speech, was the only victim. No small disaster there. But human lives are placed in danger when an event goes off the rails. Its not just democracy that took a body blow. Human safety was compromised when responsibility was ignored. Absentee-LEADERSHIP  of this conference placed thousands of lives at risk. This must be understood. If not it will be at the peril of the Progressive Movement.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PNN - ATTACK on Bonita Springs



Tomorrow at 9:00am
Bonita Springs City Hall
9101 Bonita Beach Road, 
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

SUPPORT BONITA SPRINGS BAN ON FRACKING

Let’s celebrate and support the Bonita Springs City Council 6-0 vote to move forward with an ordinance that would ban oil well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, acid fracking, and acidizing. The ban, approved at a first reading July 1 in a 6-0 vote, with a second and final hearing scheduled for July 15, is targeted to prohibit all fracking-like activities within city limits. 

Please join us Wednesday, July 15, 9 a.m. at Bonita Springs City Hall to support a ban. Invite your friends. Wear red to signify your support to stop fracking. Our aim is to visibly support a ban on fracking in the City.

The proposed ban is already under fire with Collier Resources threatened to sue the City if they adopt it. The Colliers—who owns thousands of acres of mineral rights in Bonita Springs and 800,000 acres in Florida—called the ban flawed and warned that the city would be opening itself to lawsuits if adopted: “this constitutionally flawed ordinance . . . will expose the city to numerous lawsuits and class actions, from Collier Resources and others,” threatened company attorney Ronald L. Weaver. 

With an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion, the Colliers are ranked the 119th wealthiest family in the U.S. and among the country’s largest landowners, according to Forbes.

We are deeply offended that the Colliers would threaten Bonita Springs with a lawsuit. It’s not all neighborly. We’ve read the seven-page letter the Colliers’ attorney sent to Mayor Ben Nelson and applaud the City for moving forward, despite threats. We’d just like to note that the Bert Harris Act claim seems invalid since no oil and gas has been found in Bonita Springs and hence no actual mineral rights exist to protect. Bonita’s oil reserves are as yet undiscovered and untapped and hence speculative and the Bert Harris Act only deals with non-speculative real property. Also, regarding the “Take,”this ordinance would not prohibit Collier Resources from taking or extracting oil and gas; Collier Resources could still use proven conventional oil drilling just not well stimulation treatments that pose a threat to our water resources, like hydraulic fracturing, acid fracking, and acidizing. These are usually three-day procedures and non-essential, meaning oil can be extracted without these extreme extraction techniques. 

The ordinance would protect the rights of all stakeholders: the residents, drillers, and landowner and would preserve the integrity of this community and their water resources and those of their neighbors downstream. 

We applaud the City Council for their good example of securing a local amendment to protect their community against irresponsible fracking and fracking-like activities that could contaminate Florida’s water resources. Their efforts are particularly timely and well-advised since the 2015 legislative session failed to put forward or adopt any meaningful oil and gas laws. On the contrary SB 1468 would have continued to allow fracking and the nondisclosure of toxic chemicals. Worse yet, it would have taken away a city’s home rule right to protect itself with bans, well siting, and water use ordinances. We don’t want the state preempting Bonita’s home rule right. So now is the perfect time for local bans.

Here is a wonderful Action Alert from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida that has more details and talking points. It has graphics and so'll I'll also directly link it to Stonecrab Alliance @ Facebook and send by email so you can see them.

CONSERVANCY of SWFL POLICY ALERT
SUPPORT BONITA’S RIGHT TO STOP FRACKING-TYPE OIL OPERATIONS IN THEIR CITY!

Please join us in support of the Bonita Springs City Council’s proposed ordinance, which would prohibit the use of oil well stimulation techniques, including “fracking,” within the city limits. The Bonita City Council is proposing to enact this ordinance to protect the quality of life in Bonita by preventing these polluting industrialized activities from coming near residential areas, as well as polluting Bonita’s air, land, and water resources. 

On Wednesday July, 15 the City Council will hold a vote on this proposed ordinance to keep unconventional fracking-type oil well stimulation activities out of Bonita Springs and they will need your support. Please come and please wear a red shirt to signify your support to stop fracking in the City of Bonita. If you are a Bonita resident and would like to make a 3-minute comment in support, let us know by calling (239) 262-0304 x232 so we can provide you additional materials that might be useful for you to review in preparation.

Well stimulation includes fracking and fracking-like operations. Well stimulation is a technique involving large amounts of freshwater (often from prime potable water supply sources) mixed with toxic chemicals and injected underground to fracture or dissolve oil bearing rock and increase oil production. Well stimulation is a broad term which includes: acidizing or acid stimulation, acid fracturing, and hydraulic fracturing. Each of these well stimulation techniques represents a heavy industrial use, posing significant risks to human health and water supply.

Bonita Springs is proposing to ban well stimulation. 
Under current state law, well stimulation treatments are essentially unregulated. No permit is required to pursue these operations. Instead, well operators must simply notify the state and state cannot direct, restrict or stop their use – even if the state believes such proposed activities are unsafe. Fracking-type well stimulation can create traffic, lighting, noise, pollution and other serious adverse impacts to existing community residents and their private property rights. In light of this, Bonita Springs is right to use its zoning authority to protect its citizens by banning well stimulation within city boundaries. 

Well stimulation impacts to water quality and quantity. There are multiple pathways for oil and hazardous well stimulation fluids to enter water supplies such as through surface spills, underground fractures, and nearby abandoned wells. Well stimulation chemicals are known to cause nervous system damage, blood disorders, eye irritation, and cancer. Furthermore, these operations rely on large quantities of freshwater. A well stimulation operation in Collier County, Florida used over 660,000 gallons of water in just two and a half days. The waste water generated from these operations is highly toxic and cannot be recycled back into drinking water supplies. This is an unacceptable use of potable water, particularly as local governments are already forced to seek alternative water supplies.

Impacts of well stimulation are unstudied in Florida. The State of Florida has a unique geological make up consisting of porous limestone, which facilitates the movement of contaminants. Currently, there is little information regarding the risks associated with well stimulation operations in Florida. Therefore, it is inappropriate to use well stimulation techniques due to the lack of scientific data and suitable regulations. 

Take Action!
The Conservancy urges residents of Southwest Florida to attend the July 15, 2015 City Council meeting and wear red in support of the proposed ordinance to prohibit well stimulation. We encourage residents of Bonita Springs to contact your City Council members or speak in support of the ordinance during the public comment periods at the meeting. 

Suggested Talking Points (public comment is limited to 3 minutes per speaker): 

• Thank you for moving this important ordinance to a second and final reading.
• The proposed ordinance will protect our water supplies from depletion. Studies across the United States show well stimulation operations rely on millions of gallons of freshwater. Once this water is used, it is highly toxic and must be permanently discarded. This is not a responsible use of our precious water supplies.
• The proposed ordinance will protect our water supplies from contamination. The impacts of well stimulation have not been studied in Florida’s unique geology. We sit on top of porous limestone which facilitates the movement of contaminants. Consequently, leaks or spills of “fracking” fluids and oil could cause catastrophic impacts to our water supplies.
• The proposed ordinance will protect our community from incompatible industrial uses. Hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation techniques would increase truck traffic along our roadways and may result in more widespread drilling. Industrial uses such as these are inappropriate in residential areas and in the DRGR—land set aside to protect our water.
• The proposed ordinance will capture all types of unconventional oil drilling. The ordinance will capture all well stimulation techniques that inject large quantities of toxic chemicals to enhance oil production—whether those techniques fracture or dissolve rock. I support the current definition of well stimulation as it will capture the operations of concern - from acidizing to fracking.
• Please vote to approve the proposed ordinance!

When: July 15, 2015
9:00 am 
Where: City Hall
9101 Bonita Beach Rd. 
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


=============================================
Hope this will be like a "domino affect" across the state....
and nation, the fact that there is a Water crisis and we can not afford to waste a drop of this precious life giving fluid, should be enough to stop this unwholesome practice of "fracking", but for the greedy insanity of those that have more than enough money, we are forced to defend our rights to good clean water and air for future generations......and we will!
=============================================

Tomorrow at 9:00am
Bonita Springs City Hall, 
9101 Bonita Beach Road, 
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

=============================================

Karen and John with the Stonecrab Alliance responding.

With all due respect, we very much like the suggested corrections on the sign-on letter by Jennifer Hecker with the Conservancy of SWFL. 
They add precision, accuracy, details, comprehensiveness, and inclusiveness.  They make an excellent letter even better.  

For instance, “fracking and other fracking-like techniques using fracking chemicals for oil and gas drilling,” immediately broadens the issue to include acidizing and anything else industry might come up with while still using the “f” word for impact and recognition.  The phrase nails it.  And while using the “f” word three times in one sentence might seem redundant, it closes up loopholes and captures hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, and other well stimulation techniques that use fracking chemicals. 

The details added to paragraph #2 and #3 add conciseness, precision, and accuracy; seismic surveys are currently in the permit process.  

So, too, the edited goals of the coalition sound very engaging and comprehensive; it also seems to more accurately reflect what everyone is doing not only in Tallahassee but also across the state, in local communities, and especially in Collier County which was, indeed, fracked. 

Again, we like additions made to the tenets of the coalition.  We don’t think they water down our message.  On the contrary the details not only strengthen our argument but clarify exactly what we want.  

Why not add the edits to the sign-on letter?  They would make it even stronger.  

We’re very grateful for everyone’s help on this and look forward to a frack-free Florida.  Alone we can make a difference; together we can shutdown irresponsible oil drilling and fracking. 

All the best, 

Karen Dwyer, Ph.D. and John P. Dwyer, Ph.D.
Stonecrab Alliance
15937 Delasol Lane
Naples, FL  34110
239-404-2171

Sunday, July 12, 2015

PNN - the Women's Wisdom


PNN - 7/12/15

RWS News Director
Brook Hines Political Columnist
Emine Dilek Co-Publisher & Managing Editor Progressive Press
 & Inanna Mardokh Assyrian Refugee
Dezeray Palestinian Peace Activist
Robin Frisella 2006 Teacher of the Year Orange County, Florida


0. End of the Coal Industry as we know it
    welcome to YOUR CLEAN UP BILL  Coming Due
    The Big Bonding Days are over

1. waste from fracked operation – 
   underground injection wells- concerned rogersville shale western counties
   /deeper shale Huntington  - 
robin blakeman [ovec] west virginia

2. BAD NEIGHBOR POWER

CLEWISTON — Maintaining its vision to build a plant in Southern Hendry County, Florida Power and Light (FPL) is asking the county to amend its comprehensive plan.

The prospective site encompasses roughly 3,000 acres of land abutting the northern border of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation off of County Road 833. 

FPL has had its sights on this piece of land for years. In 2011, the county changed its ordinance to allow FPL to build a solar and gas-powered electrical generation plant on the site, which was then zoned for agricultural use.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida, citing fears of environmental and cultural destruction, took the county to court over the ordinance change, saying the new ordinance was contradictory to the county’s comprehensive plan. 

The case eventually went to trial in 2014 and Judge Donald Mason ruled in the tribe’s favor. 

According to the ruling, a power plant could not be built on the specified land because the land was included under the comprehensive plan’s Agricultural Future Land Use category. Judge Mason concluded the land must be included under the plan’s Industrial Future Land Use category.

Roughly 10 months after the ruling, FPL went before the Hendry County Planning and Zoning Department on July 1 to propose amendments to the comprehensive plan that would allow the plant to be built on the contested land.

FPL proposed the county add a new future land use category to its plan, called Electrical Generating Facility, and amend the text within the Industrial Future Land Use category to clarify which types of electrical generating plants are permitted in the category.

If the amendments are approved, FPL could apply to build a plant at the same site blocked by Judge Mason last year.

The amendments go before commissioners in a public hearing on July 14 at Clewiston City Hall. Commissioners will vote whether or not to allow the amendments to be transmitted for review by the state. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Staff writer Melissa Beltz can be reached at 863-983-9148 or mbeltz@newszap.com.

3. 3 MuckRakers Podcast


4. Subject: Fla Dem party leadership - shocked 
SO MANY ARE HARPING ON the Terms :
LEFTISTS & SOCIALISM - I must ask - 

WHAT DOES ECONOMIC FAIRNESS
 have to do with LEFT/RIGHT? 

It seems to me to be the forces of DIVISION keep harping on LEFT & Socialism... 

Whats Socialist about getting corporations to pay fair tax rates????
 Whats left/right about WAR PROFITEERING - If being for FAIRNESS is a LEFTY VALUE - THEN I'll leave the right wing behind

If it's socialism to be more concerned about the health of people and less concerned about the wealth of corporations then SIGN ME UP!

Re party opposition to Democrats with Democratic Values. 

Of course "party leadership" opposes Congressman Grayson" when was the last time they supported an outspoken liberal voice? 

Look at the candidates they've supported again and again? 

Sink? Crist? Moderate Country club republican, and of course temporary part time dem Murphy.  ( he opposes partisanship) except at campaign time. 

Positions opposed to gouging students? Too radical! 

Calling out racists in the tea party, do they actually think that loses dem voters? 

In the 2008 campaign launch in Denver the party's official stance was for Universal Healthcare - is it a problem that Grayson remembers?

Oh no, Candidate Grayson notices Income Inequality - geez Madame Secretary notices it too, whenever she steps away from her Wall Street paymasters. 

Oh, their republic-lite candidates don't poll well against a real DEMOCRAT? Aww - 
I suppose they'll opt on a strategy of character assassination - oh yeah, their trolls have been at it for weeks already!

5. Pope asks for forgiveness from  Indigenous people
and condemns capitalism as satan’s poop

By Al Jazeera - Pope Francis cast himself as the spiritual and political leader of the world's oppressed on Thursday evening with a remarkable mea culpa for the sins and crimes of the Catholic Church against the indigenous peoples during the colonial conquest of the Americas. Francis “humbly” begged forgiveness at a gathering of indigenous leaders in Bolivia in the presence of Bolivia's first-ever indigenous president, Evo Morales, the climactic high of Francis' weeklong South American tour. In the speech, Francis noted that Latin American church leaders in the past had acknowledged that “grave sins were committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God.” St. John Paul II, for his part, apologized to the continent's indigenous for the “pain and suffering” caused during the 500 years of the church's presence in the Americas during a 1992 visit to the Dominican Republic. -more-

http://popularresistance.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=33602bebba8fb7dd6e71fb413&id=820c11355d&e=2e949146d1 


6. ten one - Health Care for All
(Image: Health care via Shutterstock)
For most of us in medicine, helping people live healthy, happy lives is at the heart of why we chose this career. We expound upon this in application essays, talk about it during interviews, and start medical school with this “calling” fresh in our minds.
Very early in our medical careers – on the wards and in the classroom – we learn that inequality, preventable illness, and death are an inherent part of our current private, for-profit-oriented health insurance system.
We see patients receive preventable amputations due to untreated diabetes. We see people permanently disabled by stroke because they were unable to afford their medications. College funds emptied out to pay for $100,000-a-year cancer treatments. Families bankrupted and lives destroyed.
We learn that, although the United States is one of the wealthiest countries on earth, we are also the only developed nation that does not provide health care to all of its citizens. We learn that we spend over 17% of our GDP – more than any country in the world – on this non-universal coverage. We learn that medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
We learn that, despite its title, the Affordable Care Act is not truly affordable. Even after the ACA, tens of millions of people are still unable to afford insurance, and tens of thousands die every year because of uninsurance.
All of which leads most reasonable medical students to ask, what can we do about this?
Just as the problem is clearly mapped out, so is the solution.

There is an excellent model for universal health care – one that covers everyone, leads to better health outcomes, and costs taxpayers far less than the current U.S. system – implemented in dozens of countries around the world, including our next door neighbor, Canada. This model is called single-payer health care.

Implementing a single-payer system in the United States would be far from revolutionary. As part of its fragmented, multi-payer system, the U.S. also has a single-payer-like subdivision, which we call Medicare. It is efficient, cost-effective, and has stood the test of time, providing health insurance to all American seniors for the past 50 years. By improving and expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, we can use this existing infrastructure to achieve universal coverage, better health outcomes, and better physician working conditions.

Medical students across the country have already joined the fight for universal, single-payer health care. Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) currently has 650 members in over 40 chapters across the country. On Thursday, October 1, we will join together in a day of action to demand a more just system through the institution of a single-payer, universal, “Medicare-for-All” system. SNaHP chapters at medical schools will hold teach-ins, rallies, and an evening candlelight vigil to bring national attention to our failing health care system. Today, we are asking you – our classmates and friends – to join us in this fight.

As future medical professionals, and as compassionate people who plan to devote our lives to caring for others, we cannot acquiesce to this unjust, senseless loss of life.

We have to do something about it.
Please join us for the #TenOne Medicare-for-All National Day of Action and help advocate for a more just system in which physicians can uphold our profession with integrity, compassion, and dignity.


7. Germany Won't Spare Greeks Pain - It Wants to Break Us
RSN

reece’s financial drama has dominated the headlines for five years for one reason: the stubborn refusal of our creditors to offer essential debt relief. Why, against common sense, against the IMF’s verdict and against the everyday practices of bankers facing stressed debtors, do they resist a debt restructure? The answer cannot be found in economics because it resides deep in Europe’s labyrinthine politics.

In 2010, the Greek state became insolvent. Two options consistent with continuing membership of the eurozone presented themselves: the sensible one, that any decent banker would recommend – restructuring the debt and reforming the economy; and the toxic option – extending new loans to a bankrupt entity while pretending that it remains solvent.
Our government was elected on a mandate to end this doom loop; to demand debt restructuring and an end to crippling austerity. Negotiations have reached their much publicised impasse for a simple reason: our creditors continue to rule out any tangible debt restructuring while insisting that our unpayable debt be repaid “parametrically” by the weakest of Greeks, their children and their grandchildren.

In my first week as minister for finance I was visited by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup (the eurozone finance ministers), who put a stark choice to me: accept the bailout’s “logic” and drop any demands for debt restructuring or your loan agreement will “crash” – the unsaid repercussion being that Greece’s banks would be boarded up.

Five months of negotiations ensued under conditions of monetary asphyxiation and an induced bank-run supervised and administered by the European Central Bank. The writing was on the wall: unless we capitulated, we would soon be facing capital controls, quasi-functioning cash machines, a prolonged bank holiday and, ultimately, Grexit.
The threat of Grexit has had a brief rollercoaster of a history. In 2010 it put the fear of God in financiers’ hearts and minds as their banks were replete with Greek debt. Even in 2012, when Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, decided that Grexit’s costs were a worthwhile “investment” as a way of disciplining France et al, the prospect continued to scare the living daylights out of almost everyone else.

By the time Syriza won power last January, and as if to confirm our claim that the “bailouts” had nothing to do with rescuing Greece (and everything to do with ringfencing northern Europe), a large majority within the Eurogroup – under the tutelage of Schäuble – had adopted Grexit either as their preferred outcome or weapon of choice against our government.

Greeks, rightly, shiver at the thought of amputation from monetary union. Exiting a common currency is nothing like severing a peg, as Britain did in 1992, when Norman Lamont famously sang in the shower the morning sterling quit the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM). Alas, Greece does not have a currency whose peg with the euro can be cut. It has the euro – a foreign currency fully administered by a creditor inimical to restructuring our nation’s unsustainable debt.
To exit, we would have to create a new currency from scratch. In occupied Iraq, the introduction of new paper money took almost a year, 20 or so Boeing 747s, the mobilisation of the US military’s might, three printing firms and hundreds of trucks. In the absence of such support, Grexit would be the equivalent of announcing a large devaluation more than 18 months in advance: a recipe for liquidating all Greek capital stock and transferring it abroad by any means available.
With Grexit reinforcing the ECB-induced bank run, our attempts to put debt restructuring back on the negotiating table fell on deaf ears. Time and again we were told that this was a matter for an unspecified future that would follow the “programme’s successful completion” – a stupendous Catch-22 since the “programme” could never succeed without a debt restructure.
This weekend brings the climax of the talks as Euclid Tsakalotos, my successor, strives, again, to put the horse before the cart – to convince a hostile Eurogroup that debt restructuring is a prerequisite of success for reforming Greece, not an ex-post reward for it. Why is this so hard to get across? I see three reasons.
One is that institutional inertia is hard to beat. A second, that unsustainable debt gives creditors immense power over debtors – and power, as we know, corrupts even the finest. But it is the third which seems to me more pertinent and, indeed, more interesting.

The euro is a hybrid of a fixed exchange-rate regime, like the 1980s ERM, or the 1930s gold standard, and a state currency. The former relies on the fear of expulsion to hold together, while state money involves mechanisms for recycling surpluses between member states (for instance, a federal budget, common bonds). The eurozone falls between these stools – it is more than an exchange-rate regime and less than a state.

And there’s the rub. After the crisis of 2008/9, Europe didn’t know how to respond. Should it prepare the ground for at least one expulsion (that is, Grexit) to strengthen discipline? Or move to a federation? So far it has done neither, its existentialist angst forever rising. Schäuble is convinced that as things stand, he needs a Grexit to clear the air, one way or another. Suddenly, a permanently unsustainable Greek public debt, without which the risk of Grexit would fade, has acquired a new usefulness for Schauble.

What do I mean by that? Based on months of negotiation, my conviction is that the German finance minister wants Greece to be pushed out of the single currency to put the fear of God into the French and have them accept his model of a disciplinarian eurozone.


8. Lying About Wire Taps

he government published its latest Wiretap Report on July 1. The headline finding was that encryption wasn't foiling federal and state law enforcement officials, despite a growing chorus of people suggesting that we're all gonna die unless the tech sector builds backdoor access into their products to enable government access.
In all, the federal agency that oversees the courts reported to Congress that there were 3,554 wiretaps in 2014, about 1 percent less than the year prior. Of the total, only four were thwarted via encryption.
But the reported number of wiretaps by the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) simply doesn't add up. That's according to Albert Gidari, one of the nation's top privacy lawyers. He says "there is a bigger story" that calls into question the AO's accounting:
Since the Snowden revelations, more and more companies have started publishing “transparency reports” about the number and nature of government demands to access their users’ data. AT&T,Verizon, and Sprint published data for 2014 earlier this year and T-Mobile published its first transparency report on the same day the AO released the Wiretap Report. In aggregate, the four companies state that they implemented 10,712 wiretaps, a threefold difference over the total number reported by the AO. Note that the 10,712 number is only for the four companies listed above and does not reflect wiretap orders received by other telephone carriers or online providers, so the discrepancy actually is larger.
How can that be? Even taking into account some accounting complexities, Gidari says, "the numbers are still off by more than twofold" in one scenario.
"Are wiretaps being consistently under­reported to Congress and the public?" he asks. "Based on the data reported by the four major carriers for 2013 and 2014, it certainly would appear to be the case." In an e-mail to Ars, he said "we are still off by 30 percent" even if "all four carriers got the same order and it covered multiple devices."
Charles Hall, an AO spokesman, told Ars in an e-mail that the agency was investigating the discrepancy.


9. Bernie Party in Boca
http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp v=2&c=Ec1ra1eaJNdJAeFkiQQ5RRM5BPRLd3Co

What:       We Want BERNIE Party 
When:      Wednesday, July 15 - 7:00 p.m. 
Where:     Starbucks - 2200 West Glades Rd. 
                  Boca Raton - RSVP here
Your Host:    Terry Shane 



10. PEACE WITH IRAN
CODEPINK protesters at Congressional hearing on Iran. (Photo: CODEPINK)
A nuclear deal with Iran could be a game changer for US foreign policy and for the Middle East. The P5+1 (the U.S., China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, plus Germany) and Iran have been developing a comprehensive agreement that would freeze Iran’s ability to create a nuclear weapon and start the process of sanctions relief.
If it succeeds, this deal would dramatically decrease the probability of another costly war in the Middle East and could usher in an historic rapprochement between the US and Iran after 34 years of hostilities. US-Iranian collaboration against extremist groups from ISIL to Al Qaeda could help damp down the fires raging across the Middle East.
Key US allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, oppose the deal. Both nations harbor long-standing hostilities toward Iran and both want to preserve their preferential relationship with the US. But the American people, frustrated by over a decade of US involvement in Middle East wars, support the initiative. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 6 in 10 Americans support a plan to lift international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.
Democrats back the agreement by an overwhelming majority of five to one, but even a plurality of Republican voters support the Iran nuclear deal. Why, then, will there be such a tough battle in Congress to approve a deal that the Obama administration has worked so hard to achieve and is supported by most Americans?
Some Republicans have a knee-jerk reaction to anything the Obama administration puts forth. And certain Republican and Democrat Congress members fundamentally distrust Iran, believe it is sponsoring militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and think a deal will strengthen Iran to the detriment of Israel.
But the most compelling reason that so many elected officials will oppose the deal is the power of lobby groups and think tanks, backed by hawkish billionaires who are determined to quash a deal they see as bad for Israel.
Little known to the public, here are some of the groups:
United Against Nuclear Iran: Founded in 2008, UANI boasts a bipartisan powerhouse advisory board of former politicians, intelligence officials and policy experts. Cofounders Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross, and its president Gary Samore, have all worked in Obama’s White House. In June, UANI announced a multimillion-dollar TV, print, radio, and digital campaign with the message that “America Can’t Trust Iran, Concessions have gone too far.” Mark Wallace, UANI’s chairman and George Bush’s US ambassador to the UN, said, “We have a multi-million-dollar budget and we are in it for the long haul. Money continues to pour in.”
Secure America Now: Founded in 2011 by pollsters John McLaughlin and Pat Cadell, it is linked to right-wing pro-Israel factions in the US and abroad. The Advisory Board includes Col. Richard Kemp, who denounces the “global conspiracy of propaganda aimed at the total de-legitimization of the state of Israel” and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who insists that “the biggest threat to our national security is sitting in the White House.”
The group labels Iran “the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism” and recently launched its own $1 million ad campaign against the nuclear deal. One ad features an American woman saying her father was killed by an IED in Iraq, followed by a menacing voice claiming “Iran has single-handedly supplied thousands of IEDs that have killed or maimed America’s troops overseas. Today, negotiators are pushing for a nuclear deal with Iran that would give them access to nuclear weapons.” It tells Americans to call their Senators and “speak out against a bad deal.”
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: Founded just after the 9/11 attacks, this neoconservative think tank pushes for an aggressive military response in the Middle East and also follows a hawkish pro-Israel line. It advocates for crippling sanctions on Iran, including medicines, as a way to cause domestic hardship and internal turmoil and its experts are leading advocates for a US military strike on Iran.
American Security Initiative: This is a new group, also bipartisan, formed in 2015 by three former senators: Norm Coleman, Evan Bayh and Saxby Chambliss. In 2014 Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, became a registered lobbyist for the repressive Saudi regime, providing the Saudis with legal services on issues including “policy developments involving Iran.”
Its first campaign was a successful effort to pass the Corker-Menendez bill, which forces President Obama to submit the agreement to Congress before signing it. In March, the group launched a $1.4 million ad campaign aimed at Senator Schumer and other key senators with the message that the deal (which had not even been released) is “great for Iran, and dangerous for us.” One over-the-top, fear-mongering ad showed a suicide-bombing truck driver in an American city detonating a nuclear bomb, apparently on behalf of Iran. The message, albeit a crazy one, is that if Iran is allowed to get a nuclear weapon, it will attack the US.
AIPAC: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is the largest pro-Israel lobby group. AIPAC, too, has been pushing sanctions and opposing the nuclear deal. It claims that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability. AIPAC spends millions of dollars lobbying but its real financial clout lies with the pro-Israel Political Action Committees (PACs) it is tied to.
In addition to lobbying against a deal in Washington, over the past several years AIPAC has also been promoting state-level bills mandating divestment of public funds from foreign companies doing business with Iran.
Dozens of states have passed such bills, and many are likely to stay in place even after a nuclear deal, complicating the federal sanctions relief that is a key element of the negotiations.
What is the source of the millions of dollars now being poured into the effort to squash the nuclear deal? Most comes from a handful of super-wealthy individuals. Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus gave over $10 million to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Other multimillion donors are hedge fund billionaire and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs board member Paul Singer, and Charles Bronfman of the Seagram liquor empire and board chair of Koor Industries, one of Israel’s largest investment holding companies.
The largest donor is Sheldon Adelson, a casino and business magnate who contributed almost $100 million to conservative candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign, outspending any other individual or organization. He publicly advocated for the Obama administration to bomb Iran. Peter Beinart, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, said “Every Republican politician knows that Adelson conditions his checks on their Iran vote.”
Congress has 30 days from the day the deal is introduced to vote in support or opposition (or 60 days if the negotiations are delayed). To block the deal, Congress needs a veto-proof majority, which is precisely what these groups and individuals are attempting to buy.
“I’ve been around this town for about 30 years now and I’ve never seen foreign policy debate that is being so profoundly affected by the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars in the American political system,” said former six-term Congressman Jim Slattery.
Congresspeople face a dilemma: they fear a backlash by the billionaires if they vote for the deal, but most of their constituents support the deal. The pathetic irony is that the democratic move of giving Congress a say in the Iran deal (instead of leaving the administration with the authority to seal the agreement), the billionaires have a better shot at drowning out the voices of the American people.
————–
© 2015 Telesur



11. If the park doesn’t make money,
if the student doesn’t make money
if the street doesn’t make money - ALL BRIDGES , become TOLL BRIDGES
ALL ROADS become TOLL ROADS… all street lights become PLAY TO PLAY
If you are hooked to a SEWER SYSTEM - you must purchase a COIN OPERATED TOILET THAT COSTS 2 Dollars for Number 2 and 1 Dollar Number 1 - and women pay double -  but... no....  new....  taxes (WINK WINK)
Every car must have it mileage dongle updated yearly - its mandatory


12. Enbridge Stuffs Provision into Wisconsin Budget to Expedite Controversial Piece of "Keystone XL Clone"

On Thursday, July 3 on the eve of a long Fourth of July holiday weekend, Canadian pipeline company giant Enbridge landed a sweetheart deal: a provision in the 2015 Wisconsin Budget that will serve to expedite permitting for its controversial proposed Line 61 tar sands pipeline expansion project.
Line 61 cuts diagonally across Wisconsin and goes into north-central Illinois, beginning in Superior, Wisconsin and terminating in Flanagan, Illinois. The Wisconsin Gazette refers to the pipeline as the “XXL” pipeline because it is bigger in size and has higher carrying capacity than the more well known tar sands pipeline cousin, TransCanada's Keystone XL, and is “buried beneath every major waterway” in the state.
Further, Line 61 is a key piece of what DeSmog has coined Enbridge's “Keystone XL Clone” pipeline system, connecting at the north to the proposed Alberta Clipper pipeline expansion project and to the south to the already-functional Flanagan South pipeline. Flanagan South then connects to the Seaway Twin pipeline, which flows to the Gulf coast refineries and the global export market, like the southern leg of Keystone XL.
Dane County Insurance
At the center of the story is Dane County, home to the capitol city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin, situated as the “last man standing” in the way of Enbridge opening Line 61 for business.
The Dane County Board of Supervisors told Enbridge on April 14 it cannot pump higher amounts of tar sands product through Dane County until it buys insurance in case of a spill. Put another way, the local government body told Enbridge it refuses to foot the bill for spills, notable given the company's track record of responsibility for the biggest tar sands pipeline spill in U.S.history.
Enbridge appealed the Board of Supervisors' decision on May 4. It remains unclear whether that appeal will become a moot point if the Enbridge provision remains part of Wisconsin's budget, set to be debated soon by both chambers of the state legislature.





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PNN the Womens Wisdom
Join News Director Rick Spisak and our political commentator Brook Hines as we welcome four very wise women.
We welcome Emine Dilek co-Publisher and Managing Editor of Progressive News and her guest Iraqi Refugee Ms Inanna Yasmin Mardokh who will discuss Iraq, and the issue of refugees
Human Rights activist Dezeray will discuss her work with refugees in Palestine.
Orange County 2006 Teacher of the Year Robin Frisella will discuss the Education System from the perspective of a teacher who works with the disadvantaged
 
TUNE IN Sunday July 12th -  7pm Eastern for the Live Show or Anytime




http://www.blogtalkradio.com/newmercurymedia/2015/07/12/pnn--womens-wisdom