Toyota

Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon



Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Senator Kennedy: A New Year's Resolution?

Considering our lifestyles and the changes that the 20Th Century created based on fossil fuels, coal, oil, natural gas, our existence is surrounded by our ability to employ the decomposition of prehistory to enhance our lives. Nowhere is the presence of fossil fuels in our daily lives absent although largely ignored.
.
We are surrounded by plastic, foods fertilized and transported by those fuels, homes and offices heated, cooled and lighted by those fuels, clothing and foot ware integrated in the mix. Goods and produce reach our malls and supermarkets from great distances via container laden vessels or diesel fueled trucks. Energy intensive products all!
.
The wonder of cheap fuels have increased food production to feed the multitudes beyond a reasonable carrying capacity and harvest the oceans to depletion.
.
Cities and societies were constructed based on the premise of continued cheap energy. Populations grew to exceed sustainable capacity blessed by cheap oil.
.
We ignored the environmental costs and the degradation of our being.
.
Those without power during the Blizzard of '78 tell tales of spending time with neighbors and getting acquainted with neighborhoods.
.
And we refused to engage in sensible dialog.
.
The oil shock of the 70's was largely ignored, even as Hubbert's theory proved true.
.
Largely ignored by the media have been indications of OPEC oil fields having reached or passed Peak Oil Production.
.
When T. Boone Pickens explained that world oil production was 84 million barrels each day, but consumption was 86 million barrels and had exhausted reserves, that seemed meaningful, although others have been preaching the same, unheeded by most.
.
And scientists have long explained that the world's supply of oil is finite, even as we pretend otherwise.
.
In the years that we were cautioned about the exhaustion of supplies, there was time for preparation to research alternatives and gradually adjust our lifestyles. There was adequate time to reduce our consumption and postpone the inevitable and amend our energy sources.
.
There is no longer time to discuss and debate, but instead action and implementation is necessary.
.
Each and every major oil producer reports declining production.
Peak Oil
.
Leadership is required to aggressively implement the necessary changes that short sighted political considerations have prevented.
.
And so, Senator Kennedy, it's time for Public Service that recognizes the need to act in the public stead in place of self-serving interests and personal rewards.
.
It's time for leadership that recognizes the need for alternative energy, including Cape Wind and sacrifices your selfish needs and consideration of wealthy energy-connected friends.
.
Can we begin the New Year with an expectation that the famous Kennedy claim of Public Service might actually serve the public?
.
Your support for Cape Wind and your call for additional similar projects would go a long way to establishing a legacy to be proud of.
.
Shouldn't the TVA catastrophe in Harriman, Tennessee serve as a wake up call for us all?
.
Your support for Cape Wind would prove that the famous Kennedy claim of Public Service was more than meaningless rhetoric.
.
It would allow Cape residents to enjoy energy produced from an environmentally friendly source, begin to reduce the Commonwealth's reliance on a dwindling resource, indicate your support for a clean environment and define your legacy as one that recognized the threat.
.
Maybe that could be your New Year's Resolution!
.
Wishing you all an environmentally responsible New Year, blessed with new leadership that recognizes the perils that confront us in the future and works for the betterment of us all, and not just the moneyed few.
.
ProJo's Editorial: Cape Wind becalmed again had more to say about the Cape Wind opposition.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

TVA Coal is Killing Tennessee

TVA has made no provisions to provide clean drinking water to residents of the area impacted by their earthen dike collapse and continues to repeat the mantra 'the water is safe, the water is safe, the water is safe.'
.
Reports indicate that TVA is focusing on cleaning sludge from rail tracks to ensure coal deliveries, ignoring the mess making its way down river, in total disregard to the threat of the spreading hazardous waste.
.
TVA Coal is Killing Tennessee offers space to post updated photos and videos and precautions Fact sheet to protect yourself from flyash.
.
For whatever reason, the Corporate Controlled Media is largely ignoring this massive disaster. Wonder why?
.
treehugger provides additional links and information.

United Mountain Defense

United Mountain Defense made this footage available --
.



.

TVA says the area is not toxic but you can see coal sludge in the water and dead fish on the banks. The members of this community are without clean water and many without electricity or gas heat. We met people who were given motel rooms by TVA and others on the same street that have been without heat for days in 27° weather and others who have been vomiting for more than 12 hours after drinking the water.
.

CEJournal: TVA has done nothing ....

From CEJournal --


What is that 'plastic pipe' that runs from the coal plants into the river?
.




A truly frightening video from ground zero of the coal ash catastrophe

30 Times The Size of Exxon Valdez #6 Get Worse

This is what TVA said yesterday --

TVA, a federally-owned independent corporation, initially estimated the amount of coal sludge released at 1.7 million cubic yards. But after completing an aerial survey of the inundated area, it revised its estimate upward to 5.4 million cubic yards. That's
more than


1 billion gallons of waste

containing potentially dangerous levels of heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead, as well as radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium -- impurities typically found in coal.


This is what WP is reporting today --

...TVA has determined there were

9.4 million cubic yards

of wet coal ash in the storage pond...

It would seem that TVA is mathematically challenged if they can't get the estimates close to correct knowing the dimensions of the pond. It's a giant leap from 1.7 million cubic yards to 9.4 million cubic yards.
.
TVA continues to assure that water quality is safe and unaffected by coal contamination, but as Greenpeace noted, they're doing their own testing. Independent testing would add credibility to TVA's claims. It is unreasonable to expect a polluter to accurately proclaim the environmental devastation they caused.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

30 Times The Size of Exxon Valdez #5: EMPTY PROMISE

The volume and scope and threat posed by the TVA dike collapse is a great environmental catastrophe whose threat was known and predictable.
.
Earthjustice Attorney Lisa Evans testified in a June 10 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources titled "How Should the Federal Government Address the Health and Environmental Risks of Coal Combustion Waste?,
.
State laws have prevented these states from enacting legislation that would protect them from this type of catastrophe and jeopardizes their safety --
.
The federal failure to regulate the waste has put 23 states -- including Tennessee -- in a special bind, since their statutes have "no more stringent" provisions prohibiting them from enacting standards stricter than those found in federal law. Without federal action, those states can't regulate coal combustion waste disposal beyond the few obviously inadequate safeguards that now exist.
.
Maybe it's time for those states to change their laws to protect their citizens.
.
TVA, a federally-owned independent corporation, initially estimated the amount of coal sludge released at 1.7 million cubic yards. But after completing an aerial survey of the inundated area, it revised its estimate upward to 5.4 million cubic yards. That's

more than 1 billion gallons of waste

containing potentially dangerous levels of heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead, as well as radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium -- impurities typically found in coal.
.
With regulators' blessing, TVA was simply putting ash from its massive Kingston plant -- where nine burners consume

***14,000 tons of coal a day***

-- into a nearby lagoon where it was mixed with water, allowed to settle and then pumped into what's known as a dredge cell. The company reports that the ash level in the dredge cell at the time of the collapse was unusually high: 55 feet above the water level in the nearby ash pond, with a spokesperson describing the level as "a lot higher than any other internal dredge cell that we have in TVA."
.

***14,000 TONS = 28,000,000 POUNDS EACH DAY***

.
These are among the hazards already documented --
.
* contaminated public and private drinking water supplies in at least eight states, including Georgia;
.
* fish consumption advisories issued in Texas and North Carolina; and
.
* documented infertility and other abnormalities in nearly 25 species of amphibians and reptiles inhabiting coal combustion waste-contaminated wetlands in South Carolina.
.
The ISS article concludes --
.
Evans also noted more recent news reports of coal combustion waste contamination discovered in Maryland, Indiana and Montana. And when developers used 1.5 million tons of coal ash to build a golf course over a shallow aquifer in Chesapeake, Va., nearby wells almost immediately began showing elevated boron levels -- a marker for coal combustion waste contamination.
.
Given the clear danger that poorly regulated coal combustion waste presents to the public, it's time for the federal government to take action to prevent another disaster like the one now facing Eastern Tennessee.
.
Dirty Coal is Dirty Energy. If we fail to protect our environment, our air and our water, what have we left?
.
Maybe Walt Kelly was right. We have met the enemy and he is us.

Friday, December 26, 2008

30 Times The Size of Exxon Valdez #4

From kenny's sideshow --



Watch CBS Videos Online

.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

A friend and frequent reader of this blog introduced me to Lincoln Institute some time ago.

The Institutes's Land Line January 2009 issue is available online.

Cape Wind Opposition

In November, the Allliance to Protect Nantucket Sound sent a fundraising letter --
.
"In short, we will do whatever it takes to win," said the letter, which went out over the signatures of Glenn G. Wattley, president and chief executive officer of the not-for-profit organization, and development officer Eric R. Steinhilber.
"We will never allow Cape Wind to become a reality."
"We will do whatever it takes to win. We will never allow Cape Wind to become a reality."

- Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound
.
And they've gone to great lengths to prevail.
.
McCain Campaign Chairman received $380k to stop Cape Wind
Charlie Black, Senior Political Adviser to McCain: Senate lobbying disclosure documents reveal that lobbying firm BKSH & Associates was retained in January 2008 by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound to “Defeat the proposal for 130 wind turbines”
.
Tom Loeffler, McCain’s Campaign Co-chairman: The Loeffler Group received $380,000 from the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound from 2003 to 2005 to lobby against Cape Wind.
.
The Boston Globe reported Documents link wind farm foes to energy firm
A new lobbying firm for the group opposing a wind farm off Cape Cod filed a federal document last month reporting that its work for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound is partially funded and shaped by an international energy conglomerate.
.
The disclosure represents the first documented financial connection between the group opposing the wind farm and Oxbow Corp., which mines and markets energy and commodities, including coal, natural gas, and petroleum.
.
Oxbow's founder, Osterville yachtsman William I. Koch, has been a cochairman of the alliance since 2005, a year that saw a flurry of congressional attempts to kill the wind farm. While Oxbow maintains that its lobbyists monitor Cape Wind because of the corporation's interest in energy and shipping, Cape Wind proponents assert that Oxbow's lobbyists have been doing far more to fight the wind farm.
.
Wikipedia included this in Koch's bio:
Koch also co-chairs the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a group formed to fight the Cape Wind project to build an offshore wind farm of 130 turbines. He became involved because of owning a home in Osterville, Massachusetts. In 2005, Koch contributed $500,000 in donations to the Alliance directly and more than $1 million toward lobbyist efforts to defeat the project.[5] [6]
Koch donated $1.5 million to Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound[16] . It's goal is to prevent the construction of Cape Wind, a wind power project located in Nantucket Sound, near Koch's Cape Cod house.
.
And the family energy business --
KOCH INDUSTRIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (KOCHPAC) was included in Cape Wind Opposition In Perspective as a contributor to Rep. Rahall's PAC.
Rep. Rahall (D-WV) has suddenly developed a concern over Cape Wind's development -
"A project like Cape Wind, which would be the first offshore wind energy installation in United States waters, has a precedental value that requires extra caution."
.
Political Action CommitteeCampaign Contribution Details'08 Election Cycle
Total 2007-2008 campaign contributions: $842500
Total 2005-2006 campaign contributions: $699500
.

Bereft of substantive issues to stop the Cape Wind, it seems a sudden appreciation of history has evolved. Since the arguments about the obstruction of the view of the wealthy and those connected with Dirty Energy, continue to deny Cape residents of Clean Wind energy, we'll see where this leads --
Groups question how MMS is handling Cape Wind historic preservation issue
.
And maybe we'll see a heightened awareness of public policy dictated by campaign contributions.

Out Of State Unemployment To End

There have been grumblings about the generosity of Massachusetts in paying unemployment to out of state workers. This seems to clarify that it was mandated by federal law and about to change on January 6, 2009 --
.
Aid to out-of-state jobless to end
Federal rules say you have to work in Mass. to get benefits here

.
Laid off from their construction jobs in Pittsburgh and headed home to Florida, Scott Kling and Jeff Russell took a 600-mile detour to Boston on the worst travel day of the year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The reason: about $100 a week more in their unemployment checks.
.
...are among the thousands of out-of-state residents who each year travel to Massachusetts to claim the most generous jobless benefits in the nation, even though they've never worked a day here. Under federal rules, laid-off workers who have earned wages in more than one state can file for unemployment in any state they choose, as long as they do it in person.
.
On Jan. 6, new federal regulations will restrict workers to filing unemployment claims in states where they have actually earned wages.
.
...Massachusetts is reimbursed by other states for the benefits it pays their workers, the new federal regulations will primarily remove the administrative burden of processing claims and billing other states.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cape Wind Opposition In Perspective

In the wake of the TVA disaster, it seems an appropriate time to re-think DIRTY COAL.
.
.
Coal is Dirty Energy and will NEVER be clean regardless of how much we pretend.
.
This is why Cape Wind needs our wholehearted support and Americans should be embracing alternative energy and energy efficiency.
.
This was previously posted - No Clean Coal
Dirty Coal spent + $20 Million and 8 years fighting Cape Wind, the wind farm proposed off the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Had they not delayed the project, Cape residents, ordinary folks like you and me, would be enjoying environmentally-friendly energy and cleaner air.
.
This recent article made me wonder about Rep. Rahall's sudden opposition ---
12/22/08 Another House chairman urges Cape Wind delay
Rep. Rahall backs more time for public input into Coast Guard decision Congressional legislators continue to line up on either side of the latest Cape Wind controversy: whether to delay permitting of the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, and if so, by how much. With the two top members of the Senate Energy Committee coming forward to support a rapid approval of the 468-megawatt Cape Wind project, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, is backing his colleague on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in devoting more time for review. "A project like Cape Wind, which would be the first offshore wind energy installation in United States waters, has a precedental value that requires extra caution." - Rep. Nick Rahall II .
.

Note: Rep. Rahall is a Democrat from West Virginia, a state with extensive mountaintop removal projects to recover dirty coal while despoiling the environment.
.
Below is a quick list of some of Rep. Rahall's campaign contributors from congress.org.
.
Not all of the contributors have been researched, I'll leave that to the readers, but
Entergy has been commented on before. They are about to pork the taxpayer with major expenses for decommissioning by spinning off Vermont Yankee and they also own Plymouth Pilgrim.
.
Dominion is the company that owns the Dirty Salem Coal Plant.
.
In September, I posted Mercury, Power Plants, Fish and Cement Kilns which addressed the unregulated mercury pollution of cement kilns. Several seem to be on Rep. Rahall's list of campaign contributors.
.
The following represents some political campaign contributions in excess of $1,000 for 2007-2008:
ALTRIA GROUP, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ALTRIAPAC) $1000
KOCH INDUSTRIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (KOCHPAC) $1000
NRG ENERGY INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000
HOOK POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000
OLDCASTLE MATERIALS INC. PAC $1000
COALPAC A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL MINING ASSOCIATION $1000
CAITHNESS EQUITIES CORPORATION PAC $1000

ESSROC CEMENT CORP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE ESSROC PAC $1000

NATIONAL READY MIXED CONCRETE ASSN. PAC (CONCRETEPAC) $1000

CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION FED-PAC $1000

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

HDR, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (HDR PAC) $1000

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DRILLING CONTRACTORS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

ISLE OF CAPRI CASINOS INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

ENTERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE "ENPAC" $1000 INSTITUTE OF MAKERS OF EXPLOSIVES POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (IMEPAC) $1000

MASON CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA POLITICAL ACTION COMMITEE-MACPAC $1500

ALLEGHENY ENERGY INC. FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000 EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (EXXONMOBIL PAC) $2000

AMERICAN INDIAN SOVEREIGNTY SELF-DETERMINATION $2000

BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND TRAINMEN PAC FUND $2000 AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT, THE $2000

CONSOL ENERGY INC & CNX GAS CORPORATION PAC $2000

3M COMPANY $2000

MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION FOR PRIVATE PHOTOGRAMMETRIC SURVEYORS PAC (MAPPS PAC) $2000

AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION-COPE $2500

INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY (IGT) PAC $2500

TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS COMMITTEE $2500 AMERICAN ROAD & TRANSPORTATION BUILDERS ASSOCIATION PAC $2500 DOMINION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2500

WASHINGTON DIVISION OF URS CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $3500

PARSONS CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $4000

ARCH COAL INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ARCHPAC) $4000

TRUCKING POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS INC. $4500

UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA - COAL MINERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $4500

MAJORITY PAC $5000

UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (UTU PAC) $5000 UNITE HERE TIP CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $5000

ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS PAC $5000

NATIONAL STONE, SAND & GRAVEL ASSOCIATION ROCKPAC $5000

FOUNDATION COAL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $5000

BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE CORPORATION RAILPAC (BNSF RAILPAC) $6000

CSX CORPORATION GOOD GOVERNMENT FUND $10000

NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION GOOD GOVERNMENT FUND $10000

UNION PACIFIC CORP. FUND FOR EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT $10000

ENGINEERS POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE (EPEC)/INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS $10000

.

The following represents political campaign contributions in excess of $1,000 for 2005-2006:

MIRANT CORPORATION PAC INC. $1000

ALLEGHENY ENERGY INC. FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

CONSOL ENERGY INC & CNX GAS CORPORATION PAC $1000

HDR, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (HDR PAC) $1000

CON-WAY INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

CSX CORPORATION GOOD GOVERNMENT FUND $1000

NATSO INC. NATSO PAC $1000

WILLIAMS COMPANIES, INC. PAC, THE $1000

NATIONAL TANK TRUCK CARRIERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF INC. PAC $1000

BRINK'S COMPANY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, THE $1000

TRANSPORTATION TRADES DEPARTMENT AFL-CIO POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (TTD/PAC) $1000

BP CORPORATION NORTH AMERICA INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

LAMAR CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (LAMARPAC) $1000 MANTECH INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000 NISOURCE INC. PAC $1000

INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY (IGT) PAC $1000

PG&E CORPORATION EMPLOYEES ENERGYPAC $1000

NATIONAL STONE, SAND & GRAVEL ASSOCIATION ROCKPAC $1000

TOURPAC $1000

MINERALS TECHNOLOGIES INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (MTI PAC) $1000

AUSTIN POWDER COMPANY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (AUSPOCO PAC) $1000

AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE; THE (GASPAC) $1000

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000 ENTERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE "ENPAC" $1000

TEXAS INDUSTRIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMM $1500

SHEET METAL WORKERS' INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION LEAGUE $1500

3M COMPANY $2000

WASHINGTON DIVISION OF URS CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000

OLDCASTLE MATERIALS INC. PAC $2000

ASHLAND INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE FOR EMPLOYEES (PACE) $2000 UNION PACIFIC CORP. FUND FOR EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT $2000

AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT, THE $2000

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (NSPE-PAC) $2000

MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION FOR PRIVATE PHOTOGRAMMETRIC SURVEYORS PAC (MAPPS PAC) $2000

TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS COMMITTEE $2000 INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000

FOUNDATION COAL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000

NATIONAL PROPANE GAS ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE -PROPANEPAC $2000

BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD SIGNALMEN POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000 DOMINION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000

AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION-COPE $2500

TRUCKING POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS INC. $2507

PARSONS CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $3000

UNITE HERE TIP CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $3000

ARCH COAL INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ARCHPAC) $3000

BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE CORPORATION RAILPAC (BNSF RAILPAC) $3000 AMERICAN COUNCIL OF ENGINEERING COMPANIES (ACEC/PAC) $3000

AMERICAN ROAD & TRANSPORTATION BUILDERS ASSOCIATION PAC $3000
NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION GOOD GOVERNMENT FUND $5000

UNITED STEELWORKERS POLITICAL ACTION FUND $6000

UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA - COAL MINERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $6000

LABORERS' POLITICAL LEAGUE-LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF N.A. $7500


ENGINEERS POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE (EPEC)/INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS $9500

UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (UTU PAC) $10000

UAW - V - CAP (UAW VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM) $10000

.

The following represents political campaign contributions in excess of $1,000 for 2003-2004:


ALLEGHENY ENERGY INC. FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

ALTRIA GROUP, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ALTRIAPAC) $1000

HDR, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (HDR PAC) $1000

3M COMPANY $1000

NATIONAL UTILITY CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION LEGISLATIVE INFORMATION AND ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF INC. PAC $1000

SUN PAC $1000

VEN-PAC $1000

TRANSPORTATION TRADES DEPARTMENT AFL-CIO POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (TTD/PAC) $1000

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDUSTRIAL AND OFFICE PROPERTIES DEVELOPMENT PAC (NAIOP-PAC) $1000

BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND TRAINMEN PAC FUND $1000

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS CAMPAIGN ASSISTANCE FUND $1000

MANTECH INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (NSPE-PAC) $1000

MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION FOR PRIVATE PHOTOGRAMMETRIC SURVEYORS PAC (MAPPS PAC) $1000

INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

NATIONAL STONE, SAND & GRAVEL ASSOCIATION ROCKPAC $1000

AUSTIN POWDER COMPANY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (AUSPOCO PAC) $1000

PENSKE TRUCK LEASING CO LP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000
ARKANSAS BEST CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $1000

LAMAR CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (LAMARPAC) $1500

CSX CORPORATION GOOD GOVERNMENT FUND $2000

OWNER-OPERATOR INDEPENDENT DRIVERS ASSN INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (AKA OOIDA-PAC) $2000
AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT, THE $2000

BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE CORPORATION RAILPAC (BNSF RAILPAC) $2000

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF ENGINEERING COMPANIES (ACEC/PAC) $2000 DMJM+HARRIS PAC $2000

MARATHON OIL COMPANY EMPLOYEES POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (MEPAC) $2000

AMERICAN ROAD & TRANSPORTATION BUILDERS ASSOCIATION PAC $2000

UNITED STEELWORKERS POLITICAL ACTION FUND $2000

DOMINION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000

NAAA-ADC INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $2000

AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION-COPE $2500

TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS COMMITTEE $2500

PARSONS CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $3000

ARCH COAL INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ARCHPAC) $3000

OLDCASTLE MATERIALS INC. PAC $3000

ENGINEERS POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE (EPEC)/INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS $3500

UNION PACIFIC CORP. FUND FOR EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT $4000

NATIONAL READY MIXED CONCRETE ASSN. PAC (CONCRETEPAC) $4000

MACHINISTS NON PARTISAN POL LEAGUE OF THE INT'L ASSN OF MACHINISTS & AEROSPACE WORKERS $5000

NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION GOOD GOVERNMENT FUND $6000

UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA - COAL MINERS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE $7500

LABORERS' POLITICAL LEAGUE-LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF N.A. $8000

UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (UTU PAC) $10000



Rep. Rahall: One must wonder if offshore drilling with dangerous chemicals received the same scrutiny as Cape Wind. One must also question your sincerity in opposing immediate approval of Cape Wind, a project that would offer clean energy and lead the way for others to follow after reviewing your list of campaign donors. Maybe it's time to act for the public good and support Cape Wind.

30 Times The Size of Exxon Valdez #3

The following video shows previous environmental damage from sludge spills.
.
This is what we are allowing to be done to our environment by coal companies .
.












Kudos to NYT for including the Coal Ash Spill Revives Issue of Its Hazards .
.
In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed stricter federal controls of coal ash, but backed away in the face of fierce opposition from utilities, the coal industry, and Clinton administration officials. At the time, the Edison Electric Institute, an association of power utilities, estimated that the industry would have to spend up to $5 billion in additional cleanup costs if the substance were declared hazardous.
.
There is truly something wrong with the logic of not declaring a hazardous substance harmful because of the cost to the creators to clean up their mess.
.
The spill ... released about 300 million gallons of sludge and water...
.
United States coal plants produce 129 million tons of postcombustion byproducts a year, the second-largest waste stream in the country, after municipal solid waste. That is enough to fill more than a million railroad coal cars, according to the National Research Council.
.
Those byproducts are in addition to other pollution, including acid rain, releasing mercury into the air, particulates and numerous other pollutants.
.
Another 2007 E.P.A. report said that over about a decade, 67 towns in 26 states had their groundwater contaminated by heavy metals from such dumps.
.
It is my belief that we can no longer condemn any other nation when we allow this to continue and allow politicians to be guided by generous campaign contributions from dirty energy.

Christmas Wishes

I was truly blessed before Christmas to volunteer a small amount of my time to share the effort with the Middleboro and Lakeville Elves who have worked tirelessly for the last 17 years to provide a Christmas for our friends and neighbors who might otherwise do without.
The Christmas Wishes Elves sacrifice greatly of their time and energy, and of course, money to ensure that families have a Christmas Dinner with all the fixings and gifts each child will enjoy.
It was an inspiration to watch the true Christmas Spirit in action.
We are truly blessed to have such dedicated and giving people in our midst.
The very best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday and best wishes for the New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

30 Times The Size of Exxon Valdez #2

30 Times The Size of Exxon Valdez

A spill, 30 times the size of the Exxon Valdez occurred Monday with little attention from the media.

.

Photos available on Nashville Tennessee Green.
.
Is the national media ignoring the TVA disaster?
.
The following excerpts are from DemocracyNow, but worth reading in their entirety --
.
Early Monday morning, a forty-acre pond containing toxic coal ash collapsed.
.
Greenpeace is calling for a criminal investigation into a major environmental disaster at a coal plant outside Knoxville, Tennessee. 2.6 million cubic yards of coal ash spilled out of the retention pond, burying homes and roads. Over 400 acres of land are now under as much as six feet of sludge.
.
Environmentalists say the spill is more than thirty times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
The sludge has flowed into the Emory River, a tributary of the Tennessee River, which provides drinking water to millions of people downstream in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.

.
Environmentalists say the disaster could take months, if not years, to clean up. The Environmental Protection Agency staff member has arrived at the scene to test the ash for toxic metals and mercury, a neurotoxin that concentrates in coal ash. Greenpeace warned that coal ash typically contains high concentrations of toxic chemicals like mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals.

.
The coal plant and retention pond are both operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Authority spokesperson Gil Francis talked to reporters Tuesday.

.
Well, this coal plant is over fifty years old, and it has several of these ponds that contain the coal ash, which is really just unburned coal that is brought over from the smokestacks that you described. It’s an inevitable part of the coal burning technology, which is polluting from beginning to end, from the mountaintopping we see to clear whole mountains away to bring the coal to the power plants. This is 40 percent of US electrical supply, is burning coal. It’s a nineteenth century technology that really needs to be substituted with safer, clean and renewable energy.

.

The Fiasco of Deregulation

During the Presidential Campaign, there was a great deal of information available regarding the Keating Scandal, a costly bailout that was preventable and involved Senator McCain. The connection with that failure to regulate with current bank failures was highlighted by the Washington Post.
.
The Washington Post reported last month that OTS allowed thrifts to lend massively while reserves against future losses dwindled. Even as problems became apparent, the agency continued to prioritize deregulation. The latest findings underscore that OTS failed to enforce its own rules.
.
The regulator named in Thorson's letter, Darrel Dochow, was removed from his position yesterday as director of OTS's west division, which supervised Washington Mutual, Countrywide, IndyMac and Downey Savings and Loan, among other banks that have been seized or sold this year.
.
It is the second time Dochow has been removed from a position as a senior thrift regulator. He was demoted in the early 1990s after federal investigators found that he had delayed and impeded proper regulation of Charles Keating's failed Lincoln Savings and Loan. .
Securities experts said the filing could raise legal issues because it is a crime to knowingly make false statements in the financial records of a public company.
.
The new numbers also averted an intervention by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which could have acted to limit the eventual cost of IndyMac's failure. The FDIC now estimates the cost at about $8.9 billion. The agency is funded by the banking industry.
.
Dochow's efforts to help IndyMac extended beyond his support for the bank's revised financial filings.
.
At another point last spring, Dochow limited the scope of a review by OTS regulators of IndyMac's portfolio of loans and other assets, overruling the advice of others in the agency, according to a source with knowledge of the incident.

.
The current episode echoes Dochow's involvement in the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan.
.
In September 1987 Dochow halted an examination of Lincoln, which was meant to determine whether the bank had an adequate capital cushion, at the request of his then-boss, Federal Home Loan Bank Board Chairman M. Danny Wall, according to a congressional investigation. Attorneys for Lincoln and its chief executive, Keating, had threatened to sue the bank board, OTS's predecessor, if the exam went ahead.
.
When the exam finally happened eight months later, it revealed that Lincoln was engaged in unsafe, unsound lending practices, booking inappropriate income and inappropriately sending money to its holding company. The company was placed in conservatorship soon thereafter and taxpayers eventually spent $2.7 billion bailing it out. Dochow was demoted and sent to a regional job.

.

Americans Scammed Again!

Americans allowed themselves, once again, to be scammed by the media and used by Congress, convinced that Detroit automakers' corporate jets were their exclusive excess. The recipients of taxpayer welfare funds with no strings attached, courtesy of Paulson seem more worthy of condemnation.
.
AP reports --
.
Six financial firms that received billions in bailout dollars still own and operate fleets of jets to carry executives to company events and sometimes personal trips,....
.
Insurance giant American International Group Inc., which has received about $150 billion in bailout money, has one of the largest fleets among bailout recipients, with seven planes, according to a review of Federal Aviation Administration records.
.
To cut costs, AIG sold two jets earlier this year and is selling or canceling orders for four others.
.
Five other financial companies that got a combined $120 billion in government cash injections - Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley - all own aircraft for executive travel...
.
CITIGROUP: Has a wholly owned subsidiary, Citiflight Inc., that handles air travel for executives. Citi spokeswoman Shannon Bell refused to comment on the size of the firm's fleet but said it has been reduced by two-thirds over the past eight years. FAA records show four jets and a helicopter registered to the company.
.
MORGAN STANLEY: Has reduced its executive jet fleet size from three planes to two since 2005, company spokesman Mark Lake said. FAA records show two Gulfstream G-Vs as registered to the company.
.
In 2007, CEO John Mack's personal use of company aircraft totaled $355,882, according to a February proxy filing. Mack is required to use company aircraft for personal trips for security reasons.

.

**This is the same John Mack named by the SEC Whistle blower in the previous comment.

.


- JPMORGAN: Registered as the owner of four Gulfstream jets, including a 2007 ultra-long range flagship G550 model, FAA records show. A G550 ordered for delivery that year would have cost roughly $47.5 million.

.
CEO Jamie Dimon is required to use company aircraft for personal trips; In 2007, his personal use of company jets totaled $211,182, according to a May filing with the SEC. Company spokesman Joe Evangelisti refused to comment on whether the bank has changed its policy on corporate aircraft use since accepting $25 billion in TARP money.
.
- BANK OF AMERICA: Registered as the owner of nine planes, including four Gulfstreams, FAA records show. Company spokesman Scott Silvestri refused to say whether the company has changed its policy on corporate aircraft use since taking $15 billion in bailout money.

.
CEO Kenneth Lewis, also required to use company aircraft for personal trips, racked up $127,643 in such travel last year, according to a March filing with the SEC.

.
- WELLS FARGO: Owns a single jet that "is strictly for business purposes under appropriate circumstances," spokeswoman Julia Tunis Bernard said. "No (government) funds will be used for corporate jet travel," she added.

Maybe It's Time....

After listening to the political rhetoric that espouses anti-regulation and watching as regulations intended to protect were rescinded or ignored by the Republican Congress and Republican President and Republican Appointees, the financial collapse and Madoff scheme seem consistent with their intent.
.
This interview (excerpts below), SEC Whistleblower Speaks on Madoff Fraud offered some reasonable explanations.
.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the oversight body which was set up to enforce laws regulating finance in order to prevent a repeat of the stock market crash of 1929, has admitted to falling down on the job, missing the long-running scheme allegedly perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff - potentially the largest scandal ever to rock Wall Street.
.
On Tuesday, SEC chairman Christopher Cox admitted that the agency had failed to thoroughly investigate multiple "credible and specific allegations regarding Mr. Madoff's financial wrongdoing," adding "I am gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade to thoroughly investigate these allegations or at any point to seek formal authority to pursue them."
.
The Madoff affair is the latest in a string of missteps made by the regulatory body.

.
After a successful career as a trial lawyer, Gary Aguirre turned his attention to public service, trading in a lucrative practice to become a government lawyer tasked with investigating financial crimes.
.
In the course of an investigation into possible insider-trading by hedge fund Pequot Capital Management, Aguirre pushed to subpoena Wall Street star John Mack, now the chief executive of finance giant Morgan Stanley. The investigation was halted by Aguirre's supervisor and the SEC allowed the case to die.

.
A subsequent report by the internal SEC watchdog found that Aguire's supervisors acted improperly in firing Aguirre and shutting down his investigation. While the report recommended punishment against four officials in the chain of command, Cox declined to hold them accountable.

.
Senior officials at the SEC got a call from Debevoise lawyer asking about a case I was handling. It was clear she wanted the investigation of John Mack to go away so he could become Morgan Stanley's new CEO. And it did go away. SEC associate director Paul Berger derailed the investigation and when I questioned that decision, fired me. Within a few days of firing me, he made an inquiry through one of his colleagues to the Debevoise law firm to see if they were interested in hiring him. After the case against Mack was dead, Berger took a job with Debevoise and that is where he's working now. I'll let you draw your own inferences.
.
There is an expectation that the SEC will face rigorous scrutiny by the new administration because the SEC's failures were a primary cause of the deepening financial crisis.
.
Counter to that, is the fact that Kotz issued two reports in September. They called for discipline for all the SEC supervisors involved in my discharge, and similar discipline for the head of the Miami office on the Bear Stearns investigation. In those cases, nothing happened. Worse yet, Cox appointed someone to trash the Kotz reports and indirectly Kotz himself. So, Kotz may be a little gun-shy at this point.
.
I think we've had a collapse of the markets caused by three different factors. The three factors all point to the failure of regulatory entities to carry out their missions. One area is the liquidity and capitalization of the major banks, which SEC was supposed to keep an eye on. We've had one bank fail after another. When you look at the scope of those failures, and the magnitude of those failures, you have to ask yourself, how could anybody miss the red flags that these banks were in deep trouble.
.
The second factor is market manipulation and insider trading. It has been a colossal failure by the SEC. Its failure to investigate the big players gave them a sense they were invulnerable. So, they just got bolder.

.
The SEC seemed to be doing its best job on investment fraud, but some of the fraud that has surfaced before Madoff raised some questions about the SEC. Madoff is on a new scale. It is a ten on the Richter scale. There were some preshocks that should have been picked up. It was the SEC's strong suit and they missed it. There has been a regulatory failure in this area; by the SEC, FBI, Department of Justice and local US attorneys' offices.

.
The SEC has a budget of around $1 billion. It's not enough to police the financial industry, but it is enough to show that you can do things efficiently and competently. Occasionally, you can bring a case against somebody who has a significant effect on the markets and detect the fraud, conduct the surgery rather than the autopsy.

.
In 1929, when the market crashed and the Senate Banking Committee surveyed the rubble, they discovered all kinds of fraud by Wall Street elite.
.
I'm not sure that all of the dirt has come to light at this point. I think one reason for that is because [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson, a representative of Wall Street, has been pumping money into the system. We're transferring trillions of dollars from taxpayer's pockets to Wall Street to try to stem the downward cycle that we are in and perhaps to some extent we have. But that may help conceal the extent of the fraud. It is when the veneer is completely stripped away; that's when you discover the fraud. To the extent that we are pouring trillions into the capital markets, we may delay, postpone or even prevent the full extent of the fraud from surfacing. But I think it is out there and I don't think the downward cycle has ended yet. As long as it continues, we'll discover more.

.
Christopher Cox, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, leaving his position within the next few weeks, had the following comments included in his wikipedia entry -
.
In the spring of 2001, then-Representative Cox was considered by President George W. Bush for a federal appellate judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Cox withdrew his name from consideration before a nomination could be made because one of his homestate Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer, objected to him due to his perceived conservatism.
.
On September 18, 2008, the same day that these corrective measures went into effect, Republican presidential candidate John McCain lashed out at Cox for failing to rein in short selling and said if he were president he would fire him. McCain immediately came under fire for the critical remark, in which the Obama campaign pointedly refused to join, with the Wall Street Journal editorializing that McCain had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential," USA Today calling it "erratic," and columnist George Will terming it evidence that McCain was "behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high."
.
It is clear in hindsight that regulations few of us were aware of, were ignored or rescinded. It is clear that agencies designed to protect, regulate, inspect and prosecute have been politicized and
corrupted by ideologues, lobbyists, and those who flip flop between those they were charged with regulating and regulatory agencies. Instead of embracing the anti-regulation call, maybe it's time to re-consider the flag we rally around and our beliefs. Maybe it's time to restore integrity to the process and function to government.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Selectman Spataro: Get A Clue!

The Middleboro Gazette (12/18/08 issue) included a Letter to the Editor from Selectman Spataro worthy of note.
.
In his letter, Mr. Spataro defends his calling for a Special Town Meeting to call for a Charter Change to provide for creation of a "Public Safety Director," instead of having two separate chiefs heading those departments. He fails to include the cost.
.
Middleboro just concluded a Special Town Meeting that might have included Mr. Spataro's proposal, if he hadn't been sleeping.
.
Some may recall Mr. Spataro's foolish easel presentation about Town finances that seemed to baffle viewers. The presentation included inaccurate figures, among other things, which seems consistent with Mr. Spataro's public conduct.
.
The letter argues that the Town, confronted with a potential $2.6 million deficit next year, should take action to save $150,000 per year, but fails to indicate where the balance of that deficit will be found. And since the Town has hired a new Fire Chief, the letter fails to indicate what that contract buyout will cost or when it might be expected to transpire.
.
Remember that Charter Changes require legislative approval. Nowhere is the time projection for accomplishment indicated.
.
Selectman Spataro indicated in the letter that he had accomplished lengthy research via the current Police Chief/Fire Chief, Gary Russell and Middleboro's Town Counsel.
.
Is that adequate research? Where are the comparisons with other towns? What has been the experience of municipalities that have accomplished this 'compression,' as Mr. Spataro calls it?
.
I would instead argue "Where the hell have you been?" In the last several years, if the described Charter Change made sense, why didn't Mr. Spataro call for it then?
.
The BOS discussed a Charter Study Committee. Where was Mr. Spataro?
.
The BOS just awakened to the potential commuter rail line extension through Middleboro and Mr. Spataro had accepted the responsibility to be BOS representative to SRPEDD, but was never able to attend any of the meetings. Wasn't it discussed there?
.
Mr. Spataro sat silently as tax bills were mailed out late. Taxpayers didn't appropriate an amount to fund those costs, but it represents revenue lost in terms of interest income the Town Treasurer would have earned from the G&E cash flow. (The G&E cash flow is used to avoid town borrowing.)
There are a multitude of areas where the Town could have reduced expenses, produced a kitty as a cushion in tough times. I previously commented on some here: Spataro: One Trick Pony, but there are others.
.
It has been repeatedly posted that:
1. Mr. Spataro has a non-published telephone number to avoid voters.
2. Mr. Spataro has habitually arrived late to meetings and frequently not at all.
3. Mr. Spataro has been habitually unprepared.
4. Mr. Spataro was text messaging through a BOS meeting.
5. At one meeting, Mr. Spataro sat and ate his supper.
.
Is this truly the best Middleboro can do to represent itself?
Isn't it time for change?
.
Mr. Spataro's term of office expires in April 2009. Shouldn't we look around for a candidate willing to do the research, arrive prepared, arrive on time, be available to voters with a published telephone number, and one who follows through on his BOS commitments (like agreeing to attend SRPEDD meeting)? But more importantly, isn't it time to elect a BOS member who sees the entire picture and works to resolve the issues confronting the Town, instead of one who remains focused on one trivial matter?
.
If you believe this is the Big Leagues, Mr. Spataro, you need to Get A Clue!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Something Happened Along The Way............

Waves of settlers on the US shores were misfits who refused to conform,
remain silent to a government or religion with which they disagreed or
surrender to tyranny.

They must have been ornery and determined individuals to endure
the hardships, the loss of life, disease and perils, separation from
their culture, roots and language and embrace the unknown for a
better life.

Something partisan happened in "Washington" that trickled down
to the countryside
that condemned differences and diversity, convinced many of the
existence of some sort of national identity with which mindless
conformity was demanded and insisted that we all must somehow
Agree.

Instead of the appreciation for other viewpoints or better ideas,
or even of potential compromise, a belief spread that condemned
those who disagreed. Toleration, diversity and more
importantly, LISTENING were trashed.

Incorporated within that disdain, was an abandonment of FACTS,
SCIENCE, EXPERIENCE, STATISTICS, INFORMATION
and
a willingness to accept and embrace the opinion of others,
failing to conduct our own personal Due Diligence, our own reasoned
and reflective consideration of the issue.

Rhetorical tactics were employed and repeated endlessly in the media
to seep into the mind. One of the most effective has been labeling.

Apply a label and you can dismiss differences without consideration.
Apply a label and you can hate.
Apply a label and you can target.
Apply a label and you simply don't have to listen.

Another effective tactic has been the dismissal of contrary evidence,
and destruction of analytical thinking. Formulate an opinion and
dismiss all contrary evidence, even if it's the Truth.
That's the scientific method after all, isn't it?

I've often wondered about my Quaker roots, residing on a known path of the
Underground Railroad. Did they quietly stand for what was morally
correct, violating the law?

Might we not draw parallels to those who opposed the casino because it
was morally wrong, in addition to all of the other arguments?

Many willingly discarded the foundation of what has made the country great and
what separated its success from others who failed along the way.
even as they wave the false flag of Patriotism, for how can Patriotism
be anathema to the Founders' creation?

The Founding Fathers created a Grand Experiment based upon a well
informed citizenry, willing to debate the facts in a reasonable manner
in a public forum.

As Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, on September 18, 1787, a certain Mrs. Powel shouted out to him: “Well, doctor, what have we got?,” and Franklin responded: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Harpers

Have we kept it when we are no longer well informed and
unwilling to publicly debate the facts?


The trickle down effect trickled down to Middleboro without notice.

Middleboro endured 2 Chairmen of the Board of Selectmen and a Town Manager
who silenced the opposition and practiced their own version of tyranny.

One Chairman simply ignored dissent. The other, gaveled them to silence,
while allowing cheers and applause from supporters.

Those who cheered failed to notice the tyranny.

Tyranny of the MOB?

That we disagree on a single issue should not sabotage agreement on other
matters.

And that the single issue upon which the dissension was created appears
unlikely to succeed should not inhibit future progress.



As the New Year approaches, it's a time of reflection and reconsideration
of what's important for the Town's future.

As Bellicose Bumpkin point out in 12/16 CPA meeting summary --
This was the very first time since the "C" came, that I really felt that there
was hope for the town to come together and work together on something
without a cloud hanging over everything.

Maybe it's a time to give serious consideration to the Community Preservation
Act as a way of preserving the Town's future and making your voice heard about
why you moved to Middleboro. There are a number of townspeople who have
voiced support for CPA and have begun circulating petitions for the required
signatures to place the question on the April ballot.

We've had our differences and can continue to differ, but we can also
display the maturity to come together on an issue the represents
where we go from here and the legacy we leave behind.

Truth to Power

Truth to Power took what was a well needed hiatus for the election, but has returned with a post that is worthy of note.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chinese Leading The World?

While the Global Warming Deniers in the US are fighting the facts, clouding the known science and fully absorbed in their petty nonsense, guess what? The rest of the world is passing us by. And it looks like the Chinese may just lead the world. Hmmm. Time to smell the coffee?
.
Check out Grist --
.
A Car in Every Port

BYD Auto: China's first mass-produced hybrid car goes on sale

Posted at 12:43 PM on 15 Dec 2008BEIJING, Dec. 15, 2008 (AFP) -- China's first mass-produced hybrid electric car hit the market on Monday, its manufacturer said, in a move aimed at driving the nation to the cutting edge of the world's green auto industry.
The car is made by BYD Auto, a Chinese company backed by American Warren Buffett, one of the world's most successful investors who owns 9.9 percent of the firm.
The F3DM is also the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car, meaning owners can charge it from powerpoints at home for the first time, as well as in specialised electric car charging stations, according to BYD.
BYD president Wang Chuanfu was quoted by Chinese media as saying that his firm and China were on their way to being world leaders in the fuel-efficient auto industry.
.
"Ultimately, though, this kind of car has a big potential in the Chinese market, and in the world market, because we all know we need new energy cars to solve the environmental and oil crisis problems."