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Number of posts: 12,536
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North Dakota’s oil production began growing in the mid-2000s, when companies figured out how to extract oil from the state’s Bakken region. Around 2010, production in the state skyrocketed, and that boom brought in throngs of workers from around the county — a population increase that, as Thornton said, also brought with it an increase in crime. According to the Washington Post, violent crime in the state’s oil-rich Williston Basin region increased by 121 percent between 2005 and 2011. Drug use and prostitution are also prevalent.
“It’s not Mayberry anymore,” North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon told the AP earlier this year. “Our police and prosecutors are going to have to adapt to keep pace. We have organized criminal gangs selling drugs, sex trafficking, and out-of-state flim-flam men coming in. And the cases have become more and more complicated.”
One town in North Dakota — Watford City — has grown its police force from just four policemen in 2010 to 19 this year. The town experienced just 41 calls for police service in 2006, while in 2014, it experienced 7,414.
“There used to be a saying that 40 below keeps out the riff-raff,” said Steve Kukowski, a sheriff in Ward County, North Dakota. “That’s not true anymore.”
Posted by Divernan | Sat Mar 7, 2015, 09:00 PM (9 replies)
Talk about faux outrage! And as the judge says in trial court, when overruling an objection, the objector "opened the door" to a comment. Specifically, when Rahm described fellow Dems as "fucking retarded", his supporters cannot be heard to object to Dems calling Rahm a bastard.
Hope Obama sits this one out and doesn't make another bogus trip to Chicago for an opportunity to boost Rahm's campaign. Perhaps someone can remind him that Hispanics and teachers and unions are valued members of the Democratic party and deserve a level playing field when running in a primary.
An interesting question to me is what will Rahm do if he loses, i.e,. next career step. Certainly if he is available, Hillary would snap him up for her campaign staff. Hell, he could end up back in the White House as her chief of staff. That could happen even if he wins the run-off - resigning from elected office to get back to DC where all the real action is, baby! Or he could follow the Clintons' example of starting a boutique "charity" to launder corporate "donations" while simultaneously lobbying his political connections AND skimming off a healthy chunk of said "donations" to fund a five star life style.
Manny makes the point it would be best if Rahm were out of politics forever. That is so true. But Rahm is like the legendary rattle-snake, which keeps snapping lethally even after it's head has been cut off. He will always be a source of hubris, arrogance and self-interest wherever he ends up.
Posted by Divernan | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 04:21 AM (0 replies)
Look, I'm a big supporter of the arts (at least to the best my tight budget allows), and I have been very impressed with the productions of the Pittsburgh Irish Classical Theatre - but their latest fund raiser leaves me ready to hurl. Here's the email invite I just received. Basically, Tom Corbett will be performing Shakespeare at Pittsburgh's most elite private club, The Duquesne Club.
'I am writing on behalf of Chuck Moellenberg, Partner at Jones Day and Co-Chair of PICT Classic Theatre's UnCommon Pleas, an evening of legal theatrical entertainment, co-sponsored by the Arts and Law Committee, Young Lawyers Division, and Homer S. Brown Division of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation. Part of the proceeds will also benefit the Allegheny County Bar Foundation as well as PICT Classic Theatre's educational programs.
I'd never pay $250 for this, but would love to see a tape. Will Corbett speak from behind a podium? Because he moves with all the physical grace of a man with a corncob up his ass (as we used to say in the farmlands of the Midwest.) His public speaking has never been impassioned either.
And for another thing, Dan Onorato was the Democratic candidate defeated by Corbett for the governorship. Hopefully, Dan will be very impassioned and wipe the floor with Wooden Tom!
Oh, the tragedy. The Bard will be spinning in his grave! Or will be angry in the manner Shakespeare thus described:
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
And ready mounted are they to spit forth
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls
King John (2.1.217-9), King John
France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath;
A rage whose heat hath this condition,
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
The blood, and dearest-valued blood, of France.
King John (3.1.349-52), King John
Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
Than answer my waked wrath!
Othello (3.3.402-3), Othello to Iago
Posted by Divernan | Fri Feb 20, 2015, 09:35 AM (3 replies)
With all the news stories covering Governor Wolf's actions, such as rescinding Corbett's last minute appointments, and introducing an extraction tax on fracking, etc., you'd think Corbett would be interviewed for comments. But nary a quote, as far as I have found. He evidently split Harrisburg with no forwarding address.
Best guess: He's fled to his South Carolina vacation home in Hilton Head - a frack free zone, of course. I hope he keeps his sorry ass there forever. But come the first major fracking disaster/fire/explosion/spill in Pennsylvania, I'd like some photos of him ducking reporters' trying to interview him about same.
I'll occasionally google him to spot the inevitable appointments to corporate boards and "of counsel" to major law firms. One assumes he's kept his Pennsylvania state law license active, and may hit the lobbying scene as well.
Corbett failed to report the 2012 purchase of a $265,000 Hilton Head condo in the annual filing under the governor's Code of Conduct, according to StateImpact Pennsylvania, a public radio investigative unit focusing on energy and the environment.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/Corbetts-nondisclosure-of-vacation-home-purchase-raises-concerns.html#drdqIS32w8jcOdrz.99
Posted by Divernan | Mon Feb 16, 2015, 12:18 AM (3 replies)
They can only handle the rigors of their public and private lives with private jets, 5 star hotels, & entourages of handlers/servants. When the luxury private airline lounges for first and business class travelers, and the on board comforts of those classes of travel are deemed too insufficient, exhausting and/or stressful for travelers, said travelers either have too inflated an opinion of themselves (particularly when a so-called "charity" is footing the travel costs) or they are too physically fragile to hold any elective office, let alone the presidency.
It is undisputed that the presidency is the most exhausting, aging, & stressful of jobs. Bill's on borrowed time with his progressive heart disease; her medical history includes repeated blood clots of the brain and medical reports of heart problems revealed by a stress test.
As long as she plays this Koch-teasing game of repeated delays as to whether she'll declare, they keep raking in the $$$, i.e., anticipatory quid pro quos, for their personal speaking/consulting fees and their boutique, fully family-owned, "non-profit" corporation. If both their healths hold out until the summer, their joint, limitless and blind ambitions will result in her running. They are addicted to their pursuit of power/wealth - even when a loving couple would take their millions and retire. They are an extreme example of workaholics - I've seen the same attitude in senior partners at some law firms - they've placed their careers above healthy personal relationships w/spouses, and never taken the time to develop a passion for any other activities than accumulating wealth.
Posted by Divernan | Sun Feb 15, 2015, 10:30 PM (1 replies)
The benefits to the people whom she encouraged to join - not only the actual participation in swimming/tennis, but the personal confidence and participation in community that doubtless influenced other aspects of their lives - and then the example this set to their friends and relatives, and to the white members of the club -----the ripples don't stop. A butterfly flaps its wings, etc.
Back in the early 60's, I was a stay-at-home Mom in Brevard County, FL (husband working 60 hours a week on Project Apollo at Cape Kennedy). I volunteered to be a Brownie leader for my 7 year old daughter's troop - actually, I was supposed to be the assistant leader, but ended up as the only volunteer. With no training and no experience other than my own years as a Girl Scout, and with my other two kids (ages 4 yrs. and 3 months) in tow, I was in charge. There were 2 black girls and one Cuban refugee girl in my daughter's 2nd grade class when I distributed an announcement of the troop's first meeting. (Because this was a Catholic school taught by Irish nuns, there was no racial segregation as in Florida's public schools.) We'd had a few meetings, and I guess the little black and Cuban girls heard some enthusiastic feedback from their classmates, so asked their parents if they could join. At the 2nd meeting of my troop of chattering and giggling little girls, one very serious black mother walked in with the 2 black girls. She stayed for the whole meeting and watched me like a hawk the entire time. I evidently passed muster, because those girls joined, and the next week the little Cuban girl came and joined. When I called the Florida Girl Scout administrator who was my phone contact to report 3 new members - she was shocked - told me this was the first integrated Brownie troop she'd heard of.
Keep in mind that Florida fiercely opposed school integration despite Brown vs. Board of Education. It took a decade and a half - Dec. 31, 1969 - for Florida to give up on maintaining segregated public schools. And since Brownie troops were traditionally composed of little girls in the same grade school class, the troops were de facto segregated as well. I don't even know if there were actually black Brownie troops in Florida back in the 60's. And I didn't know I was doing something out of the usual to mix races. I wasn't making a political statement I was just a liberal Northerner transplanted to Florida by my then-husband's job. I had been raised to treat all people with the same degree of courtesy and respect, until and unless they individually showed themselves not to be deserving of courtesy and respect. When I looked at little girls, I saw individual children - not members of a different race.
Once during that part of the meeting when we'd sit in a circle to talk, I introduced the idea of differences- and how boring life would be if everything was the same. Asked the girls what flavor ice cream was their favorite - and then said what if the only flavor we could have was vanilla? Well, no one was in favor of that. Other topics: What if everybody's dad looked exactly alike? What kind of pets did they have? Well, what if only one breed of dog was allowed? What if every family had to drive the exact same car (as in when parents showed up to pick up their kids after the meetings); or everyone had to wear the same color clothes? I urged them not to be frightened by differences, because differences were what made our lives interesting.
But the best thing I did as a Brownie leader was help a little girl whose Mom had taken her and run away to Florida from a physically abusive husband/father in another state. I didn't know anything about the girl's background at first. But I noticed this little girl was very quiet and shy, so made a special effort to put her at ease and bring her out of her shell. One of the games we played involved sitting in a circle. Each girl was assigned a word in a story I would read aloud. Whenever I read their word, they were to jump to their feet, spin around and sit down again. The main character in the story was a fictional girl, whose name I assigned to Kathleen as her word. So she was basically the star of the game. She just opened up and blossomed in that game. First there were a few self-conscious giggles, and then laughs and then she just glowed with excitement. A few weeks later her Mom, whom I had never met, called to fill me in on Kathleen's background and to thank me. She credited the Brownie experience with a major change in her daughter - from a quiet, frightened little girl who never laughed to a child who was now happy again, and chattering in class so much, that her teacher had called her Mom (also a teacher) to talk about it.
Years later, I went back to college and got a psych degree, then a NIMH research fellowship, then a law degree. But back then I was just someone who had never experienced an abusive husband or father or even heard of such things; I was someone raised by loving parents who never uttered a racially derogatory term or statement. I was just a mom who liked kids whether they were white, black or polka dotted.
My long-winded point is that the good or evil we do lives after us, and we'll never know how far those ripples reach, for good or for bad.
Here's a link to an article about school segregation in The Sunshine State:
The Board filed a motion to amend the court’s findings, but was denied the appeal on 9 June, 1969. The Board then considered appealing the case to higher courts, but its attorney counseled that such an appeal would prove futile. Moreover, the Board’s attorneys determined that the county could face penalties for an unsuccessful appeal. It had finally become apparent to the Board and its counsel that the state could not provide further justification for delay and that the power of the Federal government could not be circumvented. The local board now submitted a plan for total integration on 31 December, 1969. After a decade and a half the Lee County School Board had accepted, however, unwillingly, the High Court’s decision in Brown.
The eradication of dual school systems in Lee County, Florida came only after constant pressure applied by local citizens, the NAACP, the Federal Courts, and the US Department of Justice. For a decade, historical and newly-promulgated measures had worked to prevent desegregation in Lee County Schools. It took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Blalock case to move a recalcitrant board away from those state guidelines on segregation towards compliance with federal law and Court orders. It also took these Federally-supported measures to move Lee County to finally eschew the segregationist lessons of the past, which had so steadily trickled out of Tallahassee, to move into a modern era of compliance with the dictates of Brown. Viewed as a case study, the experience of Lee County, Florida reflects all too poignantly what it took to move Florida from a segregationist past to an integrationist present.
Posted by Divernan | Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:39 AM (0 replies)
Clintons Pushed Most Wasteful of U.S.-Funded Haiti Projects
JULY 02, 2013
Roughly half of the $1.14 billion that the U.S. government allocated to help Haiti recover from the 2010 earthquake has gone to wasteful projects with the single largest chunk—$170.3 million—going to a failed port and power plant adventure heavily promoted by Bill Clinton and the State Department under the leadership if his beloved wife.
Not really, according to a federal audit of the $1.14 billion that Congress approved to help Haiti recover from the powerful earthquake that killed more than 200,000 and left over 1 million homeless. The probe was requested by a Florida congresswoman who chairs the House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee because hundreds of millions have been spent in Haiti with virtually no accountability.
The Clinton-backed power and port venture is the biggest and most expensive failure mentioned in the report. An astounding $170.3 million later, it is years behind schedule, lacks a qualified engineer and has unrealistic timeframes. As a result, planning has been hindered, the report says, and “funding will be insufficient to cover a majority of projected costs.” It will take an additional $117 to $189 million to complete it and it’s unclear whether the Haitian government will be able to find a private sector company willing to finance the remainder of the project.
That means Uncle Sam must come to the rescue or the $170.3 million already wasted on the project will be lost. Either way, U.S. taxpayers get screwed. Besides the scandalous, Clinton-backed power and port experiment, congressional investigators found mismanagement of a crucial housing plan that was supposed to accommodate up to 90,000 Haitians. USAID claims it will only be able to handle 3,200 to 15,900 people at nearly double the original cost of $59 million. That means the cost per house is nearly triple the original estimate, according to the report.
Back to the Clinton prominence in all things Haiti; the United Nations named the former commander-in-chief as a special envoy to the island and his Clinton Foundation has raised $34 million for Haiti since the catastrophic earthquake hit. Additionally, the former president has distributed $54.4 million from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which was launched shortly after the earthquake. The fund closed in December after distributing the last of the money and claims that it has “helped Haitians create a better future through smart, sustainable economic development” though it acknowledges that “much work remains to be done in Haiti.”
Combined with the U.S. government money and other charities that have raised huge sums for Haiti earthquake recovery, the island has received billions to rebuild. Yet three years later, news report after news report reveals that a large number of Haitians still live in deplorable, shanty town tent cities and an ongoing epidemic of cholera has claimed thousands of lives. Makes you wonder if someone is pocketing the money.
Posted by Divernan | Wed Feb 11, 2015, 03:53 PM (0 replies)
Here's today's editorial glorifying the fact that a ban on fracking in Allegheny County parkland (Pittsburgh & suburbs) has been defeated. This from the same paper which endorsed pro-fracking Tom Corbett for governor in his first election. Exactly how Republican is the editorial board? Sure like to see which board members voted to approve this editorial.
This is in the same week when Scotland and Wales have completely banned fracking in their entire countries, and a push is underway in England for the same action, and while increasing studies are linking fracking to earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma, and nearby Ohio has shut down wells because of multiple earthquakes. The proposed ordinance would only have been for two years. Across the U.S., frackers are closing down wells because of lowered prices for oil. My hope is that by fighting for this ordinance, the anti-frackers have delayed proposed projects for public parklands long enough such that the drop in price will prevent Big Fracking from further parkland drilling.
Fracking has become a victim of its own success. The industry in the US has grown very fast. In 2008, US oil production was running at five million barrels a day. Thanks to fracking, that figure has nearly doubled, with talk of US energy self-sufficiency and the country becoming the world’s biggest oil producer – “the new Saudi Arabia” – in the near future. But analysts say this whole investment edifice could come crashing down.
Bagging the ban: County Council wisely pans a drilling prohibition
I suggest that "local citizens" do not have the resources to maintain vigilance on Marcellus Shale drilling. That is the duty & function of state regulators and DEP inspectors, whose numbers and powers were slashed by Corbett. It's not a matter of "maintaining" but of restoring, and I hope Governor Wolf will be doing that. In the meantime, kudos to Protect Our Parks for demanding these hearings, which delayed further fracking in the parks long enough for the world price of oil to drop below the frackers' break-even price, causing frackers to cancel plans for new drilling and close down some existing operations.
Posted by Divernan | Sun Feb 8, 2015, 08:52 AM (2 replies)
Just google Mezvinsky & Ponzi Scheme.
Posted by Divernan | Sat Feb 7, 2015, 06:09 AM (1 replies)
By their friends, relatives, investors & backers shall ye know them.
Chelsea's in-laws were known grifters 10 years before she married their son. She evidently felt right at home.
Posted by Divernan | Sat Feb 7, 2015, 06:03 AM (0 replies)