Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,470
Number of posts: 11,470
Little pissant cyber-serfs tugging their forelocks to the One Percenters.
Posted by Divernan | Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:52 AM (1 replies)
(1) they have no BITE to them, i.e., truly severe and punitive financial and operational penalties (cause then the corporations just factor in occasional small fines as part of the cost of doing business);
(2) they are not mandatory, regardless of how many presidents, governors, federal or state legislators have been beneficiaries of a corporate violator's bribes/gifts/campaign donations/post elected office job offers;
(3) protections/regulations are self-enforced/self-regulated by corporations, like Obama's USDA plans to fire 1/2 their inspectors and turn inspection over to meat-processing industry;
(4) government inspection agencies are not sufficiently funded to hire, train & field the necessary number of inspectors;
(5) political appointees at the top levels of federal or state inspection agencies block, stall, delay and usurp authority from the agencies' field inspectors to report violations.
The latter 2 examples are outrageously the case in Pennsylvania re GOP Governer Corbett and the state Department of Environmental Protection re inspecting fracking drilling operations. First he had his politically appointed Secretary/cabinet member slash the number of inspectors from what it was BEFORE the fracking had started; then the department's regulations were changed such that all field reports had to be approved by the top (political appointees) level of the dept. Pennsylvania is Frackers' Paradise.
Posted by Divernan | Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:32 AM (1 replies)
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed criminal charges against XTO Energy Inc., a division of Exxon Mobil, for a 2010 spill of gas well wastewater in Lycoming County.
A grand jury agreed with Ms. Kane's assessment that XTO violated the Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act, and the company will be tried in Lycoming County under the attorney general's environmental crimes section.
Texas-based XTO vowed to fight the allegations and called the criminal charges "unprecedented, baseless and an abuse of prosecutorial discretion."
In July, XTO signed a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice over the same incident, which carried a $100,000 fine and required the company to spend $20 million overhauling its wastewater management practices in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/pennsylvania-attorney-general-files-criminal-charges-against-xto-energy-702751/#ixzz2eX7VPgfb
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/pennsylvania-attorney-general-files-criminal-charges-against-xto-energy-702751/
Hot Damn, Pennsylvania! Our world class new female Dem Attorney General is taking on Big Fracking for environmental crimes. PA GOP Governor, Tommy One-Term Corbett, the fracker's friend, is going ballistic, no-doubt. When Corbett was PA Atty, General, he buried complaints against Jerry Sandusky so as not to alienate Penn State alumni/voters/campaign donors. AG Kane is schooling him big time on what an Atty. General is supposed to do!
Now she can really pursue broad discovery on Big Fracking's dirty secrets - like how many citizens & business interests have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements to be compensated for injuries/damages.
Posted by Divernan | Tue Sep 10, 2013, 07:02 PM (5 replies)
On another DU thread regarding Syria, a poster recalled that '60s phrase "credibility gap". I replied that what O/K have is far more than a gap; it's a credibility abyss, i.e., bottomless depths of hubris shading into total darkness. I was asked to post my reply as an OP. So here it is.
When scuba diving in the Bahamas, I had the humbling and awe-inspiring experience of diving down about 120 feet to where the ocean floor fell away into the Abyss.
Tongue-Of-The-Ocean (the abyss)
Obama has gone over the edge of a political abyss, taking an apparently willing Kerry and a shrinking cadre of true believers along. That they continue to argue for acts of war against Syria smacks of rapture of the deep, i.e., nitrogen narcosis. (Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1953 famously described it as "l’ivresse des grandes profondeurs" or the "rapture of the deep".) It's a frightening thing to see - I once saw a diver get down to the agreed upon maximum dive depth of 120 feet, wave happily at us all and keep on going down. Our courageous dive master caught up with her at about 150 feet and got her safely back with a slow ascent and 2 safety stops,
Here are the symptoms. I bold-faced ones evidenced, IMHO, by Obama/Kerry & their supporters.
Delayed response to visual and auditory stimuli
Reasoning and immediate memory affected more than motor coordination
Calculation errors and wrong choices
Over-confidence and sense of well-being
Laughter and loquacity (in hyperbaric chambers) which may be overcome by self-control
Anxiety (common in cold murky water)
Sleepiness, impaired judgment, confusion
Severe delay in response to signals, instructions and other stimuli
Uncontrolled laughter, hysteria (in chambers)
Terror in some
Poor concentration and mental confusion
Stupefaction with some decrease in dexterity and judgment
Loss of memory, increased excitability
300 + feet
Increased intensity of vision and hearing
Sense of impending blackout, euphoria, dizziness, levitation, manic or depressive states
Disorganization of the sense of time, changes in facial appearance
Posted by Divernan | Mon Sep 9, 2013, 10:58 AM (3 replies)
Oh, you silly environmentalists! You thought you had convinced Obama to be wary of pipelines when he delayed the northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline. (XL is short for extension line) But you fell for his 11th dimensional chess because by Executive Order. He was just funning with you!
Feeling the pressure from protest against the Keystone XL from groups such as the Tar Sands Action, Indigenous Environmental Network and others, Obama pulled a fast one: “wait and see” for XL’s northern half – which many claimed as a victory – and expedited approval of everything else via executive order.
That’s because Obama’s order also called for expedited permitting and review of all domestic infrastructure projects – including but not limited to pipelines – as a reaction to the Keystone XL resistance.
A months-long Mint Press News investigation reveals the executive order wasn’t merely a symbolic gesture. Rather, many key pipeline and oil and gas industry marketing projects are currently up for expedited review, making up for — and by far eclipsing — the capacity of Keystone XL’s northern half. The original TransCanada Keystone pipeline – as is – already directly connects to Cushing from Alberta, making XL (short for “extension line”) essentially obsolete.
Little time was wasted building the XL’s southern half after Obama issued the Order and within a slim two years, TransCanada will have its first direct line from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries in southern Texas.
Posted by Divernan | Sun Sep 8, 2013, 07:55 PM (12 replies)
The human misery in Syria is agonising to watch. But intervention-lite is a bad idea for all but the politicians' egos
by Simon Jenkins
The Guardian, Thursday 29 August 2013 18.42 EDT
Something-must-be-done wars have a long and wretched history, notably in the Middle East. It was after Ronald Reagan saw television footage of the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982 that he ordered his marines into Beirut. He later withdrew them, leaving 265 American dead and Lebanon with a further decade of ghastly civil conflict..
Posted by Divernan | Thu Aug 29, 2013, 11:11 PM (12 replies)
Source: Billings, Montana Gazette
A Yellowstone County district judge Monday ordered a former Senior High teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student who later committed suicide to spend 30 days in jail.
Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 15 years in prison, with all but 31 days suspended, for sexual intercourse without consent. Rambold, 54, will be given credit for one day already served. He was handcuffed and led to jail at the close of the hearing.
Baugh said he was not convinced that the reasons for Rambold's termination from treatment were serious enough to warrant the lengthy prison term suggested by the prosecution. Baugh said he listened to recorded statements given by Morales before her death and believes that while she was a troubled youth, she was "as much in control of the situation" as Rambold.
The judge also said Morales was "older than her chronological age."
Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-senior-high-teacher-gets-days-for-rape-of-student/article_b1f84190-ef23-5868-8799-b779c0421dc1.html
Montana's legal system has hit an all time low when a 14 year old (who didn't have the opportunity to testify since she committed suicide while this case dragged on for years) is ruled by a judge (who never saw her) to hve been in control of a sexual relationship with a 49 year old teacher, and the convicted rapist gets all but 31 days in jail suspended.
Today, Montana Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced a teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, who repeatedly raped a 14 year old female student, who then committed suicide, to 30 days in jail. Judge Baugh blamed the girl, who he said, "was older than her chronological age". Principal Scott Anderson hired Rambold, knowing he was a sex offender, in a Jerry Sandusky like move. He kept him on despite other allegations. Rambold's failure to attend a sex offender treatment program to which he was referred, still "did not warrant a lengthy sentence" according to Judge Baugh. We demand the removal from the bench of Judge G. Todd Baugh and the permanent removal from the education system of Scott Anderson.
Posted by Divernan | Tue Aug 27, 2013, 08:30 PM (67 replies)
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG -- Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday forced out his nominee to lead the state Department of Education, William Harner, three months after the selection was announced.
The government source said that Mr. Harner's troubles began in January or February, when an employee of the school district, while vacationing, received an email from Mr. Harner asking how the employee looked in a Speedo swimsuit. That email, according to the source, led to a complaint to the district's human resources office, which in turn led to the school board hiring outside counsel to investigate the matter. That outside counsel turned up more than a dozen other complaints about Mr. Harner, most involving comments he made in poor taste.
His personality "rubbed people the wrong way," the source said. The school board's behind-closed-doors probe was running concurrent to the Corbett administration's own vetting. On May 15, Mr. Corbett announced that his education secretary, Ron Tomalis, would leave the department to become an adviser to the governor on higher education, and that he would nominate Mr. Harner as secretary.
Sometime this month, the source said, the Corbett administration caught wind of the fact that the Cumberland Valley school board had held a closed-door vote to not renew Mr. Harner's contract. Sen. Andrew Dinniman of Chester County, the ranking Democrat on the Education Committee, said the announcement Monday showed a failure by the administration in checking its nominee. "If the governor's office is going to put people before the Senate without proper vetting, how in the future can we trust any nominee he puts before us?" Mr. Dinniman said. "Why did it take three months, while education is facing crucial questions?"
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/politics-state/william-harner-acting-pennsylvania-education-secretary-resigns-abruptly-700825/#ixzz2d9nKH0HU
Interesting that the investigation by the "outside counsel" for the Cumberland Valley School Board turned up "more than a dozen" complaints, but then tries to downplay the severity by calling them simply "in poor taste". Defense counsel's "poor taste" is a District Attorney's sexual harassment crime, and clearly the school board's own outside counsel wouldn't want to open up any doors to lawsuits. Classic institutional reaction: scandal control.
So, did any of those complaints involve students, or only people working for the school district? Sandusky redux? Will Cumberland Valley be able to suppress all those complaints? According to Harner's biography on Project Vote Smart, he also has a long-standing involvement with Boy Scouts of America. Another red flag to be investigated.
Member, Boy Scouts of America, present.
Former Board Member, Blue Ridge Council, South Carolina.
Former Member, New Birth of Freedom Council, Pennsylvania.
Posted by Divernan | Tue Aug 27, 2013, 04:51 AM (6 replies)
Or his $500,000 fee for a 45 minute speech? And don't ignore my main point, which is that the Democratic party OWES support to people who agree to run in races they have no expectation of winning; and people like ex-presidents, who made their post-presidential fortunes from their status as ex-presidents, OWE something back to the party which enabled them to gain office. If Clinton had not been elected President, where would he be today? An ex-governor of Arkansas would not command 1/2 million for a speech. He'd be keynoting Chamber of Commerce state conventions scouting for legal clients for his Little Rock law firm. And if his wife were not considered a likely candidate for president, I doubt people would be nearly as generous in their gifts to his foundation. I believe the New York Times article discussed how potential donors to the Foundation were strong-armed into donating to his wife's campaign fund.
Greed, gluttony and lust are referred to as sins of excess. Clinton seems to have gotten his gluttony and lust under control, but his greed is running rampant. Greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, especially with respect to material wealth. Whether it is the obsession of an individual to accumulate boundless wealth, or a politician selling out to special interest lobbyists, or of a corporation maximizing profits by exploiting workers, and/or promoting/marketing weapons of war and violence, it is the premier vice/sin driving our civilization into the mud.
And here's another evaluation of Clinton's "fund-raising" for you:
Jonathan Tobin, Senior Online Editor of the conservative Jewish publication Commentary Magazine, criticized the former president for “shaking down” the charitable group which “raises questions not only of good taste but also of the propriety of one charitable endeavor profiting at the expense of the other.” In an article titled, Bill Clinton's Big Israeli Payday, Tobin writes:
We are constantly reminded of the fact that there’s no better gig in the world than being an ex-president. With lucrative book contracts (for books that don’t always get read but for which publishers feel obligated to shell out big bucks in advances), highly paid speaking engagements and uncounted perks as well as lifetime security, our former commanders-in-chief live the rest of their lives high on the proverbial hog. And when they’re done repairing their personal finances, they can start foundations and shake down everyone who wants their ear or to link their names with a former president. That’s pretty much the story of the last 12 years of Bill Clinton’s life, as he has become a wealthy man as well as one with a personal foundation to which he can funnel almost unlimited amounts of contributions from those who wish to earn his good will or that of his wife, who has her own eye on the White House in 2016.
I agree with Tobin that there is something unseemly (a mild term - I would use "offensive") about Clinton, who was scheduled to receive the Israeli President’s Award from Peres at an event scheduled for two days later, shaking down the JNF and its donor base for this kind of money for his personal charity. As New York Magazine noted, that amounts to $11,111.00 per minute. Or as one commenter to the Times of Israel article linked below noted, " $185 per second: even when he coughs, pauses and yawns."
“If Clinton wants to honor his old friend Peres, it shouldn’t require someone who cares about the Peres Center or the JNF to fork over that kind of money to a cause that, for all of its good work, is a vanity project for a former president who would like very much to be the nation’s First Gentleman three years from now,” Tobin wrote. Throughout his post-presidency, Clinton has engaged in this kind of money making taking six-figure fees from all sorts of charities and even churches and synagogues without coming in for much criticism…. But it can also be observed that once again the 42nd president has found another way to diminish the high office with which he was entrusted.”
Posted by Divernan | Sun Aug 25, 2013, 08:11 AM (2 replies)
Boeing has learned there's a difference between RIGHT to work and ABILITY to work. When Boeing left Washington for South Carolina in order to suppress the wages of its workers, it also left behind the quality work that had been provided by a highly skilled, union workforce. Now, that union-busting is backfiring as productivity has dropped immensely and Boeing is unable to meet their 787 Dreamliner production goals.
Via to the Puget Sound Business Journal:
Boeing’s South Carolina facility is running behind projections and won’t make its goal of producing three 787 Dreamliners a month by the end of 2013. In fact, the Everett plant will have to make up the difference in order for the company to reach its overall goal of 10 jetliners a month by year’s end.
As recently as July 24, when Boeing announced second-quarter earnings, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney insisted the company is on track to hit 10 Dreamliners monthly by the end of this year. But how Boeing accomplishes that has become more problematic. Company executives have started saying that Boeing’s North Charleston, S.C., plant is somewhat behind its goal of contributing three 787s monthly by the end of 2013.
The cost savings associated with moving to South Carolina, where workers are paid nearly half of what workers in the Everett, WA plant make, are now for naught. The Everett plant will be counted on to make up the difference.
For Boeing, the news is only getting worse as one of their largest global competitors, Airbus, is looking to move to Washington state to build their new engineering center. Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor explained the move:
We are attracted to Washington state for the same reason we were attracted to Wichita. That’s where the talent is,” he said. “If you want to have access to the talent that developed over the last 100 years of aviation, Washington is very fertile ground.”
Boeing moved to South Carolina to take advantage of “Right-to-Work” laws. In an internal memo that leaked they said, “the only consistent advantage attributed to Charleston was the ability to ‘leverage’ the site placement decision toward ‘rebalancing an unbalanced and uncompetitive labor relationship.’” Their new workforce is woefully inexperienced and cannot meet demand so they have to go back to Washington to get back on track. Meanwhile, their competitor is swooping in and taking advantage of the incredible wealth of skills in Washington. If karma has its way, the worker well will be dry before Boeing has a chance to return.
Posted by Divernan | Sat Aug 24, 2013, 11:16 AM (33 replies)