marble falls's Journal
Name: herb morehead
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 7,271
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 7,271
- 2015 (32)
- 2014 (63)
- 2013 (111)
- 2012 (4)
Those Damned Hippies. They're Saving the Post Office.
Yup. Hippies. Straight out of the 60's, looking oddly like grandparents these days. Hardcore labor unionists. Harscrabble activists. Street kids. Cal students. Throw in a few of Berkeley's famous homeless and They may think it's a movement (as Arlo famously put it). A movement to save the Berkeley Post Office and stop the Privatization of our Commons.
One hundred plus people rallied at the downtown Berkeley Post Office yesterday, celebrating 15 days of successful Occupation organized by an activist coalition from Save the Berkeley Post Office and Strike Debt Bay Area.
We're fighting to stop the sale of the Berkeley Post Office. We're trying to call attention to the seemingly inexorable push to privatize and de-unionize the entire Post Office, just one instance of the more general goal of privatization across the board - from education to Social Security, from Medicare to owning the roads. (For more on these issues and the Occupation see the articles referenced in Background etal at the end of this picture essay).
Let's start with the basics: Why Are They There?
Great stuff! Photos, tweets, etc
Posted by marble falls | Sun Aug 11, 2013, 05:53 PM (11 replies)
San Antonio considers shale drilling’s effect on ozone
By Neena Satija - Texas Tribune
As the ozone rating in San Antonio continues its slow upward march, area officials are beginning to investigate whether oil and gas drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has anything to do with it. But their efforts are fraught with complications. And they remain far from answers in what is sure to be a high-stakes debate over the environmental impact of one of the country’s newest and fastest-growing oil and gas development regions.
That “big stick” is held by the Environmental Protection Agency. For years, San Antonio has touted itself as the largest American city that is in compliance with federal ozone standards, and therefore not subject to extra regulation and enforcement from the EPA. That will soon change. Today, San Antonio is violating the Clean Air Act based on its ozone scores, the highest of which are far above the maximum acceptable value of 75 parts per billion.
“The San Antonio region has really become much more of an interest for ozone problems than it ever was before,” said Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University who studies the formation and control of air pollution. Not only have the region’s ozone levels started to increase, but the EPA also lowered its ozone standards from 85 parts per billion to 75 parts per billion in 2008, during the final year of George W. Bush’s presidency.
San Antonio’s ozone uptick is relatively recent. The city’s ozone numbers dropped dramatically in the beginning of the last decade; in 2007, it was under the federal limit even during some of the hottest days of the summer. Starting in the late 2000s, ozone levels began to increase again — just as the first wells were being drilled in the Eagle Ford Shale, now a 400-mile swath of oil and gas production stretching from South Texas’ Mexico border all the way to East Texas, brushing the southern tip of the San Antonio metropolitan area.
That timing has not been lost on anyone. “I think that there can be and there might be impacts” of the oil and gas development, Bella said. This month, AACOG produced its first estimates of the Eagle Ford Shale’s emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), air pollutants that are the precursor components of ozone.
The numbers are very preliminary and have not been shared publicly. But they suggest that the oil and gas extraction-related activities in the Eagle Ford Shale result in dozens of tons of emissions of VOCs and NOX every day, according to AACOG’s estimates. Such emissions would be equivalent to as much as half of what’s emitted daily by the entire San Antonio-New Braunfels metropolitan region each day. During a recent health forum in San Antonio, AACOG officials suggested that Eagle Ford activities could increase the city’s ozone score by several parts per billion within the next decade.
Spokesmen for the Texas Oil and Gas Association and the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable, which was established by the 11 largest operators in the Eagle Ford Shale, did not respond to requests for comment.
Air pollution experts at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which will soon review AACOG’s report and help with revisions, have their own thoughts on the matter. They don’t believe that the Eagle Ford Shale is a major cause of the ozone changes in San Antonio, based on the data they are monitoring.
This article is available online at texastribune.org/2013/08/01/is-the-eagle-ford-shale-polluting-san-antonio/
Posted by marble falls | Sun Aug 11, 2013, 05:22 PM (1 replies)
WinCo -- a low-cost grocery store chain from Idaho -- is being described as Walmart's 'worst nightmare' in a recent Time Article:
So about that eye-catching Walmart quote. Those are the words of Burt Flickinger III, a widely respected supermarket retailing industry expert who works for the Strategic Resource Group. Flickinger was quoted in a recent Idaho Statesman story about WinCo, a chain of roughly 100 supermarkets in the western U.S., based in Boise.
“WinCo arguably may be the best retailer in the Western U.S.,” Flickinger says while touring a WinCo store. “WinCo is really unstoppable at this point,” he goes on. “They’re Walmart’s worst nightmare.”
Flickinger isn’t the only industry insider discussing WinCo and Walmart in the same breath. “While many supermarkets strive to keep within a few percentage points of Walmart Stores’ prices, WinCo Foods often undersells the massive discount chain,” the industry publication Supermarket News explained last spring.
Prices are kept low through a variety of strategies, the main one being that it often cuts out distributors and other middle men and buys many goods directly from farms and factories. WinCo also trims costs by not accepting credit cards and by asking customers to bag their own groceries. Similarly to warehouse membership stores like Sam’s Club and Costco, and also to successful discount grocers with small stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi, WinCo stores are organized and minimalist, without many frills, and without the tremendous variety of merchandise that’s become standard at most supermarkets. “Everything is neat and clean, but basic,” Hauptman told Supermarket News. “Though the stores are very large, with a lot of categories, they lack depth or breadth of variety.”
The second part of Walmart's nightmare is that WinCo does all this, and treats its employees really, really well. In addition to decent health care benefits, some employees -- including cashiers and produce clerks -- have pensions worth over $1 Million. (What white collar workers in America today have $1 Million pensions? A declining percentage, but, here, we're talking grocery store employees!)
In sharp contrast to Walmart, which regularly comes under fire for practices like understaffing stores to keep costs down and hiring tons of temporary workers as a means to avoid paying full-time worker benefits, WinCo has a reputation for doing right by employees. It provides health benefits to all staffers who work at least 24 hours per week. The company also has a pension, with employees getting an amount equal to 20% of their annual salary put in a plan that’s paid for by WinCo; a company spokesperson told the Idaho Statesman that more than 400 nonexecutive workers (cashiers, produce clerks, and such) currently have pensions worth over $1 million apiece.
Be afraid, Walmart, be afraid. Karma, you know, is, well...
Posted by marble falls | Sun Aug 11, 2013, 11:34 AM (43 replies)
By JOHN DALY, OilPrice.com
August 1, 2013
On 6 July, a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train carrying 72 tank cars filled with oil exploded after its brakes apparently failed, sending it rolling into the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, where it derailed and then exploded. In the conflagration that followed, an estimated 47 people were killed.
Whether Canadians like it or not, the use of such trains has soared in recent years. The Railway Association of Canada reports that as recently as four years ago Canadian railways moved just 500 carloads of crude oil, but that number has now soared to about 140,000 carloads annually.
While currently only about three percent of Canadian crude is currently transported by rail, one industry predicts railway carriage of oil products rising to as high as 25 percent by 2035.
Now, in a breathtaking display of chutzpah, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. is warning President Obama if he does not approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, then he can expect similar oil trains and even trucks to enter the U.S. Ambassador Gary Doer said, “His choice is to have it come down by a pipeline that he approves, or without his approval, it comes down on trains. That’s just the raw common sense of this thing, and we’ve been saying it for two years and we’ve been proven correct. At the end of the day, it’s trains or pipelines.”
Greenpeace Canada publicized a May 2012 Transport Canada memo that reported that the department had "identified no major safety concerns with the increased oil on rail capacity in Canada, nor with the safety of tank cars that are designed, maintained, qualified and used according to Canadian and U.S. standards and regulations. Indeed, Canada and the U.S. work collaboratively to ensure the harmonization of rail safety requirements." In the wake of the Lac-Megantic tragedy Greenpeace Canada recommended that the federal government implement an immediate ban on shipping oil in the older, type 111A tanker cars that that the Canadian Transportation Safety Board has identified as spill-prone, reinstate mandatory two-person minimum train crews; and begin a comprehensive, independent safety review of all means of hydrocarbon transportation, including public hearings.
Greenpeace Canada Climate and Energy Coordinator Keith Stewart observed, “Transporting oil is always risky, but both rail and pipelines can be a lot safer than they are today. Breaking our addiction to oil is the only real solution and something we must do to combat climate change, but as we make the transition to clean energy we must reduce the harm from transporting and using oil.”
Such a deal.
This article originally appeared at Oilprice.com. Read more from Oilprice.com:
Will Quebec Tragedy Derail Heavy Oil Upswing?
TransCanada Might Rethink Potential Keystone Launch Date
$1 Billion of Natural Gas Wasted in North Dakota Through Flaring in 2012
Posted by marble falls | Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:17 PM (6 replies)
what's with the date?
Posted by marble falls | Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:47 AM (2 replies)
Posted by marble falls | Tue Jul 30, 2013, 08:23 PM (17 replies)
Google is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe. Proceeds of the 11 July lunch, priced at $250 to $2,500, will go to the national Republican Senatorial Committee.
Google, which prides itself on building a "better web that is better for the environment", is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged.
The lunch, at the company's Washington office, will benefit the Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, who has made a career of dismissing climate change as a "hoax" on the Senate floor.
Proceeds of the 11 July lunch, priced at $250 to $2,500, will also go to the national Republican Senatorial Committee.
It's the second show of support from Google for the anti-climate cause in recent weeks.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that the internet company had donated $50,000 for a fundraising dinner for the ultra-conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute – topping the contributions even of the Koch oil billionaires.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has launched multiple law suits aimed at trying to discredit the science behind climate change – accusing scientists of fraud. None have so far succeeded.
The CEI also specialises in filing open records requests, demanding universities turn over email correspondence of climate scientists with journalists.
Facebook also contributed $25,000 to the CEI dinner last month.
Google's show of support for the leading climate contrarian in Congress was criticised by climate activists on Tuesday. "Google's motto is 'Don't Be Evil', but it is supporting one of the worst deniers of climate science in the world," said the Climate Progress website, which first reported on the story.
Inhofe has spent more than a decade challenging the science behind climate change, and trying to stop Congress from acting on climate change. He has repeatedly dismissed climate change as a "hoax" or "hysteria", and cited the benefits of global warming for the economy and the environment.
The campaign group Forecast the Facts launched a petition calling for Google's chief executive officer, Larry Page, to cancel the fundraiser.
Google has been a corporate leader in fighting climate change. The company claims on its Google Green website to be creating "a better web that is better for the environment"by investing $1bn in renewable energy and making considerable savings in electricity use at its data centres.
Google initially refused to comment on the record about its support for Inhofe.
However, a company spokesperson noted that Google maintained data centres in Oklahoma. The spokesperson then sent an email saying:
"We regularly host fundraisers for candidates, on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn't mean we endorse all of their positions. And while we disagree on climate change policy, we share an interest with Senator Inhofe in the employees and data center we have in Oklahoma."
Google's website notes the company has invested $700m in two data centres in Oklahoma. The state is a leading oil and gas producer - and Inhofe has been a strong promoter of the industry. However, Google has contracted to power its data centres through wind energy.
"They can probably rightfully claim that the facility is powered 100% by wind," said Gary Cook, technology campaigner for Greenpeace, which tracks greenhouse gas emissions from the IT sector. He added: "But even so, Jim Inhofe is the biggest obstacle to climate change action in the Senate so what are they doing raising money for him?"
Posted by marble falls | Wed Jul 10, 2013, 11:09 PM (2 replies)
Have you ever Tweeted a politically subversive message, attended a protest, or signed an oppositional petition? If so, you may have a dedicated file on you kept by the FBI and/or the NSA.
With a simple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, any U.S. citizen can obtain one's NSA or FBI file, if such a file exists.
It simply takes a few minutes to fill out the requisite forms and mail them to the appropriate address. An independent site – www.getmyfbifile – will, free of charge, generate the necessary forms for you already filled out.
Of course, you can also do this directly through the NSA or FBI if you are worried about providing personal information to an independent site.
While an appropriate level of cynicism may be warranted concerning the level of transparency one should expect from such a request – should your file be substantial – it is the law that your complete file be provided to you upon request.
Demand that the law be followed, for it is your right as a citizen to know this information.
My request is going in the mail today.
My request is going out tomorrow.
Posted by marble falls | Thu Jul 4, 2013, 12:25 PM (9 replies)
On Tuesday's show, Rush Limbaugh acknowledged that the "sniveling jerks" of the StopRush movement have driven his advertising possibilities into the ground:
"When you look at a ... show that is by far number 1, and they're still running penile enhancement ads, what's happening is that mainstream media buyers are sending money elsewhere, trying to harm them. Well, penile, take your pick,the Ronco Veg-o-matic, you know--while McDonald's and Coke and Meineke are everywhere else.
These are things we had to overcome on this pro--we have to fight that battle every day here anyway. Cause these little sniveling jerks are out there trying to scare advertisers, still goes on."
As usual, Limbaugh has some of his facts confused. The "little sniveling jerks" he refers to would be the StopRush movement, groups like the Flush Rush Facebook community.
But these groups aren't "trying to scare advertisers," they're simply contacting advertisers and quoting Rush Limbaugh verbatim to be sure the sponsor is aware of what they're being associated with.
Many of them aren't aware, and they often choose to pull their ads off the show.
2638 have requested their ads not air on the Rush Limbaugh Show as of today.
But the reason these organizations pull their ads off the show isn't because of StopRush volunteers, it's because of the offensive content that comes out of Limbaugh's mouth--including regular homophobic rants, racial stereotypes, poor bashing, and even last week's incredibly insensitive jokes about exploding pressure cookers, just one day after 3 people were brutally murdered in Boston. Respectable organizations want nothing to do with that kind of thing.
Limbaugh alone is responsible for his advertiser exodus--nobody else.
As Limbaugh's large, well known advertisers have headed for the door, ad rates that Limbaugh used to call "confiscatory" have dropped to all time lows.
Advertisers like Sony, Hallmark, Cadillac, and Office Depot have been replaced by a ragtag bunch including a suspected pyramid scheme, shady identity protection software, and even a church led by a murdering pastor. Oh, and the "penile enhancements."
One of Limbaugh's faithful advertisers is the National Male Medical Clinic, one of quite a few similar businesses peddling cures to men with limp noodles.
A warning to anyone who clicks on the youtube link in the second tweet--it's a graphic video of "Mr. S" injecting erectile dysfunction medication directly into his penis--because that's how far El Rushbo has sunk. He's now plugging intrapenous drug use.
Posted by marble falls | Thu Jul 4, 2013, 12:21 PM (7 replies)
Posted by marble falls | Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:23 AM (5 replies)