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PufPuf23's Journal
PufPuf23's Journal
May 28, 2016

Drummond Coal based in AL, large coal mines in Colombia

Drummond Coal was founded in 1935 and is still based in AL. Drummond coal is privately owned but has sold 20% of Colombia operations to a Chinese company.

DC was one of the largest domestic coal producers until buying coal mines in Colombia in the 1990s. A port and railroad was developed to serve the Colombia mines, one of which is the largest coal mine in Colombia and alone produces about 5% of the global coal export trade. DC is the 5th largest coal exporter in the world. Colombian coal is burned in AL Power and other southern coal plants, replacing historic domestic mines and union labor.

DC had operated a number of union coal mines in AL and later a large coal mine in WY. All except one small mine in AL have been closed and replaced with the Colombian coal from two large mines (that is also sold to Europe).

DC developed a coal export facility and railroad in Colombia. The railroad was bombed by FARC.

The cheap and high quality coal from Colombia now burned in the southeastern USA retards the conversion to natural gas and renewable energy from solar and wind because of the low cost coal.

There has been violence and murders against native peoples and trade unionists in Colombia for actions post 9 / 11 but prosecution failed.

There was a large dump of raw coal in the Caribbean in 2003 that DC tried to cover up and ultimately was fined.

Read these links and you will not be happy as to one now trans-national that benefits from the Colombia free trade agreement:


1 Company History
2 Colombian Coal 2.1 Conflict in Colombia
2.2 WikiLeaks cables regarding paramilitary forces
2.3 Coverup of coal barge sinking

3 Alabama coal 3.1 Alabama Coal port expansion

4 Political and Public Influence 4.1 Coal Execs Invite Presidential Hopeful Jeb Bush to Closed-Door Weekend Retreat (2015)
4.2 Political Contributions
4.3 Lobbying

5 Corporate Accountability 5.1 Labor
5.2 Human Rights

6 Protests against Drummond 6.1 July 2007: Protesters demand justice for murdered workers

7 Contact Information
8 Articles and Resources 8.1 Sources
8.2 Related SourceWatch articles
8.3 External Articles




In 1979-1980, with his brother Larry and another executive, Clyde Black, Drummond was indicted of bribing three Alabama legislators, by supplying them with prostitutes.[3][6][7][8] The trial lasted three months, but it was dismissed by Judge Frank McFadden; the record is now sealed.[3][6]

In the 1980s, Drummond began looking for coal in Colombia, even though the country was at war.[3] He established their first coal mine in 1995.[3] Shortly after, the FARC bombed the railway track which carried coal from the Drummond mine to their port off the Caribbean Sea.[3]

Drummond made donations to Republican politicians such as Richard Shelby, Terry Everett, Robert Aderholt, Butch Otter, Mike Rogers, Jo Bonner, as well as to the 2004 re-election of President George W. Bush.[12] He also donated to Coalpac, a political action committee for the National Mining Association.[12] He also donated US$50,000 to Bob Riley's 2002 gubernatorial campaign.[13]

As of 2015, Forbes lists Drummond as the wealthiest individual in Alabama, with an estimated wealth of US$980 million.[1]

May 26, 2016

I was thinking about Mika on MSNBC.

I haven't lived with TV since 2011.

Liked to watch Olbermann and Maddow on MSNBC and often caught portions of JoeScar's show early in the AM more by circumstance.

I find the video below amusing and Brand thoughtful. Be sure to watch until the very end.

The MSNBC panel says that the folks at the PCs in the background are on twitter and facebook and are actors. Anyone from the show here at DU?

I wonder if Russell Brand writes his own material? Brand has written several books. I have never watched Brand except in internet clips and the Sarah Marshal movie and the film where he is an English rock star.

May 26, 2016

What about Hillary Clinton and the Ukraine? Hillary Clinton’s Ukraine Problem

Hillary Clinton as SOS was intimately involved with Ukraine as was The Clinton Foundation.

After Hillary Clinton was SOS there was the neo-conservative inspired Ukrainian Revolution that has brought Ukraine and the West to loggerheads with Russia and violence is sporadic but continuing, including a ramp up of military and rhetoric in adjacent and nearby Baltic and northern European nations.

Victoria Nuland is POTUS Obama's point person on the Ukraine as Asst. SOS. Her husband is Robert Kagan, the neo-con leader that speaks favorable Regards Hillary Clinton. Nuland has worked well in the past with Dick Cheney and in the Bill Clinton WH. One wonders what POTUS Obama was thinking in appointing Nuland Asst SOS. Nuland has furthered what Clinton started as SOS in Ukraine. When one looks at neo-conservative projects, it is important to note that the first initiation of a PNAC project was Plan Colombia during the second Bill Clinton term and that the Clintons have always worked better with neo-cons than other Democrats. I consider, as do many, Hillary Clinton a neo-conservative as well as a neo-liberal. There is a scandal regards to statements made by Nuland regards the European Union, our supposed allies.



What happened in Ukraine?

Hillary and Bill Clinton run the Clinton Foundation, established by the couple. The foundation accepts monetary donations from foreign donors, amassing to billions of dollars. Some of the top donors of the foundation were Ukrainian oligarchs. One of them, Victor Pinchuk, was a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament and a strong advocate of Neoliberalism in Ukraine. Pinchuk became wealthy during chaotic privatization of large state enterprises after the country’s separation from the Soviet Union.


Stephen F. Cohen, an internationally prominent scholar of Russia, explains the reasons behind Clinton’s actions regarding Ukraine, during an interview organized by the American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. “This problem began in the 1990s, when the Clinton Administration adopted a winner-take-all policy toward post-Soviet Russia … Russia gives, we take. … This policy was adopted by the Clinton Administration but is pursued by every [meaning both] political party, every President, every American Congress, since President Clinton, to President Obama. This meant that the United States was entitled to a sphere or zone of influence as large as it wished, right up to Russia’s borders, and Russia was entitled to no sphere of influence, at all, not even in Georgia… or in Ukraine (with which Russia had been intermarried for centuries).”

Victoria Nuland, assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, who has been the lead U.S. point person for the Ukraine crisis was a deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs under the Bill Clinton administration. Nuland also served as Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Cheney.


Reader Supported News journalist Steve Weisman’s report on how the Clinton led State Department laid the foundation for the regime change in Ukraine is an eye opener. It is truly one of the best investigative reporting pieces of our time, beginning with the evidence on the so called “rebel” who started the “revolution” against the Viktor Yanukovych administration. A polyglot Afghan immigrant who happened to work as a journalist in the news channel established by, none other than, the US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. “Arriving in the Ukrainian capital on August 3 [2013], Pyatt almost immediately authorized a grant for an online television outlet called Hromadske.TV, which would prove essential to building the Euromaidan street demonstrations against Yanukovych.”


About Victoria Nuland:


During the Bill Clinton administration, Nuland was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott before moving on to serve as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs. She served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and then as U.S. ambassador to NATO. Nuland became special envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and then became State Department spokesperson in summer 2011.[5]

She was nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in May 2013 and sworn in to fill that role in September 2013.[6] During her confirmation hearings, she faced "sharp questions" about a memo she had sent outlining the talking points that would be used by the Obama administration in the days shortly after the 2012 Benghazi attack.[7]

In her role as Assistant Secretary, she has been the lead U.S. point person for the Ukrainian crisis. She was a key figure in establishing loan guarantees to Ukraine, including a $1 billion loan guarantee in 2014, and the provisions of non-lethal assistance to the Ukrainian military and border guard.[8][9] Along with Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, she is seen as a leading supporter of defensive weapons delivery to Ukraine. In 2016 Nuland urged Ukraine to start prosecuting corrupt officials: "It's time to start locking up people who have ripped off the Ukrainian population for too long and it is time to eradicate the cancer of corruption".[10]

May 19, 2016

Disappointing result of Confederate flag poll on MSN.com

Poll Results

Should Confederate flag displays be allowed in cemeteries run by the VA?

21% No, they're symbols of hatred and bigotry

37% Yes, let individuals make that call

40% This issue is overblown

2% I’m not sure

Total responses: 148,982 votes

House OKs Confederate flag restrictions
May 18, 2016

Everyone should read this article from the 2008 Kentucky primary won by Hillary Clinton.

Context for the Kentucky primary today and also the 2016 campaign in general.


Note the article is 5/20/2008. I recommend read the entire article, it is short.

Some excerpts:

Hillary Clinton won Kentucky by 30%

From the article:

Neither candidate is expected to reach the 2,026 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

That means the race is likely to be settled by "super-delegates" -- party leaders and officials who will cast votes at the Democratic convention in August.

After Kentucky's results came in, Clinton thanked her supporters for handing her a win "even in the face of some pretty tough odds."

"Tonight we have achieved an important victory," she said in Louisville.

Clinton beat Obama across all age groups, income groups and education levels in Kentucky.

"It's not just Kentucky bluegrass that's music to my ears. It's the sound of your overwhelming vote of confidence even in the face of some pretty tough odds."

Two-thirds of Clinton's supporters there said they would vote Republican or not vote at all rather than for Obama, according to the polls.

Forty-one percent of Clinton supporters said they'd cast their vote for McCain, and 23 percent said they would not vote at all.


Thanks again for the context XemaSab

May 18, 2016

Lived and worked in Oregon for 11 years.

Portland and Corvallis.

Northwest OR is more liberal and Democratic than Southwest and eastern OR.

No state wide sales tax but high property tax.

No self serve gasoline.

Freddie Meyers.

Powell's Books

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Downtown Portland, Pioneer Square, and the Rhododendron Festival

Ashland Shakespearian Festival (went there on high school senior trip even though lived in CA)

West OR is green and lush and east OR is open and dry with scattered green mountains and plateaus and river canyons.

Westside Douglas-fir, eastside ponderosa pine (many trees)

Lots of National Forest and Wilderness and (cold water) ocean beaches and rivers and snow skiing.

Mt. Hood and Columbia Gorge.

Crater Lake

Oregon Caves


Good food, craft bear, orchards, local wine.

Oregon Ducks (Eugene) and Oregon State Beavers (Corvallis)

Portland Blazers

May 16, 2016

I don't doubt that the rate and period of per capita income growth in Chile you cite is OK.

But the rate is a phenomena of the reduction of absolute per capita income that resulted from the neo-liberal shock treatment and recovery in an economic vacuum.

Economic growth follows a sigmoid pattern over time where the economy is in a growth phase and re-occupying slack or new resources or technology enter the system.

That percent growth is high indicates that absolute per capita is on the rising phase of the sigmoid growth function.

The high percent growth rate reflects in part the prior reduction of absolute income and in part the slack in an economy where the utilization of resources starts low.

The statistic you cite is important in the short term but has less meaning over the long term and can be misleading as is the statistic in your example.

Other economists would agree with me (and the argument above is what classical economists state to debunk the idea of a great economic miracle by the Chicago Boys in Chile.

Other than that your statistic would not have occurred without the context of the policies and actions I offered in an earlier posts.

You are over your head. You obviously do not understand the statistic you quote.

From the link you cited for the statistic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Chile

"Some economists (such as Nobel laureate Amartya Sen) have argued that the experience of Chile in this period indicates a failure of the economic liberalism posited by thinkers such as Friedman, claiming that there was little net economic growth from 1975 to 1982 (during the so-called “pure Monetarist experiment”). After the catastrophic banking crisis of 1982 the state controlled more of the economy than it had under the previous so-called "socialist" regime, and sustained economic growth only came after the later reforms that privatized the economy, while social indicators remained poor.[5] Pinochet’s dictatorship made the unpopular economic reorientation possible by repressing opposition to it. Rather than a triumph of the free market, the OECD economist Javier Santiso described this reorientation as “combining neo-liberal sutures and interventionist cures”.[6] By the time of sustained growth, the Chilean government had “cooled its neo-liberal ideological fever” and “controlled its exposure to world financial markets and maintained its efficient copper company in public hands”.[5]"

May 15, 2016

Venezuela under Chavez just could not benefit regardless of actions.

Care for the Venezuelan people does not appear to be reciprocal.

The $465 million was just for one year out of at least 8 years heating oil was provided to the poor in the USA.

Venezuela in good faith also provided low cost fuels to a number of other countries.

How much money has the war monger and empire contingent spent to destabilize Venezuela and other countries?

Has the now 18 years invested in Plan Colombia worked out?

Business opportunities and a pending free trade agreement that will penalize the poor and working class in favor of trans-national corporations?

Venezuela has never tried to deliberately destabilize our government and economy.

In 1938 Standard Oil of New Jersey sourced 38% of their oil from Venezuela, 38% of oil from the USA, and the remainder elsewhere, primarily Canada. Venezuela is the richest oil patch in the western hemisphere. Venezuela provided most of the fuel for the Allies in Europe in WWII, much processed at refiners on Aruba and Curacao. The biggest sin of Venezuela was to nationalize the oil sector (much like Gadaffi in Libya, Hussein in Iraq, and farther back Iran).

Neo-liberals want to do to Venezuela what has occurred in Colombia with coal. Our problem with Venezuela has more to do with access to cheap natural resources than humanitarian reasons.


Colombia and coal

Colombia is the world's tenth largest producer of hard coals and the fourth largest exporter of coal, based on 2009 data.[1] The U.S. Geological Survey states that Colombia is the largest coal producer in South America and has the largest reserves in the region. It also states that coal mining for export is booming in Colombia, with production having increased by 80% since 1999.[2][2]

Coal output in 2010 stood at 74.35 million tons, a 2% increase from 2009 but below the government's target of 80 million tons, reportedly due to unusually heavy rains in the last months of the year. Colombia's total coal exports for 2010 came in at 68.14 million tons. Carlos Rodado, Colombia's mining minister, has said coal output will reach 144 million tons in 2020.[3]


August 13, 2014.

Coal imports are rising sharply even as coal mines close throughout the Central Appalachia.

A big reason: Price. It costs $26 a ton to ship coal from Central Appalachia to power plants in Florida compared with $15 a ton to get coal from a mine in Colombia according to research firm IHS Energy.

Labor costs are lower in Colombia, and it's much more cost effective to move coal by ship, which can transport well over 50,000 tons of coal, than by train usually made of over 100 railcars, each carrying only 100 tons of coal. In addition, a global coal glut has weaken prices for Colombian coal.

Coal imports surged 44% to 5.4 million metric tons during the first 6 months of 2014, compared with a year ago, according to Global Trade Information Services. Two-thirds came from Colombia, which ramped up coal production and exported 24% more coal during the first five months, compared with the same period in 2013, the data provider said.

more at link.


What is not said is that there has been violence against union organizers and native people and the USA has established nine military bases in Colombia as well as military based in the Netherlands Antilles just off the coast of Venezuela.

May 14, 2016

Here are two comprhensive links on Rios Montt.

Montt had a curious link to the Gospel Outreach Church base in Eureka, CA and with missionaries in Guatemala.


When a Guatemalan court on May 10 found former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Ríos Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity while head of state, I like many indigenous Guatemalans was pleased. Officials in that Central American country had for decades committed atrocities with impunity.


General Ríos Montt had been clearly elected president in 1974, but blatant election fraud prevented him from taking office. Quixotically, he then fled to California and joined the Eureka-based Gospel Outreach fundamentalist movement.

After returning to Guatemala, Ríos Montt, along with two other military men seized power in a mostly bloodless coup in 1982 and formed a three-man junta. Less than three months after the coup, however, Ríos Mott dissolved the junta and became dictator.

Helping orchestrate the coup, according to the US liberal group Democratic Underground, were “gringo evangelical cronies [who were] co-founders of the Church of the Word, a Guatemala-based offshoot of Gospel Outreach.”

more at link.


Efraín Ríos Montt

Country: Guatemala.

Kill tally: About 70,000 Mayan peasants and political dissidents.

Background: Guatemala is invaded and colonized by the Spanish early in the 16th Century. The country proclaims its independence in 1821, but real reform is not achieved until 1944 when a civilian is elected president. However, the reformist government is overthrown by a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) backed coup d'état in June 1954.

An outbreak of protests against the now military-aligned government in March and April of 1962 marks the beginning a 34-year civil war between leftist guerrilla groups and the government for control of the country. The Mayan peasants are caught in the middle and suffer the brunt of the violence and killings.

More at link.

May 14, 2016

Results of the Democratic primaries in 1968

LBJ dropped out after barely defeating McCarthy in New Hampshire

RFK was likely to be the Democratic nominee had he not been murdered the evening he won the California primary.

Wallace did not run as a Democrat in 1968 but had run as a Democrat in 1964.

Not all states has primaries or caucuses as today.

I went to rallies for McCarthy, Humphrey, and Wallace in San Francisco. By fortuitous circumstances I got to meet McCarthy as I stayed in hotel with his entourage. At the Humphrey rally, long hairs / anti-war protesters were sorted and not allowed into the rally itself. I went to the Wallace rally on a high school, field trip and their were more protestors than supporters and Wallace seemed to like the interchange with those who mocked. RFK was not on the ballot in early primaries. Smathers and Young were favorite sons in Ohio and Florida.

Hubert Humphrey won a brokered convention in Chicago. Note there were only 13 states with primaries.

At the moment of Kennedy's death, the delegate totals were:
Hubert Humphrey 561
Robert Kennedy 393
Eugene McCarthy 258

Candidate Primaries Won Popular Vote % of Vote

McCarthy 6 2,914,933 37.3%

RF Kennedy 1 2,305,148 30,6%

Stephen Young 1 549,140 7.3%

LB Johnson 1 383,590 5.1%

George Smathers 1 236,242 3.1%

Hubert Humphrey 0 166,463 2.2%

The Final Ballot

Presidential tally

Hubert Humphrey 1759.25

Eugene McCarthy 601

Not Voting 604.25

Vice Presidential tally:

Edmund S. Muskie 1942.5

George S. McGovern 146.5

Julian Bond 48.5

Channing Phillips 67.5

David Hoeh 4

Daniel K. Moore 17.5

Edward M. Kennedy 12.75

Eugene McCarthy 3.0

Paul E. "Bear" Bryant 1.5

Others 16.25

James H. Gray 0.5

George Wallace 0.5


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