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Member since: Thu Jul 26, 2007, 05:26 PM
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What is the best way to store potatos?

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

How about a thread on storage and growing and recipes for potatoes?

My immediate and real question is regards storage in that I do not seem to be able top prevent sprouting.

Is storage different for different varieties?

I may plant potatoes in my small vegetable garden this Summer.

An annual seasonal dish from my Mother and Grandmother was new potatoes and peas.

The Helistat was a larger (343 ft to 302 ft) prototype built by the US Forest Service

between 1979 and 1986 (when it crashed and was destroyed.



LAKEHURST, N.J., July 1— A nine-story-high experimental aircraft that combined four helicopters and a blimp crashed and disintegrated tonight during a test flight at the United States Naval Air Engineering Center here, killing one of five crew members.


The craft is called a Helistat. Designed in particular to haul great loads of timber out of inaccessible virgin forests, it combined a 343-foot-long, one-million-cubic-foot Dacron bag – about five times the volume of a Goodyear blimp – and four old navy helicopters.

Forty-nine years ago, at the same Lakehurst air station, the hydrogen-filled German dirigible Hindenburg exploded only half a mile from the site of tonight’s accident. The Hindenburg disaster killed 36 people and brought to a close the short-lived era of transoceanic flight in lighter-than-air craft. Weight of 98,000 Pounds

In the craft that crashed tonight, the H-34 helicopters and the huge bag were attached to an aluminum superstructure about the size of a small bridge. While the bag and the rotors of the helicopters supplied lift, pusher propellers, one on each helicopter, gave the craft thrust. The Helistat weighed 98,000 pounds.


”It’s a project funded by the U.S. Forest Service,” Ms. Grieco said, ”and they called on the Navy to monitor the engineering progress. It’s not a Navy project. The forest service was testing for the feasibility of using it for logging puposes in inaccessible areas.”

The United States Forest Service expected the Helistat to lift 25 tons of timber and Mr. Piasecki was investigating military uses. But the General Accounting Office, viewing the proposal dubiously, criticized the Government for spending $24 million on the project over the past six years

more at link

From Their Cold Dead Hands | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS

Many members of the Democratic party would like to influence the Democratic party platform

and the presumptive nominee to reflect on past actions and policies and find a new approach.

Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be an adaptable and evolving individual who pays attention to public opinion.

One would hope for two outcomes:

1) The reflection on the recent past regards foreign interventions would evolve to where less aggressive and violent methods would be indicated in a general sense.

2) In the case of child soldiers, waivers of the Child Soldier Protection Act would not be a tool used by Hillary Clinton as a Democratic POTUS.

Both these outcomes are on the agenda of anti-war liberals within the Democratic party.

If no one says anything, there is little reason for Hillary Clinton and other political leaders to stop waivers of the Child Soldier Protection Act.

Child Soldier Protection Act


The Child Soldier Prevention Act (CSPA) is a United States federal statute signed into law by President George W. Bush on 3 October 2008. The law criminalizes leading a military force which recruits child soldiers. The law's definition of child soldiers includes "any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed forces."

The law was also intended to prevent arms trade by the United States with suspected countries, although the president may waive this rule in the national interest. President Barack Obama most recently waived the application of this rule on 28 September 2013 to Chad, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Are you for continued waivers of the Child Soldier Prevention Act (CSPA)?

Where is a better place to voice this opinion than at DU?

How would you voice such an opinion?

MLB expansion: Why Mexico City could be a top prospect -- or a bust

For decades, baseball has reaped the benefits of a profitable talent pipeline from Latin America.

Some of the biggest names in the game, such as Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio, Rod Carew and Juan Marichal and current stars Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano and David Ortiz, come from Latin America.

This season, Latin Americans made up 21.8 percent of MLB rosters on Opening Day -- and another 6.7 percent are Puerto Rican or Americans of Hispanic descent. But despite that region's influence on the game, it doesn't have a franchise to call its own.

MLB is working to expand its footprint in Mexico, and commissioner Rob Manfred has specifically mentioned Mexico City as a front-runner for an expansion franchise.

"The reason I have been interested in talking about Mexico is that maybe, of all the possible expansion sites, it has the greatest opportunities for synergies in the rest of our business," Manfred told ESPN's Jayson Stark.

more at: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/15476579/a-major-league-baseball-team-mexico-city-here-pros-cons

I would like to see something like adding MLB franchises simultaneously in Mexico City, Havana, San Juan, and Caracas. Maybe on a decade timeline?

Lots of good could come from this.

Smoot Hartley is a red herring and omits nearly 50 years of a successful history under GATT

-General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade - that was replaced by the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 1995.

In models, tariffs and trades reduce economic activity; but in practice, adjustments between nations and specific markets while reducing tariffs as a general principle is a more realistic and workable model (and is what occurred under GATT).

The Free Trade model works in theory but not in situ. General welfare and economic productivity are maximized if markets are free (including freedom from monopolies and cartels and labor is fairly compensated) and all parties cooperate in good faith. Also other items such as patents and mutual defense and so on .. are grafted into the legislation and treaties further weakening the theoretical model. So fortunes are made at a cost to labor and the environment and trade deficits and surpluses swing out of control -- what we have now.

Under GATT there was the concept of Most Favored Nation and under the WTO this has been replaced by the associations within various free trade agreements. The free trade model is a neo-liberal rather than Keynesian model.

Under WTO workers in developed and developing but natural resource rich nations have been harmed and there is a short term rush on easily to extract natural resources. The rich (nations or individuals) get rich and the poor poorer and all the wars and rumors of wars and financial shocks and meltdowns lead to even more instability and there are less firewalls between national economies than under GATT; the trans-national corporations rule and have scant alliance to nations. Maybe a unified global system is best and a future certainty but I doubt that we will ever reach such a utopia because it clashes with human nature and is too complex a system to maintain, especially when individuals and organizations are out to game the system.

The Chinese are smart and have built a large trade surplus but are not playing fair. The USA obtains cheap Colombia coal and exports environmental impact and in Colombia an elite only benefits.

Some items may be more expensive domestically but there will also be more income for purchases and paying taxes and income has a multiplier effect of fueling more jobs and income and then demand and more taxes.

One problem is that the concept of full employment is no longer operative. With all the technology and efficiency, there is no reason for everyone to work. But I believe anyway that folks should have a guaranteed income and surety of food, education, medical, and shelter plus reasonable transportation and some discretionary income. The income and wealth is there, just not shared.

I am surprised you brought up Smoot Hartley as that is bull shit and ignores GATT which was instrumental in the long period of post WWII prosperity.

How does the increase in use of cheap Colombian coal in the USA and northern Europe relate

to the transition from coal to natural gas?

The cheap coal extends the life of existing coal plants.

Hillary Clinton (and Bill Clinton before) and POTUS Obama (and one would suppose the Bushes and GOP) support Plan Colombia, US militarization of Colombia, and Colombia Free Trade.

Agree that environmental policy is complex and nuanced.

The NRDC Action Fund (and NRDC itself) are not the same as the 1970s and 1980s NRDC; the NRDC and affiliates have become corporate friendly (and to be cynical are buying future access with this endorsement - not likely to have been made by their more "pure" than the NRDC of the 1970s and 1980s.

Please look and respond to my other posts in this thread.

Note that Plan Colombia - part of neo-con plan for global dominance -

was put into place under Bill Clinton.

Prior to GWB, military base contracts were obtained for Soto Cano airbase in Honduras, Manta Airbase in Ecuador, and FOLs on Curacao and Aruba in the Dutch Antilles directly off the coast of Venezuela. The Manta base has been closed because an American contractor bomber FARC hostage negotiators from France and Venezuela within Ecuador. The Aruba FOL is inactive but improvements but facilities build and improvements made (air strip lengthened for fighters and bombers) and the contract with the Dutch is still in place. The Arubans did not like the FOL as early on rather than DEA and customs, US contractors sent F-15s to bomb FARC-led resistance to the Drummond railroad. Aruba operations were shifted to Curacao which was expanded.

Under POTUS Obama the USA entered contract relations for seven military bases within Colombia in support of Plan Colombia and the free trade agreement.

More about Soto Cano.



Soto Cano Air Base (commonly known as Palmerola Air Base) is a Honduran military base 5 mi (8.0 km) to the south of Comayagua in Honduras. It houses between 500-600 US troops and is also used by the Honduran Air Force academy. The airbase became operational in 1981, changing the old location of the Honduras Air Force Academy in Toncontin, Tegucigalpa to Palmerola.

The US government once used Palmerola as a base of operations to support its foreign policy objectives in the 1980s. Now the US military uses Soto Cano as a launching point for counter-narcotics missions in Central America as well as humanitarian aid missions throughout Honduras and Central America.

In 1990 Honduran President Rafael Leonardo Callejas decreed that commercial cargo flights were authorized to operate from Soto Cano. In 2008 President Manuel Zelaya announced that commercial flights would begin at Palmerola within a period of 60 days, after a crash at Toncontín International Airport which resulted in 5 deaths was blamed on the runway being too short at Toncontín. Following an investigation into the incident, Pilot error was found to be the main cause. The military was placed in charge of building a civilian air terminal with funding from the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (enabled by emergency decrees). This however was cancelled after Zelaya was removed from office on June 28, 2009 in the 2009 Honduran coup d'état. The airport authority and the government of Honduras resumed airport relocation talks in April 2011 and announced that work on the new Palmerola airport would start by the fall of 2011 after years of efforts to replace Toncontín International with an airport at Palmerola in Comayagua where the Soto Cano Air Base is located. However, in a September 25, 2011 update, President Lobo stated officials were still "evaluating the pros and cons" of constructing the new airport. This comes three years after former President Manuel Zelaya had announced that all commercial flights would be transferred to Soto Cano Air Base; however, work on the new terminal at Soto Cano was then cancelled after Zelaya was removed from office on 28 June 2009 in the 2009 Honduran coup d'état.

The Colombia Free Trade legislation supports continued use of coal and

has other less than progressive effects as well.

Drummond Coal is based in Alabama and has closed all but one union domestic coal mine (slated for closure) because of the purchase and operation of one of the world's largest coal mines in Colombia that started operations in 1995, The union coal that once fueled power generation for Alabama Power is now fueled by cheap Colombia coal. Drummond is the 5th largest coal exporter in the world thanks to Colombia coal. Drummond built a railroad and transport facility in Colombia and has been implicated in the funding of paramilitaries and murder of trade unionists and native peoples in Colombia, there have been prosecutions but no convictions to date. Drummond has been convicted and paid fines for environmental problems in Colombia as there is local resistance even from Colombia establishment, not just workers and poor that live on impacted land.

Drummond operations are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Colombia free trade legislation. Drummond is a private company that has sold 20% of the Colombia operations to the Chinese. Gary Drummond, majority owner, is the richest person in Alabama and a Bushite.

The cheap coal from Colombia provided by Drummond is sold in the USA to the South and northeast. The Drummond coal is not only cheap but also of good quality and relatively low polluting compared to most coal. The large amount of cheap coal provided by Drummond is keeping coal plants online and suppresses shifts to natural gas and cleaner, renewable energies like solar and wind. The costs of transition, the low cost coal, and the fact that Drummond's Colombia operations are still relatively young in growth cycle and still expanding indicate that the Colombia free trade legislation represents a long term commitment to coal. Drummond is also the largest exporter of coal to northern Europe and has started exports to China. When there is a railroad and export facilty ion the Pacific side one could expect a great increase in exports to China. The huge reserves, high quality, cheap labor, cheap transportation, and relatively lax environmental controls indicate Drummond's Colombia coal will be here for some time. The Colombia free trade legislation locks this in and Drummond is the largest corporation in financial gain.

Here is some background;


Drummond Ltd. describes itself as "principally engaged in the business of mining, purchasing, processing and selling of coal and coal derivatives."

On its website it states that it "controls reserves totaling over 2 billion tons and shipped over 24 million tons of coal in 2006. Drummond primarily produces low sulfur or compliance coal, meeting Phase II requirements of the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act." The company's current mining operations are in Alabama in the United States and its La Loma mine in Cesar Department in Colombia, serving customers in both the U.S. and Europe.

A November 2007 presentation to investment analysts by the President of BHP Billiton Coal, Dave Murray, noted that Drummond had an 5% share of the global coal export trade, making it the equal fifth largest coal exporter in the world. (Drummond is equal with Shenhua).

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


Colombia's Drummond coal exports to reach 28 mil mt in 2015: reports

Colombia's second largest thermal coal miner Drummond is to export 28 million mt in 2015, up from the previous year's 23.1 million mt, Drummond Colombia president Jose Miguel Linares said.

Speaking to journalists on Friday and as reported by various Colombian news outlets, Linares said the Fenoco nighttime rail ban, which affected shipments between February and November, cost the company between 4.5 million and 5.5 million mt of exports during the year.

However, if Fenoco railings continue unhindered in 2016, total exports are expected to reach 35 million mt, with output marginally lower than that, Linares said.

In a more detailed interview with Colombian financial daily La Republica, Linares said that assuming Colombian coal is priced at an average of $48/mt FOB, coal sales might be around $1.68 billion in 2016.


Why Drummond and Glencore are accused of exporting Colombian blood coal (July 2, 2014)

The push to boycott “blood coal” exported from Colombia by Drummond and Glencore is gaining momentum in Europe after the publication of a report in which dozens of victims and victimizers testified that the multinational mining companies financed and promoted death squads.

MORE: Drummond, Glencore subsidiary financed paramilitaries in Colombia: Report

What is blood coal?

“Blood coal,” a reference to the infamous “blood diamonds” mined amid conflict conditions in Africa, is the term used by the PAX peace organization to refer to coal extracted from areas in Colombia where paramilitary violence has been particularly severe. “According to all the testimonies, the mining companies invited the paramilitaries to come over and start operations.”

According to the Dutch NGO, coal coming from the Colombian mines of the Glencore and Drummond multinationals has been stained by blood, as several members of the death squads guilty of an estimated 2,600 homicides in the areas surrounding their mining operations have testified their formation was supported and financed by the mining firms.

The report has already spurred a debate in the Dutch Parliament around the importation of Colombian coal. The NGO wants parliament to ban the trade of Colombian coal until the multinationals in question have implemented appropriate measures to guarantee the end of human rights violations related to mining and compensated victims of the violence they are accused of having financed.

A quarter of the small European country’s total coal imports is deemed “blood coal” by the NGO. In total, the Netherlands imported 15.4 million tons of coal from Colombia last year.


Garry N. Drummond, Sr. (born c. 1939) is an American heir, business executive and philanthropist from Alabama. He serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Drummond Company, a private coal company active in Alabama and Colombia.
Drummond Company

In 1961, Drummond joined the family business, the Drummond Company, a coal company active in Alabama. He later served as its Chief Operating Officer. He has served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1973. The company is active in coal-mining in Alabama and Colombia.

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. The trial lasted three months, but it was dismissed by Judge Frank McFadden; the record is now sealed.

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

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

Based on history, I would expect Hillary Clinton to be a weak environmental POTUS.

Why? Fracking, big oil, Keystone, supporter of MIC, supporter of carbon offset credits, supporter of free trade deals

POTUS Obama has been weak on the environment regards to priority of the issue.

Stopping war is a most forward environmental initiative as there is nothing more damaging to the environment and wasteful of natural resources than war.

The major environmental groups that rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s have become corporatized and weak sauce but good careers for a few since peaking in effectiveness in the 1980s, this includes the Natural Resource Defense Council and its affiliate NRDC Action Fund. NRDC can no longer be described as a grass roots organization. NRDC focuses on politics and fund raising and is part of the status quo. I am not claiming that NRDC is a "bad" organization but that it is a mature organization subject to corporate capture and is not the same grass roots organization as when came to prominence. NRDC maintains access to politicians and corporations now by a willingness to be part of the system and stay within that box.

The wiki for NRDC mentions five court cases; three were progressive environmental initiatives in the 1970s and 1980s, the last two are from the 113th Congress and one could argue the nuance is more to protect specific corporate from grass roots interests.

From wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Resources_Defense_Council

NRDC opposed the Water Rights Protection Act (H.R. 3189; 113th Congress), a bill that would prevent federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States in order to use public lands. According to opponents, the bill is too broad. They believe the bill "could also block federal fisheries agencies like the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from requiring flows that help salmon find fish ladders and safely pass over dams."

Proponents of the bill disagree with NRDC's stance on the bill, arguing that the current Federal policy defended by NRDC seeks to make users of public lands turn over water rights which in many cases they have paid state or local governments for. Operators of ski areas, ranchers, and farmers, and other users of public land say that the Federal policy defended by NRDC denies them rights to use water for which they have already paid, effectively denying them use of the land. The Water Rights Protection Act is supported by national ski area groups, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Conservation Districts, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Family Farm Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, the Colorado River Conservation District, the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, and other interests threatened by existing Federal water policy in the West which the NRDC is defending.

NRDC supported the EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 (H.R. 5057; 113th Congress), a bill that would exempt certain external power supplies from complying with standards set forth in a final rule published by the United States Department of Energy in February 2014. The United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce describes the bill as a bill that "provides regulatory relief by making a simple technical correction to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act to exempt certain power supply (EPS) service and spare parts from federal efficiency standards."

Effect on administrative law

The NRDC has been involved in the following Supreme Court cases interpreting United States administrative law.
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U.S. 519 (1978), which held that courts could not impose additional procedural requirements on administrative agencies beyond that required by the agency's organic statute or the Administrative Procedure Act.
Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), which gave administrative agencies broad discretion to interpret statute to make policy changes if Congressional intent was unclear. Chevron is now the most-cited case in American case law, even more so than all the citations to famous decisions such as Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade combined.
Baltimore Gas & Elec. Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 462 U.S. 78 (1983) is a United States Supreme Court decision which held to be valid a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rule that the permanent storage of nuclear waste should be assumed to have no environmental impact during the licensing of nuclear power plants.

Regards the NRDC Action Fund:

http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/about/ and,


One should note that about 85% of NRDC Action Fund contributions go to pay W-2 salaries of between $175,000 and $422,000 and these same individuals each had between $35,000 to $63,000 of income from actions related to the NRDC but not NRDC Action Fund W-2 income.
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