Just before Christmas, the true cost and danger of coal became apparent in the town of Harriman, Tennessee.
On the morning of December 22, the earthen dam at the Kingston Power Plant containing coal fly ash failed catastrophically, unleashing a six-foot wall of toxic water and mud.
By the time the flood subsided, more than a billion gallons of coal sludge had damaged 15 homes -- three beyond repair -- before pouring into the nearby Emory and Clinch rivers.
In comparison, the Exxon Valdez spilled a "mere" 11 million gallons of crude oil. And the coal fly ash spill in Harriman is three times larger than the October, 2000 coal sludge spill in Martin County, Kentucky, which the EPA called "the largest environmental disaster east of the Mississippi."
read more at iLoveMountains.org
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
it's amazing to see what the chipster, running for chair of the republican national committee, thinks is humorous. i would hate to see what he finds offensive.
guess there are folks out there who think this is fun, but i get the feeling most of us are interested in living together in the world. most people my age have children and grandchildren. my parents even have great-grandchildren.
the people i hang out with care what kind of world we pass on and we are very distressed by much of the history we are making now. President Obama will not do things the way i would like a good part of the time, i suspect. i will talk about it. as i already have. i will communicate with his administration as i do now as he prepares to start his new job on jan. 20th. i am hopeful because he has shown himself to be one of the smartest, most thoughtful, calmest people i have seen in politics.
i hope the politics of hate, division, fear and greed will get sidelined and we will work together, recognize each other and our common humanity and save the planet for those who come after. it's not going to be easy. i still like the definition of a dysfunctional family "it's a family with more than one person in it." pesky humans!!! i know my life would be alot easier at times without the human condition (mine included), but ultimately it is soooooo worth it.
By Amanda Terkel at 9:50 am
RNC Chair Candidate Distributes ‘Barack The Magic Negro’ As His Christmas Greeting
Last year, Rush Limbaugh came under intense criticism for repeatedly airing a parody song called “Barack the Magic Negro” by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin. The song, which dealt with Obama’s popularity amongst white voters, was widely attacked as being racist. Doing an Al Sharpton impersonation, Shanklin sings the song to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Limbaugh, however, tried to defend it as “creative” and “funny.” Listen to the song here:
full post at Think Progress
and stay tuned this just gets better!!!!
Blackwell defends Saltsman
Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State who appears to be leading in the race to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, is defending a rival who distributed a CD containing a song called "Barack the Magic Negro," and dismissing criticism as a sign of media "hypersensitivity" to race.The rival, former Huckabee aide Chip Saltsman, came under fire today from the sitting Republican Party chairman, Mike Duncan, who said he was "shocked and appalled" by the move, Mike Allen reported
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
["Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." - Matthew 7:15 ]
Here's a news-flash for Pastor Warren: people object to him, not because he calls himself a Christian, but because he's a bigot... and a bold faced liar.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Back when I was a boy, around Xmas time, children were threatened with lumps of coal. Parents used to say that if children weren't well behaved, Santa Claus wouldn't leave them anything but a lump of coal in their Xmas stockings.
COALergy "Smudge" Ad
Monday, December 22, 2008
So Obama wants to reach out and end the divisiveness? I could see inviting people with all sorts of viewpoints to gather and discuss how we might find common ground, but I don't get giving a gay-bashing preacher a center-stage spot in the inauguration... I just don't get it.
Gay Bashing As Means of Ending Division?
by: David Sirota - Mon Dec 22, 2008
Has anyone bothered to explain how giving a gay basher a national platform is a decision made in the name of ending division? I'm really confused - there are lots of clergypeople in America who haven't gay bashed. And remember - it's not just that Rick Warren is against gay marriage, it's that he's very publicly attacked gay people with the worst kinds of slander.
How are Barack Obama and Joe Biden publicly claiming that their selection of Rick Warren to deliver a prayer at the inauguration is in the interest of ending division?
I mean, if they want to say its in the interest of appeasing right-wing Christians, fine - at least that makes some logical sense (as odious as such a motivation would be). But in the interest of ending division? Say what? Since when did elevating a person who bashes one group of Americans become a move specifically designed to stop division? ...(more)
And a thought on how Obama's gesture may be viewed by those on the Right.
Some other 'bridge-building' invitees to Obama's inauguration
By David Neiwert - Saturday Dec 20, 2008
It seems Barack Obama's decided to invite Pastor Rick Warren, the noted homophobe, to offer the invocation at his Inauguration as a kind of "bridge building" gesture. Maybe he's able to look into his soul or something.
It's understandable, given his background as a community organizer (not to mention someone who pitches "the audacity of hope"), that Obama believes you can reach out a hand to movement conservatives and build such bridges. Indeed, he's made it clear all along that's the kind of guy he is.
I just hope that when he finally gets that hand back after reaching it out and discovers it has been chewed clean down to the bone by a thousand vicious cuts that he has a little awakening about the nature of the nasty little beast the American Right has become in the past couple of decades. Such gestures for them are mere signs of weakness, nothing but opportunities to advance themselves and their agendas and to destroy liberals. ...(more)
UPDATE: This witty little comment from Barney Frank just reinforces the point.
Frank: I'm Suffering From Post-Partisan Depression
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Obama's Talking Points On Rick Warren
December 18, 2008 11:13 AM
he talks about having a discourse with those we disagree with....i agree. however featuring this guy in the historic inaugural ceremony is deeply offensive and insulting. it also seems so unnecessary. there are soooooooo many better choices. as an earthiest, i am not coming from a denominational preference, but i certainly have heard religious folks whose words i have admired and appreciated. this just gives me a sick feeling in my stomach, like i imagine it might feel if one was punched.
Sarah says it very well here.....
What's the Matter With Rick Warren?
By Sarah Posner
December 17, 2008
Now it has officially gone too far: Democrats, in their zeal to appear friendly to evangelical voters, have chosen celebrity
preacher and best-selling author Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration.
There was no doubt that Obama, like every president before him, would pick a Christian minister to perform this sacred
duty. But Obama had thousands of clergy to choose from, and the choice of Warren is not only a slap in the face to progressive ministers toiling on the front lines of advocacy and service but a bow to the continuing influence of the religious right in American politics. Warren vocally opposes gay marriage, does
not believe in evolution, has compared abortion to the Holocaust and backed the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
i am worried.... vilsack smells like more of the same. a criminal, sad, greed driven legacy to pass on to those who come after.....i hope i am wrong..
It's Vilsack: Obama Picks Pro-GMO and Pro-Biofuels Ag Secretary
Posted by Tara Lohan, AlterNet at 4:42 AM on December 17, 2008.
………..So how will we fare with Vilsack in this position? Nichols again:
Vilsack is a capable administrator with the right partisan credentials.
But he was only at the top of the list of Agriculture secretary prospects because he is a prominent Democrat who comes from what Washington insiders know as a "farm state." As governor of Iowa, Vilsack had to engage with farm issues. But that embrace was anything but inspired. Family farm activists, fair-trade campaigners
and advocates for organic foods were regularly disappointed by the stands he took. The Organic Consumers Association was blunt, declaring: "Vilsack has a glowing reputation as being a schill for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto."
As I was researching the water grab by t boone pickens, I came face to face with the barbaric practice of hydraulic fracture drilling used in the acquisition of natural gas. This is right up there with blowing the tops off of mountains to get the coal. These terrible practices must be stopped. We should immediately add the externalities. Citizens water supplies have been ruined. 92% of the chemicals used for “fracting” pose health hazards and are passed on in the huge amounts of water waste generated by this practice. And what about the huge amounts of our precious water resource used. These legacies will be past on to our children and their children. These greed driven profiteers owe our descendants. They should immediately be responsible for cleaning up their mess. THESE BARBARIC PRACTICES MUST BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY!!!!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
seems to love it as pointed out in this really nice water article.
Blue Is the New Green
A range of alternative energy technologies are available to us today; there is, however, no substitute for water. But there are new ways of thinking about water that can help us make better use of the available supply. (Pickens, by the way, is now actively buying up water rights in Texas.)
Does he hate our water….?????
Poisoned Water: T. Boone Pickens Promotes Practice that Threatens Drinking Water
Carol Forsloff Citizen Journalist
…………And one of the biggest problems, despite the fact that Louisiana is swampy, is that citizens may have unsafe drinking water as a consequence. Look sharply,citizens in other states: this issue may be coming to your backyard as well. Nearly ten years ago the National Audubon Society maintained hat Louisiana and the nation are losing a national treasure, the Atchafalaya Basin, Cypress trees were logged off in the Basin in order for oil and gas companies to exercise their mineral rights. The consequences to the environment are readily seen in the stark ugliness that now is reflected in the swamps of South Louisiana. This issue affects the State of Louisiana as well as the rest of the United States, given pollution problems and reduction of flood control. The rest of the country has had to step in to help the City of New Orleans, still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. It is impossible to drink from public fountains in New Orleans and most of South Louisiana because the water has been polluted by the chemicals from the oil companies that have crept into the soil, according to experts.
Hydraulic fractured drilling is the type of exploration means for extracting natural gas out of the ground, allowing pipelines to be placed horizontally under land surfaces miles from target areas. This means someone can continue life as usual in an ordinary home while the land beneath is being drilled. But here’s the ultimate irony. That life as usual in Louisiana homes won’t be life as usual because the water used for the extraction is polluted with toxic chemicals making it unfit to use for drinking. Already people in California and Colorado, other places where fractured drilling has taken place, have complained about drinking water tainted with chemicals
Or does he want to own our water…???? And what, sell it back to us…??? Will he sell water that has been contaminated by the barbaric practice of hydraulic fracture drilling?????
great video here....
This article has good graphics and sound describing hydralic fracture drilling practice. Sounds barbaric and we should immediately stop this practice. Huge amounts of water is used in this process and toxic waste is generated. Of a host of “fracing chemicals” used 92% are known to have health effects.
The Pickens Plan and T. Boone Pickens Water Rights Grab, Video Recap
It’s been a few days without any word about T. Boone Pickens and the Pickens Plan, so I was starting to feel a bit uneasy. After all, shouldn’t spending $58 million on a national PR tour bring you into the spotlight just about every day? I’d want it to be all Pickens all the time if I were him. Unfortunately for Boone—as I’ve learned that his friends call him, thanks to the video clip linked above—not all his publicity has been good.
For those people not up to speed on The Pickens Plan, Boone’s plans for water in west Texas, and how those two are linked, ViroPOP has a short video introduction to the topic. It sums up several posts we’ve done here at TreeHugger in a about two and a half minutes of ‘a cut every second won’t distract people will it?’ video goodness.
Plan for Hydro-Fracture Drilling for Unconventional Natural Gas in
Upstate New York
........Here's a slideshow of some of the key images. I'll have more on this as information becomes available. Kudos to WNYC and ProPublica for uncovering this in a great example of investigative journalism.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I decided to take advantage of TVW's wonderful embed feature to post video of our Washington State Electors voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Personally, I was delighted by the diversity of the Electors and by their heartfelt enthusiasm.
Bellingham Herald Politics Reporter Sam Taylor has coverage of our (2nd CD) Elector, Maggie Hanson.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We had our monthly meeting today and it was a celebration, a thank-you, and a lively discussion about our upcoming reorganization meeting coming up January 10,2009, at the Machinists Hall, 2064 Vista Dr. in Ferndale, WA. (10:00am-12:00pm) All the known candidates running for Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary were present. One possible candidate for vice chair was present and one was unable to attend. Both known candidates for State Committeeman and State Committeewoman were there. Thank you Rick for the amazing festive ambiance and meal..WOW! And thanks to everybody for all your hard work this last year and enthusiasm and good ideas going forward. It does my heart good to be associated with such a great group of people.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
her comment that had me cracking up was "if Barack Obama had gotten into politics to steal, he sure picked the wrong time, cuz we're broke!"
Randi has had the best analysis of this breaking scandal from day one.
December 11, 2008, 10:57 am — Updated: 2:09 pm -->
The Obama Press Conference
By Katharine Q. Seelye
President-elect Barack Obama introduced former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary-designate on Thursday in Chicago.
Bottom Line 11:59 a.m.
Mr. Obama was certainly more assertive in his condemnation of the Illinois
scandal than he had been a couple of days ago, and he stated flatly that he
had no involvement with the selling of his Senate seat.
Obama discusses being involved in politics as public service vs viewing
politics as a business at about 12 minutes into this video. (first question)
Monday, December 08, 2008
Maggie's choice for favorite song
all videos here
Thursday, December 04, 2008
'Reality' Coalition Launches Campaign Debunking 'Clean Coal' Myth
http://www.thisisreality.org/In reality, there is no such thing as clean coal. Join Reality. We're going to challenge the clean coal myth and make sure misleading articles, false statements and other hype don't go unanswered.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
dear change.gov #5
I just read the White House is getting ready to push through another final rule that will fast track the destruction of, the world’s 2nd most diverse forest on planet earth, the mountains of Appalachia.
The people in this region are being sacrificed now and ultimately our descendents will be deprived of this beautiful place. I am hoping this can be stopped. Is blowing the tops off of mountains and ruining the water and land of the people who live there the best we can do?? This is a planetary emergency. Please do everything you can to stop this barbaric practice. Allowing more dumping into streams and valleys will just make it easier to continue business as usual. This is one of the saddest, greed-driven legacies we can possibly pass on to those who come after.
That East Coast Elitist Bill O'Reilly has been calling our Governor names and trying to stick his nose into our business, but Goldy 'o' horsesass.org stuck up for our Western ways of liberty & free speech... on Billo's TV show.
In case you're not an obsessive follower of the Christmas time war on freedom of religion and free speech, here's a link to the article about 'the billboard' that Billo was babbling on about
* Did you know that (Mr. sticking up for the little guy) Bill O'Reilly attended Harvard and the University of London!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Local conservatives frequently complain that the "liberal" city of Bellingham (B'ham) dominates Whatcom County politics.
It's a strange claim since 61% of the county's voters live outside of Bellingham.
This years election proved, once again, that Whatcom county is a blue county. Barack Obama received 58% of the vote in Whatcom County. A majority of voters in the unincorporated precincts (what we call; out in the county) cast there ballots for Obama. We rural voters account for 45% of the county's votes.
In the smaller cities, Obama received a majority of the votes in Blaine & Ferndale.
With 65% of the county's votes, Congressman Rick Larsen (D) was even more popular than Barack Obama.
Whatcom County, WA
Registered voters 115314
ballots cast 101399
voter turnout 87.93%
county (unincorporated) precincts
ballots cast 46078 (45% of all WC votes cast)
voter turnout 87.10%
City of B'ham
ballots cast 39673 (39% of all WC votes cast)
voter turnout 89.05%
City of Blaine
ballots cast 2313
voter turnout 85.89%
City of Everson
ballots cast 941
voter turnout 85.08%
City of Ferndale
ballots cast 4856
voter turnout 85.80%
City of Lynden
ballots cast 6564 (6.5% of all WC votes cast)
voter turnout 90.38%
City of Nooksack
ballots cast 475
voter turnout 85.43%
City of Sumas
ballots cast 499
voter turnout 85.59%
Monday, December 01, 2008
Saturdays Des Moines Register says that Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) has returned from a trip to Afghanistan.
USFOR-A put out a press release that says Congressman Larsen and other members of the Armed Services Committee visited with troops on Thanksgiving Day.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES AFGHANISTAN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 27, 2008
Release Number 20082711-02
House Armed Services Committee delegation visits Camp Eggers
by Petty Officer 1st Class Cliff Williams
Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan Public Affairs
KABUL, Afghanistan — Servicemembers at Camp Eggers shared breakfast with several members of the House Armed Services Committee, or HASC, delegation during their visit on Thanksgiving Day to Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, or CSTC-A, headquarters.
Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., HASC chairman, along with Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas; Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash.; Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa.; Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam; and Rep. David Loebsack, D-Iowa, spent time with several servicemembers from their respective states.
Servicemembers had the opportunity to ask questions of their congressmen. They also received letters of encouragement from elementary and high school students from their home states.
The visit was part of the delegation’s trip to American forces commands in various areas in Afghanistan over a two-day period. In Kabul, the delegation was briefed by Maj. Gen. Robert W. Cone, CSTC-A commanding general.
CSTC-A provides advisors, mentors and trainers to help the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior with organizing, training, equipping and supporting Afghan National Security Forces in order to defeat the insurgency; provide internal security; extend and enforce the rule of law; set conditions for economic development; and gain the trust and confidence of the citizens of Afghanistan.
It's nice to know that, our Representative, Rick Larsen takes his job seriously.