Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


limpyhobbler's Journal
limpyhobbler's Journal
May 31, 2012

BREAKING: Two Arrested at Private Meeting Between Gas Industry and Politicians in Trumbull County

Brookfield, Ohio — Two Trumbull County residents were arrested Thursday afternoon outside the Ohio Shale Forum, another closed-to-the-public meeting on fracking attended by Ohio Governor Kasich, officials, legislators, and gas drilling representatives in Brookfield, Ohio at the Yankee Lake Ballroom.

John Williams and Jeremy Bingham of McDonald, OH were each charged with criminal trespass. They have been released without bond and are scheduled to appear in Brookfield Township Court next Thursday. Williams, a 55-year-old Coast Guard veteran, was arrested for attempting to gain access to the meeting, citing concerns about the environmental and health impacts of increased drilling in his hometown. Williams commented, “Anytime public officials convene with corporate executives without the public being invited to the table, it is plain wrong. If fracking is so safe, then why are they hiding from us? If our public officials are so intent on being legally right but morally wrong but, then we have no problem being legally wrong but morally right.”

Before his arrest, Williams presented Rep. Tom Letson of Trumbull County with information regarding industry donations to Ohio state legislators and asked to be allowed inside the ballroom. Rep. Letson refused to assist Williams in gaining access to the meeting.

Bingham, 21-years-old, had left the property upon request of the police and returned in order to film Williams’ arrest. He was then arrested without any opportunity to leave the premises. Police also confiscated literature from protesters who were attempting to voice their concerns at the entrance to the ballroom.


When Kasich and the legislators meet with oil company reps., they prefer it to be in secret...

May 31, 2012

ALEC Slips Exxon Fracking Loopholes into New Ohio Law

Wake up and smell the frack fluid! But don't ask what's in it, at least not in Ohio, cause it's still not your right to know.

Ohio is in the final stages of making an Exxon trojan horse on hydrofracking into state law, and it appears that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) connected Exxon's lawyers with co-sponsors of Ohio Senate Bill 315: at least 33 of the 45 Ohio legislators who co-sponsored SB 315 are ALEC members, and language from portions of the state Senate bill is similar to ALEC's "Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Composition Act."

...disclosure of fracking fluids? On behalf of ExxonMobil?!

Frack fluids include unknown chemicals that gas drillers mix with sand and large amounts of water. The mixture is pumped underground at high pressure in order to retrieve gas and oil by fracturing shale formations. These are the chemicals that have caused widespread concern among residents near gas fracking operations, concerns echoed by doctors who don't know how to treat patients harmed by exposure to chemicals that oil companies keep secret. Oil companies like XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, the first company lined up to drill in Ohio's Utica shale.

Concern over unconventional energy like gas fracking may be the reason why Ohio SB 315 also addresses clean energy standards and drilling regulations. While the new law will allow doctors to obtain disclosure of fracking chemicals, it places a gag order on them ... meaning some chemicals aren't disclosed to the public at all (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Instead, chemicals that subsidiaries of Big Oil use during fracking can remain exempt from public disclosure as "trade secrets," mirroring language of ALEC's model law.

complete piece: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/05/11556/alec-slips-exxon-fracking-loopholes-new-ohio-law

May 31, 2012

Tell Congress: Keep My Inbox Away From the Government

Update: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act), so the fight is moving to the Senate. Congress is now going to attempt to pass legislation on the Senate side and then conference it with the House bill. We can't let that happen.

Tell Congress not to compromise the civil liberties of Internet users. Call your Senators today.

The Senate is moving quickly on cybersecurity legislation that could undermine our core privacy rights. Please call your Senators and tell them not to sacrifice the civil liberties of Internet users with this dangerously vague legislation.

These “cybersecurity” bills would give companies a free pass to monitor and collect communications, including huge amounts of personal data like your text messages and emails. Tell Congress that they can’t use vaguely defined "cybersecurity threats" as a shortcut to shredding the Constitution.

go see: https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8609
May 31, 2012

Pennsylvania Doctors Worry Over Fracking 'Gag Rule'

A new law in Pennsylvania has doctors nervous.

The law grants physicians access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need to know what's in those formulas in order to treat patients who may have been exposed to the chemicals.

But the new law also says that doctors can't tell anyone else — not even other doctors — what's in those formulas. It's being called the "doctor gag rule."

Plastic surgeon Amy Pare practices in suburban Pittsburgh where she does reconstructive surgeries and deals with a lot of skin issues. She tells me about one case, a family who brought in a boy with strange skin lesions.


May 31, 2012

France moves to cap executive pay at state firms

(Reuters) - France's new government will flesh out plans to cap the pay of top executives at state-controlled companies by mid-June, laying down a marker in a Europe-wide debate fuelled by waves of austerity and rising unemployment.

Elected this month promising to curb the privileges enjoyed by France's wealthy and powerful, Socialist President Francois Hollande pledged during campaigning to limit senior executives' salaries to a maximum of 20 times that of their lowest-paid employee.

"We are working on plans for pay at public companies to be cut," Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told journalists on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting. These would be ready in two weeks, he said.

High executive pay has become a hot topic on both sides of the Atlantic, with U.S. and European companies seeing a rise in AGM votes against remuneration packages...

complete piece: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/05/30/us-france-pay-idINBRE84T0XK20120530


Follow up activity questions:
So could we ever pass a law capping executive salaries in the United States?
We could but not right now. The government is currently too controlled by the wealthy special interests.

What would it take for the USA to pass a law like that?
We would have to do something to shake things up a little first, and then pass the law. Like the civil rights activists did in the 60s. And then they got the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act passed. Basically we have to flex some people-power muscles to counter the big money.

Does the US federal government even have the authority to set a maximum wage for executives at private companies?
Yes of course. If we can set a minimum wage then we can set a maximum wage.

May 29, 2012

Peru declares emergency after 2 killed in protest

Source: Boston Globe (boston.com)

LIMA, Peru—Peru's government declared a 30-day state of emergency in a highland province on Monday after it said two people were killed and dozens of police officers injured in violent anti-mining protests.

Interior Minister Wilver Calle told a news conference that 30 police officers were hurt in clashes near Cuzco when protesters pummeled police with rocks and set fire to pasture.

The protesters claim the Tinaya copper mine owned by Swiss-based Xstrata plc is contaminating local water supplies and sickening farm animals.

Calle announced the deaths but did not explain how they occurred other than to say that police were forced to open fire on protesters in self-defense. He said 46 police officers had been hurt in protests on Sunday.

Read more: http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2012/05/28/peru_declares_emergency_after_2_killed_in_protest/

May 29, 2012

Koch Group Offers Illinois Residents Free Food, Trips To Wisconsin To Support Governor Scott Walker

David Koch, co-owner of the Koch Industries petrochemical, manufacturing and commodity speculation fortune, hasn’t been shy about supporting Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), whose controversial union-busting agenda has forced a recall election this summer. Earlier this year, Koch told the Palm Beach Post: “We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”

Indeed, Koch has spent millions through the Republic Governors Association, through a network of attack-ad airing front groups, and financed a set of local Wisconsin think tanks to show support for Walker.

Now, it appears, Koch is spending money even in Illinois to help save Walker. Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers, is advertising bus trips with free food for Illinois residents who commit to traveling to Wisconsin to help Walker:

The buses leave from Chicago, Homer Glen, and Palatine on June 2nd — just days before the Wisconsin recall election.

May 28, 2012

The Poverty of Nations

There is plenty of wealth to go around in the world, but it’s tied up in too few hands for democratic capitalism to operate efficiently for society at large. Thus, in order to maintain civil order, totalitarianism increasingly becomes a byproduct of this conundrum.

According to Forbes 2011 survey of billionaires, they hit all-time new records for total wealth and numbers (the total count of billionaires is 1,210), thanks to reverse Robin Hood taxation policies that impoverish government coffers, i.e., Federal Tax Receipts, whilst transferring those dollars, via a doctored tax code, into the pockets of tens of thousands of millionaires and billionaires. The total count of what Forbes refers to as High Net Worth Individuals is 871,000 people worldwide worth over $30 million each, implying total wealth of $26-to>$50 trillion; $26 trillion is nearly twice the size of the U.S. economy.

Wealth creation has increasingly become the key measurement of capitalism’s efficacy ever since Adam Smith’s magnum opus An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) aka: The Wealth of Nations, wherein he expounds upon how rational self-interest and competition lead to economic prosperity for society at large, American industry and government have been guided by these free-market principles. For over 200 years, with bumps & lumps along the way, prosperity reigned, and Adam Smith would be smiling. But, for reasons he describes within his own treatise, Adam Smith would be frowning today because of the sorry state of capitalistic nation-states.

Again and again, Smith warned the general public that a true laissez-faire economy could become a conspiracy of business and industry scheming to influence politics and legislation against the best interests of the consuming public.

complete piece: http://www.ukprogressive.co.uk/the-poverty-of-nations/article18920.html

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: Ohio
Member since: Thu Nov 17, 2011, 06:31 AM
Number of posts: 8,244

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»limpyhobbler's Journal