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limpyhobbler's Journal
limpyhobbler's Journal
January 31, 2012

Documentary exposes how slavery continued long after the Civil War. Coming to PBS this month.


Slavery didn’t end with the Emancipation Proclamation. The name just changed, and for many American Blacks, things got worse before they got better under freedom. Slavery By Another Name, based on a prize-winning book by the journalist Douglas A. Blackmon, is a compendium of abuses that augments that conventionally-accepted historical record of the economy of the American South after the Civil War.


Slavery By Another Name reveals a dirty secret that has long been known in the historical community. Much of the South was built on forced Black labor after slavery was declared unconstitutional in 1863 and the South surrendered to end the Civil War in 1865. Blacks who were convicted of crimes, no matter how insignificant — vagrancy or the theft of a pig worth more than $1 – were often given long sentences and made available to mines, farms and factories.

Change was slow and begrudging. “If you had something for free in the past, you don’t necessarily want to pay for it now,” says one historian. The practice was brutal. About a third of prisoner mine workers in Alabama coal mines died every year.

Sam Pollard (with the help of a team of historians) shows how the South’s steel industry in Birmingham Alabama was built on prison labor, as were the coal and iron mines that supplied those mills. Some of those businesses were taken over by United States Steel, the nation’s largest firm at the time, which meant that Southerners were not the only beneficiaries. Imagine D. W. Griffith’s Birth Of A Nation, with corporate managers allied with the Ku Klux Klan.

January 30, 2012

Ohio Legislators Weigh In On Future Of Fracking

From WOUB radio. Click play to listen.


Ohio House Minority Leader Armond Budish - a Democrat - says state regulations are not sufficient protection from the harmful affects of fracking. "I do agree with President Niehaus that developing our natural resources and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive, however, I disagree that our regulations are sufficient. We have become, in Ohio, the dumping ground for contaminated brine for not only Ohio, but for Pennsylvania and I believe other states." he said. "The fact is we do not yet have sufficient knowledge as to the potential environmental hazards. We didn't adequately prepare for the potential for earthquakes and other environmental problems. We are seeing a rush to the fracking without adequate preparation on the environmental side. They are not mutually exclusive, but unfortunately in Ohio, the leadership has not adequately prepared yet for the environmental potential problems."

(Cross-posted from the Ohio group.)
January 28, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing - news and opinions

US House Science,Space &TechEnergy and Environment Subcommittee -
Hearing to review EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Research - Feb 1, 2012 10:00am

Scheduled Witnesses
Mr. Tom Doll, State Oil & Gas Supervisor, Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
Ms. Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, Western Energy Alliance
Dr. Bernard Goldstein, Professor and Dean Emeritus, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
The Honorable Paul Anastas, Assistant Administrator, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Related Article:

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Industry complains about the use of the word "fracking" just to try and control the terms of the debate.
Even though they invented the term.


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All fracking aside, natural gas is not as "clean" as supporters claim.
Mother Jones Magazine - About That "Clean Energy" Future


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Texas - News Video

Water broke through a containment wall at a saltwater injection well and into a creek. Land owners want to know why authorities aren't doing more to stop it.

First of all, that is not "salt water". That is toxic waste. Industry calls it "brine" to mislead. Industry clearly lying to local people about this containment breach, as the gravel-patched wall can clearly be seen in the video.


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Fracking with more foam, less water, is it any safer?
Akron Beacon-Journal - Gas well in Suffield fractured with carbon dioxide foam, minimal water


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U-T San Diego - Shale Fracking’s Boom Outpacing Health Protections

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Durango Herald - Fracking gets a new friend in Obama

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Upstate NY Newspaper Editorializes:
No fracking unless all questions can be answered

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January 27, 2012

Remembering the 1986 Challenger Disaster

My 6th grade study hall teacher wheeled out a big TV on a cart for us to watch the launch.

The shuttle program was still pretty new and every launch had an excitement about it. I lived in New Hampshire at the time and Christa McAuliffe had become a local star through her participation in the shuttle program. People were very proud of her and excited that a local girl had been chosen as the first civilian to go into space.

We were all very shocked when it happened, the explosion. The teacher awkwardly shut the TV off, and went to check in with his boss I guess, to figure out how to talk to the kids about it. A short while later we were called down to the gym for an assembly. We were sent home for the day. School was canceled the following day as well.

Our nation has been through alot since then. The decade of the nineteen-eighties was a time of great challenges and change in America. It was unpleasant in many ways. But with all the changes and events that have happened since, the nostalgic appeal of that era is becoming more apparent.

Despite everything that divided us in America, despite Reagan, despite racism, despite the nuclear arms race, the shuttle program was one thing that united us, one thing that made us all proud.

As troubled as our nation was in 1986, it resembles an age of innocence and simplicity compared to the challenges facing us now. No news event invokes the memory of that era more than the loss of the Challenger and its crew. So they can never be forgotten.

January 26, 2012

Environmental Group Critical of President Obama’s Natural Gas Push

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on continued development of natural gas in the country, but he said it must be done in a way that protects the environment. This message didn’t sit too well with PennEnvironment, a statewide environmental advocacy group. Clean Water Advocate Erika Staaf said natural gas isn’t a clean energy, noting that the track record in Pennsylvania has been clear.

“We’ve seen the track record of the shale gas extraction industry in other states in other parts of the U.S., and the track record is a track record of pollution. We’ve seen too many leaks, too many spills, too many instances of contaminated surface water, so as it’s done today, natural gas cannot be considered a clean source of energy,” she said.

Energy In Depth (EID), the public relations arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said that accidents do occur, but not enough to mar an otherwise good track record.

“I think that there is an attempt to make it seem as though these events are normal operating procedure and they’re not,” said John Krohn, spokesperson for EID. “Hydraulic fracturing has been in place in this country since the Truman Administration and over 2.1 million wells have been hydraulically fractured.”

January 26, 2012

Gas Company Cites Obama Speech to Fault EPA’s Dimock Fracking Probe

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. fired off a complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency, saying a probe of water in Dimock, Pennsylvania, undermines President Barack Obama’s embrace of natural gas in his State of the Union speech.

“EPA’s actions in Dimock appear to undercut the president’s stated commitment to this important resource,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Dinges wrote today in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “EPA’s approach has caused confusion that undermines important policy goals of the United States to ensure safe, reliable, secure and clean energy sources from domestic natural gas.”

The EPA said Jan. 19 that it would deliver water to four families in Dimock, where residents say their water has been contaminated during hydraulic fracturing by Cabot. The EPA will also test water at 60 homes to assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances, the agency said.

Dinges, who also is Cabot’s chairman, said today that the company provided more than 10,000 pages of data to the EPA and there is “no credible evidence” that the water needs further analysis by the federal agency.

continue reading->
January 26, 2012

With 283 votes in the House, NDAA was not veto proof.

290 would be veto proof. There were 14 not voting, so depending how those 14 divided, that would have determined the outcome as far as overriding a veto, assuming nobody else switched sides or was absent.

It was certainly no sure thing that it was veto-proof.

just FYI.

January 26, 2012

Drillers get lift from Obama's talk

...Brad Gill, executive director of the pro-fracking Independent Oil & Gas Association, said in a statement that Obama's message "must be heard and considered in New York as the state moves toward allowing safe natural gas development in the Southern Tier. ... We are confident that his vision will be reflected in the administration's actions, and that New York will recognize the role it will play in fulfilling the nation's energy goals."

"The President is right," said Jerry Kremer, chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance. "New York must find a way to safely extract Marcellus Shale gas, as the resulting jobs and energy are vital to our state's future."

But Claire Sandberg, executive director of the advocacy group Frack Action, listened to that section of Obama's speech with "great dismay."

"His portrait doesn't stand up to the facts," she said, arguing that the drilling industry underplays environmental concerns and issues overblown projections of its economic impact.

Read more-> http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Drillers-get-lift-from-Obama-s-talk-2692362.php

My opinion:
Fracking should be halted unless or until it is shown to be safe.

Protect drinking water.

Safety should be considered first, not as an afterthought.

This is an issue that affects people in many states. The states are not protecting us.
The federal government should step in to protect us. That's why we elect you.

Applaud those who have engaged in non-violent protest to bring attention to the issue.

If drillers screw up the water, we won't have anything to drink.

When water becomes a scarce resource, we will only have access to water according to our ability to pay.

Ask "how would I feel if my drinking water were being threatened?"

January 26, 2012

I'm thinking Newt wants to use the moon as a GITMO for pot dealers.

But I would support a peaceful space program in cooperation with the international community.

I think alot of good could potentially come on earth from us cooperating with other nations in space.

It's not a major issue for me, but I'm happy to support it because I know you care about it.

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