Hoppe: As a Rule...
Happy 4th of July 2017
6 months ago
Things that I find and strike me that others might find interesting and/or informative
Energy from gas power stations has been rebranded as a green, low-carbon source of power by a €80bn European Union programme, in a triumph of the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industry lobby over renewable forms of power.
In a secret document seen by the Guardian, a large slice of billions of euros of funds that are supposed to be devoted to research and development into renewables such as solar and wave power are likely to be diverted instead to subsidising the development of the well-established fossil fuel.
The news comes as a report from the respected International Energy Agency predicted a “golden age for gas” with global production of “unconventional” sources of gas (notably shale gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’) tripling by 2035.
The resulting drop in gas prices though risks stopping the development of renewable energy in its tracks, unless governments take action to support renewable technologies such as solar and wave power. “Renewable energy may be the victim of cheap gas prices if governments do not stick to their renewable support schemes,” said the IEA’s chief economist, Fatih Birol.
The insertion of gas energy as a low-carbon energy into an EU programme follows more 18 months of intensive lobbying by the European gas industry, which is attempting to rebrand itself as a green alternative to nuclear and coal, and as lower cost than renewable forms of power such as wind and sun.
The Court: “When we are talking about cases which have used the phrase ‘substantially supported’ and said that that is a valid criterion under the AUMF or of the legislation, that’s not the same thing as saying that . . . any court has found, one way or the other, that ‘substantially supported’ has an understandable meaning to an ordinary citizen?”Later…
The Government: “It’s true that the courts have not expressly ruled that, that’s right.”
The Court: Give me an example. Tell me what it means to substantially support associated forces.
Government: I’m not in a position to give specific examples.
The Court: Give me one.
Government: I’m not in a position to give one specific example.
The Court: “Assume you were just an American citizen and you’re reading the statute and you wanted to make sure you do not run afoul of it because you are a diligent U.S. citizen wanting to stay on the right side of §1021, and you read the phrase ‘directly supported’. What does that mean to you?”After seeing the ridiculous responses the government had given her, and finding that even the government could not define those terms, Judge Katherine Forrest issued her ruling against the NDAA, stating:
Government: Again, it has to be taken in the context of armed conflict informed by the laws of war.
Court: That’s fine. Tell me what that means?
The Government: “I cannot offer a specific example. I don’t have a specific example.”
“This measure has a chilling impact on first amendment rights.”She then granted her temporary injunction:
“As set forth above, this Court has found that plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits regarding their constitutional claim and it therefore has a responsibility to insure that the public’s constitutional rights are protected.This should be the end of it. This landmark case should be a victory for Americans, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The judge clearly states “the public’s constitutional rights” and “the public interest.” Hey, I’m a part of the public, so I’m protected now!
Accordingly, this Court finds that the public interest is best served by the issuance of the preliminary relief recited herein.”
“The government construes this Court’s Order as applying only as to the named plaintiffs in this suit.”Just when you want to believe that there are good people in the highest levels of our federal government, statements like this bring you back to reality. The government continued:
“Although the Order fails to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 58, and the concluding paragraph of the Order is not, on its face, clear as to whom the injunction benefits, the government reads it in light of the well-established principle that courts “neither want nor need to provide relief to nonparties when a narrower remedy will fully protect the litigants”Excuse me? Let’s very quickly compare Federal District Court Judge Katherine Forrest’s Order…:
“Accordingly, this Court finds that the public interest is best served by the issuance of the preliminary relief recited herein”…with the government’s response:
“The government construes this Court’s Order as applying only as to the named plaintiffs in this suit.”The Judge said her order was to protect the public interest. No informed human being could read it otherwise. Yet, according to the government, they can still detain you because you are not a named plaintiff. Our government is so entwined in a power grab that they will stop at nothing, even twisting court orders, to strip us of our Constitutional rights.
Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!w.
On Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at about 1:45PM two Special Agents from the EPA and an armed police officer who stood 6’6” tall visited our house in Asheville, NC. Their visit was a total surprise as we had not received any communications requesting an appointment. The agents presented very official looking badges and asked if we could sit and chat awhile. We moved to the back porch and took our seats with the exception of the armed officer who stood by the door to the house the entire time.Keller was asked by the agents if he ran a business out of his home, and if so, what kind of business. Keller runs a consulting business from his home. Then he was asked if he had ever sent an email to anyone at the EPA. Keller, not remembering the email initially said no, then remembered his email to Dr. Gray trying to get the contact information for Al Armendariz. This is what happened next:
At this point Agent Woods reach into a file and from it he pulled out a copy of my email to Dr. Gray. He handed it to me and I asked what was there about the content that justified their driving across the state of NC to visit me with no prior warning. The other agent then stated that my choice of words in the email could be interpreted in many ways. At that point I asked them to be specific as they were wasting my time. I stated that I pay for agents’ salaries and that of the police officer and they have bigger fish to fry. Special Agent Woods then asked if I had ever been arrested – the answer was a swift no. I then asked for a copy of the email they presented and they said that was impossible as the investigation was not yet complete.Keller asked the agents for business cards that they had previously promised him and they were miraculously out of business cards. The two agents, who had driven four hours from Raleigh, North Carolina for this encounter with Mr. Keller, left via the back staircase as quickly as they had appeared without supplying Larry Keller with their contact information. He also states that the agents had parked blocking his driveway and that the local police officer had parked in his neighbor’s driveway.
“A key plan recommendation is to pursue a “road diet” for the majority of the corridor. This entails removing one eastbound and westbound lane on each side of the street. The road diet would result in a 3-lane section with one thru-lane in each direction and a center turn lane down the middle of the street. In some areas, the road diet would also create room for one lane of on-street parking. A detailed traffic analysis demonstrated that the proposed 3-lane section would have very minimal impact on traffic flow along the street, even with the assumption that the number of cars utilizing 38th Avenue will increase in coming decades.”While increasing pedestrian-friendly options is a primary goal, the plan anticipates other benefits, including reduced traffic speeds, increased safety, and economic benefits like new business attraction.
The concept to remove a lane of thru-traffic in each direction (westbound and eastbound) on 38th Avenue between Sheridan and Wadsworth Boulevards was initially recommended in the Community Revitalization Partnership (CRP) Study completed for Wheat Ridge 2020 in 2010. The CRP report notes that the street has enough lanes to carry about 24,000 cars per day, but actually only carries around 17,000 cars per day. Given this surplus capacity, the report suggests redesigning the street to remove one thru-lane on each side of the street, retaining a center turn lane in the middle of the street.Community participants were asked to rank their preferred improvements based on “road diet” restrictions, and called for a hybrid sidewalk/“amenity zone” over on-street parking or new or expanded bike lanes.
“As part of the changes, about three blocks near Teller and High Court (on the south side of W. 38th) will have angled parking. Drivers are asked to back-in to these spaces and then pull out head first. The maneuver hopes to provide better visibility, a quicker entry into traffic and is simpler than parallel parking. Drivers on 38th Ave. are also asked to yield to cars accessing these spots.”As for anticipating confusion, “parking ambassadors” will be on hand to ease transition, according to the Gazette.