Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hoppe: As a Rule...

Hoppe: As a Rule...


Hoppe: As a Rule Intellectuals are Worthless Gasbags and Smartasses
Hans Herman Hoppe is out with a new book, Der Wettbewerb der Gauner (“The Competition of Crooks”.

As part of the promotion of the book, Hoppe gave agreed to be interviewed by Andreas Marquart, misesinfo. Robert Groezinger has produced a English translation of the interview from the original German. Hoppe lets it rip. Here's a few excerpts:

...we’ll probably have to experience national bankruptcy spreading through Portugal, Spain, Italy and ultimately on to Germany. Only then, I fear, will it become clear to everyone what many people already suspect now: that the EU is nothing but a gigantic machinery of income and wealth redistribution, from Germany and the Netherlands to Greece, Spain, Portugal, and so on. But that’s not all. It will also become clear that the same insanity, the same mess, exists even within each individual country: redistribution from Bavaria and Baden-W├╝rttemberg to Bremen and Berlin, from Little Town A to Little Village B, from one company or industry to another, from Smith to Jones and so on – and always following the same perverse pattern: redistribution from the more productive countries, regions, places, companies and individuals to those that are less productive or not productive at all. Bankruptcy will bring all of this to light in a dramatic fashion.

And perhaps then, finally, will come the realization that democracy – in whose name all these dirty tricks have been done – is nothing more than an especially insidious form of communism, and that the politicians who have wrought this immoral and economic madness and who have thereby enriched themselves personally (never, of course, being liable for the damages they have caused!), are nothing more than a despicable bunch of communist crooks.
---
The number of productive people is constantly decreasing, and the number of people parasitically consuming the income and wealth of this dwindling number of productive people is increasing steadily. This can’t work in the long run.

That the whole democratic house of cards has not yet completely collapsed speaks volumes about the still tremendous creative power of capitalism, even in the face of ever-increasing governmental strangulation. And this fact also allows us to conjecture about what economic ‘miracles’ would be possible if we had unimpeded capitalism liberated from such parasitism.
---

...my comments were intended to systematically encourage John Doe. To tell him, and this is coming from an intellectual, an insider so to speak, that his popular prejudice against intellectuals – that as a rule they are worthless gasbags and smartasses – is quite right. That there are far too many intellectuals, because the state pays for and subsidises them via taxes taken from rest of us. That this colors and distorts the object and result of their thinking – towards statism. That it is he, the average consumer, who has to pay for the whole wasteful nonsense, and that therefore he has every reason to cry out and be indignant.

---

I’m confident that John Doe is able to realize that these machinations, taking place every day on an almost unimaginable scale, are nothing more than a gigantic case of fraudulent theft.

But the truth is, we don’t hear anything about this fraud from our pretentious, unintelligible and arrogant so-called economic and financial experts on radio, television, and other mainstream media. This is either because they are being paid to consciously withhold or obscure the facts against their better judgment,; or because they were so dumbed down during their time at university, that they are in fact incapable of recognising even the simplest facts and relationships.

Gas rebranded as green energy by EU | JunkScience.com

Gas rebranded as green energy by EU | JunkScience.com


Gas rebranded as green energy by EU

Victory for gas lobby as aims of €80bn EU innovation programme altered to channel money to ‘low-carbon’ fossil fuel
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.

Obama Defies NDAA Ruling

Obama Defies NDAA Ruling

Obama Defies NDAA Ruling


When 4th District Court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled the NDAA unconstitutional, there was wide rejoicing across the internet. Posts from prominent civil liberties activists like journalist David Seaman rang out with “VIICCTOOORRYY!” A Russia Today newscast, titled the ruling “NDAA Shot Down, But Threats Remain”, seemed to imply that the fight was over, or “on hold.” But it was only just beginning.
Do you remember, from your high school or college government courses, when they talked about the court having “neither the power of the sword nor the purse?” That means the High Courts of the United States cannot force the government to accept their ruling. They can heavily imply it, but they have no power to force government compliance. When the Supreme Court ruled against the government in Worcester v. Georgia, President Andrew Jackson is famous for having responded: “[Justice] John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”
The tyrannical U.S. Government has taken the exact same tack with the ruling against them on the NDAA. But first, let’s quickly recap exactly how weak the government case in favor of the NDAA actually was. In Hedges v. Obama, the government routinely avoided the judge’s questions and demands:
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?”
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.
Later…
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?”
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.”
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:
“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.
Accordingly, this Court finds that the public interest is best served by the issuance of the preliminary relief recited herein.”
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!
Not so fast. Our tyrannical government, in one sentence, has chosen to defy a ruling by a federal judge.
“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.
The government defied the court, the Constitution, and our Founding Fathers. It stops here.
There is no more time for procrastination, for hoping the government will fix itself. There is no more time to rely on the courts. There is no time to rely on Congress. The time to act is now.
It is now up to “We the People” to take down this tyranny.
Join the movement to repeal the NDAA: http://www.peopleagainstndaa.com/joinus.php
People Against the NDAA – Unite! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8BBD1v_Ivs
PANDA’s First Victory: http://members.beforeitsnews.com/story/2162/657/Pennsylvania_Constable_to_Nullify_NDAA_and_Patriot_Act.html

Democratic Donkey

Democratic Donkey

Morning Jay: Liberal Myths Versus Democratic Realities


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The EPA’s Mercurial Madness | Watts Up With That?

The EPA’s Mercurial Madness | Watts Up With That?


The EPA’s Mercurial Madness

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
In the process of writing my piece about Lisa Jackson and the EPA, I got to reading about the EPA passing new mercury regulations. Their regulations are supposed to save the lives of some 11,000 people per year. So I figured I should learn something about mercury. It turned out to be quite surprising … here was my first surprise:
Figure 1. Natural and anthropogenic sources of atmospheric mercury emissions. About 7,500 tonnes of mercury are emitted into the atmosphere each year. Named countries show anthropogenic (human caused) emissions for that country.
My first surprise was that far and away the largest emitter of atmospheric mercury is the ocean. The ocean? I’d never have guessed that. Other huge emitters are various lightly vegetated land areas. In addition, forests, volcanoes, and geothermal vents are significant emitters … which is the reason for my new religious crusade:


So … what are the anthropogenic sources of mercury emissions, and how much of those are emitted from North America? Figure 2 shows those values:
Figure 2. North American emissions versus the rest of the world.
As you can see, North America is not doing well at all in the mercury emission sweepstakes. The rest of the world is busting our chops, easily out-emitting us in all categories. We’ve fallen way, way behind, the Chinese are kicking our emissionary fundament-als. Not only that, but the residence time for mercury in the atmosphere is about a year, so they get our mercury … but we also get theirs …
Now, the “stationary combustion” figures are what the EPA is targeting with their new restrictions. Those are mostly the coal-fired power plants. So let’s see how much of the global emissions are caused by US power plants:
Figure 3. US power plant mercury emissions, and emissions from all other sources.
As you can see, the US power plants emit less than 1% of the global mercury emissions. Even if the EPA could get rid of every US coal plant, it will not make a measurable difference in the atmospheric mercury.
Now, here comes the fun part. The new EPA regulations will not cut out all the mercury from US power plants. We’re already pretty efficient at removing mercury, and each additional reduction comes with more difficulty.
So let’s assume that the EPA regs will cut out 25 tonnes of mercury per year. This is supposed to save 11,000 lives every year. So that means if we could wave a magical wand and cut out all of the mercury, 100 percent of it, we should expect to save about 11,000 times 7500/25 = 11,000 times 300 = 3,300,000 lives saved every year … and if you believe that three million people die every year from mercury poisoning, you too could get a job with the EPA.
That’s the thing about facts. As Homer Simpson says,
Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!
w.
All data from N. Pirrone et al., Global mercury emissions to the atmosphere from anthropogenic and natural sources, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2010 
For further reading, see Willie Soon’s excellent analysis of the EPA “science” on which they have based their mercury findings.
[UPDATE] To better illustrate the total natural and anthropogenic mercury emissions, here is a different version of the same data shown in Figure 1.

Natural sources account for about 70% of the world’s total mercury emissions.

Fracking: The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Part 2 | EPA Abuse

Fracking: The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Part 2 | EPA Abuse


Fracking: The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Part 2


Fracking has provided us with the opportunity of becoming energy independent.
But there’s more: Fracking can lead to the reindustrialization of America.
Because of fracking, and all that it implies, America could have the lowest cost feedstock of any country in the world, with the possible exception of Qatar.
Increased output of hydrocarbons, coupled with secondary effects on other areas of the economy (from steel to transportation) can increase GDP by 2% – or more. (Source, Citigroup.) A 2% increase in GDP growth would be huge for the United States, where GDP quarterly growth has languished at 1% for the past six years and around 2.5% for the past ten years.
Imagine consistent GDP growth of between 4.5% and 5.5% with the creation of 3 million new jobs by 2020.
Energy consumption in major industries can be a significant cost component. Using low cost natural gas can lower production costs. In the metals segment, for example, natural gas has represented nearly 60% of energy usage so that natural gas at $2.2 per million BTU can significantly lower costs. Natural gas usage in the machinery segment represents 45% of energy usage.
Then there is the ability to shift from coal and oil to low cost natural gas. These substitutions will also lower the cost of production.
In transportation, there has been the beginning of a shift from diesel fuel to natural gas, either CNG or LNG, for long haul trucks and truck fleets. The shift to natural gas could expand to construction equipment and possibly even to light vehicles, such as pick-up trucks.
The Chemicals industry will be a major beneficiary of low-cost natural gas, shifting production from foreign countries back to the United States. Examples of this are the restart of the Dow Chemical ethylene plant, the reopening of a large ammonia plant in Beaumont, Texas, and CF Industries’ planned $1 billion investment in a new ammonia plant.
The list goes on, with Brownfield expansions becoming prevalent.
It should be noted that it will be necessary to build many new pipelines in order to provide unrestricted transport of natural gas and oil from the new production regions, such as Bakken and Ford, as well as from Canada. Building pipelines also creates jobs and increases GDP.
Increased natural gas usage is bound to result in the cost of natural gas increasing as demand begins to overtake supply, but any large increase is several years away.
Natural gas has fallen from a peak of nearly $13 per million BTU to a low of under $2 per million BTU. More realistically, before the peak, the average price was around $5 per million BTU, but had been rising steadily because of dwindling natural gas supplies in the United States.
The question will be: How long can natural gas prices remain at current low levels?
The ebb and flow between production, which can cause an excess of supply, and increasing demand, will keep the price of natural gas fluctuating for many years – assuming that government regulations don’t curtail fracking.
It’s highly likely that prices will remain below $5 per million BTU, with $5 per million BTU being the forecast made by Chesapeake Energy. On the low side, it’s possible the price will reach $3 per million BTU after the current glut is worked off.
This $5 to $3 range can sustain continued growth in GDP at levels 2% higher than the recent past for many years to come, because of fracking and all the benefits arising from new oil and natural gas production.
The major obstacle to achieving energy independence and the reindustrialization of America is politics – specifically overzealous environmental groups such as Greenpeace.

Fracking: The Gift that Keeps Giving | EPA Abuse

Fracking: The Gift that Keeps Giving | EPA Abuse


Fracking: The Gift that Keeps Giving


Not only has fracking revolutionized natural gas production so that we now have enough natural gas to last 100 years, fracking has also allowed production of crude oil from shale, thereby potentially transforming the United States from being an importer of oil to one that’s self sufficient in oil sometime in the 2020s.
In addition, fracking also spins off additional liquids from the production of natural gas.
Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are the icing on the cake from fracking.
As mentioned earlier (see Foiling OPEC), the United States currently produce about 6 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) with Canada producing an additional 2 mbd.
We have the technically recoverable reserves to allow the United States to produce 10 mbd and Canada to produce 6 mbd – in other words, we can double our combined output to 16 mbd.
NGLs can add another 2 mbd by 2020, to bring the total of all liquids to 18 mbd.
Mexico has the potential to add to these amounts, but current conditions, legal and otherwise, cloud the picture as to whether Mexico can actually increase output.
It’s important to remember that this forecast can only become a reality if we allow drilling in all the areas that are now off-limit to drilling – ANWR, federal lands and the outer continental shelf.
Today, we must rely on Saudi Arabia to take-up the slack for any decrease in Iranian oil production: Unfortunately this won’t change until we are well on our way to doubling our oil output.
We are blessed with huge reserves of oil and natural gas. There is conventional oil, and shale oil, which can allow us to produce 18 mbd. There is also the very tight shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that has the potential to add another reserve that, by itself, is greater than Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves.
In ten years, fracking will have led to reducing our current account deficit. Canada could remain the major beneficiary of payments from us, for oil.
In addition to reducing payments to other countries for their oil, our state and federal governments will reap higher taxes and royalty payments for the oil we produce in the United States.
Fracking has created the glut in natural gas which has the chemical industry bringing jobs back to the United States. Only Qatar might have lower cost natural gas than the United States.
The glut in natural gas has also lowered energy costs to industry, such as the steel industry, making the United States more competitive in the world market.
In addition, we can export refined petroleum products that can create additional jobs. We may even be in a position to export crude oil if the government allows it.
Perhaps, fracking’s greatest gift has been to make us aware that it’s possible to achieve energy independence.

Arizona burns amid Obama's hydraulic despotism | Washington Examiner

Arizona burns amid Obama's hydraulic despotism | Washington Examiner


Arizona burns amid Obama's hydraulic despotism

May 24, 2012 -- 8:00 PM

It's bad enough when your town has to worry about high mountain forest fires. It's even worse when the scorched earth left behind gives way to monsoon rains that drive mud and boulders smashing into your municipal water pipeline system. And it's much, much worse still when President Obama's Forest Service won't let you repair the damage, ostensibly because that might disturb the wilderness.
Even now, there is a cluster of new wildfires glowering through the sullen clouds on the same peaks near Tombstone, Ariz., population 1,400. Tombstone is a tourist favorite, the site of the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. It calls itself "The Town Too Tough to Die" -- and, these days, one might see stationed at the end of Toughnut Street its steely-eyed lawyer, braced for the Showdown at the H2O Corral, as CNN tags the pending water fight.
Nick Dranias, of the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, is the city's lead attorney in a life-or-death lawsuit to vindicate its 130-year-old water rights against the grasping power of the United States Forest Service. The institute is representing Tombstone at no cost.
Dranias said the case is straightforward. "The U.S. Forest Service is refusing to allow the city of Tombstone to fix its mountain spring water system after it was destroyed," he said. "Blocking the desert-parched and fire-prone city from freely restoring its municipal water supply is equivalent to signing its death warrant."
At first, Tombstone officials watched the Forest Service dawdle and perform a few measly repairs after the Monument Fire of 2011. "We could have had a quicker result," says Rep. Jeff Flake R-Ariz., "but the Forest Service was slow to react. It was slow, slow, slow."
Flake wrote to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell expressing concern over the repair's "limited progress" and urging him to "work cooperatively" with the city to "ensure the necessary repairs are made expeditiously."
Rachel Thomas, a rancher near Sierra Vista and a constituent, said, "Mr. Tidwell didn't have the courtesy to respond to Rep. Flake. He gave it to a third-string deputy with no grasp of the dire situation. I think Mr. Tidwell was deliberately being disrespectful and insulting to my congressman."
When Tombstone tried to take its own bulldozers and pipe-laying crew to finish repair work, the Forest Service locked them out, saying the job site lay within the National Wilderness Preservation System, where motorized equipment of any sort was forbidden. This was getting desperate.
The city then requested an emergency injunction from the U.S. District Court but was refused.
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer declared a state of emergency, exercising "all police power vested in the state" to empower Tombstone to restore its municipal water supply.
Flake introduced the Emergency Water Supply Restoration Act, which would allow state and local governments to restore water supplies in Wilderness Areas without interference from federal agencies during a state of emergency. The bill faces a hostile Senate, and the Forest Service is unmoved.
The Goldwater Institute's Dranias said, "The Forest Service is now risking the lives and properties of Tombstone residents and tourists due to the loss of adequate fire suppression capabilities and safe drinking water."
Dranias emphasized the town's national significance: "[I]f the Forest Service can effectively seize Tombstone's water rights during a state of emergency, no state or local government will be safe from federal overreach. The growing federal stranglehold over water rights in Arizona is a direct assault on state autonomy. There is perhaps no better way for the federal government to quell restive Western states, like Arizona, that dare to resist federal immigration, health care and unionization policies."
Because the case raises constitutional questions about the relationship among local, state and federal governments -- issues of power and authority -- Dranias thinks it may go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Examiner Columnist Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Obama’s America: EPA Officials Visit Man For Sending Email | EPA Abuse

Obama’s America: EPA Officials Visit Man For Sending Email | EPA Abuse


Obama’s America: EPA Officials Visit Man For Sending Email

By Shannon Bell.

About a month ago, EPA regional official Al Armendariz made news when a YouTube video of him describing the way the agency handles oil and gas companies surfaced. In it, Armendariz said an analogy he liked to use about enforcement was how the Romans used crucifixion to keep smaller towns and villages under their thumb. Since then, Armendariz has resigned his post at the EPA. Case closed, right? Wrong.
A local North Carolina man named Larry Keller didn’t particularly like the analogy that Al Armendariz used, so, along with thousands of others assumably, he set about to contact Mr. Armendariz to discuss his views on the oil and gas industries. One of our basic rights and privileges in a free society is to be able to petition our government for a redress of grievances without fear of repercussion from said government simply for voicing our grievance.
Keller proceeded to try and contact Mr. Armendariz by Googling him. His domain was a subset of Southern Methodist University, he was directed to contact a Dr. David Gray who is the Director of External Affairs for the EPA. Keller wrote a simple, one sentence email to Dr. Gray which said simply, “Hello Mr. Gray-Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello?”
On May 2nd, just a little over a week after the Armendariz crucify comments had flared up, two special agents from the EPA and a local police officer showed up at Mr. Keller’s home. Here is the story in his own words:
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.
Larry Keller was interviewed by Pete Kaliner, a local conservative radio host about the incident. You can listen to the interview here. I heard today on Kaliner’s show that Keller has hooked up with the John Locke Foundation to pursue the incident further. I’ll keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available.
Is this really the America that we live in now? A concerned citizen tries to contact a government official over statements that he made in public and the next thing you know armed agents show up at his home?

Why Obama’s Senior Strategists Think He’ll Beat Mitt Romney -- New York Magazine

Why Obama’s Senior Strategists Think He’ll Beat Mitt Romney -- New York Magazine

Hope: The Sequel

For Obama & Co., this time around it’s all about fear.


Illustration by Zohar Lazar


David Plouffe sits in his White House office, just a few steps from the Oval, staring at an oversize map of these United States. It’s late afternoon on May 9, two hours after Barack Obama’s declaration that his evolution on gay marriage has reached its terminus. The president is down the hall and on the phone, discussing his decision’s theological implications with several prominent African-American pastors—while Plouffe is being queried about its political dimensions by a querulous Caucasian reporter. The map at which Plouffe is gazing isn’t the electoral kind with the states shaded blue and red; as a federal employee, he notes wryly, “I’m not permitted to have one on the wall.” But given the way his head is hardwired, I’m pretty sure Plouffe is seeing those colors regardless.
The question of whether Obama’s new stance narrows or widens his path to victory in November is one that Plouffe and his comrades have been agonizing over since early this year, when their boss returned from vacation and told them he wanted to take the plunge. The possible political benefits are clear: jazzing up young voters, ginning up gay dollars. As are the costs: turning off socially conservative Democrats and independents, particularly in four pivotal swing states—Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia. But as to the net effect of the announcement on Obama’s ability to accumulate 270 electoral votes, his adjutants are unable to render a firm verdict. “I think there is more upside potential than downside potential,” Plouffe says. “But is there a scenario where it’s harder? Yes.”
Such scenarios don’t rest easily with Plouffe, the nothing-to-chance operative who rose to prominence as Obama’s 2008 campaign manager. Since returning to the fold after a two-year hiatus in January 2011, Plouffe has seen his boss’s approval ratings rise (to a high of 53 percent, according to Gallup, after Osama bin Laden’s killing) and fall (to a low of 38 percent after last summer’s debt-ceiling debacle and the downgrade of America’s credit rating) and rise again. But all along, his message to his colleagues has been the same: 2012 was destined to be a corset-tight election.
The contours of that contest are now plain to see—indeed, they have been for some time. Back in November, Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin, two fellows at the Center for American Progress, identified the prevailing dynamics: The presidential race would boil down to “demographics versus economics.” That the latter favor Mitt Romney is incontestable. From high unemployment and stagnant incomes to tepid GDP growth and a still-pervasive sense of anxiety bordering on pessimism in the body politic, every salient variable undermines the prospects of the incumbent. The subject line of an e-mail from the Romney press shop that hit my in-box last week summed up the challenger’s framing of the election concisely and precisely: “What’s This Campaign Going to Be About? The Obama Economy.”
The president begs to differ. In 2008, the junior senator from Illinois won in a landslide by fashioning a potent “coalition of the ascendant,” as Teixeira and Halpin call it, in which the components were minorities (especially Latinos), socially liberal college-educated whites (especially women), and young voters. This time around, Obama will seek to do the same thing again, only more so. The growth of those segments of the electorate and the president’s strength with them have his team brimming with confidence that ­demographics will trump economics in November—and in the process create a template for Democratic dominance at the presidential level for years to come.
But if the Obama 2012 strategy in this regard is all about the amplification of 2008, in terms of message it will represent a striking deviation. Though the Obamans certainly hit John McCain hard four years ago—running more negative ads than any campaign in history—what they intend to do to Romney is more savage. They will pummel him for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition. “We’re gonna say, ‘Let’s be clear what he would do as president,’ ” Plouffe explains. “Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”
The Obama effort at disqualifying Romney will go beyond painting him as excessively conservative, however. It will aim to cast him as an avatar of revanchism. “He’s the fifties, he is retro, he is backward, and we are forward—that’s the basic construct,” says a top Obama strategist. “If you’re a woman, you’re Hispanic, you’re young, or you’ve gotten left out, you look at Romney and say, ‘This fucking guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been part of that.’ ”

Two, Three, Many Obamas

Two, Three, Many Obamas

The art of being Dr. Barack and Mr. Obama.
By Victor Davis Hanson

 
As the campaign heats up, one problem is that we continue to meet lots of different Barack Obamas — to such a degree that we don’t know which, if any, is really president.
I think the president believes that private-equity firms harm the economy and that their CEOs are at best indifferent and sometimes unsympathetic to the struggle of average Americans. I say “I think” because Obama has himself collected millions of dollars from such profit-driven firms, and uses their grandees to raise cash for his reelection. Cynical, hypocritical, or unaware? You decide.
I think the president is in favor of publicly funded campaign financing but against super PACs; but again I say “I think” because Obama renounced the former and embraced the latter. Are Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, and preventive detention constitutional necessities or threats to our security? Some of Obama’s personalities have said they are bad; others apparently believe them to be good.
One Barack Obama crisscrosses the country warning us that a sinister elite has robbed from the common good and must atone for destroying the economy. Another Barry Obama hits the golf links in unapologetically aristocratic fashion and prefers Martha’s Vineyard for his vacation. So I am confused about the evil 1 percent. Obama 1 feels they have shorted the country and must now pay their fair share, while Obama 2 feels they are vital allies in helping the poor by attending his $40,000-a-plate campaign dinners.

Barry Obama respects those who make billions from Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook, but Barack Obama does not respect those who make billions from oil, farming, and construction. Is Wall Street the source of our national problems or the source of the president’s political salvation? There is an Obama who runs against a prep-schooled mansion-living member of the elite; there is another Obama who was a prep-schooled mansion-living member of the elite. I thought one Obama swore to us that borrowing $5 trillion was vital — Keynesian pump priming, stimulus, averting 8 percent–plus unemployment, and all that. But now another Obama claims that his serial $1 trillion deficits are proof not of “growth” of the sort that improved GDP and reduced unemployment, but rather of fiscal discipline that stopped reckless Republican spending. So Obama over the last four years brought both austerity that checked wild Bush spending, and also Keynesian growth that snapped us out of the Bush lethargy? Spending is saving? Record deficits are record fiscal restraint?
Lots of Obamas keep talking about civility and bringing us together; but lots more Obamas talk about punishing our enemies, emphasizing racial differences, and formally organizing supporters by racial groupings. An angelic Obama lectures about the end of red-state/blue-state divides; a less saintly Obama refers to xenophobic clingers, typical white persons, stereotypers, and arresters of children on their way to ice-cream parlors.
I recall that once upon a time Obama derided fossil fuels, bragging that “millions of new green jobs” would accrue from subsidizing wind and solar power and “bankrupting” coal companies, as energy prices would accordingly “skyrocket.” But then once upon another time, Obama bragged that on his watch we are pumping more oil than ever before, apparently because private firms ignored his pleas and drilled despite his efforts to shut down leasing on public lands. So we are to credit Obama for stopping oil leasing on public lands, which forced greater production on private lands, while being impressed that he lost billions subsidizing doomed solar and wind companies? When the government fails to promote new energy, that constitutes success because those outside the government then must do more? Do the various Obamas represent both the good but failed intention and the bad successful one?
Unfortunately, the paradoxes involve more than just the usual flipflopping of all politicians. They strike to the heart of who is, and is not, Barack Hussein Obama.
The fringe Birthers made outlandish claims for years that Obama was not born in the United States and therefore was not eligible to be president. But suddenly, after nearly four years of his presidency, we discover that for over a decade and a half Obama’s own publicity bio listed him as Kenyan-born. Why and how did this happen — given that authors customarily write their own autobiographies and have annual opportunities to edit them? Did Obama think that to fudge an identity might make his book on a mixed-race heritage more saleable in 1991, and then himself more exotic as a state legislator and senator in the ensuing 16 years — but for some reason not as a presidential candidate?

Ex-Dem guv: Suppose Obama ‘not born in U.S.’

Ex-Dem guv: Suppose Obama ‘not born in U.S.’

Ex-Dem guv: Suppose Obama 'not born in U.S.'

Ponders scenario in which prez 'got away' with birth fraud

Democrat personality David Paterson, former governor of New York and now a talk-radio host on WOR in New York City, has suggested Barack Obama could be ineligible for the Oval Office and “got away” with it.
And Paterson compared Obama’s actions to those of Richard Nixon, which he likened to treason.
On his show yesterday, he was asserting, along with NBC Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd, that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney should have distanced himself more from developer Donald Trump and his doubts about Obama’s eligibility.
“Even if he wasn’t born in the United States at this point,” Paterson said. “It’s kind of like he got away with it.”
He continued, “A lot of people get away with a lot of things.”
Paterson compared Obama’s actions to those of President Richard Nixon.
“We learned later that Nixon spied on Johnson’s Paris peace talks,” Paterson said. “That was actually an act of … uh … I mean it was against the interests of the U.S. government. You’ve got to say that before you would say it’s treason. But he got away with it. Decided it wasn’t a good thing to bring up at that particular time. Not only did he get away with it, he won the election.”
The interview has been posted online by WOR. Paterson’s comments come at about the 16:20 mark.
Before the comments, Paterson and Todd had agreed that Romney was doing his campaign no benefit by not distancing himself from Trump, who just this week blasted CNN for not reporting on the issue more accurately.
The billionaire businessman told lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer the network would improve its dismal viewer ratings if it would only report the issue of Obama’s eligibility to be president “accurately.”
“Obama does not like the issue of where he was born,” he told Blitzer in the interview. “There’s something that bothers Obama very much. I will tell you: It’s not an issue that he likes talking about, so what he does is use reverse psychology on people like you. … He does not like that issue because it’s hitting very close to home. You know it, and he knows it – but you don’t report it accurately.”
The heated exchange between Blitzer and Trump can be seen here.

On his show, Todd told Paterson Romney has “thrown his reputation down the drain,” and he called Trump a “bully” and the nation’s best-known “conspiracy theorist.”
“George W. Bush wouldn’t have allowed his campaign to be bullied. Neither would John McCain. … This guy only cares about Donald Trump. He doesn’t care about Mitt Romney,” Todd said.
“I don’t understand this at all. …. Things are going [Romney's] way. Romney, I thought, has been on the best roll in the last six weeks that he’s ever been in his life,” Paterson said.
Many media commentators believe Trump’s comments have put Romney in an awkward position. Romney has said he believes Obama was born in the U.S., but Democrats have criticized him for not distancing himself from Trump.
Even Obama took aim at the pair by releasing a video “highlighting Mitt Romney’s failure to condemn Donald Trump’s over-the-line rhetoric.”
“If Mitt Romney lacks the backbone to stand up to a charlatan like Donald Trump because he’s so concerned about lining his campaign’s pockets,” the Obama campaign said, “what does that say about the kind of president he would be?”
Romney has refused to condemn Trump, saying, “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me. My guess is they don’t agree with everything I believe in. But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”
For more than a year, Trump has consistently maintained he has doubts the Obama birth certificate released by the White House is genuine.
As WND reported in March 2011, Trump said Obama’s presidency could be “illegal” if legitimate proof is not provided demonstrating he is indeed a “natural born citizen” of the U.S.
Trump also wondered why no doctors or nurses have come forward to announce their presence at Obama’s birth.
In March and April of 2011, Trump staged a weeks-long public campaign questioning Obama’s eligibility to be president, rising to the top of the pool of potential candidates for the 2012 GOP nomination as a result.
“I always said I wanted to know if it was real,” Trump told WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi, author of the best-seller “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President.”
During their conversation, Trump told Corsi his own computer expert told him that the image posted online was a computer-generated document.
Then, in March, the famous billionaire heaped praise on Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Arizona lawman’s probe into the authenticity of Obama’s purported birth certificate and his eligibility for office.
Following the Maricopa County sheriff’s Cold Case Posse news conference March 1 in Phoenix, Trump personally penned a handwritten note of congratulations to Arpaio.
Having printed out an Associated Press report of the event that featured a photograph of Arpaio, Trump penned diagonally in the upper left hand corner, “Joe – Great going – You are the only one with the ‘guts’ to do this – Keep up the good fight – Donald Trump.”

RealClearPolitics - 'Meaningful Work'

RealClearPolitics - 'Meaningful Work'

'Meaningful Work'

By Thomas Sowell
"Education" is a word that covers a lot of very different things, from vital, life-saving medical skills to frivolous courses to absolutely counterproductive courses that fill people with a sense of grievance and entitlement, without giving them either the skills to earn a living or a realistic understanding of the world required for a citizen in a free society.
The lack of realism among many highly educated people has been demonstrated in many ways.
When I saw signs in Yellowstone National Park warning visitors not to get too close to a buffalo, I realized that this was a warning that no illiterate farmer of a bygone century would have needed. No one would have had to tell him not to mess with a huge animal that literally weighs a ton, and can charge at you at 30 miles an hour.
No one would have had to tell that illiterate farmer's daughter not to stand by the side of a highway, trying to hitch a ride with strangers, as too many college girls have done, sometimes with results that ranged all the way up to their death.
The dangers that a lack of realism can bring to many educated people are completely overshadowed by the dangers to a whole society created by the unrealistic views of the world promoted in many educational institutions.
It was painful, for example, to see an internationally renowned scholar say that what low-income young people needed was "meaningful work." But this is a notion common among educated elites, regardless of how counterproductive its consequences may be for society at large, and for low-income youngsters especially.
What is "meaningful work"?
The underlying notion seems to be that it is work whose performance is satisfying or enjoyable in itself. But if that is the only kind of work that people should have to do, how is garbage to be collected, bed pans emptied in hospitals or jobs with life-threatening dangers to be performed?
Does anyone imagine that firemen enjoy going into burning homes and buildings to rescue people trapped by the flames? That soldiers going into combat think it is fun?
In the real world, many things are done simply because they have to be done, not because doing them brings immediate pleasure to those who do them. Some people take justifiable pride in working to take care of their families, whether or not the work itself is great.
Some of our more Utopian intellectuals lament that many people work "just for the money." They do not like a society where A produces what B wants, simply in order that B will produce what A wants, with money being an intermediary device facilitating such exchanges.
Some would apparently prefer a society where all-wise elites would decide what each of us "needs" or "deserves." The actual history of societies formed on that principle -- histories often stained, or even drenched, in blood -- is of little interest to those who mistake wishful thinking for idealism.
At the very least, many intellectuals do not want the poor or the young to have to take "menial" jobs. But people who are paying their own money, as distinguished from the taxpayers' money, for someone to do a job are unlikely to part with hard cash unless that job actually needs doing, whether or not that job is called "menial" by others.
People who lack the skills to take on more prestigious jobs can either remain idle and live as parasites on others or take the jobs for which they are currently qualified, and then move up the ladder as they acquire more experience. People who are flipping hamburgers at McDonald's on New Year's Day are seldom flipping hamburgers there when Christmas time comes.
Those relatively few statistics that follow actual flesh-and-blood individuals over time show them moving massively from one income bracket to another over time, starting at the bottom and moving up as they acquire skills and experience.
Telling young people that some jobs are "menial" is a huge disservice to them and to the whole society. Subsidizing them in idleness while they wait for "meaningful work" is just asking for trouble, both for them and for all those around them.

Birth-certificate ‘surprise’ in October?

Birth-certificate ‘surprise’ in October?


Birth-certificate 'surprise' in October?

Hawaii source claims forgery of 'original' with 1961 materials


An intelligence source in Hawaii who warned early last year that a forged Obama birth record would be released now says that amid continued doubts about the authenticity of the document posted on the White House website, a forged “original” birth certificate intended to pass forensic inspection by using 1961 materials is being prepared and could be released as an “October surprise.”
The source, who has contact with Hawaii government officials, was questioned by Mike Zullo, the head of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse team. Zullo recently returned from a trip to Hawaii to follow up on leads in the posse’s investigation of Obama’s eligibility for the 2012 election ballot in Arizona. Arpaio announced March 1 that his team found probable cause that the document posted by the White House April 27, 2011, is a forgery.
Zullo told WND today that regardless of whether the Hawaii source’s information pans out, he wants to see the original microfilm record of Obama’s birth.
“If they decide to try to produce a document, we’re going to be skeptical,” he said. “We’ve been calling for the microfilm from the beginning.”
Sign the petition now to show members of Congress how many Americans demand constitutional integrity.
Arpaio has said he wants to see the entire roll of microfilm that contains Obama’s birth record and submit it to court-certified forensic examiners to determine its authenticity.
The Hawaii source said ink and paper from 1961 have been secured to create an “original” document that would correspond with the digital copy posted on the White House website.
As WND reported one year ago, radical supporters of Barack Obama have openly admitted their role in the forging of a Kenyan Obama birth certificate.
The White House released a purported copy of Obama’s long-form birth certificate shortly after the Drudge Report prominently leaked details of WND Book’s then-upcoming expose “Where’s the Birth Certificate.”
WND reported yesterday that a letter from Hawaii’s Department of Health last week verifying Obama’s birth in Honolulu has actually opened the door to “shocking revelations” the posse is promising to disclose.
Zullo has said the sheriff plans to schedule a press conference “at the earliest possible date in June.”

Hawaii Senior Elections Clerk: “Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii”

Hawaii Senior Elections Clerk: “Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii”

Hawaii Senior Elections Clerk: “Barack Obama Was Not Born In Hawaii”


“For starters, just because there is no long form birth certificate on file in Hawaii, that doesn’t rule out President Obama being born elsewhere in the United States, or even in Hawaii,” states Hawaii’s former Senior Election Clerk Timothy Lee Adams in his Masters Thesis that was signed off on by four English Department Deans at Western Kentucky University in partial fulfillment of the Requirement for Degree of Master of Arts, on June 13, 2011.
Adams was the Chief Elections Clerk (Pg. 30) for the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii.  “On a temporary contract, I ran an office that verified voter eligibility that had a staff of about fifty people,” he also told radio  host James Edwards of the Liberty News Radio Network.  “Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii,” the former elections clerk continued. “It (Pg. 31) was openly admitted by everyone in the office who was above me, at least my immediate supervisors, that there is no documentation.” Adams details the governmental databases and other means of authentication used included “NCIS, Social Security, all these other things we use on average voters; there were two people higher than me in our office, who are  under the City Clerk of Honolulu. . .” (Pg. 30)
Now Adams emphatically states in his Masters Thesis:  “. . .in my professional opinion, Barack Obama was NOT (emphasis added) born in the United States, and there is no Hawaii long-form birth certificate.” (Pg. 30, 31)  Contrast this man’s statement (a man who was vetted for military, civil, and academic service) with the Verification of Birth certified statement of State Registrar Alvin T. Onaka, signed and issued to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett on May 22, 2012. Onaka’s document says: “Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes 338-14.3, I verify the following:  A birth certificate is on file with the Department of Health indicating that Barack Hussein Obama, II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.”  Now Onaka’s 12 point official Department of Health document bearing the seal of the State of Hawaii also says, “Birthplace of Father: Kenya, East Africa,” providing official authentication and documentation that the sitting President of the United States does not carry the Natural Born Citizenship status as required by Article II, Sect. 1, clause 5, of our U.S. Constitution, the higher standard required to hold the office of President!
Adams details in his 96 page Masters document the enormous amount of vicious cyber attacks, intimidations, and ad hominem attacks lobbed at him from all sorts of political and media operatives.  Because he has had male patterned baldness since his youth, this now-47-year-old man was labeled a “Skinhead,” and even neighborhood children called him that while hurling pebbles at him.  Adams credits the GLOBE Celebrity Magazine, which did four features on him, as having treated him with the most decency and professionalism.  When a youtube video of his interview went viral, and the intimidation and threats became extremely intense, meetings were held, and he virtually went silent in the Land of Free Speech.     Additionally, Adams revealed that “We had a set of documents, fifty identity documents stolen out of the office, and they were all the voting records-the ballots that people sent in who were members of the U.S. Foreign Service around the Pacific rim.”  Adams goes on, “From there, things got really, really ugly,” and he left to finish his academic requirements in Hawaii and to move to Western Kentucky University “where I teach now.” (Pg. 32).  Apparently, these government dignitaries who had mailed in their absentee ballots did not want it revealed who they had voted for as it would have made it difficult for them to hold onto their jobs!
Adams says, “A lie has been told, and when a lie is obvious, the public’s just not going to go away.” And then he says this:  “President Obama’s official autobiography is false.” How does that compute with Onaka saying, “Additionally, I verify that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for Mr. Obama that you [ Arizona SoS Bennett] attached with your request matches the original record in our files”? Guess what, it does not.  And the public is not going away, either.

Multi-Million Dollar Road Plan Calls for “Parking Ambassadors”, Fewer Traffic Lanes | The Colorado Observer

Multi-Million Dollar Road Plan Calls for “Parking Ambassadors”, Fewer Traffic Lanes | The Colorado Observer


Multi-Million Dollar Road Plan Calls for “Parking Ambassadors”, Fewer Traffic Lanes

May 24, 2012
By
WHEAT RIDGE – Prepare to tighten your safety belts.  The City of Wheat Ridge began its “road diet” this week.
In October 2011, the Wheat Ridge City Council voted to approve the “38th Avenue Corridor Plan,” a multi-phase strategy employing redevelopment and revitalization of the city’s core retail corridor over the next eighteen years.
The plan divides the corridor into multiple sub-districts, including designated residential and commercial areas connected by pedestrian-friendly walkways and other alternative forms of transportation.
A key to promoting the non-motor vehicle “mobility” within the area is the use of a so-called “road diet” that would see the corridor’s 4 or 5 lane sections reduced to three lanes, with the creation of on-street parking and “amenity zones.”
“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 plan took a comprehensive view of the corridor’s demographics, zoning, retail, and residential concentration. The City identified four distinct sub-districts and concluded that the key to accessibility would start with restricting the number of lanes along 38th Avenue, and cited the underutilization of capacity as part of its reasoning:
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.
The Wheat Ridge Neighborhood Gazette points out that among the first signs of the avenue’s redevelopment will be the installation of angled parking—with a twist:
“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.
Cost estimates are not certain, as the project evolves by the year 2030. Initial restriping costs should remain low—in the tens of thousands—and could be entirely funded by the City’s Capital Improvement Plan budget. Other retrofitting could cost hundreds of thousands.
But permanent redevelopment, including new sidewalks and the build out of amenity zones and new planters could drive up the cost, with the “Main Street” sub-district’s “road diet” costing between $3.3-4.5 million.
The plan calls for identifying potential funding sources that include tapping “federal and state transportation dollars, the formation of a special district, tax increment financing (TIF), and/or local bunds funded by a temporary increase in sales or property tax.”
The sale of revenue bonds would require voter approval.

This post was written by

Michael Sandoval – who has written posts on The Colorado Observer.
Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

One Response to Multi-Million Dollar Road Plan Calls for “Parking Ambassadors”, Fewer Traffic Lanes

  1. Winston Smith on May 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm
    ~~~~
    Lookout Wheatridge!
    What you’re seeing here is The Plan, this is ICLEI!
    The International Council of Local Environmental Initatives– Local Governments for Sutainability. Pronounced: Ickly!
    ICLEI is a foreign nongovernmental organization (NGO) They’re in a relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations! This is AGENDA 21. This would be a good time to google Agenda 21 & ICLEI because this is a lot bigger than you will ever believe.
    Oh……. and while you’re at it, you’re Corridor Plan is already in the works in Fort Collins and other gullible cities around the world. This is pretty heavy stuff, this is One World Government in the making, so do your homeworks kiddies. ICLEI has infiltrated your city government and it won’t be easy to get rid of them.
    • DonP on May 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm
      Winston is exactly right. This is part of Agenda 21, the takeover of local control and abdication of it to the UN. This is the same planners utopia wishlist that we see all over the country. Block it.
  2. DonP on May 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm
    The City of Grand Junction tried the idiotic reverse diagonal parking and it was a dismal failure. They put it on a street which had been reduced from two lanes each direction to a single weaving lane each direction and then added the reverse diagonal parking and it blocked up sections of the street terribly.
    The problem they don’t get is that with normal diagonal parking, one merely pulls into the space when vacant. With this fiasco of a parking scheme, one has to stop, blocking traffic, and back against the flow of traffic, if there were any left, into a parking place that may have been encroached upon by adjacent cars making the backing problematic.
    The logic is that in pulling out one has a clear view but most diagonal parking offers a clear view anyhow and there is no blockage because one waits till the path is clear before backing out.
    By reducing capacity of the road, they are assuring the reconstruction at an earlier date. They are also assuring a level of service that is less than desirable all the while using the level of service as a reason to upgrade services elsewhere.
    I even heard one astute traffic engineer say that more lanes doesn’t mean more capacity. This is ludicrous alone, of course more lanes increase capacity. This was used to justify the city constructing a two lane road with center turn lane whereas had a private developer built the road, they would have been required to build a four lane with center turn lane/median to meet traffic demands 20 years down the road.
    • DonP on May 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm
      BTW, the City of Grand Junction has since changed all that parking to conventional diagonal parking at an additional cost of $80k. Taxpayers money well spent? No!

Bipartisan Methane Capture Effort Sidelined by Wind, Solar Power Backers | The Colorado Observer

Bipartisan Methane Capture Effort Sidelined by Wind, Solar Power Backers | The Colorado Observer


Bipartisan Methane Capture Effort Sidelined by Wind, Solar Power Backers

May 30, 2012
By


DENVER– Any legislative bill offering renewable energy, jobs in rural Colorado and a cleaner environment sounds like a slam-dunk winner.  But evidently not if that renewable energy resource might take money away from wind and solar power interests that monopolize the market and receive millions of dollars in financial incentives.
Two such bills – blessed by Governor John Hickenlooper’s Energy Office – were passed with bipartisan support in the House and in the Senate committees, but never reached the Senate floor for a vote.
House Bill 1160, sponsored by Rep. Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) and Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village), would have captured methane gas from active and inactive coal mines to generate electricity.
House Bill 1351, sponsored by Rep. Jon Becker (R-Fort Morgan) and Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton) aimed to generate power from synthetic gas derived from waste materials in landfills.
“The problem with (House Bill 1160) was that it rolled back the renewable energy standard and that is not consistent with our Democratic values,” said Senate Majority Leader John Morse.
Morse (D-Colorado Springs) received the bill in late March after it was passed by the House, but said he grappled with it for six weeks and decided to combine it with HB 1351. Though listed on the calendar for a third reading on the final day of the session, the journal stated, “The Senate has laid over HB12 – 1358 and HB 1351 to May 10, 2012” – essentially killing the bill.
“The governor asked who wouldn’t like this bill?” recalled Baumgardner. “Wind and solar interests didn’t like it because they worried about losing a share of their tax credits. But, if the bill had passed, it wouldn’t have been that much.”
HB 1160 critics supported the concept of capturing methane gas that some say contributes to global warming, but balked at the idea of including it under the state’s renewable energy standard that favors solar and wind power. Yet, the technology has been utilized in Europe for more than two decades and in Pennsylvania since 2008 – and both have deemed it a renewable energy source.
Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency endorsed the bill because it provided a “local, clean energy source, improves air quality and safety, reduces greenhouse emissions (and) generates revenues and jobs.”
In addition to providing renewable energy at a lower cost than solar power, the process would prevent methane gas from seeping into the atmosphere. Felicia Ruiz of the EPA’s Climate Change Division stated, “Methane has a global warming potential 23 times greater than carbon dioxide.”
Tom Vessels, president of Vessels Coal Gas, estimated that the project near Paonia in Delta County would have “total economic benefits approaching nearly $2 million a year, including $800,000 in royalties paid to the Bureau of Land Management, $600,000 in increased property taxes, $180,000 in direct payments to local vendors” and add initial construction jobs and eight permanent positions to the company’s staff.
According to Vessels, this alternative energy resource wouldn’t impact the financial investment in wind and solar power resources. He stated in a position paper, “Over the past 15 years, more than $2 billion has been invested in Colorado wind farms. Likewise, the state’s solar industry has installed roughly $700 million of capacity in the same period.”
The bill was endorsed by Holy Cross Energy, Colorado Rural Electrical Association, Delta-Montrose Electrical Association, Colorado Rural Electric Association, Colorado Farmers Union, Colorado Mining Association, Aspen-Snowmass Skiing Company and others. It was opposed by Western Resource Advocates of Boulder, Rocky Mountain Climate Organizations and Colorado Environmental Coalition.
Vicky Mandell of Western Resource Advocates argued, “By including methane gas from coal mines in the standard, that would cannibalize funds available for promotion and development of renewable energy in our state, and allocate these funds for something that is not renewable… Wind and solar are renewable sources.”
“We worked to try to fix (House Bill 1160), but that was a slow process that didn’t come together,” said Morse.” Eventually, this bill was rolled into HB 1351, but that bill died on the last day of session.  So, technically HB 1160 did get to second reading, it was just in the form of HB 1351.”
“I’m not na├»ve. I do know what’s going to happen to this bill,” said Senator Tochtrop during a committee hearing on May 8, a day before the session ended. She said that powerful solar and wind power interests had lobbied against the bill’s passage.
As it rained outside the Capitol, she talked about the merits of the importance of tapping alternative renewable energy resources – and not just concentrating on solar and wind power – that are available 24 hours a day.
“Look at today, we don’t have any wind and we don’t have any sunshine,” said Tochtrop.
In addition to the components in HB 1160, her bill sought to create an alternative energy source, helped reduce landfill waste, add 55 permanent jobs in La Junta – and a private businessman was ready to invest $45 million in the project.
“It’s tragic the bill got shelved,” said Sen. Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City). “Apparently, the Arkansas Valley people in Colorado don’t matter to some in the legislature.”
Killing the bill, Grantham said, was akin to chasing an investor out of Colorado who wanted to create jobs, advance energy independence and cleanup the environment.
Though the bill never made it to the Senate floor for a final vote, it had also been complicated when a third bill was tacked on the measure. Senate Bill 178 would have removed credits that gave preference to energy renewable resources located in Colorado.
Under Amendment 37, passed by Colorado voters in 2004, “each kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity generated in Colorado shall be counted as 1.25 kilowatt-hours for the purposes of compliance with this standard.”
The in-state preferential treatment had gone unnoticed until a lawsuit was filed in federal court that claims Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution was filed in federal court.
Tochtrop said that merging HB 1160 into HB 1351 was not a problem – both sought to expand renewable energy resources and create jobs. But, SB 178 would have eliminated credits – and that opened a new and controversial discussion about the state backpedaling on incentives promised to power providers in Colorado.
“We talk about jobs all the time, but this was a really important piece of legislation,” said Tochtrop. “We got the blessing of the Governor’s office to go this way with the bill. He really wanted it to pass.”