Sunday, September 26, 2010

Surreal and strange Sunday again

Kinda thin this week:

Mailman hoards mail instead of delivering it - I think Newman did this on Seinfeld.

The Irish are enforcing a drinking age, with undercover informants no less.

Only in Philly...

The stinkbugs are attacking...its true, they cover the back of our house every afternoon.

But there is CHUPACABRA News!
In Texas, another one has been killed, although the quoted vet seems to be doubtful (hmmm, maybe THEY got to her).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cages are rattled!

Moderates start to speak (politely!) and the extremists imeediately respond psychotically."Does not compute, must be either hard left or hard right. No other ideas can exist."

First though, this is the best and most accurate take yet.

The righties of course miss the idea, lost in their own persecution complexes.

Then we hear from the idiots on the left
 Amazing isn't it? A call for civility and reason is attacked by screaming and simplistic rants that completely prove the need for such a call. It is entirely obvious that many of them didn't even read the statement or watch Stewart's announcement. Or how they perfectly fit into Colbert's parody.

We're like Poland in '39, attacked by deranged ideologues from the left and right.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gas Shale News for the Keystone State, 9/21 edition

Chesapeake ordered to inspect 171 Marcellus wells
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp must inspect 171 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale after reports gas leaked into a river...

Corbett Releases Environmental Position
Corbett will create a bipartisan Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Commission that will address issues regarding the industry and will reach out to local ..

ACLU seeks more info on anti-terrorism bulletins
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Many of the bulletins included information about protests by groups opposed to natrual gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The alerts were sent to law ...

Talisman: severance tax would make drilling "uneconomical"
Towanda Daily Review
TOWANDA - The enactment of a natural gas severance tax at this time in Pennsylvania would put further Marcellus Shale drilling by Talisman Energy USA in the ..

Showdown looms in Harrisburg.
Philadelphia Inquirer
... heralded the natural gas in the Marcellus Shale as the state's most promising source of revenue in a generation. Pennsylvania's Gold Rush, they say. ..

Film takes anti-drilling position
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
... the energy industry have been pouring into Pennsylvania to snap up lease agreements from landowners to develop the gas rich Marcellus Shale formation, ..

PA Gubernatorial Candidates Talk Jobs
WFMZ Allentown
Onorato said he also wants to make Pennsylvania more inviting to businesses, but he's also concerned with the long term effects of the Marcellus Shale ..

Hopes hang on shale gas jobs
Danville News
He also commented on the need for Pennsylvania workers to move faster at obtaining the training they need to work in the Marcellus shale business. ...
Penn State gets $88 million for hockey arena, program
Philadelphia Inquirer
East Resources is based near Pittsburgh and holds substantial development rights to Marcellus Shale natural gas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, ..

Chesapeake ordered to inspect 171 Marcellus wells
N) must inspect 171 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale after reports gas leaked into a river and nearby water wells, a state regulator said ..

Southwestern Energy Denies Claims Drill Fluid Fouled Water Wells
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, says output from just the Marcellus Shale, which underlies much of New York, Pennsylvania and West ...

Report: Chemicals found in NE Pennsylvania water wells
The contaminated Dimock wells are in the Marcellus shale formation underneath parts of Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio, one of the largest .

Mirabito, House Commerce Committee tour Pennsylvania College
Rick Mirabito hosted members of the House Commerce Committee on a tour of the Pennsylvania College of Technology today to show how the school is adapting ..

Accurate evaluation of Marcellus shale wells complicated by ...
Gerson Lehrman Group
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has released Marcellus gas shale production for the 12 month period from July 1, 2009 through June ...

Chesapeake Eyes Athens Township Site
The company is drilling into the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. And, as Action News reporter Matt Markham tells us, the company has its sights on ...

Lawsuit: Gas drilling fluid ruined Pa. water wells
The Associated Press
Pennsylvania and West Virginia have seen thousands of wells drilled in recent years as the riches of the Marcellus Shale have become more accessible with ..

Severance Tax Impact--Not Much
WDUQNews (blog)
As the Pennsylvania legislature approaches an October 1st deadline for imposing a severance tax on natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale, ..

$1 million will fund gas institute
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
... here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, we're going to be hard activists with what happens to Marcellus Shale and the gas resources here,” Kanjorski said. ..

Natural gas stations in Western Pennsylvania's future
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A shift toward using natural gas to power vehicles is gaining momentum, especially with the discovery of the Marcellus shale rock formation in Pennsylvania, ...          

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sanity and Fear -more news

Well now we have democratic party folks and the professional liberal commentariate upset at the Stewart/Colber event. Why? Well:
From Poltico, "the planned event has also produced a bit of hand-wringing among Democrats. For one thing, Stewart hasn't mentioned that labor groups and other institutional Democratic organizations are already planning a big Washington rally to counter Beck: The One America rally on October 2, which has been struggling to get the kind of attention Beck does. And the Stewart rally is also, for Democratic field operatives, at an inconvenient time: Its participants are "not doing GOTV on GOTV weekend" said Matt Ortega, a former DNC staffer, referring to a weekend typically spent knocking on doors and making calls in one's home district, not Washington."
 And from Slate. "Democrats look at the electoral map and see that they're doomed. Their hope rests on the resilience of liberal activists and union members, who will be spending the final 72 hours of the campaign pulling voters to the polls. And all of a sudden here come Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, turning a joke into a mega-rally and plucking liberals right out of their get-out-the-vote operations during their most crucial weekend."

OK numbnuts, Stewart and Colbert and their fans, may lean left, support Obama and hated the Bush years BUT they do not work for you. I know the right thinks they do and I guess this proves you're not that different. If you're in electoral trouble its your own hand wringing fault. You along with the right deserve to be mocked.

I know now why I registered Independent in '84 and never looked back. The people obsessed with the simplistic liberal/conservative world view on EVERYTHING are nothing but arguing loudmouths who really aren't any good at actually solving problems.

Restoring Sanity and Marching for Fear

Unless you live under a rock, you heard that Jon Stewart is hosting a Restoring Sanity , to countered by Colbert's  March to Keep Fear Alive, which warns, "...there are dark, optimistic forces trying to take away our Fear."

Now, the purpose of the Sanity March is pretty clear both from the mouth of Stewart and the website, "We're looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn't be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it's appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles."
"We live in troubled times, with real people, facing real problems, problems that have real, if imperfect, solutions, that I believe 70 to 80% of our population could agree to try, and could ultimately live with. Unfortunately, the conversation and process is controlled by the other 15 to 20%." So true...
Unfortunately, if you look at sites like HuffPo and ThinkProgress, there are many who think this IS going to be some sort of Micheal Moore rant-a-thon, filled with all manner of shouting and angry signs carried by professional activists. Apparently they have reading comprehension problems as bad as the teabaggers. If they hijack and wreck this I will consider them the same as the TP.

A Politico piece last week did a good job of breaking down the differences between TDS/Colbert audience and Becks:
"The largest segment of Glenn Beck’s audience is over 65, while the largest segment that watches the Daily Show and the Colbert Report is under 30"
"But Daily Show and Colbert Report fans are on average less far left than, say, regular watchers of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow."

While we're at it, one thing that TDS does extremely well is skewer the media for not researching their stories. And now we a poorly researched story about the rallies in the NYT. Nowhere is it mentioned how ths all came about, with a single comment on Reddit and Colbert's fans setting up websites and Facebook pages.

I have no idea how this will turn out, but already it proves two points from the shows, the media sucks at doing their job and loud minority extremists try to hijack any thing remotely connected to politics in this country.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Political slogan about the Teabaggers

Reading all the poop (literally) on Christine O'Donnell that has come out, I have a new counter TP slogan:

"The Tea Party, getting government off your back and into your pants."

Probably not convoluted and obtuse enough for the Democrats and progressives to use.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gas Shale News for the Keystone State, 9/13 edition

First out of the gate is not in Pennsylvania, but the EPA hearing in Binghamton, NY is drawing national attention. The CBS/AP story reports, "Opponents of the process - hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - carried signs saying 'Kids can't drink gas' and 'Protect our water. Stop fracking America.' Supporters, including union workers eager for jobs, carried signs that said 'Yes to science, no to paranoia' and chanted 'Pass gas now!' "

A little known interstate and federal agency, the Delaware River Basin Commission, has halted gas projects in Wayne and Pike counties.

At  its annual meeting in Williamsport, the Pennsylvania Forestry Association examined the pros and cons of Marcellus drilling.

Not surprisingly, the Sierra Club is pushing tougher regulations.

An Indian company, Reliance Industries Ltd has bought into Carrizo Oil & Gas shale operations in NE PA.

The lure of "gas-gold" has created a real estate boom in SW PA. Oh boy, another resource/land boom - these always end well!

The severance tax is still the big issue in Harrisburg. Most say they'll support a tax, but the devil is in the details. The Repubs and the industry threaten that too high a tax will make them leave. Please...

Schools and others in the state want the tax money to go local concerns, citing increased demands on services and infrastructure as a result of the boom. Count the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners as supporters of the tax as well.

The candidates are still pushing all the jobs to be created from the Marcellus.

The Pennsylvania DEP has released a preliminary report on Marcellus Shale production. The reports are here, at the bottom of the page.

The Oil& Gas Financial Journal reports there may be a new problem with gas production, disposal of ethane

People in Texas are warning us about "environmental extremists" attacking wells in PA

Just some thoughts before I head out the door....

When I look out the electronic window onto the world, I not only see the challenges we face, but two loud crowds: the doomers and the denialists.
Both spend an excessive amount of time on-line and both drown out any other opinions. The denialists look at problems and say, "that's not true, we'll be fine, we'll only be fine as continuing doing what we're doin', nobody can tell me what to do...." The doomers look at problems, see the challengers and tough decisions and say, "its hopeless, nothing will work, its too little, no one cares, everyone is stupid (but me)..."  For the latter its a good thing there are real threats, otherwise they would have to invent some.

The doomers and denialist appear to be antagonists, but you know what? They're actually walking hand -in-hand, because they both are obstacles to accomplishing anything.

A few rules for life:
1) There are always problems to be addressed.
2) denying them doesn't make them go away
2) sometimes there are more of them and sometimes they are worse
3) sometimes there are no good answers
4) doing nothing is almost always the worst option
5) everything will have unintended consequences

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Distant Thunder

I've hit higher education repeatedly. Our challenges cry out for research and education, but American collegs and universities are increasingly mediocre, overpriced, and smothered by cancerous administration. The situation is unsustainable and we may see a bursting tuition bubble.

A leaked report in Der Spiegel has made the rounds on the internets. Why? It is a German military study of the potentially drastic effects of Peak Oil.

Many stories this week also about a current global food crisis and the connection to climate change. This includes a bad wheat crop in Russia and substantial crop failures in Africa. At the moment the UN dismisses the idea of a global crisis.

On a local level, this has been the hottest summer in 116 years of record keeping in Delaware. By itself that means nothing, but four of the five hottest summers will have occurred in the last 8 years.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Don't think '94, think '38

Paul Krugman makes the point that 1938 is a very good analogy for our current economic and political state. The line that struck me, "Even under F.D.R., there was never the political will to do what was needed to end the Great Depression; its eventual resolution came essentially by accident." The accident of course being the ginormous spending of WWII.

I look at our economic path through time as a ship heading down a channel. Since Reagan we first pulled to one side of the channel and then decided to go even further and take a "shortcut" out the right side. We suddenly found ourselves among rocks and shoals. Obama began to steer us back, but the shortcutters began to scream*. This made the ship's officers begin to vacillate and their supporters among the passengers wrung their hands and fell silent. A wrecker's light has sprung up, luring us back towards the rocks. The shortcutters are now hoping for a takeover so we can head towards the light.

What happens next?

*not surprising, since navigation is a science

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gas Shale News for the Keystone State, 9/6 edition

Because of the delay last week, I've decided to move the update from Fridays to Mondays. Here is the round-up of Marcellus Play news for 8/31 through 9/6:

On the business end, Rex Energy has entered into a joint venture agreement with Summit Discovery Resources II, a subsidiary of a large Japanese investment firm.

Chief Oil & Gas has  voluntarily disclosed the additives it uses to hydrofrak in the Marcellus Shale, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pennsylvania to plans increase roadside inspections of waste haulers, reports Truckinginfo. It has been suggested that much of the reported contamination may not be a direct result of well operation, but instead may be from illegal dumping or improper transport.  The state is also investigating a spill of gas well drill cuttings near a stream in Stueben County NY, on the PA line. Environmental groups claim that the cuttings are radioactive. A more realistic problem from disposal of such cuttings would be pyrite in the shale producing an acid drainage problem. Guess this is what we get for increasing geological ignorance.

Democratic gubenatorial candidate Dan Onorato attacked challenger Tom Corbett over the latter's opposition to a severance tax on Marcellus drilling. Corbett claims the tax would drive the industry out of the state. Yeah right, they're not going to walk away from money and the tax would be chump change for them. John Felmy on tried the same line of BS. Of course, he is the chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute, so what should we expect? This is the same organization to orchestrated a "rally" to oppose plans to get rid of industry tax breaks and impose unlimited liability for oil spills.

Interestingly, it is the GOP in the Penn Senate that is writing the tax bill.

The federal EPA has found water contamination near fracking ops (story is on a subscription site for Oil and Gas Insight journal).

Anderson Cooper yaps about the whole fraking issue on his blog. Is it frak or frack?

The Pennsylvania Cable Network this week will air call-in Q&A and a "town meeting" on the Marcellus shale natural gas issue. This will be Tuesday, Weds, and Thursday. If you're like me and do not get cable you'll miss out. I'll try to find out what, if anything, happens.

More claims about jobs from the gas boom, but details remain vague. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Surreal and strange Sunday

Another way to avoid taxing the rich, pay to speed.

Snakes almost on a plane.

The Netherlands does Rhode Island, but remain uniquely themselves.

Not really odd, but for some reason it makes me feel the need to burp. This however, is strange.

There's a cliff in Delaware?

Ahhh, Jersey.

And the moment you have been waiting for.....the Chupacabra update:

They're on a rampage in Old Mexico, killing 300 goats (well they are goat-suckers). Fortunately intrepid cryptozoologists are on the case. Apparently they're into decapitation now as well. In any case, "research" into their origins continues.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rally for Truthiness

Yes, we need Colbert to restore Truthiness;

10/10/10 Rally for Truthiness

He could do more than any hand-wringing pundit or HuffPo blogger!

Remember the White House Correspondents Dinner?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another rig goes boom

Another oil platform has suffered an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. No word on how big it is or whether any oil has spilled. It is not supposed to be currently producing. Apparently the operator is Mariner Energy.

Even without a spill, it does once again show that accident can happen on these rigs and we should think seriously about the energy supplies that underpin our whole economy.  I don't expect it to stir any action though, since the world of progressive thought that should push for it is controlled by those who would rather sit and moan and wring their hands. And I ain't talking about elected Dems either.

Update: The platform was on what is called the Vermilion Block 380 and was producing  58,800 gallons of oil and 900,000 cubic feet of gas each day. An oil sheen 100 feet wide and a mile long has been spotted.

Update: Good news, it looks like the sheen was from the fuel supplies on the platform.  Still, it emphasizes the risks of our current energy supplies.