Sunday, November 27, 2011

Strange, stupid and surreal Sunday, Nov. 27

Warning Patriots, them Muslens are infiltrating 'Murica using Butterball turkeys....wait, Turkey is a Muslen country, it all makes sense!

So you're saying Mac n' Cheese is soul food Pat?

Law & Order: Special Buggy Unit has gone federal.

This would justify road rage:

...if you could get out of the goo.

The metal is what makes Craisans crantastic!

Another reason to avoid those stupid Twilight movies - they'll give you seizures!

It's been 40 years since D. B. Cooper pulled his caper.  What does one do for 40th Hijacking Anniversary?

Aww, Roseanne may quit twitter because people are pretending to be her...what a tragic loss for civilization.

"MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's archaeology institute downplays theories that the ancient Mayas predicted some sort of apocalypse would occur in 2012, but on Thursday it acknowledged that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment found at a southern Mexico ruin site.Ah - HA! I knew it!

Frosty is arrested at a parade, it's getting to be like Christmas under the Czars!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street as an accident of history

A year ago Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their satirical rallies mocking the divisness in the media and politics.  Many people who were becoming frustrated with the cynicism, cronyism and double standards in the world projected their own hopes onto the rallies and mistook what they were about, much in the way they projected too much onto Obama (uhhh Micheal Moore, he campaigned on finishing the job in Afghanistan not leaving) or even voted for the Tea Part Repubs while ignoring their platform.  The general reaction to these very different events underscores a yearning in people for some sort of change and enough with the corruption and dismantling of democracy.

So it is with Occupy Wall Street.  I agree with this assesment by one Sarwar Kasmeri while not sharing in his disappointment:
But if you still believe Occupy Wall Street's objective is to illuminate and help correct the glaring inequalities in America, the message from the Hartland meeting would have disappointed you. Never a movement focused on specific changes, Occupy Wall Street now seems transformed into a chaotic grouping of utopian ideas that have more to do with social engineering than the gut-level issues that so anger much of America today.
But this is the way that OWS-types have been and always will be. Most times they are ignored, but this time the anti-financial/political corruption  and 99% theme they were espousing happened to strike a nerve with the public.  Yet it is foolish to expect this group to do anymore than their own thing and they are not obligated to do what others want them to anymore than Stewart and Colbert were.  Those who want to actually accomplish change in meaningful way need to stop complaining and step up and lead themselves.  I have to give credit to organized labor for at least trying to take advantage of the opportunity at hand, but most so-called progressives are always looking for someone else to do the heavy-lifting for them.

Black Friday is sickening.

Black Friday violence: 1 shopper critically injured after shooting, 15 others pepper-sprayed
Updated at 8:40a.m. ET: NBC station KNTV's Monte Francis reported that a Black Friday shopper was shot and critically injured by a robber in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in San Leandro, California, early Friday.
Updated at 7.30a.m. ET: An angry woman used pepper spray when Black Friday bargain-hunters tried to cut in line at a crowded Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles late Thursday, leaving 15 people with minor injuries. The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. PT (1:20 a.m. ET Friday) in the San Fernando Valley as shoppers looking for deals were let inside the outlet.
This is why I've always hated Black Friday and avoid it like the plague.  I also thought it was a waste of time for the Occupiers to protest it.  But now I'll have to rethink that. The customers are morons, but no one is putting a gun to the head of retail execs and overpaid marketing clowns who encourage this sort of behavior. I'm sure they absolve themselves of all responsibility as they laugh at moronic customers and count their cash. Society has to say ENOUGH.

I actually believe that Blue Laws are not a bad idea, not for the original religious justification, but for people to take a break from everything.  I remember everything but convenience stores being closed on July 4th in Mass. and was shocked to see this on a Walmart in Utah in 1996:
In honor of our nation's birth we will be closing today at 5:30 PM.
Wow, don't go overboard on your honoring there. Now it seems like that is the norm. What do we expect in a country that went to war and issued tax cuts at the same time?

Greed is killing us

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday wackiness roundup Nov. 20th edition.

Really pal, stop using Dungeons & Dragons as a handbook for life. I've never trusted those Society for Creative Anachronism types.

Drunk and proud of it.

Pilot gets stuck in the can and hilarity ensues.

A Russian says a weird skeleton with a triangular skull found  in Peru is that Alien!

"COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The sprawling pile of hundreds of thousands of tires isn't easy to spot from the ground, sitting in a rural South Carolina clearing accessible by only a circuitous dirt path that winds through thick patches of trees. No one knows how all those tires got there, or when." Oh come on, we know it's the triangle headed Peruvian aliens.

This is a great spoof of the latest GOP debate...wait, what? It's not a parody? God help us....

Couple name their kid Adolf Hitler, are surprised over everyone's reaction.

Oh so now the Chupacabra are hairless racccons, not mangy foxes. And I suppose Bigfoot is unidentified primate, not an interdimensional being - please.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 18-19

Sen. Dinniman Speaks Out Against Marcellus Shale Legislation

State Senator Andy Dinniman held a press conference on the Old Court House steps Friday afternoon to address concerns he had about the Marcellus Shale bill recently passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
“I believe the citizens of this county have made their feelings clear,” Dinniman said. “They feel that we need a fair impact fee or a tax on natural gas drilling.”
Pennsylvania DEP Effort Encourages Oil and Gas Industry to Use Mine Drainage Water
The Department of Environmental Protection announced today the preliminary process it will use for authorizing the use of acid mine drainage water for oil and gas operations, including Marcellus Shale wells.
"Acid mine drainage impairs more than 5,000 miles of streams in our state, making it ideal for operators to take the drainage out of our waterways and put it to use for hydraulic fracturing," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "As natural gas extraction does not require drinking quality water, this represents a real win-win that can address two water challenges at once."
 Groups to protest drilling bill
A coalition of groups and citizens opposed to HB 1950 will voice their discontent today about the huge benefits they say Marcellus Shale drillers will receive at the financial and environmental expense of Pennsylvania residents.
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) and the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition, joined by other community and civic leaders, will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the historic courthouse, 2 N. High St., in West Chester.
Cawley: Gas drilling guarantees job creation
Creating jobs in Pennsylvania boils down to a simple mathematical equation, said Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley: E = J.
"Energy equals jobs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Cawley told a crowd of business owners and students at Bucks County Technical High School in Fairless Hills on Friday.
The Fracturing of Pennsylvania

From some views, this diamond-shaped cut of land looks like the hardscrabble farmland it has been since the 18th century, when English and Scottish settlers successfully drove away the members of a Native American village called Annawanna, or “the path of the water.” Arrowheads still line the streambeds. Hickory trees march out along its high, dry ridges. Box elders ring the lower, wetter gullies. The air smells of sweet grass. Cows moo. Horses whinny.
From other vantages, it looks like an American natural-gas field, home to 10 gas wells, a compressor station — which feeds fresh gas into pipelines leading to homes hundreds of miles away — and what was, until late this summer, an open five-acre water-impoundment chemical pond. Trucks rev engines over fresh earth. Backhoes grind stubborn stones. Pipeline snakes beneath clear-cut hillsides.
 Pa. Marcellus Wastewater Industry Restructuring, Painfully
The emerging industry for treating and disposing of Marcellus wastewater has undergone a painful restructuring in Pennsylvania since April.
That's when environmental regulators asked drillers to voluntarily stop using conventional wastewater treatment plants.
"It's been a very powerful transformation of the water disposal and water processing industry during the last six months," said Paul Hart, president of Hart Resource Technologies, which operates three treatment facilities to the east and north of Pittsburgh.
Drilling halted after spill into NW Pa. reservoir
Hunt Marcellus Operating Co. tells the Bradford Era that it stopped drilling in Johnsonburg after some bentonite gel was released into Silver Creek and made its way into a drinking water reservoir controlled by the Johnsonburg Municipal Authority.

Week-end Wrap.

Some random items I didn't get a chance to comment on:
MLB adds two wild cards, moves Astros to AL
Two wild card teams will be added to Major League Baseball's playoffs no later than 2013, the same year the Houston Astros will begin play in the American League.
I know a lot of people like the idea of more opportunities for teams to get into the post-season and for more interleague play, but I worry about baseball become too much like other sports.  IMHO Selig is taking MLB down the road the NHL has gone, and that's not a good thing.

Report: Red Sox meet with Bobby Valentine - Nooooooo!!!!!

This is one of the best takedowns of the Penn State-Paterno cult I've seen.  Trust me, a lot of Pennsylvanians are still in denial over the whole thing and are hostile to articles like this.

PSU could raise tuition to cover damages from suits - How about taking the money from the football program and if necessary athletics as a whole?  Doesn't this remind you of the bailing out of Wall Street?  I don't expect to see Penn State students rioting over this though.

Speaking of which, academia really doesn't like students protesting income inequality and college finances, the latest over the top crackdown coming at UC-Davis.  I know it annoys many that students want debt forgiven and many millenials did think they were entitled to great jobs just by going to college.  But this is the lie that was sold to them by their parent, guidance counselers and of course the universities themselves.  The rapid rise in tuition (above the rate of inflation) is due in part to the need to pay for the bloated administration, which also drives the push for mire enrollments, the dumbing down of the curricula (and the increasing worthlessness of degrees). For decades people were told by society that if you wanted to get a good job you needed a degree, any undergrad degree would do. Now you pay more and get a crappier education for your degree and can't even get a good job.  The same society tells the students they spoiled and deceived it was their own fault  they chose to go to school and tough shit that you can't a good job.
BTW, no one's even got into the cronyism problem yet, which goes along with the branding/markteing mindset in the hiring of faculty and technical staff. Yours truly discovered the hard way that actually running an electron microprobe lab and years of electronic repair experience can't compete with people who assisted in a lab for two year with the right pedigree and connection.  Should make you question the quality of data coming out of geoscience analytical labs these days.

Nobody should surprised at this - Lobbying firm's memo spells out plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street

But this may surprise you - Geraldo Defends Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations From Eric Bolling’s Repudiation.  Of course at one time Geraldo did fancy himself a crusading investigative reporter, so he really doesn't mesh with Fox's politics, just their sensationalism.

This is one of the better discussions I've seen of Peak Oil. I like the "just the facts and spare me the doomerism and conspiracy" approach.  It's enough of a problem w/o attaching whackiness to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 15-17

Markell: Delaware will vote against controversial drilling in Delaware River watershed
Gov. Jack Markell said late today that Delaware will vote against a regional agency plan to allow a controversial type of deep shale-gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed, citing unsettled and inadequate terms for state and local environmental safeguards and insufficient public review of recently amended regulatory proposals.
Poll says most in Pa. see more pros than cons in shale industry
About 41 percent of Pennsylvanians said drilling has yielded more benefits than problems so far, while 33 percent said it posed more problems and 26 percent weighed the pros and cons as equal. When asked to consider the long-term impact, 50 percent said shale gas will provide more benefits than problems, while 32 percent said the reverse.
One thing's clear: Pennsylvanians think the shale gas is indeed taxable. About 72 percent said firms extracting natural gas should pay a tax that's allocated at a local level.
Experts Say Shale Boom Equals Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
When you meet Randy Pfirman, you can almost see the dollar signs in his eyes. Just two years ago, the born and raised Williamsport man had a slow water hose manufacturing company on his hands. He had less than a handful of workers, and business was declining. Every year, the area would lose a factory, and they would lose another customer. Then in 2009, one of those remaining few customers “hit it big,” drilling one of the area’s first gas wells that tapped into the Marcellus shale. The man warned Pfirman that gas companies and their teams of workers would be “coming in from all over.”They did. And they wanted Pfirman’s products.“I don’t ever have to worry about what I’m going to do in the future,” said Pfirman. “Nobody in this area has to worry about jobs anymore.”
House GOP Leadership Kills Debate on Amendments to Marcellus Bill
In one of the more blatant displays of raw power against the will of the people, the House Republican leadership today rammed through second consideration of HB 1950, an omnibus Marcellus Shale drilling bill that is an early Christmas gift to the multinational gas drillers and puts frack fluid in the stockings of citizens.
Heavily debated Marcellus Shale bill passes Senate
The State Senate Tuesday approved legislation that would establish reasonable fees on gas drillers, establish strong environmental safeguards, and strengthen oversight of the Marcellus Shale drilling industry, according to Senator Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, who sponsored the measure.
Passage of Senate Bill 1100 comes after months of negotiation and compromise on a number of areas, including how funding would be allocated and local zoning issues.
DEP investigation finds inconsistencies in Marcellus violations
A DEP team convened to scour inconsistencies in oil and gas inspections between Pennsylvania’s three regions came out with its findings today. The verdict: inconsistencies exist.
As we reported in August, different regions’ inspectors were entering violations differently, accounting for swings in the number of offenses recorded in the southwestern vs. the northeastern parts of the Marcellus Shale.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Troubling aspects of OWS raids

I'll say right off the bat that mayors do have legitimate obligations to enforce public safety and that the Occupy groups have been spineless in confronting both anarchists who try to hijack their peaceful movement and various creeps who use them to prowl for victims to sexually assault.

But based on comments from Oakland's mayor, it appears these raids may have been coordinated by the mayors, something that should raise some series free speech and right-to-dissent issues. After all, each city has different ordinances for public spaces and at any one time in a large city there will be groups picketing or protesting  and collections of people camping out, i.e. collections of homeless. One could then make the argument that the Occupy groups were cleared out not for the violations, but rather because of who they are.

Even more troubling is accounts now coming to light that NYC had reporters covering the raid arrested. When you compare the way the pro-Paterno punks were treated at Penn State and these raids (as well as how UC- Berkely of all places reacted to an Occupy Cal.), you do have to wonder if mayors and University officials are indeed controlled by big donors.

"It's the climate stupid" Redux

Nill McKibben rhetorically asks, "Will global warming be a 2012 election issue?"  Now McKibben is the person you expect to push this narrative, but it does hint that there is a growing unease about the climate due to the rise in extreme weather that would affect politics.
Hey, I called it.

Police clear Bonus Marcher' Occupy Camps

Over the weekend Portland, Oregon (there's two Portlands you know), Salt Lake City, Oakland and Denver cleared out the Occupy camps in those cities. Last night New York did the same, but there is a court order overturning NYC's action. No tanks, bayonets or calvary were used.

Which brings up the most obvious analogy to the Occupy events, the Depression era Bonus Marchers
"Bonus Army marchers (left) confront the police." Wikicommons.

There was one good article I came across in October linking the two, as well other similar movements during economic stress in the U.S. such as Coxey's Army.  Why don't we hear this analogy more often in the MSM, instead of very weak comparisons to the Sixties' anti-war protests?  Sadly I would have to attribute it once again to the severe cultural myopia of the Baby Boomers, as the error is made by those on both the left and right.  The danger from this narrow viewing of history is that it shoehorns everything into the conflicts and issues of a narrow slice of time that are not appropriate to today's program.  It is similar to when those who should know better frame every period of international tension with a grossly simplified version of the '38 Munich Appeasement.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 14

New Drilling Fee Proposal Moves Out Of Senate Appropriations Committee
The Senate Appropriations Committee this evening approved, largely along party lines, an amendment offered by Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) to Senate Bill 1100 proposing a uniform, statewide Marcellus Shale drilling fee starting at $50,000 per well, per year decreasing to $10,000 after 10 years. Senate Democrats offered their own proposal starting at $75,000 per well, which was defeated.
Shale Boom Hits Williamsport: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
But around Williamsport, gas companies have leased thousands of acres of property from landowners, forests and state parks over the past five years to get at it.
Now because of it, Williamsport calls itself the energy capital of Pennsylvania. This year, it was named the seventh fastest growing small city in the country. There are 553 active drilling sites just in Lycoming County, where Williamsport is located, and 1,562 next door in Bradford County.
Those who live there say Marcellus shale has changed everything.
Fracking critics urge officials to block Delaware Basin gas development

Opponents of a controversial method of natural gas extraction will stage a last-ditch effort on Monday, November 14 to stop an interstate regulator from giving the go-ahead for gas production in the Delaware River Basin.
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), consisting of the governors of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, plus Army Corps of Engineers which represents the federal government, is due to vote on Nov. 21 on proposed rules that would allow tens of thousands of gas wells to be drilled in the basin. Approval would lift a moratorium.

Lack of posts

Despite all the goin'-ons with OWS, fracking and Penn State (which does relate to overall issues with double standards, misplace priorities and abuse of pwer) I haven't written a thing here. Unfortunately I have had a lot of grading for my one class coupled with the need to get exterior work on the old school house done while the weather is good.

I hope to get back up to speed soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More crazy weather

Well despite the record-breaking October Northeast snow, the month overall was warmer than average in the U. S

But in terms of ongoing crazy we have Oklahoma tornadoes being followed by snow in the Plains region

And for real crazy we have an unusually powerful Bering Sea storm packing 85 mph winds about to slam into western Alaska, possibly producing 4 to 10 foot storm surges.

Joe Paterno Must Go - Now!

In the wake of the revelations that a serial pedophile was employed as an assistant coach by Penn. State football and protected by higher ups in the university, newspapers in Pennsylvania are calling for the resignations of Penn. State's president and Joe Paterno.  A former quarterback and grad assistant witnessed the rape of a 10-year old in a PSU locker room shower, then went to his dad, who told him to talk to Paterno, who in turn did little but inform higher-ups. The GA didn't intervene or call the police and Joe Pa did little more. Yet, paterno is still defended  by PSU football fans and alumni.

Sexual assault on a child is a felony and a citizen is required to report it to the law enforcement authorities. Not just pass it upstairs, as if there is really anyone with authority over JoePa. Sorry Mike and Mike in the Morning, he did not do enough. This is the type of actions that got the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in trouble.  This case is no different, the same legal principles apply.

Whether it's Penn State, the Catholic Church, the National Restaurant Association or Occupy Wall Street, sexual assault is a crime that you are required to report, not police yourself to protect your organizations reputation - period.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 7

Corporate funding of Marcellus Shale studies at universities raises alarms

As development of the Marcellus Shale spreads across Pennsylvania, Penn State University has taken a central role in doing research about the industry, from its economic impact to its geological properties.
Some of the research is paid for by companies extracting the gas, according to petroleum geologists who do the work. But the state-related university, which took in $214 million in taxpayer funding last year, declined to say how much individual companies spend or what the money pays for.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 3

Midnight Pennsylvania Explosion Fuels New Marcellus Gas Safety Concerns
A natural gas compressor station in southern Pennsylvania exploded overnight Thursday, prompting the evacuation of about 150 people and raising concerns about safety amid the shale-gas boom that is spreading throughout the state.

A local resident reported a "loud noise" at the Artemas Compressor Station in Mann Township, Bedford County, at about 12:30 a.m., according to Shawn Trahan, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Columbia Gas Transmission, part of NiSource, which operates the station.
Pa. House panel OKs shale fee bill on party lines

Pennsylvania House Republicans on Wednesday passed a measure out of committee that would impose a local impact fee on natural gas drilling and establish new state regulations on the growing industry.
The 127-page bill, approved 15-9 in the Finance Committee along party lines, was patterned closely on an approach favored by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. It also would fund environmental programs.
Federal probe into hydraulic fracturing and its effects on drinking water to begin
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday released the outlines of its long-awaited probe into whether hydraulic fracturing — the unconventional drilling technique that’s led to a boom in domestic natural gas production — is contaminating drinking-water supplies.
Investigators will try to determine the impact of large-scale water withdrawals, aboveground spills of drilling fluids, and the fracturing process itself on water quality and quantity in states where tens of thousands of wells have been drilled in recent years.
Chesapeake, Enterprise to run ethane pipeline
Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Wednesday it will anchor Enterprise Products Partners LP's proposed ethane pipeline from northeastern states to the Gulf Coast....The companies said the pipeline would deliver ethane produced in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio about 1,230 miles to their storage complex for natural gas liquids in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is depressing....

The Department of Energy program to monitor CO2 emissions has reported that they increased 6% from 2009 to 2010, an apparently unprecedented "monster" increase.  According to AP
The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated,...The world pumped about 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. That's an increase of 6 percent. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries — China, the United States and India, the world's top producers of greenhouse gases.
The DOE program is located at Oak Ridge National Labs (hardly a hippie Biosphere 2 type place).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 1

The big story today is that the bill proposed by Gov. Corbett for the state to levy an impact fee that would go to local communities (i.e. local impact fee) would also limit ability of the same communities to pass local ordinances that regulate drilling:
The two state legislative chambers are reversing roles on Marcellus Shale regulations, with an impact fee from the House GOP gaining steam and the Senate delaying a vote on its levy proposal until mid-November....
Since then, the Corbett administration has urged lawmakers and staffers to include a provision that would completely pre-empt local zoning ordinances on oil and gas drilling. An administration spokesman declined to confirm that the administration is pushing for state control of drilling rules, but he did say the governor believes local rules are too fragmented.