Weekend Open Thread

“To prefer evil to good is not in human nature.”

–Plato

56 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    Drumpf™ is amazing.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/revealed-the-nondisclosure-agreement-trump-makes-volunteers-sign/article/2585895
    The nondisclosure agreement Trump makes volunteers sign

    "No Disparagement. During the term of your service and at all times thereafter you hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly the Company, Mr. Trump, any Trump Company, any Family Member, or any Family Member Company or any asset any of the foregoing own, or product or service any of the foregoing offer, in each case by or in any of the Restricted Means and Contexts and to prevent your employees from doing so."

    • MichaelBowman says:

      According to someone on my Facebook feed, yet another sign the End Times are upon us.  Let's Drill baby, Drill!  before Jesus takes us home…#ThanksObama

      "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars … nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes …" (Matt 24:6-7)

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    Happy Labor Day to all of you – complete with a quote from Abraham Lincoln.  

    It's holidays like this that remind me of my maternal grandfather, a small, Minnesota dairy farmer who raised thirteen children on a half-section of land and 50 milk cows. A devout Catholic, NFO member and Minnesota DFL.  As a kid, this region of Minnesota was magical to me. Small farms dotted every half-section. The local Grange Hall meetings with grandpa in the summertime. 

    There were literally hundreds of dairies at that time in Ottertail County, MN. 

    Today the world is much different.  There exists not a single dairy in the county; dairy prices have plummeted by 55% since 2014 and are the lowest since 2009.  The top 20% of today's producers garnered 71% of the $5.6 billion in government subsidies from 1995-2014. 

    This collapse of small and medium dairies is a direct result of federal farm policies which have arguably led to the demise of hundreds of thousands of these farms and with them, their rural communities.  You want to understand the root cause of the heroin and opiod epidemic in rural America?  Until we address the root causes, all the money in the world will simply be a band-aid on this cancer. Until we once again put a higher value on human capital and the role of our small communities in food,energy security and environmental services, no amount of money will fix that problem.  That would, though, require that we tackle things like ag monopolies, subsidy distribution and life-cycle accounting for the programs we subsidize today. It would also require a complete mind-shift amongst the majority of rural American's who think the problem is solely "Democrats".

    We have at least three decades of history of voting against our own self-interests, thanks to the chorus of neo-conservative voices we've been waterboarded with during that same period of time.  

    There are many who think it's already too late.  As a fifth-generation Coloradan I don't share that view, but we are approaching a tipping point.

    It's time for a 21st-century Homestead Act. 

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

    • BlueCat says:

      Today I remember my maternal grandfather who came to this country in 1921 at the age of 22 and raised hell as a union man, fought in the Great Republic Steel Strike, became a union organizer,  union officer, union VP through the better part of his 80s. He was both charming as hell and hell on wheels and just before he died at 99 started to believe and tell us that the union was calling him again to go organize another city and nobody contradicted him.  He was a union man and a warrior to the end.  

      Thank you, Grandpa and all union men and women (Grandma and her sister were union stalwarts too) from the the beginning of the movement for all you fought for and won for all of us, including the ungrateful who will never give you credit for what they have because of you.

      You know and we know the truth.

      Heading out now to start enjoying Labor Day Weekend. Without the labor movement there wouldn't be any such thing as any kind of weekend, much less a long one.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        A reminder to all of us that less than a century ago this happened…

        In 1919, after the end of World War I, Black sharecroppers in Arkansas began to unionize. This attempt to form unions, triggered white vigilantism and mass killings, that left 237 Blacks dead.

        No one was ever charged or any trials held for anyone that took part in the mass lynchings

        • mamajama55 says:

           

          First I read about tha mass murder in Arkansas .

          It's part of that hidden history that common core humanities encourages students to research and discuss, while those advocating for a "patriotic curriculum that celebrates American pride" would just as soon bury this uncomfortable history forever.

          • Duke Cox says:

            I have never gone into great detail about my childhood in a segregated world. We were very young when we left Georgia, relocating to eastern Kentucky during the 4th grade. The culture there was no less racist, it simply contained so few blacks the intimidation was thorough.

            My brother and I were the only white children who ever visited the Taylor home. The Taylors were the only African American family in the area served by our grade school (which, in those olden times went K-8) in Trapp, just east of Winchester. The rules were strict…. 

            We were ostracized and persecuted for our callous disregard for the racial status quo in that community. The name calling was brutal. My big brother, Bob, was always defending himself.. and me. He was a more than fair pugilist in those days and I relied heavily on him for my safety.

            There are numerous repugnant "isms"…none more ugly and vile than racism.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            Wray at one time had a women's KKK chapter – apparently they had 'auxiliaries'.  An old emboss gadget was discovered at the Presbyterian rummage sale a couple of decades ago. 

            In 2007 I was working on a biodiesel project with the South Carolina Dept of Education.  There is a fascinating history to their pupil transportation system, which is today the only school bus fleet owned by a state government in America. Circa late-40's the bus drivers would only allow the white kids to board the bus; the African-American families had to use make-shift buses out of old pickup trucks..  This led to the Briggs v. Elliot action that later became part of the suite of lawsuits that culminated in Brown v. Board of Education.  

            The state was forced to step in, confiscate the bus fleets, hire the drivers and allow the African-American children free transportation to school.

            • Voyageur says:

              Fascinating, Michael.  The state of South Carolina actually promoted desegregation of school buses before Brown?  I don't know whether to be pleased or stunned.

            • Duke Cox says:

              My father was a driver for the Atlanta metro bus system in 1955 or so. It so happened that his route ran directly past the place my brother and I went to daycare, so he would pick us up on his way to Stone Mountain and drop us down the street from home.

              It was not long before we became the darlings of the regular bus crowd, and had the run of the bus. We preferred to sit in the back, with the African-American passengers, but it almost cost my dad his job when an inspector happened to ride on a day when we were aboard. Company policy forbade white people from sitting in the back of the bus as well as banning blacks from sitting up front.

              I think these stories point out something the folks who really support local control of oil and gas operations need to keep in mind. State and federal regulations are often in place to keep local abuse of people and the environment from happening.

              Local authorites running roughshod over their citizens is quite common. Whether it is racial issues or "fracking", there is a need for oversight of local authorities. 

              The answer lies not in constitutional amendments, blue ribbon panels, or any set of rules created by an industry and its captured agencies.  The solution is found in electing progressive Democrats and driving the oil and gas lobby from the Colorado State Capitol … for good.

              Governor Frackenlooper needs an intervention.

              • Davie says:

                My brother-in-law, Grady Moore, was an Atlanta bus driver in the '50's as well.  His route went right past our home (and my father's Five and Dime store next door) on Bankhead Highway in Grove Park on the west side of Atlanta.  He'd toot his horn to say "Hi" to us 🙂  I wonder if your father knew him.

  3. Zappatero says:

    At least he's not your congr—- oh, wait, he is your congressman:

    In many of the worst-hit cities, mayors of both parties are sounding an alarm.

    I’m a Republican, but I also realize, by any objective analysis, the sea level is rising,” said Jason Buelterman, the mayor of tiny Tybee Island, one of the first Georgia communities to adopt a detailed climate plan.

    But the local leaders say they cannot tackle this problem alone. They are pleading with state and federal governments for guidance and help, including billions to pay for flood walls, pumps and road improvements that would buy them time.

    Yet Congress has largely ignored these pleas, and has even tried to block plans by the military to head off future problems at the numerous bases imperiled by a rising sea. A Republican congressman from Colorado, Ken Buck, recently called one military proposal part of a “radical climate change agenda.”

    Not only is Buck a Moron, but the fact that he rejects what he must think is a Radical Communist faction within the Pentagon shows he should forfeit any national security credibility he might have (does he have any?) at once and that his Stupid Political views far outweigh any skills he might have as a leader.

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    The WSJ now tailors their front page stories to their audience.  If you're in El Paso or Laredo you get one version, if you're in Austin you get another…

     

    • Pseudonymous says:

      Snopes says that these were actually different editions.  One before the speech, and after the Mexico visit, the other after (early/late).  The WSJ says that the speech was the driver of the change rather than geography.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        How is that possible when the picture used in both editions includes the picture after their meeting?

        • Pseudonymous says:

          I was inartful in my description.  Both editions came out after Trump's Mexico visit.  The one on the left was from before his speech later the same night in Phoenix.  The one on the right is a late edition that came out after his hateful speech.  It used the same picture, but he had drastically changed his rhetoric.  At least, that's what Snopes says.

  5. Chickenheed says:

    I haven't paid much attention to the Clinton email stories because the whole thing seems like the most mountainous molehill ever. I finally decided to dive in to see what all the hub-bub is about and here's what I've figured out…

    Republicans, who believe the Government is inept and wasteful and that private industry is always a better solution than Government, are upset because Clinton used a private service instead of a government service to maintain her email as Secretary of State.

    Clinton's email was not managed well by the private service and would have been better managed if she had used the government service. By using a private service, she put national security at risk, attempted to hide corruption, led the Benghazi attack and killed Harambe.

    Basically, Republicans think Clinton is a dangerous liar-pants who hates America because… she decided to use a private service instead of a government service?

    • Duke Cox says:

      If the tables were turned and this was an issue for, say, Mitch McConnell, you would definitely hear Republicans defending him in such a manner….I agree.

      • BlueCat says:

        I still wish the Clintons would stop reminding people like me who are supporting HRC now of all the things we never liked about them. While this isn't the enormous scandal the right is making it out to be it's not nothing either. Not with HRC's low trustworthy numbers. Not with the perception of Clinton arrogance and entitlement to play by their own rules. It's also not exactly what Colin Powell or any other SOS did. 

        Between her unpopularity and the strong historic tendency for two terms by one party in the WH to be followed by the other party taking it back, HRC is lucky as hell in her opponent. Without a GOP candidate as outrageous as Trump I honesty believe she'd have no chance at all. What are the chances any normal GOP candidate would have approval numbers even deeper under water than hers?

        That said I do think she'll make a perfectly competent President and give us a great Supreme Court. So I wish she would finally admit to herself that, yes, there has always been a very real right wing conspiracy against the Clintons but they are not entirely blameless what with their habit of handing stuff to their enemies on a silver platter so she needs to be much more, not less, careful about appearances than most.

        • Voyageur says:

          Every time I see Jennifer Granholm on tv, BC, I wish she could have been our first woman presidential candidate.  Alas, she was born in Canada.  She would kill Trump by 20 points.

        • Blackie101 says:

          "With HRC's low trustworthy numbers".

          And I suppose you find Trumps numbers excellent?

          And yes I did read the rest of your post. Politicians by nature have low trustworthy number with me.

          • BlueCat says:

            Nice that you sort of admit it's ridiculous to ask if I find Trump's approval ratings excellent since that clearly isn't the case. Yes, Trump's are worse.

            That's why I say she is so lucky to be running against him.  If not for him she would be running with the lowest approval rating of any presidential candidate since such things have been measured. Regardless of Trump's even lower approval rating, if she wins she will have done so with an approval rating lower than anyone has ever won the presidency with before. That's not spin or opinion. 

            When she wins (I certainly hope it's not "if") she and every one of us who vote for her should send Trump a big thank you card for being an even more disliked candidate and saving us from a Republican President who would be just as bad on policy but less openly crazy and a Supreme Court with an unbeatable conservative majority for decades. 

             

      • Chickenheed says:

        Absolutely Duke! You'd hear things like "Of course they used a private server! You can't trust The Government to protect classified information!" or something equally stupid.

  6. Duke Cox says:

    I hope someone besides me just watched Jill Stein dismantle Chris Wallace on live TV. She may not have much experience in government, but she can very aptly deliver a message and seems to be able handle herself well under fire. 

    This is the second time I have heard an interview of Ms. Stein….She did nothing to damage my estimation of her….to the contrary.

  7. Voyageur says:

    In the present crisis, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to vote for Jill Stein.

    • BlueCat says:

      Thank goodness she's pulling so little of the vote and Johnson is pulling more than enough from the other side, even if a little bit of his comes inexplicably from Bernie Busters, to cancel her out.

      • Duke Cox says:

        Barring some October surprise that dramatically changes things, I don't think she can even hold those numbers. It is one thing to answer a poll question about what you plan to do, and another to cast a vote that might very easily make Donald Trump the President of the United States.

        Just the negative impact on the import of intellectual capital into this country in such an event, would, by itself, be devastating to our future.

        How much genius shows up on these shores wrapped up in a dermal package that isn't white?

        This country either gets browner or it dies…..

  8. MichaelBowman says:

    Clean Energy Jobs Are Exploding in America. Why Don’t Mainstream Reporters Know?

    PS: Follow the money….

    Independence is the heart of American identity. Clean energy is independence turned into electrons: the application of cunning, sweat and ingenuity to harness the restless power of the American landscape.

    The American energy economy is changing, and changing rapidly. Clean energy and energy efficiency are where the growth is happening. We can move of millions people from coal mining, low-tech manufacturing, and even oil and gas into well-paying jobs that don’t negatively impact the health of people and the planet.

    By rebranding clean energy, we can empower all Americans to work together for a stronger future. It’s time to get down and dirty.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      V – another article on hemp graphene you'll enjoy perusing. This is where Henry Ford meets Tesla.  

      However, a scientist by the name of Dr. David Mitlin, from Clarkson University in New York, says he’s found a way to manufacture hemp waste into a material that appears to be better than graphene…Creating this graphene-like hemp material costs only a fraction of regular graphene production. Graphene costs as much as $2,000 per gram to manufacture, while the hemp-based nanomaterial can be manufactured for less than $500 per ton.

      To put those dollars in perspective, 1 ton = 907,185 grams.  Graphene, at $2,000/gram = $1.814 billion for a single ton.  Hemp graphene can be manufactured for $500/ton, a cost reduction factor of 3,680,740

      Keep in mind this is coming from hemp waste

      You can start to imagine how very cheap energy storage is about to become, and how harnessing the 20,000x more solar that falls up Earth each and every day than we use (that doesn't even take in to consideration the wind energy we generate) means there will soon be a day where hydrocarbons are obsolete. 

       

      • Voyageur says:

        Amazing possibilities here.  We should be supercharging this research.  We could be the new OPEC of clean energy.  

        • MichaelBowman says:

          Or to quote Moddy's BFF, "It's not working so good"

          Fastest-Growing Source Of Electricity ‘Not Working So Good,’ Trump Claims

          “It’s so expensive,” Trump said. “And honestly, it’s not working so good. I know a lot about solar."

          Solar is also the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, accounting for 64 percent of new capacity in the first three months of the year. Solar installations are set to nearly double in 2016 over the previous year.

          After bashing solar, Trump turned to wind.

          “The wind kills all your birds. All your birds, killed. You know, the environmentalists never talk about that,” Trump said.

          I have a theory: there are tax and financial reasons businessmen like Anschutz and Buffet are in this space.  They are actual billionaires with actual federal tax liabilities.  Perhaps Drumpf (Moddly, please get your dude to release his tax returns) isn't an actual billionaire and doesn't have a federal tax liability?  Therefore, he doesn't get to play, ergo…he loathes the industry.  

          Or, maybe he's just another rich Fossilonian?  Or yet another corporate dude feeding at the trough? 

          Just follow the money…

           

  9. mamajama55 says:

    Pueblo Fiesta Day parade crowd boos Trump banner. Lonely "Trumpeter" on the Pueblo Republican float plays a solo concert. – from Facebook feed of DylanADD

  10. Duke Cox says:

    This headline is just another example of the heavy hand of the O&G industry:

    Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs and Pepper Spray

     

    Money can put bulldozers, dogs, and weapons in the hands of men, but it can never put passion in their hearts. Watch the video here….

     

    http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/4/dakota_access_pipeline_company_attacks_native

     

    • mamajama55 says:

      Yes, the Dakota Access Pipeline action is the biggest protest (4,000 people, mostly indigenous folks) in America right now that nobody's heard of.

      http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/9/3/1566412/-Solidarity-Standing-Rock-Sioux-Stop-The-Dakota-Access-Pipeline

      I meant to write a diary about this, but won't have the time.  Basically, Energy Transfer Corporation wants a quick decision on an easement to run a segment of the Dakota Access pipeline 1000 ' from Sioux (Lakota/Dakota) lands. No environmental review has been done, in violation of treaty protocols. The pipeline would put scarce water resources for people and agriculture at hazard of contamination. The Missouri River and associated tributaries are the  waterways at risk. Farmers and ranchers in the area, as well as many celebrities, are standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux.

      The tribal liaison is in cahoots with the energy developer, Energy Transfer Corporation, and some of the other companies involved, Spectra Energy. A Federal judge will rule on the fast track for the easement on September 9. Rent-a-cops are sending attack dogs and pepper spraying the protesters, which include elders, women, and children.

      Read Winona La Duke's excellent piece, "What Would Sitting Bull Do?" for more background.

      What people can do in support:

      Spread the word via Facebook and Twitter.

      Sign the petition.

      Write to your elected officials.

      Demand mainstream media coverage.

      Embedded video, same video Duke posted a link to:

      UPDATE: Obama administration pressured for a restraining order against further “rent a cop” confrontations by the developer, and also hastened the court hearing date to today, Tues 9/6/16
      http://www.indianz.com/News/2016/09/05/army-corps-backs-restraining-order-again.asp

      • BlueCat says:

        And finally getting more coverage. After all the treaties we broke it's time to to recognize at last some the rights they were promised. This is not a tree hugging issue.  Not even an energy policy issue.

        Our government owes Native Americans big time for a history of violation after violation of every treaty and promise. I say they clearly deserve this one regardless of one's stand on energy issues. Since we can never make up for the unbroken chain of promises, treaties and betrayals, all the blatant racist, genocidal injustice perpetrated against Native Americans, honoring their demands concerning this pipe line is the very least we can do. There should be no question. At all. 

  11. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Presidential race is tightening. On 538, Nate Silver had dropped the likelihood of a Clinton election from 83%+ to just 71%. Yes, still a substantial lead. But she has been trending down the past several weeks while the Trumpster is trending upward.

    Political Wire has Clinton at 262 sure thing and likely electoral votes. NV probably will go Clinton, with 6 more. Wisconsin is close, but probably Clinton, with 10 more that would put her at 278. Florida is the big one that Hillary still has a slight lead in.

    Center for Politics (Larry Sabato) hasn't updated since August 17.

    • BlueCat says:

      First… it hasn't been 82 for a long time especially on the polls plus rating which Silver considers the most predictive. I check it every damn day along with RCP.

      The nationwide popular vote margin has been pretty to extremely small for many cycles now, including a loss of the popular vote by the "winner" (only of the bloodless conservative Supreme Court coup…. thanks a lot, Sandra) in 2000.

      Actually Trump hasn't been trending up much at all in polls. The movement has mainly been with Clinton going up and down against a relatively stuck Trump.

      But…. I know…. Dems shouldn't be complacent.

      Once again… check.

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