Sunday, October 30, 2016

‘Flaring’ at the Torrance Refinery under scrutiny


Tall flares and billowing black smoke released from the Torrance Refinery earlier this month have prompted added concern from nearby residents and increased scrutiny of the refinery from regulators, which may lead to broader reforms for refineries all across Southern California.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the local agency tasked with air pollution control for much of the region, issued a Notice of Violation to the Torrance Refining Company on Oct. 11. During a “flaring event” that morning, the refinery “discharged such quantities of air contaminants…that caused a nuisance to a considerable number of persons or to the public,” the notice alleges.
The  flaring was caused by an unanticipated power supply interruption from Southern California Edison’s La Fresa substation on Yukon Ave., according to AQMD filings. In addition to the refinery, the power outage affected nearly 100,000 customers in the South Bay Area.  MORE

The Untold Story of the 1992 Election Hillary did not want you to know

 Direct Democracy Can Happen

Americans can govern themselves

            In 1992 Ross Perot, a mostly unknown billionaire, ran for president of the United States.  Before dropping out Perot was polling 38%.  A song written for him began with the lines, “Welcome to America in 1992.  The factories here are closing down, we're scared and jobs are few.  Greedy politicians sold out you and me.  It's time we had some layoffs  in Washington D. C.”  
            After Perot appeared on Larry King Live on February 20th campaign offices began to open, funded by supporters who had never met their candidate.   They shared the frustration of a government out of control and elected officials who increasingly viewed themselves as unaccountable to those who had entrusted them with the offices they held. 
            But the Perot surge had started in January for reasons the media missed entirely.
            Americans have been accused of political indifference but this was not  the case.  Their abandonment of the two major parties was a reaction to being forced to passively accept what their public employees decided.  In 1992 Americans were restless, seeking ways  to take back control of government and find solutions to the problems government had caused. 
            The subsequent break-out events, the Ron Paul Revolution and the Occupy Movement, have proven this has not changed. 

            The 1992 campaign introduced a technology which could have begun the return of control to the people.  Because of manipulations by those vested in the two party system this did not take place.  Instead, increasingly onerous controls on the electoral system have continuously been instituted to stifle further attempts by the people to control the government for which they were paying. 
            These efforts united the Republican and Democratic Parties strategically in 1992.

            This is the story of Brock d'Avignon, a cheerful and innovative satellite expert who designed a way for voters to register their opinions on candidates and policy that year.  
            On January 21st d'Avignon launched Palla Productions, and began offering services to candidates for president.  His first client was Ross Perot, then polling less than 7%.  Alongwith the other 64 candidates for president d'Avignon had contacted Perot to ask the plucky executive to participate in Let Freedom Ring, a televised event, much like America's Got Talent today, which would allow candidates for president to debate issues and be judges in advance of the election by PhoneVoters watching the ongoing events on television.   Soon the name of the company would become PhoneVoter Television Network.
            On February 29th d'Avignon received a fax sent by  Dave Hansford, the head of Keystone Satellite Communications. PhoneVoter Television Network was ready to go live on 4 satellite transponders by March.
            From January until March PhoneVoting took place entirely by telephone. 
            Brock's PhoneVoter system allowed voters to express their support or opposition to candidate statements and inject their own comments into a dialog created by using 700 phone numbers to register their opinions.  The 700 number cards were supplied by a company in Encinitas, CA.  The company's clientele was generally used by porn operators.  Calls deducted one dollar each from the card, per vote.  The cards cost $20.00.  
            Perot was the first of four candidates to accept the offer of services from d'Avignon, which were provided by phone and satellite during the late winter, spring and summer of 1992.
            PhoneVoter, the technology he owns and originated, was  the first participatory system, allowing audience feedback in real time.   In addition to Perot, Jerry Brown, Pat Buchanan and Bill Clinton also received advice and services. 
            At the time these services began each of these candidates was below below 8% in polls.  PhoneVoter TV Network made them known via satellite every day using a donated feed from Keystone Satellite Communications which ran 16 hours a day.
            PhoneVoters viewing Perot participated in polls allowing them to register support or disagreement on issues also offered the American satellite TV audience two PhoneVotes on any panelist issue: one moral, one legal.
            Compiled responses were cross-indexed by zip codes and phone numbers, to the PhoneVoters Congressmember.  Questions to be asked were determined daily through communications with Perot's media team. These increased lines of communication with voters allowed the candidates to voice  their concerns and modify their positions on issues. 
            PhoneVoter shows like “Unedited Presidential Candidates’ Speeches” with AGREE/DISAGREE numbers, which ran 16-hours per day coast-to-coast with cumulative tallies,  also acted as a guide to what people really cared about.
            In early April Governor Jerry Brown went live via satellite in New York City, tossing IRS code books into a trash can in front of the NY Library.  He tossed books all day, filmed by main stream media.  An uplink  feed the images to Keystone's satellite, looping the event so more PhoneVoters could register their reactions.  Using the 800 number line the Governor repositioned himself as a man of the people by asking only small donations be made to his campaign. 
            By May the PhoneVoter Team had worked out a visual stunt for Governor Brown with rows of federal tax law-books on shelves receding into the background behind him as he pitched his postcard-size IRS 1040 flat tax form. The plan had been for the Governor to toss the books in a NY trash-hauler.  That was thwarted by Clintonistas with contacts to the trash-haulers union in New York.  Instead, Brown adapted by throwing away volume after volume of the Federal Tax Code Books into a trashcan in front of the New York Public Library, while holding up his percentage-of-income 1040  postcard like the Statue of Liberty.  This was viewed by Americas on 13 other networks in addition to PhoneVoter.
            The looped film was shown every day.  On each of those days  Brown climbed 2%. If the primaries in New York & California were held two days later, Brown would have taken the Democratic nomination.
            Soon, Pat Buchanan was also receiving PhoneVoter TV services and rising in the polls.  Buchanan's run began as a way to register his disapproval of then President George H. W. Bush's policies.  Buchanan focused on instituting a line item veto.
            The last candidate to utilize the system originated by d'Avignon was Governor Bill Clinton.  Because he had only $50,000 left in his campaign coffer the Clinton campaign was about to fold when, on Brock's advice to his campaign team, Marcus and Greer, they rented the last uplink satellite truck available in the country for $35,000. 
            What Time Magazine described as “The Bill Clinton Roadshow,” with Al Gore along to provide the repartee which delighted onlookers was seen by 10-million people per day. 
            Clinton was playing to his strength, which was his ability to interact with people and even control the microphone himself while being filmed.  According to Time Magazine Clinton will be remembered as, “equal parts Master of Ceremonies, Televangelist, and group-therapy facilitator.”  Using this hands on technique, Clinton's numbers began to rise as well just after the time he steps into the uplink truck to take his personal performance to those 10-million people per day. 
            Cast as a touchy feely guy, sensitive and people-oriented, Time Magazine overlooks the source of the  technological revolution it later credits to Clinton savvy along with the fact Perot was the first to use PhoneVoter, which is the new technology responsible.  In fact, Clinton was the fourth client who experienced a sudden rise in the polls due to PhoneVoter Television Network. 
            Only later will Americans realize the other implications of Clinton's 'hands-on' approach to the opportunities made available through political contacts.  And the sensitive and feeling Clintons, newly inaugurated, will make history by incinerating children at Waco with military technology, another innovation revealing an entirely different aspect of the Clinton co-presidency.  
            At this same time, President Bush was talking to 10 people a day on a whistle-stop train campaign.  By 1992 most Americans did not know where their local station was located.  Bush's campaign had refused to even consider the PhoneVoter Team's services, which were offered. 
            Brock and his entire team realized they were about to see a sitting president lose, despite winning a war overseas, because of this choice. 
            It was a stunning defeat brought about by ignoring the change in technology and the voiced concerns of Americans. 
            After the primary season ended the potential for American voters to find out what presidential product their votes could buy ended. The PhoneVoter Invitational Debate Tournament, planned for all Presidential Candidates to debate at length to the Final Four and Final Two did not take place.  However, both major parties reacted to the proposal by creating the Debate Commission, eliminating the threat of competition.  
            The League of Women Voters has never forgotten.  Organizations like Christina Tobin’s Free & Equal attempted to bring in the Russia Today Network to challenge it to show third party candidates’s debates in America the last election cycle.
            In 1996 the Dole Kemp Ticket doomed themselves by refusing to use PhoneVoter.  Haily Barber and DNC colluded on the decision not to compaign on Satellite. 
            In 2000 Cindy McCain commented, having been told about PhoneVoter, “If we had known about this technology you would be president!” to her husband, John, who had lost his early lead on Bush due to manipulations of another kind. 

            The power of allowing Americans to express their thoughts and effect change directly was rejected by the present establishment.  They understood what they were doing and how it threatened their control of government policies. 

            What we are proposing is to allow Americans a forum which makes it possible for them to govern their own affairs. 

            PhoneVoter has remained an edge technology, now enlarged in scope and power. Today, collaboration can take place between formerly passive memebers of the audience, enabling them to prove out alternative approaches to problems and interact with the mass audience through the PhoneVoter technology.

            If you though the Perot phenomenan was fast, just wait until millions are engaged and participating. 

            Politics remains politics.  Solutions have to work for everyone, if the course chosen is government.  Otherwise, relocalizing to local areas is the natural path to prosperity, freedom, and sustainability.  Solutions to the problems we face today exist  in many instances.  Many are blocked because those invested in those moribund technologies want to money to continue to roll in. 
            No matter, it can happen anyway.  We have compiled these for consideration by participants  along with nominations for Cabinet and Agency positions. The positions are not in the Constitution and there is no reason these appointments should remain in the power of the establishment. If Congress, or others, object, the power of recall remains. 
            When Americans consider how little impact they have on government, and realize how ineffective government is, they will have the best argument for the people to reclaim their power. 
            Housing First, which proved in Utah the problem of homelessness can be solved and money saved, by simply providing housing.
            Percentages As You Earn is a financing alternative, originally suggested by Ludwig von Mises, which provides stability by tying payments to a percentage of income.  Applied to mortgages, health care, and other major purchases, individuals can have security through the unexpected problems which touch each of us. 
             Housing, the restoration of infrastructure, and more.  There are solutions which are proven and work. 

            Solutions are not provided by government, but are made available through the market.  Deciding how they will spend our money, which they appear to believe their own in toto, is not in the Constitution either.   

            Instead of being marginalized Libertarians can break into the mass audience and speak directly to millions. Even better, those millions will be able to speak to them.  

            It is time to get serious about change.  If you want an oak tree you have to start with an acorn. 
Forget politics and policy - come together for solutions which work for ALL of us. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Exxon Mobil profit and revenue slide again

From:  Market Watch

by Bradley Olson

Exxon Mobil Corp., which is under state and federal investigation for how it accounts for the value of its oil and gas wells, said Friday that it may be forced to recognize that as much as 4.6 billion barrels of its reserves are no longer profitable to produce.
The disclosure came as the oil producer reported a 38% decline in quarterly profit.
The vast majority of Exxon's holdings under scrutiny are in Canada's oil sands, an area that has been devastated by low prices and environmental concerns as countries around the world seek to reduce high-emitting forms of energy. The company also said it plans to examine its assets to determine whether their value should be written down.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ecuador's Legal Battle With Chevron Foreshadows Global Corporate Coup D'état

From:  Truth Out

Friday, 14 October 2016 00:00
By Kyla Sankey, Truthout | News Analysis

A hand covered in crude oil from one of the hundreds of open toxic pits Chevron abandoned in the Ecuadorean Amazon rainforest, near Lago Agrio, in a photo taken on April 15, 2010. (Photo: Rainforest Action Network)

In the past 50 years, the lives of Indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon have been completely transformed. Since the arrival of Texaco in 1964, extensive environmental damage wrought by the extraction of oil and dumping of toxic waste has devastated the land, water and natural resources on which the Indigenous tribes of these regions have depended for more than 8,000 years.

Today, two of these tribes have ceased to exist due to the deaths of all their members, and others are at risk of being wiped out soon. In the remaining tribes, community members have suffered extensive and irreversible health problems: toxic exposure has generated a health crisis involving cancer, birth defects, miscarriages and leukemia.

Texaco's operations included drilling and systematically dumping crude in the Amazon. During its operations between 1964 and 1990, it left 880 pits of solid waste, poured 60 billion gallons of toxic water into local water sources and spilled 650,000 barrels of crude oil in the jungles and pathways. Perhaps the most striking feature in the case of Texaco is that the damage caused was not accidental but deliberate, a result of cutting costs on safety regulations and environmental technologies in order to maximize profits.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Here’s the 1 Thing Countries Have to Do to Meet the 2-Degree Climate Target

From: Moyers & Company

Unless we stop developing new fossil-fuel reserves, the Paris agreement is a joke.

Next month, the Paris climate agreement will enter into force. Major greenhouse-gas emitters, including the United States, China, Brazil and India, have approved it; the European Union became the latest to do so last week, pushing the pact over the participation threshold needed for it to take effect. The main goal of the agreement is to keep global warming “well below” a 2-degree Celsius increase from preindustrial levels, and, because many scientists believe that upper limit is still too dangerous, to try to keep warming to less than 1.5 degrees.

To have a chance of meeting either of those targets, there is one thing every single country must do: Stop drilling and digging for new oil, gas and coal — right now. That’s the conclusion of a recent analysis from the think tank Oil Change International. Using investment-grade data from a Norwegian firm that tracks fossil-fuel reserves, OCI calculated two global “carbon budgets” — in other words, two scenarios that show how much of our fossil-fuel reserves we can tap into before the resulting greenhouse-gas emissions cause catastrophic warming. One scenario gives us a “likely,” or 66 percent, chance of keeping overall warming below 2 degrees C, and the other provides a 50-percent likelihood of staying below 1.5 degrees.

Source: Oil Change International
What they found is that the oil and gas fields already in production alone are enough to raise global temperatures by more than 1.5 degrees C. Add in the coal stocks currently being mined, and we’ll blow past 2 degrees. To be clear, those are the oil and gas wells and coal mines that are already in operation or under construction (called “developed reserves”). Exploiting new fossil-fuel reserves, those that are considered recoverable but haven’t yet been tapped into, “would either commit the world to exceeding 2 degrees C of warming, and/or require an abrupt end to fossil-fuel production and use at a later date,” the report states. In order to meet the Paris goals, even some currently operating fields and mines will probably have to be closed before they’ve been fully exploited.  MORE

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are closer than ever to catastrophe

From:  The Guardian

In the five years since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the oil and gas industry has not retreated to safety. Instead, it has expanded its technological horizon in ways that make it harder to foresee the complex interactions between drilling technologies, inevitable human errors and the ultra-deepwater environment.

Before its sinking, Deepwater Horizon had drilled one of the deepest oil and gas wells. That depth has since been surpassed, and exploration continues to new frontiers. Not far from the Deepwater Horizon accident site, Royal Dutch Shell is now developing the deepest offshore oil field in history. In the Caspian Sea, an international consortium is exploring the Kashagan oil and gas field, a mega-project that the consortium itself describes as an enormously challenging endeavour. And the hunt for Arctic oil takes place in some of the most inhospitable waters in the world.

Numerous analyses of the Deepwater Horizon accident have pointed to three contributing causes: the complexity and inherent riskiness of oil drilling systems, human and organisational factors and regulatory challenges. In the past half-decade, we have made little progress in these areas. Indeed, the risk of another catastrophic spill may be greater than ever before.  MORE

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Removing CO2 From the Air Only Hope for Fixing Climate Change, New Study Says

From:  Inside Climate News