Monday, June 13, 2011

empathy or sympathy

<$BlogMetaData$> this weeks article is controversial to the point that the paper would not print it. i tell it like it is, and i always tell the truth. the opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. i make no excuses. if you don't like what i write i appreciate the comments, but that doesn't change anything. it is what it is.

June 15th, 2011

Empathy or Sympathy

Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion

Sympathy is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. Also known as empathic concern, it is the feeling of compassion or concern for another, the wish to see them better off or happier. Sympathy not only includes empathizing, but also entails having a positive regard or a non-fleeting concern for the other person.

The people in the southern part of the county are experiencing a horrendous situation right now with the flooding of the Missouri River. The county’s personnel, state’s reserves and National Guard has responded admirably in supporting the attempt to save ones possessions and stop further destruction by building the levee to hold back the floodwaters.

I’m sure there will be lawsuits in the courts for many years to come, and we may never actually learn the reason for the floods. Here is where the empathy or sympathy steps in. I have empathy for the people who have lost their worldly possessions. Things can be replaced. I have no sympathy for the people along the river. It might be okay to have a cabin along the river to enjoy the ambiance it offers, but your permanent home? Not a chance. Why anyone would build on a floodplain is way way way beyond my comprehension. And don’t give me any of this “I didn’t know this was as flood plain” talk either. When you can stand on a banks of the river in what was once blow sand and cottonwoods and not know this area is not a good place to live is pure ignorance on their part. I certainly have no compassion for their situation either. This is a case of pure and simple stupidity.

When one looks back at the process that brought the dunes to life, the blame can be laid squarely on the planning and zoning commission and the county commissioners. I believe the dunes was developed by Midwest Energy. They went to the planning and zoning and I’m sure they sweettalked the commissioners into believing this was the cow that laid the golden egg. Think of the tax base this would build for the county? Think how beautiful this area would be to draw people to live in the county. Think what a legacy you will leave for future generations in the state, and think how this will enrich your lives.

Stupid is, stupid does. There is no way the planning and zoning should have allowed this area of the county to be rezoned into a planned development. There was a reason this area was never farmed or occupied by housing. THE RIVER FLOODS! It may not flood every year, but if there isn’t enough dirt on the dunes to grow crops, there sure as hell isn’t enough solid ground to support housing. The silt and sand washes with the will of the river. One might be able to make it work for awhile, but eventually the river will have its will. And will it did. Or it is in the process of turning the dunes back to what it was; hills of sand and silt and cottonwoods.

The cost of building levees to hold back the flooding is costly. Before a spade of dirt was put down, Governor Daugaard pledged $5 million immediately and another $5 million if they need it. If they need it? They are going to go through that $10 million like crap through a goose. This is going to cost BIG BUCKS before it is over. I haven’t been down there to see the carnage, but I have talked to people who have, and I seriously doubt the dunes will ever be what it was before. The infrastructure will literally be gone. They are sandbagging and building levees to keep the water out, but this will also keep the water in. Groundwater will be lying around for months, and even longer. The water is going to stagnate and stink. It will be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and anything else that comes along. It isn’t going to be a pretty sight.

I imagine that with the loss of houses, the people that owned them will walk away from them because they will owe much much more than the house will be worth. When the flood is over and everything is cleaned up, the banks will move in. what was once a $500,000 home will now be worth about $200,000 and who in their right mind would buy a home in an area that had just experienced not a 100 year flood, but a 500 year flood. Who is to say this won’t happen again in a person’s lifetime? Who is to say this won’t happen on a yearly basis?

If the planning and zoning grant building permits for anything in the future of the dunes they have lost what little minds they have left. They should deny any effort to rebuild because we the taxpayers cannot afford to support them. People said when this flood happened, 25% of the tax base in the county was lost. If that is the case, you can kiss any road repairs or infrastructure repairs goodbye because you have reached the tipping point on how much blood you can get out of the stones that are left.

This mess is going to take a long time to clean up and what is left after all the debris is gone isn’t going to be pretty. So, what is it you have for the people on the river, empathy, sympathy or nothing at all?

To put all this in perspective to our fight with Hyperion, is the shoe now on the other foot?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I just don't get it

<$BlogMetaData$>June 8th, 2011

I just don’t get it

For the life of me, I just don’t get it about the pro’s of the keystone XL pipeline and the arguments people are trying to jam down our throats about how wonderful this will be. Baloney! Pete Carrels of the Sierra Club sent me a great article about the goings on in Nebraska with the pipeline and I’m using parts to enhance my viewpoint about this whole stupid mess.

Meanwhile, other supporters of the pipeline held a press conference in Lincoln, Neb., to make their case that the project would wean the United States off of foreign oil, and create thousands of jobs along the construction route(1). I would be more apt to believe those that tout these wonderful jobs if it was a job that was stable and permanent, but these jobs will be nomadic, far from permanent and dangerous. That is of course unless you choose this type of life as your vocation. If you are young, single and want to wander for a couple of years, then maybe this could be the job for you, but this is not the case. The other part of that statement really galls me. CANADA IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY for crying out loud!

Just for kicks and grins let’s say you want the best for your family and sign up to work for XL. Next week maybe you start work in North Dakota and will work your way down to Texas, and this will span the course of 2 or 3 or 4 years. Then what? Your job is finished, and what do you do now? When you are working, you will be working 12 hour shifts for days on end. Will you have time for your family? Yes if they are traveling with you, otherwise, Nah ain’t gonna happen. This is not something I’m pulling out of my hat, this is what Preston Phillips says employees at the refinery will be doing, and the pipeline won’t be any different. Is this your idea of a job? Certainly isn’t my idea of a grandiose work environment if you ask me.

I think it would be nice if we could hear from those that are directly involved in this type of operation rather than lobbyists. These lobbyists don’t know squat and are just doing what they are paid to do and that is get XL through. Nebraska is flooded with them right now trying to convince lawmakers this is a good deal. I wouldn’t give you 2 cents for betting that the pipeline is not going to leak into the Ogallala aquifer. There goes the water quality in 5 states from manipulators who are looking for endorsements of putting this through northwest Nebraska. Guess who is the decision maker on this pipeline? – Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State for the United States of America. Argh-h-h-h-h-h..

Here is the State Department standing on the XL Pipeline (2) - The department found in the recent statement that oil-sands oil does have a higher carbon footprint in the production process than traditional oil, but concluded that those emissions don't need to be considered as part of its decision on the $7 billion project. Hello-o-o-o-o Hillary, what part of Carbon Dioxide pollution don’t you understand? Hyperion will be emitting 19 million tons of the stuff on a yearly basis. What do you think the rest of the refineries are going to be doing, spewing perfume?

Just to refresh your memory, Keystone has been in operation for only a year and already they have had 12 oil incidents. They (keystone) say this is normal, and previous statements on file with the state of South Dakota say that leaks of this type are normal because the amount of oil spilled is minimal and within the specs of the operation. After the entire pipeline is only under 1400 PSI and the walls are surely thick enough. What about the welds? It only takes one mistake and kaboom.

Oh what’s a few million tons of carbon dioxide? It’s just a greenhouse gas. What the heck. I think they call it climate change. Now don’t go telling me there isn’t such a thing either because that is just B.S., because it is happening. You might as well throw the other word in as well, because it is synonymous, Global warming. There I said it. Climate change and Global warming are fact, and if we don’t do something we may live to regret it.

We can start here by doing several things right off the bat. Quit making those unnecessary trips with your car and conserve water, electricity and the land. That last part is a slam dunk, but don’t get me going there. Start a garden, drive slower, turn up the temp on the air conditioner in the summer and turn down the heat in the winter. When I was a kid, the only cool place was under a shade tree. I’m getting off track here, sorry.

Why is it that all things that are bad for us are being dangled in front of us like a carrot that it is good? That is like Michael Douglas in the movie ‘wall street’ “Greed is good”… that is like saying Hyperion and XL is wonderful and will create life ever after.

If you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.

(1)(2) LOBBYING: Fight over oil sands pipeline broadens (06/02/2011)

Christa Marshall, E&E reporter

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

zao shang hao

<$BlogMetaData$>zao shang hao

That phrase is good morning in mandarin Chinese. Get used to it; you may hear it a lot, especially if the Hyperion project is sold to the Chinese.


But first let’s get something straight. This article is an educated guess, coupled with news clips from the papers and special documents.. After researching many articles on the current status of American Oil Companies (AOC’s) I am going to spend the next few minutes writing about what could possibly happen with Hyperion. As you know, I love conspiracies and this one could be a script from ‘star wars.’ This is strictly an idea of mine, but mind you, something that could very well happen if and when the Chinese makes up its mind what it is going to do.

I just finished reading a handbook given to me by Victoria Winteringham in Vermillion. It is a handbook for citizen participation in the Permitting of Oil Refineries under the New Source Review Provisions of the Clean Air Act. It is a document that gives a lot of ho-hum information that I have seen many many times. Suddenly on page 70 is the conclusion and Wham, Bam, Thank you ma’am I got hit right in the face what this whole damn thing is about. This book is all about the Clean Air Act, and granting permission for these oil companies to pollute. Let me state this one more time. This whole governmenting process is giving permission for oil refineries to POLLUTE. What we are doing is restricting the amount they may pollute. That sentence is like slapping me in the face with a ball bat.

All this time we have been working to ensure they adhered to the EPA standards of the Clean Air Act of 1994, and not to step one toe across the line. What I didn’t realize is that we were giving them carte blanche to pollute; they just have to stay below the standards we set with the EPA. This really torks me off. Here we are saying ‘oh go ahead and pollute, just do it a little bit. Don’t kill me all at once; just kill me a little bit at a time. Don’t ruin this area all at once; just do it a little bit at a time. WE HAVE BEEN DUPED! Sneaky sneaky sneaky.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst, this area is a1 on the scale. The air is so pristine that the refinery can practically disregard all measures to control emissions and still be within the limits the EPA sets for them. And we are letting them do it with our blessings! GR-R-R-R- how stupid can we get? Just the mere fact we don’t want them here isn’t enough. We want pollution levels to stay the same as they are now. Here we are going to meetings, hearings, government public hearings, court appearances and for what? So that we can ALLOW them to pollute more.

What really irks me is that we are not experts in the field of environmental safety and depend on folks in the federal government who are supposedly experts in this field to watch out for us and that is like the fox guarding the chicken house after he has eaten all the chickens. The mere fact that the clean air act isn’t so much about restrictions on pollution it is the fact that we are giving companies permission to do it legally. Why? Is it because if we don’t have some kind of law they will just run rampant and do whatever they feel they can? That really bothers me and bothers me a whole lot. This whole process is just eyewash.

Anyway, back to the Chinese. China is far exceeding the rest of the world in growth of the use of oil products. They are buying up every oil company that comes on the market in Europe and Southwest Asia. They are looking in the United States for a market and look what is sitting in little ‘ol South Dakota. Hyperion has the air permit and an extension to build until late 2013. Hyperion doesn’t have a source of Tar Sands, no matter what they say. Hyperion now says they will build a bullet line to Elk Point, but you haven’t seen anything coming out of TransCanada that says this is so. This is just more hyperbole coming from Hyperion. EXXON MOBILE controls almost all the pipelines in Canada. They go under the name Enbridge. Of the top 20 pipeline companies in Canada, these companies control 99% of the export of ‘tar sands’ to the United States. TransCanada or Keystone is mentioned only 1 time in the report that I just finished reading about distribution of tar sands to American Refineries. Enbridge has sewn up 95% of the tar sands coming to the United States and the only way China is going to get into the business is to buy a company that is just starting up; doesn’t have a lot of money but has all the necessary permits to begin refining. Well, lookey here folks, Hyperion has the necessary permits but hasn’t started yet and they supposedly have a contract with TransCanada for 400,000 bbl daily. Here is what they have been looking for, and instead of pipelines to oil refineries, they will just rework it to southern or western ports and ship it all to China. China (PETCO) must be careful here. They cannot make a treaty with the United States for a line crossing the Canadian border. Hyperion has to do that, and once it does it still has to maintain part ownership in the company so they will make money any way the wind blows. So, China waits for Hyperion to get all the ducks lined up then make a deal and viola, they are in. they have the money; they have the manpower; they have everything and Hyperion is the middle man getting all the permits and then it is a slam dunk. The reason for the delays is political, not as we first thought about raising money, but it’s about getting all the legal work set up.

Hui Tao Jian (see you later)