Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
--- Abraham Lincoln, 1864
When the U.S. Supreme Court in 1886 [County of Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific R.R., 118 U.S. 394] held that corporations are "persons," entitled to the legal protections of persons under the U.S. Constitution, the events predicted by Lincoln were set in motion. As a result, the U.S. has elections that President Jimmy Carter has stated would not today meet international requirements for "free and fair."
See tonight's film, Unprecedented, to find out what happened in the 2000 election, and what you can do to take back your democracy.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
See the article on Jeff's presentation at NCMC on the Common Dreams blogsite: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/13/7656/
U. S. public media controlled by large corporate interests, particularly General Electric, through outright ownership or financial sponsorship, i.e., advertising.
Only "corporation-friendly" programs are supported, and unfriendly news is suppressed. One example Cohen cites is a policy to not report on GE's outsourcing of jobs to China. Rupert Murdoch's agreement ensures preservation of Murdoch's Chinese media interests.
Liberal pundits on today's conservative-liberal debate programs, e.g., Hannity & Combs and Larry King Live, are weak and retained when non-threatening to corporate or Bush administration interests. For example, Phil Donahue and Cohen were axed for presenting anti-rush-to-war opinions, while Combs is retained because "his job is to make Hannity look good."
U. S. Elections are so fouled with tampering that "they wouldn't come close to passing the Carter (free and fair, Democratic) election smell test."
European news is comprehensive and provided freely for all, regardless of economic status. Europeans have a much better understanding of U.S. social, political, economic, health, and education conditions than we do.
The weakest (most non-threatening) journalists are selected for top media management positions today.
Mainstream news goes all out to report lurid stories because: a) it's cheap; b) It's non-threatening to political or corporate power; and c)The public swallows it for distraction.
The high standards of Journalistic ethics adopted by all credible schools are routinely abandoned or ignored by today's half-dozen media conglomerates.
MOST PROMISING ALTERNATIVES are BLOGS which have the power to debunk false claims by the Limbaughists, and are especially effective when providing direct links to factual sources, e.g.,
Cohen says maintaining NET NEUTRALITY is crucial. Visit http://www.savetheinternet.com
For important discussions of Journalism issues, see http://www.fair.org. FAIR is the organization that Cohen co-founded about twenty years ago.
NOTE: Michael Moore attended but declined to speak or mingle. Jeff lauded SIKKO, Fahrenheit 9-1-1, MM's Roger & Me as important, mobilizing efforts.
Said he's been greatly impressed by the Obama Movement for its catalytic effects for youth. He claims it's more powerful, and potentially much more productive than anything JFK could do because of campaign ties to the Southern Dixicrats.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) plans to permit CMS Energy to dispose of Bay Harbor's highly-toxic cement kiln dust (CKD) leachate, in a deep injection well in Alba. We need to take immediate action to:
- Insist that Governor Granholm petition the EPA to designate CKD leachate a hazardous waste per U.S.C. Title 42, Chapter 82, Subchapter III, Sec. 6921(c); and
- Prohibit the creation of a deep injection well for Bay Harbor's hazardous waste at Alba or any other site in Michigan; instead insist that dry CKD be removed and contained.
Alba and Mancelona are the headwaters of the great rivers of Michigan:
the Black, Jordan, Boyne, Manistee, Sturgeon, Cedar, and Au Sable. These rivers flow into the Great Lakes, which supply 20% of the fresh water of the world. The DEQ plans to permit CMS to dispose of CKD leachate, a liquid waste laced with heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, chromium, zinc, and mercury, into a deep injection well in Alba. In spite of recent scientific studies that show fractures in the containment layer, the DEQ has given the green light to CMS.
CKD leachate has a pH of 13, about the same as lye or bleach. Not only is it highly toxic to humans, but it will kill fish and destroy spawning beds. However, although it contains very high levels of mercury and lead, dry CKD is inert. Like a tea bag, it makes a brew only when water is added. The EPA does not distinguish dry CKD from CKD leachate, and neither is currently designated hazardous.
DEQ previously allowed CMS to deposit tons of dry CKD in unlined pits, which were topped off with a golf course. When it rains, or the golf course is watered, the highly-toxic leachate is created, and it drains toward the lake. It is this leachate which CMS intends to capture and inject into deep wells in Alba. Unfortunately, less than 1% of the leachate will be captured; the rest will make its way into Little Traverse Bay.
So what is the right solution? Legal action is limited by a covenant not to sue, which then Governor Engler and Bay Harbor's developers signed in 1994, paving the way for the development. In return, CMS Energy, which had acquired the abandoned property for $3 million and was one of the original Bay Harbor partners, was to begin remediation measures on the site. Although extensive and expensive, the measures have proven to be inadequate.
The right thing to do is to protect the dry CKD, to prevent it from being converted to CKD leachate through exposure to water. About 50% of the CKD is close to the surface and could be removed and contained per the EPA's order of February 22, 2005, which instructed CMS to "remove, isolate, and contain" the CKD. Medusa / St. Mary's, the cement plant just a few miles away in Charlevoix, moved its CKD piles to lined pits, capped them, and installed French drains. So why is CMS not taking this approach?
The answer is in part that the Bay Harbor Golf Course was built over the CKD. Removing the CKD means digging up the golf course. Most of us think protecting a golf course at the expense of Lake Michigan and the rivers of Michigan doesn't make much sense.
"Alba residents are right to distrust injection well" in the Traverse City Record Eagle, 07/03/2007, online at http://archives.record-eagle.com/2007/jul/03edit.htm
The Jordan River Watershed, online at http://www.friendsofthejordan.org/summary_statements.htm
The text of the EPA's response to concerns about the injection well:
Posted by Raechel Wright for Jo Anne Beemon
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Northern Community Mediation is the Community Dispute Resolution Programs Center for northwest, lower Michigan. It has had an active and well-received mediation training program for many years. Its 40-hour, general civil mediator training is now State Court Administrative Office approved. The next 40-hour mediator training is scheduled for the following dates at the City Hall in Charlevoix:
Thursday, May 8 5:00pm - 9:00pm Thursday, May 15 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday, May 9 8:00am - 5:00pm Friday, May 16 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday, May 10 8:00am - 5:00pm Saturday, May 17 8:00am - 5:00pm
The mediation process has great applicability to dispute resolution in the workplace. Human Resources professionals and customer/client relations staff find the skill learned in these programs to be highly valuable. The facilitative process learned in this training empowers participants and results in agreements that are more viable and valued than those imposed by outsiders. This is one of the key benefits this approach provides for employee relations. We hope you or a staff member can attend. For more information, call Jane at 231-487-1771 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.