Immortal Technique joins Alex Jones

This makes for some amusing Saturday afternoon viewing -- notable independent hiphop artist Immortal Technique joins Alex Jones for about 1hr20min. Getting right at the issues of Latin America, politics, immigration & moar. Format note: I would say that Jones interviews with a pretty wide cross section of subjects in the more mellow Infowars Nightly News setting works fairly well - it's more reflective than a quick newsradio news format. Good discussion of banks laundering drug money as well on HSBC and Wachovia/Wells Fargo.

Here is the trailer for Immortal's new movie:

Now available for purchase ~$17 http://store.viperrecords.com/product_p/roit.htm
IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1982854/
Announcement thread: http://www.immortaltechnique.co.uk/Thread-The-R-evolution-of-Immortal-Te...

UPDATE: Here is a classic 2006 video by my friend FluxRostrum w ImmortalTechnique & Alex Jones on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. For moar Flux: http://fluxview.com/USA/ & http://twitter.com/fluxrostrum

The Art of Failing Gracefully: DEA & DOJ need to cover up Sinaloa cartel informant Vicente Zambada, the quid-pro-quo system, "Fast & Furious" arms distribution for Great Justice!!!

Hundreds of billions of dollars, between cash flows and valuations, depend upon the ability of American law enforcement structures avidly maintaining their illusionary belief system about laundered drug money, informants, and banking systems. All of this is normal, they say, it's normal to throw the book at tons of little fish while mysteriously failing to find any really substantial laundered drug money or criminal prosecution for lawyers and bankers involved. The name of the game is to fail gracefully at detecting and punishing drug money in the banking system, to create a PSYOP of coherency on top of countless total ironies, structured protection & utter failures.

By the same token, the US government really always tends to nudge all markets into being dominated by a few big actors, whether "legal" or "gray" or "shadow" - be they milk producers or drug traffickers. They want to minimize the number of PayPals on the market, and the number of major drug players.

At some point it apparently came to pass that formal informant deals with favored cartels would also be inked -- the Sinaloa cartel even officially promoted as the proper dominator of certain "plazas" in public relations items. Because no one really cares about war on drugs policy -- it's not like this horrible policy affects the level of gun violence in North America -- nothing ever gets done about this at the federal level.

It's beginning to finally dawn on people that the secretive Federal Reserve System wire transfer networks - casually known as Fedline & Fedwire -- must somehow be involved [noted in Oct 2010], and I have never seen a single person even bother to claim to the contrary. The banking wire transfer systems are inextricably part of the "protected" drug money laundering system which is "protected" in the same formal way as at least some of these Sinaloa crucial informant thugs. Let's see if state police can pry into the Fed. LOL!!

So anyway, we have hard proof of it in court that Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla's attorney was in fact an informant operated expressly to pull intel from Sinaloa into the US government.

The questions: how much the "kingpin" deserves cover from that, especially since he was moving along Fast & Furious guns to waste other cartels & assorted innocent people? How many documents showing underlying protected illegal relationships will the judge force into the public record? How much 'controlled demolition' will the public tolerate in this relatively obscure case?

This gets a nice update from Abby Martin & Andrew Kennis: Next Big DEA Scandal | Interview with Andrew Kennis - YouTube

PREVIOUSLY (about halfway down many details): ECHELON GCSB military surveillance vs New Zealand & Kim Dotcom; IRC logs on Anonymous false flag attacks viewed anew; Barrett Brown setup via #OpCartel | HongPong.com [Oct 22 2012]

All of this insane crap is directly related to the formal FBI informant illegal operations system which gets exposed in tiny nibbles, for a little more documentation on illegal ops see recently The New 21st Century COINTELPRO Mobius Strip: Undisclosed Participation, "OTHERWISE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY," Federal & State Informants, drug ops auditing in MN [Jan 31 2012]. Unfortunately the DEA's habit of giving traffickers informant status means that more nasty drugs easily find their way into Minnesota from handled/protected figures in Chicago. Thanks so much, Federal Government!

LINX: Cartel Member Says Fast And Furious Aimed To Supply Guns To Sinaloa Cartel - Business Insider (Aug 10 2012)

Mexican Official Accuses CIA Of 'Managing' Not 'Fighting' The Drug Trade - Business Insider (July 24 2012)

One batch of Zambada Court files: http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Pleadings.Sinaloa.Zambada.pdf

More recent Narcosphere items - not a bad place to start: Big Media Discovers US Special Ops are Targeting Mexican Crime Organizations | the narcosphere [January 21 2013]

Fast and Furious Blurs the Line Between Cops and Crooks | the narcosphere [Bill Conroy Jan 6 2013]

Banks Are "Where the Money Is" In The Drug War | the narcosphere [Bill Conroy Dec 1 2012]

Background from Narcosphere: US Government Informant Helped Sinaloa Narcos Stay Out of Jail | the narcosphere [Bill Conroy Aug 7 2011]

US Prosecutors Fear Jailbreak Plot by Sinaloa “Cartel” Leader Zambada Niebla | the narcosphere [Bill Conroy Sept 17 2011]

US Government Accused of Seeking to Conceal Deal Cut With Sinaloa “Cartel” | the narcosphere [Bill Conroy Oct 1 2011]

Zambada Niebla Case Exposes US Drug War Quid Pro Quo | the narcosphere [Bill Conroy Dec 10 2011]

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Further background: 'El Chapo' Guzmán, Mexico's Most Powerful Drug Lord - Newsweek and The Daily Beast

Lolzy fake letter of love: Mexican Drug Cartels Thank Obama for Gun Control Push - BlackListedNews.com

Why Americans Must End America’s Self-Generating Wars | Global Research [Peter Dale Scott - Aug 30 2012]

America’s Secret Deal with the Mexican Drug Cartels | Global Research [Tom Burghardt Sept 3 2012] - MORE: Antifascist Calling...

Top enforcement agencies don't track crimes by informants [USA TODAY Oct 7 2012]

Narco News: US, Mexican Officials Brokering Deals with Drug “Cartels,” WikiLeaks Documents Show

Narco News: Funcionarios mexicanos y de EEUU negocian con "cárteles" de droga, según documentos de WikiLeaks

Mexican Special Forces Employed as Death Squads in Drug War, Email Records Released by WikiLeaks Reveal | the narcosphere

SIGNALING SYSTEM USG <-> CARTELS: http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/1747720_re-fwd-re-fw-from-mx1-2-.html - FAKEDRUGWARSIGINT is the lulziest form of SIGINT, who can deny??

The whole thing is such a spectacular sham it really calls into question whether federal prosecutors, informants, drug laws and the rest of the charade should even exist in the first place. It is truly a massive stage of fakeness, and frankly none of these people deserve to have any influence over the level of drugs available in society.

Not that drugs are harmless, clearly they all have some negative qualities, but clearly this entire schema is hosed well beyond the point of no return, and can only produce more violence and chemical dependency as it drags us all into hell. There are of course countless rabbit holes involving drug trafficking links with 'deep events' like the CIA, Iran-Contra, 9/11, the Taliban & al-Qaeda etc and I'm not going to get into that much here, though plenty of Iran-Contra related background fills the history of links above. Also as linked here what is the role of NORTHCOM anyway?

#ForwardOnClimate: Battle within Sierra Club calling for fracking ban after 2012 $26,000,000 "House of Cards" gas donation debacle; Tea Party big oil astroturfing

The real question is: Can hydraulic fracturing ever be safe for our environment and public health?
Sierra Club’s Oil and Gas Policy: We have reviewed the Club’s Oil and Gas Policy, as revised February 2012, and are pleased that it clearly states the reasons the Club doesn’t support hydraulic fracturing because of many of the points addressed in this letter.
We do want to recognize that the policy also supports:
-Chapter advocacy for regional or state-wide moratoria
-Bans in specific local environmentally sensitive areas such as federal roadless areas, state parks and forests, designated wildlife areas, and municipal watersheds
-Local groups that call for a ban in their own communities
Given the investigative reporting that continues to provide concrete evidence of accounts of water contamination, people becoming seriously ill who live close to well sites that have been fracked, animals dying after exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluids, and the unknown health issues that will surface in the coming years, we are asking the Club to take a leadership role in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing. If we take a leap of faith and call for a nationwide hydraulic fracturing ban, we will move closer to the goal of a clean and healthy energy future, but our planet requires that we act today. If we don’t, we will drag this issue out for an indefinite period of time, further endangering our environment and public health, and accelerating the climate crisis. We don’t have time to wait.
Sierra Club Poudre Canyon Group - January 31 2013

////// UPDATE TUES 2/19 AFTERNOON: See fractivist for material being drafted about this. 860 signers on petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-sierra-club-to-lead-a-nationwide-ban... - also snippets: https://twitter.com/fractivist/status/303892739756531714/photo/1 https://twitter.com/fractivist/status/303899469118836737/photo/1 //////

////// UPDATE TUES 2/19 EARLY AM: I heard secondhand that the Sierra Club had been the principal roadblock to organizing direct actions on Sunday at the climate change mass gathering in Washington DC. On the Colorado side, stay tuned as wheels are definitely turning among locals. //////

Gauntlet: thrown. Demand: autonomy! It's always a little frustrating to see the world of big nongovernmental organizations getting squirrelly - and now the Chips are Down in Ft. Collins, Colorado as a local unit of the Sierra Club, supported by OccupyDenver, has called upon the national organization for an end to fracking -- in accordance with their members who are among other things terrified of getting poisoned by hundreds of chemical-injecting wells all over the state.sierraclub-throwdown-fracktivist.png

Plus "House of Cards" fans may recognize a certain continuity with NGO & fracking ties in this plotline, with Chesapeake Energy as the real-world SanCorp...

This is a rough quick post but it's a big enough deal to batch together material & wing it. This actually seems to be a serious showdown finally taking place within the Sierra Club over fracking, forced in Colorado.

If the national organization cracks down on Fort Collins Poudre Canyon Group, will possibly thousands of members break away from the organization? Plus, does this #forwardOnClimate Obama-oriented campaign really maneuver anyone into a position of political autonomy?

For the rather candid Obama view on natural gas see: 'Forward' on Fracking? Obama Scientist Makes Industry-Friendly Push for Gas Drilling Bonanza | Common Dreams

Signing the statement pressuring the national Sierra Club, posted in full below: the Poudre Canyon Group at Fort Collins, Colorado including: Shane Davis, Chair; Caroline Krumm, Vice Chair; John Gascoyne; Kerry Miller; Tyler Wilson

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As the more critical #forwardonclimate observers of the evening on twitter Sole & @anarchoAnon observed dynamics in the Colorado arena:

& much research credit due to these 2 accts spurring notice to this whole subject this evening. For some industrial strength doxing of fossil fuel executives & structures see: Anarcho Anon • d0x on Valero Energy Board of Directors #NoKXL & moar on the Tumblr.

Before getting to the Poudre Canyon Sierra Club material I also have to touch on some of the other issues - the "FORWARD" schema and assorted billionaires playing big games. Nothing blockbuster here but good to have in mind evaluating this whole murky scene.

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Environmental-activists-o-008.jpegFORWARD: Here, by the way is where the "Forward" in #forwardonclimate really comes from, as far as I can tell: the "Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign". I always like to trace these hashtags nowadays. [PHOTO SRC: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters - see Canada's environmental activists seen as 'threat to national security' | Environment | guardian.co.uk - not even getting into police madness vs oil protesters here].

In a loose network marked with a lot of zesty actions nationwide, would have more direct actions occurred from NGO members & oil opponents in the Washington "action" on Sunday if they were not operating inside this frame? They could have at least toured a panoply of K Street offices making zillions in this business. {this URL which is the first hit: action.sierraclub.org/site/PageNavigator/100Days.html redirects to : Stand with the Planet - not a horrible webdesign}

Anyway this is a pretty precise description of it: It's Not Dark Yet, But… [Michael Brune - January 14 2013]

[.....]Here's the challenge. In his first term, President Obama did more than any other president to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and scale up clean energy. But his administration is far from realizing its potential for strong action. In fact, the president has considerable authority that he has not yet fully used to help our country build a clean energy economy.

That's why today the Sierra Club is launching the Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy Campaign -- a joint effort across our campaigns to demand that the president tackle climate disruption with all the authority, determination, and ambition he can muster. Between now and Earth Day, we'll focus on 100 Days of Action to set the tone for this term's critical first year. We and our allies will host events across the country calling on the president to lead in this fight. The biggest of these, in Washington, D.C., on February 17, is shaping up to be the largest climate rally in American history.

You've been a part of the Sierra Club's biggest successes.Find out more about how we're going to succeed.

At this point, there's no longer any questionwhatPresident Obama should do. He should do everything he can. It is fair to ask, though, exactly what we think that is.

It's a lot. Here are five ways the president can lay the foundation today for a lasting legacy of climate action and clean energy:

  1. Hold fossil fuel polluters accountable for their pollution.
  2. Reject proposals to import dirty fuels like tar sands and stop the rush of fossil fuel exports, including liquefied natural gas export facilities and new coal export terminals.
  3. Double down on clean energy, with innovative financing and investment avenues for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  4. Protect communities from future climate disasters and plan a robust and just response for those that do happen.
  5. Protect our lands, water, and wildlife from the impacts of fossil fuel development and climate disruption.

In the first months of his second term, President Obama will make many decisions that affect the climate future of this nation and the rest of the planet. We cannot afford to let him make the wrong ones. Join us in demanding that hetake a stand and make tackling climate disruption a top priority of his second term.

The other posts revolve on those five bullet points so there you have it. "Innovative financing and investment avenues", can I have some moar? Also definitely doesn't include shutting down fracking. Hence the calculation nationally to jettison this five-point thing and get real w frack chemicals poisoning their members or not.

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The Rather Big Natural Gas Sierra Club Scandal Thing: I'd almost totally forgotten the huge Sierra Club gas scandal in Feb 2012. The original story (obviously independent media shook this loose but Sierra made sure TIME dropped it): Corporate Crime Reporter: chesapeake02022012 // After Disclosure of Sierra Club’s Gifts From Gas Driller, a Roiling Debate - NYTimes.com // Sierra Club faces gas-cash fallout - Bob King - POLITICO.com // Alliance between natural gas industry, environmental groups fractures - Washington Post

The Mea Culpa-ish blog post: The Sierra Club and Natural Gas - Coming Clean

It's time to stop thinking of natural gas as a "kinder, gentler" energy source. What's more, we do not have an effective regulatory system in this country to address the risks that gas drilling poses on our health and communities. The scope of the problems from under-regulated drilling, as well as a clearer understanding of the total carbon pollution that results from both drilling and burning gas, have made it plain that, as we phase out coal, we need to leapfrog over gas whenever possible in favor of truly clean energy. Instead of rushing to see how quickly we can extract natural gas, we should be focusing on how to be sure we are using less -- and safeguarding our health and environment in the meantime.

The Sierra Club opposes any natural gas development that poses unacceptable toxic risks to our land, water, and air. We insist that the volume and content of all fracking fluids and flowback should be disclosed, and that all toxics should be eliminated. There should be proper treatment, management, and disposal of both fracking fluids and toxic flowback. Fracking should not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that drinking water is protected and that all cumulative impacts can be mitigated. And, of course, many beautiful areas and important watersheds across this country should be off-limits to drilling.

Exempting the natural gas industry from environmental protections was a terrible idea. It looks even dumber today, when the real risks that natural gas drilling poses to water supplies and critical watersheds are that much more apparent.

Ultimately, the only safe, smart, and responsible way to address our nation's energy needs is to look beyond coal, oil, and gas, and focus on clean, efficient energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal. It's clear to countries around the world that the most successful 21st-century economies will be based on using energy that is safe, secure, and sustainable. Let's get to work building that economy right here at home.

Well that is a decidedly capitalist way to look at the "green" world and probably the first critique is that capitalist thinking is not really going to wrap up this critical degradation of the biosphere.

Their page is entitled Beyond Natural Gas but it doesn't say "Beyond" in the menu tree in his blog version lol. [ good catch :D ]

goal-naturalgasmenufail-c.pngA Healthy Fear of Lawyers: The Sierra Club is also a party to various lawsuits - typical example: Sierra Club, Earthworks seek to back Longmont in oil/gas lawsuit - Boulder Daily Camera, which could help in that particular town.

The recent ugly fate of the original Texas Tar Sands Blockade via SLAPP intervention in court [with the inability of Rising Tide NGO to deflect Corporate Oil LawyerSpam correctly] it's probably important to look carefully at how 'coalition lawsuit stuff' really works.

As with the Southern Poverty Law Center and others, the lawsuit-joining strategy is a major PR chip in the system, and buttresses the authenticity of the system itself. The terrain of legal fights may cede ground that shouldn't be - or often, some of the lawyers can pressure for settlements which drag in more resistant clients because no one wants to see a fragmented front. [I don't know if I've described this well - just experience a backfired ACLU case to appreciate this problem]

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On the flip side we have AFP and the finest degree of Tea Party astroturfing. We also have to factor in the hardened ranks of brainwashed conservatives, and the oil-and-gas hot air world is decidedly Core. Colorado Ground Zero for Green Lobby’s War on Fracking | The Colorado Observer

“Some of this is NIMBY-ism, but a lot of this is national,” said Sean Paige, co-state director of Americans for Prosperity, which supports fracking. “Who’s really pulling the strings here? Those fanatics chasing that poor woman down the street–were those really local people? There’s no question that the tone and the sensational science are trickling down from national groups.”

Well locals are Nimbys and nationals are crazy so you can't oppose this awesome plan, well played AFP staffer. Americans for Prosperity is a direct Koch brothers front & it's great to have the tip of the hand here s to AFP's agenda. This just got nicely traced anew, see: Tea Party born from Koch Industries front group and Tobacco Money | PolluterWatch and the full study: ‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party -- Fallin et al. -- Tobacco Control

See also recently from Greg Palast: Murkier Than Oil | VICE.

Rather spin-laden segment on ABCNews: An American Oil Find That Holds More Oil Than All of OPEC - ABC News

The industry oil shale association says: NOSA - Oil shale resource in the United States is enormous

In 2011-12 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) increased its estimate of the amount of shale oil contained in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to over4-trillion barrels. Not all of the resource is recoverable. Informed sources, such as the U.S. Department of Energy, believe 500 to 800-billion barrels is a reasonable estimate. Commercial production of oil would not occur over night, but would evolve in a methodical manner over years to achieve production levels in the range of 1.5 – 2.0 million barrels per day (30 to 40% of 2012 oil imports from OPEC countries and 100% of the oil imported into the U.S. from OPEC Persian Gulf countries).

Jeremy Boak, PhD of the Colorado School of Mines is a co-author of the attached chart (based upon 2012 USGS data). He concludes the oil shale resource in Wyoming and Colorado dwarf’s conventional U.S. crude oil reserves (the solid orange line at the bottom of the chart), even before Utah is added to the mix.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controls over 70% of the western oil shale resource. Access to this resource is being sought by firms interested in developing an oil shale industry.

Buffett vs Keystone XL The Billionaire Political Philanthropy angle: Another possible issue is that the effort to block the Keystone XL Pipeline will work to the benefit of billionaires -- those who also finance "social enterprises" and large activist concerns through foundations may find benefits from influencing political resistance to rival projects. Also it's not hard to find links between billionaires, NGO lobbyists and horrible ripoff schemes like "cap and trade" carbon market lobbying, the COP REDD+ plans to capitalize remaining rainforests etc. Arguably, Colorado shale probably benefits where the Keystone XL loses, though someone oldschool would really have to break this down.

While I lack solid economic data on this, liberal darling Warren Buffett's railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) is moving lots of oil around from the US Bakken formation as well as carrying a good portion of the Canadian Alberta tar sands bitumen -- the railroad lines in Minnesota are just saturated these days with oil tank cars.

It is hard to tell if Buffett & BNSF win or lose from KXL political problems: May 2012 AP: Keystone XL: Warren Buffett Supports TransCanada's Pipeline. Jan 2012: Buffett’s Burlington Northern Among Pipeline Winners - Bloomberg. Flipside: Buffett would profit from Keystone cancellation - Washington Times. Jan 2012: Obama's Keystone XL Ban Makes Warren Buffett Richer - Investors.com. Either way, big money is up in the air & KXL's failure definitely would mean more development in Colorado.

Therefore any substantive effort needs to encompass not just KXL but the entire oil dependency system & all its players, and tracing big foundations & their oft-undisclosed major donors is necessary to determining if social movements are being used as cats-paws for big money.

[Side note: I don't see obvious links on him & the environmental realm, but Buffett's son Peter set up the Novo Foundation which is the big underwriter for V-Day NGO which did the #onebillionrising thing with a big ballroom event in NYC last week. See the latter pages of the annual report.]

Huffpo discusses the business angles re railroads: Warren Buffett On The Environment, Businesses Can't Take 'Shortcuts' // www.jm.com/sustainability/2011JMSustainabilityReport.pdf // More Buffett stuff: Pop History Dig » Warren Buffett and the environment

Another figure in this mix is Peter Ackerman who has been involved with Freedom House and bankrolling the International Center on Non-Violent Conflict. See Peter Ackerman: billionaire sponsor of toxic NGO’s « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist. Arguably a classic guy in the Color Revolution complex [i.e. OTPOR, Gene Sharp stuff]: see - COLOR REVOLUTIONS AND GEOPOLITICS: Regime Change Inc.: Peter Ackerman's Quest to Topple Tyranny (2005) - links to NarcoNews and those revolutionary video games no one's ever played!

Plus, who is this guy, Thomas Steyer: Billionaire has unique role in official Washington: Climate change radical - Washington Post. And T. Boone Pickens was involved in funding other people too (remember his plan that involved getting control of massive amounts of water?)

They are coming out of the woodwork and I strongly recommend charting their roles via littlesis.org!

Finally, The Sierra Club Situation: The Sierra Club recently took the daring step of approving civil disobedience which has never been their style, after the Feb 2012 revelation that the org slammed coal while secretly taking millions from the natural gas industry in 2007-2010.

OccupyDenver posted this but I only just noticed. Occupy Denver Stands with Anti-Fracking Dissenters in Sierra Club | Occupy Denver | In Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

In Fort Collins, CO the Poudre Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club, with support of other chapters and members across the nation, has officially asked Michael Brune, the national director of Sierra Club, to call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” is an oil & gas extraction technique that is toxic and potentially lethal to all life within miles of the extraction well pad.

While Occupy Denver and the Sierra Club operate on radically different organizing principles, it is crucial to America’s future that mainstream environmental organizations like Sierra Club take strong stances against toxic oil and gas extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing. We support any effort to hold environmental NGOs to their commitments to ecological protection, and also recognize that due to political inertia, pressure will need to be applied to these groups, both from within and from without.

It is known that the leadership of the Sierra Club is wary to call for a fracking ban, and may formally reprimand those calling for this ban, expel them from Sierra Club, or pursue litigation against them. Occupy Denver stands in solidarity with the call issued by the Poudre Canyon Sierra Club in Fort Collins, and calls on the national Sierra Club to do the right thing, enact their mission statement, and call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing. Anything short of a complete rejection of fracking would demonstrate that Sierra Club is an environmentalist group only on paper, willing to trade away their ecological principles for political convenience.

Ways you can help!
Sign this petition asking Sierra Club Director Michael Brune to lead a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing:

Share this letter – Poudre Canyon Group (Fort Collins) letter to Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune (In addition to being a good call to arms, this letter is a comprehensive collection of diverse research data proving the many dangers of fracking):

Call Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune at his office, (415) 977-5500 and ask him to call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Fax Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune at his office, (415) 977-5797 with the message:
“If your child’s life was in danger, would you pause to ask a politician if it is OK to save their life? What would John Muir do? It is time for Sierra Club to call for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing.” Or another message of your choosing.

Occupy Denver calls on all Occupy networks to circulate this petition & letter from the Poudre Canyon Sierra Club group, and to participate in the call-in & fax-in actions listed above.

Solidarity to everyone everywhere fighting the toxic extraction industry

Here's that full letter - let's get Fracktivist on this NGO situation! FRACTIVIST - Assist, Reform and Protect!: Letter and Petition to Sierra Club's Michael Brune to Lead a Nationwide Ban on Fracking. This whole thing is absurdly informative and leaves very little wiggle room for the big national NGO types to blow off their concerns. I am posting the whole damn thing here because it's definitely important!

Letter and Petition to Sierra Club's Michael Brune to Lead a Nationwide Ban on Fracking

SIGN PETITION TO ASK SIERRA CLUB TO LEAD A BAN ON FRACKING (LINK)

January 31, 2013
Mr. Michael Brune
Executive Director
Sierra Club
85 Second Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Dear Michael:
The reason for our letter is to express our concerns about the hydraulic fracturing crisis in our country and in Colorado where we live, and the Club’s Oil and Gas Policy, as revised February 2012.
As you know, the impacts from hydraulic fracturing are both an environmental and a public health issue that crosses political lines, especially in communities that are being impacted from hydraulic fracturing operations. People from around the country are coming together to ask why their local, state, and federal governments are not helping to protect their communities from water contamination, air and noise pollution, public health issues, wildlife ecosystem destruction, and more.
The most powerless feeling for families is that they are unable to protect their health and that of their children from what’s happening in their own backyards when the oil and gas industry conducts hydraulic fracturing operations. This violates two key civil rights issues – the rights to safety and the rights to protection under the Civil Rights Act.
In addition, families cannot even protect the homes they live in if an energy company wants to exercise its mineral rights by drilling under a families’ property due to the Split Estate Law in Colorado. This law also impacts families’ ability to protect the surface rights that they own with their homes. The question is: Who is protecting the property rights of innocent families?
We believe that the environmental and public health impacts from hydraulic fracturing are a crisis of historic proportions in our country, a crisis that undermines our environmental laws, and the entire philosophy upon which the Sierra Club was founded.
As a result, we are asking the Club to take a leadership role in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing is destroying our land, our air, our water, wildlife ecosystems, and public health. Additionally, it has a significant negative impact on the climate crisis. The following sample data and arguments supports our assertions:
Impacts on Water
We would like to discuss how hydraulic fracturing impacts our water quantity and quality:
In the National Wildlife Federation’s report from 2011 entitled: “No More Hydraulic Fracturing in the Dark: Exposing the Hazards of Natural Gas Production and Protecting America’s Drinking Water and Wildlife Habitat,” the following was reported under “Impacts on Water Quality and Supply:” (http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Energy-and-Climate/Drilling-and-Mining/Natural-Gas-Hydraulic fracturing.aspx)
“Each time that a well is hydraulically fractured, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are required. As this procedure may be carried out many times, each well may therefore require several million gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing operations. This water normally must be withdrawn from nearby wells, lakes, rivers, or industrial or municipal water systems. Large-scale water withdrawals may result in reducing the flow of streams below levels acceptable for fish (such as brook trout) and other wildlife.”
Currently, hydraulic fracturing occurs in 34 states. Can we really afford for the oil and gas industry to have access to so much freshwater that should instead be protected for drinking water, ecosystem health, and growing our food? In the arid Intermountain West, many oil and gas companies are outbidding farmers for water. With the devastating drought that Colorado experienced last summer, and with predictions for continued drought due to the climate crisis, we really need to ask ourselves what the most beneficial use of our water really should be. We must also make it a priority to protect the health of our aquifers.
In Colorado, Initiatives 3 and 45 will be reintroduced in 2013, and were:
“Born out of the need to protect and provide for better access to Colorado’s water and preserve this precious resource now and into the future. The initiatives codifies the Public Trust Doctrine in Colorado’s Constitution and reaffirms the public’s ownership of Colorado’s water and the state as steward of the peoples’ property and is charged with its protection and enforcement of the public’s interest.” (http://protectcoloradowater.org)
Water Contamination

We are also very concerned about reports of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations. The following information was also reported in the National Wildlife Federation’s report referenced above, but there have also been many other documented reports of groundwater contamination from around the country:
“The process of releasing natural gas from layers of rock through hydraulic fracturing is believed to potentially lead to the migration of gases into other geological layers, including aquifers.”
“Groundwater near drilling wells has in fact been contaminated with methane, the main component of natural gas. This can pose a fire and explosion hazard; the health risks of drinking methane-contaminated water remain unknown. While some cases of methane in water may be due to other causes, a peer-reviewed study by researchers from Duke University found that water from wells closer to active natural gas drilling sites had higher concentrations of methane. The researchers sampled water from wells and found that “Methane concentrations were 17-times higher on average…in shallow wells from active drilling and extraction areas than in wells from nonactive areas.”
According to StateImpact, (http://stateimpact.npr.org), a project of National Public Radio, state environmental regulators in Pennsylvania blame methane migration for contaminated water wells in Dimock, Susquehanna County. They also found that:
Migrating gas is also the prime suspect for two problems that sprang up in May and June 2012: in Tioga County, a 30-foot geyser appeared along a road in Union Township, Tioga County. Private water wells also began overflowing, and gas puddles were discovered in a nearby creek. Similar problems surfaced 13 miles away in Leroy Township, Bradford County, where flammable puddles were discovered near a well drilled by Chesapeake Energy.”
Clean Water Action and the Poudre Canyon Group of the Sierra Club, based in Fort Collins, Colorado discovered the following data on water contamination for neighboring Weld County, Colorado: (http://www.cleanwateraction.org/files/publications/co/SC-CWA-to-COGA-2-27-2012.pdf)
From August 2003 - January 2012, 1,000 “Incident Spill Reports” for oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing were reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). Please note: the COGCC website only lists the 1,000 of the most recent reports. These publicly searchable reports, (http://cogcc.state.co.us/), reveal the following:
·       43% of spills have contaminated groundwater
·       3.1% of spills have contaminated surface water
·       43% of spills have resulted in, or been caused by, berm failures
A sampling of 60 of the 1,000 “Incident Spill Reports” reflects the following estimate of fluid contamination:
·       Up to 824,600 gallons of oil have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County
·       Up to 383,600 gallons of produced water have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County
·       Up to 547,400 gallons of “Other” fluid have been spilled and “unrecovered” in Weld County. (“Other” may include hydraulic fracturing fluids.)
These alarming results are for Weld County alone and do not reflect spills and groundwater contamination in the 41 other Colorado counties in which oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing occurs.  In addition, surface spills under 210 US gallons do not have to be reported to the COGCC, unless they affect “waters of the state.” Aren’t they all waters of the state, considering it’s all a part of the hydrological cycle and in need of our protection?
Produced Water
What happens to flowback and produced water (toxic liquid waste water) from hydraulic fracturing operations is shocking.
In Colorado, produced water that contains hydraulic fracturing fluids may be permitted for discharge into streams and surfaces, and can be sprayed on dirt roads to reduce dust. According to the EPA, “pollutants are discharged into surface waters such as rivers, lakes or streams where they can directly impact aquatic life and drinking water sources.” This is the result of some water treatment plants not having the ability to treat this type of wastewater. This data is referenced below:
According to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s (COGCC) website,
“About 60% of the produced water in Colorado goes into deep and closely-regulated waste injection wells, 20% evaporates from lined pits and 20% is discharged as usable surface water under permits from the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission.”

“Evaporation is a common disposal method in the Piceance Basin, while surface discharges are common in the Raton Basin, where coal bed methane is produced, water production is significant, and the water meets or can be treated to meet surface discharge standards.”

“Produced water can also be sprayed on dirt roads to reduce dust, if authorized by the surface owner outside sensitive areas. It should not result in pooling or runoff and is supposed to meet allowable concentrations in Table 910-1. (COGCC Rule 907.c.2.D)”

According to the EPA, “Shale Gas Extraction – Industrial Effluent Guidelines – Fact Sheet dated October 2011:”

“Based on data provided by industry, it is evident that a portion of the injected fracturing fluid will return to the surface as “flowback,” sometimes called “produced water.” Up to one million gallons of shale gas wastewater may be produced from a single well within the first 30 days following fracturing.”

“These produced waters generally contain elevated salt content (often expressed as total dissolved solids, or TDS), many times higher than that contained in sea water, conventional pollutants, organics, metals, and NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material). Additional data show that flowback waters contain concentrations of some of the fracturing fluid additives.”


“While some of the shale gas wastewater is re
used or reinjected, a significant amount still requires disposal. Some shale gas wastewater is transported to public and private treatment plants, many of which are not properly equipped to treat this type of wastewater. As a result, pollutants are discharged into surface waters such as rivers, lakes or streams where they can directly impact aquatic life and drinking water sources…. EPA plans to propose new standards for public comment in 2014.”
Radioactive Tracers
Man-made radioactive tracers, along with the other substances found in hydraulic-fracturing fluid,combined with naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) from shale deposits, return to the surface as produced water. When NORM is concentrated or exposed by human activities, such as hydraulic fracturing, it is classified as TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material).

According to the EPA’s website, (http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/tenorm/about.html):


“Many of the materials that are technically TENORM have only trace amounts of radiation and are part of our everyday landscape. However, some TENORM has very high concentration of radionuclides that can result in elevated exposures to radiation.”

“EPA is working to understand the problem and to develop effective ways to protect humans and the environment from harmful exposure to the radiation in these materials. Because TENORM is produced by many industries in varying amounts and occurs in a wide variety of products, it is a particularly challenging problem in the U.S. Although EPA and others working on the problem already have learned a good deal about TENORM, we still do not understand fully all of the potential radiation exposure risks it presents to humans and the environment.”

Class II Injection Wells
According to the EPA’s website, (http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/), there are approximately 144,000 Class II injection wells in the United States that inject over 2 billion gallons of brine every day. Colorado currently has 698 Class II liquid industrial waste injection sites.
When oil and gas are extracted, large amounts of brine are typically brought to the surface. Often saltier than seawater, this brine can also contain toxic metals and radioactive substances. It can be very damaging to the environment and public health if it is discharged to surface water or the land surface. By injecting the brine deep underground, Class II wells prevent surface contamination of soil and water.”
According to an investigative report published December 28, 2012 in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the following was reported:
Over the past 13 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has exempted only the oil and gas industry from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act to allow the disposal of waste brine and hydrocarbon-containing fluids into drinking water aquifers deep underground. The injections are occurring east of Fort Collins in northern Weld County…”

A ProPublica investigation showed that the EPA has not kept track of how many aquifer exemptions have been issued nationwide, and records the agency provided ProPublica showed that many were issued in conflict with the EPA’s requirement to protect water that could be used for drinking. ProPublica found that about 1,100 aquifer exemptions have been approved by the EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program in its Rocky Mountain regional office in Denver.”

“In most cases, the EPA granted companies permission to pollute drinking water aquiferssaying that they are not “reasonably expected” to be used for drinking water because they are too deep and too expensive to tap, making such an operation “technically impractical.”

“But Colorado may be forced to look deep underground for new water sources as shallower aquifers are depleted and water becomes more scarce as the climate changes, said Mark Williams, a hydrologist at the University of Colorado-Boulder.”
“The plan Colorado currently uses to calculate its water needs and supply through 2050 was last updated in 2012; it says very little about underground sources of water and even less about the how climate change could potentially affect the state’s water supply.”

(The Surface Water Supply Index) SWSI ignored climate change entirely because the state didn’t have enough money to address such a complex issue, the report says. But considering the impacts of climate change is critical when determining the harm oil and gas wastewater injections are doing to deep drinking water aquifers,” Williams said.

“We’re sacrificing those aquifers. In 50 or 100 years, we may actually like to have that water, and it will not be available. That’s a water quantity issue. The region’s water supply experts who say the drinking water lurking 8,000 feet or deeper underground can’t be tapped today also say the future may demand it.”

In addition, Colorado’s largest aquifer, the Ogallala, was contaminated by an EPA known frack fluid and thermogenic gas from a mining operation that uses fracking processes. For more information, please visit: http://www.fractivist.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html
Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing
The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Report: “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing,” (http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov), details over 750 chemicals and other components used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Some of these chemicals are classified as carcinogenic and hazardous air pollutants. Given this, how can we, in good conscience, allow the use of these chemicals in our environment, communities, and neighborhoods?
Also, according to federal laws, the oil and gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals they use in their proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids. How these fluids and their effects are exempt from laws such as the Clean Water Drinking Act, the Safe Water Drinking Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act is unacceptable. These laws were enacted to protect our environment and our citizens. Allowing the oil and gas industry exemptions under the Halliburton Loophole undermines our most important environmental and public health laws, and consequently collides with Sierra Club’s mission statement. Isn’t it time these outrageous, unlawful exemptions are eliminated?
Below are some highlights from the Executive Summary of the report referenced above:
“Between 2005 and 2009, the 14 oil and gas service companies used more than 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products containing 750 chemicals and other components. Overall, these companies used 780 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing products – not including water added at the well site – between 2005 and 2009.”
“Some of the components used in the hydraulic fracturing products were common and generally harmless, such as salt and citric acid. Some were unexpected, such as instant coffee and walnut hulls. And some were extremely toxic, such as benzene and lead.”
“Between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. These 29 chemicals were components of more than 650 different products used in hydraulic fracturing.”
“The BTEX compounds – benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene – appeared in 60 of the hydraulic fracturing products used between 2005 and 2009. Each BTEX compound is a regulated contaminant under the Safe Drinking Water Act and a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Benzene also is a known human carcinogen. The hydraulic fracturing companies injected 11.4 million gallons of products containing at least one BTEX chemical over the five year period.”
“In many instances, the oil and gas service companies were unable to provide the Committee with a complete chemical makeup of the hydraulic fracturing fluids they used. Between 2005 and 2009, the companies used 94 million gallons of 279 products that contained at least one chemical or component that the manufacturers deemed proprietary or a trade secret. Committee staff requested that these companies disclose this proprietary information.”
“Some of these chemicals, if not disposed of safely or allowed to leach into the drinking water supply, could damage the environment or pose a risk to human health. During hydraulic fracturing, fluids containing chemicals are injected deep underground, where their migration is not entirely predictable. Well failures, such as the use of insufficient well casing, could lead to their release at shallower depths, closer to drinking water supplies.” Although some fracturing fluids are removed from the well at the end of the fracturing process, a substantial amount remains underground.”
“While most underground injections of chemicals are subject to the protections of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Congress in 2005 modified the law to exclude “the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities” from the Act’s protections. Unless oil and gas service companies use diesel in the hydraulic fracturing process, the permanent underground injection of chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
“Hydraulic fracturing companies used 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) as a foaming agent or surfactant in 126 products. According to EPA scientists, 2-BE is easily absorbed and rapidly distributed in humans following inhalation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. Studies have shown that exposure to 2-BE can cause hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and damage to the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. The hydraulic fracturing companies injected 21.9 million gallons of products containing 2-BE between 2005 and 2009. They used the highest volume of products containing 2-BE in Texas, which accounted for more than half of the volume used. EPA recently found this chemical in drinking water wells tested in Pavillion, Wyoming.”
States with the Highest Volume of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Containing 2-Butoxyethanol (2005-2009):
State
Fluid Volume (gallons)
Texas
12,031,734
Oklahoma
2,186,613
New Mexico
1,871,501
Colorado
1,147,614
Louisiana
890,068
Pennsylvania
747,416
West Virginia
464,231
Utah
382,874
Montana
362,497
Arkansas
348,959
Total
20,433,507
We are aware of the FRAC Act to repeal the Halliburton Loophole that was introduced in 2008 and reintroduced in 2011 by Representatives Diana DeGette and Jared Polis, both Colorado Democrats who also sponsored the original bill. The question we must ask is: Will repealing the Halliburton Loophole require the oil and gas industry to disclose the chemicals used in their proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids? Disclosure is not enough.
Endocrine Disruption
Dr. Theo Colborn, founder and president of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), based in Paonia, Colorado, is an environmental health analyst, and is known for her research on the health effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Dr. Colborn’s website, (http://www.endocrinedisruption.com), details the chemicals used in natural gas operations and their health effects.  Her findings are disturbing and should be alarming to all of us.
After reviewing Dr. Colborn’s research, please consider the impacts in Colorado for a moment. There are over 49, 000 active oil and gas wells in Colorado and approximately 18,000 are located in Weld County. Some wells are located in neighborhoods and next to elementary schools and playgrounds.
Our own Sierra Club members and leaders live in communities surrounded by hundreds, and even thousands, of toxic fracking operations that use carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals to extract natural gas. The oil and gas operators fugitively emit and willfully release tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and hydrocarbon vapors from storage tanks, valves and nearly 900 parts and pieces of equipment that release fugitive emissions into their neighborhoods.
These toxic operations are close to the schools that their children attend and the playgrounds where they play. It is unethical and morally wrong that we are allowing this to happen when, according to Dr. Colborn’s research:
“Volatile organic compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, etc.,) and fugitive natural gas (methane), escape and mix with nitrogen oxides from the exhaust of diesel-driven, mobile and stationary equipment to produce ground-level ozone.”
We have a responsibility to do something about this - for the environment and for our members. These emissions must be monitored now, not in 2015, as the COGCC suggests.
Additional concerns regarding chemical exposure in our communities involve the current setback rules in Colorado. Currently only 150’ setbacks are required in rural areas and 500’ setbacks in suburban areas for oil and natural gas wells from homes, schools, and businesses. Is this really safe, considering our own state law has a Setback Loophole that allows re-entry and re-drilling of any completed well regardless of its proximity to a residential structure? In some subdivisions, there are active and producing well sites within 50-100’ feet of homes.
Workplace Safety
We must ask: How safe are oil and gas field workers who are exposed to the impacts of hydraulic fracturing?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identified:
“Exposure to airborne silica as a health hazard to workers conducting some hydraulic fracturing operations during recent field studies.”
That the exposure to hydraulic fracturing chemicals in an occupational setting needs to be examined to determine the acute and chronic effects on health. The exposure risks such as “transport, mixing, delivery, and potential accidents” have not been properly assessed.”
Air Pollution
Air pollution along the Front Range of Colorado is getting significantly worse and studies show that hydraulic fracturing is contributing to this problem.
In a study dated December 5, 2012 by the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment, we would like to call your attention to the following information provided under Table 5:
Average, speciated non-methane organic compounds (SNMOCs) concentrations were captured at 10 times those found in agricultural areas of higher oil and gas well pad density than in downtown Denver. This study clearly confirms the previous NOAA air chemistry study and Dr. Theo Colborn’s “Air Manuscript” chemical analyses of active oil and gas well pad chemical releases. The study also points to aggregate major point sources of pollution, which under the Clean Air Act, the oil and gas industry’s active well pads are considered “minor non-point sources” of pollution. This is a critical area that needs to be immediately addressed and stopped.
From the article entitled “Hydraulic fracturing’s Dirty Air Secret” dated November 15, 2012 on Earthjustice’s website: (http://earthjustice.org/blog/2012-november/fracking-s-dirty-air-secret)
“Oil and gas drilling is a contributor to ozone—better known as smog—on Colorado’s Front Range. Smog is a health problem. As the American Lung Association explains, ozone is "the most widespread pollutant in the U.S." and "is also one of the most dangerous." Smog causes shortness of breath; chest pain when inhaling; wheezing and coughing; asthma attacks; and increased need for people with lung diseases to go to the hospital to get treatment. And let's not forget death. Thousands of premature deaths occur every year due to ozone levels above the current health standard set by the EPA.”
“Thanks in part to the hydraulic fracturing drilling boom, smog has gotten worse in Colorado over the past couple of years. How bad? This summer was the worst Front Range smog year since 2006 with a month of unhealthy air days. State data for 2012 also show air in Greeley and Fort Collins north of Denver—near the heart of the hydraulic fracturing boom—exceeding health standards and getting worse.”
“And if that’s not enough, Rocky Mountain National Park was crowned the smoggiest national park outside of California this year. For the first time in the decade or so that the Park Service has records online. Can’t imagine that’s good for the tourism business, let alone the trees, wildlife and visitors.”
In an exploratory study of air pollution near natural gas operations conducted by The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal on November 9, 2012), the study’s abstract described the following:   (http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.air.php)
“This exploratory study was designed to assess air quality in a rural western Colorado area where residences and gas wells co-exist. Sampling was conducted before, during, and after drilling and hydraulic fracturing of a new natural gas well pad. Weekly air sampling for 1 year revealed that the number of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and their concentrations were highest during the initial drilling phase and did not increase during hydraulic fracturing in this closed-loop system. Methylene chloride, a toxic solvent not reported in products used in drilling or hydraulic fracturing, was detected 73% of the time; several times in high concentrations. A literature search of the health effects of the NMHCs revealed that many had multiple health effects, including 30 that affect the endocrine system, which is susceptible to chemical impacts at very low concentrations, far less than government safety standards. Selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were at concentrations greater than those at which prenatally exposed children in urban studies had lower developmental and IQ scores. The human and environmental health impacts of the NMHCs, which are ozone precursors, should be examined further given that the natural gas industry is now operating in close proximity to human residences and public lands.”
A May 2012 study by the Colorado School of Public Health researchers discovered the following: (http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsroom/newsreleases/Pages/health-impacts-of-hydraulic fracturing-emissions.aspx)
“In a new study, researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health have shown that air pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing may contribute to acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites. The report, based on three years of monitoring, found a number of potentially toxic petroleum hydrocarbons in the air near the wells including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene. Benzene has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a known carcinogen.”

“…Exposure to trimethylbenzenes, aliaphatic hydrocarbons, and xylenes, all of which have neurological and/or respiratory effects, the study said. Those effects could include eye irritation, headaches, sore throat and difficulty breathing.
"We also calculated higher cancer risks for residents living nearer to the wells as compared to those residing further [away]," the report said. Benzene is the major contributor to lifetime excess cancer risk from both scenarios."

In April 2012, the EPA announced updates to nationwide air quality protections to include oil and natural gas production. In the press release entitled, “Environmental Groups Praise EPA’s First-Ever Clean Air Protections for Hydraulic fracturing,” (http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2012/environmental-groups-praise-epa-s-first-ever-clean-air-protections-for-fracking), it’s important to note:
“The EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) will benefit the health of Americans and our environment in many ways. The updated standards will result in major reductions in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic benzene and methane, a highly potent contributor to climate disruption. These pollutants are known to cause asthma attacks, hospital admissions, emergency room visits, cancer and even premature death.”
“Today’s announcement by the EPA is a major step forward. However, the two-and-a-half-year delay in reducing pollution from wellheads is an unnecessary setback because industry can meet those standards now.”

At the same time, the EPA left out methane emissions and in turn the Club filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of its members against the EPA.
From the same press release, we would also like to highlight your statement:
“EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is taking an important first step in closing loopholes for the natural gas industry and addressing dangerous air quality levels in and near frack-fields across the country,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
“The natural gas industry dumps massive amounts of air pollutants into our air every day, sickening families and children. An industry that touts its ability to efficiently drill thousands of wells thousands of feet into the earth is crying wolf when it claims it can’t build enough tanks to capture wellhead pollution. It’s time we clean up the natural gas industry’s dirty and reckless practices.”
The Climate Crisis
We are very concerned about how hydraulic fracturing is affecting the climate crisis.
As reported in the Journal of Nature on January 2, 2013: (http://www.nature.com/news/methane-leaks-erode-green-credentials-of-natural-gas-1.12123)
“Scientists are once again reporting alarmingly high methane emissions from an oil and gas field, underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural-gas production that is transforming the US energy system.”



“The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere…..”

“Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.”
And as stated on the Environmental Protection Agency website, methane gas is defined as follows: (http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html)
“Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities. In 2010, CH4 accounted for about 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane is emitted by natural sources such as wetlands, as well as human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems and the raising of livestock. Natural processes in soil and chemical reactions in the atmosphere help remove CH4 from the atmosphere. Methane's lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate crisis is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.”

In the Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature, last revised March 23, 2012, (http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.1365), the following observations were made regarding fossil fuel emissions (please note: Dr. James Hansen is one of the researchers of this study)
“Maintaining a climate that resembles the Holocene, the world of stable shorelines in which civilization developed, requires rapidly reducing fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Such a scenario is economically sensible and has multiple benefits for humanity and other species. Yet fossil fuel extraction is expanding, including highly carbon-intensive sources that can push the climate system beyond tipping points such that amplifying feedbacks drive further climate change that is practically out of humanity's control. This situation raises profound moral issues as young people, future generations, and nature, with no possibility of protecting their future well-being, will bear the principal consequences of actions and inactions of today's adults.”
Many of us have seen the film “Chasing Ice.” It’s time for each one of us to ask a very important question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how concerned are you about climate crisis? Also, how concerned are you that our daily actions impact the vast majority of the world’s population that has not done a thing to contribute to the climate crisis – don't we have a responsibility and moral obligation to them to change the way that we live?
Making Hydraulic Fracturing Safer
Given that many of us depend upon oil and natural gas for our daily existence, there has been much discussion on what things could be done to make hydraulic fracturing safer including:
  • Full enforcement of our current environmental laws by the EPA
  • Disclosure of all proprietary fracking fluids
  • Repealing the Halliburton Loophole
  • Developing strict guidelines and imposing penalties when laws are not followed (accountability)
  • Providing the necessary inspectors to ensure compliance with all environmental laws and regulations. Currently Colorado has 17 inspectors to monitor over 49,000 active, plus 81,000 inactive wells
The real question is: Can hydraulic fracturing ever be safe for our environment and public health?
Sierra Club’s Oil and Gas Policy
We have reviewed the Club’s Oil and Gas Policy, as revised February 2012, and are pleased that it clearly states the reasons the Club doesn’t support hydraulic fracturing because of many of the points addressed in this letter.
We do want to recognize that the policy also supports:
·       Chapter advocacy for regional or state-wide moratoria
·       Bans in specific local environmentally sensitive areas such as federal roadless areas, state parks and forests, designated wildlife areas, and municipal watersheds
·       Local groups that call for a ban in their own communities
These changes to the 2009 Oil and Gas Policy were critical. Thank you for working towards these revisions – but we must do more.
Given the investigative reporting that continues to provide concrete evidence of accounts of water contamination, people becoming seriously ill who live close to well sites that have been fracked, animals dying after exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluids, and the unknown health issues that will surface in the coming years, we are asking the Club to take a leadership role in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing.
If we take a leap of faith and call for a nationwide hydraulic fracturing ban, we will move closer to the goal of a clean and healthy energy future, but our planet requires that we act today. If we don’t, we will drag this issue out for an indefinite period of time, further endangering our environment and public health, and accelerating the climate crisis. We don’t have time to wait.
Sierra Club v. Morton 45 U.S. 727 (1972)
Sierra Club v. Morton was one of the most important environmental lawsuits ever pursued. Over 40 years ago, Sierra Club saw that Mineral King needed protection from a proposed ski area development. Simply, the natural world needed a voice and Sierra Club was there to provide it. The Club had the courage to stand up and challenge the Interior Department’s policies on developing Mineral King. We didn’t win but today we have another chance.
Throughout our country today, the natural environment is being destroyed through hydraulic fracturing operations, mountaintop removal mining, our individual and collection actions that contribute to our climate crisis, and a host of other issues.
The natural world needs our voice more than ever. Will the Sierra Club be courageous enough to stand up once more and be that voice for our natural world? Are we up to the challenge?
We think that the dissenting opinion of Justice William O. Douglas, in Sierra Club v. Morton, foretold the future that lies in front of us today. Below is an excerpt from his dissenting opinion:

“The critical question of "standing" would be simplified and also put neatly in focus if we fashioned a federal rule that allowed environmental issues to be litigated before federal agencies or federal courts in the name of the inanimate object about to be despoiled, defaced, or invaded by roads and bulldozers and where injury is the subject of public outrage. Contemporary public concern for protecting nature's ecological equilibrium should lead to the conferral of standing upon environmental objects to sue for their own preservation. This suit would therefore be more properly labeled as Mineral King v. Morton.”

“Inanimate objects are sometimes parties in litigation. A ship has a legal personality, a fiction found useful for maritime purposes. The corporation sole - a creature of ecclesiastical law - is an acceptable adversary and large fortunes ride on its cases. The ordinary corporation is a "person" for purposes of the adjudicatory processes, whether it represents proprietary, spiritual, aesthetic, or charitable causes.”

“So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life. The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes - fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and all other animals, including man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological unit of life that is part of it. Those people who have a meaningful relation to that body of water - whether it be a fisherman, a canoeist, a zoologist, or a logger - must be able to speak for the values which the river represents and which are threatened with destruction.....”

“The voice of the inanimate object, therefore, should not be stilled. That does not mean that the judiciary takes over the managerial functions from the federal agency. It merely means that before these priceless bits of Americana (such as a valley, an alpine meadow, a river, or a lake) are forever lost or are so transformed as to be reduced to the eventual rubble of our urban environment, the voice of the existing beneficiaries of these environmental wonders should be heard.”

“Perhaps they will not win. Perhaps the bulldozers of "progress" will plow under all the aesthetic wonders of this beautiful land. That is not the present question. The sole question is, who has standing to be heard?”

“ Those who merely are caught up in environmental news or propaganda and flock to defend these waters or areas may be treated differently. That is why these environmental issues should be tendered by the inanimate object itself. Then there will be assurances that all of the forms of life which it represents will stand before the court - the pileated woodpecker as well as the coyote and bear, the lemmings as well as the trout in the streams. Those inarticulate members of the ecological group cannot speak. But those people who have so frequented the place as to know its values and wonders will be able to speak for the entire ecological community…”

In 2008, Ecuador’s Constitution was the first to: “Recognize that ecosystems possess the inalienable and fundamental right to exist and flourish, and that people possess the legal authority to enforce those rights on behalf of ecosystems. In addition, these laws require the governments to remedy violations of those ecosystem rights.”
Ecuador broke new ground with the help of The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund that: “is working with communities throughout the United States and in countries worldwide to assist in crafting and adopting new laws that change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities.” (http://www.celdf.org)
Our planet needs the Sierra Club’s mission in action to endure and now, more than ever, we have the responsibility to “protect the planet” like no other time in our lives.

As the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, as an activist, a father, and a human being, we call on your leadership to call for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing. We also ask that the Sierra Club lead the discussion on “The Rights of Nature,” and establish the protections needed to ensure the long-term sustainability and viability of ecosystems to flourish and to defend their fundamental rights to exist without compromise.


We believe that the spirit to act on behalf of the natural world, and the spark to be courageous and do what’s right - not only for ourselves but for the greater good - is alive in us and in our members. This is how the Sierra Club was born.


We hope that you will have the courage to lead our country in calling for a nationwide ban on mining that uses hydraulic fracturing, regardless of the politics, and to acknowledge that the rights of our natural environment are worth fighting for. We believe that both of these things are worth the fight and we are confident that hundreds of thousands of Sierra Club’s members will stand behind you – there is no doubt.

Sincerely,
Executive Committee
The Poudre Canyon Group
Fort Collins, Colorado
Shane Davis, Chair
Caroline Krumm, Vice Chair
John Gascoyne
Kerry Miller
Tyler Wilson                                                                                                                   
cc: Sierra Club Board of Directors


****************

Whew ok... Also, this Sierra Club FracTracker appears to be more-or-less abandoned: FRAC: Fracking Regulatory Action Center. If only someone would set up some tracker that kicked moar butt for these kind of things - and crowdsourced it! ;)

Anyway I am always down for some serious oil geopolitics -- a topic suddenly on the rise in America -- and right here we have a few classic fault lines developing. Frankly it has been tough to see relative newcomers to activist politics get snowballed by hucksters.

Where the Sierra Club decides to go with this will show pretty obviously if they are on the side of power & massive fossil fuel profit-taking, or the side of the environment & their assorted members who are going to certainly get poisoned by fracking projects in significant numbers.

If whole chapters of the Sierra Club bounce on the national Org over this matter, you could have a very strong and militant base for further environmental action. Could militant shards of the Sierra Club, including the old hippies of the Rocky foothills, kick some ass? Who knew? Your move, Club members! Make some hilarious hashtag before another damn billionaire makes one for you!

Purported Christopher Dorner police & SWAT comms radio transcript compilation indicates "burners" & "burn it down", the "short manifesto"

I would be interested to hear the audio from this, going to cross post it for reference in case anything happens to the pastebin. A lot of weird stuff in this case, I'm not going to make assumptions but I think this may be relevant. Also good work on the following recording with lots of "burn it down" type quotes. SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNk-bV40XMc

SOURCE: Dorner - Transcribed Police Comms - Pastebin.com - http://pastebin.com/1PJx99nf

Transcribed police comms - Dorner / BigBear **** All credit to Flytylady ****

@ http://forums.rimoftheworld.net/showthread.php?12312-Car-Jacking-Big-Bear

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Dispatch to Air 83: Do we still have the suspect pinned down? I did not have a visual, but the best I can tell is they have him pinned down near the shooting scene and they are working.

Pinned down on highway 38; send all units to highway 38.

--------

Cover the dirt road that comes out by the Oaks restaurant.

------------

Unit with wounded officers on board - go back to pavement, go back to pavement. That's where the med unit is going to land.

------------

The cabin with the smoke is the target cabin. (Ground Unit talking to 40K)

-----------

Shooter's on the west side of the house (40K to ground units)

--------

"I grew up in that house, there is a basement in that house. At the rear, totally cemented in"

Copy

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IC, Bear Cat, where do you need us

Bear Cat, come on down 7 Oaks until you see all the cars. I'm gonna need your ammo cans (rest was broken)

------

We can not put boots on the ground on that side, no boots on the ground, it's too dangerous!

-----

Per Terri Kasinga CalTrans - all roads are closed in the mtn communuties and probably will be for several hours

------

Let me know when you have an eye on that north side and are able to cover it effectively.

------

Can you get that news copter out of the area? They're broadcasting our swat positions, they need to go!

Would be my pleasure.

------

Sheriff McMahon has asked that your helicopters pull back or leave the area of the barricaded suspect. Gunfire is being exchanged between law enforcement and the suspect; your personnel are in danger and could contribute to officer safety on the ground.

Thank you for your cooperation.

------

Can you plan some routes to Loma Linda and some other trauma centers?

Copy.

------

Suspect may be out of the cabin. All units use caution.

-----

Per Caltrans District 8

SR138 at Pilot Rock is being opened to upbound traffic.

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Clear the Air! The only ones that should be talking are the ones that have visual on the suspect on 8Mtn1. All other to 8Tac2.

------

40K to Control - Info only - a bunch of LA deputies just showed up and inserted on that (plateau?) about 1/4 mile(I think) from the scene; not sure if they were invited.

LA Fire Ship info? Copy; per 61C get all other aircraft out of the area, he'd appreciate it.

LA Fire Ships inserted up the ridge about 1/2 mile from the location - multiple SWAT members. Probably headed for the ridge about 1/2 mile from the incident location.

------

Team of 6 guys on the #4 side with 2 snipers.

------

LA County flew 3 or 4 helicopters up here. They inserted into a field 1/2 mile north of the location; dropped off 15 SWAT guys all dressed in black. Not sure if they were invited or if there is any coordination with those guys. We need to pass that on to the powers that be.

-------

We still have 330 closed, but 18, towards Crestline should be open, let's keep it like that.

Copy.

------

330 is still shut down; per Chief (Cuzimano?) that should be opened.

Advise the units that 330 is to be opened.

-------

http://bearvalleyusd.org/ As of 2:10 pm today, February 12, 2013, the lockdown at BBHS, BLES and CTHS has been lifted. Buses will be running and parents can pick up their students. FVES remains on lockdown.

Fallsvale Elementary School

40600 Valley of the Falls Dr. Forest Falls

-------

61C 61L: Back the Bear down and then deploy the burner through the turret.

He's not shooting back; he may be down.

Confirm you know there is a basement in that residence.

Affirmed.

-------

Transcribers Synopsis: Units on scene have been working to tear the house apart on the sides of the house that they have been able to secure. There is now talk of taking down the kitchen wall and it has been noted by the ground units that a blood splatter has been observed on one of the interior walls.

-------

Green smoke inside the house.

Not SBD smoke. Diversion.

Can you go to the back?

He's in the 1-4 corner of the house.

Push him back towards the 1-2 if you can.

He deployed another smoke.

-------

We're going to be deploying a gas burner to the #1 side from the Bear.

--------

7 burners have deployed and we have a fire.

-------

Fire in the front, he might come out the back

------

#1 side fully engulfed; fire on the floor.

-----

Sound like one shot fired from inside the residence.

All primary units stand by; maintain your discipline.

The 1-2 corner fully engulfed.

---------

Status check? Code 4, on the #4 side. Do we have fire back there yet? That's affirm. That's affirm. The #2 and 4 side are fully involved. Only have #3 side left.

Any propane cylinders back there that we need to be aware of?

No, not that I can see from my position.

---------

Do you want have fire start putting water on it once the roof starts to collapse?

Affirm; but we're not quite there yet. The #2-3 is still vulnerable.

We'll move Fire 200 yards out.

There is still alot of room on the 3-4 corner that hasn't engulfed yet.

-------

We still have ammo going off in the fire.

---------

Battalion 131 we're still not ready for you. We still have live ammo going off.

Bat131 we have a firefighter that was raised in that building and he is familiar with it. The basement is 12x15.

--------

Fire is doing quite well. The 2-3 or the 3-4 is where that basement is located.

Standing by for your call for Fire - whenever you're ready.

----

Allowing residents of Mountain Home Village, Angelus Oaks and Forest Falls up the 38 at Bryant. All others are being turned around.

------

You guys are my eyes back there. If you see anything catching fire that shouldn't, let me know. Otherwise let it go.

Getting information that there is a propane tank at the rear of the residence near a garage. Be aware, if it goes it will be about a 50 yard debris field.

Copy.

--------

Fire Dept has been allowed in to the scene; no word yet on whether anyone was found...

We need a lighting unit out here.

-------

Media is being held (at Angelus Oaks) until confirmation.

-------

Media is to stay at Bryant and the 38. They are not to come up to Angelus Oaks.

Per SBSO, do not let any more media upbound, keep them at 38 and Bryant.

-------

The camps in the area are calling to confirm they are to stay on lock down.

They can release the lock down.

--------

We're receiving information from Riverside PD that there were escape routes from the basement in the cabins there.

{reply} We have a previous resident that lived there...

---------

Per Caltrans District 8

SR38 is open (ID required) to residents of Valley of the Falls, Mountain Home Village, and Angelus Oaks. SR38 is still closed from that point up to Lake Williams.

--------

Media is now allowed up to Angelus Oaks Market. Per SBSO.

-------

61L to Control: I'll be changing locations to headquarters. 61C is still on scene.

---------

Advise units at 38 and Bryant we can no longer accept any more media up here. We have enough media up here already. There isn't any more room.

--------

From the PIO for SBSO Cindy Bachman: we haven't been into the cabin yet; will not confirm rumors a body was removed.

The cabin is still burning and too hot to enter safely.

---------------

LAPD: "That cabin is too hot for anyone to make entry. No body has been found in that cabin. Reports of body found are not true."

-------

There are a lot of other stories out there that need attention but anyway doesn't mess matters to have this reference. One of the suspiciously confusing things are the differently-scaled manifestos. Possibly from diff facebook & media-delivered items.

Different manifesto versions:

see http://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/18599p/scanned_original_dorn...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/124551564/Original-Manifesto (the short one)

http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/599208/christopher-dorner-manifest...

http://content.clearchannel.com/cc-common/mlib/616/02/616_1360213161.pdf

Source: DOJ Feds currently at the Wells Fargo Mortgage office in Minneapolis searching around

A tip passed along from a source stated that today the US Department of Justice arrived at the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage office in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis, as "auditors" presumably to search through or perhaps seize mortgage records - the old Honeywell complex around 4th Avenue & 26th/28th St. I have no feasible way to confirm this right now but it seemed like a relatively sturdy tip worth posting immediately.

I heard that it was the "middle building". We see two major clusters of buildings via GMap here, so I would assume that means right in the middle. This may have something to do with the place or office that people would call in to attempt to get their mortgages adjusted. (As Neil Barofksy's adventures in the demented banking world showed, the banks were supposed to hit a numerical target of *offers* of modifications, not actual modifications. Perhaps the DOJ is collecting the data on that right now).

wellsfargomortgage.png

Wells Fargo has been a party to a great deal of nefarious happenings in recent years, including memorably their purchase of the colossal drug money laundering giant failed bank Wachovia. Nobody cares about drug money in the banking system but there's always a little time to nibble on relatively easy auditing elements.

Here's the most recent item in the Google about their fraudulent mortgage business: Wells Fargo Settlement Isn’t Bar to False Claims Lawsuit | Foreclosure Fraud - Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge. The source for this photo:
Wells-Fargo.jpeg

In lieu of more detailed info about this situation, a couple random URLS about this hive of scum & villainy. Fact sheet about the Minneapolis Wells Fargo site itself. www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@cped/documents/webcontent/convert_263603.pdf

Foursquare for site [lol]: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Phillips - Minneapolis, Mn

Citysearch reviews of their horrible service: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Minneapolis, MN - Reviews and Directions

Anyway I will leave it there - if there is some kind of confirmation available plz drop me a line!

PS: additionally there was some FBI raid in Oakland on something called the Music Box. Reported FBI Raid at punk haus, "The Music Box" in Oakland : Indybay // northern wind:

my house was raided, there was a warrant, we were all dragged outside barely clothed and forced to sit out there, no bathroom access, they broke our fucking mirror for no reason, scared the fuck out of my cat, handcuffed a housemate for trying to grab her cigarettes, claimed to be looking for some person but wouldn’t say whom, warrant gave no clues.

fuck this shit I’m so sick of waking up to guns.

We will have more info forthcoming on some other important matters, likely unrelated to the Wells Fargo thing, as soon as possible :/

Minnesota Anonymous to protest "Church of Scientology" travesty-industrial complex in St Paul tomorrow - in blizzard?

UPDATE 3PM SUNDAY: Here's the video I livestreamed at the protest today. Bambuser link: http://bambuser.com/v/3363747 Pretty fun and good champs in the snow amirite?

Youtube version may finish processing this year?

spacegorillasvotexenu.jpeg

A heads-up for lulzcats in the Minnesnowta region: Minnesota Anonymous people have filed a permit to protest at the Church of Scientology "Ideal Org" at Wabasha & Exchange Streets, (the old Science Museum of MN building) starting at 10:30AM roughly, marking five years of Chanology, the large-scale protests which brought the old era of abusive Scientology schemes to a close. I will probably livestream from some part of this at http://bambuser.com/channel/hongpong & keep an eye on http://twitter.com/hongpong for updates otherwise.

Also given the expected snowy weather tomorrow, the exception to "CONCEALING IDENTITY" in Minnesota Statute may clearly apply:

609.735 CONCEALING IDENTITY. - 609.735, 2012 Minnesota Statutes

A person whose identity is concealed by the person in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise, unless based on religious beliefs, or incidental to amusement, entertainment, protection from weather, or medical treatment, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Despite a decidedly lowprofile promotional scheme, this was already in the local paper. Info from PioneerPress.com published Feb 6th, updated 7th: Church of Scientology 'dance protest' in St. Paul a go. Vuvuzela playing? Limited. - TwinCities.com

The St. Paul City Council voted to allow a planned "dance protest" outside of the Church of Scientology in downtown St. Paul, but limited a requested noise variance to a single hour.

Members of Minnesota Anonymous had applied for a noise variance from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. The group's application listed vuvuzelas, the type of horns used at sporting events, and speakers among their instruments.

"Free speech is one thing, and a total disruption of people's lives is another," said St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune. "They're free, of course, to picket, carry signs, at various times."

Before the vote, Nancy Schumacher, a public affairs director for the Church of Scientology, told the council that a noisy protest would disrupt Sunday services, church courses and residential neighbors.

"The intent of the group is to actually harass and intimidate church members, and we're hoping you will vote against it," she said.

sci-org-stpaul.jpeg

No one representing Minnesota Anonymous spoke at the hearing.

Here is my commentary on this ugly fake religion on PP:

It was a sad travesty when the once proud, educational and even fun Science Museum of Minnesota building of my youth got taken over by this nasty, greedy little corporate cult which is partially based on the intrinsically selfish & maniacal teachings of Hubbard's personal hero & organizer of Satanic sects, Aleister Crowley. It turns the principles of the Enlightenment on its head to have such 'black disinformation' spammed out into the larger community.

I have met people whose family lives have been ruined, through no choices of their own, because of Scientology's classic cult strategy of dominating and splitting families, requiring years of deprogramming simply to obtain a normal life once more. That type of abuse certainly suffices to justify protesting this corporatist, 'intellectual property' hoarding knockoff cult. Also they kill people through brainwashing at their front organizations such as "Narconon Arrowhead" in Oklahoma. I'm not a "member of Anonymous" but I can agree this travesty of a site offends me as much as anything in the Cities.

See pics from Fibonacci Blue for older local protests at the now-closed Nicollet Mall org: Flickr: Fibonacci Blue's Photostream. See late 2011 opening of this place post: Largest Scientology church in Midwest opens in downtown St. Paul - TwinCities.com.

The New 21st Century COINTELPRO Mobius Strip: Undisclosed Participation, "OTHERWISE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY," Federal & State Informants, drug ops auditing in MN

fbi-mobiusstrip.jpg

A quick update on a number of different fronts developing around 21st century Cointelpro operations. This material includes the important bureaucratic fault line of authorizing "otherwise" illegal government operations, an important topic of research... Granted, Season 3 of the X-Files is playing over my shoulder, a product of a more skeptical decade. Yeah, the truth is out there - and at least here we get tiny, but real, slivers of crucial folds in the origami.

The FBI file and the Minnesota State Auditor files aren't really smoking guns, but they clearly show us interesting & almost totally unknown new levels of the modern 21st century COINTELPRO system. Four apparently new documents about the obscure and rather deliberately shadowy world around the insertion of informants into political organizations, information with implications for any political movement that might get "spammed" by fake realities generated by people working as informant handlers, or also in the state level documents, outstate drug buys, interesting examples of cash, firearms and drugs floating around. The "upper" FBI reality described here certainly has implications for the "lower" state-level drug operations, paid informant & prosecution world - thus they make an interesting contrast for one post!

From two different sources, parts of the FBI's Unclassified / For Official Use Only (FOUO) Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide [DIOG] apparently revised September 5 2007, and from the other set of requests, Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto's office checks in on the processes of outstate drug task forces engaged in asset forfeiture, drug buys, firearms stuff. When various audited processes turn out to be fails, some corrective actions are recommended. I'm also throwing in a motion for discovery on certain types of informants that could be promising - the next step down this line.

This is a continuation of: 2010 Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy Notes for April 19; Eric Holder's Trentadue Mission; SPLC Cutout @ Elohim City; CIA, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency roles | HongPong.com. See also our friends who made A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City 1995 - writeup.

The topic of the FBI file is certain to make almost any careerist in the world of "that Law thing" squirm because it is a form of documentation showing the entire edifice is one MC Escher-style mobius strip of fake morality, crimes truly authorized on paper -- heavily censored paper, but this is indeed clearly one such paper without any doubt.

Other parts of a similar DIOG file, with the same front page, was published by the ACLU in 2011(included below), but I think we got some new pages here. It's usually hard to find the precise chunks or "twists of the mobius strip of officially sanctioned crime" but fortunately I think we all got at least a few entirely fresh pages via a lucky FOIA. (I'm not totally certain the FBI drop is truly partly-new, but I haven't found key matching pages elsewhere. Plz let me know if you do!)

Group readings of this file [with a toast for every LOL] should be a mandatory drinking game / CLE for every single bar association and law review, because they show that the entire conceit is one big clusterfail, and I would dare any lawyer to make a coherent argument to the contrary.

This new relatively short FBI FOIA, I'm suspecting right now, hit some new paydirt because there are certain subtypes of FBI informants that are described with certain keywords, which could include people violating confidences, including within the media, clergy, doctors, lawyers etc. It opens up a line of inquiry that one Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue, has apparently stumbled into in his long-rolling FOIA lawsuit spurred by the suspicious murder of his brother in a federal prison (see KennethTrentadue.com for more).

At least we get some look at the terrain of specially labeled, high level FBI informants, the Gerald Fords of the world if you will [aka the Warren Commission snitch]. I can't think of another source that quite nails the different categories of FBI informants like the motion posted below, filed in the lawsuit which already has produced this (not to mention hard proof the CIA have at least some formal records of something related to the Oklahoma City Bombing still censored from our reach).

Mother Jones covered his case including the CIA angle in 7/2011: Did the FBI Bury Oklahoma City Bombing Evidence? | Mother Jones. Also: Trentadue OKC Lawsuits Expand To CIA, Add Demand For Videos via @intelwire. This new document also references the decidedly low-profile realm of private companies operated as FBI fronts. Not too bad!

On the Minnesota side, these drug task force audits are in fact publicly requestable records but not released on the interweb by default (part of the reason that very very few people are aware of the state auditor Otto's overall respectable role in the scheme of things).

Let's dive in - look for your favorite weird angle including FBI-controlled front businesses, "otherwise" illegal acts, and creating synthetic detours in authentic First Amendment Expression! Show to your favorite law-and-order acquaintances for some high-quality cognitive dissonance! :-D

[Partially] NEW FBI FILE:

FBI Illegal Informant Procedures - Confidential Human Source Policy Manual by

RELEVANT (but not particularly new) DOJ files:

Here is the ACLU 2011 file - I really think we got something similar but different:

FBI Confidential Human Source Policy Manual by

Cited as relevant see page 17 as marked, 23 as paginated PDF - AG Use of FBI confidential human sources authorization - includes Media Snitches (violating media confidentiality). The new Trentadue motion demands quantities, not names!

DOJ AG Use of FBI confidential human sources by

MINNESOTA FILES:

West Central Drug Task Force Audit

West Central Drug Task Force Audit by

Paul Bunyan Gang & Drug Task Force Audit

Paul Bunyan Gang &amp; Drug Task Force Audit by

Lakes Area Drug Investigation Team Audit

Lakes Area Drug Investigation Team Audit by

OTHER NOTES:

Among the other small angles to consider here, the role of Executive Order 12333 from Ronald Reagan indeed turns out to be crucial in understanding the formal institutionalization of the FBI as a bureaucracy which can operate illegally, in the realm of intelligence. It was pointed out in Al Martin's The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider that EO12333 was an important greenlight of sorts, as it led the way for "legalizing the illegal systems" of the "Iran-Contra" world particularly those involving drug and weapons trafficking through private shell companies (and EO12333 does talk a lot about front companies operated for intel functions).

Also I am adding part of a post from Bob McCarty about this case and this particular request, which shows a pretty good avenue into further inquiry. We could expect at least a few more interesting crumbs out of this line of research - certainly, stuff worth looking at. [A whole series of McCarty posts on Oklahoma City and the Trentadue inquiry I haven't even looked at!]

SOURCE: Brother of Murder Victim Seeks Details of FBI's 'Sensitive Informant Program' | BobMcCarty.com

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue filed a motion Monday asking a federal judge to determine whether he is entitled to limited discovery into the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program.”

In his motion, Trentadue described the program as one used by the bureau “to recruit and/or place informants on the staffs of members of the United States Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies as well as the White House, on defense teams in high-profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies, and even among the clergy of organized religions.”

Trentadue’s interest in the program stems from questions that have surfaced during his ongoing investigation into the death of Kenneth Trentadue, his brother who died in 1995 under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, months after theOklahoma City Bombing.

Kenneth-Trentadue_Pic

Click to learn more at http://KennethTrentadue.com.

With his latest legal maneuver, Trentadue hopes to convince Judge Clark Waddoups to compel the FBI to provide all documentation outlining what he describes in the motion as an“unlawful and unconstitutional domestic spying program.”

The maneuver comes almost four weeks after the FBI answered a federal court complaint Trentadue filed under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of the manual the FBI uses to recruit and place“sensitive informants.” Citing national security concerns as the basis for their response, FBI officials answered that complaint by saying they “can neither confirm nor deny the allegations [of the Complaint] regarding its confidential informant program.”

Shown below, Trentadue’s definition of a “sensitive informant” is, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of his motion:

“…the term ‘Sensitive Informant’ is defined as anyone acting, directly or indirectly and with or without any compensation, on behalf of the FBI as a member of, person associated with or otherwise a participant in or observer of the activity or activities of an entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization AND who does not disclose or reveal to such entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization his or her FBI affiliation.

“A Sensitive Informant is, in other words, some one who is acting, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the FBI as an undisclosed participant in or observer of the activity or activities of an entity, organization, group, governmental agency or unit, association of organizations or individuals, public official, member of Congress, judge, cleric and/or religious or political organization.

“The term ‘Sensitive Informant’ likewise includes what the FBI’s current terminology refers to as a ‘Confidential Human Source’ including any and all sub-categories of Confidential Human Sources such as, but not limited to, what the FBI refers to as a ‘Privileged Confidential Human Source,’ who is someone reporting confidential information to the FBI in violation of a privilege such as an attorney reporting his client’s confidential communications, a physician reporting upon his patient’s medical or mental condition, a cleric informing on a member of his or her church or other religious organization, etc.

In his motion, Trentadue requested the judge order FBI officials to answer 11 critical questions about the scope of their “Sensitive Informant Program” prior to a yet-to-be-scheduled hearing during which, according to Trentadue, FBI officials have said they will file a motion for summary judgment to prevent him access to the information he seeks.

Looking only for numbers of Sensitive Informants and not for specific names from the FBI, Trentadue’s questions target the time frame, “since January 1, 1995.” In short, he wants to know whether or not the agency has had Sensitive Informants inside a variety of government and non-governmental organizations.

Among the government organizations mentioned in his queries were the state and federal court systems, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, federal agencies other than the FBI, federal prosecutors’ offices, and law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county and state levels.

Among non-governmental agencies, he listed management positions inside news organizations, including but not limited to, the following:  Associated Press, ABC,CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS, Reuters or Scripps-Howard;Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and/or Washington Post; The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, The New American, Newsweek, TIME and/orU.S. News & World Report.

Curiously, he also asked whether the FBI has had a Sensitive Informant(s) who was a cleric or member of the clergy in any religious organization.

Though I doubt the FBI will answer Trentadue’s questions, I’m convinced the attorney will continue fighting until he learns the whole truth about his brother’s death and, perhaps, about the Oklahoma City Bombing, too.

To appreciate the full scope and breadth of Trentadue’s latest effort, I suggest you read the motion. It’s one of more than two-dozen posts I’ve published in my series, Untold Stories of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Included in the series are more than a dozen posts aboutTrentadue’s pursuit of the truth.

Hopefully not a problem to copy the post as this is a relatively important issue. Anyway I will leave it there for the moment as the hour is late. Informants and protected illegal operations -- truly the can of worms is enormous. The FBI's informant systems across many elite sectors remains to be sniffed out further - and the curious goings-on of obscure rural Minnesota drug task forces also suggests more research is needed.

The other problems with informants, the political spam and the psychological wreckage they leave in their wake -- along with indeed the damage to their own psyches -- will hopefully get further attention, as we have a few other key facts bubbling up. Good luck to everyone on finding more info - regardless of political orientation it's really important to nail down as much of this stuff as possible, before you get spammed by yet another informant!!

End of the Tar Sands? Under media near-blackout, new Indigenous "mutual defense" Treaty signals formalized opposition to Tar Sands projects & pipelines

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VIA: Protect the Sacred  Timeline Photos: Here is a picture of Faith Spotted Eagle signing the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred. This is the first time a woman has signed such a treaty and she did so on behalf of the Brave Heart Society. Let the healing continue in the name of unprecedented unified action! — at Yankton Sioux: Lake Andes, South Dakota.

A strongly worded Treaty has been signed by representatives of some North American tribal nations and has now been taken far and wide to many reservations & villages across the continent. Some of our independent media colleagues were on hand and videos are expected soon. Here is a link to the raw live video from OccupyMusician: http://bit.ly/VeFvNo .

Anyway the text below of the includes formal opposition to projects in Minnesota. Another important development seems to be the circumvention of the proxy/quisling/Vichy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it tribal council structures - instead "treaty councils", a kind of alternate avenue more consonant with direct democracy, appears to be emerging as a tactic for formally dealing with/turning back internal corruption & hierarchy.

Additionally it now public that the Red Lake Ojibwe are asserting their rights against a pipeline in northern Minnesota. For related info see the Indigenous Environmental Network.

This is a major subject which has been almost totally blacked out in the media. There may be avenues of redress at the UN as this is an international-system-level statement.

My understanding, though I was not there, that there were very non-native few people on hand at the remote conference site in South Dakota which produced this document, although there were a few Earth First! and Tar Sands Blockade people as well as our media colleagues.

There is an #IdleNoMore march tomorrow, January 28th starting at Gold Medal Park which is related and also later a gathering in the Twin Cities for Indians in Minnesota to look at this treaty and consider joining.

Also unfortunately there was some kind of "fold" which occurred in Texas re the Tar Sands Blockade and Rising Tide: Deal in Texas court could end pipeline protests - Brownsville Herald (TX). // Deal may end area oil pipeline protests - Longview News-Journal. The backstory here is unclear but it highlights the perils of NGO-involved projects & the importance of anonymity once the specialized corporate field goons start operating in full force, like they were in Texas. (I heard that the only NGO person at this Treaty conference was allegedly with World Wildlife Fund - though this person probably didn't have nefarious intentions, it's definitely worth checking out the WWF 1001 Club for a true Rabbit Hole of schemes: 1001 Club - Institute for the Study of Globalization and Covert Politics // ISGP - 2010 confidential list of the WWF's 1001 Club including geopolitik hardballers Robert Vesco, Agha Abedi, Salem Bin Laden, Mortimer Bloomfield, Mobutu Sese Seko, and above it all the Bilderberg/Knights of Malta Prince Bernhard.)

While the NGO people have perhaps folded up and gone away (though it's hardly clear right now), the natives don't really have anywhere else to go, and have a different kind of sovereignty yet to be fully asserted in a manner more like what this new treaty expresses.

///////

SOURCE International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects - Protect the Sacred

Signed on January 25th 2013

International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects

The representatives from sovereign Indigenous Nations, tribes, and governments, participating in the Gathering to Protect the Sacred on January 23 – 25, 2013, on the 150 year anniversary of the Treaty Between the Pawnee and Yankton Sioux, have gathered on the Ihanktonwan homelands, and have resolved by our free, prior, and informed consent to enter into a treaty to be forever respected and protected. We agreed upon the following articles:

Article I

The undersigned Indigenous Peoples have inhabited and governed our respective territories according to our laws and traditions since time immemorial.

Article II

As sovereign nations, we have entered into bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements with other nations including the Treaty Between the Pawnee and Yankton Sioux, Mother Earth Accord, the Spiritual Leaders Declaration, the Agreement to Unite to use 16 Guiding Principles, and the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council Declaration, and all the inter-tribal treaties in the Western hemisphere, among others, which promise peace, friendship, and mutual opposition to tar sands projects and energy development that threaten the lands, the waters, the air, our sacred sites, and our ways of life, and acknowledge other Indigenous Peoples such as the Yinka Dene, the People of the Earth’ who have exercised their lawful authority to ban tar sands projects from their territories through Indigenous legal instruments such as the Save the Fraser Declaration and the Coastal First Nations Declaration.

Article III

We act with inherent, lawful, and sovereign authority over our lands, waters, and air, as recognized by Article 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which provides:

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.

Article IV

We mutually agree that tar sands projects present unacceptable risks to the soil, the waters, the air, sacred sites, and our ways of life including:

- The destruction of rivers, lakes, boreal forests, homelands and health of the Cree, Dene, and Métis peoples in the Northern Alberta tar sands region and downstream Dene communities of Northwest Territories

- The threat of pipeline and tanker oil spills into major river systems, aquifers and water bodies such as the Salish Sea, the North Pacific coast, and the Ogallala Aquifer.

- The negative cumulative health and ecological impacts of tar sands projects on Indigenous Communities.

- The irreparable harm to irreplaceable cultural resources, burial grounds, sacred and historic places, natural resources, and environmental resources of the central plains region which is the aboriginal homelands of many Indigenous Nations.

- Greenhouse gas pollution that could lock the planet onto a path of catastrophic climate change.

Article V

We affirm that our laws define our solemn duty and responsibility to our ancestors, to ourselves, and to future generations, to protect the lands and waters of our homelands and we agree to mutually and collectively oppose tar sands projects which would impact our territories, including but not limited to the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, the Enbridge Northern Gateway, Enbridge lines nine (9) and sixty-seven (67), or the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker projects.

Article VI

We agree to mutually and collectively, as sovereign nations, call upon the Canadian and United States governments to respect our decision to reject tar sands projects that impact our sacred sites and homelands; to call upon the Canadian and United States governments to immediately halt and deny approval for pending tar sands projects because they threaten the soil, water, air, sacred sites, and our ways of life; and, confirm that any such approval would violate our ancestral laws, rights and responsibilities.

Article VII

We agree to the mutual, collective, and lawful enforcement of our responsibilities to protect our lands, waters, and air by all means necessary, and if called on to do so, we will exercise our peace and friendship by lawfully defending one another’s lands, waters, air, and sacred sites from the threat of tar sands projects, provided that each signatory Indigenous Nation reserves and does not cede their rights to act independently as the tribal governments see fit to protect their respective tribal interests, further provided that each signatory Indigenous Nation reserves its inherent sovereign right to take whatever governmental action and strategy that its governing body sees fit to best protect and advance tribal interests affected by the pipeline project consistent with the agreements made herein and subject to the laws and available resources of each respective nation.

This Treaty of mutual defense and support is made on the occasion of the 150 year anniversary of the Treaty Between the Pawnee and Yankton Sioux concluded between the Pawnee Nation and the Ihanktonwan Oyate/Yankton Sioux Tribe on January 23rd, 1863, and the parties thereto hereby commemorate the signing of that historic treaty that has endured without violation for 150 years.

This Treaty goes into effect once ratified by the governing bodies of the signatory nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned dually authorized representatives, after having deposited their full powers found to be in due and proper form, sign this treaty on behalf of their respective governments, on the date appearing opposite their signatures.

PLEDGE OF SUPPORT to the
INTERNATIONAL TREATY TO PROTECT THE SACRED
FROM TAR SANDS PROJECTS

January 2013

We the undersigned citizens, levels of government, businesses, unions and non-governmental organizations hereby recognize and commit ourselves to upholding the January 2013 International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects:

Kurt Johnson & Corporate NAFTA farm politics, Pork Producers Council 1990s spy ops: HogSpy DFL Primary MN-19A Special Election?

"[T]he activists we are concerned about here are the ones who want to change the way your industry does business--either for good or bad reasons: environmentalists, churches, Public Interest Research Groups, campus organizations, civic groups, teachers unions, and 'Naderites'." (quoted in Montague 1993) -- Ronald Duchin, from the PR firm Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin, categorises activists as either radicals, opportunists, idealists or realists.... Duchin's formula is therefore to isolate the radicals, turn the idealists into realists, co-opt the realists to support industry solutions and the opportunists will go along with the final agreement. The radicals, he says, need the support of the idealists and realists to have credibility. Without them they are marginalised and "seen to be shallow and self-serving." (Montague 1993) Greenwash - Categorising Environmentalists

Interesting tidbit surfaces! A filed Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate for Minnesota House District 19A, Kurt Johnson, has just been passed over for endorsement today by DFL, though he came in second in four rounds of balloting. Confusingly, someone named Clark Johnson won DFL endorsement on the fourth ballot in North Mankato today, as reported at Clark Johnson wins DFL endorsement for House 19A » The Free Press, Mankato, MN. The primary is Jan. 29th and the general election is Feb. 12th.

Due to the compressed schedule, all the candidates will appear on the primary ballot. For the general election, eccentric lolcat & famed undercover investigator of pornography Allen Quist will be repping for the Republican Party, fresh off an unsuccessful, but name ID-boosting, congressional campaign vs Tim Walz.

Anyway Kurt Johnson was the president of the primary corporate hog farmer lobby, the National Pork Producers Council, in part of the 1990s. The following bio says 1994 only, though another says 1993. In 1997, NPPC was exposed for hiring corporate spying specialists, Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin Inc., in 1996. Therefore we could say there is a pretty close overlap between corporate spying and Johnson's tenure, though very little information surfaces online about this. NPPC is also considered by PRWatch as a pro-factory farming ALEC supporter.

Summary point: Not being familiar with the pork industry or MBC's spying, this is not a blockbuster post with sekrit sources but there seem to be interesting patterns. One finds very little documented connection between Johnson & MBC, however it seems reasonable to say there appears 2nd or 3rd degree links connecting Johnson & the MBC operation through NPPC and the pro-checkoff campaign he was co-chairing around 2000.

Johnson has been a player within and a supporter of global trade agreement deals, putting him firmly in the 'globalist' camp if you prefer that label. See this: 1997: Connect Business Magazine » Cover Story » Karl Johnson

Besides co-owning Equity Supply, North Mankato’s Karl Johnson also raises hogs – and lots of them: this year 20,000 and next year about 35,000. Hogs are the means through which he’s earned a national reputation. He’s also worked on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and GATT, testified before Congress, been interviewed by most major news organizations, and currently he sits on a special task force for Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. And all because of hogs.

You could say he “brings home the bacon” for the region’s hog producers.

Karl Johnson is in full command of his facts and can communicate those facts well. He leans back in his chair and makes you feel good about hogs. For once he has the chance to tell you pork’s story from pork’s perspective. And he seems to enjoy that.

CONNECT: When you were president of the National Pork Producers Council, how do you feel you were treated by the media, by politicians and by special interest groups?

Johnson: It’s a mixed reaction, quite frankly, but by-and-large rather well. I wouldn’t say that we had tremendous problems. Obviously I’ve testified before Congress several times and was usually well-received. I worked very hard on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the GATT agreement. In Washington I was by-and-large rather well-received. We would go in with Congressmen who were concerned about what was happening in their area and we talked about the pork industry – I’ve had that (experience). We go through some negatives, there’s no question about that. There’s some tough interviews.

I was interviewed by the ABC news program probably three years ago now; talking about the swine industry and how it relates to the world. Anyway, I remember we did an hour and a-half interview like this, with TV, so they’re doing the whole thing, and I was in a chair and an office for an hour and a-half. I was put through the wringer, if you will. And I thought I must have done fairly well because they only used ten seconds of it. (laughter) So sometimes you’re beat up a little bit. Mostly we’ve found that, or I’ve found, that interviewers from the Washington Post to the L.A. Times, to the Wall Street Journal, once they’ve started visiting with you and found out some of the facts – at first they were on a mission – but when they found out the facts they would back off. We were treated, I think, fairly decently.

I think, now in the last couple of years, some things have come about where that is not quite as true. I think that we are being viewed as corporate agriculture, which scares everyone. We’re not. I mean, there’s still an awful lot of independent producers that are forming alliances. But it’s being perceived differently. We’ve got some groups within agriculture, there are some offshoot groups, that are fighting this consolidation, if you will, of agriculture. They’re getting some tough times. Sometimes, I think, as well, that in the press it’s not a story unless it’s a negative story. Sometimes that happens. A good friend of mine is a reporter with the Minneapolis Tribune and I know that he has that same opinion – he will agree with me on that. It doesn’t sell papers if you don’t make it a bit interesting.

Occupation: Co-owner of Equity Supply in Mankato. Pork producer, rural North Mankato (currently produces 20,000 market hogs).

Born: December 24, 1945.

Education: Mankato High School Class of ’63. Attended Mankato State University.

National Experience: Past President, National Pork Producers Council (1994). Current Chairman, National Pork Producers Council Foreign Trade Committee. Officer, U.S. Meat Export Federation. Member, Special Task Force, for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, on concentration of U.S. packing industry.

Regional and Local Experience: Past President, MN Pork Producers Association (’84-’85). Former Chairman, Mankato Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee. Former Member, South Central Technical College Foundation. Chairman of the Board, Frost-BENCO-Wells Electric. Community Board Member, Norwest Bank, Mankato.

Mongroven, Biscoe & Duchin Inc. were hired to spy on opponents of the NPPC partly using revenue from something I'd never heard of before, the "Pork Checkoff", a researcher discovered. See About Pork Checkoff and the National Pork Board. "U.S. pork producers and importers pay $0.40 per $100 of value when pigs are sold and when pigs or pork products are brought into the United States." I'm kind of confused about the status of the checkoff today (large sums collected in Minnesota in 2012), but it seems pretty clear that checkoff money was used to spy on NPPC opponents during an era where Johnson played a key role in defending the checkoff for NPPC. [Nov 2012 MN pork Checkoff report, March 2012 National Pork Checkoff Nominating Committee ]

MBD has a storied history of working as henchmen & specialists on spying on activists for the tobacco industry, the chlorine industry, and they started with Nestlé in 1981 when people fought their nasty baby formula marketing in the developing world. They don't even seem to have a website. Be sure to see Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin: destroying tobacco control activism from the inside -- Carter 11 (2): 112 -- Tobacco Control including "monitoring and co-opting NGOs" and "character assassination research":

A particularly nasty specialty of MBD is preparing backgrounders on individuals who lead tobacco control efforts, presumably to enable the industry to discredit them in the eyes of the public or decision makers. PM specifically requested that MBD investigate Dr Sydney Wolfe of the Health Research Group (HRG), Cliff Douglas of the American Lung Association, and Scott Ballin of the American Heart Association in 1992. MBD sent information they already had on file and advised “If we had a day or so we could expand on this information significantly.”31 As well as general career path and network information, Mongoven's somewhat desperate attempts to identify a character flaw involve an association with prominent consumer advocate Ralph Nader and a very tenuous suggestion that this may have influenced the awarding of a grant.31 Far more vicious is MBD's work on Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland in relation to her appointment as Director General of the WHO. Brundtland moved tobacco control to the top of the WHO priority list on her appointment, thus posed a significant threat to the industry. In 1998 Mongoven provided intelligence both on the appointment process and Brundtland's loyalties, predicting that she was certain to be elected to the position.32

We are really talking about the dirty black-bag job types, the undertakers of the technocratic 'expertise' driven world dominated by professional Public Relations - as covered by PRWatch writers Rampton & Stauber in Trust Us, We're Experts | PR Watch.

They are still listed here at 1100 Connecticut Ave NW #300 Washington DC 20036, at phone 202-429-1800. (lol same spot as the Anti-Defamation League according to the map!)

via Through tobacco industry eyes: civil society and the FCTC process from Philip Morris and British American Tobacco’s perspectives | Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education  - a little hard to read but interesting - http://tobacco.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/tc.2010.041657.full_.pdf

mbd-notes.png

Here's the Big Kit & Kaboodle: The Land Stewardship Project reported the spying involving the NPPC and the Pork Checkoff in 1997: Pork Checkoff 'Spy' Funds Questioned - 1/17/1997 (also posted almost same version at Pork Producers Council uses checkoff to investigate farm groups by Brian DeVore - Rural America / In Motion Magazine)

Pork Checkoff 'Spy' Funds Questioned

NPPC paid PR firm to keep tabs on unknowing sustainable ag and family farm groups, according to Council documents leaked to the media.

1/17/97: The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has paid $50,000 to investigate the activities of six family farm and sustainable agriculture groups, according to NPPC documents leaked to the media last week. Part of that money, which was paid to a Washington, D.C., public relations firm, came from the federal pork checkoff, says Alan Guebert, an Illinois-based journalist who wrote about the NPPC's surveillance work in this week's edition of his syndicated column.

The PR firm, Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin, Inc., was hired by the NPPC in 1996, and its investigation of grassroots groups continues as part of a $100,000, checkoff-sponsored program called Strategic Communication Initiatives, according to NPPC officials.

"The NPPC is run by the big producers and corporate factory farms for their own benefit, and they use our money to do it," said Rodney Skalbeck, a Renville County, Minn., hog farmer and a member of the Land Stewardship Project. "Now they're trying to defuse some of the organizations that represent the average family farmer and rural citizens. It's got to stop. Let's end the mandatory checkoff."

The checkoff is a mandatory system for collecting money from every hog farmer in the country for promotion, research and education purposes. In 1996, the NPPC received approximately $45 million in pork checkoff funds from tens of thousands of producers. Approximately $24 million of that total came from the largest 40 producers in the country, who own more than 1.7 million sows collectively.

Three of the groups being watched by the firm without their knowledge -- Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Missouri Rural Crisis Center and the Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project -- are members of the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment (CFFE). The Campaign has confronted NPPC officials on several occasions for promoting industrialized hog factories at the expense of independent family farmers. CFFE groups have also questioned the truthfulness of information provided to state and federal legislators by NPPC and its state affiliates.

In response to the news of NPPC using producers' money for surveillance, the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment has called for a congressional investigation into the use of NPPC checkoff funds, an end to the mandatory checkoff, and the resignation of NPPC president Bob Ruggles.

"I should be shocked by NPPC's paranoid tactics but I'm not," said Iowa CCI member and Marshall County, Iowa, hog producer Larry Ginter. "Why should my money go to support spying on farm organizations that are trying to help me and other independent family hog producers? It's time to end the mandatory pork checkoff."

Ron Perry, a Livingston County, Mo., hog farmer and a member of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center was also outraged: "It's obvious the NPPC has lost touch with the concerns of average hog farmers. They see us as a threat because we've successfully exposed their corporate agenda. We're having a big impact."

Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin is regarded as the number one "spies for hire" public relations firm in the country, according to John Stauber, editor of PR Watch, a publication that covers the public relations industry. John Mongoven, president of the firm, was a public relations consultant for Nestle Foods when the company was attempting to counter an international church-led boycott protesting the food company's deadly practice of selling infant formula to women in third world countries.

The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment is a coalition of eight groups in six states that are fighting against hog factories and concentration in the livestock industry. Other members of the coalition include Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Citizens of Lincoln Township, North Carolina Land Loss Prevention Project, Animal Welfare Institute and the Oklahoma Toxics Campaign.

Release from Brian DeVore, communications coordinator, The Land Stewardship Project.

While he has been involved with this pork checkoff thing, he may have only been president in 1993 if this profile is accurate: Minnesotan Inducted Into Hall of Fame | National Hog Farmer:

North Mankato, MN, pork producer Karl Johnson has been inducted into the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the pork industry.

Johnson, a 40-year veteran of the pork industry, runs a farrow-to-finish operation with his brother, Paul.

Johnson served as president of NPPC in 1993, during which he represented producer interests on various trade issues including the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs. [GATT]

Karl Johnson also served as president of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, chairman of the U.S. Meat Export Federation and was on the Secretary of Agriculture’s Technical Advisory Committee, which addressed trade issues.

Perhaps more interesting is Johnson's staunch advocacy in farm world for NAFTA and GATT, and his particular role writing these trade deal which benefitted big agri-biz corporations at the expense of the family farm both domestically and internationally.

See quote in AP story in Kentucky New Era: Farmers' split on NAFA leaves lawmakers confused - Oct 25 1993.

In 1991 Johnson was named as Vice President of NPPC according to Nevada Daily Mail March 19 1991. The Nevada Daily Mail - Google News Archive.

According to New Ulm Journal there were ad buys planned by Karl, unclear if will happen now.

Karl Johnson

Karl Johnson, a hog farmer and former president of several pork producer organizations on the state and national level, feels his strength in the endorsement and in a 19A race against Quist is his ability to reach rural voters. He said he has strong name recognition in the district, making him able to peel away voters from Quist's demographics, as well as being able to run without needing to spend money on introducing himself to voters.

All the DFL candidates previously said they would abide by the endorsement, and party leadership indicated they expected unity in the process.

However, Karl Johnson declined to comment Thursday when asked if he would abide by the endorsement. He acknowledge purchasing ads for his candidacy that started Thursday and will air through the weekend in the Mankato area. He also has ads planned for the middle of next week in a wider area, including KNUJ in New Ulm.

It In the late 1990s, the National Pork Producers Council was discovered to have employed notorious low-profile corporate spying specialists via the 'pork checkoff' money. By 2000, a fully confusing situation had resulted:

NPPC Accuses Anti-Checkoff Forces of Misleading Actions - source http://www.agriculturelaw.com/headlines/aug00/aug24c.htm

August 24, 2000

The National Pork Producers Council says opponents of the pork research and promotion program, also known as the checkoff program used "blatant efforts to mislead ... and misrepresent information" about two checkoff programs. The information was in a Wednesday news release distributed by the Campaign for Family Farms along with the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Missouri Rural Crisis Center and the Land Stewardship Project, NPPC said.

"As pork producers, we should not tolerate the blatant efforts to mislead producers and misrepresent information about the pork checkoff, being told by anti-checkoff activists," said Karl Johnson, Mankato, Minnesota pork producer and co-chair of the Vote Yes Task Force. "It is time to set the record straight."

Johnson said, "The anti-checkoff activists are targeting a study being conducted by Louisiana State University (LSU). The study was designed to assess producer needs. Results will be used to help determine direction of producer education programs to assure producers have access to the types of programs and information they need-- like modern record keeping, production practices, educational seminars and risk management."

Jeffery Gillespie, LSU agriculture economics associate professor, who was quoted in the news release, said they misrepresented the facts, according to NPPC. In reality, NPPC added, Gillespie said, "This is an economic research study designed to look at a cross-section of pork producers. LSU developed this study with the intent of identifying producer needs. NPPC had no input or changes into the construction of the survey. Checkoff funding was provided to support the printing and mailing costs."

The results of the LSU study will not be complete or available until August 2001, therefore having no impact on the outcome of this referendum, NPPC noted.

"Unfortunately, the anti-checkoff activists did not stop there in their misinformation," said Johnson. "They also alleged the National Pork Producers Council was using checkoff funds in Colorado. In reality, the Colorado Pork Producers Council used state checkoff funds to air consumer radio commercials in Colorado, the content of which USDA had approved," according to Johnson.

By law, pork checkoff dollars can not be used to persuade a producer to vote for or against the checkoff. They can only be used to encourage producers to vote.

Donna Reifschneider, co-chair of the Vote Yes Task Force said pork producers should be "wary of the plethora of misinformation and half-truths being touted by anti-checkoff activists." She added, "This is only the latest in a string of attacks against the checkoff and the producer programs it funds. We are not going to stand still and let the anti-checkoff activists attack the highly successful pork checkoff any longer. It is time they get their facts straight. We stand by the truth, it must also be required of the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment, the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Missouri Rural Crisis Center and the Land Stewardship Project."

In their news release, the activist groups said two examples of NPPC "misuse of checkoff funds to influence the vote" had been found by "hog farmer members of the Campaign for Family Farms." They said NPPC's "repeated misuse of checkoff funds to influence the checkoff vote demonstrates the lack of accountability of the checkoff" and called on USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service of USDA to suspend checkoff spending until the final results of the referendum are posted.

"Hog farmers," the groups claimed, "found out the Colorado Pork Producers Association is proposing to use $12,000 in checkoff funds to air 30 second radio ads promoting the checkoff and emphasizing the benefits of the checkoff program. The commercials will run in the major pork producing areas of Colorado during the absentee voting period (August and September)."

That, they added, is "unconscionable (in) that at the same time producers' share of the retail dollar has dropped from 46 cents to less than 30 cents, NPPC attempts to spend checkoff dollars to influence the upcoming checkoff vote." Rhonda Perry, Missouri hog farmer and Missouri Rural Crisis Center member, said, "They can't play by the rules because they'll lose, they know that independent hog farmers will vote to end their mandatory, multi_million dollar tax."

They also claimed NPPC has used checkoff dollars to fund a recent study by Louisiana State University (LSU) that was supposedly intended to find out which type of producer (independent, contract or corporate) will likely be left in hog production in the future.

"The head of research for the study, LSU Associate Professor Jefferey M. Gillespie, confirmed that checkoff dollars were being used," the news release said. "According to Gillespie, the study contains two questions about how producers are planning to vote in the pork checkoff referendum. Gillespie said the NPPC will use this information to help them identify different types of producers that will vote to continue the mandatory pork checkoff."

NPPC is violating federal rules by using checkoff dollars to influence the vote, the groups said. "The USDA clearly explained to the NPPC that they could not use checkoff dollars to sway the vote, yet that's exactly what they're doing," said Wayne Demmer, a Dubuque county independent hog producer and Iowa CCI member. "They will attempt to use the radio ads to promote the benefits of the checkoff and the information from the LSU study to develop referendum strategies to try to figure out how to win votes."

////////

Here is kind of a key article from the High Plains / Midwest AG Journal in 2000:

Co-chair of the Vote Yes Task Force, Karl Johnson, said, "The pork checkoff has been a phenomenal success at what it was designed to do, build demand and address issues that individual producers couldn't do on their own. The pork checkoff is producer-driven and has evolved to meet the needs of pork producers."

According to Johnson, a Mankato, MN, pork producer, "The checkoff-funded Pork. The Other White Meat advertising campaign, originally undertaken to reposition pork to U. S. consumers, has done so. Today, the campaign has increased U.S. pork demand, reversing a dramatic decline from 1979 to 1985."

Johnson continued that U.S. pork is making its mark worldwide. Through checkoff-funded foreign market development, the U. S. now is a net exporter of pork, instead of a net importer. In 1990, the U.S. exported only 244 million pounds of pork. In 2000, the U.S. will export about 1.275 billion pounds of pork.

Johnson also cited a 17% increase in pork's usage at restaurants, as a direct result of checkoff-funded efforts. He said that increase is important, because 54% of all U.S. pork is eaten by people away from home.

& similar: NPPC Counters Anti-Checkoff Claims | from National Hog Farmer.

Chicago Tribune November 29 1993: Nafta Likely To Boost Export Opportunities For U.s. Pork Producers - Chicago Tribune

Buoyed by congressional passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, pork industry leaders are predicting rising export opportunities into Mexico, already our country's second-largest market.

"Congress has sent a strong signal to America's pork producers . . . that our trade policy is going to back U.S. pork producers' efforts to compete in the global marketplace," said Karl Johnson, a pork producer from Mankato, Minn., and president of the Des Moines-based National Pork Producers Council.

"Approval of NAFTA is a landmark decision that will greatly enhance our opportunity to export pork and pork products as well as live hogs to Mexico," Johnson asserted. "It also shows that the United States is not going to concede important markets to our subsidized competitors, such as the European Community. This is especially critical during these final days of the negotiations on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade."

Johnson said U.S. pork producers are in a position to provide the 400,000 metric tons of additional pork demand that Mexico probably will need by the year 2000. He pointed out that 1992 U.S. pork exports to 62 countries totaled far less: 140,180 metric tons.

At present, Mexico cannot export fresh, chilled or frozen pork or live hogs to the U.S. because of hog cholera in Mexico. The prohibition continues under NAFTA. Meanwhile, the trade accord requires Mexico to eliminate over the next 10 years its tariffs of 20 percent of the value of U.S. pork and live hog shipments.

Comments from the pork producers came as leaders of farm and commodity groups for the most part hailed the passage of the controversial trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada as good for American agriculture, especially Midwest agriculture. The agreement phases out tariffs and other trade barriers. [...........]

/////////

AP July 26 1993: Farm Groups Lobby Congress For Trade Agreement: ''If we don't open trade with Mexico, someone else will,'' said Karl Johnson, president of the National Pork Producers Council.

March 2001: AgriMarketing.com - Pork Checkoff Vote Raises Questions and Concerns: "Pork Producer "Vote Yes" Task Force Co-chair Karl Johnson, a producer from Mankato, Minn., adds that discontinuation of the pork checkoff would be detrimental to the work the checkoff already has accomplished. "The progress made with the image, acceptance and demand for pork will slip away, the pork industry could experience accelerated consolidation, and coordinated efforts of research, education and information will be lost," Johnson says. "

/////////

From 1996: MBD: Mission Despicable | PR Watch

by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

Have you ever wondered what it's like to talk to a spy? The experience is quite a bit less dramatic than the scenarios you see in Mission Impossible, according to activists who have recently been targeted by phone calls and other information-gathering efforts.

The field operatives who gather information for Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin are typically polite, low-key and do their best to sound sympathetic to the people they are interrogating. They have misrepresented themselves, claiming falsely to be journalists, friends of friends, or supporters of social change. Most of the time, however, they simply give very limited information, identifying their company only by its initials and describing MBD euphemistically as a "research group" which helps "corporate decision makers . . . develop a better appreciation of the public interest movement" in order to "resolve contentious public policy issues in a balanced and socially responsible manner."

MBD performs its services by pumping members of activist groups for information about their philosophical beliefs, funding sources, organizational structure and affiliations, and names of key personnel. Information only gets shared in one direction, however. "Our relations with our clients are confidential," stated MBD President Jack Mongoven in a June 7, 1995 memo refusing PR Watch's request for a list of MBD's corporate clients.

MBD says it is "grateful" when activists "cooperate" by answering its information requests, but don't expect the company to show its gratitude in any meaningful way, such as sending you a copy of the reports it writes about you. Those reports will be stamped confidential and delivered only to MBD's clients, who pay as much as $9,000 per month for the privilege of seeing them. Otherwise, MBD's "research" only sees the light of day on the rare occasions when a conscience-stricken corporate employee decides to turn whistleblower.

Raw material: Letter and Survey from MBD to the Wilderness Society | PR Watch

Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin - SourceWatch

Sourcewatch also identifies NPPC as an ALEC supporter: National Pork Producers Council - SourceWatch

Here is a full report on NPPC using pork checkoff funds for the MBD spying: Summary of AMS Audit of NPPC - Prepared by Hugh Espy / Rural America - In Motion Magazine

Summary of AMS Audit of NPPC


Prepared by Hugh Espy,
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Des Moines, Iowa

Compliance staff from the Unites States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketting Service (AMS) conducted a limited review of a complaint that the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) had used checkoff funds collected by the National Pork Board to pay Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin (MBD), Washingson D.C. public relaltions firm, for information on the activities of certain activist (family farms) groups and individuals.

The reviewers were able to determine that NPPC used non-checkoff funds to pay for the report in question, but that the NPPC did not pay for thc report until after the media and the USDA began questioning the funding subject matter of the report.

The review also disclosed that the NPPC had an existing agreement with MBD to routinely monitor groups and individuals, A total of $51,300 was paid by checkoff funds for these services.

The AMS review focused on four main questions:

  1. Did NPPC use checkoff funds to pay for thc MBD report entitled "Overview of Farm Groups"?
  2. Was the material produced by MBD consistent with the project description (provided by NPPC to the USDA) that USDA had approved?
  3. Was the material produced by MBD under the "contract" allowed under the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Order?
  4. Was the "contract" between NPPC and MBD entered into properly?

Question #1:

Did NPPC use checkoff funds to pay for the $3.449 MBD report entitled "Overview of Farm Goups?

Conclusion from AMS compliance staff:

NPPC ultimately paid $3,449 for the MDB report from unrestricted funds (noncheckoff funds). However, the check to pay for this report was issued on February 6, 1996. alnost a week after the report began to generate interest from the media. In addition, the check was backdated about three weeks. Coincidentally, the check was issued shortly after the media and AMS questioned the principal people involved (Charles Harness, Mike Simpson, etc.).

Other findings related to Question #1

In early December l996, Charles Harness at NPPC asked Ron Duchin at MBD to prepare a report on .several organizations that had taken positions critical of the large-scale hog operations and chages in the pork industry. The request was; made by telephone and there was no evidence that it was ever confirmed in a written contract or letter.

MBD prepared a report entitled "Overview of Various Organizations Concerned with Rur~al/Hog Industry Issues." The report contained "ovenviews of organizations concerned with rural issues that we (Mongoven) have determined will be the leaders of continuing anti-hog, anti-corporate livestock production in the coming year." The organizations named in the report were: Iowa Citizens for Community Inprovement, the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, the Land Stewardship Project, the Center for rural Affairs, the National Farmers Union, and the Corporate Agribusiness Research Project. the report was sent to about 30 state pork producer groups.

NPPC officials claim that they received MDB's invoice for the report shortly after they received the report on December 17, 1996. They also claim that the invoice was not paid within several weeks (as was NPPC's usual practise) because it was "misplaced" on a "manager's desk" for more than 45 days. Harness claimed he backdated the check for accounting purposes, but NPPC's Chief Financial Officer (Jim Stavneak) said the backdating was irrelevant from an accounting standpoint.

Duchin claimed the MDB invoiced NPPC on December 16 following the completion of its report. But MBD's invoice for the report is out of sequence with other MBD invoices. Four other invoices sent by MBD to NPPC are sequentially ordered in chronological order. Only the MBD invoice for the $3,449 report is out of order.

Member groups of the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment (which inludes Iowa CCI, LSP and MRCC) think that NPPC was planning to use checkoff funds to pay for the $3,449 rport. NPPC was forced to use non-checkoff funds when the report became public.

Question #2:

Was the material produced by MBD consistent with the project description (provided by NPPC to the USDA) that USDA had approved?

Conclusion from AMS compliance staff:

No. The information provided by MBD to NPPC through the checkoff-funded agreement was not consistent with the objectives and methods of the project description (Strategic Communications Inititative) approved by the USDA. NPPC told USDA that the objective of its 1996 Strategic Communications Inititative was to encourage positive reporting by "targetting" certain writers in order to encourage positive reporting. NPPC led USDA to believe that it was going to launch a positive promotion campaign.

However many of the reports submitted by MBD provided information on organizations and people with critical views of the pork industry. NPPC's project describes "targetting" writers, but the reports rarely (if ever) identified writers. Instead they focused on the activities of organizations.

Question #3:

Was the material produced by MBD under the "contract" allowed under the Act and the Order?

Conclusion from AMS compliance staff:

No. The subject matter of MBD's report fell outside the generally-recognized limits on the use of checkoff funds. Areview of the subject matter contained in MBD's checkoff funded reports for November 1996 through January 1997 reveals that the reports were primarily concerned with groups opposed large-scale agricultural operations. These reports were separate from the $3,349 report completed in December 1996.

The AMS told National Pork Board executive director Mike simpson in a May 1990 letter that checkoff funds could not be used to monitor or discredit activist organizations. Despite this, NPPC used checkoff funds to pay MBD for monitoring groups or individuals that were largely critical of large scale hog operations, including groups that have members who are hog farmers.

Other findings related to Question #3

NPPC's relationship with MBD's began in 1995 when NPPC entered into an agreement with MBD to provide information on a particular ogranization. On or about May 1, 1996, Harness (NPPC) and Duchin (MBD) entered into an oral agreement whereby NPPC would pay MDB for gathering information, during a 3-month trial period, on individuals and groups that might be critical of pork industry practises and/or large scale hog operations. NPPC sent MBD a check for $14,4000 on May 17, 1996 for the 3-month contract. This money came from checkoff funds.

After the 3-month trial period, Harness requested that MDB continue to monitor and report as it had during the trial period. MDB agreed, and Duchin wrote Harness on July 12, 1996, confirming their oral agreement to continue MDB's monitoring and reporting services. The monthly fee was $4,100, which would be paid for with checkoff funds.Between mid-May 1996 and late January 1997, NPPC paid MDB a total of $51,300 from checkoff funds for monitoring activist groups and individuals.

MBD produced checkoff-funded reports for NPPC on the following organizations: Pew Charitable Trusts, National Wildlife Federation, Wilderness Society, National Audobon Society, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth, World Wide Fund for Nature Gulf and Caribbean Campaign, and activist senior citizen and student groups that may be active on local environmental issues.

The AMS findings directly contradict earlier statements made by Harness and AL Tank, NPPC's CEO. Both Harness and Tank had said that NPPC monitored issues, not organizations.

Question #4:

Was the "contract" between NPPC and MBD entered into properly?

Conclusion from AMS compliance staff:

Probably not. In December 1995, NPPC contracted with the National Pork Board to perform the Pork Board's administrative functions. Therefore, when NPPC enters into contracts using checkoff funds, NPPC is acting either as a de facto Board, or, at the very least, as the Board's agent. As such, NPPC and those it contracts with are required to comply with the same law and regulations as the Pork Board.

The unwritten agreement between NPPC and MBD was a contract. It contains the general terms for the service and products to be provided, and the consideration to be paid for them. On the other hand, it lacks specificity, and omits many of the normal business terms found in written contracts, including provisions for governing law, waivers, indemnity, termination, and the like.

The Order requires that every contract the Pork Board enters into must contain certain specific provisions. Because the contract in this case is oral, it cannot fulfill the Order's requirements. The NPPC-MBD agreement is also at aodds with the agreements between the Pork Board and NPPC. For example, Pork Board-NPPC agreement states that all contracts the NPPC enters into that are for more than $10,000 must contain certain provisions relating to affirmative action and civil rights. The Order requires that all Pork Board contracts specify that the contractor's records are to be made available to the Secretary (of Agriculture Glickman)'s representatives for inspection (MBD refused to give AMS compliance staff access to its billing and collection records). The NPPC-MBD agreement does not contain many of these required terms.

Published in In Motion Magazine April 12, 1999.

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Circa Nov 25, 2000: Pork Checkoff Vote Completed; Results Pending » Market to Market » Iowa Public Television

Karl Johnson and his brother, run a 1,300 sow farrow-to-finish operation near Mankato, Minnesota.

Rhonda Perry raises hogs too, but other than that, the two have little in common.

Johnson's hogs are raised in confinement buildings and about half of them are marketed through contracts with packers.

Karl Johnson: "pork production has changed like the world has changed. It's become more consolidated. how many hardware stores are there left? Not very many small hardware stores, not very many car dealers, implement dealers, that type of things. Farms are getting larger. and pork producers have gotten larger. i don't know that i'm necessarily in favor of that, but something that happens if you're going to stay economically viable, you have to get larger and that's kind of the name of the game in the world today. "

Perry's pasture farrowed hogs are raised outdoors near Armstrong, Missouri and marketed directly to consumers through a producer-owned co-op called patchwork family farms.

Rhonda Perry: "unfortunately these projects come about because we don't have fair and open markets and that's not a good thing. And the environment in which this project took place and others will take place you know is a very negative environment for farmers and rural communities. and its not good that we have to have these types of projects in order to survive but it is good that we have figured out how to do it and we've been creative and we've been able to provide a quality product to consumers."

In addition to philosophical differences in husbandry and marketing, Perry and Johnson are diametrically opposed on a referendum determining the future of the pork checkoff.

This past September, pork producers voted on whether to continue the mandatory program.

Currently, a farmer marketing 1,000 hogs annually, pays about $450.00 into the checkoff fund, which is administered by the national pork board.

Most of the money is earmarked for promotion and research conducted by the national pork producers council, or N.P.P.C.

Larry Ginter: "today is a great day for agriculture because hog farmers across the u.s. are taking a big step towards reclaiming our industry."

In April of 1999, a handful of rural activists, armed with piles of petitions, announced they had more than enough signatures to force a vote on whether the checkoff should be continued.

The campaign for family farms, a coalition of seven grassroots rural groups, gathered signatures for about a year to force the vote.

Larry Ginter: "i want my checkoff dollars back!"

It wasn't the first time the group aired their dissatisfaction with the checkoff or the national pork producers council.

In 1997, the campaign for family farms marched to N.P.P.C. headquarters, where they posted a sign reading "national factory farms council."

Johnson, a past president of the national pork producers council, says promotion is a key reason why producers should vote to continue the checkoff.

Karl Johnson: "I think people need to remember, go back before we had the mandatory check off, back to the mid '80's when we were losing demand quite rapidly, pork was not considered the meat at all to eat and after the check off came in place, we came up with "pork the other white meat" campaign. Through that efforts, we really changed the public's perception of pork. these things have just contributed to the survival, if you will, of us as independent pork producers."

There's little doubt "the other white meat" has been a successful promotional campaign for the pork industry.

a recent study conducted by northwestern university revealed the "other white meat" to be the fifth most recognizable slogan in contemporary advertising history.

Meanwhile, a Texas A study, commissioned by the national pork board, estimated producers reap a 5-to-1 net return ratio on their checkoff dollars.

Rhonda Perry: "what we're here today to say is that this gravy train to the NPPC is coming to a halt..."

Those opposed to the checkoff, cite different numbers. According to the campaign for family farms, pork producers have paid more than half-a-billion dollars into the fund since the program became mandatory in 1986.

During that time the campaign claims 250,000 pork producers, or 2 out of every 3, have gone out of business.

And the hog farmers share of the retail dollar plummeted from 46-cents at the checkoff?s inception to about 21-cents today.

Perry, who favors a voluntary checkoff, claims independent pork producers are paying into a system that yields little if any benefit.

Perry: "we're paying for that. We're paying for their lobbying activities and you know through corporate control of our markets and we?re just saying we're not going to pay anymore, we're not going to pay the checkoff anymore for commodity groups to say they represent us and we're not going to continue to pay into and participate in a system that doesn't work for us at our expense. and you know, by doing that, it actually changes the playing field a little bit."

The pork checkoff was turned down as noted in this press release Jan 11 2001 (I think that's the year)National Pork Producers Council Comments on USDA Announcement of Pork Checkoff... -- re> DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ --

DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- "We are deeply disappointed and very concerned by USDA's announcement regarding the pork checkoff referendum," said Craig Jarolimek, National Pork Producers Council president. "Instead of a sincere attempt to capture the will of the majority of legitimate pork producers about their checkoff, USDA let political motivation decide the fate of one the most successful commodity programs in American agriculture. USDA unequivocally understands the negative impact termination of the pork checkoff will have on every pork producer in this country," said Jarolimek, a Forest River, N.D., pork producer.

"Again and again producers are citing to us examples of flaws in the referendum voting process," said Karl Johnson, co-chair of the Vote Yes Task Force. "These situations include giving out the wrong voting materials; failing to posts lists of producers who had requested absentee ballots; and failing to post lists of producers who had voted in person, all of which resulted in the disqualification of the voter without their knowledge. Equally as disturbing, other producers were allowed to cast both absentee and in-person ballots or were allowed to cast ballots in violation of referendum rules.

"The checkoff was designed by pork producers, for pork producers, so that all pork producers would pay their fair share and reap the benefits from the checkoff-funded programs," said Johnson, a Mankato, Minn., pork producer. "The progress made with the image, acceptance and demand for pork will slip away, the pork industry could experience accelerated consolidation and coordinated efforts of research, education and information will be lost. In a time when even larger slaughter numbers are expected, as forecasted by USDA's own Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, programs providing those tools to producers become even more critical."

At the request of pork producers, the Pork Promotion Research and Consumer Information Act became law in 1985. The pork checkoff funded research, promotion and education programs designed to build a future and create opportunities for pork producers. In September, pork producers had the opportunity to vote on the future of the 14-year pork checkoff program. Approximately $54 million was collected through the pork checkoff in 2000. As required by the Pork Act and Order, 20% of money is returned to state pork associations for investment in state-directed promotion, consumer education and research programs.

SOURCE National Pork Producers Council

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1yGSy)

A really confusing settlement is here: http://www.pork.org/filelibrary/Checkoff%20Settlement%20Seperation%20Agreement/MOA-govt4.pdf

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More cites for MBD: footnote 100 at The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product ... - Brandt - Google Books

Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin/Women and Children First: On the Front Line of the Chlorine War - SourceWatch

Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin/Behind Enemy Lines - SourceWatch

This partially available book about the struggle against corporate agriculture (including carbon markets as privatization of the atmosphere) seemed relevant - there was a Google hit but I can't find the quote: … and the echo follows. (2010)

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Anyway I thought this was an interesting bit of loose research on agricultural globalism, rural farm politics, professional corporate spies and of course the mysterious Politics of Bacon.

How to check cops checking your driver's license! Plus full texts of Anne Marie Rasmusson lawsuit settlements for cop ID checks

Yet another nasty branch on the poisonous tree of data abuse in Minnesota is bearing its digital fruit. Anne Marie Rasmusson, a former law enforcement officer, got 'checked out' by an absurdly sprawling array of Minnesota law enforcement officers illegally abusing their driver's license lookup systems. Three major legal documents from the settlements are included below, I believe for the first time on the web (I might be wrong but didn't spot anything on Google).

For the backstory of the weird law enforcement gangstalking of Rassmusson & subsequent litigation, see Nov 2 2012: Anne Marie Rasmusson's settlement haul now over $1 million - Aaron Rupar / CityPages.

From a clever data-fishing colleague, here is one proven method for promptly obtaining your own DVS data:

E-mail kim.jacobson@state.mn.us with "Hi Kim! This is a request to inspect public data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act using my own equipment, in electronic form. I would like to inspect all records and logs of when my driver's license and motor vehicle information on file with DVS was accessed, along with date, time, request detail and requesting agency. My driver's license number and license plates are: X. Thanks!"

100% Lulz virtually guaranteed. Not a horrible time lag either, from what I am hearing from people.

Better Know An Acronym: Mpls PD's ALPR & MnDOT's MBUF, the Parallel DataSchemes: Better get yr DVS records while they're hot: the government has a habit of clamping down on these kinds of data flows, legislative authorization be damned!

On another critical but separate mass surveillance & data control issue, IPAD | Information Policy Analysis Division, Minnesota Department of Administration is taking public comment until January 30, 2013 on the issue of the automated license plate reader system which Minneapolis has semi-extralegally shifted from public to non-public data classification. The PDF is here: www.ipad.state.mn.us/docs/mplsappalpr.pdf. One idea: let IPAD know that this tech is dangerous for data regardless of who is supposed to have access. As the burgeoning DVS omnishambles indicates, 'sensitive' data should be minimized in government, and even 'authorized' personnel actually shouldn't be trusted to operate these systems without granular and public systems of accountability.

Again it is worth pointing out that the City of Minneapolis itself argued in the PDF above that the data generated by the Minneapolis Police Department's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system is dangerous and must be made non-public for the same reasons that MnDOT's Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF, aka Intellidrive) data is dangerous.

MBUF is a story I have been following for several years - it would send extremely frequent location/direction/velocity info to the government & its military-industrial contractor, Battelle, for every user in order to generate a dollar figure for taxing the vehicle - only nuking all your remaining privacy in the process. After many months, much MnDOT MBUF data was released via a Mn Data Practices Act Request, though it is difficult to work with. See Nov 30 2012: EXCLUSIVE MnDOT info cake: 2.97gb emails/docs on the Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF)- Minnesota's GPS vehicle taxing regime in the works

Previously: Jan 9 2013: MPD Tracking OccupyMN Facebook BBQs: Minneapolis "secret" Strategic Information Center / Emergency Operations and Training Facility 25 37th Ave NE in Fridley // MPD Homeland Security Unit at Cruz House: Minneapolis Police Department data request on Occupy Minnesota finally released; sketchy anti-Occupy fusion-style police material from Nevada // Dec 14 2012: Mordor Mayor Rybak makes moves to hide Minneapolis panopticon: Total Minneapolis Awareness Automatic License Plate Reader records form 'retroactive surveillance' empire. Ye Gods we keep catching substantial fish!

The issue of abusive operations in the MN Department of Public Safety-controlled DVS database is becoming a major issue recently, with the decidedly unlikely duo of Republican-aligned Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and indefatigable Star Tribune reporter Randy Furst both finding highly indefensible query activity on their records. Minn. driver’s license data snoopers are difficult to track | StarTribune.com:

Despite widespread misuse of driver's license records in Minnesota, determining just who is peeking into your files can prove nearly impossible.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which oversees the driver's license database, refuses to tell people the names of users -- generally public employees -- who have looked up their information. Perhaps the most high-profile citizen getting stonewalled by the state is Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who is sparring with the department over what he believes were inappropriate queries into his driver's license records.

The Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) database, which contains addresses, photographs and driving records on nearly every Minnesotan, is protected under state and federal law. State records show that public employees frequently have misused the database by running people's names without a business purpose. That is the subject of a major lawsuit that recently ensnared police officers across Minnesota, as well as a criminal case pending against two Minneapolis employees.

Stanek learned in June that employees at 21 agencies, including his own office, had accessed his records over several years. Some of the queries came from as far away as Wells, Minn., a small town 117 miles south of Minneapolis that he has never visited. The Department of Public Safety would not provide him with the names of the users.

"I believe that some or all of these requests may have been without a legitimate government purpose," Stanek wrote in a December letter to the Department of Administration, asking for an advisory opinion on the matter. The Department of Public Safety "and DVS appear to have purposely created obstacles to deny me an opportunity to track illegitimate access."

Stanek had made two previous requests for his lookups out of curiosity, and was surprised by how many agencies had queried his name.

This time, he says, a security concern prompted his request for the lookups.

He believes the state has an obligation to show that the lookups had a legitimate purpose, even if they do not hand over the names.

Anyhow, a source provided a great deal of the Rasmusson legal paperwork obtained via the Minnesota Data Practices Act. I don't think it's around elsewhere on the Internet, so here it is. I haven't looked over too many settlements myself, so this is overall just funny stuff about a serious topic -- nothing like a government formally conceding abuse and paying out hard-collected taxpayer cash to cover for some ridiculous abuse of officially "necessary" authority.

I wonder what kind of world we'd live in if our government units were actually run by people who never screw up like this, wasting all these resources and being generally abusive. There will surely be more inquiries along these lines...

Three parts:

Rassmusson Lawsuit 1 1110 001 (44pgs) - direct download 1.8MB: rassmusson_lawsuit-1-1110_001.pdf

Rassmusson Lawsuit 1 1110 001 by Dan Feidt

Rassmusson Lawsuit 2 1109 001 (5 pgs) - direct download 205KB: rassmusson_lawsuit-2-1109_001.pdf

Rassmusson Lawsuit 2 1109 001 by Dan Feidt

Rassmusson Lawsuit 3 1102 001 (39 pgs) - Direct download 1.9MB: rassmusson_lawsuit-3-1102_001.pdf

Rassmusson Lawsuit 3 1102 001 by Dan Feidt

Leaving it there for now, but hell, something will probably turn up yet again before I even have time to deal with it!!

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