economy

Ford Foundation: Darren Walker says "Our obligation to capitalism" - Big mission for Capitalism you say?

The Ford Foundation is a heavy hitter in nonprofit world. Originally it was set up so that shares of Ford Motor Co. wouldn't get so dispersed through inheritances dissolving the fortune. There was a lot of political intrigue later on that is worth checking into, but I won't get into all of it here. Suffice it to say they are a core primary player in this kind of world.

The leader just sent out a pretty big missive and it really discussed how the Ford Foundation is all about protecting capitalism, which struck me as a little off the normal tone of reforms and whatnot that they usually are hooked into. If you want to understand the role of big foundations in American politics this is a handy document.

hat tip to B.S. for catching this. Also I don't really think M.L.King Jr. was a huge fan of Capitalism but hey...

Source: http://us10.campaign-archive2.com/?u=3f89269c6132144b6f1c5ce78&id=9830b1...

Dear Friends,

As I begin my third year at the Ford Foundation’s helm, I am reminded of how privileged I am—and we all are—to serve this institution.

For my colleagues and me, these past 15 months have entailed both deep introspection about this privilege and broad exploration of how we can harness and direct it to advance our mission. For us, what has unfolded is a process of discovery and renewal that has led us to reorganize our programming around the global crisis of inequality. We call this ongoing renewal FordForward.

Next month, I’ll be sharing more details about our thematic areas and the specific grantmaking lines of work through which we will carry out our programming. I look forward to beginning a new phase for the foundation that builds on Ford’s rich and varied history.

Since sharing the news of our focus on inequality, I’ve been encouraged—and, candidly, surprised—by the overwhelming response. As the chasm of inequality widens and deepens in communities around the world, we seem to have struck a nerve.

Yet while inequality certainly merits attention and effort, some have fairly pointed out a tension—if not a contradiction—between philanthropic efforts to address inequality and the structural economic realities that make it possible for foundations to exist at all.

The origins of modern philanthropy
This tension stretches back more than a century. In 1889, the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie composed his “Gospel of Wealth,” a short essay with far-reaching impact. It is, in many ways, the intellectual charter of modern philanthropy, and its basic precepts remain the underpinning of US giving and, in turn, have greatly influenced an era of burgeoning philanthropic enterprise around the world.

Carnegie articulated his philosophy at a time when inequality had reached unprecedented levels in the United States. In an age of excess, titans of industry enjoyed lives of startling opulence; ordinary people endured low wages, dangerous working conditions, and overcrowded, unhealthy living quarters. He argued—as some still do—that inequality on this scale is an unavoidable condition of the free market system and that philanthropy is one effective means of ameliorating the conditions the market produces.

Today, in this new period of rising inequality, it is timely that we reflect on the principles of philanthropy as originally set forth in Carnegie’s influential “Gospel of Wealth”—to consider to what degree they point to the realities and responsibilities of philanthropy in our time, and to openly acknowledge and confront the tension inherent in a system that perpetuates vast differences in privilege and then tasks the privileged with improving the system.

To be sure, philanthropy today is broader and more diverse than ever before. Its tens of thousands of individual practitioners around the world follow a variety of approaches, as intentional and unique as they are. As ever, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Moreover, philanthropy continues to advance through bold experiments with new models. From the global Giving Pledge initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City, to major philanthropic communities emerging in China, India, Latin America, Africa, the Gulf States, and elsewhere, a 21st-century style of “giving back” is lifting the lives and lots of millions of people around the world. It is building schools, preserving cultural and natural diversity, and generating new vaccines, agricultural innovation, and the social entrepreneurship of a millennial generation of change agents. In the sheer persistence and proliferation of the philanthropic idea, Carnegie’s “Gospel” reverberates loud and clear—and I deeply admire the leadership and example of philanthropists and foundations around the world that we are honored to work with and learn from.

And yet, despite this vast ledger of undeniable public good, the tension persists. Why, in too many parts of the world have we failed to provide employment, education and health care, decent nutrition and sanitation? What underlying forces drive the very inequality whose manifestations we seek to ameliorate?

Rethinking the gospel of giving
My thinking on this issue has been shaped by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who made a profound statement not long before his death: “Philanthropy is commendable,” he wrote, “but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”

I hasten to add that it is not solely economic injustice that philanthropy exists to address, and I believe Dr. King had a broader idea at heart: He challenges us still to look at underlying structures and systems, the roots of injustice, the causes of human suffering, and the sources of our own privilege.

In other words, perhaps the time has come to take the radicalism of Carnegie’s 19th-century revolution, mesh it with the courage of Dr. King’s, and make it our own. Perhaps it is time for a reimagined gospel of giving.

To borrow a phrase from Carnegie’s “Gospel” itself, we might recognize “the changed conditions of this age,” and adopt “modes of expressing this spirit suitable to the changed conditions under which we live.” We might disentangle the web of conditions that make philanthropy both possible and necessary.

If we’re being honest, we might acknowledge that we are crashing into the limits of what we can do with a 19th-century interpretation of philanthropy’s founding doctrine.

A 21st-century view of inequality
First of all, no one in philanthropy has the independent resources to solve our collective problems. In his lifetime, Andrew Carnegie gave away some $350 million. Even in today’s currency, this is a pittance in comparison with the world’s trillions of dollars of needs for food and housing, education, infrastructure, and health care.

What’s more, even though Carnegie understood and set out to address the notion of inequality (though he understood the problem more narrowly as “poverty”), he did so with a very different set of insights and a very different set of conditions within which to work. Compared with 125 years ago, we live in more enlightened, egalitarian, and participatory societies. In part because of what modern philanthropy helped set in motion, our polities have expanded in significant ways, making room to hear and heed more diverse voices and perspectives.

We also have technology, data, and a century of randomized controlled trials, which, together, enable us to broaden our scope and understand increasingly intricate patterns of injustice and how they persist and reproduce over time. In doing so, we are able to cast light on deep-seated, systemic problems—problems that in the absence of these insights would be attributed solely to individual failures or subject to misleading generalization.

Where Carnegie might have identified illiteracy as a source of inequality, for example, we now understand that the reverse is true—or, at the very least, that a complex symbiosis is at work. We understand, in a way he did not, that social, cultural, political, and economic inequalities set in place reinforcing conditions from the very start of life—in homes, in neighborhoods, and in schools—that create cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and lack of opportunity.

We also know that inequality is built on antecedents—preexisting conditions ranging from ingrained prejudice and historical racial, gender, and ethnic biases to regressive tax policies that cumulatively define the systems and structures that enable inequality to fester.

Because today we know more and are exposed to a diversity of views and insights, we can engage in a more thorough examination of the underlying barriers that prevent people from advancing in society. We can grapple not just with what is happening but also with how and why. And I believe that change must come in three basic forms.

Three steps toward reducing inequality
First, we need to open ourselves up to more critical, honest discussions about deeply rooted cultural norms and structures, including racial, gender, ethnic, and class biases.

We have made impressive progress on these issues, but some social and economic progress cannot blind us to the reality that far too many are left behind because of inequality’s asphyxiating grip on the aspirations of people in every corner of every country.

Second, we foundations need to reject inherited, assumed, paternalist instincts—an impulse to put grantmaking rather than change making at the center of our worldview.

For philanthropists working globally, our efforts shouldn’t be a matter of Western institutions directing NGOs in the Global South, or treating our grantees as contract project managers rather than as valued partners. Instead, we should be strands in the web—South to South, South to North—making connections and modeling the kind of equality we hope to achieve by listening, and learning, and lifting others up.

Furthermore, we’d be well served to recognize that the more excluded people are, the harder it is truly to hear them. We all believe that those most affected by policy ought to have a voice in creating it. So our work should lend agency—and legitimacy—to slum dwellers and rural farmers, incarcerated people and refugees, migrants pursuing a better life and families on public assistance.

Third, we need to interrogate the fundamental root causes of inequality, even, and especially, when it means that we ourselves will be implicated.

It is incumbent upon each of us to dig deeper and relish the dirt beneath our fingernails; what for Carnegie was bedrock, to us has become topsoil. There are obscured root causes buried deep in our history, our institutions, and our cultural practices—causes we have to unearth and evaluate in the harsh light of day.

For one example, when we talk about economic inequality, we might acknowledge an underlying, unspoken hierarchy, in which we relate everything back to capital. In most areas of life, we have raised market-based, monetized thinking over all other disciplines and conceptions of value.

We might ask related questions, too.

Within legacy institutions like ours, we should ask, How does our privilege insulate us from engaging with the most difficult root causes of inequality and the poverty in which it ensnares people?

How does our work—our approach to awarding grants, our hiring and contracting policies, even our behavior toward our partners and grantees—reinforce structural inequality in our society?

Why are we still necessary, and what can we do to build a world where we no longer are as necessary?

For individual philanthropists, it may well be appropriate to ask a similar set of questions: Is the playing field on which I accumulated my wealth level and fair? Does the system privilege people like me in ways that compound my advantages?

Our obligation to capitalism
These questions are at the heart of our collective work, but also at the core of our aspiration for an economic system that works for more people.

As Henry Ford II, framer of the modern Ford Foundation, wrote in a 1976 letter to his fellow trustees, the foundation is “in essence, a creature of capitalism.” Therefore, he suggested, we ought to “examine the question of our obligations to our economic systems and to consider how the foundation, as one of the system’s most prominent offspring, might act most wisely to strengthen and improve its progenitor.”

To put it more bluntly, we were established by a market system and endowed by the money of the past century’s 1 percent. We are stewards of enormous resources—participants in and beneficiaries of a market system. As a result, our work is quite literally enabled by returns on capital. In turn, I believe we are obligated “to strengthen and improve” the system of which we are part. My conviction is no anathema to capitalism. Adam Smith himself argued that the “invisible hand” could not be blind to the condition of society, and that “no society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” This from a visionary who was not only the forefather of American capitalism but also the author of Theory of Moral Sentiments, which he regarded as more important than his Wealth of Nations.

Philanthropy’s role is to contribute to the “flourishing” of the “far greater part”—to help foster a stronger safety net and a level playing field. With each generation, we should be guided by our legacy of support for social progress and human achievement in the spirit of the Green Revolution, advances in public health and human rights, social movement building, creative expression and cultural innovation, and so much more.

Ultimately, this reckoning with—this reimagining of—philanthropy’s first principles and its relationship to our market system will not be easy, but this moment requires that we not go easy on ourselves.

Some might see this as a problem or as pressure. To me, however, it is inseparable from our privilege—because with privilege comes responsibility.

In this spirit, let us commit ourselves to proffering, and preaching, and practicing a new gospel—a gospel commensurate with our time.

Let us bridge the philosophies of Smith, and Carnegie, and King, and break the scourge of inequality. For when we do, to paraphrase another of Dr. King’s most powerful insights, we at last will bend the demand curve toward justice.

I welcome your thoughts—so please reply to this e-mail or share your ideas on social media.

With thanks,

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation

There are lots of macroeconomic problems piling up

Telegraph: "Doomsday clock for global market crash strikes one minute to midnight as central banks lose control - China currency devaluation signals endgame leaving equity markets free to collapse under the weight of impossible expectations" -- There are lots of macroeconomic problems piling up: plummeting aggregate demand; with international currency instability starting to cause chaos in the bond markets & inability to raise central bank interest rates without popping the bubble, we are really faced with an increasingly bad situation. They don't have many more 'tools in the kit'. People who have money in the market may want to pull back, as this fall seems pretty likely for a big 'correction' to finally roll in like a thunderstorm.

On the positive side I thought this had a lot of constructive ideas: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-16/austerity-elite-terrorism-again... Get local, get away from the bubble etc

Fascinating Greek parallel euro payment network nearly activated in crisis, after hacking into EU-controlled systems to clone tax IDs

It can't be emphasized enough that the global debt complex we are all trapped in is reproduced daily by sophisticated (and in many cases quite old & deteriorated) computers. There is no magic man behind the curtain, just a bunch of nasty computer systems whose authority is enforced by central banking authorities like the Troika, IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements and the Federal Reserve System.

This is one of the biggest stories at this level I have seen in ages, perhaps ever. Fascinating story very worth reading: A secret lolcat team in Greece's finance ministry hacked into their own EU-controlled systems and had a parallel financial network ready to go, but it all got wound down. Apparently FM Varoufakis resigned as a result of the plan being halted - and overall it was a pretty cool plan under dire national circumstances of emergency survival vs austerity.

Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger 'Plan B' for Greece, awaits treason charges - Telegraph;

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A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into the government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the "flick of a button" .

The revelations have caused a political storm in Greece and confirm just how close the country came to drastic measures before premier Alexis Tsipras gave in to demands from Europe's creditor powers, acknowledging that his own cabinet would not support such a dangerous confrontation.

Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister, told a group of investors in London that a five-man team under his control had been working for months on a contingency plan to create euro liquidity if the European Central Bank cut off emergency funding to the Greek financial system, as it in fact did after talks broke down and Syriza called a referendum.

People really need to pay more attention to the crappy computers running the whole financial system, see also very important here: Bank IT, Grexit, and Systemic Risk | naked capitalism - lots of gory details:

On the IT front, the challenge is vastly larger due to the state of financial firm IT systems. We intend to return to this topic, because we see bank IT systems as an unrecognized source of systemic risk. They are required to run to mission critical standards: enormous transaction volumes, extremely high demands for accuracy of end output, high uptimes. Yet the code base is an agglomeration, with many important operations relying in meaningful ways on legacy systems. Thus, as our expert with relevant experience stressed, changes that seem simple are anything but.

VaroufakisStare_0.pngThis is precisely why it is so important to understand these systems and come up with intermediate replacements, as your local version of the ECB is always waiting to make its next move for artificial austerity & assorted lethal games all taking place inside these computers…

More: Reports Of Secret Drachma Plots Leave Tsipras Facing Fresh Crisis | Zero Hedge, Syriza "Rebels" Planned To Ransack Greek Mint, Seize Cash Reserves, Arrest Central Bank Governor | Zero Hedge.

Varoufakis claims had approval to plan parallel banking system | News | ekathimerini.com

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that he was authorized by Alexis Tsipras last December to look into a parallel payment system that would operate using wiretapped tax registration numbers (AFMs) and could eventually work as a parallel banking system, Kathimerini has learned.

In a teleconference call with members of international hedge funds that was allegedly coordinated by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, Varoufakis claimed to have been given the okay by Tsipras last December – a month before general elections that brought SYRIZA to power – to plan a payment system that could operate in euros but which could be changed into drachmas "overnight" if necessary, Kathimerini understands.

Varoufakis worked with a small team to prepare the plan, which would have required a staff of 1,000 to implement but did not get the final go-ahead from Tsipras to proceed, he said.

The call took place on July 16, more than a week after Varoufakis left his post as finance minister.

The plan would involve hijacking the AFMs of taxpayers and corporations by hacking into General Secretariat of Public Revenues website, Varoufakis told his interlocutors.This would allow the creation of a parallel system that could operate if banks were forced to close and which would allow payments to be made between third parties and the state and could eventually lead to the creation of a parallel banking system, he said.

As the general secretariat is a system that is monitored by Greece’s creditors and is therefore difficult to access, Varoufakis said he assigned a childhood friend of his, an information technology expert who became a professor at Columbia University, to hack into the system. A week after Varouakis took over the ministry, he said the friend telephoned him and said he had “control” of the hardware but not the software "which belongs to the troika."

….

"The prime minister before he became PM, before we won the election in January, had given me the green light to come up with a Plan B. And I assembled a very able team, a small team as it had to be because that had to be kept completely under wraps for obvious reasons. And we had been working since the end of December or beginning of January on creating one.

"What we planned to do was the following. There is the website of the tax office like there is in Britain and everywhere else, where citizens, taxpayers go into the website they use their tax file number and they transfer through web banking monies from the bank account to their tax file number so as to make payments on VAT, income tax and so on and so forth.

“We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps. And, at the touch of a button, to allow us to give PIN numbers to tax file number holders, to taxpayers.

"That would have created a parallel banking system while the banks were shut as a result of the ECBs aggressive action to deny us some breathing space.

"This was very well developed and I think it would have made a very big difference because very soon we could have extended it, using apps on smartphones and it could become a functioning parallel system and of course this would be euro denominated but at the drop of a hat it could be converted to a new drachma.

"But let me tell you - and this is quite a fascinating story - what difficulties I faced. The General Secretary of Public Revenues within my ministry is controlled fully and directly by the troika. It was not under control of my ministry, of me as minister, it was controlled by Brussels.

Ok, so problem number one: The general secretary of information systems on the other hand was controlled by me, as minister. I appointed a good friend of mine, a childhood friend of mine who had become professor of IT at Columbia University in the States and so on. I put him in because I trusted him to develop this……


a week or so after we moved into the ministry, he calls me up and says to me: 'You know what? I control the machines, I control the hardware but I do not control the software. The software belongs to the troika controlled General Secretary of Public Revenues. What do I do?'

…..

"So we decided to hack into my ministry’s own software program in order to be able break it up to just copy just to copy the code of the tax systems website onto a large computer in his office so that he can work out how to design and implement this parallel payment system.

"And we were ready to get the green light from the PM when the banks closed in order to move into the General Secretariat of Public Revenues, which is not controlled by us but is controlled by Brussels, and to plug this laptop in and to energize the system.


Obviously it was a disappointment to many sane people that Syriza seems to have mostly folded to the Troika but perhaps the Secret Team tactic could be used when the next big one hits the fan and an entrapped debtor nation decides to quickly assert technical sovereignty.

But how to pull this again without tipping the hand? And could it be used again by Greece, now that the word is out? What will happen to Varoufakis' rather exposed techie friend, assuming it's accurate? A fascinating and very pertinent story, I can only hope gets dramatized in some fashion.

Get these computers because one way or another, they are definitely gonna getcha, getcha, getcha…


Update: worth pointing out the Federal Reserve drama over banks wanting their electronically created money kicked back from the Fed. Interesting because it unravels a 100-year-old pact between Congress and banks, as well as highlighting the bizarre secretive and lucrative bank membership in Fed regional entities. Great source of electronic "money" to put into the roads, Ace work whoever managed to slide this policy under the nose of the bank lobbyist fleet.

The Hill, 7/25/2015 - Banks revolt over plan to kill $17B Fed payout by Peter Schroeder

Industry lobbyists say they were blindsided by the inclusion of the provision, which would help policymakers cover the bill’s cost by cutting the regular dividend the Federal Reserve pays to its member banks.

One lobbyist went so far as to reread the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 after getting wind of the proposal to determine what was at stake.
“I think it took everyone by surprise,” said Paul Merski with the Independent Community Bankers of America. “There was no study of the issue, no hearings, no consultation with the Federal Reserve itself.”

“It came on very quickly,” said James Ballentine of the American Bankers Association, who said he first caught wind of the idea a little over a week ago. “It’s certainly a scramble.”

In a Congress where lawmakers are always hunting for politically palatable ways to raise revenue or cut costs to cover the expenses of additional legislation, the Fed provision was a novel, and rich, one. The proposal is estimated to raise $17 billion over the next decade, and is by far the richest “pay for” included in the bill.

Lobbyists said they were not aware of any previous time when lawmakers had attached the language to a piece of legislation, which would scrap a perk banks have come to expect for over a century.

When banks join the Federal Reserve system, they are required to buy stock in the central bank equal to 6 percent of their assets. However, that stock does not gain value and cannot be traded or sold, so to entice banks to participate, the Fed pays out a 6 percent dividend payment.

The Senate proposal says it would slash that “overly generous” payout to 1.5 percent for all banks with more than $1 billion in assets. While the summary language outlining the proposal said that change would only impact “large banks,” industry advocates argued that banks most would identify as small community shops could easily have assets in excess of that amount.

Banks are working to mobilize against the provision, even as lawmakers are pushing to pass a highway bill before program funding expires at the end of the month.

Merski said ICBA had launched a “nationwide grassroots effort,” enlisting its numerous member banks and bankers and told them to call Senate offices to oppose the provision.

And Ballentine said his group was engaged in a concerted education effort for members, outlining why the industry believes the policy change would be disruptive and has no place in highway legislation.

Five major industry groups also sent a letter to lawmakers blasting the provision, saying it “undermines a key agreement that has underpinned the United States banking system for 100 years.”

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) opposes the provision, and invited Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen to opine on it when she appeared before his panel earlier this month.

She told lawmakers that if the dividend payment is reduced, some banks may not want to buy into the Fed.

“This is a change that likely would be a significant concern to the many small banks that receive the dividend,” she said.

Donald Kohn, the former vice chair of the Fed, told House lawmakers Wednesday that the proposal would be one directly felt by banks.

“Let’s recognize that by lowering it to, say, 1.5 percent on the proposal, in effect you are placing a tax on banks,” he told the House Financial Services Committee.

A review of previous policy proposals suggests that the idea may have first been thought up by House liberals. The 2014 budget proposal from the Congressional Progressive Caucus put forward the idea to raise revenue, and a CPC aide said he believed it was the first time someone in Congress proposed the idea. But the Senate highway bill apparently marks the first time members have actually placed it in actual legislation.

This all reminds me that the Federal Reserve Bank [Atlanta] branch in Miami would have some fascinating figures benefiting its busy member banks from the 1980s in the Iran Contra cocaine salad days, but that's another story... [Jeb Bush's angle in the Miami Dade Republican Party/Cartel days is treated in this hilarious Daily Beast limited hangout, spurring hope of awesome JebCokeCIA campaign stories (or videos?) yet to come.]

Greece: Banks closed - Aggregate economic slowdown hits European currency iceberg and Chinese equities bubble

Seems like an intense week for economic crises is brewing: Greek banks will be closed till July 6 and also China's stock market is tumbling, Japan down today as well. Who knows how much bad sovereign debt lies in random Japanese or Chinese banks? Credit default swaps or other derivatives? The Chinese "equities bubble" happens to really be cracking the same week as Greece's deal runs out and the biggest IMF payment default ever is about to hit the books.

The massive debt complex only escalated by the post 2007 bailout. It's like the financial equivalent of 'entangling alliances' in WWI. The global aggregate demand slowdown continues. Puerto Rico is also struggling with systemic debt. None of this stuff got solved, central bank intervention, bond purchases and printing only can paper over some holes in the situation. More so than usual, *brace yourselves*

.. http://bloomberg.com http://zerohedge.com - probably reasonable places to start monitoring developments - the zerohedge sidebar of recommended sites has some very informative ones as well. I ain't got the time to get into all this stuff…

Over at WTFRLY.com there is a big roundup article getting put together as we speak.

If anyone is interested in an alternative economic tool, drupal.org/project/ices Integral Community Exchange System provides both timebanking and mutual aid / need want listings. (GPL free software license, tweak as you like)

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ALEC Operation on Blast & knives out for solar as fossil fuel lobby gets what it paid for: MN House plan to gut clean energy policy, unload more fracked natural gas

//// Update 4 1AM: see Radically retro energy omnibus bill prompts MN citizens to step up for clean energy policy for more on the groups that have started moving on this last day or so. The Sierra Club Northstar post from Monday has details on several key bad parts of the energy omnibus bill. Alliance for Solar Choice has this action page for testimony starting Wednesday. ///

Quick post to roust people on another impending political disaster in Minnesota. Nationwide the American Legislative Exchange Council politicians (ALEC - a corporate establishment coordinating body, essentially) are trying to kill decentralized rooftop solar panel systems and the policy apparatus that lets them trade extra electrons into the grid for cash.

National: see their scheme directly: Updating Net Metering Policies Resolution - ALEC - American Legislative Exchange Council

ALEC, climate change: A fight over rooftop solar panels could decide America’s energy future. (Sept 2014)

Utility Trade Group Funds ALEC Attack on Americans Using Solar | PR Watch (July 2014)

Now this plan is in Full Effect in Minnesota and at least on social media, almost everyone has been asleep at the switch (although this is changing).

In Minnesota the new energy omnibus bill here (PDF) which was composed by GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo, one of ALEC's point men, is trying to thrash the entire renewable energy standards system which sets clear targets for carbon reduction and deters utilities from buying environmentally dirty power from the region. It also obliterates the current program to promote "made in Minnesota" local solar companies. (energy committee homepage)

I just heard from a friend that "Fresh Energy, MN350 are all testifying….. The hearings on the bill are extended now Wednesday evening, Thursday AM, Friday from noon until midnight. That sounds to me like lots of folks are registering to testify." Hit up the committee administrator at the link above if you want to testify this week too.

For the full rundown see Bluestem Prairie: Rep. Wagenius charges that MN House energy omnibus bill sabotages solar and much more

DFL Rep. Jean Wagenius, a truly long term dedicated environmentalist, made this post. The worst energy bill ever sabotages solar. And that’s not all:

Rep. Pat Garofalo has introduced his draft Omnibus Energy Bill. d0b80283-da3f-4839-baf9-551613c2b6d9.pdf   Since he is Chair of the House Jobs Creation and Energy Affordability Committee, his bill is the Republican bill.

The Garofalo bill incorporates the energy-related ideas and bills that had been heard in his committee. Rep. Garofalo then found more bad ideas to include. This post would be much too long if it did more than scratch the surface. So it just covers the worst of the worst. Two of the worst of the worst were presented earlier in committee so there are earlier and more detailed posts about them. The earlier posts are noted below.

In summary, Rep. Garofalo’s bill would dismantle most of Minnesota’s efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repealing the laws that support these efforts. He totally sabotages solar.

In 62 pages he does a lot more, like proposing to make gifts to coal, the Koch brothers, and people wealthy enough to buy electric cars.

Before the worst of the worst, the back story needs to be told. The fight brewing in Minnesota is just one of many happening across the U.S. In anarticle entitled “Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar,” The Washington Post reported on the campaign by utitlites and its fossil-fuel supporters to stop residential solar. The Post says that legislation to make net metering illegal or more expensive has been introduced in legislatures in nearly two dozen states. The Los Angeles Times article, “Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies” links the effort against net metering to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers.

… meanwhile virtually nothing has been published by 'energy watchdogs' about it. (note her post is about the 3/27 draft, while the newest is the 4/6 draft but the same in most important respects.)

I had an exchange with Garofalo on Twitter. Clearly you can see the political economy in effect. As previously noted by hongpong.com (thanks to great tips from friends), the fossil fuel lobby bought its way into controlling the MN House through independent expenditures paid for by Northern Oil & Gas of Wayzata, which is currently trying to unload as much dirty fossil fuel as they can.

Here, can you see Garofalo's political economy? Smells like fracksauce to me...

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Unfortunately various energy watchdogs such as www.midwestenergynews.com are 100% asleep at the switch [on this issue in a very bad session] so it's up to you to try and intervene. Get crackin or you'll be fracked!!

Update 1: The section about appropriations for low income energy assistance, as I understand it is something that is usually included in energy omnibus bills in years past, it is not a novel addition really. The fossil fuels and striking of all renewable language, giveaways to nuclear, dumping carbon/emission reduction targets etc are all major policy shifts that need our full attention.

Update 2 - 5:40pm: I was sent over this bulletin that went out an hour ago from MNIPL. It is encouraging to see more groups are nudging the issue but they need to get it accelerated in public as soon as possible, not just action alerts that are hard to discover:

From: Claire Curran - claire@mnipl.org
Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 3:44 PM
Subject: Tell Your Representatives to Do the Right Thing!

Dear Friends,

Key people within the Minnesota House of Representatives are working to gut Minnesota’s successful landmark clean energy policies, but people of faith are stepping up and calling on them to do the right thing.

Over the past twenty years, Minnesotans have built a responsible transition beyond fossil fuels to a clean, renewable energy, and a thriving industry that employs >15,300 people. Faith actors have been at the forefront of these successful steps forward.

But the Minnesota House bill would:

Eliminate Minnesota’s science-based goals aimed to reduce and offset climate pollution;
Repeal Minnesota’s energy savings program that has saved the energy equivalent of 8 Prairie Island nuclear plants;
Repeal the nuclear moratorium;
Destroy the progress made on solar energy in 2013
Roll back Minnesota’s renewable goals by watering down standard renewable energy by allowing existing, large hydro from Canada.

Tell your State Senator and Representative to vote NO on the House energy bill and instead supporting clean energy & jobs policies by supporting the Senate clean energy package.

The right thing to do is to continue to make progress by supporting the Senate clean energy package that sets Minnesota’s renewable energy benchmark to achieve at least 40% renewables by 2030 and increases energy savings.

Thanks for all you do to build the climate movement!

Together,

Claire Curran
Campaign Coordinator, MNIPL

Their action alert URL on the email is http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=Auxa8Gzj01ypA1nY1qyd5QdF... .. keep rollin on!!

Update 3: 7pm: North Star Sierra Club put this up yesterday covering the bill in detail. There is apparently a phone bank going right now tonight somewhere on this issue... Good work, keep it up!

Pipeline Politics: MNGOP moves fast for fossils; Minnesota Range Congressman Rick Nolan certain Keystone XL will "support" 42,000 jobs

A tough fight is brewing at both the state and federal level over the direction of environmental policies. In Minnesota, Republicans are totally committed to expanding fracked gas, shale oil from Bakken, and genocidal tar sands bitumen pipelines from Canada.

The Sandpiper pipeline project in Minnesota is the current major project with ongoing public hearings, opposition spearheaded by Friends of the Headwaters, the Carlton County Land Stewards, Winona LaDuke's Honor The Earth group has worked on this; MN350 has also been working on this. The PUC calendar has other date info..

Pipelines in the MN political economy: To capture the House in 2014, Minnesota Republicans leaned heavily on independent expenditures from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which in turn leaned heavily on Northern Oil & Gas Co., a shale oil finance shop in run by a colorful family in suburban Wayzata, to pay for it all.

The joke's on Northern (NOG): as the international oil price war has taken hold their stock plummeted, but if they're going to salvage any of this they need new pipelines more than ever.

northern-oil.png

The MN House GOP isn't wasting any time fighting for their backers' needs. One of the first House bills posted in St Paul this year, HF21 would slash pipeline review to 150 days up or down - just enough time to get ahead of ticked off locals before they know what's going on.

Democrats are split over the pro-pipeline agenda in Minnesota, and the pro-industry crowd has a plan this year. The Iron Rangers are trying to wheel out "streamlining" mining regulations, willing to work with ALEC-friendly GOP. Key players here include DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, GOP Rep. Rod Hamilton for Big Ag (especially hog corporations) & the affable GOP Rep. Paul Garofalo for twitter-friendly ALEC corporate agendas.

For the top circles of people pushing this agenda, ideally environmental concerns will get flipped around — usually pollution affects poor people & people of color (POC) communities the worst — to make it appear a hobby of oblivious, elite metro consultant people. They are interested in reframing environmental justice as an elitist hobby, all the better to roll queasy and/or suburban Democrats.

Other corporate agendas: The industrial agriculture lobby wants to max out factory farm sizes with minimal oversight. Killing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's citizen review board system is another major priority, and disinfo is already rolling out on that topic.

They've also tried running meetings without public notice (see Rural Task Force and AURI in Sept 2014 via Bluestem Prairie) in order to reconfigure obscure government organizations to their agenda.

In this context we have to wonder what you're supposed to do when your member in Congress peddles blatantly deceptive spin (Nolan represents an area where a lot of my family is from). I will highlight some major chestnuts in bold. Source from a friend on FB:

Dear [Submitter].,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your views on the Keystone Pipeline project.

The simple truth we must deal with is that the Alberta tar sands are already being developed and producing roughly two million barrels of oil per day which are then shipped by truck and rail. Additionally, the U.S. State Department and the government of Canada have confirmed these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval. Therefore, those of us who care about saving the environment must ensure that the heavy crudes are transported in the safest and most environmentally sensitive way possible. Pipelines – while not immune from accidents – have been shown to be a safer energy transportation method than truck and rail, producing a lower carbon footprint and preventing further rail and highway congestion. The fact is, the State Department concluded alternative rail transportation options to move the heavy crude from the tar sands would result in the release of 28-42% more carbon emissions than through the pipeline.

Moreover, the Keystone project will provide access to additional oil reserves not subject to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, while supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs across our nation, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, substantial local and state tax revenue, and an additional $3.4 billion to our gross domestic product.

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been rigorously studied and will generate urgently needed jobs and economic development across our nation. To that end, I recently joined the majority of the House in voting to pass legislation (H.R.3) to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline project. Unlike previous Keystone legislation I opposed in the past, this legislation requires that Keystone be compliant with all other existing EPA and other US federal agency requirements that would need to be met by a domestic pipeline application.

I am disappointed we were not permitted to amend the bill to require use of 100 percent American steel in construction because it is proven to be better and less accident prone. Nonetheless, this legislation puts an end to almost seven years of gridlock, requires the pipeline operators to comply with tough U.S. environmental protections, and allows for a route change in Nebraska that will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Please know I have long been a strong supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, as well as other laws and regulations to protect our precious environment. To that end, during the 113th Congress I proudly cosponsored H.R.3674, the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 which would eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries. Additionally, H.R.3674 would end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs. At a time when energy companies are making record profits, we should not be providing them with generous subsidies.

Rest assured I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue to look for ways to protect our precious environment here in the Congress.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. I truly appreciate your advice and counsel and hope that you will contact me in the future whenever I can be of assistance.

I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website at nolan.house.gov to receive daily updates.

Sincerely,

Richard M. Nolan

Member of Congress

/////

"Heavy Crude": Nolan distributes disinformation here. The product thrown down these pipelines is superheated tar sands diluted bitumen ('dilbit' - wiki). It is a trade-secret laden petrochemical mixture which makes the bitumen (essentially raw asphalt - wiki) just slick enough to move along. In order to smooth the political process, diluted bitumen is reframed as "heavy crude oil (wiki)" and occludes the presence of environmentally dangerous secret diluent ingredients.

The bitumen also contains tiny quartz (sand) particles which steadily etch the pipeline interiors, as NRDC/Sierra Club mention (PDF). Whenever this mixture leaks, the bitumen sinks in water while much of the more volatile diluents tend to float - making cleanups a far messier affair than with conventional or "light crude", which does actually float and is pretty familiar in Hazmat training world. See: The Dangers of Diluted Bitumen Oil - NYTimes.com (OpEd Aug 2012) re Kalamazoo River in Michigan:

After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.

Transcanada has its view on dilbit: "Is it really crude oil? Yes." but… "Dilbit and synbit approximate the characteristics of typical conventional heavy crude oil." Seems like they're having it both ways. And they're blatantly lying here: "Does it float or sink if it spills in water? Oil sands-derived crudes behave the same way as conventional crude oil, which floats in still or slow-moving water."

More on dilbit controversies: Will Canadian Crude Make the Keystone XL Pipeline Leak? | StateImpact Texas

Here is the actual Keystone XL State Dept thing on Dilbit:

Dilbit is bitumen mixed with a diluent so it can be transported by pipeline. The composition of the dilbit is only provided here generically because the particular type of bitumen and diluents blend produced is variable and is typically a trade secret. A common condensate stream (liquids derived from natural gas) is currently the primary type of diluent used for Canadian heavy crude. Diluent consists of condensates, ultra-light sweet crudes, and refinery and upgrader naphtha streams from several supply sources. Typically, dilbit uses approximately 25 percent of condensate, where companies use either their own supply sources of light hydrocarbons or purchase the above condensate stream. According to the Saskatchewan Condensate Monthly Report dated September 1, 2012 (Crudemonitor 2012b), the composition of gas condensate is mainly light hydrocarbons such as iso-butene, n-butane, iso-pentane, n-pentane, and hexanes. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) (for informational/planning purposes only) for two types of diluents, naphtha and natural gas condensate, assuming a maximum diluent mix, are provided in Appendix Q. It is important to note that the chemical make-up of the diluents can vary greatly from source to source. The bitumen-diluent mixture with bitumen from the oil sands is generally similar to heavy sour crude, which is discussed in more detail. SCO may also be used as a diluent for bitumen, in which case the commodity is known as synbit (bitumen diluted with SCO). Properties of generic dilbit are shown in Table 3.13-1.

dilbit-chart.png

Huh Toxicity is Class D Division 2 Subdivision A: Very Toxic Material. Interesting, didn't see that on Transcanada's page. Also "BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes". Benzene is definitely carcinogenic.

See also: Keystone pipeline's 'dilbit' moment - Los Angeles Times - Dec 2012.

A Dilbit Primer: How It's Different from Conventional Oil | InsideClimate News - June 2012

Keystone XL Primer: Secrecy Still Shrouds Diluted Bitumen Risks | InsideClimate News - Nov 2011.

"supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs": This is another block of disinformation and reaches into the more dishonest level by adding "good-paying". This has been heavily debated since it counts temporary and partial work, and general economic ripples, as partial equivalents to a full job.

The most recent mainstream coverage on this spin chunk: Will Keystone XL pipeline create 42,000 ‘new’ jobs? - The Washington Post - Glenn Kessler Jan 6 2015 (reported by wapo in 2013 originally)

See: Keystone XL Job Claims Wouldn't Live Up To Hype, Experts Say - March 2014.

TransCanada CEO says 42,000 Keystone XL pipeline jobs are 'ongoing, enduring' | PunditFact - "Girling said, 'the 42,000 jobs is in ongoing, enduring jobs.'" Sure buddy. Even his spokester had to walk that whopper back.

This figure comes from the State Department study which, for example, claims that 300+ entertainment jobs indirectly get supported by pipeline construction, and assumes that the actual construction jobs last 19.5 weeks. These are batched together to count as one full "job", and the totals for the physical pipes that have already been completed are also included in this figure.

"these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval": That is not necessarily true - on two levels. The projects have been hitting the skids and losing investors, and funding is getting pulled as rapidly as they can from early-stage projects. Saying they "will continue to be developed" when they're losing investors is inaccurate. And of course, the projects only move if they are financially feasible. If they get priced out from transportation due to lack of capacity, then the overall statement is also false.

There is not some magic way to make these projects profitable without export capacity - and even with more export capacity the whole thing is going over the cliff anyway. See:

“Citizen Interventions” Have Cost Canada’s Tar Sands Industry $17B, New Report Shows | DeSmogBlog: "The report said market forces and public opposition have played a significant role in the cancellation of three major tar sands projects in 2014 alone: Shell’s Pierre River, Total’s Joslyn North, and Statoil’s Corner Project. " Yeah sounds like they are continuing to be developed, for sure.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss - The Ecologist- Nov 27 2014: "The report suggests that that investors are being misled about the economic viability of oil sands production… CTI calculate that 92% of future oil sands production will only viable if oil prices are $95 per barrel. However, prices stand at only $85, so producers are losing money for every barrel of oil they sell - unless they are cushioned by existing higher-priced contracts, which will sooner or later expire."

Is it time to panic in the oil sands? - Macleans.ca - Nov 29 2014 - graphic shows that bitumen is lower-priced because it requires so much processing, making it even worse of a business prospect. Plenty of industry details in this story.


ab_oil.jpg

As Oil Prices Drop, Canadian Oil Sands May Be Wasted Investment

Tar-sands industry loses $17.1 billion thanks to public opposition | Grist Nov 4 2014

////

It is also worth noting that the anti-pipeline candidate, Green Party American Indian elder Skip Sandman got 4.3% or 11,450 votes. The diligent efforts of many at least forced Nolan to cover his flank with some better votes — frustrating but hardly wasted. Nolan received 48.5%, narrowly edging Stewart Mills at 47.1%. (Side note: the cheesy DCCC messaging to pigeonhole Mills as a rich guy seems to have backfired, this district shouldn't be that close really.)

For further nitty gritty updates: Please check out Minnesota Brown for the Ranger side and BluestemPrairie.com for industrial agriculture & related political maneuvering. Both sites did a great job covering another ranger, DFL Sen. Tomassoni, trying to double dip with lobbying gig.

Rumor Mill: Wells Fargo megabank to purchase TCF Bank / TCF Financial Corp in glorious Midwest fractional reserve merger

bill cooper cash money

An improbable source told me from some insider that Wells Fargo Bank is trying to gobble up TCF Bank. This is congruent with a number of stories in recent years including Bill Cooper's retirement plans. Presumably longtime GOP bankroller Cooper will go be a talking head on Fox News a couple times a month, obtain a Star Tribune web column and sip daiquiris in Wayzata for the rest of his days. Cooper is apparently over 70 now and it's kind of hard to see anyone else really taking the helm into another century.

Some relevant URLs in all of this:

  • TCF annual report 2013: https://www.tcfbank.com/about-tcf_annual-report.aspx
  • MPR reports TCF's independent bank "future a question mark" - January 2011: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2011/01/06/future-of-tcf
  • Analyst: TCF is regional bank most likely to be sold this year - February 26 Twin Cities Business magazine: http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2013/February/Analyst-TCF-Is-Regional... - according to Deutsche Bank analyst. Quote: "But the report said TCF is the most likely to be sold this year because of 'uncertainty over CEO succession and a net interest margin that is likely to be more pressured than peers starting in one to two years.'"
  • TCF Financial Corp. attracts renewed takeover speculation: Star Tribune April 2013: http://www.startribune.com/business/201712271.html (based on same Deutsche Bank report)
  • TCF sets the stage for Cooper's exit: March 2014 American Banker magazine http://www.americanbanker.com/people/tcf-sets-the-stage-for-coopers-exit... -
  • Still, there is always a chance TCF could instead decide to sell itself, industry experts say. They note that Cooper has admitted to coming close to selling TCF once in the past, and he has often acknowledged that he could sell if the right offer came along.

    Selling a bank of TCF's size might be tough because it could potentially push the acquiring institution above $50 billion of assets, McGratty says. At that size, a bank would be considered a systemically important financial institution under the Dodd-Frank Act and face heightened regulatory scrutiny.

    TCF has also had past regulatory issues that could make a buyer wary, particularly issues with the Bank Secrecy Act. Last year, the company agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after the OCC found that TCF had failed to file reports on more than $7 million of suspicious transactions over a nearly two-year period. The OCC removed an October 2010 order tied to BSA issues in December.

  • Changes to TCF CEO's contract could make bank sale more palatable - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal Feb 2013: http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/blog/banking/2013/02/changes-to-tc... "...the changes, which would boost his payout if he leaves and pay him even more if he leaves after someone buys TCF Financial Corp.... But the new agreement could make a sale of the Wayzata bank more palatable to Cooper, who owns around 2 percent of shares outstanding, making him one of the lender's largest stockholders."

This is a good spot to point out that 'fractional reserve banking', the mode of banking which took hold in the US with the creation of the Federal Reserve System and above it, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel Switzerland, is an enormous confidence scam, possibly the largest scam in the world in sheer economic magnitude. [See the wikipedia page for a reasonable explanation].

In Minnesota, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, a independent private entity with unknown major shareholders presumably including TCF itself, regulates the hamster wheel. The elite get to loan out large sums of 'commercial money' they don't actually have, which regular people have to pay back with interest. This allows them to create a rentier economy where people commodify and destroy the natural world to try and cover the interest on money the banks never actually had.

Perhaps cryptocurrencies and fully reserved local currencies as well as mutual aid and barter networks can displace this disgusting system before it destroys earth's biosphere. Just remember, Bill Cooper & Wells Fargo execs, as you stack millions on the misery of your customers through totally unnecessary overdraft fees and fraudulent interest: ultimately, you can't take it with you.

Previously: July 2010: Heads Up to Quigley's Apex: Bank of International Settlements (Former Nazi Bank) developing Gold/SDR global fractional reserve currency with IMF, Federal Reserve // Dec 2010: Russia & China not buying BIS Fractional Reserve Gold currency scheme pushed by the Ben Bernank.

Bitcoin taps $200 again as ecosystem for services matures

Prices around $200 USD now, interesting price patterns. Stabilization & slow growth reigned since the woolly early 2013 era. Here: Bitcoin fake fibonacci trend line fun - even in crashes it never broke thru the lowest trend line.

It's hard but not impossible to see it below $100 again. I think now $80 is probably the floor. $200 i think is a psychological barrier, it will have hard time spiking higher unless 'another round of buzz' occurs.

Also note the USD sliding against Euros today: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/22/us-markets-global-idUSBRE96S00... - probably helps BTC / USD price.

Also as the market for exchanges has slowly diversified you see less instability related spikes/crashes heavily spawning from MtGox, which has been an exchange overly-relied upon until now. Of course any market will suffer when there are not enough sturdy exchanges. It's called the GoxHammer or something like that when bitcoin prices crash around Gox instability.

Source: bitcoincharts.com and my pseudo-Fib generator in Preview :P

bitcoin-chart.png

If you are looking to get bitcoins: CAVEAT EMPTOR. Let buyer beware. I am not vouching for results with any service, your Grues may be eaten etc. The ecosystem is maturing but things will rise and fall, and beware pump n dumps.

However CampBx.com is doing pretty decently based in Georgia - a MtGox without the clustermesses. And you can mail them USD checks if you like. .55% fees on transactions seems pretty fair. You need to provide ID to use services extensively.

Also LocalBitcoins.com for meeting people in coffee shops around town locally. More anonymity than CampBX, but also a higher fee. Anonymity and fees seem to have an inverse relationship!

Also BitPay.com is also based in Georgia and can do point-of-sale integration with various platforms - the integration code for developers is admirably simple. Much cheaper Bitcoin purchases turned into USD bank deposits multiple times a week if you like. So you would only be risking a day or 2 of transaction cash at a time for this, used as a gateway in yr business.

Occupy Boulder Flood Relief gets rolling as oil oozes around Colorado; Japanese typhoon could create complex Fukushima super-meltdown; Sunday LinkDump

boulder-climate.jpg

The good news is that people are organizing for flood relief in Colorado along the proven lines of previous efforts at Occupy Sandy. URLZ: #boulderflood relief :: Boulder Flood Relief - Get help & get involved

First meeting 28 mins video: Boulder Flood Relief - Orientation Meeting - YouTube

Donations on wepay at $2k currently: Boulder Flood Relief:

Boulder Flood Relief provides immediate assistance to those affected by the Boulder flood of September 13, 2013. We are currently providing physical labor such as cleanup help for those affected by the flood. More volunteers are joining by the hour and we will be able to fill more needs as new skill sets present themselves. If you have any need please link, call, or email here:

boulderfloodrelief.org

720-943-4482

BoulderFloodRelief@gmail.com

100% of donations from this page support these relief efforts. They go toward cleanup equipment, administrative costs, and other immediate needs. Funds may also go toward providing material goods and food for affected Boulder county residents.

We work in relationship with Four Mile Fire Relief, which is a local, relief-oriented 501(c)(3) non-profit. They provide financial oversight and make your donation tax deductible.

If you can donate food or material goods please contact YMCA Boulder, as we are not accepting physical donations at this time.

YMCA Boulder 303-442-2778

2850 Mapleton Avenue, Boulder CO

If you are in need of assistance please go to boulderfloodrelief.org and fill out an assistance form. We will contact you asap. Thank you, from your friends and neighbors at Boulder Flood Relief.

/////

Another long and productive day with Boulder Flood Relief. In under 72 hours we've:

- Built a volunteer database of over 500 individuals.

- Started work sites with over 30 volunteers on the ground helping homeowners.

- Sent canvassers to affected neighborhoods to assess needs.

- Built information systems that will allow the organization to scale and be transparent to itself (using a combination of open source and cloud based software).

- Began building a peer to peer marketplace of goods and services so folks can self-organize to relieve and recover.

Not bad for three days. If you're in Boulder we invite you to get involved in whatever way you can. Go to our website (www.boulderfloodrelief.org) and register as a volunteer and/or share your needs.

There is much work to be done, and we are the ones to do it.

#boulderflood #boulderfloodrelief

Facebizzle: Occupy Boulder Flood Relief. Small tumblr: Occupy Boulder Flood Relief. Twitter: #BoulderFlood Relief (BoulderRelief) on Twitter

Some app for help: SparkRelief.org | Community Driven Disaster Relief

spark-relief.png

Reddit help info index: 9/13/2013 - Colorado Flooding Resources : Colorado

Large and detailed Google Docs info on Boulder CO support resources: A snippet:

Logistics

Headquarters/Hub/Incident Command Post:

[location to be announced tomorrow]

[9/13 location: 1:30 pm @ Innisfree Coffee, 1203 13th St., Boulder, 80302]


Remote Supplies Location:

[to be determined]

Vital Numbers:

Cel.ly Loop: text @floodrelief to 23559

The Internet

Common Hashtags:

#BoulderFlood, #COwx, #WaldoFlood, #COflood #LongmontFlood #LyonsFlood, #Ftcollinsflood, #CCCF, #JeffCoFlood, #ColoradoFlood, #larimerflood

Related Searches:

#Boulder, Boulder flash flooding,


Google Community:

https://plus.google.com/communities/110401760903189735343 for sharing information documents inter-organizationaly


Twitter Accounts:

@ArvadaPolice

@BoulderCounty [Boulder Local Government]

@BoulderOEM [Boulder Office of Emergency Management]

@COEmergency

@femaregion8

@jeffcosheriffco [Emergency info for Jefferson County]

@LarimerSheriff

@NWSBoulder [National Weather Service, Boulder]

@OccupyRelief [part of @OccupySandy]

@Occuweather

@RedCrossDenver

@bowandarchery

Alerts and Closures

For Road Closures: @ColoradoDOT, BoulderOEM Road Closure Update

For Current Emergency Information/Emergency Status: http://boulderoem.org/emergency-status

For National Weather Service Alerts: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/

For CU University Campus Alerts: http://alerts.colorado.edu/

For Greeley city updates: http://greeleygov.com/PIO/Lists/News%20Releases/DispForm.aspx?ID=1802&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fgreeleygov.com%2FPIO%2FMedia.aspx

General Links

National Weather Service Hydrograph:

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=bou&gage=bocc2

http://streamstatsags.cr.usgs.gov/ThreatenedGages/ThreatenedGages_seq.html

Colorado Division of Water Resources -- Boulder Creek Gage Height West of Broadway:

http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/detail_graph.aspx?ID=BOCOBOCO&MTYPE=GAGE_HT

Google Boulder News Aggregator

http://goo.gl/news/58WN

Cleanup Guide:

http://www.floodsafety.com/media/pdfs/cleanup/Cleanup_after_flood.pdf

Maps

Boulder Flood Hazard Mapping

http://gisweb.ci.boulder.co.us/agswebsites/pds/floodmap/

For Google Maps (shelters, animal shelters, road closures, evac zones): https://m

apsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=zYYdhADI7PvQ.kzJSidMtEIqY

Xcel Power Outage Map: http://www.xcelenergy.com/portal/site/xe-en/menuitem.471846b0c2475abf262a71986b108a0c/?vgnextoid=02b6719a0b3cd210VgnVCM100000b40b98aaRCRD&vgnextchannel=e97c6113f220f210VgnVCM100000b40b98aaRCRD&appInstanceName=xe


Community Map with Instagram photo layers:

https://boulderflood2013.communityos.org/cms/node/1

Current EvacuationsFor Evacuation Center Info:, http://boulderoem.org/emergency-status

//////

From the Occupy Sandy days, relief network theory info: Home - FLO Solutions for Disaster Relief

//////

The OOZE: It's almost like drilling and fracking willy-nilly could set the stage for complex or compound environmental disasters. Colorado Floods Causing Fracking Spills?: Natural and Human-made Disasters Portend Future of Toxic Catastrophe | Earth First! Newswire

Is there a media blackout on the fracking flood disaster in Colorado? From an email:

I see you’ve noticed the underwater wells in Weld County, Colorado. Amazing; we’ve emailed the Denver TV stations, other media, and state and local politicians. We’ve sent pictures that our members have taken. It’s like the media and politicians have been TOLD not to say anything about it. There has been no mention of the gas wells on the Denver newscasts either last night or this evening although all stations have had extensive and extended flood coverage. You can see underwater wells in the background of some of the newscast videos, and yet the reporters say absolutely nothing.

Here’s a picture one of our members took yesterday in Weld County, Colorado. We’ve got tons more on our website. Check it out. The tanks are tipping and, in some cases, have fallen over. They have to be leaking toxins into the flood waters. There have to be hundreds if not thousands of underwater well pads in Weld County as a result of the flooding.

Please publicize this in Texas since our media people and politicians have gone silent!

https://www.facebook.com/EastBoulderCountyUnited

East Boulder County United

Lafayette, Colorado

WeldCountyFloatingTank-e1379213713195.jpg

Colorado Floods Causing Fracking Spills?: Natural and Human-made Disasters Portend Future of Toxic Catastrophe | Earth First! Newswire

National Geographic, Sept 14 2013: Amid Drought, Explaining Colorado’s Extreme Floods as the drought weakens absorption capacity of the land.

Navajo flooding in AZ: Dine' Resources and Information Center » Navajo Nation Operation Storm Surge – Volunteers Needed

▶ Raw video: Extreme flooding in Weld County - YouTube

//////

Impending Japanese DoomSphere: With the release of a new Ghost in the Shell series, ARISE [ see http://www.ghostintheshellarise.com/anime/ghost-in-the-shell-arise/borde... ] it is time once again to ponder how the land of the Rising Sun will get into a post-apocalyptic state required of the finest anime.

Fukushima could get flooded once again by Typhoon Man-yi, but perhaps they will have a lucky break. Typhoon hits Japan - fears for Fukushima plant - World - NZ Herald News. Tracking map URL next 12 hours are the Big Deal: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/western-pacific/2013/Tropical-Stor...

Commentary from Michael C Ruppert:

If you are psychologically and emotionally able...

First watch the aerial footage of the flooding around Boulder and Lyons, Colorado (below). Watch all of it, no matter how difficult that might be.

Then read this quote from this posting about Man-yi:

"Man-yi might also inundate Fukushima, where utility crews are struggling to contain highly radioactive water leaking from and flowing under the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and into the Pacific Ocean at an estimated rate of 300 tons a day".

Now understand that the earth at Fukshima has already been horribly compromised by flooding -- for two and a half years straight. The reactor buildings are unstable and ready to fall. The unwelded storage tanks are already failing, and the spent fuel pools are teetering above ground with their ever-present threat of an open-air, uncontrolled fission reaction.

Now add rainfall like what has just hit Boulder... Instead of many huge sections of roadway, bridges and buildings falling away into the torrent, picture the reactor buildings, the fuel pools and all the stored super-radioactive water being washed away, either into the sea, or being scattered and dispersed for hundreds, maybe thousands of miles by 50-60-70 mph winds.

And the hardest thing of all to imagine is the fuel pools collapsing in the middle of a tropical storm or typhoon, triggering an open-air reaction in the middle of all that wind.

Forget all of these other times the cliche "The Perfect Storm" has been used before. […..] When highly complex civilizations fail, they fail spectacularly. The cascade of problems becomes its own Fukushima tsunami. […..]

[CO Flood Post] Words are absolutely inadequate to describe this footage. I could not help continually viewing this as a metaphor, a symbolic viewing, of how difficult it will be to address the life-threatening crises that are bearing down so hard with so much infrastructure gone in so many places.

No matter where we are, this is showing us what our world is going to be resembling in the near future, whether as a result of floods, quakes, radiation, lack of maintenance, lack of resources and ultimately lack of will.

As local, immediate survival becomes a priority almost everywhere, our ability to address the larger issues causing these events collapses, evaporates and is gone with the wind.

Let your heart watch this right beside your mind. One way or another, this is the future for all of us, unless we can all unite on the same page, and at the same levels of consciousness.

AFP-JIJI: Typhoon Man-yi heads for Chubu | The Japan Times: "Man-yi might also inundate Fukushima, where utility crews are struggling to contain highly radioactive water leaking from and flowing under the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and into the Pacific Ocean at an estimated rate of 300 tons a day."

Petition w 1.5K signers right now: STOP FUKUSHIMA RADIATION- UN ACTION NEEDED

Terrible nuclear Olympics of 2020 scheduled: Endless Fukushima catastrophe: 2020 Olympics under contamination threat — RT Op-Edge

ENEnews tracking this like ballers: Fukushima reactor cores may have had “Melt Through to China Syndrome” and went into the earth itself — Includes over 1,500 pounds of plutonium

Tritium levels of groundwater in Fukushima now at their highest - The Japan Daily Press

Sept 13th: Interview: Fukushima melted fuel “could have burned through floor and now in earth underneath reactors”

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Jet Stream climate change: It's not just the CO2 coefficient, it's shifting wind patterns. For animated archives: Animation of Archived Jet Stream Analyses for North America

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Nazis of popular culture: Mr Brand razzed Hugo Boss, the stylists of the Third Reich, prompting a nasty microcosm of larger 'soft fascism' to iterate anew. Well trolled good sir: Russell Brand and the GQ awards: 'It's amazing how absurd it seems' | Culture | The Guardian

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Now for the Misc Linkdump… First: Great Game Roundup: For Sun Sept 15th: Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs Post. Lawrence Wilkerson speculates on Israeli false flag CW operation in Syria: Ex-Bush II Administration Official: Israel could have used Chemical Weapons in Syria | Global Research. Conspiracy lulz: Activist Post: Syria's "Rebels" Threaten UN - Will Use US Weapons.

Five Ways a Wider Syrian War Could Go Nuclear | Common Dreams

SWIFT NSA infiltrations: NSA Successfully Figured Out How to Tap Into VISA’s ‘Complex Transaction Network’ | The Dissenter // Internet snooping: Backdoor dealings | The Economist

Petraeus protests going viral: Protests of David Petraeus's lectures to continue, say CUNY students | World news | theguardian.com

Tech punditry and the attention economy: pretty clutch stuff here, the art of self interested trolling and TED talks. Tech Cyber-Critics

Neat poem:

Shine, Republic by Robinson Jeffers

The quality of these trees, green height; of the sky, shining, of

water, a clear flow; of the rock, hardness

And reticence: each is noble in its quality. The love of freedom

has been the quality of Western man.

There is a stubborn torch that flames from Marathon to Concord,

its dangerous beauty binding three ages

Into one time; the waves of barbarism and civilization have

eclipsed but have never quenched it.

For the Greeks the love of beauty, for Rome of ruling; for the

present age the passionate love of discovery;

But in one noble passion we are one; and Washington, Luther,

Tacitus, Aeschylus, one kind of man.

And you, America, that passion made you. You were not born

to prosperity, you were born to love freedom.

You did not say 'en masse,' you said 'independence.' But we

cannot have all the luxuries and freedom also.

Freedom is poor and laborious; that torch is not safe but hungry,

and often requires blood for its fuel.

You will tame it against it burn too clearly, you will hood it

like a kept hawk, you will perch it on the wrist of Caesar.

But keep the tradition, conserve the forms, the observances, keep

the spot sore. Be great, carve deep your heel-marks.

The states of the next age will no doubt remember you, and edge

their love of freedom with contempt of luxury.

Robinson Jeffers

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Classwar lulz: Watch Barney Frank Leave Wall Street Defenders Speechless

Spacelulz: Searching for the ruins of alien civilisations – Paul Gilster – Aeon

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Lol the Waste Confidence Directorate:

This is email sent Friday Sept 13, 2013 by the NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Hello,

Three important Federal Register notices were published today.

· The NRC’s proposed Waste Confidence rule for public comment: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-21708

· The NRC’s Notice of Availability for the Waste Confidence draft generic environmental impact statement (DGEIS): https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-21715

· The Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice of Availability of the Waste Confidence DGEIS: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-22363

The publication of these notices starts the 75-day public comment period on the Waste DGEIS (http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1322/ML13224A106.pdf) and proposed rule. The public comment period ends on Wednesday, November 27, 2013. Comments received after November 27, 2013, will be considered as practicable. However, the NRC can only guarantee consideration of comments received on or before November 27, 2013.

In addition to presenting oral comments at any of our twelve public meetings, there are many ways to submit written comments on the DGEIS and proposed rule. The NRC gives all comments equal weight, no matter who submits them or how they are submitted. You can submit written comments through any of the methods below.

E-mail comments to Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov, citing Docket ID No. NRC–2012–0246

Submit comments online at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. NRC–2012–0246

(Direct link to comment submission: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NRC-2012-0246-0361)

Mail comments to Secretary

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington, DC 20555-0001

ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff

Fax comments to Secretary

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

301-415-1101, citing Docket ID No. NRC–2012–0246

Hand-deliver comments to 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Federal workdays; telephone 301-415-1677.

If you have any questions about the information in this e-mail please contact Sarah Lopas at (301) 287-0675 or Sarah.Lopas@nrc.gov. For additional details on our 12 public meetings and how to register to attend these meetings, please go to our Waste Confidence Public Involvement webpage: http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd/pub-involve.html.

Thank you,

Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Waste Confidence Directorate

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Financial collapse still impending: With Currency Wars guy Jim Rickards: [KR497] Keiser Report: Deja Fraud | Max Keiser // Portuguese Return to Farming to Counter Unemployment, Austerity - Bloomberg

Neil Young at Tar Sands: 'Fort McMurray is a wasteland': Neil Young slams oil patch, Keystone plans - The Globe and Mail. Alberta politicians as the new Southern Man!

Sad reefs and CO2 bubbles make carbonic acid: Pacific Ocean takes perilous turn | Sea Change: Ocean acidification | The Seattle Times // International Scientists Warn Climate Deniers Are Enabling Earth's Suicide // Image of the Day: Satellite view of record heat wave in China, 5-12 August 2013 // Shitloads of Methane as reptilian alien "They Live" conspiracy bears fruit: Arctic News: Methane reaches 2571 ppb

Some theory: The Absurdity of Authenticity – Nature Bats Last

Fed Chair Baseball: Summers over | Felix Salmon

Cool and clever energy tech may help make new storage systems using basically air and water: Technology - LightSail Energy

Coconut Revolution: ▶ Coconut Revolution - "The world's first successful eco-revolution." - HQ - Full - YouTube

Why not? “Chemtrails Are Happening All Over The World” According to Former British Columbia Premier | Collective-Evolution

Leaving it there for now...

Massive Minnesota Tar Sands Enbridge Line 67 called out by Rep. Hornstein for invalid Certificate of Need at MN Public Utilities Commission; Utah make total win; Felix & Michigan Cats win vs Enbridge Line 6B today!

Set yr hashtags for #fearlessSummer #summerheat cause it's on! Enbridge is a Canadian corporation trying to nail down a disastrous and indeed genocidal tar sands pipeline from Alberta Canada. This would be bigger than the infamous Keystone XL.

Great starting article based on latest events: Climate activists to fossil fuel industry: ‘If you build it, we will come’ by Camila Ibanez.

On the Minnesota front first: It's a bit of a complicated regulatory story - for a rundown and action items start here: http://tc.indymedia.org/2013/jul/dont-keystone-take-action-stop-enbridge...

Posted just now on OccupyMN.org about this with more detailz, plz check it out - http://www.occupymn.org/as-the-enbridgeresistance-grows-a-minnesota-repr...

See earlier: http://www.ienearth.org/oil-in-your-backyard/ (July 18)

Related lines (but not Line 67) are blockaded outside Leonard MN and the camp is awesome. Follow on fedbook: https://www.facebook.com/EnbridgeBlockade - Background story: http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/red-lake-encampment-battl...

http://www.startribune.com/business/215881221.html

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/state-oks-pipeline-change-over-protests

Fortunately just found out today, State Rep. Frank Hornstein has at least gone on record that the Certificate of Need is total BS. He's a pretty good guy.

enbridge-line-67-hornstein.jpg

Here is a backgrounder on the tar sands world market mechanisms from Al Monaco CEO of Enbridge: http://www.northerngateway.ca/news-and-media/northern-gateway-blogs/trad... indicating Hornstein is indeed correct and Enbridge is lying in the MN Certificate of Need.

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In related developments in Utah: Efforts to scatter investors from the potential first US tar sands mine have gotten tons of traction and lots of nifty direct action! http://canyoncountryactioncamp.org/ and on twitter @Peace_Up_ and https://twitter.com/CCRisingTide also https://twitter.com/tarsandsRESIST . Here is the full reportback from @uneditedcamera http://uneditedmedia.com/utah-canyon-country-action-camp/ - please read it!

Just a fantastic video from our dear colleagues! Please pass it on, best direct action in Utah video evar?!

Lol direct action zaps already almost worthless 'penny stock' - take that Capitalist herd navigating betwixt fears & greeds! http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/tar-sands-stock-tanks-after-direct-action-in-utah/ .

TICKER: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=USO.V and great headline: http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/23284210/article-US-Oil-Sands-stock-drops-13--day-nonviolent-direct-action-shuts-down-mine?instance=eeo_report1 "US Oil Sands stock drops 13% day nonviolent direct action shuts down mine".

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In Michigan today something's been going on all day with Michigan Cats! These Lolcats just got the goods with Non Violent Direct Action! On FedBook: https://www.facebook.com/michigancats

main post / live blog: http://www.michigancats.org/daring-aerial-blockade/. on tweeter: https://twitter.com/MichiganCat

This morning, MICATS is taking direct action in the Crane Pond State Game Area to halt expansion of Canadian corporation Enbridge Energy’s tar sands pipeline 6B with an aerial blockade.

LIKE and SHARE if you stand in solidarity with impacted communities, ‪#‎MICATS‬, and all those resisting tar sands infrastructure.

Check out our LIVE updates on our blog! http://www.michigancats.org/

michigancats2.jpg michigancats1.jpg

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California Wut? Also via @revfredsmall "Fantastic 7-min interview w/ my 90yr-old mom arrested at #SummerHeat Richmond Chevron @KALW #CrossCurrents (:59-8:00) http://bit.ly/174YUo9 " - San Fran Chronicle Ecuador communities speak out : http://t.co/99cyAfqdPS . via @carriem213: sit in to get arrested vs fossil fuels . DNow snippet about 200 arrested: http://m.democracynow.org/headlines/2013/8/5/35340

Well it is just great to see things firing on so many cylinders on this issue. Good luck everyone!!!

UPDATE: left out a few things. Oglala Lakota president Brewer arrested in human blockade at White Clay Nebraska - http://youtu.be/08qOoZNohSw .

IDAHO: About 100 in Nez Perce Tribe maintain 2.5 hour rolling roadblock despite 40-50 police officers. Moar here: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/08/photos-nez-perce-rolling-roadblock... . some more updates here: https://www.facebook.com/bigcountrynewsconnection?hc_location=stream

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