Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Pace of Trump's Lies is Increasing!

Counting Mendacious Coup?

Trump has been boasting today that he has answered all of the Special Counsel’s questions - "and I did it all by myself,” he smiled like a good little boy who had done his “big boy” task.  But we know that is just one more falsehood from a person so out of touch with himself and reality that he cannot utter words without dissembling or fabrication.  So sad.  So moronic - for none of us would ever have taken pen to paper while under investigation without a lawyer(s) sitting next to us.  

If there is a pattern to Trump’s quantity of lies, it might be discernible, thanks to Daniel Dale from the Toronto Star.  He counts them.  Not an envious job. Like counting the flies gorging on the murdered body of the Presidency.

But his spirit of deceit took a MAGA-jump in the last month.

From the Toronto Star and reporter/statitician Daniel Dale, who is the Washington Bureau Chief:  “815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s re-midterm dishonesty.”  

For the entire article and list of 815 falsehoods, please read the article

“It took Donald Trump until the 286th day of his presidency to make 815 false claims.
“He just made another 815 false claims in a month."
“In the 31 days leading up to the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Trump went on a lying spree like we have never seen before even from him — an outrageous barrage of serial dishonesty in which he obliterated all of his old records.
“How bad have these recent weeks been?
  • Trump made 664 false claims in October. That was double his previous record for a calendar month, 320 in August.
  • Trump averaged 26.3 false claims per day in the month leading up to the midterm on Nov. 6. In 2017, he averaged 2.9 per day.
  • Trump made more false claims in the two months leading up to the midterms (1,176), than he did in all of 2017 (1,011).
  • The three most dishonest single days of Trump’s presidency were the three days leading up to the midterms: 74 on election eve, Nov. 5; 58 on Nov. 3; 54 on Nov. 4.

“As always, Trump was being more frequently dishonest in part because he was simply speaking more. He had three campaign rallies on Nov. 5, the day before he set the record, and eight more rallies over the previous five days.
“But it was not only quantity. Trump packed his rally speeches with big new lies, repeatedly reciting wildly inaccurate claims about migrants, Democrats’ views on immigration and health care, and his own record. Unlike many of his lies, lots of these ones were written into the text of his speeches.
“Trump is now up to 3,749 false claims for the first 661 days of his presidency, an average of 4.4 per day.
“If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Petition Forces CEO of Noble Charter School's Resignation - About Time


It was back on April 12, 2014, CEO Michael Milkie of Noble Street Charter Schools decided he would grace his students with a rescinding of the $5.00 fee for each infraction requiring detention.  While that appeared a moment of humanistic charity, it was more likely the heat of exposure, General Assembly concerns, and bad press which caused Mr. Milkie to adopt this costume of largesse and caring.  

Now, after protest by both students and parents, Noble Network Chairman  Allan Muchin has announced that Michael Milkie will be gone by January of 2019.  A copy of the petition can be found through an earlier blogpost by Fred Klonsky.

Below, you will find a piece written nearly six years ago warning our readers in the “blogosphere” want was really going on in Charter-World, especially when it comes to pulling in profits for a CEO like Milkie.

From 2012. (HT:FK)

"If you don’t like it – you can leave.”  - (a description of CEO Milkie’s and Mayor Emanuel’s response to questions regarding discipline policies at Noble Street Network School) – Jasmine Sarmiento, Voices of Youth in Chicago Educations.

“Noble is forcing low-income parents to choose between paying the rent and keeping their child in school. This is a tax on Chicago’s Black and Latino families, and it’s wrong..”  -  Donna Moore, parent of a student in Noble Network Schools. 

Charter School Discipline (…or...How to take out the trash, and look real good)

Back in the day, I mean way back in the day, students actually got to determine their own form of discipline – a long piece of green hickory branch usually cut by the very student about to be switched.  This was considered a vast improvement in exchange for the cane used during the 17thand 18thcenturies.  Ah, progress.  

After the mid-nineteenth century, continued disciplinary progress for public students included the paddle, in my own case, hung in plain sight above the principal’s office desk as a reminder of his overt ability to dispense justice in the form of extreme pain.  But I was just one of many south side kids being “taught” and civilized in a continuing grand experiment on a national level. 

Before all of us, even unto the mid 1850’s, education in America was provided primarily to the wealthy, and the overriding sentiment was that the poor were both uneducable and unworthy any attempts at education.  It wasn’t until 1852 that Horace Mann, then Secretary of State for Massachusetts, urged all states to provide education to allstudents, creating what he hoped would be the great equalizer and the ultimate disappearance of poverty.    

Later, the efforts of modernists like Phillipp Emanuel von Fellenberg and Francis Parker (1850’s) promoted concepts that remain current: “modern behavioral modification methods should attempt to address the underlying reasons or motivations for student misbehavior and tailor consequences to fit the (particular) transgression.  School administrators should seek to encourage a positive association with school along with socially acceptable behavior” ( In essence, these movements suggested that learning was best accomplished with support, encouragement and kindness. This was quite the opposite of discipline for being incorrect in answer or deportment.  Remember that word, deportment.

In the early 1900’s, as schooling became mandatory for all American youngsters, teachers found themselves stepping further and further into the roles of parents (in loco parentis), and “one value attached to this development asserted that while adults should be punished for their crimes, children should be rehabilitated for theirs, thus formalizing a beginning to the separation between juvenile misconduct and suffering as its remedy” ( .  I’m often sorry my own principal had not harkened to these findings…but I digress. 

Augmenting these modifications of the kinds of discipline painfully dished out in the working houses and boarding schools of the past, the 20thcentury educator awakened to the concept that education was more than simply transfer; instead, with the assistance of forward thinkers like Rosenblatt, Berne, Spock, etc., psycho-social arguments promoted the student’s own involvement in a transactional paradigm of learning.   In short, teachers and educators moved way from the traditional belief that students learn best by rote and by sitting demurely in linear rows at rigid attention; quite the opposite, best practice now held to a more personalized and interactive learning/teaching construct.

Introducing NOBLE STREET.

The Noble Network of Charter Schools, which runs 10 city high schools and yearns for more after recent school closings, has found an entirely new, novel method of exacting discipline for student “misbehavior.”  This is the same network of schools that Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised for having the “secret sauce” for improving students’ scores, behavior, and success rates.  It would appear that the secret sauce of which the Mayor and Superintendent Brizard crow is in great part actually a monetary disciplinary fee that has raised nearly $400,000 this year for Noble Street, left parents foundering to scrape together fines that are imposed upon them for their own student’s deportment, and has caused the flight of nearly 13% of students from the Noble Street charter schools back into the public system from whence they came – seeking opportunity and assistance to improve their own lots in life and finding failure for disciplinarily high expectations – monetarily? 

In fact, according to the Chicago Tribune (Ahmed-Ullah, Noreen.  Protests targets charter discipline fees. Chicago Tribune. 14 Feb. 2012), the loss of students from the Noble Network schools to other public districts has increased from 211 students in 2010 to 473 students in 2011.  At the same time, CEO Michael Milkie will point glowingly at the Noble Networks improved graduation rates, not surprisingly – from 78.8% in 2010 to 86.2% in 2011.  And CEO Mr. Milkie, who earns an annual salary over $200,000, should be proud of his enterprise’s increased revenue stream.  Noble Street has received almost $400,000 in disciplinary fees since the 2008-2009 school year (Ahmed-Ullah).  George M. Schmidt of Substance Newsreports “the charter company is profiting to the tune of some $200,000 per year from a disciplinary code that can only be called predatory” (   

Following the kind of schema found in the factory/transference models of business and schools of the early 1900’s, Noble Street has implemented the “SMART” disciplinary code.  Here is what SMART’s acronym entails:

S = Sit up straight and be ready to learn.
M= Make eye contact when addressed.
A= Articulate in standard English and speak in proper volume.
R= Respond appropriately.
T= Track the speaker.

Each of these misdemeanors comes with a fine of $5 or more.  In fact, infractions include an unbelievably long list of potential infractions not necessarily spelled out – chewing gum, carrying “chips,” forgetting your belt, tardiness, carrying a marking pen, having an energy drink, making a noise with a pen, etc.  Each infraction (and others) will cost a student $5.00 or more (Rossi, Rosalind. School’s discipline: you act up you pay up. Chicago Sun Times.  14 Feb. 2012).  

By the way, if a student is having a bad day – or time of it – 12 detentions/infractions or more will result in a $140 fine (they call it a fee) to attend an obligatory class on “behavior.”  Additional detentions will result in an additional discipline class for an additional $140. Any student (more likely their family) who cannot pay will be held back from moving on to the next class – regardless of his or her grades.  Please keep in mind that even though Noble Street schools are funded by wealthy benefactors like Penny Pritzker, nearly 90% of the families are low-income (Schmidt, George), and cannot afford the mounting fees for students who are having difficulty adapting to the “SMART” model.  

Unlike the public system, Noble is allowed tougher disciplinary policies than the CPU because it is a charter – remember our earlier changing characterizations of public vs. private when it came to our model Chicago Math and Science Academy (see Vocabulary – Feb 19 & 26).  Meanwhile, CEO Mr. Milkie affirms that SMART and the other “disciplinary policies at NOBLE promote basic, common sense citizenship things, which you know teenagers need” (Golab, Art.

On the national level, school chief Arne Duncan also touts Milkie’s Noble Street agenda and, along with Pritzkers and other wealthy benefactors, endorses the programs used there: “’ We’re dramatically changing the opportunity structure,’ Duncan told Chicagoa few weeks before leaving his CPS post to become the U.S. secretary of education. ‘We have tried to make this [city] a mecca for people who want to make change in public education ‘” (Rodkin, Dennis. Charting a new course. Chicago  29 Feb. 2012). 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

“I Will Order 15,000 Troops to Our Border” (and shift the enormous costs of doing so on a Dept. of Defense already drowning in wars.) 

Yesterday, Trump threatened to send more troops to the US/Mexico border than are currently active in Afghanistan.  USA Today describes this latest diversion as “a boondoggle bigger than the infamous Bridge to Nowhere – an expensive political ploy with no practical purpose.”  

Operation Faithful Patriot will order thousands of our military to be rushed to the border to stop people hundreds of miles away who are walking en masse and seeking political asylum (for which there exist thoughtful legal scrutiny) and desperately trying to flee political and gang violence in their home countries. While independent reports may demonstrate that there are no real threats from this group of asylum-seekers, the President argues we are in danger because he has “heard people talk” or argues that “we (media) cannot deny someone could be dangerous.”  Finally, sandwiching an anti-Democratic advertisement showing a deranged Latino speaking during sentencing, Trump has linked a caravan of impoverished masses seeking help with a partisan and racial opportunity to ignite his political base.  


Please find below a letter published in Common Dreams from Rory Fanning to his fellow active-duty soldiers. 

Background: Rory Fanning, following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion, became one of the first U.S. Army Rangers to resist the Iraq war and the Global War on Terror. In 2008–2009 he walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman foundation. Rory is the author of Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America and co-author of Long Shot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter. He has bylines at Common Dreams, The GuardianThe Nation, and TomDispatch. In 2015 he was awarded a grant from the Chicago Teachers Union to speak to CPS students about America’s endless wars and to fill in some of the blanks military recruiters often ignore about America’s endless wars. As a sponsored lifetime member of Veterans for Peace, Rory has traveled multiple times to Japan on speaking tours to express solidarity with those seeking to abolish nuclear weapons and close U.S. military bases around the world. Rory currently lives in Chicago and works for Haymarket Books. 

The letter is entitled “Your Commander-in-Chief Is Lying to You.”

“To All Active Duty Soldiers:

“Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the U.S. are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country’s elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.

“These extremely poor and vulnerable people are desperate for peace.  Who among us would walk a thousand miles with only the clothes on our back without great cause? The odds are good that your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. lived similar experiences to these migrants. Your family members came to the U.S. to seek a better life—some fled violence. Consider this as you are asked to confront these unarmed men, women and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. To do so would be the ultimate hypocrisy.

“The U.S. is the richest country in the world, in part because it has exploited countries in Latin America for decades. If you treat people from these countries like criminals, as Trump hopes you will, you only contribute to the legacy of pillage and plunder beneath our southern border. We need to confront this history together, we need to confront the reality of America’s wealth and both share and give it back with these people. Above all else, we cannot turn them away at our door. They will die if we do.

“By every moral or ethical standard it is your duty to refuse orders to "defend" the U.S. from these migrants.  History will look kindly upon you if you do. There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down. You are better than your Commander-in-chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone. It is much harder to punish the many than the few.

In solidarity,

Rory Fanning
Former U.S. Army Ranger, War-Resister
Spenser Rapone
Former U.S. Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, War-Resister”

Common Dreamsis currently seeking monetary assistance to maintain its publication.  If you are able, please support this voice of resistance and truth.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trump's Republican Followers in the Senate

How Can I Make $ Off A Vet?

Before there were any real codes of medical conduct or preventative FDA regulations, harsh curative experiments upon various groups of marginalized people and sick victims were kept quietly under wraps.  

The sordid history of such investigations reveals a willingness to discard moral guardrails for personal advancement or arbitrary prospect.

Without oversight or regulation, interest can quickly override rationality.  Here’s an example or two: “Perhaps one benefit of being an inmate at California’s San Quentin prison is the easy access to acclaimed Bay Area doctors. But if that’s the case, then a downside is that these doctors also have easy access to inmates. From 1913 to 1951, Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at San Quentin, used prisoners as test subjects in a variety of bizarre medical experiments. Stanley’s experiments included sterilization and potential treatments for the Spanish Flu. In one particularly disturbing experiment, Stanley performed testicle transplants on living prisoners using testicles from executed prisoners and, in some cases, from goats and boars.”

“In 1939, University of Iowa researchers Wendell Johnson and Mary Tudor conducted a stuttering experiment on 22 orphan children in Davenport, Iowa. The children were separated into two groups, the first of which received positive speech therapy where children were praised for speech fluency. In the second group, children received negative speech therapy and were belittled for every speech imperfection. Normal-speaking children in the second group developed speech problems which they then retained for the rest of their lives. Terrified by the news of human experiments conducted by the Nazis, Johnson and Tudor never published the results of their‘Monster Study.’”

You can find an unsettling number of others at several sites including Best Psychological Degrees. 

You can also find another disturbing illustration of unapproved medical procedures occurring presently in Veteran Affairs, where a Senator from Nevada has secured an opportunity for himself and a company with whom his senior aide has had business connections for many years.

The Senator: Dean Heller.  His opponent: Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen.

Senator Heller is often described as a low-flying member of the Congress who follows closely and sits often near the current President, but remains carefully hidden and unknown.  According to Vox, he aligns with Trump in voting 92% of the time, and he has slashed Nevada’s health care funding by $257 million.  

But, Senator Heller is quick to see an opportunity even if ignorant of FDA regulations regarding the treatment(s) of patients working their way through PTSD issues in various VA hospitals. Senator Heller has been moving doctors at the Veteran Affairs Medical center in Reno, Nevada, to practice a mental health treatment still in experimental stages by a company with ties to his office.  Using the Trump Administration’s invitation for more alternative treatments, the promotion by Heller’s office of CereCare is troubling to the VFW and other organizations as it represents procedures that have not been scientifically demonstrated to be safe or even effective.

According to ProPublica, “The procedure that CereCare was pitching to the VA uses electrical scans of the brain and heart to detect a patient’s “intrinsic brainwave frequency” and find “the area of the brain in need of restoration,” according to materials brought to the meeting. CereCare then uses that data to apply electromagnetic pulses from a machine called a transcranial magnetic stimulator.
“This procedure is off-label, meaning it uses equipment approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but in a way that is not approved by the agency. Off-label procedures are not uncommon or illegal, but the FDA has not signed off on their safety or effectiveness.”
Regulations?  Who needs regulations?  

In fact, we all do.

The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U. S. federal government. Since 1848 the federal government has used chemical analysis to monitor the safety of agricultural products -- a responsibility inherited by the Department of Agriculture in 1862 and by later by the FDA. 
Although it was not known by its present name until 1930, FDA’s modern regulatory functions began with the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act, a law a quarter-century in the making that prohibited interstate commerce in adulterated and misbranded food and drugs--had been the driving force behind this law and headed its enforcement in the early years, providing basic elements of protection that consumers had never known before that time. 
Since then, the FDA has changed along with social, economic, political and legal changes in the United States. Examining the history of these changes illuminates the evolving role that FDA has played in promoting public health and offers lessons to consider as we evaluate current regulatory challenges. 
But in this administration, the match between office and ability has little overlap and certainly not within the procedural treatment of the VA.  Who studied and agreed to the questionable and unapproved treatments for patients in the VA?  The President’s appointee Wisconsin Beer Baron Jake Leinenkugel who has no experience in dealing with treatments for the mentally injured or veterans suffering from war trauma.  In fact, Leinenkugel has also proposed the use of hyperbaric chambers for the assistance to disturbed veterans, but not because of any real scientific proof – just various companies’ lobbying.  
Meanwhile, Jacky Rosen is closing in on Heller’s lead in Nevada.  
Given Trump’s open invitation for alternative procedures, the White House is now under a flood of hopeful medical vendors with new ideas and possible procedures.  And, it is likely that other weak-willed Senators are facing lobbyists and others who have cash and new, improved concepts for alleviating our most sacred captive audience (our veterans) lucrative issues. 
Maybe testicle transplants?
For his own part, Heller has bombastically responded that he will never apologize for supporting policies that could lead to additional treatment options for Nevada veterans because “no one who has served this country should be waiting for care once they return from combat.”   
Draping your connections to a lobby or company in the American flag and the blood of our veterans is despicable. 
If you have friends or family in Nevada, get on the phone now.  Urge them to vote Rosen and why. 
One week to go.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Okay, You Hate Trump, But What Are You For...?

“Okay, You Hate Trump, But What Are You For…?

A couple of days ago, Scott Stantis, editorial cartoonist for the right-leaning board of the Chicago Tribune offered up another of his hastily sketched tropes of weaknesses in the political left’s drive to unseat the Republican hold on the Congress.  I say hastily because I am always drawn to Stantis’ difficulty in drawing hands.  

Take a look, and you’ll find they most often appear without rudimentary fingers, just nubs grasping items in a fist-like squeeze.  I don’t know why it bothers me so much.  Maybe because hands and fingers take time and thought.  And political cartoons should, too.  

Like the hands on his “subjects,” his messages are also underdeveloped and often similarly conservative/right.  Take his pen and ink portrait of October 24, 2018, which strongly suggests that those opposed to Trump (the Democratic Party) have little more than an irrational hatred for the reality-TV star rather any substantive suggestions to better our country.

I guess at this point on October 24, the buck-toothed and white-eyed donkeys in his inking might respond possibly – "health care, no pre-existing conditions, environmental protection of any sort, some regulation on fossil fuel drilling and polluting, a plan to draw in the violence instigated by access to weapons of war, a long-term action plan for climate change, a schema for assimilating those fleeing poverty and violence, fair voting rights for all, a prevention to the rocketing deficit after the tax giveaway, a guarantee that social security and Medicare will remain"…well, I could go on and so could the donkeys.

 But maybe the real answer is this: a respite.  A RESPITE.

We have had enough. We have endured enough.  When the man who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America stated that “the carnage stops now and it stops here.”  Trump did not tell the truth.

HE is the carnage.

Charlottesville was only the start.  After the last week, we have seen what a leader sowing division, disrespect, tribalism, and racism can wring.  And we as a people have been wrung out.

David Remnick, in the New Yorker pens an invaluable comment regarding this man’s inability to take any road but the wrong one, to fail at bringing anyone together in favor of dividing and generating hatred, to identify every crisis as one in which he has been personally targeted unfairly.  

Suggesting that “The Midterm Elections Are a Referendum on Donald Trump,” Remnick writes:

“What is there left to know about Donald Trump? Robert Mueller, various state officials, and a legion of reporters around the country are dedicated to penetrating any stubborn mysteries that still linger, yet who can argue that there is insufficient evidence to make a rational judgment about the character of the man, the nature of his Presidency, and the climate he has done so much to create and befoul?

“Law enforcement will continue to investigate the incident in the days ahead. But what’s already clear is that it occurred at a moment of tragic division and conspiracy-mongering generated, foremost and daily, by the President of the United States. The right has no monopoly on insult and incivility—the online universe can be a sewer of spite—but there is no real equivalence: no modern President has adopted and weaponized such malevolent rhetoric as a lingua franca.

“Trump is a masterful demagogue of the entertainment age. His instruments are resentment, sarcasm, unbounded insult, casual mendacity, and the swaggering assertion of dominance. From his desk in the Oval Office, on Twitter, and at political rallies across the country, he spews poison into the atmosphere. Trump is an agent of climate change, an unceasing generator of toxic gas that raises the national temperature.

“At a rally in Wisconsin, on Wednesday, the President reacted to the news of the multiple bombs with a barely perfunctory call for a ‘civil tone.”’Of course, he didn’t mean it, not remotely. He made it plain that civility is for suckers, a joke. ‘By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving tonight?’ he said, with a smirk. ‘Have you ever seen this? We’re all behaving very well.’ The next morning, in a characteristically brazen tweet, Trump amped up the toxicity. A bomb had been sent to a media outlet. The fault was the media’s. ‘A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,’ he wrote. ‘Mainstream Media must clean up its act, fast!’ At 3 a.m. on Friday, he tweeted his fury at CNN.

“When the leaders of the Republican Party first acquainted themselves with Trump’s rhetoric and character a few years ago, many of them were appalled. Ted Cruz, after hearing Trump insult his wife’s appearance and insinuate that his father bore some responsibility for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, called his rival a ‘pathological liar,’ a ‘snivelling coward.’ But, after Cruz became one more casualty of the 2016 Republican primaries, and reckoned that he could not hold his Senate seat while attacking Trump, he, like almost every other light of the ‘party of Lincoln,’ capitulated. The G.O.P. is now Ted Cruz writ large, a political party that has debased itself in the image of its standard-bearer.

Please read the entire article in the Nov. 5thedition of the New Yorker or on line.  


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Polar Bear Gone By 2100?

I Love Polar Bears.  Do You?

Do you recall the polar bear Aussie at the Brookfield Zoo?  Sue and I loved him.  He was euthanized in 2017 after a life of nearly 32 years at the zoo.

That’s a remarkable life-span for a Polar Bear, but he was a remarkable animal.  My wife and I used to go there to watch him glide effortlessly in the pool of water like a sleek-leviathan Olympian swimmer gliding back to the blocks. Aussie always lifted his back leg in the water in some kind of signature and frivolous show for the audiences.  

Brought to Brookfield from Australia in the 1980’s, Aussie’s life of 32 years would be the equivalent of well over 100 in human years according to then vice president of clinical medicine for the Chicago Zoological Society. 

I hope children today will be able to see such natural wonder.

I hope that such a wonder can remain naturally.

Given the loss of habitat in polar regions, Polar Bears International now predicts the likelihood that two-thirds of Polar Bears will be gone by 2050, and, if unchecked climate change continues, the loss of the wild species by 2100.

But then came Trump, enter stage Far Right.

The current administration is now opening oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  “The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest and wildest of our nation’s wildlife refuges. The Coastal Plain is the biological heart of the Refuge, providing essential habitat for a variety of wildlife, including imperiled polar bears, the Porcupine caribou herd and hundreds of species of migratory birds. It is an area sacred to the Gwich’in nation, who depend on the Refuge for their way of life.” 

In order to satisfy oil companies and locate possible oil reserves in this once protected eco-system, the various companies seeking oil for greater oil corporations will begin a winter assault on the land using seismic explorationsto determine the likelihood of oil reserves.  In other words, companies employed by oil corporations will be making large scale sensor impacts in the banks and grounds to detect possible reserves.  The companies, led by SAExploration, will “along with our partners, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) and Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation (KIC), (be) pleased to submit their plan of operations for the Marsh Creek 3D Program. Together ASRC, KIC, and SAE, through its joint venture with the Kuukpik Corporation (Kuukpik-SAE), are in the process of forming a joint venture, Iñupiat Geophysical Partnership, LLC. SAE is requesting permits on behalf of its partners to conduct a seismic survey within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) beginning during the winter season of 2018- 2019 initially.  My underline

According to many researchers, America is about to become the top producer if crude oil, without needing to drill in the Arctic National Refuge. But American becoming great again is about pillaging, not conserving. 

Unfortunately for the diminishing populations of Polar Bears, this unnecessary search for new oil reserves in a once protected area will negatively affect the many breeding female polar bears which burrow into the snow and land to birth their young in the winter/spring.  It’s not just the habitat; now, it’s their breeding grounds which will be under pressure by exploitation.

Research provided by Steven C. Amstrup indicates that the influence of disturbance, including seismic events over and around Polar Bear dens will result in catastrophic loss of life to younger cubs and new-born cubs during the winter to spring months.  “Reluctance to abandon a den can be viewed as ‘tolerance’ of disturbances near dens, and bears may just hold tight and be fine while industrial activities occur nearby. But when the disturbance is both intensive and expansive, like 3D seismic testing, that apparent tolerance could have negative consequences. Available observations illustrate that some bears will not leave until
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the den is actually invaded. Whether from an innate feeling of security in a den or habituation to noises and vibrations of vehicles moving around them; the ‘comfort level’ many polar bears show with activities outside their dens could result in waiting too long to leave a den when the disturbance is truly dangerous for them. It seems the heavy vehicle and activities associated with surveying the seismic lines only 65 meters from the den described above were the impetus for this bear to emerge, her behavior and other observations suggest however her den could have been runover had the seismic survey path been displaced 65 meters. In that circumstance, even if the female bear was able to leave a den ahead of oncoming vehicles, her departure threshold might have been exceeded so suddenly as to prompt hurried evacuation resulting in cubs being left behind and either crushed or abandoned. “

SAExploration promises to have a biologist hired by SAExplorations on hand to make sure all goes well.  They’ll also listen to concerns by local Native Community people.  Sound promising to you?

Me neither.  

Of course, Republicans and the Koch Bros. have tried over 50 times to get into the ANWR to drill.  Now they’re there.

You might want to call about this if you are concerned.

Department of Energy: Rick Perry – 202 586 5000 

White House: 202 456 1111

The Alaskan Officials involved: 
Ted Smith
Operations Supervisor 907-522-4499 907-301-5434 cell

Suzan Simonds
Permits and Regulatory Manager 907-522-4499
907-331-8140 cell

Rick Trupp
General Manager of Alaska 907-522-4499 
Oversight Panel Suzan Simonds 907-522-4499 907-331-8140 


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Another Comes Forward Re; Kavanaugh

Yet Another Comes Forward Re: Kavanaugh

Is it likely that Kavanaugh’s transgressions represent an entire bank of behavior, not a momentary stumble in one’s life’s experiences.  Given that, we can expect continued information and spectators to his questionable actions to come forward in the next week – and if confirmed – after his ascension to the highest court in the land.  

How one assumes the position of jurist on the Supreme Court of the United States given what has occurred, the partisan firestorm, the accumulating charges and memories of those who recall the man who “loved beer,” becomes difficult for most of us to comprehend. When does one call it an unworthy charge into the Valley of (professional & reputational) Death? When does one look at the family and say, “Enough.”  When does one realize that the current administration will now let him hang and swing rather than admit he was serviceable to their desperate need to find cover from an oncoming investigation.  

Another Yale classmate has come forward to say that Brett Kavanaugh had a drinking problem at college, but he might not be interviewed by the FBI as the White House and the Senate are limiting the investigation to only the four people who were allegedly at the party where Dr. Blasey Ford says she was assaulted by Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge. Two other classmates have come forward to say that Kavanaugh was "belligerent and aggressive" when he drank too much, which apparently was not a rare occurrence. They are not on the list to be interviewed. Nor are his roommates, who said that he frequently puked in their bathroom because of his drunkenness. (Kavanaugh said at the hearing that he has a sensitive stomach.)

The New York Times also reports:

“WASHINGTON — A Yale classmate of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s accused him on Sunday of a “blatant mischaracterization” of his drinking while in college, saying that he often saw Judge Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption.”
The classmate, Chad Ludington, who said he frequently socialized with Judge Kavanaugh as a student, said in a statement that the judge had been untruthful in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee when he had denied any possibility that he had ever blacked out from drinking.
Mr. Ludington said that Judge Kavanaugh had played down “the degree and frequency” of his drinking, and that the judge had often become “belligerent and aggressive” while intoxicated. Other former classmates have made similar claims.
“It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges,” Mr. Ludington said, adding that he planned to “take my information to the F.B.I.”
Mr. Ludington, a professor at North Carolina State University who appears to have made small political contributions to Democratic candidates, said to The New York Times on Sunday that he had been told by the F.B.I.’s Washington, D.C., field office that he should go to the bureau’s Raleigh, N.C., office on Monday morning. He said he intended to do that, so he could “tell the full details of my story.”
It is illegal to lie to Congress. But it was unclear whether the F.B.I. would add Mr. Ludington’s accusations to the newly reopened background investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh, which has been limited in scope and time by the White House and Senate Republicans.
The White House had no immediate comment about Mr. Ludington’s accusations.
Even before Mr. Ludington’s statement, Democrats in Washington reacted with anger on Sunday as the narrow scope of the new F.B.I. background inquiry became clear, warning that it threatened to become a sham...
Democrats have cast the initial list of those to be interviewed as falling short of a full examination of the allegations. The four witnesses are Mark Judge and P.J. Smyth, high school friends of Judge Kavanaugh’s; Leland Keyser, a high school friend of one of Judge Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford; and Deborah Ramirez, another of the judge’s accusers.
A lawyer for Dr. Blasey, who riveted the nation on Thursday as she recounted before the Judiciary Committee what she said was a rape attempt by a drunken Judge Kavanaugh when they were in high school, said on Sunday that she had not been contacted by the F.B.I.
“We have not heard from the F.B.I. despite repeated efforts to speak with them,” Debra S. Katz, the lawyer, said in a brief telephone interview Sunday morning.”