Saturday, April 4, 2015

Oil by rail or by Pipeline? You decide.

Accidents Surge as Oil Industry Takes the Train


Continue reading the main story Slide Show


Slide Show|10 Photos

In North Dakota Town, Virtual Pipelines Prompt Concern

In North Dakota Town, Virtual Pipelines Prompt Concern

CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

What was first seen as a stopgap measure in the absence of pipelines has become a fixture in the nation’s energy landscape — about 200 “virtual pipelines” that snake in endless processions across the horizon daily. It can take more than five minutes for a single oil train, made up of about 100 tank cars, to pass by Kerry’s, giving this bedroom community 20 miles west of Fargo a front-row seat to the growing practice of using trains to carry oil.
“I feel a little on edge — actually very edgy — every time one of those trains passes,” said Kerry Radermacher, who owns the coffee shop. “Most people think we should slow the production, and the trains, down.”
Casselton is near the center of the great oil and gas boom unleashed these last few years. And it has seen up close how trains have increasingly been used to transport the oil from the new fields of Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota, in part as a result of delays in the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. About 400,000 carloads of crude oil traveled by rail last year to the nation’s refineries, up from 9,500 in 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads.
But a series of recent accidents — including one in Quebec last July that killed 47 people and another in Alabama last November — have prompted many to question these shipments and have increased the pressure on regulators to take an urgent look at the safety of the oil shipments.
In the race for profits and energy independence, critics say producers took shortcuts to get the oil to market as quickly as possible without weighing the hazards of train shipments. Today about two-thirds of the production in North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil field rides on rails because of a shortage of pipelines. And more than 10 percent of the nation’s total oil production is shipped by rail. Since March there have been no fewer than 10 large crude spills in the United States and Canada because of rail accidents. The number of gallons spilled in the United States last year, federal records show, far outpaced the total amount spilled by railroads from 1975 to 2012.
Continue reading the main story

Moving More Oil Over Rails

As domestic oil production has increased rapidly in recent years, more and more of it is being transported by rail because of the lack of pipeline capacity. The trains often travel through populated areas, leading to concerns among residents over the hazards they can pose, including spills and fires.



400
thousand
Number of oil freight railroad cars
300
Some major oil freight railroad lines
Casselton
200
Glenwood
100
Portage
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Milwaukee
Chicago
’05
’07
’09
’11
’13
Kansas
City
3.0
billion barrels
Shale plays
Topeka
St. Louis
U.S. oil field
production
2.5
Parsons
Dexter Junction
Stroud
Bakersfield
El Reno
2.0
Memphis
Midwest City
Little Rock
Pine Bluff
1.5
Fort Worth
Monroe
Odessa
Share transported by rail
1.0
Hearne
Houston
St. James
Harwood
0.5
Galveston
10%
Gardendale
7%
0.0
2%
1%
’05
’07
’09
’11
’13

Railroad executives, meeting with the transportation secretary and federal regulators recently, pledged to look for ways to make oil convoys safer — including slowing down the trains or rerouting them from heavily populated areas. (Trains go up to roughly 35 miles an hour through towns and at higher speeds outside populated areas.) They also agreed to speed up a review of tougher standards for the train cars used for oil. And last Thursday, safety officials urged regulators to quickly improveindustry standards.                 Continue reading the main story
“This is an industry that has developed overnight, and they have been playing catch-up with the infrastructure,” said Deborah A. P. Hersman, the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the Casselton accident. “A lot of what we’ve seen could have been a lot worse.”
But given the fragmented nature of the business — different companies produce the oil, own the rail cars, and run the railroads — there is no firm consensus on what to do. And few analysts expect new regulations this year.
“There was no political pressure to address this issue in the past, but there clearly is now,” said Brigham A. McCown, a former administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. “Producers need to understand that rail-car safety can become an impediment to production.”
The stakes are high. In five years, domestic oil production has jumped by 50 percent, to reach 7.5 million barrels a day last year.
But with little pipeline infrastructure, energy producers had to scramble for new ways to get their oil to refiners. Rail was the answer.
“The reality is that this came out of nowhere,” said Anthony B. Hatch, a rail transport consultant. “Rail has gone from near-obsolescence to being critical to oil supplies. It’s as if the buggy-whips were back in style.”
Far more toxic products are shipped on trains. But those products, like chlorine, are transported in pressurized vessels designed to survive an accident. Crude oil, on the other hand, is shipped in a type of tank car that entered service in 1964 and that has been traditionally used for nonflammable hazardous liquids like liquid fertilizers.
Safety officials have warned for more than two decades that these cars were unsuited to carry flammable cargo: their shell can puncture and tears up too easily in a crash.
In 2009, a train carrying ethanol derailed and exploded, killing one person in Cherry Valley, Ill. The National Transportation Safety Board said the inadequate design of the tank cars made them “subject to damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous materials.”
After that accident, railroads and car owners agreed in 2011 to beef up new cars with better protections and thicker steel. But they resisted improving safety features on the existing fleet because of cost. They also argued that thousands of new cars were being ordered anyway, so it would be just a matter of time before the fleet was replaced.
But analysts said that time has run out; railroads and car owners can no longer ignore the liabilities associated with oil trains, which could reach $1 billion in the Quebec accident.
“Quebec shocked the industry,” Mr. Hatch said, adding that while rail safety has improved over all, “the consequences of any accident are rising.”

Last November, the Association of American Railroads said it would support requiring that the 92,000 tank cars used to transport flammable liquids, including crude oil, be retrofitted with better safety features or “aggressively phased out.”
While the safety record of railroads has improved in recent years, the surge in oil transportation has meant a spike in spill rates. From 1975 to 2012, federal records show, railroads spilled 800,000 gallons of crude oil. Last year alone, they spilled more than 1.15 million gallons, according to an analyis of data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration done by McClatchy Newspapers. That figure includes the Casselton spill, estimated at about 400,000 gallons.
The accidents have also created a sense of weariness among elected officials and even staunch oil backers.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, insisted that the first priority was improving tank cars. “These exploding tank cars are obviously very powerful and very dangerous,” he said.
Here too, the warnings came too late.
Federal regulators started analyzing samples from a few Bakken wells last year to test their flammability. In an alert issued on Jan. 2, P.H.M.S.A. said the crude posed a “significant fire risk” in an accident.
The Federal Railroad Administration also pointed to rising numbers of oil cars that showed a “form of severe corrosion” on the inside of the tanks, covers and valves.
After the recent meeting with regulators, the American Petroleum Institute pledged it would share its own test data about the oil, which they have said is proprietary.
While the tank cars themselves have not caused any accident, they failed to contain their cargo. That happened on the outskirts of Casselton when a 106-car oil train crashed into a soybean train that derailed on a parallel track.
In a preliminary report, the N.T.S.B. said 18 of the 20 oil tank cars that derailed were punctured. Much of the oil spilled was incinerated by the explosions, and some soaked into nearby corn fields.
Aside from evacuating nearby farms, there was little the fire department could do but watch the train burn.
Tim McLean, Casselton’s fire chief, pictured what the town would look like if an oil train derailed. The large propane supply tank would explode “like a bomb” and incinerate two multifamily houses next to it. Five blocks to the west are a lumber yard and two gasoline stations. Oil might accumulate in storm sewers and possibly spread a fire underground.

“There’s virtually no way we could protect these buildings,” he said as he passed the barber shops, drugstore and pizza parlor, all occupying sturdy brick buildings more than a century old. “It would be too hot.”
The terror of what might have happened hit many here immediately.
Adrian Kieffer, the assistant fire chief, rushed to the accident and spent nearly 12 hours there, finishing at 3 a.m. “When I got home that night, my wife said let’s sell our home and move,” he said.
Correction: February 2, 2014
An article last Sunday about the dangers posed by increased shipping of crude oil by rail omitted credit for a data analysis showing the quantity of oil spilled in rail shipments in 2013. It was done by McClatchy Newspapers, using data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. It was not analyzed by the administration itself. In addition, an accompanying chart omitted a label in one section. The bar chart of oil freight rail cars should have indicated the numbers were in thousands. The article also described the Casselton spill incorrectly in relation to last year’s spillage. The 400,000 gallons spilled at Casselton was included in the overall 1.15 million gallons spilled; it was not excluded. And a credit for a picture of a fiery rail accident in Casselton, N.D., in December misidentified the photographer. The picture was taken by Dawn Faught, a local photographer — not by the son of a coffee shop owner on whose phone it appeared

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Socialism and Totalitarism? Sure looks like it to me.

With a grocery bills priced as high as $1,300 per month as of late, some American workers simply cannot afford all of their groceries on top of everything else they already have to buy. This is why the government offers food stamps.
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The USDA Food and Nutrition Service reports that as of September 2014, there were around 46.5 million individual food stamp recipients (22.7 million households) receiving an average benefit of $123.74 each (around $257 per household).
To be eligible, a household has to earn a gross income amount that’s less than 130% of the poverty level, or a net income amount (gross income minus deductions) that’s less than 100% of the poverty level for their family size.
This means, a single person can be eligible for food stamps if his or her gross monthly income is under $1,265 ($15,180 per year), and a family of four can be eligible if they gross less than $2,584 per month ($31,008 per year). The applicant also can’t be a wealthy person who simply doesn’t have a steady income source. So, if the applicant has thousands of dollars sitting in the bank, for instance, they won’t apply as cash assets are considered as well.
So overall, the program makes perfect sense on paper. It sounds completely reasonable: If you earn too little money, you can temporarily receive a card for your groceries for a while. Food stamps help millions of individuals and families, but the corresponding billions of dollars that the program costs make some taxpayers critical of it.
A taxpayer’s view of the welfare system depends on many factors — his or her upbringing, personal experiences, and even where he or she lives. In some areas of the country, food stamp use is more common than in others.
We’ve created a list of the states that have the most food stamp recipients per capita. To determine the states on this list, we used the USDA Food Nutrition Service’s most recent state-by-state data, coupled with population data from the Census Bureau. States with the highest number of food stamp participants relative to population ranked highest. We’ve also included a state-by-state breakdown of food stamp use in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

States with the most people on food stamps

(Information is current as of February, 2015. Rankings have also changed to reflect current data.)

7. Louisiana

  • Number of food stamp recipients: 877,340
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 18.87%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $108.22 million
  • Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $23.27

6. West Virginia

  • Number of food stamp recipients: 362,501
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 19.59%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $44.71 million
  • Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $24.17 per person

5. Tennessee

  • Number of food stamp recipients: Just over 1.31 million
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 20.04%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $161.9 million
  • Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $24.72

4. Oregon

  • Number of food stamp recipients: 802,190
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 20.21%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $98.96 million
  • Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $24.92 per person

3. New Mexico

  • Number of food stamp recipients: 430,622
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 20.65%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $53.12 million
  • Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $25.47 per person

2. District of Columbia

  • Number of food stamp recipients: 142,707
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 21.66%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $17.6 million
  • Estimated cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $26.72 per person

1. Mississippi

  • Number of food stamp recipients: 656,871
  • Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 21.94%
  • Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $81.03 million
  • Estimated cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $27.06 per person
food stamp chart final feb 2015
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Graphic by Erika Rawes//data from Census and USDA

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Assimilation or infiltration?

I copied this post from the Tea party review that is sent to me evry month. I found this VERY interesting and MOST LIKELY TRUE..  Yes I am still a member of the Tea party yes I do believe in smaller government less government intrusion into private lives, Less taxes, Personal responsibility, and The constitution.
 I now share this with those of you that would read it.


The new illegal aliens are “seedlings” that will develop a “country within a country,” is the secret Obama administration plan. These foreigners will “navigate, not assimilate,” as they eventually “take over the host,” coming “out of the shadows” and “pushing the citizens into the shadows.” So said radio personality Sue Payne last Thursday, reporting on three conference calls involving administration officials that she, unbeknownst to them, was party to.
Payne, who co-hosts the Pat McDonough Radio Show Saturday night on WCBM 680, made the startling allegations while being interviewed by radio giant Mark Levin. Payne says that she became privy to the phone calls at an immigration rally and that they involved 16 Obama administration representatives. This allegedly included Cecilia Muñoz, an ex-senior vice president for the Hispanic triumphalism group National Council of La Raza (La Raza means “the Race”) and now director of Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council. When asked to summarize what she heard, Payne began:
Well, what took place on the call was there was the Task Force on New Americans [TFNA], which Obama established on November 21st; remember when he went to Las Vegas the media said he was signing an executive order for five million illegal aliens to become deferred. In reality what he did was sign a “memorandum” that created the Task Force on New Americans, which was going to implement his amnesty mill for the five million illegals, which I believe is going to be more than that, Mark. I believe he [Obama] was planning, and on these conference calls it became clear, that he’s looking at 13 to 15 million to give protection [to] and move ... on to citizenship.

After pointing out that ex-La Raza operative Muñoz is co-chairing the TFNA, Payne explained that once the illegals are brought “out of the shadows,” the areas they’re in will be redesignated “receiving communities.” But while the TFNA is designed to create a “welcoming feeling” in these receiving communities, they will soon be transformed into what are labeled “emerging immigrant communities.” To accomplish this, the officials said “We need to start looking at the immigrant as a ‘seedling,’ and the seedling could grow, and the seedling needs to be in fertile soil,” related Payne.
Levin then asked what the plan’s next step was. Payne replied:
Well, eventually the seedlings will take over the host. And the immigrants will come out of the shadows, and what I got from the meetings was that they would be pushing the citizens into the shadows. They would be taking over the country; in fact, one of the members of the task force actually said that we would be developing a country within a country. There was a couple of buzz words that were really disturbing to hear; that was one of them. One was from the White House spokesman [who] said that “immigrants need to be made aware of the benefits they are entitled to,” which led to another comment saying that this group that Obama is going to pardon or give amnesty to would not be interested in assimilating — they would navigate, not assimilate.
Levin then remarked that this is right out of Obama’s playbook — as he doesn’t talk about assimilation, either — and said this process is better characterized as “conquering.” Payne agreed, saying this became very clear when it was stated, as she put it, that “the receiving communities would be morphing into the emergent immigrant communities.” She then provided details about the benefits to which the foreign “navigators” would be entitled, relating:
As soon as this [amnesty] decision is pushed through, these immigrants need to be treated as “refugees” [said the officials]. They need to be given cash, they need medical care, they need to use a credit card to pay for any documents that they need. And also we need to convince state and local governments to cut these people no interest loans with taxpayer dollars, so they can then pay for their papers, as if we were funding our own destruction here.
... [The officials also] said there was going to be a great deal of older immigrants in this batch ... and that the government should understand that immigrants need to “age successfully.”... And we need to get them into Social Security as soon as possible, so they can age successfully within their country within a country.
Levin called Payne’s allegations “stunning,” saying it sounded like “Mao’s China” and that the “radicals are in control.” But this scheme comes as no shock to observers who have been warning for years that massive immigration — and illegal migration — are being used to import left-leaning voters and transform our nation. Note that the Immigration Reform and Nationality Act of 1965 radically altered our immigration regime and created a situation in which 85 percent of our immigrants now hail from the Third World and Asia. Also understand that, perhaps owing to their wanting understanding of the Western tradition, approximately 70 to 80 percent of these new migrants vote for leftist Democrats upon being naturalized.
And occasionally a leftist lets this truth slip. For example, reporting late last month on comments made at an event sponsored by Causa, a prominent Oregon pro-amnesty group, Breitbart wrote, “‘Immigration reform [amnesty] is probably the biggest issue of the 21st century,’ Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) reportedly said at an ‘Immigration Day Action’ event this weekend. ‘It will decide who is in charge of this country for the next 20 or 30 years.’”
The operative principle here is, “If you can’t get the people to change the government, change the people.” And Obama himself alluded to this early last month. As the Daily Caller put it:
The spread of vibrant social diversity is constricting the GOP’s ability to champion conservative causes, such as smaller government and independent families, President Barack Obama said in a softball media interview.
“Over the long term, I’m pretty optimistic, and the reason is because this country just becomes more and more of a hodgepodge of folks,” Obama told Vox editor Ezra Klein.
... That diversity hinders conservative priorities, he said.
So this strategy of targeting Western countries with massive immigration in order to usher in leftist hegemony is well known among those orchestrating the strategy — wherever the scheme is worked. Just consider, for instance, an even more striking admission by a former advisor to ex-British prime minister Tony Blair. The man is Labour Party operative Andrew Neather, and he confessed in 2009 that the massive immigration into the United Kingdom over the last 15 years was designed to “rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”
And so it is in the United States. Providing 10 to 15 million illegals instant citizenship via amnesty would greatly accelerate the “fundamental transformation” of America Obama promised in 2008. Note, by the way, that a “fundamental” is not window dressing but the “essential part of” something, itsfoundation or basis.” If you say your wife needs fundamental change, it means you don’t like her very much — and you want to alter the very essence of who she is

Monday, November 18, 2013

                                         WHAT DOES MY COUNTRY OWE ME?

   Today when I look around I see so many people with the idea in their heads that their country owes them something.....Lets go back to the basics, lets go back to the founding father and see just what is owed by this country to it's CITIZENS.
   To come to the new world was an opportunity, an opportunity to WORK hard and make a living out from under TYRANNY....There was no welfare, there was no unemployment, there was NOTHING but the sweat off your brow and the muscles in your back, Those things were guaranteed.
   When the declaration of INDEPENDENCE (free from oppressive government) was written until to-day our rights have been SPELLED OUT...In order to make some of the points clearer there was written and ratified a BILL of rights as well as a GOVERNMENT constitution ALL of which spelled out our rights. There was no welfare included in those documents, there was no unemployment, nor Medicaid or ANYTHING ELSES that was socialist in theory. Just a right to work hard be free and get ahead if you could, you were expected to take care of your own and do for yourself...This country also was based on CAPITALISM and by the very nature of capitalism some will be enriched and some will fail but the opportunity is there for all. Capitalism also allows for the control of the markets unless interfered with by government(which we have done to a large degree).
     The government has no business telling me what to buy, It has no business telling others what they can sell nor how to sell it and market it, In fact the government has no business in MY business unless the business I am conducting is ILLEGAL...
      This country was founded on the principal of FREEDOM AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, which seems to be in less demand to-day that it was in 1776.  We have fought wars for freedom and to end TYRANNY and oppression yet here we are to-day allowing the very things we fought against to infiltrate and take over our country.
      Plainly put I see it like this, You do not have the right to welfare(welfare is only to help those in need and should ONLY be for a short time) You do NOT have the right to unemployment, if you lose your job go somewhere else and work, can't find work then either MOVE or get more training.
    It should be your responsibility as a family to take care of your elderly that said however Medicare should be CLOSELY monitored and Medicaid non-existent....YES let the poor fall back on a private donor or short term assistance.
This country owes no body ANYTHING except the right to work and attempt to get ahead and ENJOY their life......The rest is up to you.....Of course you can bring in socialism and let the government control every aspect of you lives but history has PROVEN that will turn to COMMUNISM and some of the people WILL REVOLT---------AGAIN.

 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Cancer,
  Yes Cancer, that horrifying heart stopping word. So it should be, however it is not necessarily the end of life. Quite the contrary it may well be the beginning of renewed life in that like myself one gets up and gets going. I always did go but now I go even harder. I am wandering a little so lets go back to the beginning.
   In approx. 2011 I had a lesion on my neck that was bothering me so I went to the Dr. He looked at it and diagnosed it as "Basil Carcinoma" which is just basic skin cancer, EASILY taken care of. How ever he spotted some dark spots that bothered him(not me as I didn't even feel them) he did a biopsy on these and sure enough they were MELANOMA's Now we are talking a more serious type of cancer, These must be surgically removed as they can metastasize into other cancers in different parts of the body...Still these are relatively easy to remove, I had four removed and that was that. NOW comes the next phase.
I had a PSA(Prostate specific antigen)test that came back a little high,6.5 Now in it self that is no big thing, according to the doctor it most likely was an infection called prostatitis. There are some studies that say PSA scores are useless HOWEVER keep reading and you will se that was NOT true in my case.  This PSA thing went on for a year up and down getting as high as 13 and back to 6 but never where it belongs,2 or less. I finally insisted on seeing a urologist (now VA which was my primary care medical coverage) does NOT like to refer to outpatient clinics so they had me wait until they had a Urologist available to see me (three months) This Doctor determined an ultra sound was necessary. Then came the sorta bad news, She informed me that my prostate LOOKED like it could be cancerous so she was scheduling a biopsy...WONDERFUL! now comes the shock, I walked away in a daze, I didn't know what to say and even more important I didn't know what to do. I decided to wait and see, after all there could be a mistake.  Well the Biopsy showed there was no mistake, The prostate gland was 70% cancerous and MUST be removed...Now comes the decision, I also have congestive heart failure and in any surgery there is swelling and fluid retention(EDEMA) it was decided I probably would survive the surgery(removing the prostate) but not the edema, therefore I was being referred to the SLETTEN CANCER INSTITUTE.
Now this was both interesting and scary as I did not think that radiation was really an answer. but I went anyway(didn't really have a choice)
Slettens did a work up coordinated chemical treatments with the VA after which they performed nine weeks of what is called narrow beam radiation. This is a space age technology that utilizes a narrow particle beam that is shot to nine different spots on the prostate. TOTALLY PAINLESS I would go in for treatment and literally go snowmobiling as soon as I got out of the office.  This took 20 minutes a day five days a week(I was moderate risk) then all treatment stopped. I have had three PSA tests to date and so far I am cancer free.
Point is (rather long winded) Cancer is NOT the end, it started me walking three miles a day(which I do still) it started me paying attention to my body and it was defeatable.
Those of you that read this I give you this advice, If you have consistently high PSA scores DEMAND an ultrasound or a biopsy. If you are found to be positive for cancer then ASK about treatments available. I have a friend that had his surgically removed and it took a couple of months, a painful catheter and rehabilitation NOT FUN...If radiation is available such as narrow beam radiation Like I received from Slettens Cancer institute THAT is the way to go. Side effects?   tiredness which I overcame by pushing harder when walking and energy drinks.
Prostate cancer is no fun BUT it is not the end  either....Today so far so good. Those of you reading this and think you may have a problem, GET IT CHECKED before it is too late.
Good luck.















 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The lawlessness of Obama and the left.


The lawless Obama administration is brazenly endangering the country to prove a political point.
Because the word “sequester” sounds more like a bronchial infection than a governmental disaster, President Obama failed to terrorize House Republicans into raising taxes in order to avoid it.
They tried everything they could think of to scare us. We’d have meat shortages because federal inspectors would be laid off, long lines at airport security stations would get longer because the TSA molesters would be cut back. Education Secretary Arne Duncan earned four “Pinocchios” from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column for brazenly lying about teachers he said were already being laid off in West Virginia.
Duncan, for all his faults, is relatively harmless. The same cannot be said about Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department has begun releasing criminal illegal aliens — which for this discussion is not redundant — from the jails where they were being held pending deportation. Even before Friday, when the $85 billion in cuts took effect, Napolitano’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement began releasing criminal illegal aliens among the public.
It’s the Obama administration’s “sequester amnesty,” which endangers the public to make a political point.
Pinal County, Arizona, is about seventy miles from the Mexican border. It’s larger than Connecticut, running south and east from the city of Mesa. Its sheriff, Paul Babeu, is a tough guy in a very tough place. And both his job and his county are made a lot tougher by ICE’s release of an unknown number of these criminal illegals, people who were held pending deportation because their criminal records made them “inadmissible” into the United States.
Arizona is high on Obama’s list of enemies. It’s the state Obama’s Justice Department sued to set aside the state law that enables the arrest and detention of illegal aliens. The Supreme Court struck down part of the law, but left in place the part that allows state law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they’ve stopped for other reasons.
Obama’s position is that federal law preempts any state law to control illegal immigration and any state action for which the state lacks federal permission is impermissible.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, is trying to deal with that one-way street. I interviewed him on the Roger Hedgecock radio show last Thursday. What Sheriff Babeu told me is shocking. It confirms that our government is now willing to endanger public safety to prove a political point.
In December 2012, Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had more than 33,000 illegal aliens in custody pending deportation. These aren’t people who were arrested just because they were illegal aliens. They are criminals, held by ICE because they were convicted of separate crimes, usually serious felonies, and held after they’d served their sentences until they could be deported. Others have long criminal records in their own countries who came here to do more of what they did at home.
Federal law allows these people to be held for up to six months pending deportation. Some, from nations such as Pakistan, are held for that long — and should be held longer - because their country of origin won’t issue travel documents enabling their return. The non-cooperating nations are content to leave their problems with us, be they terrorists or drug traffickers.
The federal government says there are 11 to 12 million illegals in the United States. Sheriff Babeu told me that 300-500 of the 34,000 criminal illegals held in pre-deportation detention were released into his county two weekends ago.
Janet Napolitano said that ICE won’t be able to maintain 34,000 criminal illegals in custody — not because of legal limitations on incarceration, but because of the sequester. In a statement to the press last week, she said, “Look, we’re doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester. But there’s only so much I can do,” Napolitano said. “I’m supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those? We want to maintain 22,000-some odd Border Patrol agents. I got to be able to pay their salaries.”
Babeu told me that neither he nor the county’s police chiefs were given notice of the release. “The doors swung open and there they go,” he said.
I asked Babeu if he even knew who these people were. He said that he’s asked for that information numerous times, including by letter, and ICE has refused to tell him. “These people were released into the community. We don’t know their names, we don’t know what charges they were held on or their criminal history.” He added, “But we do know this: this is the same group that Janet Napolitano and Barack Obama have all agreed that these are the worst of the illegals.”
ICE is saying that some of these illegals were released on terms that supposedly provide some supervision. Sheriff Babeu is, to say the least, skeptical
“They’re saying that they’re going to put them on supervised release, meaning some of them wear an ankle bracelet or they have to check in with authorities. Are you kidding me? These people have broken the law countless times and now they’ve got their chance. They’re out of prison.”
He added, “There’s no incentive for them to report in because what’s the worst thing we can do to them? Deport them?”
Sheriff Babeu apparently learned from ICE and Border Patrol agents who called him unofficially. He said, “Good people who work for ICE, work for Border Patrol, they call me all the time.…They said, ‘Sheriff, help us. We’re releasing all these criminals. This order just came down from Washington and now they’re all out in the streets.”
Which streets? It’s improbable that Pinal County is the only place where criminal illegals are being set free. He’s asked about that, too, and the federal bureaucrats won’t tell him.
So we don’t know how many criminal illegal aliens — criminals because they’ve committed serious crimes other than illegally entering the United States — are being set free around the country. According to an Associated Press report, Homeland Security has released over 2,000 of these dangerous illegals since February. Of the 34,000 held by ICE in December, how many more will be turned loose to endanger the American people, because the Obama regime wants to punish us for the sequestration of $85 billion out of the nearly $4 trillion the government will spend this year?
The release of criminal illegal aliens is probably illegal itself. Under our muddled immigration law, Napolitano has the authority to release illegal aliens individually when her department determines that they pose no danger to public safety. But mass releases, such as the one into Pinal County, are beyond her power.
The only answer to this is for Sheriff Babeu — perhaps joined by other concerned law enforcement officers around the country — to sue Napolitano to stop the releases. That lawsuit would reveal who the illegals are, what crimes they’ve committed before, and just who within ICE, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, or possibly the White House ordered the releases.
Congress won’t find the answers to these questions no matter how hard it tries. The House subpoena on “Fast and Furious” was blocked by Obama’s claim of executive privilege when Congress held Attorney General Holder in contempt. The Benghazi investigation is still incomplete, the survivors of the terrorist attack on our diplomatic outpost held — or, more technically, sequestered — out of congressional investigators’ reach.
The only answer is “sue the bastards.” Get a federal judge to issue an injunction against further releases and to compel answers to Babeu’s questions. He, and the rest of the law enforcement community, are entitled to know who was released, what crimes they had committed before, and where these people were when last seen. They have to know these things if they’re going to do their duty to protect their communities.
Gene Sperling, Obama’s top economic adviser, was wandering around the Sunday talk shows blaming Republicans for the sequester. He said Republicans are to blame for all the harm that results from the sequester. After Napolitano’s release of criminals from ICE incarceration, that’s a bolder lie than Arne Duncan’s.
We are living in an era of government lawlessness that is unprecedented in our history. Obama and his minions will do whatever they like, whenever they can, to make political points. In this case, only the courts can stop them.

Apparently we the people have no voice any longer as the left has corrupted the voting process and fights against repairing it. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Obama fiddled



This fellow has the correct view of what is happening in our country and to our government to day. I personally agree with him and see no way to stop the decline. It is said that everything changes through out the ages and time, perhaps that MUST be so with man and his government, or governments. Through out time man has gone through basically the same governments over and over yet NONE prevail and are enduring. Perhaps the Roman government lasted the longest. All governments seem to head for destruction as soon as they are formed and they all show the SAME characteristics in going to their demise. This found in the American Spectator- Enjoy?--          
 Rocco0607.
It took Rome a lot longer.
“….the Roman government appeared everyday less formidable to its enemies, more odious and oppressive to its subjects. The taxes were multiplied with the public distress; economy was neglected in proportion as it became necessary…. (sound familiar?)If all the barbarian conquerors had been annihilated in the same hour, their total destruction would not have restored the empire of the West: and if Rome still survived, she survived the loss of freedom, of virtue, and of honour.”Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
In New York City and Philadelphia “flashmobs” rob and vandalize newsstands and stores. This is a national phenomenon. In Chicago, the police department now won’t immediately respond to 911 calls if they involve post-burglaries, petty, or non-violent crimes. They’re too busy dealing with the daily carnage that is the nation’s highest murder rate, one that bested the number of military fatalities recorded in Afghanistan in 2012. When crazy people shoot up movie theaters and elementary school classrooms, we’re told it’s the gun’s fault. On a lighter note, the Wall Street Journal recently informed us that the demands of hip-hop fashion dictates that boys insist — despite the protestations of Mom, Dad, and school administrators — on wearing shorts to school in bitter winter weather. The girls prefer flip flops as their toes turn blue while waiting for the school bus. “Things fall apart; The centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” (William Butler Yeats).
The schools are an administrative and intellectual wreck, and kids not knowing how to even dress themselves is a good metaphor for their current state. Those students, especially those of college age, are subject to that ironclad liberal orthodoxy of cultural Marxism commonly called political correctness, with resulting hate speech codes, the gist of which is that the kids are taught to despise America’s institutions, civic traditions, and the very constitutional sinews of free speech and opinion. Anyway, the latter is a moot point: because they learn so little history, soon their ignorance of the important aspects of the American experience will be total. College campuses are hideous islands of totalitarianism on a national landscape that is more and more reflecting their toxic example. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity” (Yeats again).
We’re obsessed with protecting women from “domestic violence.” The U.S. Senate has passed the “Violence Against Women Act” and sent it to the House of Representatives. The media bludgeons us with related stories, and multiple government programs function to assist such unfortunate souls. This is driven by modern feminism, which also favors women serving on the frontlines in the boiling cauldron of war, where, according to a feature story in Rolling Stone magazine lately, the military suffers a raging epidemic of sexual assault. “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men” (George Orwell).
The U.S. Post Office recently announced that it is abolishing first class delivery on Saturdays beginning in August. The USPO seems to be taking a cue from the newspaper and network news business model of telling the public that it is essential to the public good, while at the same time skipping publication days, cutting back on home delivery, and shrinking its staffs as circulation, ad revenues, and ratings sink. A digitally-distracted America less and less buys the product (from both post office and media), especially the kids (see schools exegesis above). And the media-driven Obama cult-of-personality doesn’t sit well with half the body politic. Of course, the emperor’s cheerleader-eunuchs in the nation’s newsrooms don’t see it that way; marketing has never been a journalistic forte. Well, as for the post office, it won’t be losing our mail on Saturdays.
No matter. Cursive writing is leaving the classroom and those kids in short pants won’t be sending handwritten love letters to their “partners” and “significant androgynous others,” etc., anyway. If they do they’ll have to hire the equivalent of literate medieval monks to do it. Orwell wrote 65 years ago that “Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse.” What would he think today? As usual, Rome is the primary example. It progressed from Virgil, Horace, and Cicero to — over 300 years later — a very minor poet named Ausonius (the Richard Blanco of Late Antiquity), illiterate barbarian emperors and, well, darkness. Ask Ed Gibbon.
And, of course, literary culture erodes. Most new works of “literary fiction” aren’t worth reading because they are written by academics for academics. Most contemporary poetry is unfathomable or juvenile in its design. E.L. James’ wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey series main motif is sadomasochism. And Philip Roth has “retired” after six decades of writing. Imagine that. Maybe our most respected living writer — albeit one pushing 80 — has turned his back on his work. Maybe he has nothing more to say. He once famously said that as a novelist his imagination couldn’t compete with the strange world he encountered on the front page of his daily New York Times, and that was long before the Times became the official newsletter of the Democratic Party. Hemingway blew his brains out. Roth, lacking Papa’s late-stage mental deterioration, is sanely content to watch the New York Mets, read, play with his new iPhone, and entertain friends. Good for him. Legions of readers who enjoyed his work wish him well, and he’ll be reread. But he is among the last of American writers who came of age and began their careers in the mid-20th century, a simpler time full of promise, and rewards for serious work.
H.L. Mencken said: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” The 2012 Election makes the Sage of Baltimore’s quip ring true. All the bizarre political, sociological and economic theories that we have heard from the left for years are now being put into practice (in fact, President Obama showcased it in his Second Inaugural and State of the Union speeches). The result is a germinating dystopia sprouting from an executive branch contemptuous of the legislative and judicial branches of national government. Barack Obama is the embodiment of a country in willful decline in both domestic and foreign affairs, and he seems to relish his role. The president is a political Dr. Jack Kevorkian assisting our slow, national suicide.
Maybe some future Gibbon will contemplate the wreckage