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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 84,614

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

I never thought I would be asking this in 2016...

...but has the United States become one of the shithole countries under Trump?

I'm still holding out hope that Biden can fix it.

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution,

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution, from 1860s California to modern Peru

Gold is everywhere in modern life, from jewelry to electronics to smartphones. The global electronics industry alone uses 280 tons annually. And that demand keeps growing.

But most people know little about the environmental impacts of gold mining. About 15% of world gold production is from artisanal and small-scale mining in over 70 countries throughout Asia, Africa and South America. These operations employ 10 to 19 million workers. They often are poorly policed and weakly regulated.

Artisanal mining might sound quaint, but it is usually criminal activity and results in widespread environmental damage. It also is the largest source of mercury pollution in the world today, far exceeding other activities such as coal combustion and cement manufacturing. While mercury is an element that occurs naturally in the Earth’s crust, it has many toxic effects on humans and animals, even at very low exposure levels.

We have studied mercury pollution from artisanal gold mining for the past five years. The extraction methods that these operations use today are not drastically different from processes that miners employed in the California gold rush in the mid-1800s. Today we see history repeating itself in places like the Peruvian Amazon, where small-scale gold mining threatens to leave behind long-lasting social, economic and environmental consequences.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/gold-rush-mercury-legacy-small-scale-mining-for-gold-has-produced-long-lasting-toxic-pollution-from-1860s-california-to-modern-peru-133324

Jordan Cove pipeline moves forward, despite Oregon's opposition

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden vowed Friday to fight the Canadian company behind a proposed liquified natural gas export terminal as it begins to try to take the land of locals who oppose Jordan Cove.

Meanwhile, the company’s boosters plan a full-page ad in the Sunday Oregonian telling Oregon Governor Kate Brown the pipeline will help Oregon recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Energy Regulatory commission released an order Friday refusing to revisit its decision to approve the Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas Terminal and 229-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline.

In its order, FERC denied requests for rehearing on a wide range of concerns from Oregon, tribal governments, environmentalists and landowners who pointed to the project’s expected harm to spotted owls, snowy plovers, marbled murrelets, salmon, whales, wetlands and the eel grass beds that serve as tidal nurseries for countless ocean species.

Read more: https://www.hcn.org/articles/energy-industry-jordan-cove-pipeline-moves-forward-despite-oregons-opposition
(High Country News)

'Show Us the Flynn Tapes or Buzz Off': Dem Rep. Swalwell Destroys Trump's Former DNI in Epic Twitter

‘Show Us the Flynn Tapes or Buzz Off’: Dem Rep. Swalwell Destroys Trump’s Former DNI in Epic Twitter ‘Bloodbath’

Right now there is an online Twitter battle between California’s Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell and President Donald Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell. Swalwell is winning, handily.

It all started last week when Rep. Swalwell said he didn’t trust Grenell, who was stepping down both as Trump’s Ambassador to Germany and as his acting DNI, after the Senate confirmed now-former Congressman John Ratcliffe. (Ratcliffe is legally ineligible to hold that position, but Senate Republicans confirmed him anyway.)


Grenell fought back:


And Swalwell slammed him for not doing his job, and taunted him for not releasing trump’s first National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s transcripts/calls with Russian agents.


Read more: https://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/2020/05/show-us-the-flynn-tapes-or-buzz-off-dem-rep-swalwell-destroys-trumps-former-dni-in-epic-twitter-bloodbath/

O'Neill greenhouse is fined for its role in conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers

A tomato greenhouse and packing plant in O’Neill, Nebraska, was fined Wednesday for its role in a conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers.

O’Neill Ventures Inc. was sentenced to pay $400,000, due immediately. The company agreed to the fine in February as part of a plea deal.

The fine exceeded the recommended sentencing guidelines range of $70,000 to $140,000. Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Gerrard said that the higher amount was warranted because of the conditions workers experienced at the tomato plant.

The August 2018 raid of the plant and other businesses in the O’Neill area was one of the largest ever by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More than 130 workers were detained and 17 people arrested in connection with an illegal employment service run by Juan Pablo Sanchez-Delgado, who took a cut of the undocumented workers’ paychecks and failed to pay taxes.

Read more: https://www.omaha.com/news/crime/oneill-greenhouse-is-fined-for-its-role-in-conspiracy-to-harbor-undocumented-workers/article_005cc414-3171-53d0-9a14-2039eb91ab1c.html

Eastman secures backing from national Democrats for Omaha-area House race

Omaha Democrat Kara Eastman is securing help today from the national party — more than two months earlier than she did in 2018, The World-Herald has learned.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding Eastman to its 19-candidate “Red-to-Blue” list, which shows donors which races the party thinks more money might help them win.

In practical terms, Eastman campaign manager Dave Pantos said, that should mean more people to make phone calls and, if allowed, to campaign door to door. It means more direct mail, more TV ads and better research.

Eastman, who lost the Omaha-area House race by about 5,000 votes in 2018, said the DCCC’s quicker decision this time shows she can beat U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.

Read more: https://www.omaha.com/news/local/eastman-secures-backing-from-national-democrats-for-omaha-area-house-race/article_48453f25-7633-5fff-b8ff-c2b81f0c3a61.html

Meatpacking plant outbreak spawns coronavirus cluster at Lincoln business, health director says

A coronavirus outbreak among workers at the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Crete has spread to employees of Universal Cold Storage in Lincoln, interim Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez said Thursday.

Contact tracers have identified 31 cases associated with Universal Cold Storage, including 24 employees and seven of their close contacts, she said.

Investigations revealed many of the Universal Cold Storage workers who contracted COVID-19 are relatives or close contacts with Smithfield workers, Lopez said.

To date, 319 of Lancaster County's 1,135 coronavirus cases stem directly from the Smithfield outbreak in Crete. Nearly 500 cases have been confirmed in Saline County.

Read more: https://journalstar.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/watch-now-meatpacking-plant-outbreak-spawns-coronavirus-cluster-at-lincoln-business-health-director-says/article_3994cf0a-0962-52f3-a3f7-42f74082413d.html

Court denies request to revive US pipeline permit program

BILLINGS, Mont. — A U.S. appeals court on Thursday turned down a request by the Trump administration and energy industry groups to revive a permit program for new oil and gas pipelines that had been canceled by a lower court.

The case originated with a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. but has affected oil and gas pipeline proposals across the nation.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting program allows construction of pipelines across wetlands and other water bodies with minimal review if they meet certain criteria.

Backed by numerous states and industry groups, attorneys for the government argued the cancellation would delay construction of pipelines needed to deliver fuel to power plants and other destinations.

Read more: https://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/nebraska/court-denies-request-to-revive-us-pipeline-permit-program/article_9df80e1e-6204-51bc-8680-8eb855758c5e.html
(Lincoln Journal Star)

After swastikas on park trees and temple, mayor introduces new proposed crime to outlaw intimidation

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird has proposed a new city ordinance that would create a city hate crime meant to outlaw offenses committed to intimidate someone.

"By adding this additional tool, we hope to demonstrate that hate has no home in Lincoln, and that every resident belongs here," Gaylor Baird said.

Announcing the ordinance, the mayor condemned bigoted acts that occurred in the city recently, including Wilderness Park vandalism earlier this week, the targeted anti-Semitic graffiti on a Lincoln synagogue in January and reports of bias against Asian- American residents resulting from false assumptions about coronavirus.

Her administration's hate-intimidation ordinance would make the commission of an already outlawed offense an additional crime if the perpetrator meant to intimidate someone based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, physical or mental disability, national origin, age, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the other person or persons.

Read more: https://journalstar.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/after-swastikas-on-park-trees-and-temple-mayor-introduces-new-proposed-crime-to-outlaw-intimidation/article_261ac0d8-abd0-5a4c-aa4d-eaf19c15b5f3.html
(Lincoln Journal Star)

Messages from WholeStone Farms detail 138 COVID-19 cases, one employee death

Company-wide messages obtained by Omaha CBS affiliate 3 News Now document 138 COVID-19 cases within the WholeStone Farms workforce and one employee death.

“We are heartbroken to inform the WholeStone Farms family that we have lost a member of our team,” the May 20 message reads. “At this time, we are still in the process of gathering details related to the passing of this individual and ask that you keep their family in your thoughts and prayers.”

The message, addressed by The WholeStone Farms COVID-19 Taskforce, listed a number of efforts the plant would implement following the death. Those efforts include:

• Enhanced screening processes
• Additional temperature screening stations
• Enhanced airflow on the processing floor
• Evaluation of shift staggering
• Evaluation of additional equipment check in/check out stations

Another message sent to employees on Friday said the plant was aware of 138 cases of COVID-19. Of those 138 cases, 43 employees had returned to work.

Read more: https://fremonttribune.com/news/local/messages-from-wholestone-farms-detail-138-covid-19-cases-one-employee-death/article_3808ffbe-e39a-5fce-a763-d19da3dda0c5.html
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