2/28/11

Nuking renewables

The Pueblo Chieftain is endorsing the construction of a 3,000 megawatt nuclear power plant in an 'energy park' southeast of Pueblo.

Getting a nod

It has already received the blessing of the Pueblo County Planning Commission.

Excerpt:

Such a plant would produce no air pollution. Pueblo attorney Don Banner, founder of Puebloans for Energizing our Community LLC, wants to attract a nuclear power company to a proposed 25,000-acre energy park southeast of Pueblo, where 4,000 acres would be dedicated to a nuclear plant.

Nope. It won't produce any air pollution.

It will produce a fair amount of "... uranium, plutonium, and other highly radioactive elements made during fission...".

Does anyone remember Chernobyl?

You can read more about this here

An excerpt:

High level radioactive waste is generally material from the core of the nuclear reactor or nuclear weapon. This waste includes uranium, plutonium, and other highly radioactive elements made during fission. Most of the radioactive isotopes in high level waste emit large amounts of radiation and have extremely long half-lives (some longer than 100,000 years) creating long time periods before the waste will settle to safe levels of radioactivity. This area will describe some of the methods being under consideration, for dealing with this, high level, waste.

Why am I not feeling the love here?

Why am I wondering how this is going to fit in with the state's mandated 30% power generation from renewable source by 2020 plan?

Especially when we have this:

Wind farm pulls out of county

coming in on top of the Creative Energy Systems hoo-ha?

Meanwhile, rumor has it that the fellow who is bankrolling this project has gotten fed up with the naysayers, and the project is dead in the water. That's rumor. Unconfirmed.

Nonetheless, we should be able to handle it. After all, with Ol' Cowboy Wes, we have a history of dealing with such things here in Cattle Country:

Wes McKinley, champion of the people!

U Who?

Pinon Canyon Uranium Futures

Pinon Canyon Cattlemen's Power Plant

2/27/11

District basketball playoffs

First game of Districts is up, Lady Lions v. Rye Thunderbolts:

Mike and Leece's Image Galleries

under "Basketball.



2/25/11

Lawyers reject ethical ban on having sex with their clients

Um ...

Texas lawyers reject ban on sex with clients

The rule would have banned sex between lawyer and client unless they were married, or engaged in a consensual relationship that began before the representation, according to a summary (PDF) posted at the state bar website. The rule was rejected by 72 percent of the lawyers voting, according to the posted results (PDF).

Makes ya kinda wonder what's up down in Tejas, hmmmm? Well ... at least we know that down those parts it's ethical for lawyers to screw their clients.



2/24/11

Swink 6th Grade Boys v. Girls Scrimmage 02.24.2011

Gallery's up over on WritingPlaces. com image galleries page.

We shot these at 1/500 sec f2.8 at an ISO of 12800, with the color temp at 2500K. That's a bit extreme, but it worked.



Swanning about in The Holy Land







Yep. Them's swans. They were in Hanagan's field this evening just south of the new gym, way out in the middle so it was quite the reach to get the shot.


The lying rats in the ATF

Gunrunning scandal at the ATF

Justice Department denies ...

This one has been simmering for awhile. It really popped loose with the murder of Brian Terry.

Jaime Avila was one of the suspicious buyers. ATF put him in its suspect database in January of 2010. For the next year, ATF watched as Avila and other suspects bought huge quantities of weapons supposedly for "personal use." They included 575 AK-47 type semi-automatic rifles.

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it's a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, "walk."


and

One agent argued with a superior asking, "are you prepared to go to the funeral of a federal officer killed with one of these guns?" Another said every time there was a shooting near the border, "we would all hold our breath hoping it wasn't one of 'our' guns."

Then, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. The serial numbers on the two assault rifles found at the scene matched two rifles ATF watched Jaime Avila buy in Phoenix nearly a year before. Officials won't answer whether the bullet that killed Terry came from one of those rifles. But the nightmare had come true: "walked" guns turned up at a federal agent's murder.


and

In a letter, the Justice Department which oversees ATF says the agency has never knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to suspected gunrunners.

And what's the Obamanian Department of In-Justice's priority?

Dropping defense of DOMA.



Obamanian Priorities

Obama's priority isn't rising prices at the pump. It isn't jobs. It isn't the economy. It isn't Federal spending. It isn't the deficit. It isn't the sorry excuses for elected officials - all Democrats, by the way - who have absconded to various hiding places in order to avoid their legislative responsibilities. He's even 'backed away' (that's Obama-speak for 'Buck-pedaled') from his overt support of the unionistas in the various states, particularly Wisconsin.

It isn't even the riotous goings-on in Libya.

Nope.

It's dropping the defending of the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts.

We here at Blogger Central aren't the only ones marveling at this:

Boehner's office was taken aback by the move, suggesting it was a bit off-topic considering the high-profile battle lawmakers are waging on Capitol Hill over federal spending.
"While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the president will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told Fox News.

I'm glad to see our president continues to exercise his considerable intellect and political clout to address the vital issues of the day.



2/23/11

The United States Army: Enemy of the People!

According to Jim Herrell, the United States Army is our 'common enemy.'

“Our species seems to come together when we have a common enemy,” Jim Herrell said in his cluttered office at Otero Junior College in La Junta.

Huh. I wonder how our soldiers like being put in the same basket as ... oh ... the Libyan Army?

When the Big Stink over Pinon Canyon was limited to the Federal government's use of eminent domain, I could understand the 'issue.' Why, we even wrote blog posts supporting the opponents to  the Pinon Canyon Maneuver site expansion. But then,  we also wrote about the changing face of warfare, and the reorganization of the Army's combat units, which got some of our 'friends and neighbors' in a real snit, and we got more hate mail than Carter has liver pills, all of it so irrational we wondered at the mental stability of the writers. And that's when we quit supporting the whackjobs.

But it isn't about eminent domain. It's certainly not about property rights. If you own property down those parts, your property rights are what PCEOC says they are. Those rights do not include the right to sell your property to whomever you wish. You'd think that is an inherent property right, but it ain't. I don't think our 'friends and neighbors' have read much of John Locke.

Nope. It's not about eminent domain or private property rights. It's about the United States Army, the Enemy of the People.

It's all part of a plot, you see, and here we sort of drift off into what some might call ... well ... la-la land, but which 'those in the know' understand to be The Truth. It involves our state and local politicians, who are apparently in cahoots with Washington politicians to destroy southeastern Colorado, just to let the United States Army crush us under their jackboots. Former Bent County commissioner Frank Wallace says so

"If I were a politician in Denver, I would think if we can kill a few more of the local businesses in Southeastern Colorado, we can stop the objections to the Army`s expansion of Pinon Canyon," former Bent County Commissioner Frank Wallace read in a poem he had written.Wallace was on the Bent County Commission when Fort Lyon was transitioned into a prison.

Or maybe Frank is just talking about what he would do if he were a Denver politician. Doesn't say much for Frank's sense of morality, does it?

Doesn't it all just make you want to attend a PCEOC meeting so you can recite the Pledge of Allegiance with all your patriot neighbors?

 Or does it make you want to buy even more shares of AFDB Inc?

Oh ... here's something for our friends and neighbors, to help prevent the US Army from getting into their heads with their new psychotronic weapons in use at Pinon Canyon:

Russian Psychotronic weapons and countermeasures

Note that 'they' are getting this stuff from a nation that was once our mortal enemy! Proof of the New World Order and the involvement of the US Army therewith! In fact, it's proof that Obama is at the heart of the conspiracy! After all, he's the one who has been pushing for a New START  (not to be confused with Head Start) ...so you see, Obama is in fact part of that New World Order.

DinkyDau Billy was on the right track after all!

We owe Jim Herrell and Frank Wallace and our 'friends and neighbors' a real vote of thanks for exposing all of this!



Obamacare re-analyzed

We have a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a president that also hasn't read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

Yahbut resurrected!

I've resurrected Yahbut:

Finding my way

2/22/11

Another wowsers baskball game

Swink varsity Lions played Las Animas in the pigtail this evening. It was a great game though not as close as the girls' last evening. The girls will play in the Districts at OJC at 3:00 PM on Friday; we haven't heard yet about the boys.

The truth comes out ...

Proposed prison closure concerns residents

"If I were a politician in Denver, I would think if we can kill a few more of the local businesses in Southeastern Colorado, we can stop the objections to the Army`s expansion of Pinon Canyon," former Bent County Commissioner Frank Wallace read in a poem he had written.Wallace was on the Bent County Commission when Fort Lyon was transitioned into a prison.

Well. I wonder. Is it a Democrat plot or a Republican plot?

Speaking of plots ... I wonder. Is one of Hickenlooper's minions sneaking in at night at  and dropping radium into Swink's drinking water?

Or is it a byproduct of Ol' Cowboy Wes McKinley's uranium futures? Or from the Pinon Canyon Cattlemens' Power Plant down along the Purgatoire?

Is there any truth to the rumor that Rod Serling has moved to Las Animas and is running for county commissioner?

Cowboy Wes gets bitch-slapped

Animal Control bill dies in House committee

A bill that would have restricted the authority of animal control officers to pets, leaving enforcement of livestock laws to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, died Monday night after contentious debate.

House Bill 1063, which would have overhauled the enforcement of animal welfare laws, failed by a 12-1 vote in the House Agriculture Committee, with sponsor Wes McKinley, D-Walsh, providing the only yes vote.


Hey Wes. That's what we call a 'clue.'

Find something else on which to expend your legislative efforts, such as they are. How about Fort Lyon for starters?

The House committee also flushed Cowboy Wes' version of "Stop the WhopWhop."

Committee kills bill aimed at low-level flights

District 64 State Rep. Wes McKinley, sponsor of House Bill 11-1066, told the committee that the bill was intended to help strengthen citizen protection against “takings” by the government by declaring it unlawful for a governmental entity to “exercise power of condemnation or eminent domain” over certain types of property without granting the owner “reasonable notice or the opportunity to be heard” in court


That one tanked in the House Judiciary Committee, 7-3.

Hey Wes! How about you work on putting a stop to the 'takings' disguised as "farm subsidies?" I really don't like that 'taking' from my pocket to those of you and your pals, especially with all this whining you're all doing about the gummint picking on and abusing you.

If you don't like the gummint in your face, how about taking your hand out of the government's pocket?

2/21/11

Wowsers! And the crowd went like, toadily Alpha Sierra!


Swink's Kate Ramsey sank a free throw for the winning point against the Grizzlies with 12.3 seconds to go ...

51 - 50 Swink.

Stand by for some really good photos, if I do say so myself.

Swink Recs Basketball Tournament 02.19.2011

We have galleries of two of Saturday's games up:

Mike and Leece's image galleries

under "Basketball".

These are sixth grade boys' games.

2/20/11

Cowboy Wes McKinley and PCEOC: Missing in Action

From the Denver Post:

Bent County residents fight fiscal lockdown

If 200 people leave Las Animas, La Junta and Lamar, they take their families with them. They take their working spouses with them. They take their spending with them. They put their houses up for sale in an already depressed market. If 200 people leave the lower Arkansas Valley, they take their vigor with them. They leave their Little League coaching jobs, their volunteer fire department positions, their church groups.

"We have to have these jobs," says Terry Weber, superintendent of the neighboring McClave School District. "I can't imagine what's going to happen without them, to be honest with you.
"

In the 2010 election, voters sent John Salazar and Betsy Markey packing, replacing them with Republicans.

John Hickenlooper pretty much immediately hired Salazar as the state's Commissioner of Agriculture. Obama hired Markey for some nicely paid Homeland Security cush job.

And the Hickenlooperians are going to close Fort Lyon.

That'll teach Bent County to vote Republican.

And where is good ol' Cowboy Wes Mckinley? Where was he the other night? Too busy 'ramrodding' his whackjob animal cruelty bill and his own version of "Stop the WhopWhop"?

And where was PCEOC? How about a little reciprocity for all that support they whine so much about and demand so insistently from everyone else?

2/18/11

Where was Ol' Cowboy Wes?

Nearly 400 voice opposition to closing Fort Lyon

I don't see any mention of Wes standing up for his peeps.

Did anyone else?

Has anyone heard anything from Ol' Cowboy Wes about this?

Come to think on it, where was the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition? After all the support they've received from Las Animas and Bent County, you'd have thought they would have shown up to toss their hat in the ring.

But they didn't, did they.

Nope.

Agricultural geniuses

Back on Feb 13, the Chieftain ran this article:

Millions at stake if ag dries up

In that article, two of our agricultural geniuses, John Salazar and John Stulp, share their 'wisdom':

“You can use and reuse water, but once you ship it out, it’s gone,” Stulp said. “If we double our population in 40 years, think of how long you’ll be sitting in traffic on Interstate 25.”

OK. Stulp is correct. If the state's population doubles in 40 years, and there is no concurrent improvement in either transportation infrastructure or transportation modality, then I suppose someone could reasonably expect to be sitting in traffic on I-25. For a long time.

I'm not sure what that has to do with water but there you have it. It's apparently one of those bureaucratic profundities that we little people must puzzle over. I mean, like, dude! If we're too stupid to figure out that food doesn't come from grocery stores, and that, like, you know, there are animals and things and other Great Mysteries in the agricultural milieu ... then how could we possibly understand how sitting in traffic for a long time on I-25 40 years from now has anything to do with water?

Then Brother John utters yet another one of those 'profundities':

“Agriculture is the second-largest contributor to the state economy,” Salazar said. “The next 10 years are supposed to be good for agriculture, but the only way for us as a state to benefit is to have the water available to produce crops.”

Ya think, John?

So then Stulp gets back into it:

Crowley County, where almost all irrigation water was sold to cities, was still the state’s 13th leading agricultural producer with revenues of $110.9 million in 2007 — largely because of cattle.

Despite new prisons, Crowley County has never rebounded from the hit it took when most of Twin Lakes and the Colorado Canal was sold to cities, however. For Stulp, Crowley County is the prime example of how water should not be moved.

Hey, Stulp and I agree. How about that. But why don't we ask John Stulp how that water came to be 'moved'.

You'll notice that for all their blather about this, Salazar and Stulp don't come close to identifying why the water is 'moved.'

So I'll tell you.

It's because the farmers sell that water to the cities.

You see? Salazar closes out his brilliant comments with this:

More direct studies of what’s lost when an acre of land is permanently removed from agriculture would serve to back up the gut feeling that Stulp and Salazar both expressed during interviews last week.

Colorado residents need to be better educated on where their food comes from, Salazar said.

“A lot of folks think our food comes from a grocery store,” Salazar said. “Once people understand, they’ll see the relationship to agricultural businesses in the rural communities.”

See? He's still on that 'people are really stupid' kick. He is essentially blaming the dumbass city slickers - and make no mistake, that includes we non-farming Smallville residents as well as the metro area denizens - for the sorry state of affairs over water.

No, John. It ain't we city slickers. It's the farmers. The same farmers that go on about how we city slickers have to 'support' them. The same farmers who go on about their precious way of life and how essential it is to maintaining the essence of the southeast Colorado lifestyle.

Until it's time to retire, then it's 'screw you buddy', and a sellout to Aurora or some other such place, and a HiHo and off we go to some cushy retirement spot.

Meanwhile, the Johns continue to utter those bureaucratic 'profundities', which only serve to emphasize the contempt in which they hold we dumbass city slickers.

By the way, here's a 'profundity' of our own: according to the EWG USDA Subsidies database, John and Jane Stulp pulled down $2,464,329.85 in USDA subsidies between 1995 and 2009. Add the other Lamar area Stulps - John III, Jensen, Jeremy, and Jason - and it comes to $3,313,006.49. Salazar claims quite a bit less, but it's still enough to pay for a nice new truck or suchlike.

Those subsidies are going from your pockets and mine to their pockets. You'd think they'd show a little respect for us, but then, if we're stupid enough to keep electing congresscritters that let them get away with that level of welfare, maybe we deserve to be talked to like a bunch of dumbasses.

Mad Max Cushman?


What is this thing?

La Junta Mill and 'due diligence' Part Trois

All of the details are in one PDF file here:

La Junta Mill Inspection Citations

The file is 955 kbytes. You can open it by clicking on that link, or you can right click on the link and 'save as' to your hard drive or some other repository. These are all the docs we received from OSHA.

As you can see, all of the citation details point to a failure on the part of the owners to, in one form or another, maintain their equipment or properly train their employees.

For example, the forklifts used by La Junta Mill employees had 'severely worn hydraulic lines', and/or lights that didn't work, or in one case a handbrake that didn't work.

Those 'severely worn hydraulics lines' are associated with such things as brakes. Or power steering. Or in the case of forklifts, also with raising and lowering the forks, often under considerable load.

One of the citations rips the owners for not having seat belts on the forklifts. Now, it may not seem like seat belts are that big a deal on a forklift, but consider an employee with a thousand pounds or so of goods on a pallet forked up off the floor, moving along and those 'severely worn hydraulic lines' let go. The load drops, and the forklift stops like it hit a brick wall. Where does the employee go? Why, he gets squeezed rather emphatically through the front frame.

According to the data compiled by OSHA, forklift accidents claim 85 lives every year in the United States, while leaving 34,900 individuals with serious injuries and 61,800 individuals with minor injuries. So these citations are hardly the efforts of one of those anal-retentive gummint agencies, crushing our free-spirited ag brethren.

How about those fire extinguishers that hadn't been inspected?

How about those worn and frayed extension cables used in place of permanent wiring?

How about those employees working on major power equipment that was still plugged in, with no safety lockouts for powering up? Or with no safety guards in place?

And dust and dirt caked in place. Explosion and fire hazard.

Now, remember, back in August 2010 Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety David Michaels sent out a warning letter to selected grain mill operators. La Junta Mill was one of them.

Even with that warning, the owners of La Junta Mill were caught with their ... dare I say it ... knickers ... down.

Is it indifference? Is it negligence? Is it incompetence?

Is it not possible to examine all of this and come away with the reasonable impression that the owners of La Junta Mill do not put the safety of their employees at a very high priority? And is it not possible to reasonably extend that thought to the priority they assign the safety of the community, particularly those public safety employees who would have to respond to a fire, an explosion, an accident, at that mill?

Can anyone explain to me in any rational terms why the taxpayers of the city of La Junta should be expected to bail these people out of their mess?

Don't you get a little tired of our 'agricultural friends' so transparently thinking we are stupid patsies?

2/17/11

Landowners complain

So what's new about that?

Landowners complain

25 or so people gathered with Wes McKinley to complain about how the gummint is screwing them ... some more.

It's those city folk, you see:

In Greenloh's estimation, more populous parts of the state have forgotten where their food originates and put their own needs ahead of farmers' with the state's backing.

That's not true, of course, for we have our state Commissioner (sometimes referred to as 'Secretary') of Agriculture John Salazar reminding all we dummies that think food comes from grocery stores that it really comes from someplace else. Like, you know, maybe Mexico. It says so right on the stickers on the bell peppers in Walmart.

Greenloh also said:

"The operations of these farms trickle down into the economies of our towns," he said. "They'd really be hurting without the farms."

There's some truth to that. Rebecca Goodwin, over at the last Urban Renewal meeting, noted that thirty-three percent of 'the economy' is agribusiness. She apparently didn't specify which economy that is ... the entire state; the county; southeast Colorado?

Huh. What about the other sixty-six percent? Where's that come from?

And what were the percentages oh, twenty years ago?

Meanwhile, here's another article on that seep irrigation thingie:

State draws heat over seep ditch action

Note that then Congresscritter-but-now-state-Ag-Sec John Salazar said: “Agriculture is at great risk in Southeastern Colorado as well as the nation. The state of Colorado is penalizing farmers for farming and doing what they have done best for the past 100 years. The state of Colorado continues to assault the agricultural producers by implementing the irrigation efficiency rules as well as the seep ditch regulations.”

I wonder what Brother John's position is now that he's parachuted into a different political job? Is he going to 'continue to assault agricultural producers?'

Damn us all to hell and gone for expecting the government to 'implement the irrigation efficiency rules.' And damn us all to hell and gone for expecting farmers to actually change the way they do things. After all, it worked for the last 100 years, why shouldn't it work for the next 100?

OTOH, as we pedal about the Holy Land and environs, we see some of our local farmers doing what seem to our ignorant city slicker eyes to be some fairly innovative things to conserve water. In other words, they are changing the way they do things. Some of it works, some doesn't, but they're doing something to see what works and what doesn't. It's called "adapt, improvise, and overcome." This is apparently a difficult concept for farmers like Greenloh ... but Greenloh's attitude certainly keeps Wes McKinley in the money.

Off on a slight tangent ... Prowers County farmers received $207 million in USDA farm subsidies from 1995-2009.

Bent County farmers received $50 million. Otero County farmers, $55.1 million. Las Animas County, $22.9 million.

Perhaps they should give all that nasty gummint money back to the hateful oppressors?

2/16/11

Swink 6th Grade Boys v. Girls Scrimmage 02.15.2011

The gallery is up:

Mike and Leece's Image Galleries

under "Basketball."

We're trying to get the Swink 6th grade boys v. Ordway uploaded, but Bresnan's upload bandwidth is so abysmally crappy the server is timing out. Yep. Same great ol' Bresnan service, yah, you betcha.

"What we need is more cruelty to animals ..."

What we need more of in this state is cruelty to animals

Ol' Cowboy Wes continues to address the really moonbat 'issues' that appeal to his constituents here in southeast Colorado ... at least the ones who voted for him.

Meanwhile, where is he on the loss of 140 or so jobs out at Fort Lyon? Or our new governator's slashing of school budgets?

Hickenlooper proposes budget with broad, deep cuts

Hick's got no problem with providing golden parachutes for the likes of John Salazar, the fellow to whom voters gave the boot in the last election, electing a ... Republican ... in his place.

Looks like the residents of southeastern Colorado are going to pay the price for their political disloyalty.

Here's another interesting viewpoint on Fort Lyon:

Hickenlooper proposes closing Fort Lyon

Ol' Cowboy Wes knows better than to go against the Boss Democrat. Wes is pimping to his more ... parochial ... constituents with bills that aren't going anywhere, while staying away from more substantive 'issues' that might get him crossways with the party machine.

Ol' Wes is pretty much irrelevant. His influence up in the state house is pretty minimal. He's made too much of an ass of himself, and continues to do so, for anyone to take him seriously.

Another golden parachute

This one goes to Betsy Markey, the one shot congresscritter the voters booted out last election:

Betsy Markey named to Homeland Security post

Well ... she ought to get along well with Janet Napolitano, doncher think? Obama has a place for all the losers.

2/15/11

To answer the question ...

We were sitting at our favorite table in The Holy Land Quickee's, after watching an outstanding basketball scrimmage between the Swink 6th grade boys and the Swink 6th grade girls. The girls handed the boys their heads, nipping any budding chauvinist piggery in the ... well ... in the bud.

"So what's the deal with this La Junta Mill and Elevator deal?" asked DinkyDau Billy, who had heretofore been wallowing in his annual fit of despondency. The game had perked him up considerably.

"It wouldn't be a big deal," I told him, "other than the fact that they present a clear and present danger to their workers and the community, especially the fire and police and EMS who would have to clean up the carnage."

"What makes it a big deal," Leece explained, "is that they made a grab for public money. They made a blatant pitch for a bailout using tax revenues. That makes it a public affair, and it makes it worth making a stink. Why should everyone who pays into the Tax Increment District money pot bail them out, especially when the mess they are in is so clearly of their own making? And when the citations from OSHA rather clearly show that they have really overstated that'can’t meet OSHA requirements in their current facility' whine of theirs."

That was it in a nutshell. Our elected officials and their appointed minions on the Urban Renewal Board need to take a long, hard look at this. They have been entrusted with the community's tax dollars, and should not be caving in to economic bullying and threats of taking all those minimum wage shit-shoveling jobs to Kansas or whereever. Here's how it looks to me: like our typical ruggedly individualistic cowpoke neighbors (except when it comes to those Federal subsidies), these mill people (a)don't like being told what to do by the feds, and (b) don't like their mill or its location, and (c) just want someone to buy em a new one someplace else.

That's our story and we're a-stickin' to it. Next, "La Junta Mill and 'due diligence' Part Trois."

La Junta Mill and 'due diligence' Part Deux

So last week a very nice OSHA person, the one who handles FOIA requests for the state/regional office, gave us a call to let us know they were sending us copies of the citations issued to La Junta Mill. The citations have more detail. It was already fairly apparent from the digest versions online that La Junta Mill is hardly coming apart at the seams; most of the citations clearly had to do with the owners simply not taking care of the business. This was reinforced by the detailed citations we were to receive from OSHA.

But the OSHA coordinator was more - so it seemed - interested in the comment by Eldon Stoker: “… the head inspector there revealed to us that, uh, we could spend a million dollars there and probably still never qualify …”.

Did you know that OSHA videotapes their inspections? Yep. They do. The OSHA coordinator told us that she had carefully reviewed the written report and had watched all of the video associated with the inspection, and rather emphatically stated that there 'isn't anything even close to that statement in any of the video or the reports.'

Huh. She also said she was furnishing a written statement to that effect, and she did. Here is what is in that document:

"Your second request for 'supporting documentation' regarding comments made by our inspector(s) to Mr. Eldon Stoker, both in the paper file and in the videos taken during the inspection were reviewed, and no such documentation has been found."

It is signed not by the FOIA coordinator, but by Mr. John J. Healy, the OSHA Area Director.

Which doesn't surprise me in the least, given that the discrepancies noted in the written files require nowhere near 'a million dollars' to fix. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to discern this. In fact, at this point, I'd really like to see a written estimate by Rocky's Electric; that's the contractor that Eldon Stoker alleges said it would require $150,000 to fix the electrical service in La Junta Mill.

Next, we'll take a look at the citations ...I find particularly fascinating such statements as "... the employer did not furnish employment and a place of employment which was free from recognized hazards which were likely to cause death or serious physical harm ..." and "... the employer failed to ..." in regards to a number of major safety issues. More laters ...

4,340 workers died on the job in 2009

"With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a worker's family members were shattered and forever changed. We can't forget that fact."

-Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor

Go to Occupational Safety and Health Administration and look about two-thirds of the way down the right side of the page, where you will find "Worker Fatalities." You will find several recent worker deaths involving employer-generated hazards similar to what we see in these citations.

It ain't just an anal-retentive government agency crushing free-spirited American entrepreneurialism.

La Junta Mill and 'due diligence'

So back in December, the owners of La Junta Mill showed up at the Urban Renewal Board meeting to make a pitch for a bailout using TID revenues.

They made a number of statements about how they could not meet OSHA safety requirements in their current establishment.

Some of the statements they made seemed ... stretched. The OSHA inspection results were posted online shortly after the UR meeting, but lacked detail.

So we made a Freedom of Information Act request for more specific details:

February 1, 2011

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Attn: FOIA Coordinator
1999 Broadway, Suite 1690
Denver, CO 80202

Good day to you,

I am making a Freedom of Information Act request for additional information pertaining to inspection number 313722548 - Escj Inc. Dba La Junta Milling & Elevator Company.

I have examined the on-line version of this inspection, and note that many of the violations listed do not include details about the violation cited. For example, violation 01011A simply indicates that the problem was associated with “grain handling facilities,” while 01012A simply notes that something was apparently amiss with “wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use.”

I feel these details are important because Mr. Eldon Stoker, the owner of La Junta Milling and Elevator, has petitioned the La Junta Urban Renewal Authority to purchase his operation, suggesting a half million dollars as a reasonable value. Mr. Stoker is basing this petition for use of Urban Renewal tax revenues on a statement he alleges was made by your inspector: “… the head inspector there revealed to us that, uh, we could spend a million dollars there and probably still never qualify …”. The Stokers, however, have provided no documentation to support their claims and allegations.

Therefore, I am requesting specific details regarding the violations cited, as well as information contained within your inspector’s reports that are consistent with Mr. Stoker’s allegation that your inspector made the statement(s) as indicated above.

Thank you for your assistance.


The results are kind of interesting. More later ...

2/13/11

The miracle of wind power

So ... the greenies would have us believe that wind-powered electrical generation is going to Save the World.

Really?

Here's an interesting article from the Pueblo Chieftain:

Energy-minded landowner wants his green acres

  "Everyone says we should be 'going green', that alternative energy is the future," the 68-year-old Pueblo County resident snapped Friday. "Look at all the money that (county government) has spent on solar panels and such. But when I ask to put three wind turbines on my property to power my house? They say no. I'm really mad about this."

and

Ancell has 8 acres on Fourth Road near Wildhorse Road. He wants to erect the three 40-foot-tall wind turbines on what amounts to 2.5 acres in that parcel. He argues it will take all three towers to adequately power his home, not the single tower that county officials have allowed other landowners to have.

Actually, according to the article, the three wind turbines will not 'adequately' power Ancell's home; they will only provide about 80% of what he needs. Well ... maybe that's 'adequate' for Ancell. Would 80% of what you presently use in your household be 'adequate'?

But he wants three of those things in his yard. And there's the rub.

At what point do wind turbines cease to be 'green power' and begin to be eyesores and a blight on the landscape? Are wind turbines going to be the New Millennium's billboards? Will Ladybird Johnson be resurrected to joust in Quixotic manner?

A couple of years ago we drove across the Mojave into Los Angeles. We'll leave commentary about LA for another time, but as we passed Whitewater, we came upon the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Turbine Farm. It's at the base of Mount San Jacinto and Mt San Jacinto state park.At the time of our trip, the wind farm had 3,218 turbines, all of them in the 80 to 160 foot range.

It does nothing for the scenery; it mars San Jacinto like a collection of Ladybird's miserable billboards and junkyards lining America's highways back in the early 60's.

Apparently this doesn't concern the greenies.

Here's another one:

Beautiful offshore wind turbine farms from Denmark.

'Beautiful?'

You gotta be kidding. You might as well call Gulf of Mexico oil rigs 'beautiful.'

I think most people agree that we need to move from fossil fuels as much as possible, but when you start calling wind turbine farms that destroy the natural beauty of our mountain ranges and seascapes 'beautiful', I have to wonder at what's in the Kool Aid you've been drinking.

Same goes for solar panels. Have you noticed the ones just west of Fowler, near the golf course? I'm wondering when they're going to get the brilliant idea of hanging advertising signs off the framework.

2/12/11

Settlement reached in Lutalo case?

Looks like a settlement has been reached in the Lutalo case:

Settlement reached in lawsuit filed by former NJ prisoner taken off train in LaJunta, Colo.

I don't quite remember it as told in this story, which seems to indicate Lutalo was peacefully sleeping and then hauled off the train.

Nope. Not at all:

Ex-con Ojore Nuru Lutalo arrested on Amtrak when passengers report him talking Al Qaeda, terrorism

And of course, there is this little tidbit, somewhat dated:

"Sadistic fascist pigs?"

from the Anarchist Black Cross Federation.

Thanx and a tip of the hat to Ragnar Geitmorderen for digging that one up.

Swink v. Las Animas Boys Varsity

Gallery is up:

Mike and Leece's image galleries

under .... "Basketball."

2/11/11

Swink v. Las Animas Girls JV and Girls Varsity

Galleries are up:

Mike and Leece's image galleries

under "Basketball."

Federal .45ACP ammunition recall

For anyone shooting .45 ACP:

Federal Premium ammunition recall, .45ACP

It's a PDF doc, released by Federal on 02.07.2011.

Please consider forwarding to anyone you know who shoots real pistols instead of those sissified Tactical Tupperware thingies in Frenchified calibers.

2/10/11

"... and the crowd went completely Alpha Sierra!"

Like, wowsers! All three games tonight against Las Animas were rip-snorters, but the girls' varsity had the crowd going nuts on both sides. We got some really good shots that we'll have up later. Meanwhile, we have the Swink Quad galleries up - one of the wrestling and another of the cheerleaders and sideliners:

Mike and Leece's galleries

under "Wrestling."

Cowboy Wes insults animal control officers

The other day, we saw how John Salazar, apparently very comfortable in the golden parachute job handed to him by John Hickenlooper, thinks many of his constituents are down home stupid:

“There’s not that many people who understand agriculture,” John Salazar said in a meeting Monday with The Pueblo Chieftain’s editorial board. “They think food comes from the grocery store.”

Now Cowboy Wes is 'on the prod' (I read that in one of those Louis L'Amour cowpoke novels) over steer-tailing:

Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Walsh, who owns a horse and cattle touring company, voted against the measure and said he was concerned it would allow for more intrusion on personal property. McKinley said he felt animal control officers don't have a good understanding of agriculture and animals, calling them "fake cops with fake badges."

I'm wondering which animal control officers Ol' Cowboy Wes is referring to. These guys perhaps?

National Animal Control Association

Ol' Cowboy Wes voted against the steer-tailing bill. What's steer-tailing, you ask (being an ignorant twit who doesn't have a good understanding of agriculture and animals)?

Here ya go:

The department was involved in halting steer-tailing events held at a Mexican-style rodeo at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds last year after 11 steers were hurt and two had to be destroyed. Steer-tailing involves a mounted cowboy catching a steer's tail to throw it to the ground. Some steers' tails were degloved, where the skin is pulled from the tail, in the process.

Sounds kind of like getting the skin pulled off the entire length of one of your fingers to me, but what do I know about good, clean Cowboy Fun?

Our elected officials really don't think much of We the People, do they. In fact, they think most of us are pretty stupid. It's a characteristic, it seems, of many of our ranching and farming 'friends and neighbors.' Remember those "Ridin' Fence" thingies? A good many of them were based on caricatures of stupid, impractical, ignorant city slickers.

And we wonder why tourism really isn't taking off down here in southeastern Colorado. Why would it, when our elected officials think the very people - not to mention any of us local yokels who aren't Sons of the Soil - we are trying to attract are a collection of ignorant numb-nuts? And have no qualms about saying so?

One other thing ... ol' Cowboy Wes ain't overly smart when it comes to animal protection. Remember last year's HB124?

The groups, which also included the Colorado Coalition of Animal Control Officers and multiple regional humane societies, had spoken out publicly for the first time in opposition to the bill earlier this week, saying its passage would have weakened Colorado’s strong animal protection laws and lead to an increased rate of euthanasia in county shelters, especially those located in poor or rural districts.


Ol' Wes got hissef crossways with the ACO's last year. Maybe calling 'em names is how a real Cowpoke Poet and state legislator gets back at people who tell him he's full of crap?

2/9/11

Why are conservatives so mean?

One of Klavan's better rants:

2/8/11

Renewables

The 750 MW Comanche 3 plant in Pueblo,looking south from just east of CSU-Pueblo. Photo taken 6 Feb 2011.

There was a good article in the print version of the Denver Post this past Sunday. Here is an online copy:

Xcel's work on plants, renewables keeps pushing electric bills up

Boy howdy, doesn't it.

The article is lengthy, and even for a lay article about the machinations behind power generation, somewhat complicated.

Remember when Creative Energy Systems was going on about no one wanting to buy the juice from their projected 10 megawatt plant? And how they had been offered a pretty good deal from New Mexico to pack up and go down there rather than stay here in The Smile Hi City?

In November, [Xcel] filed a report with the PUC indicating that demand for electricity has weakened and the company has 744 megawatts of excess generating capacity above its emergency reserve.

The recession was a key reason for slowing of electricity sales, the report said, but Xcel projects it will still have 153 megawatts of excess capacity in 2015.


10 megawatts? Xcel is claiming an excess of nearly 75 times that.

So why would they want to buy more power, from anyone? It makes no business sense, does it?

Now, you'll notice that the article gets into Ritter's signing of HB1001 last March. That's the bill that mandates outfits like Xcel - and Black Hills, which buys power from Xcel and which is also an 'investor-based' energy company - that mandates them to produce 30% of their power from 'renewable' sources by 2020. And the state has sweetened the pot with all kinds of incentives to buy or produce such power, even if there is a surplus. Subsidies are wonderful things, aren't they? Well ... there's that ethanol subsidy, but that's another story.

So what's the deal with Creative Energy?

It seems that 'renewable' sources are well-defined in HB1001 as signed by Ritter. Contrary to what some people state, renewables include more than just solar and wind ... they also include biomass and geothermal. Yep. They do. What we are hearing 'out there' is that Creative Energy isn't included in the renewable resources pot because the bill only considers solar and wind as renewable sources. That is simply not true.

Here is what is in the bill:

(IV) "RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES" MEANS SOLAR, WIND,
GEOTHERMAL, BIOMASS, NEW HYDROELECTRICITY WITH A NAMEPLATE
RATING OF TEN MEGAWATTS OR LESS, AND HYDROELECTRICITY IN EXISTENCE
ON JANUARY 1, 2005, WITH A NAMEPLATE RATING OF THIRTY MEGAWATTS
OR LESS.


Their caps, not mine. But you see, there's more in the bill than just solar and wind.

Unfortunately, biomass is very narrowly defined in the bill, and if you examine how Creative Energy produces fuel to generate power, it really doesn't look like they could be considered a biomass-based alternative power source. Which is a real shame because of how they can generate power by using up landfill trash, extending the life of the landfill and creating ... real jobs. Not service industry jobs, not burger-flipping jobs, not floor-mopping jobs ... but real, good-paying jobs.

From the bill:

(I) "Biomass" means:
(A) Nontoxic plant matter consisting of agricultural crops or their
byproducts, urban wood waste, mill residue, slash, or brush;
(B) Animal wastes and products of animal wastes; or
(C) Methane produced at landfills or as a by-product of the
treatment of wastewater residuals.


That really doesn't fit what Creative Energy is doing.

What seems to me to be a real issue is whether or not Creative Energy Systems is considered a 'biomass' renewable energy resource under HB 1001. Is it, or isn't it? I don't think so, and I think therein lies the real problem. If  I am correct in that view, it would seem to me that it would behoove our elected officials to get on the stick and get that Ritter Showpiece modified to include operations like Creative Energy, which is unquestionably producing power from a 'renewable resource.'

Or is ol' Cowboy Wes too busy with his own legislative showpieces like his variation on "Stop the Whop Whop" to bother with such trivia as major economic development and energy production in the state?

Meanwhile, as you can see from the article about Xcel and other recent articles, the game is afoot to shift to natural gas rather than coal. It's those greenies again.

Remember the Lamar repowering project? The idea there was to build a new technology clean coal plant, which in the long run would produce cheaper power than a natural gas fired plant. That thinking was sound at the time the idea was conceived, and it is sound now. The Lamar plant is having some 'issues', some of them serious, and Trinidad's city manager is all up in arms over that. He should be. But coal v. natural gas, and the problems the project is dealing with, are two very different and very separate issues. The two should not be confused, as one does not follow the other.

So in the overall scheme of things, we are faced with two significant 'issues.' One of these is the exclusion of a viable renewable resource power generation technology from Colorado's Great Renewable Resources Energy Bill. That is an issue that directly affects economic development right here under our noses. The other is a fight to keep the greenies from forcing a change from coal - a fuel that by its abundance and availability provides economic stability - to natural gas, which does not, despite relative abundance and apparent availability.

So where are we on this? What are our local elected officials doing to put the squeeze on the state to include Creative Energy Systems in the overall renewable energy sources 'plan'? Is Wes McKinley even aware of any of this, or is he too busy pandering to the PCEOC vote?

Basketball shots

We have galleries up for the Swink 6th grade v. Rocky Ford and 8th grade Lady Tigers v. Lamar, from this past Saturday, up here:

Mike and Leece's galleries

"... cut out my lying tongue ..."

Oh, that's too rich. It's an oldie from almost about this time last year, but for some reason it's surfacing on the bot sweeps again, and showed up in the morning mailbag.

It's that story about Wes McKinley being threatened by the lobbyist:

Colorado lobbyist allegedly threatens to cut Wes McKinley's tongue out

But once he had the offending flapper out, what was he going to do with it?

Why, he was going to stuff it down McKinley's 'lying throat.' Allegedly.

Sounds like emotions were running a bit high last April, hey wot?

But here's the best part:

"My concern is that if something's not done, it's going to happen again, and then I will slap him. We cannot allow a lobbyist to be bullying a legislator."


'Slap him?' What kind of cowpoke would 'slap' someone?

And Ol' Cowboy Wes was right. We can't allow lobbyists to be threatening legislators.

It's set up by the General Assembly to be the other way around.

2/7/11

Geese

On the way back from Pueblo Monday afternoon. The geese are lit by the setting sun:






"... an arrogant show of hostility ..."

That's from an editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Colorado Springs will welcome brigade

and it is referring to Wes McKinley and his kindred spirit, Ed Vigil:

It’s little more than an arrogant show of hostility toward military pilots who risk their lives to protect the right to private property.

That sums up the agenda of McKinley and Vigil very well, as well as the agenda of the Pinon Canyon expansion opponents. It isn't simply about preventing the Federal government from using eminent domain to take land; it has not been so for quite some time.

It started out that way, or at least it seemed to. Back in our earlier archives - oh, around 2006, maybe 2007 as well, you'll find a number of posts supporting PCEOC, copies of emails announcing their meetings, and so on ... but remember what happened when it appeared that there was 'someone' who would sell to the Army? Talk about bullying and threats. So much for private property rights, too. I thought the right to sell one's privately owned property was inherent in that concept of ownership. Not so, not in Las Animas County, not unless one has the approval of one's 'friends' and 'neighbors'.

Your property rights are what PCEOC and those people tell you they are.

And Wes McKinley and Ed Vigil are pandering to that; they are part and parcel of the bullying and threatening. Southeastern Colorado is held hostage by a few ranchers who really, when all is said and done, are far more about what benefits them rather than some stand by rugged individualists against an oppressive regime. The rallying cry they raise is the economic impact they have in all these little cities and towns.

If the elected officials of our southeastern Colorado communities had any balls, they'd sign on to the community covenants and tell PCEOC to pound sand. How many of those so-called 'primary jobs' does the so-called ranching 'industry' generate? As opposed to how many low-paying service industry jobs? Our communities are held hostage to these ranchers for burger-flipping and waitress jobs; for cashier and clerk jobs; for service industry jobs. What's the scoop with Creative Energy Systems? Have they jumped ship for New Mexico yet? What's the scoop with Liqcrytec? Has anyone heard anything at all about any company coming in with 'real' jobs that offer 'real' paychecks rather than minimum wage pittances for unskilled service industry labor? Is the best we can expect for our kids and grandkids a one way ticket out of town, or a lifetime of stuffing Happy Meal bags?

Nah. What we'll get is more of opposition spokesmen going on about how the Army is violating all those 'democratic principles.' You know, by proceeding with the court fight against them.

In a lesser nation, the Army's tanks would have been parked in their living rooms a long time ago, and all that hyperbole would have gotten those spokesmen shot.

Instead, those spokesmen continue to vent arrogant hostility toward the very men and women who bleed and die to protect their right to do so, while offering an empty 'resolution' of 'support' for the troops.

"The New Age of News"

We've been going on about how the print media, particularly newspapers but also magazines, have been prostituting their editorial virtue by kow-towing to advertisers.

But there's another angle, or perhaps more correctly, a corollary, to that prostitution of editorial virtue. That is the almost complete lack of that virtue on the part of the talking heads on the various 'news' shows. You have to possess some of that editorial virtue before you can prostitute it.

Rich Galen has a good commentary on that in today's "An American Cyber-column":

The New Age of News

An excerpt:

# On Saturday morning, I was watching CNN, The studio anchor in Atlanta was talking to an on-site reporter in Cairo. The on-site reporter said that the crowd in Tahrir Square had begun dancing and chanting but, because he was in a hidden position he couldn't tell what they were celebrating.

# The studio anchor asked what they were chanting. The on-site guy said he didn't speak Arabic and didn't know.

# How much more useful would it have been to have had a phone line open to someone who actually speaks the language and could have told us what was going on?


and another excerpt, which really sums up the whole thing rather nicely:

# Shortly before that, while we were driving back from Marietta, Ohio 45750, we got in range of WTOP radio, which is the local all-news station. They were carrying an interview between their national security reporter and some Egyptian who lives "in the Washington, DC metropolitan area."

# The Egyptian guy was talking about how the secret police had let criminals out of jail, paid them $5, and set them on the protesters.

# I screamed at the radio "How can you know that? You're sitting at a Starbucks in Bethesda, Maryland!"

# I also wondered aloud - very aloud - what kind of editor would allow that kind of report on the air without any semblance of verification or, at minimum, a warning to listeners that this was the supposition of a guy sitting at the Starbucks in Bethesda (or wherever).


Yeah buddy. Now, Billy O'Reilly and Glen Beck, and their counterparts on the left, are fairly clearly - at least to me - nothing more than opinion shows. They are like our little blogging effort right here, the thing you are reading now. They are editorial opinion. We've never made any pretense of offering "unbiased reporting", which is the purview of - so it was at one time - news reporting. Opinion pieces and news reporting are two very different animals. Both are necessary for an effective Fourth Estate, but they should be kept well separated.

Is there any of that left these days? Watching Shep Smith and Megyn Kelly on FoxNews, it certainly appears not. Ditto for their counterparts on CNN and the other so-called cable 'news outlets'.

2/5/11

How not to promote Colorado tourism

Last summer, the town of Blackhawk banned bicyclists from most of its streets, with an ordinance that was actually enacted in 2009. The Blackhawk police department has been writing tickets to cyclists for the 'crime' of actually pedaling down a Blackhawk street.

Their logic? It's too dangerous for cyclists to 'share the road' with all those tour buses. Yep. That's what the Blackhawk city council says, though none of them can cite any accidents involving those tour buses and cyclists. That's because there haven't been any.

So if, as a cycling tourist (one of nearly 700,000 tourists who ride bicycles when they visit Colorful Colorado) you come tooling through the bucolic little village of Blackhawk, you can expect a $68 ticket.

Here's an interesting thing. Blackhawk's main drag is part of Adventure Cycling's Great Parks southern route, which is used by cyclists from all over the world to tour Colorado's mountain parks. One of the options for cyclists to avoid Blackhawk also keeps them out of Rocky Mountain park, and the other communities along that route.

How does that fit in with tourism as an industry in the state? And what happens when other burgs decide to do the same thing?

That's why state rep Andy Kerr has introduced the Open Roads Act, HR 1092, which is coming up for a vote soon, perhaps this very next week.You can follow this on ... Facebook! Like, wowsers! The Egyptians aren't the only ones who can use Facebook for 'political activism'!

Facebook: Bicyclists and tourists boycott Blackhawk

Here are some more links:

Ban on cycling in Blackhawk

Blackhawk cycling ban update

Bicycle Colorado's Open Roads Act legislative action page

2/4/11

Another ranching sucker punch

This is an interesting story in today's Pueblo Chieftain:

Rancher says business suffers in wait for SDS

An excerpt:

Colorado Springs Utilities has offered Walker less than $1,000 an acre for the 80-foot-wide swath it would cut across the property.

“I’ve had appraisals of the whole ranch done since 2003, and that offer is absolutely ridiculous,” Walker said. “It’s a slap in the face.”


So we apparently have another free-spirited rancher being screwed by city folks and big bidness.

But how about this article from April 2010, from the Colorado Springs Gazette's "Broadside" blog:

The callous and uncaring death tax

Some excerpts:

Part of the ranch is under conservation easement purchased by Fort Carson as a buffer zone. Walker is now hoping to sell the entire ranch to the government, before his parents die and the government seizes it for unpaid Death Taxes.

Did you catch that bit about Walker hoping to sell the entire ranch to the government? Would that 'government' be in the guise of, like, you know ... the US Army? How does that sit with his friends and neighbors down in Las Animas County? And how does that fit with the continuous exhortations that We Must Support the Ranchers? Here's a rancher who, having been supported by every Tom, Dick, and Harriet in southern Colorado, is going to get the munny and run. What's the loss of a 60,000 acre cattle business going to do for all those small businesses in the lower Arkansas Valley who blindly sign on to the PCEOC agenda?

But wait! There's more! Walker is incensed that Colorado Springs Utilities is only offering a thousand bux an acre for the utilities easement. It's a 'slap in the face', he insists - albeit rather melodramatically, I think, but that's just me.

But in The Broadside article, we have this:

Walker’s problems began with a hostile appraisal of his ranch land at its “highest and best” use, fictionally converting land that is actually worth about $100 to $200 per acre as marginal desert livestock grazing land into potential residential development property valued at ten to twenty times that amount; $2000 per acre. The estate tax will bankrupt him and force him to sell the entire 60,000 acre ranch at a loss. And he’s got 90 days to come up with the money after his parents die.

Is The Broadside article factual? I find no indication that it was ever considered otherwise. That being so, it appears that Walker is whining about  government 'fictionally' overvaluing the land so as to screw him in death taxes ... and then whining about Colorado Springs Utilities screwing him by not offering him a payoff for the easement based on that fictional overvaluing.

Is this a classic case of wanting to have your cake and eat it too?

But really, for me, the Big Deal is that Walker is looking to sell to the government. After all that whining from our rancher friends and neighbors about preserving the precious southern Colorado Cowboy Way of Life, against the machinations of the Evil Government, as personified by the jackbooted thugs of the United States Army.

Support your ranchers. Yeah. You betcha.

I wonder, though ... is Walker an advertiser with the Chieftain? That would explain the difference between the Chieftain article and the Gazette article rather nicely, wouldn't it?

2/3/11

Deeply patriotic

We see yet another example of the 'deep patriotism' of the ranchers of southeastern Colorado, and the pandering nature of Cowboy Wes McKinley, with this nonsensical bill Cowboy Wes is pimping:

Colorado proposes to limit Air Force flights

Opponents of the measure said at a public hearing in Durango that tactical maneuvers would create noise, air and water pollution, scare livestock, start avalanches, conflict with non-governmental flights, and disrupt peace and quiet.

"Start avalanches?" Really? Tell me another one, worse than the other one, and waltz me around again, Willy.

Cowboy Wes would have us believe that continuous streams of Air Force jets, shrieking like the banshees of hell, would be buzzing ranch houses, herds of cattle, screwing with the crop-dusters, and raising hell all up and down Las Animas County and all the way to the Four Corners.

Cowboy Wes is pretty good at selling manure. Maybe he should take it up as a full time business. Oh ... wait. He has. He's our representative in the General Assembly.

When we lived in Germany, up on Landstuhl army post, the alert fighters from Ramstein would blast right over the house whenever they launched. A brace of F4's with the throttles firewalled to full afterburner would probably cause our patriotic brethren of southeastern Colorado to piss their pants.

We used to say, "Jet noise: the sound of freedom!"

It was. It still is.

NIMBY patriotism is no patriotism at all.

It's kind of like that 'support for the troops' they all express down that way. It's as substantial as a stream of urine, fluttering away in the wind.

It all just moves me to want to go recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a PCEOC meeting.

Exemptions

Well, we've all heard about how Obama's unionista pals and business buds are getting Obamacare exemptions.

Turns out, his business buddies are also getting exemptions from the Obama EPA:

Obama issues global warming rules in January, gives GE an exemption in February

Jeff Immelt is the CEO of General Electric.

In February 2009, Immelt was appointed as a member to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide the president and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America's economic downturn.

On January 21, 2011, President Obama announced Immelt's appointment as chairman of his outside panel of economic advisers, succeeding former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. The New York Times reported that Obama's appointment of Immelt was "another strong signal that he intends to make the White House more business-friendly." Immelt will retain his post at G.E. while becoming "chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a newly named panel that Mr. Obama is creating by executive order."


So is Immelt in Obama's pocket, or is Obama in Immelt's pocket. Does it matter?

In-state tuition

Good chance of passage for bill allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

A bill that would allow illegal immigrants to attend college at the in-state tuition rate stands a good chance of passing the Colorado Senate, and supporters say the measure could even pass the Republican-controlled House.

Cowboy Wes is still a-thinkin' on it:

Asked what issues he was considering, he quipped, "Whether or not I'll be hung when I go home."

I'm thinking that in better times I could 'quip' that I have a noose ready ... but these aren't better times. I suspect that an in-kind 'quippy' repy to Cowboy Wes' quippage might result in a visit from some very serious fellows in dark suits and cool sunglasses, driving a very plain unmarked car.

Suffice it to say that I understand very well indeed and agree with the sentiment expressed by Cowboy Wes.

Ted Harvey observed:

"If you reward illegal behavior, you incentivize illegal behavior," Harvey said, adding that he thought it unlikely that the Republican-led House would pass such a measure, especially given the economy.

What a concept.

ARPA options

The ARPA/Trinidad dustup continues, with Trinidad city manager Ed Gil de Rubio asking ARPA to prepare a 'white paper' listing options for the remaining six members of the power production coalition. Additionally, he wants the board to examine mothballing the plant after the repairs - estimated at $1,000,000 - are completed:

In a Friday telephone interview, Gil de Rubio said he asked the board to consider all possible options. Besides repairing the Lamar plant, which could be completed sometime this spring, he wants ARPA management to consider mothballing the plant temporarily and laying off its workers to cut expenses, and consider the possibility of going into bankruptcy. ARPA’s total financial obligations at the end of 2010 were $153 million, and without a working power plant of its own, the company has been forced to buy electricity from a Nebraska power cooperative.

Read more in the Trinidad-Times: City manager wants ARPA to consider options

Basketball

We have galleries of the Swink v. Fowler varsity games up:

Mike and Leece's galleries

under ... "Basketball," of all things.

We have another gallery of the cheerleaders and sideliners that should be up later this evening.

2/2/11

Holleylooya!

You gotta check out this AP photo of Saint Barack:

Obama approach questioned

That can't be a simple coincidence.

I feel like prostrating myself. Or perhaps simply prostating myself.

The article is here:

Obama Approach to Mubarak Exit Questioned as Violent Clashes Erupt

The Pueblo Chieftain's Editorial Whine

The Pueblo Chieftain editorial staff has come up with a rather pathetic whine, disguised as an 'editorial':

Invaluable sunshine

In that so-called 'editorial', they state:

The printed pages of a newspaper and ONLY the printed pages of a newspaper meet both the spirit and the letter of the law. Internet access is a sensible addition to the printed page, but not a substitution for it.

Note the capitalization. That's certainly not in the ol' AP stylebook, and it strikes me as a bit shrill as well as decidedly unprofessional. The fact of the matter is, newspapers are going down like tenpins as readers find more reliable news sources elseplace. No better example exists at the moment than in the Egyptian Revolution, where print media is playing such a small role that it is for all practical purposes non-existent. And, readers are picking up on the fact that newspaper executives are prostituting their editorial prerogatives to their advertisers. When that happens, the trust factor drops through the floor, as well it should. Simple Google searches turn up a wealth of examples of editorial sellouts.

In this case, we have a newspaper that has its editorial knickers in a twist (I really like that phrase) over "... House Bill 1098, which would allow county governments in Colorado to publish monthly expenditure reports and semi-annual financial statements on county websites instead of publishing them in a newspaper of general circulation, as is required under current Colorado law."

If you believe it's over concerns about 'the public's right to know' rather than advertising bucks, then you probably believe Jim McNair wasn't "fired to placate advertisers."

Newspapers are fast becoming nothing more than glorified Thrifty Nickels, with their editorial opinion and news reporting bought and paid for by advertisers. It even infects gaming reviews.

You gotta wonder how all that fits in with the ethical standards of outfits like the Society of Professional Journalists, or APME. I don't know why the Chieftain doesn't simply do a quid pro quo and offer their ringing editorial endorsement to southeast Colorado's sitting general assembly reps in exchange for a vote against 1098, given that so many newspapers have already made a joke out of their so-called 'professional journalistic ethics' anyway.

Just in: The Daily

How long do you think that's going to be limited to iPads?

2/1/11

The United States and the Egyptian Revolution



- Foxnews photo

See the tank the soldier is standing on? That's an M1A2 Abrams. That is the main battle tank of the United States Army. It's also used by USMC. The Egyptian Army (ELF, for 'Egyptian Land Force') has over 1,000 of them. And, they were built in Egypt, in a plant licensed by the US.

ELF has over 1400 M60 Pattons, which before the Abrams, was our main battle tank.

ELF has a hodgepodge of US and Soviet armaments. They have a pile of Soviet tanks and light armored vehicles, as well as US items.

But it is interesting to see a United States main battle tank looming over protesters demonstrating against a despotic tyrant (despite what Joe Biden says), don't you think?

ELF has promised not to shoot protesters. That's good. We here at Blogger Central would hate to see US weaponry being used to shoot down people protesting a tyrannical government. It just seems to go against the grain, don't you think?