Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fwd: Department of Ecology is under attack

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brian Kilgore, Sierra Club <>
Date: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 1:00 AM
Subject: Department of Ecology is under attack

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CHP Washington State Banner

Dear Ryan,
The current budget from the Senate virtually stop all water protection work done by the department of ecology.
While Sierra Club has managed to stop a number of bad bills this session that would have reduced state authority to protect streams and clean water, we are now facing an even greater threat. The State Senate, with strong support from agribusiness and developers has just passed a budget that would cut the Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program by 50%! This would effectively eliminate enforcement of our water laws and dramatically reduce efforts to protect clean and abundant water for salmon and our families.
Contact your legislators and ask them to reject ESSB 5034 and restore funding to Department of Ecology programs.

We need to protect clean and abundant water supplies in our state.  We need to let legislators know that our water supplies must be protected!

Please help us protect the Department of Ecology.

We are also working hard to make sure that the legislature adopts a Transportation Budget that does not exacerbate climate problems. We support a package that promotes transit and bike / pedestrian projects.We want to make sure that new road projects are properly scaled and designed to reduce urban sprawl and climate impacts. Contact Cody young at to receive alerts on this topic.
Take Action!
Thanks for all you do for the environment,

Brian Kilgore,
Sierra Club Cascade Chapter

Washington State Chapter | 180 Nickerson Street, Suite 202 - Seattle, WA 98109 | P: (206) 378-0114 | Contact Us

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Dark Truth...

"A Dark Truth" (Andy Garcia, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, Eva Longoria) is a surprisingly upbeat and meaningful action film by Damian Lee about activism, water rights, and corporate greed.  There are some poignant if unbelievable moments and dialogue in this film. As a reformed CIA field agent, Andy Garcia sets the film's tone by comparing privatizing water rights to slavery.

Despite the feel good nature of the film, it maintains cinematic tension right through to the end. I was surprised to find myself enjoying it.  Now playing on Netflix....Remember to thank Canada!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The "war on terrorism" is a load of c**p.

Has there been any positive contributions to humanity from the "War on Terrorism?" Skipping our disastrous foreign wars, a faltering American economy, skyrocketing energy prices, (at least for now) let's do a quick check on recent geo-political events.

 A bombing in Iraq today killed another 27 people. It followed on the heels of another four Iraqi bombings; all of them dismissed as election cycle  "sectarian violence".  The Boston bombing +  manhunt + cheap digital photography + internet has shown American society for what it really is: a bunch of amateur sleuths targeting people of color.  And while we were pursuing those ends, our congress passed another draconian act that allows law enforcement warrant less database searches, among other intrusive powers. After NATO killed Muammar al-Gaddafii (Vladimir Putin's phrase) , North Korea reasoned  that anyone who works with the United States to give up their nuclear weapons program will suffer regime change or death.  So of course, they have taken nuclear armaments development to the next level.  And if you were Iran  or any other small country who feared the United States, you  would want nuclear weapons as well!  Meanwhile, we continue to spread billions of dollars of our deadly weapons systems across the unstable Middle East in the name of stopping terror!  I'm sure that will pan just as well as our foreign policy experts imagine.

The "war on terrorism" is a load of c**p.  Billions of FBI, CIA, DIA, DHS dollars can't even prevent so called "terrorists" from blowing up Americans with bombs made from kitchen equipment. Our over-militarized, war-mongering, increasingly restrictive society now has so many internal and external enemies we can't possibly know who and where the next terror attack will come from anyway.   We simply ought to de-fund the "war on terror" and the rest of our militarized, globalist overreach.  Maybe the terrorists, both internal and external, would treat us nicer if we built bigger libraries instead of more stealth bombers and drones.

How are we going to explain what we have done to our society to our children?  How are we going to explain how our country went bankrupt by spending too much on a military we couldn't afford? How are we going to explain why their public schools are getting foreign language and arts programs de-funded? How are we going to continue to explain to them why Daddy lost his job and the family lost their home? Our military and security expenditures are destroying the moral fabric of our nation. We just need to stop.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Waterfront Planning links

These are links to a subject I haven't taken the time to understand: "Waterfront Planning".
Planning and public comment periods are happening now. Thanks to Port of Bellingham, City of Bellingham, WA Department of ECY, RESources,Wendy Harris, Tip Johnson, John Servais, and Dan McShane:

Tip Johnson
Notice of Defect
Living Wage and Working Waterfront 101

Wendy Harris
Coming Soon to the Waterfront: More Dioxin and Toxic Waste
Waterfront "Planned Action Ordinance" Limits Restoration and Public Input
Waterfront EIS Revised Without Public Process
The Other Eight-Million Dollar Park Project

Dan McShane
Many articles explaining economic, geologic, environmental, political aspects of Waterfront planning. Search his blog for these terms "ASB"  or "Bellingham Bay" or "Waterfront"


City of Bellingham

Port of Bellingham

WA Department of ECY

Upcoming Meetings in 2013

March 21, 2013 - Planning Commission (Public Hearing)
7:00 pm - City Council Chambers (City Hall), 210 Lottie Street: This evening will be entirely devoted to public comments related to the Waterfront District Sub-Area plan and associated documents.  Note: This meeting will be video-recorded for future viewing on BTV10.

March 28, 2013 - Planning Commission (Public Hearing)
7:00 pm - City Council Chambers (City Hall), 210 Lottie Street: This evening will be entirely devoted to public comments related to the Waterfront District Sub-Area plan and associated documents.  Note: This meeting will be video-recorded for future viewing on BTV10.

April 11, 2013 - Planning Commission (Work Session)
7:00 pm - City Council Chambers (City Hall), 210 Lottie Street: Discussions regarding the issues raised by the public and the Commission during the hearings will be had at this time. A portion of this meeting will be devoted to transportation and utility related issues.

April 18, 2013 - Planning Commission (Work Session)
7:00 pm - City Council Chambers (City Hall), 210 Lottie Street: Discussions will continue on egarding the issues raised by the public and the Commission during the hearings will be had at this time. A portion of this meeting will be devoted to transportation and utility related issues.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The New World Order and our thermonuclear event horizon

"In all, estimates of North Korea’s separated plutonium range between 30 kg and 50 kg, with an approximate 5 kg to 6 kg of this figure having been used for the October 2006 test and an additional amount probably used in the May 2009 test.15 This amounts to enough plutonium for approximately five to eight nuclear weapons, assuming 6 kg per weapon. Taking the nuclear tests into account, North Korean could possess plutonium for four to seven nuclear weapons. A 2007 unclassified intelligence report to Congress says that “prior to the test North Korea could have produced up to 50 kg of plutonium, enough for at least a half dozen nuclear weapons” and points out that additional plutonium is in the fuel of the Yongbyon reactor.16 North Korea claimed to have reprocessed that fuel in the summer of 2009...The Director of National Intelligence said in early 2012 that “we also assess, albeit with low confidence, Pyongyang probably would not attempt to use nuclear weapons against US forces or territory, unless it perceived its regime to be on the verge of military defeat and risked an irretrievable loss of control.”
from "North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues" ; Mary Beth Nitikin: Congressional Research Service, April 3, 2013.
Don't let the soothing, dismissive press fool you. If we find our community engulfed in thermonuclear war on April 11 ("4/11/2013") , it won't be because we weren't warned.  The North Korean and Iranian 'conflicts' are firmly tied in the minds of our war-mongering, imperialist industrialist complex: neither Iran nor North Korea can be allowed to exist. Therefore, we intend to sanction, provoke, and antagonize them into armed conflict; a foreign policy firmly designed to provoke both Russia and China.[1]

I admit I have some respect for North Korea's spunk.  Iran seems to believe that it can play chess with the West, a game the Iranians have some claim to inventing. North Korea's culture seems devoid of bourgeois sentimentality. Their game has finally reached an ultimate expression of this theme; the threat of preemptive nuclear war on the United States.

Red lines in the sand have been drawn. We will not be allowed to invade Iran or North Korea without risking global thermonuclear war. It will surprise me little if the United States proceeds undeterred nonetheless. Perhaps, this is the best our species can do; savage, apathetic and immoral animals that we have become.

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: Obama's "playbook" and the threat of nuclear war in Asia

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Apr 6, 2013 8:15 AM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: Obama's "playbook" and the threat of nuclear war in Asia
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.
Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here.


Obama's "playbook" and the threat of nuclear war in Asia

5 April 2013
The Obama administration has engaged in reckless provocations against North Korea over the past month, inflaming tensions in North East Asia and heightening the risks of war. Its campaign has been accompanied by the relentless demonising of the North Korean regime and claims that the US military build-up was purely "defensive".
However, the Wall Street Journal and CNN revealed yesterday that the Pentagon was following a step-by-step plan, dubbed "the playbook", drawn up months in advance and approved by the Obama administration earlier in the year. The flights to South Korea by nuclear capable B-52 bombers on March 8 and March 26, by B-2 bombers on March 28, and by advanced F-22 Raptor fighters on March 31 were all part of the script.
There is of course nothing "defensive" about B-52 and B-2 nuclear strategic bombers. The flights were designed to demonstrate, to North Ko rea in the first instance, the ability of the US military to conduct nuclear strikes at will anywhere in North East Asia. The Pentagon also exploited the opportunity to announce the boosting of anti-ballistic missile systems in the Asia Pacific and to station two US anti-missile destroyers off the Korean coast.
According to CNN, the "playbook" was drawn up by former defence secretary Leon Panetta and "supported strongly" by his replacement, Chuck Hagel. The plan was based on US intelligence assessments that "there was a low probability of a North Korean military response"--in other words, that Pyongyang posed no serious threat. Unnamed American officials claimed that Washington was now stepping back, amid concerns that the US provocations "could lead to miscalculations" by North Korea.
However, having deliberately ignited one of the most dangerous flashpoints in Asia, there are no signs that the Obama adminis tration is backing off. Indeed, on Wednesday, Defence Secretary Hagel emphasised the military threat posed by North Korea, declaring that it presented "a real and clear danger". The choice of words was deliberate and menacing--an echo of the phrase "a clear and present danger" used to justify past US wars of aggression.
The unstable and divided North Korean regime has played directly into the hands of Washington. Its bellicose statements and empty military threats have nothing to do with a genuine struggle against imperialism and are inimical to the interests of the international working class. Far from opposing imperialism, its Stalinist leaders are looking for a deal with the US and its allies to end their decades-long economic blockade and open up the country as a new cheap labour platform for global corporations.
As the present standoff shows, Pyongyang's acquisition of a few crude nuclear weapons has in no way enhanced its defence against an American attack. The two B-2 stealth bombers that flew to South Korea could unleash enough nuclear weapons to destroy the country's entire industrial and military capacity and murder even more than the estimated 2 million North Korean civilians killed by the three years of US war in Korea in the 1950s.
North Korea's wild threats to attack American, Japanese and South Korean cities only compound the climate of fear used by the ruling classes to divide the international working class--the only social force capable of preventing war.
Commentators in the international media speculate endlessly on the reasons for the North Korean regime's behaviour. But the real question, which is never asked, should be: why is the Obama administration engaged in the dangerous escalation of tensions in North East Asia? The latest US military moves go well beyond the steps taken in December 2010, when the US and South Korean navies held provocative joint exercises in water adjacent to both North Korea and China.
Obama's North Korea "playbook" is just one aspect of his so-called "pivot to Asia"--a comprehensive diplomatic, economic and military strategy aimed at ensuring the continued US domination of Asia. The US has stirred up flashpoints throughout the region and created new ones, such as the conflict between Japan and China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. Obama's chief target is not economically bankrupt North Korea, but its ally China, which Washington regards as a dangerous potential rival. Driven by the deepening global economic crisis, US imperialism is using its military might to assert its hegemony over Asia and the entire planet.
The US has declared that its military moves against North Korea are designed to "reassure" its allies, Japan and South Korea, that it will protect them. Prominent figures in both countries have called for the development of their own nuclear weapons. US "reassurances" are aimed at heading off a nuclear arms race in North East Asia--not to secure peace, but to reinforce the American nuclear monopoly.
The ratcheting-up of tensions over North Korea places enormous pressures on China and the newly-selected leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. An unprecedented public debate has opened up in Beijing over whether or not to continue to support Pyongyang. The Chinese leadership has always regarded the North Korean regime as an important buffer on its northeastern borders, but now fears that the constant tension on the Korean peninsula will be exploited by the US and its allies to launch a huge military build-up.
Indeed, all of the Pentagon's steps over the past month--the boosting of anti-missile systems and practice runs of nuclear capable bombers--have enhanced the ability of the US to fight a nuclear war against China. Moreover, the US may not want to provoke a war, but its provocations always run the risk of escalating dangerously out of control. Undoubtedly, Obama's "playbook" for war in Asia contains many more steps beyond the handful leaked to the media. The Pentagon plans for all eventualities, including the possibility that a Korean crisis could bring the US and China head to head in a catastrophic nuclear conflict.
The only solution to the danger of nuclear war is the abolition of its source--the bankrupt profit system and its outmoded division of the world into rival nation states. Workers in China, the US, Japan, Korea and around the world must reject all forms of nationalism and chauvinism and unify in a joint struggle for a globally planned socialist economy that would end the barbarism of war.
Peter Symonds

The terrible cost of Washington's wars

3 April 2013
Harvard University's new report estimating that the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end up costing as much as $6 trillion is another indication of the terrible price paid by working people the world over for the crimes of imperialism.
This is the latest in a series of studies done by Harvard's senior lecturer on public policy, Linda Bilmes, together with economist Joseph Stiglitz. Each successive study has raised the estimate of the wars' long-term costs, due in large measure to the rising and sustained costs of caring for and compensating hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have returned home suffering grievous physical and psychological trauma.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact

Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact

Absolutely dynamite reporting on the secret world of offshore assets by the ICIJ.

Fwd: Not a single one?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Aaron Ostrom, Fuse Washington" <>
Date: Apr 4, 2013 1:41 PM
Subject: Not a single one?
To: <>

Instead of making Big Oil pay their fair share, Rodney Tom and his Republicans cut hundreds of millions from services for homeless youth, blind people, and seniors. With our Senate nearly evenly split, we have an opportunity to stop this misguided budget with grassroots pressure. Will you chip in $5.00 to support our rapid–response organizing and communications campaign?


Dear Friend,


That's how many loopholes Senate Republicans closed in their "tax breaks first" budget yesterday. Instead of making Big Oil and drug companies pay their fair share, Rodney Tom and his Republicans cut hundreds of millions from services for homeless youth, blind people, and seniors. Instead of investing in smaller class sizes and vocational education, they created dozens of new tax loopholes.

That's right: Senate Republicans want to create new tax breaks for clay pigeons for target shooting and natural gas used to distill mint oil, among too many others.

Here's the good news: Rodney Tom only has a tenuous one vote majority in the Senate. We're hearing that an overwhelming grassroots response could force Senate Republicans to close tax loopholes, and we're determined to make it happen.

We're mobilizing voters and educating the press about the need to close tax loopholes and pass a budget that supports working families and creates a better future for our kids. On the ground, we're knocking on doors and making phone calls to ensure swing Senators hear our voice. But we can't make it happen without your support.

Will you chip in $5.00 to support our organizing and communications campaign? As a grassroots organization, our strength comes from the support of our members. Click below to donate right now:

Yes! I'll chip in $5.00 right now!

Now that Rodney Tom and the Republicans control the Senate, we can see their true priorities. Instead of investing in the ingredients for good jobs, they are protecting special interest tax loopholes and dismantling opportunities for families to get ahead. While they didn't close a single loophole, here's what they did do in their far–right budget:
  • $72 million cut from vocational education
  • $41 million cut from essential services for low–income seniors, blind, and disabled individuals
  • $19 million cut from college financial aid for future teachers and health professionals
  • $17 million cut from child–care support for low–income working families
  • $14 million cut from community job training
  • $0 invested in smaller K–3 class sizes
Republicans try to talk a good game when it comes to education. Our job is to expose the facts: cutting funding for smaller class sizes, teacher pay, and job training classes undermines opportunities for students. We must ensure that students have the preparation and support they need to succeed without incurring mountains of debt.

The only thing sustainable about this ultra–conservative budget is the pain it will cause thousands of Washington families for years to come.

With our Senate nearly evenly split, we have an opportunity to stop this misguided budget with grassroots pressure. Will you chip in $5.00 to support our rapid–response organizing and communications campaign? Click below to donate right now:

Yes! I'll chip in $5.00 right now!

Thanks for all that you do,

Aaron and the entire team at Fuse

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Fuse is the state's largest progressive organization - people creating change online, on the ground, and on issues that matter.
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Fwd: Nine times bigger

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Michael Marx, Sierra Club" <>
Date: Apr 3, 2013 10:31 PM
Subject: Nine times bigger
To: <>

View a web version of this email.
Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

Dear Ryan,

The Arkansas tar sands spill is just a small preview of Keystone XL.

Watch the stunning local footage, then submit your comment against the tar sands!

Take Action
This is bad.

"Thanks" to ExxonMobil, dozens of Arkansas families were forced to spend their weekend breathing in toxic chemicals like benzene from their own backyards. 84,000 gallons of toxic tar sands crude from Exxon's latest pipeline spill poured down the street and continue to threaten Lake Conway. Officials have no idea when it will be safe for residents to return home.

Keystone XL would carry nine times more tar sands than the broken Arkansas pipeline. Raise your voice against the tar sands -- submit an official comment against Keystone XL today!

Big Oil's track record speaks for itself. A similar tar sands spill happened in Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010, and nearly two years later, it still hasn't been fully cleaned up. Families faced toxic health effects for months, and some even lost their pets.

Extreme fossil fuels mean extreme risks -- enormous public risk for enormous private profit. This was actually the second tar sands spill in the same week, and comes right as ExxonMobil was fined nearly $2 million for yet another 2011 spill in the Yellowstone River.

When it comes to tar sands, spills and other painful accidents aren't a matter of "if," but "when." For the residents of Mayflower, Arkansas, "when" was a holiday weekend evacuation.

Enough is enough. We can stop the tar sands by stopping new tar sands infrastructure -- watch this shocking video of the spill, then submit your official comment against Keystone XL!

We can cut oil use tremendously by buying more fuel-efficient cars, switching to electric vehicles, and building walkable, bikeable neighborhoods -- but the first step is stopping Big Oil's latest projects from moving any further. Take action today!

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Marx
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director

P.S. Five comments are worth even more than one -- please be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues as well!

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