EPA under investigation for skirting email transparency

English: Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the En...

Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Washington Times:

A House committee has launched an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an email alias to try to hide correspondence from open-government requests and her agency’s own internal watchdog — something that Republican lawmakers said could run afoul of the law.

The science committee has asked Ms. Jackson to turn over all information related to an email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” which is one of the aliases identified by a researcher looking into the EPA.

The committee has also asked the White House’s lawyer and EPA’s inspector general to look into the matter and report back by the end of this month, saying that the secret email accounts could have been used to keep key information from official watchdogs as well as the public.

Full story:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/17/congress-demands-epas-secret-email-accounts/

And who uncovered Richard Windsor?

The researcher who uncovered the “Richard Windsor” alias email, Christopher Horner, has repeatedly battled the administration over its global warming efforts.

Go Chris!

Help him out, buy the man’s book.

Christopher Horner is author of The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information “Criminal” (Threshold, October 2012).

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122 Responses to EPA under investigation for skirting email transparency

  1. nigelf says:

    Of course the EPA used fake aliases, it’s what democrats do…say we’re going to be the most transparent administration in history and proceed to do exactly the opposite!
    Republicans need to use all their lawyerly brains and bring this administration down as soon as possible for the survival of the country. Bring the lapdog media down as well.

  2. Mark T says:

    The title needs a typo fix: investigation, not inestigation.

    Oh, and, YAY! Bust that b***h down!

    Mark

  3. S. Geiger says:

    check headline…inestigation…

    [Thanks, fixed. — mod.]

  4. Matthew W says:

    “Skirting” is being rather generous.
    This was planned and their intentions are clear

  5. jim2 says:

    Speaking of socialistic environmentalists – I just saw Moron Bill McKibbon on MSNBC. (I like to see what the “other side” is up to!). He is claiming 2012 will be the hottest year ever and no one, including the Representative from New York on the 5 person panel, said a word to correct that lie. Don’t liberals know about WoodForTrees??? Can’t they use the internet? Bill McKibbon just spouts lie after lie and no one there challenges him. It is sickening. He is saying since the EnviroNazis can’t get the government to act, ,they are going to start a grass roots movement to demonize fossil fuel like tobacco companies. Cigarettes are bad, but fossil fuels are good. Big difference.

  6. We Will Restore Science to It’s Proper Place ! ! !

    palm licking lap dog for the elites….spiked collared pitbull against Truth and humanity….

  7. theduke says:

    Get Jackson up there under oath and if it turns out she’s lying, charge her with perjury. Time for a special prosecutor?

  8. John S says:

    Four more years…

  9. dfbaskwill says:

    What’s worse is that this is the least of EPA’s legal transgressions. Who knew that the Simpson’s Movie was prediction, not parody?

  10. Kaboom says:

    Now if she just been boinking a married admirer, she’d have to step down immediately. Breaking the FOI laws on the other hand means to just move along, nothing to see here. /sarc

  11. Philanthropist says:

    Sarah Palin had a yahoo account! Outrage!

    CIA, EPA directors and executives have un-official e-mail accounts. No outrage. Nothing to see here…

  12. kent Blaker says:

    The first thing that needs to happen is the redefining of the word Advertising. Such that election campaign ads are forced to comply with truth in advertising. Those reports, studies, etc. that support global warming are in effect advertising in the campaign against CO2/ coal,oil etc.

  13. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Stop focussing on the lather and go for the soap. It is the content of the mails that will be interesting, not the existence of alias accounts. Too many ‘good reasons’ to have one when you are public person. Once the email trail starts lighting up all sorts of dark corners will yield their dark secrets.

  14. PaulID says:

    Philanthropist says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:32 am
    you are either trying to be foolish or, lets just leave it where you get the benefit of a doubt, Sarah Palins Yahoo acount was known by many people it was not SECRET, un-official email acounts are not the problem it is emails that are setup with false names to deliberately hide what is going on that is the problem, think before you speak and you will not look like a fool.

  15. Chris @NJ_Snow_Fan says:

    The entire system is broken and needs a major overhaul Period!! Too many politicians with hands in the cookie jar that is our children’s future. Makes me sick and hard to turn head not to see all that is going on. I do believe using some green products are good for environment and economy. Going all in on green is not way to go. Some green products are junk, expensive and will never break even on payback. More Efficient existing energy products or what is needed also.

    Chris Beal

  16. tgmccoy says:

    What I find fascinating is that people in power behave like every word you say is
    not forever cast in stone on the internet..

  17. MattS says:

    @nigelf,

    What the heck is a “fake” alias? What exactly distinguishes it from a real alias?

  18. pat says:

    Carol Browner did much the same and when caught wiped out all correspondence in spite of a court order. But like Sandy Berger and John Corzine, there seems to be some sort of immunity if you belong to a certain political party.

  19. William says:

    This is outrageous conduct from a public official. What is the Administration’s response?

    Challenge the President to walk the talk concerning transparent and open government. If there is nothing to hide the President should support a congressional investigation. The EPA is not the CIA. The EPA is responsible to the public and to congress to be factual, to be science based.
    There is no logical reason why EPA officials require secret email accounts to hide from freedom of information requests. What in the world is going on at the EPA?

    Any Warmists that want to defend the use of alias by EPA officials? What is the reason that EPA officials need to hide from freedom of information requests?

    P.S.
    Same question for public funded climate research. If science is on the side of the Warmists there should be no problem with transparency.

  20. Werner Brozek says:

    jim2 says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:13 am
    He is claiming 2012 will be the hottest year ever

    I would need some clarification. Was he saying or implying that this just applied to the bottom 48 states of the U.S. or was it globally? If the latter, then it is clearly wrong as shown below.

    2012 in Perspective so far on Six Data Sets

    Note the bolded numbers for each data set where the lower bolded number is the highest anomaly recorded so far in 2012 and the higher one is the all time record so far. There is no comparison.

    With the UAH anomaly for October at 0.33, the average for the first ten months of the year is (-0.13 -0.13 + 0.05 + 0.23 + 0.18 + 0.24 + 0.13 + 0.20 + 0.34 + 0.33)/10 = 0.14. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.42. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.66 was reached in April of 1998.

    With the GISS anomaly for October at 0.69, the average for the first ten months of the year is (0.32 + 0.37 + 0.45 + 0.55 + 0.67 + 0.56 + 0.46 + 0.58 + 0.61 + 0.69)/10 = 0.53. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.63. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.89 was reached in March of 2002 and in January of 2007.

    With the Hadcrut3 anomaly for September at 0.520, the average for the first nine months of the year is (0.217 + 0.194 + 0.305 + 0.481 + 0.475 + 0.477 + 0.446 + 0.512+ 0.520 )/9 = 0.403. This would rank 10th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.548. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.756 was reached in February of 1998. One has to back to the 1940s to find the previous time that a Hadcrut3 record was not beaten in 10 years or less.

    With the sea surface anomaly for October at 0.428, the average for the first ten months of the year is (0.203 + 0.230 + 0.241 + 0.292 + 0.339 + 0.351 + 0.385 + 0.440 + 0.449 + 0.428)/10 = 0.336. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.451. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.555 was reached in August of 1998.

    With the RSS anomaly for October at 0.294, the average for the first ten months of the year is (-0.059 -0.122 + 0.072 + 0.331 + 0.232 + 0.338 + 0.291 + 0.255 + 0.383 + 0.294)/10 = 0.202. This would rank 11th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.55. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.857 was reached in April of 1998.

    With the Hadcrut4 anomaly for September at 0.524, the average for the first nine months of the year is (0.288 + 0.209 + 0.339 + 0.514 + 0.516 + 0.501 + 0.469 + 0.529 + 0.524)/9 = 0.432. This would rank virtually tied for 10th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.54. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.818 was reached in January of 2007. The 2011 anomaly at 0.399 puts 2011 in 12th place and the 2008 anomaly of 0.383 puts 2008 in 14th place.

    On all six of the above data sets, a record is out of reach.

  21. Gale Combs says:

    You could catch her working hand in hand with Hooker Chemicals poisoning the people of Buffalo NY and nothing would change.

    After Congress gave a pass to big Ag when caught red-handed poisoning people with feces tainted meat, I have no faith in government to do anything but support the moneyed interests. I mean get real, people who never set foot in the petting farms get sick and the government blames the Petting Farms? Talk about blaming the innocent! And the MSM continues to hide the real facts.

  22. Jeremy says:

    This administration is morally bankrupt.

  23. Tony Windsor says:

    Can I assure all readers of this (brilliant) blog that I am no relation to the Richard Windsor being used to disguise the real identity of that EPA person? While the Prince of Wales (Charles Windsor) may have some sympathy with her views I suspect that his much-revered Mother (Elizabeth Windsor) might have a different take on the abuse of her name.

  24. Taphonomic says:

    Another article discusses Chris Horner’s description of Carol Browner’s ways of avoiding transparency and discovery:

    “The first such transparency dodge, he writes, came from Carol Browner, former director of the Obama White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and Bill Clinton’s EPA administrator.

    “You remember Ms. Browner, the lady who suddenly ordered her computer hard drive reformatted and backup tapes erased, hours after a federal court issued a ‘preserve’ order … that her lawyers at the Clinton Justice Department insisted they hadn’t yet told her about?””

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/12/epa-chiefs-secret-alias-email-account-revealed/

  25. F. Ross says:

    @PaulID says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I think you may have misunderstood Philanthropist’s post.
    Maybe I’m wrong but I read it as sarcasm and that you are both, therefore, on the same wavelength.

  26. Go Home says:

    Now if only Lisa Brown was having an affair with General Petraeus, or better yet Broadwell, we might have something the media actually would be interested in.

  27. Go Home says:

    Correction, Lisa Jackson.

  28. jim2 says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:13 am
    Speaking of socialistic environmentalists – I just saw Moron Bill McKibbon on MSNBC. (I like to see what the “other side” is up to!). He is claiming 2012 will be the hottest year ever and no one, including the Representative from New York on the 5 person panel, said a word to correct that lie.

    I’m sure he was referring to temps in the contiguous US. There have been other quotes to that effect from notable warmists in recent days.

    Incidentally, the GISS global temperature anomaly for October jumped up to 69 from 60 in Sept. Curiously, the UAH global satellite measurement for Oct. was identical to that for Sept. Does anyone have an innocent explanation for the divergence?

  29. PS: Oops, the September anomaly is now 61, not 60. (The figures are sometimes adjusted post hoc.) BTW, here’s the link to the GISS anomaly table:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

  30. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    The whole Obama administration is morally bankrupt.

  31. Gary Pearse says:

    Why is it that the 95% confidence level CAGW people need to have this cloak and dagger mentality. Oh and on the question of 95% confidence level, why hasn’t the 95% of twenty years ago been trimmed down to, say, 75% today with all the fails.

  32. polistra says:

    Don’t expect the Repooflicans to investigate Mr Lisa Jackson alias Mr Richard Windsor. Always remember who invented the EPA.

  33. Sean says:

    Why are we already doomed to loose to the eco-marxists?

    Because they control the education system and are indoctrinating our population…

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/11/northwestern-u-marxism-conference-packed-with-teachers/

    “Teachers filled the ranks at the 2012 Midwest Marxism Conference, which was held Saturday at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

    Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey, who spoke at one of the breakout sessions, was just one of the hundreds of attendees, many of them teachers, there to strategize about the next phases of the partnership between Chicago Socialists and the Chicago Teachers Union.

    Thankfully, after hours of enduring non-discussion and hate speech against Americans (and being amongst those celebrating a philosophy of mass murderers), I was “outed” as not a communist, told I was “not in solidarity” and surrounded by members of the Chicago Socialists who told me to leave the Northwestern School of Journalism premises.

    Just what did the Chicago Socialists feel they had to hide, that attendees such as myself, observing, might expose?

    It is not an overstatement to say, based on the words of the teachers who filled the rooms at the Marxism Conference, that the Teachers agenda and the Marxist agenda is one and the same.

    Welcome to the New Education of your children.”

  34. tallbloke says:

    People often use anagrams of their name to generate aliases, now lets see…

    Jackass Lion
    A Slack Joins
    Alas Jock Sin
    Jackal In Sos

    http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/anagram.cgi?anagram=lisa+jackson&t=1000&a=n

  35. George Orwell says:

    Don’t you think they will just ignore congressional requests and subpoenas as Holder did for Fast and Furious?
    Don’t you think the media will just ignore this as they have Fast and Furious (and every other Administration scandal)?
    Why does anyone think anything will be different this time?
    A carbon tax is coming, more green energy boondoggles are coming, coal plants will be shut down and electrical prices will ‘necessarily’ skyrocket. Nothing can save us.
    Sorry to depress everyone but some pigs are so much more equal that they are above the law.

  36. jim2 says:

    @Roger Knights says:
    November 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

    “I’m sure he was referring to temps in the contiguous US. There have been other quotes to that effect from notable warmists in recent days.”

    Roger, well, I didn’t know we had a mind reader among us. If a panel is discussing CO2 and warming, MY assumption would be they are talking GLOBAL warming. Discussing warming in a limited region is pretty much meaningless to climate temperature trends. They also brought up the droughts and hurricanes, stating that was proof of “climate change” (global warming). Those memes have also been shot down.

    Climate skeptics need to start pushing WoodForTrees. There is nothing like seeing it for one’s self.

    The other day at work, someone asked me about hydrogenation and saturated fats. After I drew a representation of a fatty acid, then partial hydrogenation of it, then saturated hydrogenation – the person said – why is this so bad? The word “hydrogenation” and “saturated” have become dark words to them. When they saw the result of these processes, they began to scratch their heads and ask why this innocuous looking change was so bad. Knowledge is power. I’m not trying to say saturated fat is good, what I am saying is that people have fears that are not rationally based. That wouldn’t be a big deal if they didn’t vote – but they do anyway.

  37. eric1skeptic says:

    George Orwell is correct on at some of the things on his list above (carbon tax, green boondoggles, etc). But since the ones that require Congressional approval will be difficult, so expect more like the war on coal on which the federal government brought numerous agencies down on the coal and associated companies. For example, increased DOT inspections of trucks leaving coal facilities with maximum fines. That’s why private emails to and from EPA and other government officials are so important. The federal government will use all means at its disposal to implement the green agenda like shutting down coal. Some of those means are somewhat covert and must be hidden from public view lest they be recognized as selective enforcement, harassment, etc.

  38. eyesonu says:

    Kaboom says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Now if she just been boinking a married admirer, she’d have to step down immediately. Breaking the FOI laws on the other hand means to just move along, nothing to see here. /sarc

    ==================

    For some reason I just can’t picture Lisa Jackson and boinking.

  39. beesaman says:

    This hiding of government emails from the public is going on here in the UK as well. Personally, I believe it should result in jail time and a permanent ban from holding any future government posts…

  40. Pamela Gray says:

    It never fails. Someone always gets in a comment blaming teachers. Those that blame such groups in that way need to be careful not to get the color of paint they use on others (IE the color of communism, nazism, socialism, etc) all over themselves. Some of humanity’s worst decades were splattered with the blood of mass extermination because someone somewhere blamed a group of people for all their troubles. And no one stopped them.

  41. 1IDVET says:

    Reblogged this on Truth, Lies and In Between and commented:
    The EPA needs to be disbanded. All of it. Get rid of it. If the EPA didn’t exist, gas would be at $1.50 a gallon. They are one of the biggest reasons that Americans are suffering today, not to mention the Africans who are suffering from the mosquitoes that could have been eradicated with DDT.

  42. jim2 says:
    November 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

    @Roger Knights says:
    November 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

    “I’m sure he was referring to temps in the contiguous US. There have been other quotes to that effect from notable warmists in recent days.”

    Roger, well, I didn’t know we had a mind reader among us. If a panel is discussing CO2 and warming, MY assumption would be they are talking GLOBAL warming.

    I wasn’t criticizing you for not knowing his probable intent at the time. I was just providing an after-the-fact explanation for what he said. It’s relevant.

  43. _Jim says:

    Gale [_Jim: ?] Combs says November 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

    You could catch her working hand in hand with Hooker Chemicals poisoning the people of Buffalo NY and nothing would change.

    I think the reference here is to the “Love Canal” neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York.

    Per wiki (because it’s easy):

    “Hooker Chemical sold the site to the Niagara Falls School Board in 1953 for $1, with a deed explicitly detailing the presence of the waste and including a liability limitation clause about the contamination. The construction efforts of housing development, combined with particularly heavy rainstorms, released the chemical waste, leading to a public health emergency and an urban planning scandal.”

    BTW, what accounts for the name change? Is the ‘boiler room’ operation there getting sloppy assigning nicks?

    .

  44. TANSTAAFL says:

    If it weren’t for double standards, leftists would have no standards at all.

  45. Snotrocket says:

    John S says:November 17, 2012 at 7:21 am
    “Four more years…”

    You mean: For more years???

  46. jim2 says:

    @Roger Knights says:
    November 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    “I wasn’t criticizing you for not knowing his probable intent at the time. I was just providing an after-the-fact explanation for what he said. It’s relevant.”

    You are providing an opinion. I understand.

  47. Gail Combs says:

    beesaman says:
    November 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

    This hiding of government emails from the public is going on here in the UK as well. Personally, I believe it should result in jail time and a permanent ban from holding any future government posts…
    _______________________________
    I agree completely but deceitful politicians make the laws and not those who put them in office and are being lied to. Remember the definition of an honest politician:

    One who stays bought.

    Then think of the Supreme Court ruling a corporation is a person and therefore can contribute to campaign funds. Remember it is perfectly acceptable for foreign entities to have paid lobbyists in Washington DC. Remember that “Charities” can move funds from the charity to a lobbying arm and it is perfectly legal. Now tell me where in heck can an individual have any representation among all those elephants stomping around?

  48. Alex the skeptic says:

    Sean says:
    November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am
    Why are we already doomed to loose to the eco-marxists?
    Because they control the education system and are indoctrinating our population
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Very true, The socialists control education, mainstream media and even science. They have managed to remove morality from every aspect of life, public and private, People do not know how to choose to live the correct way because they don’t know what is good and what is evil. anf they don’t know the difference.The number of people who want to live the wrong way, living off others’ wages, Redistribution of Wealth it is called in Newspeak, has now passed the critical line. These cannot be supported anymore with less people working productively, that is those members of the hard-working class who really create the GDP.
    But this will soon be over. Socialism will always implode. When the economy implodes as it will do soon, then people will come to their senses. The more it takes for us to come to our senses, the greater willthe fall be. Some think that it is not a matter of when we fall the fiscal cliff, but how hard will it be when we hit the ground, beacuse we are already in freefall.

  49. Mark Urbo says:

    Now we know what happened to the “pigman” in one of the Seinfeld episodes – it turned into Lisa Jackson.

  50. Jeff Alberts says:

    Sean says:
    November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Why are we already doomed to loose to the eco-marxists?

    I’m sure it’s due to poor grammar.

    j/k

  51. Tom in Texas says:

    “Four more years…”

    4 MORE BEERS! 4 MORE BEERS!

  52. Gail Combs says:

    _Jim says:
    November 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Gale [_Jim: ?] Combs…
    ________________________________
    I didn’t put that in.

    Also the story in Wiki is not the one I heard decades ago while living in the area. (MSM strikes again with its lies painting a corporation black maybe?) Either way Hooker + Government ===> people poisoned. And yes it was Love Canal.

  53. MonktonofOz says:

    Re “Four more years” etc. The question is dear US cousins (though actually it seems to be a world wide. western problem) is, is your political system capable of producing a hands-on, common sense, practical president who can relate to the “average” voter / family? Sadly your system seems to produce left leaning characters who buy votes but only notice fiscal cliffs after they are elected. Or rich men whose very affluence prevents them understanding the needs on Main Street. Then stir in Republican extremists who simply cannot resist mouthing off their personal bias even though they know it will hurt the party. Unless you get the right candidate and these extremists under control get used to the idea that it won’t be another four years but another eight / twelve and today’s fiscal cliff will look like flat ground.

  54. jim2 says:

    Speaking of leftists controlling organizations. I signed up for emails from the league of women voters so I would know when off-year bond elections were happening. After the Presidential election, they sent an email stating how proud they were to have fought voter ID. OK. Guess the socialists have that one. Then there is AARP. No wonder conservatives have had to start new organizations.

  55. jim2 says:

    @ MonktonofOz says:
    November 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    The “needs of main street” are best served by a robust economy. Romney understood how to do that. I’ll take a job over welfare any day, and so would many people on the dole in the US.

  56. Mike McMillan says:

    Jeff Alberts says: November 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    Sean says: November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am
    Why are we already doomed to loose to the eco-marxists?

    I’m sure it’s due to poor grammar.

    No, that pore speling, not grammer.

  57. kramer says:

    Gail Combs says:
    November 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm
    Remember it is perfectly acceptable for foreign entities to have paid lobbyists in Washington DC.

    I didn’t know this. Now I know really why democrats and some republicans believe in global warming–they are being paid to get us to reduce our use of resources so the rest of the world can use them at a cheaper price and, they are trying to get us to sign on to cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, REDD and other schemes so they can get more of our wealth to build up economic infrastructure in their nations.

    I thought the goal behind AGW was to redistribute our wealth to the developing world so that more women get to work so they have less babies?

  58. William Grubel says:

    Give it up. After four years of lies and dishonesty this country just re elected these idiots to four more. With that in hand they can do or say anything they want with the full on support of the lame stream media. Why would you expect the warmistas or the Democrats to stop lying? They just proved it works and we didn’t stop them. Our only hope is that they don’t do anything irreversable. I’m not holding my breath.

  59. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says November 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Also the story in Wiki is not the one I heard decades ago while living in the area. (MSM strikes again with its lies painting a corporation black maybe?) Either way Hooker + Government ===> people poisoned. And yes it was Love Canal.

    Looks look at this in steps, shall we (instead of taking the ultra-simplistic view that Hooker is simply bad)?

    First up we have entrepreneur William T. Love who in 1894 began building a canal to connect the Niagara River to Lake Ontario. It didn’t work out so the 1/2 mile of ‘completed’ canal filled by now with water was simply abandoned and became a local swimming hole.

    Next, we have one Mr. Elon H. Hooker (1869-1938) – His Education

    The company he founded, Hooker Electrochemical Company, is featured here in an issue of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry did business in the Niagara Falls area.

    In 1947 the canal is sold at public auction and Hooker Chemical picks it up. At that time the area was sparsely populated at the time and had an impermeable clay substrate (take note: this becomes important later when this impermeable clay substrate is ‘punctured’ and cut into by construction in the area which includes the school construction AND laying of water and sewer pipe plus storm drainage sewers), which made it a good location for a chemical waste landfill.

    At this point going forward, we begin to have ‘monied’ interests and politics involved in the picture.

    Wiki excerpt: “At the time of the dump’s closure, Niagara Falls was entering an economic boom and the population had surpassed 85,000, with the population expanding at record percentages. The Niagara Falls City School District needed land to build new schools, and attempted to purchase the property from Hooker Chemical that had been used to bury toxic waste. The corporation refused to sell, citing safety concerns, and took members of the school board to the canal and drilled several bore holes to demonstrate that there were toxic chemicals below the surface. However, the board refused to capitulate.

    in 1953 Hooker Chemical sold the site to the Niagara Falls School Board for $1, with a deed explicitly detailing the presence of the waste.

    Despite the restrictions and risk stipulations in the deed conveyed to the Board of Education by Hooker, the Board decided to develop the land above the fill site and its surrounding area.

    Warnings were ignore: “In January 1954, the architect of the school wrote to the education committee informing them that during excavation, workers discovered two dump sites filled with 55-US-gallon drums containing chemical wastes. The architect also noted that it would be “poor policy” to build in that area since it was not known what wastes were present in the ground, and the concrete foundation might be subsequently damaged.

    The Board authorized construction of an elementary school on the site in 1955, the city constructed a sewer line through the canal in 1960, and developers constructed homes and streets next to the site. The toxic chemicals stored there eventually seeped from their ruptured and deteriorated containers into the soil, basements, and storm sewers.

    So, between the developers anxious to develop (the area around the city of Niagara Falls is ‘land locked’ by the river to one side so PROPERTY is valuable), the city and the school district both who disregarded the need to keep the impermeable clay substrate unpunctured and the stipulations in the deed, disaster was only a matter of time …

    Had the canal existed intact to this day, other issue would no doubt have arisen, given factors such as inevitable ‘leeching’ of the various chemicals dumped into the ‘canal’ (the pit) by Hooker Chemicals ‘in the day’ … also realize that some of this dumping was done during wartime when push had turned to shove to ‘turn out’ a lot of product, including a LOT of various chemicals and compounds used by industry to support the war effort.

    .

  60. MattS says:

    @Gail Combs

    “Then think of the Supreme Court ruling a corporation is a person and therefore can contribute to campaign funds.”

    Citizens United did not create corporate personhood. The idea of corporate personhood in US law goes back almost 200 years.

    The primary drivers behind this were that before corporate personhood the corporation itself could neither sue nor be sued. Another issue was that corporations could not form contracts in their own right.

    If you reverse corporate personhood just to undo Citizens United what will happen is that anyone injured by a corporation would have to sue each of the shareholder’s and officers individually. Shareholder liability would still be limited to the value of each shareholder’s shares. To win against the corporate officers you would have to individually prove culpability for each officer. You would not be able to recover any funds being held by the corporation itself.

    Do you really want to go there?

  61. mfo says:

    I’m sure this has already been noticed but Lisa Jackson’s bio when she was appointed by Governor Jon Corzine to lead New Jersey’s Department of Evnironmental Protection in 2006 stated:
    “Commissioner Jackson is married to Kenny Jackson and is the proud mother of two wonderful sons, Marcus and Brian. The family lives in EAST WINDSOR, New Jersey.”
    http://liveweb.archive.org/http://www.state.nj.us/dep/commissioner/docs/lpjbio.pdf

  62. Justthinkin says:

    @Pamela…
    they attend a Marxist gathering…check
    said gathering actually being paid for by their union…check
    they remove people trying to get their views and reasoning….check
    if it walks like a duck,quacks like a duck,and sh1ts like a duck…well.
    Pls realize that 99% of teachers today ARE either socialist or marxist.It’s what their profs taught them.It is what it is,but calling a spade a spade is far better then ignoring and burying your head.
    Or should people not call paedophiles that?

  63. MonktonofOz says:

    @Jim2 says The “needs of main street” are best served by a robust economy. Romney understood how to do that. I’ll take a job over welfare any day, and so would many people on the dole in the US.
    Agree wholeheartedly but deliberately or otherwise you miss my point. Meaningless to say Romney “understood” when he LOST. The majority of voters did NOT vote for Romney because his views did NOT convince enough Main Street Americans. Had there been a Republican candidate who was seen to have more empathy with the average family / been of the people, the USA would have different president.

  64. James McCauley says:

    Eyes and ears open, always vigilant. Mouth, pen and keys – busy, or at the ready. Let not one stop shining light upon the Government “transparency”. Chris Horner – another diligent Hero!

  65. Robert A. Taylor says:

    To: Gary Pearse says:
    November 17, 2012 at 9:34 am
    I’m sorry, I’m new at this Internet stuff and lousy at keeping track of links, so can’t give them here. Essentially for most things they can’t or don’t have standard methods of calculating certainty, so it is set by “experts” usually the authors themselves. In other words, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing. Go away.”

    To: George Orwell says:
    November 17, 2012 at 10:24 am
    Days ago I wrote both my Senators and my Representative about all these with practical suggestions, and mentioned Al Gore’s and Obama’s claims about ‘dirty weather’, and provided real information from official US, international, even IPCC sources. Do I expect to have any effect? Don’t be absurd.

    The next big step (I expect within a generation or at most two, or with economic collapse) is Caesarism (strong wo/man rule). After that the long night. It isn’t inevitable, but I consider it probable, and am very glad it is unlikely I will live long enough to see it. I am very sorry for those who may.

    To me we appear to be in Heinlein’s “Crazy Years”. I just hope we come out of them as well as we did in his fiction.

    To: beesaman says:
    November 17, 2012 at 11:15 am
    I said the same in my letters.

    To: Gail Combs says:
    November 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm
    You forgot to mention that not only can business corporations spend unlimited amounts on political propaganda, but that many US corporations are owned, controlled, or greatly influenced by foreigners. The Supreme Court not only accepted an absurdity, that a corporation considered a person by legal fiat for purposes of business should be considered a person in matters of human rights, but that foreigners should be allowed more influence in U. S. politics than citizens. In effect that affirmed the U. S. is not only a plutocracy but at least nearly a fascist state, by Mussolini’s definition: “A Fascist state is one where the difference between government and business is the thickness of a cigarette paper” (roughly translated from the Italian) Also, remember Fascist, and Nazi parties were both Socialist. Translated Hitler’s party is National Socialist Workers Party. The difference is merely in how socialism is implemented: state ownership or state control. Hitlers organization and government were a direct copy of Stalin’s, including the “cult of personality”.

    I’ve depressed myself. Welcome to the “Brave New World”, post 1984.

  66. beng says:

    What is the frequency, Richard?

    h/t Dan Rather

  67. beesaman says:

    Sorry folks, but as a teacher and a teacher of teachers I just don’t buy the ‘all teachers are Marxists meme’ a lot are left of centre, quite a few right of it, but what none of them want is control of education by any political extremes, left or right. We all know where that leads, so get a grip and using the best piece of advice I’ve ever received, ‘get over yourself!’

  68. Gail Combs says:

    Robert A. Taylor says:
    November 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    …To: Gail Combs says:
    November 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm
    You forgot to mention that not only can business corporations spend unlimited amounts on political propaganda, but that many US corporations are owned, controlled, or greatly influenced by foreigners….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes I did. Here is the info from the last time I look at that several years ago.

    Industries with over 50% foreign ownership, according to Source Watch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Foreign_ownership_of_U.S._corporations

    Cong.[ressman] Kolbe pointed out that 80% of American ports are already operated by companies based in foreign countries, such as the United Kingdom and China, among others.

    Foreign companies buying U.S. roads, bridges

    Statistics (courtesy of Bridgewater) showed in 1990, before WTO was ratified, foreign ownership of U.S. assets amounted to 33% of U.S. GDP. By 2002 this had increased to over 70% of U.S. GDP. http://www.fame.org/HTM/greg%20Pickup%201%2010%2003%20report.htm

    No wonder Foreigners want a “Seat on the Board” they own most of the place!

  69. jim2 says:

    @MonktonofOz says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm
    “Had there been a Republican candidate who was seen to have more empathy with the average family / been of the people, the USA would have different president.”

    I have a different take on it. 50% of the people live on the low side of the IQ bell curve. Even though the aren’t all that bright, they do understand “free stuff.” They would vote for Bozo the Clown if the Dims ran him.

  70. beng says:

    ****
    Gail Combs says:
    November 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Remember it is perfectly acceptable for foreign entities to have paid lobbyists in Washington DC.
    ****

    Remember, the word “lobbyist” is just watered-down PC doublespeak. The proper description is influence peddlers.

  71. Robert of Ottawa says:

    pat says November 17, 2012 at 8:12 am
    Carol Browner did much the same and when caught wiped out all correspondence in spite of a court order. But like Sandy Berger and John Corzine, there seems to be some sort of immunity if you belong to a certain political party.

    Just goes to show the DOJ is no holder of justice …. oh, wait a minute..

  72. Pamela Gray says:

    Justthinkin, your rhetoric is way out of bounds and should not be allowed to stand on this blog. Go to some other site and spew such hatred.

  73. David Ball says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    November 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I’m equally certain it is due to pedants.

  74. David Ball says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    November 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

    ????? What are you talking about?????? He pwned you and you’re asking for his removal, verify his point?? Hilarious. The mirror sometimes reflects painful images, does it not?

  75. David Ball says:

    verifying, Of course. Laughing too hard.

  76. MonktonofOz says:

    Dear @jim2 then if you truly believe “They would vote for Bozo the Clown if the Dims ran him.” you and the Republican party are forever destined to lose. The mindset of those who select the candidate needs to change and supporters such as your good self must stop blaming “them”. No surprise that today’s press is quoting Republican sources as saying Romney lost as he had a lack of “empathy” with the voters. Now where did I read that earlier?

  77. Jeff Alberts says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I’m equally certain it is due to pedants.

    Yeah, that guy’s rant was pretty pedantic.

  78. Gail Combs says:

    _Jim says:
    November 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Gail Combs says November 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Looks look at this in steps, shall we (instead of taking the ultra-simplistic view that Hooker is simply bad)?
    ____________________________________
    _Jim, BEFORE, Love Canal Hooker Chemical’s reputation was so bad among chemists that head hunters would ask, “Aside from Buffalo NY, is there anywhere else you will not relocate to?” My boss had worked for Hooker and when the Love Canal story hit the news had nothing but scathing things to say about them. He was a Chem Engineer and the best boss I ever had so I think I will take his first hand account of the place over yours.

    Some chemical companies have good reputations and some have bad within the industry. Hooker and the first company I worked for were well known as NOT a good place to work if you want a long healthy life. That and word recognition was why I picked Hooker.

    That the local government and property developer were also part of the problem does not paint Hooker lily white. It was an all round Cluster…

    Also speaking of War time dumping, there were ships with mercury and other chemicals sunk just outside of Rochester NY in Lake Ontario according to one old time chemist who worked there during WWII. I have sailed out of the mouth of the Genesee River when it ran different colors and stank to high heaven too.

  79. Gail Combs says:

    MattS says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    @Gail Combs

    “Then think of the Supreme Court ruling a corporation is a person and therefore can contribute to campaign funds.”

    Citizens United did not create corporate personhood. The idea of corporate personhood in US law goes back almost 200 years.
    ___________________________________
    Matt, The law and courts have been splitting hairs since mankind settled in villages.

    If you want to continue the idea of corporate personhood then why can’t GE or Monsanto vote? If they are not allowed to vote then they should not be allowed to influence elections by contributing to campaign funds. Heck why do we not go further and remove the right to vote from people and just give it to the corporations…. Oh, wait that is just what the EU and WTO did.

  80. Gail Combs says:

    Oh and Matt, originally in the USA corporations only had a limited life.

    …Up to the mid-1800s,
    * Corporations had limited duration, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years — they were not given forever, like corporate charters are given today.

    * The amount of land a corporation could own was limited.

    * The amount of capitalization a corporation could have was limited.

    * The corporation had to be chartered for a specific purpose — not for everything, or anything.

    * The internal governance was very different —

    * shareholders had a lot more rights than they have today, for major decisions such as mergers; sometimes they had to have unanimous shareholder consent.

    * There were no limitations protections on liability — managers, directors, and shareholders were liable for all debts and harms and in some states, doubly or triply liable.

    * The states reserved the right to amend the charters, or to revoke them — even for no reason at all
    http://ratical.org/corporations/

  81. Pamela Gray says:

    Leaving for a while. I’ve stated my opinion. I stand by it.

  82. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says November 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Some chemical companies have good reputations and some have bad within the industry. Hooker and the first company I worked for were well known as NOT a good place to work if you want a long healthy life. That and word recognition was why I picked Hooker. …

    Perhaps ‘muckraking’ is the business that’s engaged in with that local (your) boiler room operation, but reason is ours (here) … and for a BIGGER picture of what transpired regarding Love Canal Reason mag has an interesting and most-complete article including words from some of the the principles at the time (like the school board members).

    NOTE TOO that Eric Zuesse (the author) does not paint the EPA (and their actions) in this case in very good light either. A quick read of the EPA’s website on this issue white-washes the actions of the local authorities too (kinda like you worked to do).

    Article: http://reason.com/archives/1981/02/01/love-canal from Feb. 1981

    Re: “Some chemical companies have good reputations and some have bad within the industry” note too that things have CHANGED considerably in industry; few recruits would choose working conditions as you offer-up in those second-hand accounts … Upton Sinclairs “The Jungle” comes to mind now (if you recall, he revealed conditions in the meat packing industry in the US in 1906)

    How would you have liked to have worked in the meat packing industry in the early 1900′s?

    Think of the stories you’d have to tell then?

    PS. I think this is the booklet titled “Love Canal: The Facts” published by Hooker Chemicals in 1980 that Eric refers to toward the end of his article:

    . . http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/4127.pdf

    In comprehending all this, it would help to be ‘an adult’ with the capacity to understand the changes, the adaptations and improvements that have been made in industry as technology has advanced overall, employing better methods and techniques that result in less waste and in plants where living conditions don’t endanger the lives of the employees. I think Eric nails it in his article too: the responsible parties are the ones who FAILED to continue to propagate the warnings placed on the property deeds and did no service to those to whom they sold the property *as if* everything was okay and this was virgin land.

    When reading Eric’s article, one also finds out that the school district moved and removed (for grading and leveling purposes) substantial amounts of earth around and from on top of the covered canal in the 1950′s … this was to have repercussions in later years as this allowed water to re-enter the canal especially in 1978 when heavy rains brought the problem to a head (and conditions in the canal proper became ‘liquid’ again).

    .

  83. MattS says:

    @Gail Combs

    ” If you want to continue the idea of corporate personhood then why can’t GE or Monsanto vote? If they are not allowed to vote then they should not be allowed to influence elections by contributing to campaign funds. Heck why do we not go further and remove the right to vote from people and just give it to the corporations…. Oh, wait that is just what the EU and WTO did.\”

    I am ambivalent on the issue of corporate personhood. When corporate “personhood” was first created by the courts it was explicitly understood to be a legal fiction for the purposes of contract and tort law. Somewhere along the line well before Citizens United was decided the understanding that it was a legal fiction got lost.

    I am not trying to say that there haven’t been any negative consequences to corporate personhood. However dumping corporate personhood without a lot of care and planning just to reverse Citizens United could end up being far worse then the status quo.

  84. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Thank you Gail Combs says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:06 am
    I had no online references. That first reference is 2002. Would that Congress had had the courage to require official tracking and publication years ago when they considered it.

    Thanks again Gail Combs says:
    November 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm
    I didn’t know some of that, and I thought I was reasonably well versed in the subject.

    Simply memory for this; I’ve long since lost my notes:
    A woman publishing in a professional economics journal c. 1966 wrote that prior to WWI the U. S. had more international debt than any other country; the British had more capital investment here than we had in ourselves, and the Dutch had almost as much. Essentially, and somewhat over simplified, in the build up to, during, and immediately after WWI and WWII the Europeans liquidated, at bargain prices, their international holdings to finance the wars. The U. S. picked these up. After the late 1950s, when European industry was rebuilt the U. S. has been loosing ground, and continues to do so, now to Asia.

  85. u.k.(us) says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    ==================
    I’ve got an hour or two left in me.
    Pick on me.
    What is your bitch ? anyway.
    Be precise.

  86. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Re MattS says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    and Gail Combs says
    November 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    … Matt, If you want to continue the idea of corporate personhood then why can’t GE or Monsanto vote? …

    And, why don’t they pay personal income taxes. I’d like to see Bank of America’s 1040. Old idea; probably shouldn’t have brought it up.

    Re MonktonofOz says:
    November 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm
    “… is your political system capable of producing a hands-on, common sense, practical president …”
    As a U. S. citizen I entirely agree. Both major political parties are controlled by their extreme ideological wings, who are the most active enduring, and so influential, especially in primaries and between elections. The candidates merely say whatever they think will get them elected, then go on to the most radical agenda they are allowed to get away with.
    I am amazed at the Republican’s response to Obama’s election. It was reasonably obvious, by inspection, two months earlier, and definite at least two days prior to the election. My personal evaluation at the time. I was going to vote “none of the above” as usual, but switched to Romney on the extremely slight chance my vote would reduce Obama’s majority. A single vote in any state is less than the voting errors natural and manufactured.

    We’ve hijacked this thread. We’re talking about lots of things besides “EPA under investigation for skirting email transparency”. It is connected, I’m interested and partly responsible, but not on the original topic.

  87. Gail Combs says:

    _Jim says:
    November 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Perhaps ‘muckraking’ is the business that’s engaged in with that local (your) boiler room operation….
    ____________________________________
    Good Grief,
    Hooker Chemical was well known among chemists almost a decade BEFORE Love Canal. Were YOU a chemist back then? I was and I lived in the area and went to ACS meetings with other chemists. I heard the talk not you. I was the one given the warnings not to work for them, not you. I really don’t give a rat’s behind what is on the internet about that company. We have all seen just a few days ago how the “impartial BBC” was as crooked as they come when it comes to reporting news.

    Given news stories or first hand reports by other chemists including my boss, I will take the SCIENTISTS word against what you dig up on the internet.

    And for what it is worth I was at the scene for another long playing news story and believe me the “truth” on the internet doesn’t even come close to the actual facts.

  88. Lightrain says:

    Time to go on the offensive and change Climate Alarmists into Climate Liars and let them try to justify the ‘facts’ they present where more people can see they’re full of BS. Offense, not defense.

  89. David Ball says:

    My bitch? Read the posts. What did I do but point out what happened. Back the eff up, people.

    U.K./u.s. you got something to say, say it.

  90. David Ball says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    November 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    As was yours.

  91. David Ball says:

    Lightrain says:
    November 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Agreed 100%.

  92. David Ball says:

    My bitch; I have children and I have many friends that have children in the current school system. The vast majority, especially among the boys, are being tagged with the ADHD label. A classic case of over-diagnosis. The narrow minded view taken by the schools and teachers in particular who engage in a socialist view that these children fit into their ideal little box is asinine. It will eliminate any possible future Einsteins or Mozarts. It eliminates individuality or original thought. Conformity. Sad. My son is 8 years old. He acts like an 8 year old boy does. A fart in a jar, lol. He explores, experiments, catches frogs, ants, bugs of all manner, builds imaginary spaceships out of lego ( he particularly like symmetrical spaceships, but has strayed from that after watching and enjoying Star Wars). We encourage imagination, study of his surroundings and ask him the hard questions. He is far ahead of the curve in math, reading,geography, and art. He understands large concepts such as the vastness of space and is not intimidated by anything intellectual. He loves history, particularly historical structures, the Taj Mahal being a current favourite. He has stated that he would rather go to Machu Picchu than disneyland. The scholastic system is dreadfully boring for someone like that, and this is a challenge to his teachers. Especially the ones who are not that bright. Some teachers have been fantastic and recognize his skill and intellect, but the majority cannot cope with those outside their little box. I had them, you probably had them. The west will suffer in the future, and it is being seen at the university levels where many cannot even string a sentence together, yet get a passing grade. High school does not prepare students for university at all, let alone the simple ability to balance a check book. A tougher concept of interest rates have most people believing they can pay off credit cards making minimum payments in an average lifetime. Catering in schools to the lowest common denominator is a socialist mindset and flawed to the core.

    That is my “bitch”, not that I owe anyone here an explanation for anything. [snip]

  93. u.k.(us) says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm
    ==============
    There is a certain facet of commenters that I enjoy.
    Don’t mess with it.
    Have I said something ?

  94. David Ball says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Is that some sort of veiled threat?

  95. David Ball says:

    I will say what I like. If anyone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Last I recall, Anthony and the mods say what flies and what doesn’t around here. So whatcha gonna do?

  96. Robert A. Taylor says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    “My bitch; I have children and I have many friends that have children in the current school system. The vast majority, especially among the boys, are being tagged with the ADHD label …”

    I have a brother who is a retired tenured professor who still reads almost all theses and dissertations at the college where he taught. He is an expert in education, testing, and research methods. He agrees with you. He strongly disapproves of amateur diagnosis of ADHD, and over diagnosis by professionals with little actual knowledge of what actually constitutes ADHD. This misdiagnosis is particularly prevalent among teachers, especially young females, who have little experience with children, particularly boys, and those who have a dislike of boys. Some professionals are also “pill pushers”; some schools train them to be. This results in the “medication” of far too many who are merely behaving normally.

    I have a nephew who would have met this fate had his parents not strongly intervened. This caused a continuing series of problems with his correct work being counted wrong or lost entirely, test scores being recorded incorrectly, etc. This persecution continued for years. I am not reporting what he or his parents said, but my own knowledge. The original teacher had an obvious prejudice against all males, and was known for it.

    Boys will be boys. Tom Sawyer is a far better exemplar than a boy reduced to behaving like a prissy, overly controlled, little girl or turned into an emotionless robot.

    Has it escaped anyone’s attention that “Sit down. Be quiet. Don’t run.” is entirely at odds with the natural behavior of children, and, intentionally or not, encourages “couch potatoes”.

  97. MattS says:

    @Robert A. Taylor,

    Corporations do pay income tax in the US and in most of the world, although it’s at a different rate than for individuals. In fact US corporate income tax rates are among the highest in the industrial world.

    What you want is form 1120 not 1040. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1120.pdf

    You probably can get these for publicly traded companies if you know where to look. Try the SEC.

    Many large US corporations end up paying no US corporate income tax because most of their profits are from foreign operations. I don’t know if this is unique to the US or if it is common around the world but under US law Corporations don’t have to pay corporate income tax on foreign profits if those profits were taxed in the country they were earned in.

    Something similar applies for individuals at the state level. If you live and work in different states you owe state income tax to the state in which the income was earned unless the two states involved have a reciprocal tax agreement.

  98. u.k.(us) says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm
    I will say what I like. If anyone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Last I recall, Anthony and the mods say what flies and what doesn’t around here. So whatcha gonna do?
    ============
    Don’t mess with our girls.

  99. Robert A. Taylor says:

    MattS says:
    November 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm
    “Corporations do pay income tax in the US …”

    I know; I have prepared corporate tax forms. It seems I didn’t make myself clear. What I was saying was If business corporations are persons, they should pay personal income tax, form 1040, the way actual persons do. I was being factious.

  100. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Wonderful I wrote “factious’ for “fatuous”. Maybe I’m too tired. Maybe it’s funny the way I originally wrote it.

  101. u.k.(us) says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm
    u.k.(us) says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Is that some sort of veiled threat?
    ======================
    If you saw George Bush in the weeds ?

  102. Adam Gallon says:

    Looks like she didn’t Google the name “Richard Windsor” ;-)
    A very amusing dot-com!

  103. David Ball says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    November 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    “Don’t mess with our girls.”

    It has nothing to do with male or female. So, watcha gonna do?

  104. David Ball says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    November 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    “our girls.”? and George Bush in the weeds? Well, that is convincing. As convincing and potent as Obama (since we’re using presidential euphemisms). 8^D.

  105. Frank K. says:

    Well, the apparent deep-rooted EPA corruption is in fitting with the administration of Richard Milhous Nixon Obama…

  106. more soylent green! says:

    Kaboom says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:31 am
    Now if she just been boinking a married admirer, she’d have to step down immediately. Breaking the FOI laws on the other hand means to just move along, nothing to see here. /sarc

    If you’re referring to Petreaus, well, the FBI knew about the affair at least since April. So she would only have to step down if she didn’t want to play ball with the White House or didn’t want to be blackmailed anymore.

    But a sexual affair might get the media interested, but only if it was a distraction from more important issues, such as lying to Congress, lying to the public, etc.

  107. more soylent green! says:

    David Ball says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm
    My bitch; I have children and I have many friends that have children in the current school system. The vast majority, especially among the boys, are being tagged with the ADHD label. A classic case of over-diagnosis.

    My mother is a retired Learning Disabilities teacher and her school district worked with at least one local doctor who prescribed a placebo when parents asked to put their children (almost always boys) on ADHD medicine.

    Even doing this, I agree that ADHD is over-diagnosed and our children over-medicated. Some of behavioral problems come from lack of parental discipline (and the school can’t enforce discipline in most cases, even if they want to), lack of structure, etc. A great deal of it is normal, but rambunctious boyhood behavior, just a you say.

  108. MattS says:

    @Robert A. Taylor,

    You kind of missed my point as well. Corporate personhood started as a necessary legal fiction. Most of the negatives that have come out of corporate personhood stem from the fact that somewhere along the line people forgot that it was just a legal fiction.

  109. more soylent green! says:

    MattS says:
    November 19, 2012 at 7:49 am
    @Robert A. Taylor,

    You kind of missed my point as well. Corporate personhood started as a necessary legal fiction. Most of the negatives that have come out of corporate personhood stem from the fact that somewhere along the line people forgot that it was just a legal fiction.

    Citizen’s United is literally a group of citizens with common ideas and beliefs. Somehow, because they grouped together, they lose their rights?

    And if you’re in favor of these groups having free speech restrictions, you must also be in favor of likewise restricting the free speech of the unions as well.

  110. MattS says:

    more soylent green!,

    I started on the corporate personhood because others were complaining about Citizen’s United and attacking corporate personhood as a means of overthrowing it. Personally I think the decision can be justified without corporate personhood on the grounds you cite.

  111. u.k.(us) says:

    David Ball says:
    November 19, 2012 at 5:32 am
    =======
    Would you care to enlighten one to the meaning of your emoticon ?
    Just for future reference.

  112. Robert A. Taylor says:

    MattS says:
    November 19, 2012 at 7:49 am
    @Robert A. Taylor,
    You kind of missed my point as well.

    Correct, as you explained it. I was replying to one particular post, not your previous ones, or others in this thread. For my further views keep reading.

    More soylent green! says:
    November 19, 2012 at 8:00 am
    “… you must also be in favor of likewise restricting the free speech of the unions as well.”

    Correct.

    I am entirely against personhood for any entity that exists by legal fiat. I would rather see business corporations limited as they were originally as Gail has explained.

    I am not against VOLUNTARY organizations spending money for political purposes, provided they are in fact absolutely voluntary, only absolutely voluntary contributions are used, and the contributions are used exclusively for the purposes for which they were donated. Also, provided it is all done entirely transparently and openly. Also, provided the total amount spent from contributions does not exceed the number of contributors times the median per capita discretionary income. Neither business corporations nor unions meet these standards.

    I have problems accepting spending as speech. The only way I can even faintly find this equitable is to limit annual political spending by each citizen to no more than the median per capita discretionary income or less. That includes candidates.

    I would further limit political spending to eligible voters within the district where the political issue is to be decided. No outside influence.

    These would require Constitutional amendments that will never happen.

    Under our current system our political system bodes fair to be dominated by giant business corporations, which, as Gail has documented, are very frequently controlled by foreigners. I entirely fail to understand how this can possibly be equitable or just, or even remotely justified morally or ethically.

  113. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Off original subject and others discussed:

    Recommended read: “Bailout” by Neil Barofsky, former Special Inspector General in charge of oversight of TARP appointed by Bush and continued under Obama. Keep your blood pressure pills handy.

    Barofsky is a Democrat who contributed to Obama’s first election. Here is an excerpt from the afterword, pg 234:

    I now realize that the American people should lose faith in their government. They should deplore the captured politicians and regulators who took their taxpayer dollars and distributed them to the banks without insisting that they be accountable for how the bailout money was spent. They should be revolted by a financial system that rewards failure and protects the fortunes of those who drove the system to the point of collapse and will undoubtedly do so again. They should be enraged by the broken promises to Main Street and the unending protection of Wall Street.

    [emphasis in original]

  114. MattS says:

    @Robert A. Taylor,

    Corporations ARE voluntary organizations. All the money they have has been obtained by voluntary transactions. The only organizations spending money on US political campaigns that was not voluntarily obtained are unions (mandatory member dues combined with mandatory membership) and the government itself.

    As for justifying it:

    Under the first amendment you have the absolute right to travel to any city in the country, stand on a street corner and yell vote John Smith for mayor. You can spend your own money to buy TV or Radio ads for the same purpose. Why should a group of individuals lose this right.

    “I would further limit political spending to eligible voters within the district where the political issue is to be decided.”

    Why? Those political decisions can affect people who aren’t eligible voters. Limit direct campaign contributions sure but how does it corrupt the process for someone from the next district over to come in and stand on the street corner and yell their opinion on the issue? Other than reaching a wider audience how is paid advertising (TV, radio, billboards…) any different?

    Try justifying your own opinion.

    The real problem isn’t speech or who is speaking. The real problem is government power. There have been many attempts in the past to limit the affect of money on US political campaigns. Every single attempt has backfired having the exact opposite effect.

    The reason why is every one of those attempts increased the power of the government.

    The problem with political corruption is that it always requires the willing participation of an insider. Because of this attempts to use government force to limit corruption are doomed to failure. Each faction of insiders will simply try use this to suppress their opposition and ignore corruption amongst their own members.

    The monied interests spend money on corrupting the system because the government has the power to benefit them or hinder their competitors/enemies. The more power the government has the more the monied interests have to gain by corrupting the system. The more they have to gain the more they will spend on efforts to corrupt the system.

    If you want to minimize political corruption, minimize the power of the government. The monied interests will stop trying to corrupt the government only when they have nothing to gain by doing so.

  115. David Ball says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    November 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Anthony or one of the mods chose to delete my further responses to you. They are wise. You get nothing from me.

  116. Robert A. Taylor says:

    MattS says:
    November 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Staring with, “The real problem isn’t speech or who is speaking …” and following, I basically agree, provided we are talking about actual speech and writing, cartooning, even blogging, and so on and not enormous financial expenditures, by any entity especially business corporations owned, controlled, or greatly influenced by foreigners, and directly by those foreigners and their governments. It is a chicken and egg problem. Where do we start with big government or big business, or both simultaneously?

    Please note: Throughout, my objections are to spending as speech. I believe in individual human rights. I disagree than any group, business, corporation, or organization, has any rights directly or derived from the individuals composing it. If an illegal alien wishes to speak, write, or blog about any subject – fine, provided s/he does so uncompensated and honestly. I believe all political campaigns, elections or whatever, should be conducted strictly by unpaid, uncompensated (past, present, future) volunteers from within the district where the vote will be taken or the political decision will be made.
    I have a problem with this because of the poor, especially extremely poor. This is merely the best I’ve come up with to date.

    As long as the spending is within the discretionary income of the great majority of U. S. citizens, I have no problem with it. Anyone who wants to actually speak, write, cartoon, blog, etc., and identifies their actual status; voting location; beliefs, and affiliations – fine. Provided they are ENTIRELY and forever uncompensated by any entity, and such activity is in no way required, directly or indirectly, of them. I am using your, “stand on a street corner” as consistent with this, so don’t take it strictly literally, as I am sure you did not mean to limit them to exactly that.
    I do not use the term “propaganda” to mean lies, although it often is. I mean attempts to convince. I am writing propaganda right now.

    “Corporations ARE voluntary organizations …” I disagree. Whose tax money supports the corporation, if it receives money from any government at any level? Does EVERY one of those taxpayer’s agree with the business corporation’s political ends? Whose mutual and retirement funds are used as financing? Few know where they are invested. Does EVERY one of those people agree with those political ends? Does EVERY employee agree with those ends? Does EVERY low, mid, and upper level manager agree? Does EVERY direct and indirect customer? Without these monies and people the business ceases. Does anyone except the very top management agree or even know?
    Every individual involved above who disagrees’ freedom of speech and action is reduced. Is the business corporation open, honest, and transparent about its political ends and spending? If it is foreign owned, operated, controlled, or influence, is this stated in each of its propaganda pieces.
    I want to limit political spending to ABSOLUTELY VOLUNTARY amounts, with ABSOLUTE transparency, of course as nearly as humanly possible. The only additional duty upon managers is a fiduciary one to stockholders. This is inconsistent with honest politics.

    “Under the first amendment you have the absolute right to travel to any city in the country, stand on a street corner and yell vote John Smith for mayor.” Not absolute, but fundamentally agreed, provided they travel at their own expense and do not engage in costly propaganda campaigns, but actually “stand on a street corner”. That is actual speech, except for the travel.

    The paragraph with, “how does it corrupt the process for someone from the next district over to come in and stand on the street corner and yell their opinion on the issue?” When exactly what you wrote happens, I have no dispute with it. That is not what usually happens. What happens is an outside political organization or business corporation overwhelms locals by professionally produced, expensive propaganda, the locals cannot hope to match. The same applies to legal actions. Also, they offer virtual and actual bribes. That is the justification for limiting funding to the local district. Again if an individual travels at their own expense, and in fact “stands on a street corner”, fine. Provided paid adverting is paid for by voluntary contributions, of severely limited amount per individual within the district primarily concerned – fine. District is where the issue will be voted. It can be town, county, city, state or territory, any grouping of any of these, the entire U. S.

    I don’t really care whether my suggestions are completely correct. I just want to eliminate, or reduce to insignificance, the effect money has on elections, political, and court decisions; especially money coming from or controlled by non citizens, which excludes all organizations. The only exception to that rule is voluntary organization that raise money within the district for the specific purpose to be voted, and have no paid or otherwise compensated individuals involved I have no hope of doing so. Arguing here is good recreation, but will have no discernible effect, except through the butterfly effect – very unlikely.

    Sorry to be so long winded and repetitive. I’m always tired by the time I get to WUWT. Thanks for an interesting discussion.

    We’ve really hijacked this thread. It is headed, “EPA under investigation for skirting email transparency”.

  117. MattS says:

    Robert A. Taylor,

    I agree it has been an interesting discussion.

    The vast majority of corporations receive ZERO tax money. Your argument there applies at best to companies directly doing business with the government. I can see limiting political activity by such companies. However, by the same token public sector unions must face an equal prohibition.

    ” What happens is an outside political organization or business corporation overwhelms locals by professionally produced, expensive propaganda, the locals cannot hope to match. The same applies to legal actions. Also, they offer virtual and actual bribes. That is the justification for limiting funding to the local district.”

    The question was how does it corrupt the process which you have not answered.
    You say expensive propaganda the locals cannot hope to match. The local voters also don’t have to pay any attention to it.

    Forget organizations. A single individual with deep pockets comes in and spends his own money on TV and Radio ads. How does this corrupt the process? If you do not have a direct answer to this question you have no justification for limiting the speech. No, spending isn’t speech but if you actually read the court decisions on the issue I am pretty sure that what you will find is not a statement that spending equals speech but that political speech can not be prohibited just because someone spends money to reach a wider audience than they would by standing on a street corner.

    We are strictly talking about independent expenditures here. Citizen’s United does not address either legal actions or bribes so these are not in any way relevant. By the way what do you consider a virtual bribe?

  118. Juan Slayton says:

    The discussion seems to have strayed somewhat from e-mail transparency. : > )

    I see that Fox News has picked up the story:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/19/house-investigates-epa-emails-agency-says-administrators-have-two-accounts/?intcmp=obinsite

  119. Robert A. Taylor says:

    @MattS

    You only mentioned “Zero tax money”; any and all the other conditions apply. Any business corporation, any organization, that spends any money politically can ethically do so only if everyone providing money, goods, and services to the corporation, internally and externally, entirely voluntarily, and knowingly contributes for that purpose. But, as I think it absurd to consider a corporation or organization a person having rights, none should be engaged in politics.

    Well financed political and advertising campaigns do in fact overwhelm locals, by merely nearly monopolizing the information sources. Most individuals neither can nor will take the time and effort to examine most issues thoroughly. This is especially true when one side can dominate the media, and frequently get issues voted on before the opponents can organize. Sometimes things which should be voted on are handled administratively. And, let’s not forget “the big lie” too big to be disbelieved. I do not know how old you are, or how experienced in actual politics, but this has happened many times.

    Extreme notional example:
    Think of a preplanned campaign; ads running half hourly on radio and TV, full pages in the newspapers, individualized letters delivered to voters considered likely sympathetic, free rides to the polls, famous personalities as advocates. On the other side trying to organize in haste; a few people going around talking to people as individuals, buying a few column inches occasionally, a few radio spots at cheap time, a few TV spots ditto, a few carpools, Joe and Jill Schmoo. Example at hand CAGW alarmists v skeptics, WUWT-TV v Al Gore’s extravaganza. David occasionally slays Goliath, but usually “the bigger they are the harder they hit”, and “money is power.”

    If and only if spending on political advocacy = speech, spending cannot be limited, otherwise it can by law without violating the Constitution. What this means to me is my side must match or exceed the other side(s) in spending on political advocacy because of the two preceding paragraphs. Or, of course, be more skilled at political advocacy. I want “a level playing field”, “one man one vote” (As the old joke is, “man embracing woman.”), “equality under the law”. All are impossible as long as megabucks and gigabucks are in the game against ordinary discretionary spending.

    No one HAS to pay attention to anything, including intense pain. The propaganda is organized and presented in a way to draw attention to it and immediately appeal. It is repeated and repeated. People accept it, because they are not exposed to the other side, or because the other side is not as emotionally appealing, repeated as often, or received too late. It is far harder to convince people to change from belief A to belief B, than to change from no particular belief to belief B. Please consult any good text on propaganda and advertising for more detail.

    A single individual spending their own money is precisely the same. I am not limiting actual speech. I do not consider spending on political advocacy speech, or only marginally so. They can and do overwhelm and bamboozle the locals in the same manner. Please remember there are Personal Corporations, which I also find absurd. I’m old enough to remember when lawyers scorned the very thought.

    To me, it is obvious the above “corrupts the process”. If you do not agree, we are at an impasse, and must agree to disagree.

    “We are strictly talking about independent expenditures here”. You may have been; I’ve been writing about all expenditures, but concentrating on those from business corporations IMO absurdly considered persons with rights.

    As to Citizen’s United, I know virtually nothing about it. I’ve taken a quick look at the web site and the Wikipedia entry. Please note the following is NOT a criticism of Citizen’s United. It is just the example at hand. The stated goals seem worthy. I would impose the same on all organizations, groups, and businesses doing political advocacy, including WUWT.
    Where on the web site is the complete list of contributors with amounts?
    Which, if any, of the contributions is more than the median per capita discretionary income?
    Which ,if any, of the contributors are other tax free organizations or advocacy groups?
    Which, if any, of the contributors are business corporations?
    Which ,if any, of the contributions are from foreigners directly or indirectly?
    Which, if any, of the contributors are non citizens?
    Who is paid how much for what?
    Who is paid more than the median per capita income?
    Who and what outside the organization is funded, and by how much?
    Which of these is paid more than the median per capita income?
    Of donations, how much goes to overhead (management and self advertising included), and how much to the actual work? If any is through other organizations the amount originally donated v the amount actually directly used is the proper comparison.
    What was the cost of each of those productions advertised?
    Who did them?
    What is the cost of the web site?
    Who does the web site?
    Where on the web site are the complete set of books?
    Do donors have lower or higher incomes than those paid from their donations?
    Get my drift? I want FULL immediate disclosure. Again, not just from Citizens United, but from every political advocacy group, and organization, especially business corporations.

    “What do you consider a virtual bribe?”:
    Your son needs a job, you say. Tell him to see ******. I’m sure he can do something about that.
    I know the dean of admissions. I’m sure s/he’ll waive that rule.
    Go see ******. I’m sure s/he’ll loan you the money.
    Come up here and have your picture taken with me shaking your hand. (ride in the parade; be on the podium; etc. ad nausium.
    And on the way back from the polls we’ll stop at the grocery store so you can do your shopping.
    Look, we still need help with this campaign. Why don’t you come in and do keyboarding. We can’t pay you much, but every little bit helps.
    You know I’m expanding my factories. This seems a prime location.
    I’ve got some cheerleaders coming in to liven things up. They say they’re very friendly.
    Any goods or services, of substantial value, not necessity monetarily, to the recipient not covered in law as bribery, or can be gotten away with.

    Is all this ever going to happen? No. I’m a romantic idealist, but not unrealistic. Any noticeable movement in the direction indicated would be appreciated.

    I’ll leave the last words to you. I probably won’t be back for a while. This has taken far too long, and far too much effort.

  120. Robert A. Taylor says:

    After all that I mess up the first paragraph. I meant to append: But, see my previous post starting with “I am not against VOLUNTARY organizations …”

  121. MattS says:

    Robert A. Taylor,

    “Any goods or services, of substantial value, not necessity monetarily, to the recipient not covered in law as bribery”

    This statement describes an empty set. All goods and services of substantial value are covered by existing bribery laws. The problem is that the fox is guarding the hen house.

    Again the answer to corruption is limiting government power not limiting political speech or political spending.

  122. Rober A. Taylor says:

    Re MattS

    Well, I’m back one last time. If I’m going to follow other threads and blogs I’ll have to let this go.
    Not only did I leave out an important sentence last post; I misspelled “ad nauseum”. I always do if I don’t correct myself.

    We’ll never convince each other. To me large scale spending is a major problem in itself; to you it isn’t.

    You seem to make a lawyer’s interpretation of “substantial goods and services”; I don’t. A photograph while handshaking is illegal? It can be a VERY substantial service, if only an ego boost. Giving a $1,000 a plate dinner is illegal? It is VERY substantial service for which consideration is in fact expected. The foxes do guard the hen house, and nearly always have.

    Look at my “Extreme notional example:” above; now think of Joe and Jill Shmoo et al. being overwhelmingly outspent by two parties; add being outspent by advocacy groups. How is that equitable? The only out for them is to join some well financed group, or find financing for themselves, and wait for the next vote, or political decision. In my mind, “If you adopt the methods of your enemies, you have become the enemy”. The only fair way out I see is to strictly limit individual contributions, including candidates’, and make sure they are entirely voluntary and transparent.

    The most famous case is Charlie Wilson. Why should three people from New York decide who a candidate will be in a Texas Congressional District? Why should 300; 3,000; 300,000,000 people from outside that district have any say in who is elected there? It is a local issue. The Representative is elected to represent the locals.

    Just as the voters can ignore the political advocacy, they can find and take in to account any issues effecting others outside the district in question. This is particularly true as long as the Internet remains at least as free and open as it is now. Why consider them too foolish, lazy, stupid, or ignorant to do so?

    Good luck on reducing the size and control of Government, and getting business corporations’ personhood reinstated as a legal fiction.

    Thanks for a pleasant non vitriolic discussion.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and anyone who checks this thread.

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