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Environmental Leaders, Cabinet Secretaries to Participate in First White House Environmental Justice Forum - December 15, 2010

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 19:15.

White House at Christmas

Tomorrow, I'll be in DC to cover the following important environmental developments for Northeast Ohio...Environmental Leaders, Cabinet Secretaries to Participate in First White House Environmental Justice Forum.

Please see the agenda below and let me know if there are any specific concerns you would like addressed - you know I'll be focused on lead poisoning, source point industrial emissions in general, and especially industrial pollution from coal and steel-making, so serious in Northeast Ohio. I do not know the format of the forum but there will be some question and answer opportunities. I encourage you to tune in and watch it live at whitehouse.gov (link below). For Clevelanders, this is one of the most exciting developments yet from the Obama Administration. With all the right players at the table at the White House - and these are some very right players - I expect good outcomes for environmental justice in America to come of this. I look forward to covering and learning from it first hand.

Environmental Leaders, Cabinet Secretaries to Participate in First White House Environmental Justice Forum 

WASHINGTON – On December 15, Obama administration officials will convene the first-ever White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Environmental leaders from across the country will attend the day-long forum featuring White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. 

Did You Pay Homage and Taxes To One Of The Most Heinous Humans Ever To Walk The Earth, Today? Did You Turn on Microsoft today!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 12/11/2010 - 15:24.

Did You Pay Homage and Taxes To One Of The Most Heinous Humans Ever To Walk The Earth, Today? Did You Turn on Microsoft today! If you use Microsoft, you turned on the Bill Gates fortune and all the harm that causes the world, today and forever hereafter. If you use a computer running any Microsoft products, you must know how your Microsoft addiction and dollars work for the world today, via perversely enriched micro-psychopath Bill Gates... from AlterNet's "5 Awards For the World's Most Heinous Climate Villains":

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet

Misdeeds: Pretend to be friends while engaged in a vicious competition to see who ends up with the most expensive coffin. Flew together to inspect the Alberta Tar Sands and ponder investments, looking to add to Buffet's $34 billion Burlington Northern Santa Fe coal-hauling railroad purchase and the Gates Foundation Nigerian oil portfolio. Gates is dumping cash into geo-engineering as a way to "hack" the climate, instead of getting off oil and coal. The duo insist that the government should be responsible for clean energy development, but that we need to tax our citizens to pay for it. They can't be bothered, since they're too busy banking on sure things like fossil fuels.

Corporate Teat: They're the tits, not the pups. Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway, much of it tax sheltered by the Gates Foundation.

Expand the Community Reinvestment Act to Bring Trillions MORE Dollars in Safe and Sound Investments to America's Neighborhoods

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 05:15.

I recently met with Marcia West, Regional Organizer for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), in Washington, DC, to explore how economically distressed communities should respond to the foreclosure and housing crises in America, to expand credit access for working-class residents - to learn what leaders of Northeast Ohio may do to improve access to loans for housing and community development for us common folk. The short answer is "Expand the Community Reinvestment Act to Bring Billions of Dollars in Safe and Sound Investments to America's Neighborhoods" - go to Expand CRA to learn more and contact your representatives... SPREAD THE WORD!

CRA encourages banks to respond to a variety of needs in low- and moderate-income communities, including the financing of affordable rental housing, sustainable homeownership, small business creation, and economic development projects.

Study Will Recommend Ways to Strengthen Sustainability at EPA - The Future of Sustainability is General Systems Theory

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 12:33.

Study Will Recommend Ways to Strengthen Sustainability at EPA

November 30, 2010 -- The National Research Council, at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has launched a study to strengthen the scientific basis for incorporating sustainability concepts into EPA’s decision-making. “Today I am formally requesting President Cicerone and the National Academies convene a committee of experts to provide to the U.S. EPA an operational framework for sustainability that applies across all of the agency’s programs, policies, and actions,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at an event held at the National Academy of Sciences’ Koshland Science Museum. NAS President Ralph Cicerone and Bernard Goldstein, chair of the committee that will conduct the study, made remarks as well.

Science Wednesday: The Future is Sustainability - Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 - By Paul Anastas

LPJ-at-NRC

Wow! November 30th was an amazing day for the EPA. Not only are we in the midst of commemorating four decades of accomplishments in protecting the health and the environment, but Administrator Jackson also made a landmark speech at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Science on the future of the EPA. That future is sustainability. The Administrator laid out her vision to a packed house of luminaries from across the spectrum, from academia to industry, to environmental groups.

EPA Recognizes Sustainable Communities with Smart Growth Awards

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 12:25.

2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

2010 Awards cover

"Well-conceived, effectively implemented environmental protection is good for economic growth… A clean, green, healthy community is a better place to buy a home and raise a family; it’s more competitive in the race to attract new businesses; and it has the foundations it needs for prosperity." – EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, March 8, 2010

"Clare threw around poverty that irresistible charm which only women can communicate to religious or civic heroism"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 11/26/2010 - 02:30.

Shortly after my daughter Clara was born, nearly 11 months ago, I shared her birth with the world on YouTube - realNEO homemovie 1 Women in HypnoBirth in Waterbirth Delivering Baby Happy - and on realNEO and it has since been viewed by nearly 110,000 people.... showing 300-400 people a day (and growing) how pure and simple birth and human life may be, to help the modern world rediscover the dignity of the human person. Feedback and inquiries from expectant mothers (and fathers) shows me the modern world heard us, and Clara helped many babies enjoy the best possible starts in life.

In 7th Year, REALNEO.US Surpasses 500K Annual Unique Visitor and 1 Million Annual Page Visit Levels

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 04:15.


Google Analytics Traffic Data for realNEO.us for October 19 - November 18, 2010 (31 days)

Based on Google Analytics of realneo.us traffic, we are now at a level that exceeds 500,000 unique visitors and 1,000,000 page visits per year, and both metrics have been growing steadily for as long as we have tracked our web traffic metrics... so expect realNEO.us to exceed 1 million hits per year forever hereafter. By how much we exceed these metrics, with what growth rate for the future, is up to our members and community who create the content here that now attracts over 1,000,000 reads a year.

Department of Homeland Security Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 13:33.

November 14, 2010, AlterNet featured an important article by G.W. Schulz, Center for Investigative Reporting: Workers, Be Careful: Facebook Snoops Looking Over Your Shoulder - Corporations and government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, are increasingly using new communications tools for surveillance purposes. In this report, Schulz profiles "a new company called Social Intelligence billing itself as a social media private eye will observe your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online accounts on behalf of employers to make certain you’re not a liability."

    Background checks involving criminal records and credit histories are typical and even expected of many major employers responsible for children, nursing homes or public safety.

    But the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company takes this concept to a new level offering an automated tool that mines social media content for troubling signs. Search filters can be customized “to reflect corporate culture,” and additional manual reviews are conducted by “social media experts.”

    A display tells the human resources manager in your workplace how many “negative” hits are uncovered, placing the names of both job applicants and active employees next to red flags like “drugs/drug lingo,” “gangs,” “poor judgment” and “demonstrating potentially violent behavior.”

    Social Intelligence is the latest in an ever-expanding movement by both corporations and government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, to use new communications tools for surveillance purposes. Some of the most provocative examples yet emerged only in recent weeks.

The Origin of “BuildingWhat?”

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 12:32.

The Origin of  “BuildingWhat?”

More than eight years after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, New York Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner was hearing arguments in a courtroom less than a mile from Ground Zero about a ballot initiative to launch a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks. When the lawyer for the plaintiffs sponsoring the initiative explained that the 9/11 Commission report left many unanswered questions, including “Why did Building 7 come down,” the Judge replied quizzically, “Building what?”

Like Judge Lehner, millions of people do not know or remember only vaguely that a third tower called World Trade Center Building 7 also collapsed on September 11, 2001. In any other situation, the complete, free fall collapse of a 47-story skyscraper would be played over and over on the news. It would be discussed for years to come and building design codes would be completely rewritten. So, why does no one know about Building 7? And why did Building 7 come down?

The answers to these questions have far-reaching implications for our society. The goal of the “BuildingWhat?” campaign is to raise awareness of Building 7 so that together we can begin to address these questions.

Ohio has an opportunity to be #1 in the world developing a new economy - better and different than anywhere else on Earth

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 11/03/2010 - 01:49.

Amazing! Ohio has an opportunity to be #1 in the world developing a new industry - a new economy - better and different than anywhere else in the world - ahead of the other 49 states in America and every other country in the world - as citizens of California foolishly failed to pass Proposition 19 today.

Supporters include the California branch of the NAACP, state chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Young Democrats, the Republican Liberty Caucus, the California Council of Churches, and several big labor unions.

"The Obama Administration has been clear in its opposition to marijuana legalization because research shows that marijuana use is associated with voluntary treatment admissions for addiction, fatal drugged driving accidents, mental illness, and emergency room admissions," Kerlikowske said.

What tools of old economy polluting industry our PROGRESSIVE (sic.) Democrats have proved to be!

I can't wait for 2012 and the next Presidential election! The next two years are going to be fun, for a change... I love a GOOD WAR.

Not having to seriously consider alternatives to the dominant ways of doing things is one of the beauties of privilege

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 15:52.

I once told an supposedly "green" friend that in the future he will not get to jet off to India or Brazil if he can afford, as that will not be ecologically responsible. He nearly cried.

Flying Is One of the Worst Things You Can Do for the Environment -- So Why Do So Many Well-Intentioned Folks Do It?

It's not easy being "Green" - that is life... as highlighted here, and provided in full below, from AlterNet:

The trouble with this is that flying is the single most ecologically costly act of individual consumption, one that requires the exploitation of large amounts of environmental and human resources. In a world of deep inequality, it thus also speaks to privilege -- most notably what we might call ecological privilege -- and its ugly flipside, disadvantage.

Moreover, the climate-destabilizing effects of air travel -- per passenger mile -- dwarfs that of other modes because of the enhanced climatic “forcing” it brings about: due to the height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit, conventional air travel detrimentally impacts global climate approximately 2.7 times more than that of its carbon emissions alone, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Successful cannabis entrepreneurs may either have their picture in the Wall Street Journal or on a most-wanted poster

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 10/08/2010 - 00:44.

Legal Medical Marijuana from Broadway Wellness Medical Marijuana dispensary in South Denver, Colorado
Legal Medical Marijuana from Broadway Wellness Medical Marijuana dispensary in South Denver, Colorado

How is it conceivable, in America today, that a seriously ill patient in Boulder, Colorado, may grow, purchase and have a medicine cabinet full of state-licensed medical marijuana (MMJ), while a similarly-ill patient in Cleveland may be imprisoned for pursuing the same medical treatment?

How, in the free-wheeling capitalist US of A, could some states and communities encourage free men and women to be MMJ-millionaires and patients, while MMJ-entrepreneurs and adherents in other markets are arrested... nearly 1 million of them a year.

Why would anyone choose to live in a state of Cannabis denial?

realNEO Word of the Day: Scheme - [skeem] - Unfavorable overtones (selfish, devious) began to creep in early 18c.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:28.

scheme
   [skeem] noun, verb, schemed, schem·ing.
–noun
1. a plan, design, or program of action to be followed; project.
2. an underhand plot; intrigue.
3. a visionary or impractical project.
4. a body or system of related doctrines, theories, etc.: a scheme of philosophy.
5. any system of correlated things, parts, etc., or the manner of its arrangement.
6. a plan, program, or policy officially adopted and followed, as by a government or business: The company's pension scheme is very successful.
7. an analytical or tabular statement.
8. a diagram, map, or the like.
9. an astrological diagram of the heavens.
–verb (used with object)
10. to devise as a scheme; plan; plot; contrive.
–verb (used without object)
11. to lay schemes; devise plans; plot.

We need NEW LEADERS committed to a 0-waste 0-harm P2 2020 vision - willing to stand up to the big polluters and SHUT THEM DOWN!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 09/20/2010 - 12:04.

Greenversations, the official blog of the EPA, has some excellent postings and is worth following - I subscribe to that and all the EPA email updates as they are excellent - dozens a week. Today, Greenversations highlights The Pollution Prevention Act Turns 20, suggesting "If companies, communities and consumers make a concerted effort at eliminating wastes at the source, then perhaps the theme of P2 Week in 2020 can be the arrival of the zero-waste society, one where greenhouse gas emissions, toxic exposures in the home and workplace, waste disposal in landfills and underground wells, and nutrient dumping in our nation’s waters are all a rapidly fading memory."

It is the responsibility of the citizens to make that happen through our actions, VOTING and choices today. In Northeast Ohio, with an EXCESSIVE SHARE of toxic release point sources, and pathetic EPA performance, we need NEW elected officials committed to a 0-waste 0-harm P2 2020 vision - willing to stand up to the big polluters and shut them down - shut down Mittal for real.

The fall of a few mafioso politicos is far from the end of the house-cleaning needed in Northeast Ohio and Ohio

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 09/19/2010 - 08:00.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer pimped the Opportunity Corridor into existence and has greatly disrupted our economy over that - the St. Louis-sourced publisher Terry Egger is the leader of the Opportunity Corridor whorehouse and bulldozing committee - flightless queen-bee-designee Terri Hamilton Brown exists for the Opportunity Corridor - ex-Con made Concilman Jeff Johnson pimps for it - RPM Prince Randell McShepard and Most-Made-Handmaid-to-the-Rich Ronayne Pimp for it - Gund top-gun Abbott Pimps for it - flabbergasting Cleveland Foundation flops Richards and Kuri pimp for it - and the usual suspects that profit from it pimp for it... Cleveland Clinic, all organizations UCI and all local universities, some churches and non-profits, the CDCs and their sponsors, the architects and contractors and their trolls, the unions... the web of crooks who have fucked up everything in this region for decades, and are the enablers of all the corruption now being dismantled with County and city government here, by the FBI. The state, county and city levels of government have failed and are being dismantled here, along with the entire statewide mafioso Democratic party regime and their networks of funders, contractors and colluders.

So when the incompetent, sell-out, paid-to-pimp Cleveland Plain Dealer proclaims in their latest pimping for the Opportunity Corridor that "The project is a top priority of elected, business and neighborhood leaders", I'd like to know EXACTLY who are the elected, business and neighborhood leaders that are not corrupt and benefiting financially from the Opportunity Corridor and are willing to step forward today, with the degree of corruption at all levels of leadership here, and say the Opportunity Corridor is the top priority for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio today.

I want to know, before the next election, which candidates for any offices are pimping that the Opportunity Corridor is the Top Priority of the region.

Public often buys into anti-science, anti-regulation agendas orchestrated by business interests and their sponsored Front-Groups

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:49.

I strongly recommend daily reading of Joe Romm's expert portal on climate and the environment - Cimate Progress: An Insiders View of Climate Science, Politics, and Solutions - which offers the latest rundown on climate news around the world, edited and produced by the former Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy during the Clinton Administration... you may subscribe for email updates there. Joe doesn't just address the science of climate... very often he writes about the climate of science, like in his sharing of perspectives on an Editorial in Nature (which is subscription only, so the public may not see): Science scorned: The journal Nature warns, “The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.”I can't access Nature, but I may share Joe's observations, which are most valuable, coming from such a valuable source:

 US citizens face economic problems that are all too real, and the country’s future crucially depends on education, science and technology as it faces increasing competition from China and other emerging science powers….  Yet the public often buys into anti-science, anti-regulation agendas that are orchestrated by business interests and their sponsored think tanks and front groups.

Air pollution may shorten lives in real NEO by 14+ years - reducing power plant pollution will have almost immediate benefits

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 09/10/2010 - 04:32.

 

The chart above shows citizens of Northeast Ohio have the worst level of mortality from coal fired power plants in America - based on an online risk assessment tool accompanying the September 2010 Clean Air Taskforce study The Toll From Coal - An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America’s Dirtiest Energy Source. As the introduction states: "Among all industrial sources of air pollution, none poses greater risks to human health and the environment than coal-fired power plants – perhaps most consequential of all from a public health standpoint – fine particle pollution."

Fine particles are especially dangerous because they can bypass the body’s defensive mechanisms and become lodged deep in the human lung. Indeed, research also indicates that short-term exposures to fine particle pollution is linked to cardiac effects, including increased risk of heart attack. Meanwhile, long-term exposure to fine particle pollution has been shown to increase the risk of death from cardiac and respiratory diseases and lung cancer, resulting in shorter life-expectancy for people living in the most polluted cities compared to people who live in cleaner cities. And although research suggests fine particles reduce the average life span of the general population by a few years, the life of an individual dying as a result of exposure to air pollution may be shortened by 14 years.

The hopeful news for Northeast Ohio in this science is:

Because most fine particle-related deaths are thought to occur within a year or two of exposure, reducing power plant pollution will have almost immediate benefits.

The worst news is, considering the greatest harm to human health comes from fine particle pollution, and Northeast Ohio has many more sources of fine particle pollution than just the 500 major coal power plants considered in the data of this study (think Mittal), it is an understatement to say the air pollution situation in Northeast Ohio is far worse than it appears in this Clean Air Taskforce report, and there Ohio is ranked the second-worst America gets... and the Cleveland-area is the 8th most toxic metropolitan area in the county...

I have long been aware that realNEO content and search activity is obstructed in many illegal ways, as is seen with Digg

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 09/08/2010 - 13:34.

There is an important story on AlterNet about how evil industrial political operatives known as Trolls corrupt social media to influence public knowledge and so behavior - in this report, addressing scum polluting free speech worldwide via a conceptually and functionally defective Internet content management and rating system called Digg.... read Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered. In brief (full posting below), "A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year."

Of course, we've had extensive problems with Trolls on realNEO posting inflammatory or misleading content and comments, via accounts established to inflict harm - a crime I have asked County Treasurer Rokakis to have the State Attorney General investigate, as Rokakis was party in one of these crimes, with Roldo and Oengus - I do not believe Rokakis ever initiated the investigation as promised, and I will investigate that.

Song of the Day: "Take 5" - Dave Brubeck... King Tubby

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 09/07/2010 - 02:39.

Filmed in Germany, in 1966, this version of the Paul Desmond classic "Take 5" - Dave Brubeck Quartet - is especially beautiful to hear and watch - great composition - upbeat tempo - excellent improvisations - classic German camera-work - austere staging and lighting - crisp clean high fidelity recording - showing how cool four cats in the 50s and 60s could be. Upon his death in 1977, Desmond left the rights to royalties for performances and compositions, including "Take Five", to the American Red Cross, which has since received combined royalties of approximately $100,000 per year.

Dear Schultz Family: 24,000 people a year die prematurely of pollution from coal-fired power plants... 38,000 Heart Attacks

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 06:00.

According to the American Lung Association, 24,000 people a year die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants. And every year 38,000 heart attacks, 12,000 hospital admissions and an additional 550,000 asthma attacks result from power plant pollution. It is therefore not surprising to read, in The Place My Father Didn't Want Me to See, an article by Plain Dealer Columnist Connie Schultz, published in Parade Magazine this Labor Day weekend, that Ms. Schultz' father died of a heart attack after having worked as a mechanic in a coal fired power plant for 34 years.

As Ms. Schultz writes: "I never knew what Dad did at the plant, but I saw the toll that 34 years of hard physical labor took on him. He had surgery on his shoulder, his hand, his spine. At 48, he had his first heart attack and bypass. He retired in 1993, right after the last kid graduated from college. But the damage was done. A few years later, another surgeon shoved stents into his arteries. The next heart attack killed him. He was 69." She further observed, from once having visited her father at his plant: "I stared at my father, covered in sweat and coal ash, and for the first time had to consider why he was so often angry for no apparent reason."

What is surprising is that Ms. Schultz does not offer her readers of this story the learning opportunity to understand that industrial pollution from burning coal kills 10,000s of fathers, mothers and babies in America each year - I don't know of studies proving "hard physical labor" does the equivalent. There is clear evidence that working with coal causes heart attacks, among a long list of health impacts... including mental illness. From a recent study in Korea: "When particulate matter (a common form of air pollution) spiked, the risk of suicide increased by 9 percent over the next two days, the researchers found. Among people with heart disease, the increased risk was even greater, about 19 percent." Beyond the physiological impacts of pollution, knowing you are being killed by pollution makes you angry... I certainly know that for a fact, as my family is being killed by a coal power plant in my neighborhood, and I have grandparents who died of industrial poisoning, and I am angry about all that. Angry at Connie Schultz' family.

Connie Schultz is married to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and his family is in the coal burning business, as his brother is Robert Brown... Chairman of the Board of Medical Center Company (MCCO), a coal burning power plant located next to University Hospitals, in University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio, which burns over 44,000 TONS of coal a year, emitting over 4,000 TONS of air pollution into surrounding neighborhoods.... killing people in my neighborhood unnecessarily.