November 30, 2011

Sen. Rand Paul Defends American Citizens Against Indefinite Detainment

November 29, 2011

GLI using your tax money to redefine definition of cancer

Through my recent candidacy for Louisville Metro Council, I went about a systematic quest to fill my brain with information on what is working and what is not working in Louisville.

Regular readers may have noticed, I never believed it is in our city's best interest to fund Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI) $1 million/year. See:
Mayor spins merger failures like a hula hoop
GLI Joe Reagan's salary revealed: $369,268
Louisville's ranking in "10 Best Cities for Families"= Defund GLI

But today I learned another sinister reason I had missed a few years ago. In 2005, GLI assembled a "Toxics Task Force" and proposed 106 pages of revisions to the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) Program of the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.

They didn't keep their disgust with efforts to keep our air clean secret, either:
"These regulations are so unreasonable and so scientifically unsound, and technically unsound," industry can't meet them. Jason Underwood, VP of Public Policy for Greater Louisville Inc, the city's chamber of commerce told(WAVE3's) Eric Flack, June 5, 2005
Fortunately, those revisions were not all adopted by our city, although eight pages of revisions did make it through. (PDF of Key Revisions to Proposed Star Regulations)

It is disturbing a city-funded entity would produce 106 pages of proposals aimed at making our air, and our children's lung's, dirtier. But reading through their recommendations reveals just how relentless they were, even suggesting redefining terms. Check these examples out:

STAR definition: "a disease of heritable, somatic mutations affecting cell growth and differentiation, characterized by an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells."
GLI recommended definition: "any one of a group of diseases that occur when cells in the body become abnormal and grow or multiply out of control."

STAR definition:"an agent capable of inducing a substance that causes cancer."
GLI recommended definition:"a substance that causes cancer."

ambient air
STAR definition:"portion of the atmosphere, external to buildings, to which the general public has access. For the purpose of determining the concentration of an air contaminant that is or may be emitted by a stationary source, ambient air also includes the atmosphere, external to buildings, that is beyond the property line of that stationary source, regardless of whether the general public has access."
GLI recommended definition:"portion of the atmosphere, external to buildings, to which the general public has access."

Both versions of GLI's recommendations are downloadable online, ironically both are hosted by the Louisville Metro Government server...digitally preserving just how unfit they are for city funding:
"Blackline Version"- 106 page version
"Clean Version" - 86 page version

I tried to upload these documents to my own Google docs, but I got an error message because the files are too large. True story.

A reminder: A Brookings Institute study released in June revealed GLI’s claims of turning Louisville into an economic hotspot were “largely rhetorical.” (WFPL)

Metro Council is to decide in January whether to award the agency the remaining half ($500,000) of what the Mayor Fischer requested for them.

I do not support GLI getting any city funding at all while budgets of social service agencies are cut. Let’s not invest in selling our community out, but making it the best it can be!

November 28, 2011

What you're doing Wednesday night.

Wednesday night is Dining Out for Life in Louisville. Dine out at a participating restaurant and 25% or more of your bill will be donated to House of Ruth for the support of Glade House. Here's a link to the list of 50 participating restaurants:

Good to see the Bristol and Day's Coffee there because I might be able to hit them both. Oh, and of course,Facebook event

November 25, 2011

Who caused the Adderall drought?

Finally, a journalist steps up to the plate to figure out why there's no more Adderall. If this doesn't make you want to pull your hair out, nothing will:
Pay Attention: How Big Pharma Contrived the Great American Adderall Drought.

Obviously Shire's hands are dirty for their self-interest in switching people to their new drug and embarrassing their competitors. And a pretty strong case is forming in my head to nationalize the pharma industry as a result. As an aside, the evil all started with an Indiana-educated Northern Kentuckian, Roger Griggs.

Before we just blame Spire, though, it appears the U.S. government is deliberately limiting the supply of the drug's active ingredient, behind the scenes and without real explanation. I don't know if that's simply because they're compromised and fulfilling the needs of Shire, or something more sinister. Maybe they want college kids to calm down and get off the streets? I have a bias here...until my supply runs out, I use Adderall, and it's the drug that allows me to read and be knowledgeable about stuff. I obviously can't be objective about whether I'm looking forward to going back to being stupid again.

I have a prediction and see marijuana legalized and regulated by this time next year. Conservatives may believe the legalization of drugs is awful, but as it is becoming increasingly apparent the 1% hasn't been able to sufficiently drug working class Americans with alcohol to stay at home on the couch, they're going to get desperate and improve access of drugs that make us fat and sleepy, and take away the ones that make us alert and awake.

I want to end this on a positive note, but the only one I can think of is how grateful I am that no one pepper-sprayed me today.

November 23, 2011

Wednesday before Thanksgiving thoughts...

There was a house fire on the 1800 block of Stevens Avenue last night. WAVE 3: 7 rescued from Highlands house fire
Besides everyone making it out in time, the house itself shows little, if any, signs of exterior damage. An indication the Louisville Fire & Rescue response time must have been pretty awesome.

This should be a reminder to us all to make sure our smoke alarms are installed and working! And if your housemate, like mine, believes you're such an awful cook the thing should just be taken down, then it's probably time to have a set down intervention with him/her on who should be cooking? Maybe your situation is different...

OCCUPY LOUISVILLE NEEDS!: I get asked a lot by generous folks what is needed down at Occupy Louisville. To clarify, I'm not down there much, lately, but here's comprehensive list of what the needs are:

POLL FUN! Regarding the 8th District Newsletter, currently named the "District 8 Bugle":
A) Do you enjoy receiving it via US mail, or
B) Do you enjoy downloading it as 2.0 MB pdf file to take up space on your hard drive forever, or
C) Would you prefer to view it online, with the option to have it emailed, like they do in the 9th District?
Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for a lot of stuff in my life right now and so this threatens to be one of my best Thanksgivings, EVER!

November 21, 2011

Occupy eviction coordinator was fan of our old Chief White

Another reason why I'm not going to miss Chief White:

In July 2011, Chuck Wexler was quoted saying about White:
"'He's going to go to bat for you if you made an honest mistake,' said Wexler, who has known White for years and worked with him on some national projects."- LMPD

Now, it's coming out Chuck Wexler was the engineer behind the latest national coordinated attempts to shut down the Occupy movement:
Anonymous hacks cops coordinating Occupy evictions - PERF goes down

November 20, 2011

Bridges Project BS getting too deep to ignore

Marcus Green and the Courier-Journal have done Louisville journalism some justice today:
Toll plan could create overload on two old bridges

Justifying the Bridges Project based on the condition of the poor, hopeless, deteriorating condition of the Kennedy Bridge, while turning a blind eye to the impact of the added traffic on the Clark Memorial Bridge, is ridiculous. It's no secret that Beshear has intentionally not funded maintenance of the Kennedy bridge in order to justify the need for an additional downtown bridge. (Kennedy Bridge pothole repair delay more interesting than you thought)

Marcus illustrated just how the Bridges Project cheerleaders are more concerned about the 1%'s agenda, which is, to be blunt, subverting our democracy to originate a $3 billion Goldman Sachs-bond which will effectively privatize our city's primary transportation infrastructure. And no's a brilliant way to squeeze even more drops of money out of the near bankrupt 99%, without it looking like an additional tax.

Disclosure: I'm a candidate for the 8th District Metro Council seat in the upcoming Democratic Primary, and this is one of many reasons why.

November 16, 2011

Fairness Campaign's final "History Panel"-tonight

Want to skip Metro Dems tonight?
I don't blame you. If you're not brave enough to join me at Occupy Louisville's protest/presentation about affordable healthcare, then go to this Fairness thingy promoted in today's press release and at least fill your brain with something useful about Louisville LGBT history:

"Tonight: The Final Fairness History Panel!

When: Today, Nov 16th at 6:30p.m.
Where: Winn Center Presbyterian Seminary, McAtee Room (1044 Alta Vista Rd)

The third and final Fairness Campaign history panel is focused on the inclusion of the trans community in Fairness laws.

Moderated by Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman, the panel includes Lisa Gunterman, Beth Harrison Prado, K.A. Owens, David Williams and Dawn Wilson.

This is a FREE event, no RSVP required!"

Shawn Reilly announces run for Kentucky State Senate

Story of Shawn Reilly's announcement for his intention to run for State Senate was broken by CN2:

This is the seat recently vacated by Tim Shaughnessy, who I'm guessing is about to get appointed to run a college or something.
Photo above by Jeff Noble.

I support Reilly for this seat. It's time we occupy our government, too.

What if this was the ambulance sent to save you?

Remember when I expressed concern about half of Louisville's ambulances having over 250,000 miles? (11/03/11)
Here's why this is a problem...what if this was the ambulance on the way to save you?

November 15, 2011

"Health Care is a Human Right" Day

Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare has teamed up with, or assimilated itself within, Occupy Louisville, and Wednesday, Nov. 16 will be "Health Care is a Human Right" Day. Per a press release from Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare, Wednesday program promises to cover this agenda:
"Health Care for the 99%!
(We want it for 100%-- the 1% already have it.)

Patients Not Profits!

4:00 pm: Rally in Jeff. Sq. Park, 6th & Jefferson: talks on health crisis, single payer health care and music
4:45 pm: Walk to Humana begins
6:00 pm: Music and speak out on health care back at 6th and Jefferson.
8:00 pm: Outdoor showing of the movie "Sicko" at Founder's Sq, Muhammad Ali at 5th following the 7 pm General Assembly

Bring your signs.

Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare is working with Occupy Louisville for this event. It is a part of a week long 7 Days of Solidarity sponsored by Occupy Louisville. Join us!"
Someone invite David S. Jones, Sr.?

Rap News 9: How did we miss this?

I especially like how the point is made by the Congressman Rand Paul on how a love of a bunch of gold...just isn't going to solve our problems.

November 14, 2011

Climate Action Network comes to KFTC

Went with Shawn Reilly to tonight's meeting of the Jefferson County Chapter of KFTC (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth). The speaker was Sarah Lynn Cunningham with Louisville's Climate Action Network.
If ever you get a chance to hear Cunningham give her talk on what we can do in our lives to reduce our carbon footprints and decrease our individual contributions to climate change, do go. She gives them for free.

Here's just a small sample of some morsels of knowledge I learned tonight:

* "Sleeping in cooler air is kinder to your lungs"- said Cunningham. So turn down your thermostat in the winter. Incorporated into that message was a message that seems obvious but it's not: Wear more clothes in the winter, even when we're inside.
Especially wear fleece, because it's easier to dry in the dryer, too.
* Turn your temperature down on your water heater until someone complains.
* "Right-size" your lighting. In hallways, you need less light than you would need in your library or den.
* If you're a homeowner, for $25 you can get LG&E to come to an energy audit of your home, and they throw in goodies that alone are worth the $25, like fancy efficient lightbulbs and a shower nozzle that uses less water (and therefore less heated water).
* If you get a brown bill from LG&E for $600, for example, and $500 is for gas, and $100 is for electricity, you have the right to pay just the $100 for electricity and keep the electric on even when the gas is getting cut off. (I never knew this.)
*This year for Thanksgiving's baking, try turning down the thermostat BEFORE you turn on the oven and avoid that annual ritual of overheating the house.

That was just a sample. Check out the Climate Action Network for much more detailed info:

MSNBC selling out the news to Exxon

Was eerily disturbed while watching the Rachel Maddow Show online tonight by the Exxon Mobil advertisement beneath her. No more subtly, the ad reads:
"Economic growth and energy security from tar sands."
Well, it's just an ad, right? This wouldn't influence the website's ranking of tar sands news, right?

There was recently a huge breakthrough when climate activists successfully lobbied President Obama to put off the Keystone XL pipeline for at least a year. Yet news of that event, does not come up under a keyword search "tar sands". In fact, if you're searching the Maddow Show's site for "tar sands" the only result you get is when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her initial pro-Tar Sands nod months ago.

And if you're brave enough to click on the sole tar sands "nod story"-result, you'll get redirected first to Mr. Exxon-oil-is-good himself, rambling a script that Brad Johnson critiqued in August...
"The 30-second ad manages to say almost nothing that isn’t misleading."-Think Progress: Exxon Promotes Canadian Tar Sands: ‘Good For Our Country’s Energy Security’ If You Ignore Global Warming

It's one thing to compromise and take oil money, but to play with keywords to promote the oil industry's agenda? That's gross and sloppy.

November 13, 2011

Occupy Louisville kicks off solidarity week

Occupy Louisville marched through the Highlands today to kick off Solidarity Week events, you can find out more about here: Tuesday at 3 pm is on campaign finance reform, an issue I've found intriguing but complicated for some time, so I hope to make it to that one!

Kudos to Chris Wright, the Fox 41 reporter who gave the march a pretty fair shake I thought.

And on WLKY, go Carol Trainer, for speaking up!:
Occupy Louisville March Starts '7 Days Of Solidarity'

November 9, 2011

Kevin Kramer talking about opportunities for young people

Are you tired of your kids whining they have nothing to do in the 'Ville? Yeah, so District 11 Councilman Kevin Kramer has apparently had enough of his 14 year old, and he's made a video outlining FREE opportunities for this kid to get out of his hair:

At the 9:30 minute mark, after a bunch of stuff about baseball and football, there's a reference to fencing and chess playing that made me smile. No details on where to find that stuff but glad to see Kramer realizes not every kid wants to waste their youth chasing balls in circles.

Courier-Journal funny of the day

It's the day after the general election. So with bated breath I open my email update from the Courier-Journal to see the returns, and the top story...yes, it's raining this morning.

November 7, 2011

U of L thinks students should trust Chase Bank to learn about financial literacy

Who does the University of Louisville think is qualified to teach their students about financial literacy? Why, JP Chase Morgan, of course.

Yes, you read that right:
" are sure to be fed intellectually as well!"

Whether JP Chase Morgan Bank chose tomorrow for this event to distract people from voting could not be verified. Whether the University of Louisville is clueless as shit, no question.

Pictured below is University of Louisville's Student Activities Board member Cameron Kalegi on Night 3 of Occupy Louisville, alongside many other U of L students, with a backdrop of the corporate criminal, JP Chase Morgan Bank.

November 6, 2011

Can Stuart Benson see Russia from his garden?

The Courier-Journal's Dan Klepal reveals Sunday that Stuart Benson maybe thinks he can see Russia from his garden...
Free spending: Metro Council members' office accounts used to buy much more than office supplies
Another concern I have, since confirmed,is that Benson didn't even use the city's local nationally recognized interpreting contractor, In Every Language, for the translation, but instead paid an individual.

Brian Tucker, blogger for the Valley Report, gives a different perspective:Insider Louisville: Louisville shocker! CJ discovers ordinary citizens – not just lawyers, billionaires – enjoying local government largess

So can you govern any better?
If you're thinking of challenging an incumbent Metro Councilperson in next May's primary election, be aware that Wednesday is your first day to file. Of course, the maps have changed a bit due to the Census, so make sure your incumbent hasn't moved you to another district first: NEW MAPS

5k4homeless recap:
And thanks to all that made it out to the 4th Annual Race to End Homelessness Saturday morning. Here's some pics from the fun. I handed out water at the 2 mile marker and was inspired by how many healthy people out there run so fast. Go you.

November 3, 2011

Highlights from Metro Louisville's First Quarter Financial Report

Highlights from today's Metro Council Budget Committee Meeting:

1) Since 7/1, Metro Louisville has been implementing voluntary furlough program but not much participation.
2) Councilman Jim King needs a haircut. Bad.
3) "I stopped counting at 9th time u said 'deficit'"-CM Kelly Downard clarifying his "#yellowlighton" during Metro Council Budget Committee Mtg
4) As Louisville Metro beefs up staff at LMAS at a faster rate, it is costing budget $200k, but $ well spent if you ask me.
5) 1st qtr parking ticket revenue is down & we'll probably facing $1.6 million shortfall for not selling some property. Didn't realize liquidating assets was part of the way this budget was put together. Someone with more time than me should look into which assets they're talking about.
6) Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh went zip-lining near Bowling Green last weekend.

A "Over Budget" snippet of video that our city is apparently ignoring and hoping things get better:

Next Budget Committee meeting is Monday, 11/14/11 at 4 PM.

Other news:
Last night Jim Pence took some great video of Occupy Louisville's Solidarity March with Occupy Oakland: Hillbilly Report

November 1, 2011

Bill McKibben speaking Wednesday at St. Stephen

Bill McKibben, scholar, author, climate change expert, and my Tar Sands Action cellmate (see pic to right), will be giving a talk Wednesday night, 7 PM, at St. Stephen Church, 1018 S. 15th St., Louisville, Kentucky, called “Dominion: What Stewardship Means Right Now.”

The talk will come during a service presided over by Rev. Kevin Cosby, Pastor, and kickoff the 16th Annual Festival of Faiths, and I'll be there.

McKibben will also be speaking to younger folks Thursday morning at the Henry Clay: Youth Workshop with Bill McKibben.

McKibben's latest editorial on President Barack Obama and the Keystone XL Pipeline: USA Today: Opposing view: Keystone pipeline's a disaster

Video with the script of a May Washington Post editorial by McKibben, set to pictures:

Insider Louisville: Department of Interior approves Whiskey Row Stabilization Plan
And possible good news for Stockyards, River City Bank, and King Southern Bank:
Insider Louisville: Occupy Everywhere says, ‘Move your money to the local bank Nov. 5′

Steve Beshear campaign forgets he caused climate change

Here's Governor Steve Beshear's latest campaign ad below.

It wouldn't be a bad ad, if not for the obscurantism. Each weather crisis that Beshear's "steady hand" has got us through, was caused, at least in part, to the governor's passionate support for the coal industry and mountaintop removal. Massive amounts of coal have ultimately ended up in our air in the form of carbon dioxide, causing, well, weather anomalies.

And the good governor expects us to vote for him because he then flies over the same weather anomalies he helped create in a fancy helicopter. Really?