Saturday, June 22, 2013

There needs to be a global concensus this is hideous technology that will destroy our oceans.

I don't at all see this as an option for the world. There is no reason for it. We have a troposphere to protect and this is not the answer.

Escalating the use of carbon fuels is completely immoral, both from understanding a heating globe, the future of our children and leaving resources for them should their need arise.

Part of the immorality of the current status of our climate is the fact consumerism proved to be gluttons of carbon fuel. They had no reverence for it, still today. There have been viable alternatives since the time of the Great Inventors, Ford and Bell. Those inventors promoted the use of alternatives and perfecting them over hundred years ago. If that was accomplished with the advise of these great men carbon pollution would not even be an issue today. But, greed of a few took over the entire landscape of sanity and today the global community suffers at the hand of those same few.
May 30, 2013
By David Wethe

The oil field of the future is taking shape 2 miles undersea. (click here) As exploration crews search for new deposits at ever-greater depths offshore, the industry is grappling with the technical challenges of piping crude and natural gas through more than 10,000 feet of water. That’s spurring a drive to anchor production equipment directly to the seafloor, rather than placing it on expensive floating platforms that can be buffeted by powerful storms. 

Professors at the University of Houston (Texas), which this fall will launch a graduate program in subsea engineering, envision an underwater oil city overseen by swimming robots. “Subsea engineering is like a new frontier,” says Matthew Franchek, who’s heading the program. “We can at least walk on the moon. You’re not walking in subsea.”...

We cannot forget the enormous damage the BP Deepwater Horizon has caused and continues to cause. The ripple effect of that disaster will continue for at least the next thirty years for people and for at least a half century for the natural world. No different than Valdez. Nothing is the same yet.

I am quite confident the petroleum industry was using the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster as testing ground for Corexit as a way to maintain oil ruptures this deep at the bottom of the ocean. The industry literally sees the bottom of the ocean as a dumping ground for their mistakes, mismanagement and cost cutting; as they did the Gulf of Mexico.

June 21, 2013
By Margaret Cronin Fisk

Lawyers suing BP Plc (BP/) (click here) asked a federal judge in New Orleans to find that the company and its contractors acted with gross negligence in the April 2010 blowout of the Macondo well and the subsequent Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier will determine whether the London-based company or its contractors, Transocean Ltd. (RIG) and Halliburton Co. (HAL), acted with willful or wanton misconduct or reckless indifference, the legal requirement for establishing gross negligence. A ruling against BP could subject it to billions of dollars more in damages....

There is a very good chance this case will have to be appealed to a higher court for the victims to receive any justice at all. The judge, Carl Barbier found the government moratorium more damaging than the oil spill in any of his rulings. He never believed the realization these rigs weren't managed well and inspections lacked was an issue.  Somehow the economic damage by the moritorium was more devastating than any damage the oil spill could do. He is an amazing man. Water quality, air quality and the chance of cancer means little to him.

So, the point is the USA's petroleum interests are in direct conflict with a good outcome for Earth and it's populous. The deep sea oil drilling is adverse to life and the UNCLOS needs to include strict prohibitions to this technology until the world's populous needs the resources sometime in the distant future. The UN also needs to push for radification of all nations for UNCLOS.

Is USA produced steel worth it? By using Chinese steel the USA is inviting trade imbalances.

This is production by tonnes, not necessarily quality. We all know capitalism solves problems by minimizing costs. The problem with steel is that quality is a much a component to it's value as cost. The most likely cheapest steel has poorer quality.

I want to take a look. This list is from 2012 (click here).

ArcelorMittal is the largest steel producer in the world. It was ranked 70th in the Fortune 500 of 2012. It is headquartered in Luxembourg with 260,000 persons employed, of which 53% of those employees in Europe, 14% in North America and 16% in Asia.

I am sure I don't know as much as I should about the ArcelorMittal definition of sustainability, but, I sincerely believe they worry about the planet and the emissions of their company. They define themselves as a sustainable company. A very interesting word to describe a steel and mining company.

That said, besides poorer quality of Chinese steel due to unsophisticated processes and Third World manufacturing values, China has a lot of problems with pollution. Air pollution. Besides extremely high levels of NOX and SOX there are also problems with volatiles and radioactive air pollution. The CO2 component to Chinese steel is extremely high.

So, I am quite surprised USA Governors and Mayors are actually using Chinese steel, especially on the basis of CO2 emissions and employee health standards.

I am very surprised. In an era where the people of Bangladesh are dying for the production of USA clothing, our government is contracting for Chinese Steel? I am very surprised.

This article about ArcelorMittal makes a lot of sense when it comes to obtaining steel for production purposes. This steel was manufactured and used in production within France. It's transportation costs, especially that of fuel costs, was very low. The production plant used far less fuel to move the steel to the ship building plant and reduced it's global carbon footprint by enormous amounts.

Not only that, but, steel for a ship floating in the ocean is vital. A good paint job alone won't prevent deterioration of that steel. Strong steel to specification of it's use is vital.

One of the ten largest ships (click here) in the world recently made its maiden voyage, with the vessel’s 17 decks all made of ArcelorMittal steel supplied by the company’s site in Saint Nazaire. 

The MSC Preziosa, built by French company STX (les Chantiers de l’Atlantique) and owned by MSC – the world’s biggest ship-owners – weighs 141,303 tonnes.

ArcelorMittal’s Distribution Solutions business division supplied 1,000 tonnes of steel for the decks. One truck a day delivered the steel between our Saint Nazaire plant and the nearby STX premises. The plant produced the naval specification steel sheets, which have long been popular with maritime builders and suppliers worldwide.

The light, thin grades A and H36 in lengths 16,000mm and 20,000mm and thicknesses as low as 5, 6, 7 and 8mm were supplied for the MSC Preziosa....

The strength of any steel is based in it's CARBON content. The higher the carbon content the stronger the steel becomes when heated. Steel is GRADED according to that content. Different grades mean different uses and cost. There are basically four categories of steel; carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless and tool. Within each one of those categories are many grades of steel. Each grade is defined to specific characteristic and the steel has to match those characteristics.

The production of steel has a lot of technical information that would require a lot to explain it. But, bridge steels, especially suspension bridge steels have to exceed any doubt about their strength.

Before major infrastructure is reinforced and/or built any Governor or Mayor needs to pay attention to details. This is not simply passing on money. The 'VALUE' of the project lies in it's service to the taxpayer over time. So, if construction or repair of any major public works project is going to be repeated within five years due to poor quality materials and/or engineering and/or construction, then why bother doing it in the first place. Simply shut it down. 

Planned obsolescence for the 'idea' of increasing jobs year after year is not a viable economy. That sort of public works project will run treasuries into the negative range and taxpayers into the poor house. The quality of all the aspects of public works projects have to be scrutinized and valued for safety of the public and longevity of the structure.

If governors and mayors are allowing poor quality construction (substandard) to hold down immediate costs they are not then seeking high value within the project which is measured differently than a balance sheet.The balance sheet for any public works project is measured in 'taxpayer dollars' for the service of the project over time; it's lifetime. 

In other words if a project is immediately costing $100 million but will stand for 20 years the cost to taxpayer dollars is $5 million per year. If the longevity of the project can be extended to 25 years or 30 years due to higher quality materials and work the value to taxpayer dollars is now reduced depending on the increase in cost if any.

If higher quality materials means less maintenance, the value to taxpayer dollar is also reduced. The more maintenance public works structures require the larger the work force to keep up with the maintenance demands creating higher demands on state or local budgets. So, it needs to be done right.

USA manufactured steel is the most safe form of production with the best trained workers under tight standards.

The American Iron and Steel Institute’s Mission (click here) is to influence public policy, educate and shape public opinion in support of a strong, sustainable U.S. and North American steel industry committed to manufacturing products that meet society’s needs....

When states and cities have infrastructure projects and want the best for their citizens they need to seek USA manufactured steel before any other. In doing so they increase USA jobs in the USA, increase the manufacturing sector for Wall Street and reduce carbon emissions while protecting the lives of employees involved in this very dangerous form of manufacturing.

One thing never measured on a balance sheet at any level of government spending is the number of jobs it adds to USA's citizens, the quality of those jobs, the ability of the job to be sustainable and the return of income from those jobs to the USA Treasury.

See, if jobs are important enough to the treasuries of local, state and federal governments, then the return on investment by the government monies spent should be as important to any project.

Either Washington needs to get their heads screwed on straight about supporting the USA economy before it supports the Chinese economy, including the Chinese military or we desperately need to change those making the spending rules of these infrastructure projects. 

Chinese steel should be allowed in use of government infrastructure projects. Shame on everyone.

What is a healthy company? Unions have to define that to their employee memberships.

Employees need to understand where they fit in to the concept of a healthy company and why they are so valuable they demand good wages, reasonable work hours and quality of life. Quality of life is not simply for the stockholders, officers of the company or CEOs.

"Returns on Investment"

Stockholders invest monies into a company. There are all kinds of investments made by the 'managing interest' (CEOs, Board Officers, etc.). Some are capital investments and some NEED to be the well being of the people that produce their products or supply their services. 

A return on investment does not mean stockholders get all their invested monies back the first year they made the investment. When investors achieve high levels of return they can easily consider their interest returned and abandon their benevolent interest in the company. When investors abandon companies, they can deteriorate and jobs are lost. So, return on investment is important, but, it is never a place where all profit is appropriated. 

The longevity of any country's healthy economy is when companies provide good services and/or products along with good service to their employees with longevity.

Along with all these concepts there is the idea of sustainability. These are products and services benevolent to the entire picture including the future as well as the present. This is where issues of regulation and environmental responsibility become reality. 

But, the longevity of employment means many things, including pensions. Investments by the company for the comfort of their retired employees after many years of service. 

Guess what those pension monies do? They add stability to companies when they 'in turn' invest to provide an income to the pension fund. These are all tried and true standards that provide stability today and into the future. They are important concepts.  

Why pensions? Because the elderly and retired provide a huge dynamic to any economy, the promise of a country to quality of life and respect for aging and the longing for a quality aging. There should never be truncation of any of these values for the sake of profits. They are all doable and should be valued.

March 21, 2011
By Ken Favaro and Greg Rotz

For the past 20 years (click here) we have been working with the CEOs and CFOs of large, global public companies, helping them implement management approaches and capabilities, with the explicit objective of generating superior total shareholder returns (TSR). Total shareholder return is a measure of corporate performance. But as we shall see, it is also a system of management, grounded in a set of metrics and practices for running a company to maximize its value creation, over both the short term and the long haul....

...Primary TSR Metrics

These are the four primary metrics to use when managing for top-tier TSR.
1. Total shareholder return. This is the change in a company’s stock price for a given period, plus its free cash flow over the same period, as a percentage of the beginning stock price. For example, if a company has a stock price of US$100 at the beginning of a year, free cash flow of $3 during the year, and a stock price of $110 at the end of the year, its TSR for that year is 13 percent. TSR can be measured only for publicly traded companies because it requires observable stock prices.
In any given year, a company’s TSR doesn’t mean all that much. But when measured over time, it is the single best indicator of success. This is because it reflects how well a company has created long-term value in highly competitive capital, labor, and product markets — markets that are often very short-term-oriented (or that at least feel that way).

2. Free cash flow (from a shareholder perspective). This is the difference between earnings and retained earnings (sometimes called equity cash flow). At the company level, it is the portion of earnings paid out to investors. In a year when a company neither issues nor repurchases equity, free cash flow is simply the dividends paid to shareholders. At the operating level, it is the portion of an operating unit’s earnings that are available to be paid to investors after it takes care of all its other investment needs. In any year when an operating unit’s investment needs exceed its earnings, its free cash flow is negative.

3. Economic profit. This is the difference between earnings and the cost of invested capital for a given period of time. A business that is earning at least its cost of capital is generating positive economic profit; a business that is earning less than its cost of capital has negative economic profit, even if its earnings are positive. For example, if a company has $15 of earnings, a 10 percent cost of capital, and $100 of invested capital, its economic profit is $5 (15 minus 10 percent of 100). But if its earnings are only $8, it has $2 of economic loss (8 minus 10 percent of 100).


Wall Street has to comply with safety laws in other nations and other parts of the USA. It needs to have a conscience and when it doesn't the people have to.

The companies don't go out of business. They don't disappear. They pay good wages and provide safe work environments. Stockholders have a reason to be proud of their holdings and they will be in business for long time.

A union is people. People with employment in common. They aren't interested in losing their jobs or putting them at risk by excluding stockholders as an important part of their picture. They do know how to produce the product, produce it well and have a worry free life. A worry free life allows them to focus on work and not huge personal problems out of control because of impoverishment as with Walmart.

These are moral standards and where unions don't recognize the importance of them then they are at fault. The company consists of many levels of interest, but, they can't exist without their employees and employment should not be a revolving door or a graveyard regardless the country. 

Companies have attempted to replace employees at every turn, but, since 2008 they have learned when people don't work they don't sell their products. If products don't sell, there is no Wall Street.

June 22, 2013

A GLADSTONE union (click here) has claimed victory in what it says is a year-long fight with Bechtel, over testing and tagging on Curtis Island. 

On Thursday, a representative from the Electrical Trades Union visited an office on the APLNG site, and raised concerns about "non-compliant electrical material". 

ETU central Queensland organiser Craig Giddins said he proceeded to turn off all distribution boards, and other electrical items including computers.
"For about a year now, I've been asking Bechtel to comply with requirements (for testing and tagging) under the act - since Curtis Island is deemed a construction site," Mr Giddins said. 

"The wiring for a construction site needs to be tested and tagged very six months, but Bechtel in their wisdom decided to do it every 12 months. They decided they were above the law!" he said. 

Mr Giddins said he was satisfied Bechtel eventually complied with required testing and tagging on Thursday....

Let's see what Tort Reform and lack of regulation had done for Texas.

FEMA does not belong in West, Texas. It is not a natural disaster and just because this is Texas doesn't exempt it from statutes. I guess the State of Texas is going to have to take out a loan to rebuild West. 


This is criminal liability. So, there is a lot that has to happen here including COMPLETE reform of the corrupt governing system in Texas. The state needs LEGISLATORS and not "Officials of Hubris."

I would never, ever back legislation in Washington, DC that supported this level of corruption in government. NEVER! 

The ONLY way this can be legislated federally is if there are statutes at the federal level that NEGLECT the dangers presented at this chemical plant and that is ABSOLUTELY not the case. There were laws to stop this, the problem is the owners of the facility never followed them. There are no records anywhere to prove the owners were vigilant and took every precaution.

Businesses like this have 'ODDS' no different than Las Vegas. Texas enforces safety in citizens lives by playing "The Odds." The people in West, Texas lost the gamble by their government in West, Texas. Now there is suppose to be a big payoff from all kinds of places in sympathy of piss poor government and corrupt legislation and regulation.

I don't think so.

People's lives are NOT valued enough in Texas. It shows. It is time there are huge changes in the way people value their own lives and the demands of their governments to value them, too.

Profits on the backs of the unfortunate is at an end in Texas. It is time to move into the modern era where human life is a precious commodity.

One of the strong suits of unions is safety in the workplace. I am quite sure there was no union affiliated with this tragedy, now was there.

This is ridiculous and ranks right up there with the BP refinery explosion, the explosions in Louisiana and the BP Deepwater Horizon. Hard working, decent and innocent people died. This country runs on hard working Americans. It is time it stopped! All of it!

June 22, 2013

WACO, Texas (AP) -- Officials of the small Texas town (click here) devastated by an April 17 fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 people has filed suit against the plant owner and supplier.
The lawsuit filed Friday seeks unspecified damages from plant owner Adair Grain and CF Industries, which supplied agricultural-grade ammonium nitrate toe the plant. A fire at the plant ignited the explosive chemical, flattening homes, schools and businesses and killing firefighters and other first-responders.
The lawsuit filed in state district court in Waco alleges Adair Grain was negligent in how it stored the chemical. It says CF Industries was liable for an inherently hazardous product.


The problem with smokestacks in the USA is the refusal to change to alternative energy and/or build new facilities.

We have new C.A.F.E. (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards for automobiles. That is a good thing and long overdue.

But, the problem with smokestacks persist with no real sundowning in sight. 

Smokestacks are not like cars. There is no 'new model' on the market that moves the consumer to increase fuel efficiency or reduce emissions to create a 'planet friendly' outcome.

Smokestacks are major infrastructure investments. That is why President Obama insisted on funding for alternative energy efforts after he was elected. He thought it would fix this lethargic component to USA carbon emissions. It hasn't and it has been four years and lots of opportunity. There is only thing that is going to change this and it is regulation that forces this out of it's lethargic state. 

There are many, many smokestacks in the USA classified as "Unattainable." That means they are supplying a service BUT unable to comply to standards for cleaner air even under The Clean Air Act. Do the owners of these smokestacks care? Heck, no. So what if they spew tons of emissions every year. It doesn't matter if people are effected by the profiteers. To them they are providing the ONLY valuable service possible. This is nothing but Old Money holding onto their pathetic profits. 

It is unfortunate this level of action has to occur because for decades the federal government since The Clean Air Act has asked private industry to consider the changes they had to make. Asking and providing funding was not enough, so now we are at a climate impasse and we can't put it off any longer.

I am grateful President Obama is willing to move forward with these long overdue changes. He has been infinitely patient as have we all. It is time power pre-empted profiteers that do not care about people. They accept danger to life for profitability when it does not have to exist. 

Trayvon Martin was not an eminent danger. He is dead because he was a perceived threat by Mr. Zimmerman. For some reason, probably media/social/political hubris (of which guns are), Mr. Zimmerman believed he was within his rights to follow Mr. Martin into a courtyard. 

It was within that courtyard, within a short distance of his Father's doorstep, Mr. Martin believed he was threatened. He either believed or knew his life was in danger. We don't know. He is dead. 

Did Mr. Zimmerman actually present himself to Mr. Martin as an eminent danger? I would think so. Mr. Martin knew he was being followed. I have been followed on occasion and it does not feel right. Instincts become aware of a disturbing set of facts and one begins to formulate a self-defense no matter what means that takes.

So, the circumstances to Mr. Martin's death are aggravated by the content in which it occurred. Mr. Martin gave no reason for Mr. Zimmerman to believe his life was in danger to bring about alarm to the follow him that proceeded to his death. There is no justification for Mr. Martin's death. Mr. Zimmerman did not know him, there was no personal identification of Mr. Martin in a way that would illustrate a history of any kind, this entire scenario is based in perception. That was the impetus. There was 'prejudice' to act, no solid facts, no reasonable behavior by Mr. Martin to bring about suspicions. 

Mr. Zimmerman did the right thing, he called the police. He did the wrong thing when he became the police. 

Citizens can carry whatever belief system they want about themselves and their world. But, what they can't do is carry out justice about their belief systems UNLESS the laws allow them to do so. The Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws have interesting names, but, they go too far. This is the result.

This case is going to have controversy regardless of the final decisions.

The very laws allowing the release of Mr. Zimmerman at the time of the killing are also on trial.

There are definitely issues of prejudice and race. And by prejudice there is a larger meaning. Can a person with  a gun prejudice the soon to be victim to? 

A gun is a powerful thing, are victims actually subjected to social prejudice when they are shot? What are those social prejudices and why do they exist? 

All those will be part of this trial. They are legitimate parts of this trial. The gun rights advocates want the right to define the use of their guns no matter what their prejudices might be. 

In other words, "I perceived that person as a threat (not even an eminent danger, but, a threat) to me and I shot them to end my perceived threat." 
Gun advocates believe they are perfectly justified in that point of view. It is a very dangerous point of view and provides power to overshadow sincere justice. The justice turns to gun violence and not laws. We will be creating a society where laws sincerely do not matter and are simply words on a page if our society has to be armed to live our lives.

There is a lot here and not all will apply to the trial in it's context, but, more in a social context and those implications on our country. I am quite confident this case is being show cased by the NRA no matter the outcome,