Sunday, February 02, 2014

First Time Groundhog's Day and the Superbowl coincided.

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil (click here) climbs on the top hat of his handler after predicting an early spring during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob on Feb. 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pa. 

...The closest the game has come to coinciding with Groundhog Day was in 2009, when the just-down-the-road Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in the Super Bowl, the night before Phil's forecast....

Looks like the Seahawks are having a good day. Hope everyone enjoyed the commercials. It is going to be a 'Miracle Second Half," I just know it.

This could be used to the children's advantage. A better political strategy.

From the Washington Post. Democratic candidates, like Wendy Davis, can bring income inequality to the people in a sound example of how children are experiencing a new form of segregation.

This actually can work to the benefit those children. If a school has predominantly poor children, special attention can be paid to their needs. Not just food and a good school nurse, but, special learning environments that improve self-esteem and prepare them for higher education and/or a trade. Parents can be brought into the picture to help create a home environment encouraging homework, good behavior and safe living conditions. So often these families believe they have to settle for crumbs.

I can't think of a better issue to illustrate clearly the adverse outcomes of the income inequality gap.
Poverty increasing in public schools (click here) 

Low-income students made up at least half the public school student population in 17 states in 2011, a marked increase from 2000, when four states topped 50 percent. 

Lindsay Layton
October 19, 2013 

A majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are low-income for the first time in at least four decades, according to a new study that details a demographic shift with broad implications for the country. 

The analysis by the Southern Education Foundation, the nation’s oldest education philanthropy, is based on the number of students from preschool through 12th grade who were eligible for the federal free and reduced-price meals program in the 2010-11 school year....
31 January 2014

Boulder Smashes through Italian Farm (click here)

The massive rock narrowly missed a farm house, destroyed a barn, and stopped in a vineyard at the property in Ronchi di Termeno.
A second giant boulder detached during the landslide stopped behind the house.
The family living there was unharmed in the incident, on 21 January....


The second boulder is behind the house and blocking a road. Those are some kind of pictures. All these rocks need is a tipping point and they are no longer at rest. When they are posed at the top of a hill and a home is at the bottom of that hill, there should be some serious considerations as to the final resting place of those rocks. Gravity, you know.

There is a new profession, "Geological Surveyor for Home Sales."

"We unearth all previous land disturbances, including current hydraulic fracturing in the region. We deliver real time present data and guarantee your home from being crushed by boulders, sinking into liquefaction and acknowledge active fissures. No guarantees with hurricanes or tornadoes, but, we can provide insight to nearby glacial ice that might result in complete inundation of your homestead with Human Induced Global Warming. Think about it. Mother Earth has never before been so friendly."

Governor Christie got tired of covering for David Weinstein.

At first glance if there are many problems within NJ Transit and the Port Authority there needs to be a review of policies and procedures and how one man, namely David Wildstein, can disregard them. How did this happen? There were obvious problems with Wildstein's leadership that didn't show up until something went radically wrong. 

Superstorm Sandy demanded expert leadership to prevent disaster. Then the lane closing at Fort Lee showed what Governor Christi stated, "...complete stupidity..."

Sunday, October 6, 2013
The Record

WHEN CHRIS Christie has your back (click here) you don't need to sweat the details of ensuring that a third of the state's rail fleet isn't sitting in flood-prone areas prior to a storm of unprecedented severity. And that is good for James Weinstein.

Meeting The Record's editorial board Thursday, the governor defended the executive director of NJ Transit. Saying he had complete confidence in Weinstein, Christie said that an underling at NJ Transit authorized the ill-fated placement of rail equipment prior to Superstorm Sandy without sending the decision up the chain of command. Christie said the employee was demoted, but not fired because of civil service rules that prohibited termination.

As far as The Record has been able to determine, there are no civil service employees at NJ Transit. We are willing to accept that the governor may have simply misspoken about civil service rules as opposed to something else, such as union protections. That noted, the governor's explanation of what happened at NJ Transit prior to Sandy remains lacking in detail.

Let us be clear: In the days prior to and after Sandy, Christie's priority had to be – and it was – ensuring that the loss of life would be low to zero if possible, and limiting the damage to Shore communities. On that score, Christie was flawless. Weinstein was not....

If an underling had the ability to move or keep rail equipment in flood-prone areas without vetting up the chain, there is something very wrong with that chain....

...If an underling was responsible for the placement of rail equipment – a third of the entire NJ Transit fleet – someone has to be responsible for managing that underling and allowing him to run roughshod over established policies. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We continue to believe that the weakest link is not some underling, but NJ Transit's executive director, James Weinstein.

This is not personal; it is a demand for public accountability.
In addition to this, the media is losing credibility. It was the media that insisted Wildstein and Christie were high school buddies, even after the Governor denied it right from the beginning of the Fort Lee problem.  Now, Governor Christie has focused on Mr. Wildstein in high school; according to the media the Governor is being petty to distance himself from from the issue.

Now, either the media considers Mr. Wildstein a close high school friend of the Governor and stand behind that view of the world or they simply stop flip flopping on the topic at their pleasure in order to maintain control of the Governor's image.

Either there is a reason for the Governor to address this or not.

Up to the mention of high school and Mr. Wildstein in a recent memo there was a close friendship between them according to the media which would compel the Governor to address that misinformation in the memo.

Which is it? A clarifying understanding of the high school relationship or pettiness? If it is pettiness then the media has no credibility.

Scientists seek to peer review research, not respond to propaganda.

Published on Jan 31, 2014

Seismologist Dr. Elizabeth Cochran discusses research showing that injection
wells from fracking and gas and oil production likely causing an uptick in
U.S. earthquakes

How many studies have to be conducted before the denial stops?

Dr. Cochran works with the United States Geological Survey. She is addressing important issues with long term effects on Americans. She isn't lying. Her work is published and credible.

There was an article in OIl and Gas Journal I thought might be helpful.

Evaluating claims of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing (click here)

(AKA "How to avoid liability regardless of it's truth.")

The dangerous aspect of fracking quakes is it's leading to liquefaction and land subsidence.

Liquefaction is caused by water pressure due to the movement of rock during earthquakes. They are massive pressures. It is the water movement that results in added destruction of surface rock. Repeated quakes only increase the occurrence of high water pressure on surface rock, therefore, increase the possibility of land subsidence. Land subsidence indicates land instability. It can also result in flood plains and loss of land in communities suitable for housing development. 

Earthquake Induced Hydraulic Fracturing and Delayed Liquefaction in Heterogeneous Saturated Soils (click here)
Phetmano P. Phannavong
Majid T. Manzari
...The experiments on heterogeneous specimens showed that during the shaking water pressure builds up underneath the seam of silt and creates an upward flow of high gradient, which causes the silt seam to crack. A delayed liquefaction in the upper soil mass is observed to occur following the hydraulic fracturing of the silt seam. The experiments also show the significant role of the duration of shaking on the delayed liquefaction of upper layer.

January 30, 2014
Nevada Appeal Staff Report

A series of mild earthquakes (click here) has hit the area just north of Virginia City this week.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Seismological Laboratory reported the first quake, a 3.1-magnitude temblor, about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday about 9 miles north-northeast of Virginia City.

A second quake was reported at 11 p.m. Wednesday. This one, at magnitude 3.0, hit about 8 miles north-northeast of Virginia City. A third quake, at magnitude 2.6, hit at 2:25 a.m. Thursday. That was followed Thursday by one at magnitude 3.1 at 2:32 a.m., at magnitude 3.0 at 3:22 a.m. and at magnitude 2.6 at 3:42 a.m. All hit about 8 miles north-northeast of Virginia City.

A magnitude-2.1 quake hit at 12:42 p.m. in the same area....

Jeri Chadwell, Nevada Media Alliance

...Several Committee members (click here) raised concerns about the potential risks associated with fracking. Assemblywoman Dr. Heidi Swank expressed her concern that fracking might lead to an increase in earthquakes in the state, referencing a swarm of earthquakes in Arkansas that experts have said may be attributable to fracking activities. Assemblywoman Leslie Cohen voiced her own concerns about the amount of water that would be required to run a fracking operation and asked Enos to give the Committee an idea of how much water would be used....

Most of these charges would have received a slap on the wrist. That is why the state got rid of it.

Published: October 10, 2013
...The 43-count grand jury indictment (click here) read like a primer in small-town abuse of power. It accused Sheriff Deborah Trout of hiring deputies without conducting proper background checks, and making employees sign loyalty oaths. Her deputies, the indictment charged, threatened one of their critics and manufactured fake police badges for a prominent donor to Gov. Chris Christie.... 

This is the same stuff that is occurring with Fort Lee. Fort Lee was a lousy situation that is probably connected with the development of land currently out of reach. I think someone was tired of waiting for the development given the state's employment deficit and high tax rate. There is no crime there.

I have my own theory of this entire intrigue, which is far less interesting than any exploitation otherwise.

Part of the Hunterdon issue is that the acting prosecutor was being replaced with a permanent county prosecutor. It was all happening at the same time and realizing the AG appoints county prosecutors it was normal for him to review the current cases pending as a transition was taking place. The AG would have briefed the incoming prosecutor.

July 2010 (click here)
Acting County Prosecutor Dermott O’Grady announces that the case against Trout and her staffers is under review by the state Attorney General’s Office Division of Criminal Justice and could be dismissed. In August, the AG’s Office takes charge of the case and on Aug. 23, Superior Court Judge Paul Armstrong agrees to dismiss the charges after Deputy Attorney General Christine Hoffman tells him that she had reviewed the case and found “legal and factual deficiencies” in the indictments. The same day, Governor Chris Christie names Anthony P. Kearns III as Hunterdon County Prosecutor to replace interim prosecutor O’Grady.

I know those stating they have a grievance against the Christie administration sincerely believe that, but, no one can overlook the fact the governor was a former US Attorney. He was also successful. I am sure he set certain standards for cases that came through the AG's office.

It comes down to how the state and county was spending their money. If prosecutions were costing more than they were going to achieve in severity of the crime the cases were tossed. That is SOP.

The practice of law is far different than what the average person views as justice. The injustice of civil suits is always painful, but, the reality often is there isn't much that can be done in the way of prosecution. 

In the case of Hunterdon, most of the charges would be mitigated as superfluous in the proceedings of the pre-trial lawyering. Unless there was sincere crime committed and there seems to be none of that. The charges surround mischief, albeit, astounding mischief, but, it resolves down to abuse of power that amounted to nothing. The entire mess probably would have resulted in fines. The sheriff was wrong for the job. Just that simple. 

I think the exploitation of that media in creating a circus achieved it's goal, didn't it? The people that were elected are now gone. That was the purpose, wasn't it?

Chris Christie is a Republican in a state where Democrats primarily rule. If the Democrats could prevent him from achieving his objectives they would do it. No different than what is occurring in the US House. The difference between the US House and the NJ Democrats is that US House is actually due to stupid rules and very insufficient leadership that prevent passage of important things like the national debt ceiling.

NJ Democrats are very savvy folks. I like them. They stand for good values and they fight the good fight, but, all this gossip is basically not going to achieve what they are looking for. They need to concentrate on improving employment, working with the federal government to move Sandy Aid along and find ways to reduce the high tax rate in NJ.

Impeachment of the Governor is most likely not going to happen. Mr. Wildstein is still the ultimate decision maker and even if the Governor thought attempting to push things along in Fort Lee was a good idea, that is nothing but hubris. Unless there are charges handed down, the idea impeachment is a possibility is also hubris.

The Democrats need to get to work on the tough issues while protecting the unions, pensions and cash reserves in the treasuries of the cities and towns. The Democrats have to do the hard work and bring the state better outcomes. That is what is important. The other issues are a matter of prosecutors sifting through what is crime and what is not. Some of this is politics and that is not a crime. I am not an expert and have no desire to be; but, as an amateur I think it best for everyone to move on and take care of the people of New Jersey.

There are people hurting in NJ. While this is all interesting and a distraction to their problems, it is not solving them. 

He looks good. Who is hacking into New Jersey's government email system?

Governor Christie on Saturday at a Super Bowl event in Times Square. He declined to comment on allegations that he knew of the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

Saturday, February 1, 2014    
Last updated: Sunday February 2, 2014, 12:33 AM

 The Christie administration (click here) launched a fierce counterattack Saturday on the credibility of a former ally who a day earlier had alleged the governor knew about lane closures at the George Washington Bridge as they were happening in September.

“Bottom line — David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” read a copy of an email, obtained by The Record and sent to the governor’s friends and supporters.

The attack, a sharp departure from Christie’s defensive posture on Friday, was presented in a blistering rundown of negative comments made about Wildstein in newspaper stories — even pointing to a reported dispute Wildstein had as a teenager with a high school teacher....

Christie fires back at accuser in GWB scandal, says former ally seeking to save himself

The Record
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