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February 13, 2007

Comments

ren

First off, I am NOT enraged.

Second, there is no such thing as a "kill zone" (but you knew that, I'm sure).

Thirdly-what's the big deal about an ISA?

From my point of view, knowing what I know, I'm aware an ISA can't hurt Indian Point in any way.

A fair ISA, that is.

But it won't be fair.

It will be used by users more experienced than Mr. Hall, local bent nosed pols, whose names perhaps end in vowels, like Tony Sop---- , well, you know.

How does one cleverly leverage a supposed "fact-finding" bill, proposing just an inspection of Indian Point, into a slam-dunk "Kill-Bill", intended to simply close Indian Point, no matter WHAT any inspection finds there?

Simple. Just include in the inspection, some provision to look into the local emergency plan.
County leaders have grandstanded about the plan, and opted out of improving it, or cooperating with it, even though it pertains for other emergencies than a strictly Indian Point emergency.

Legislating that this defacto stand-off must be "inspected" is a dodge, and a misnomer. Any "inspection" can only show county non-participation as a "failing grade", when it is NOT Entergy, FEMA, or NRC, who is failing, it is the counties.

Therefore deviously using this county failure as a hidden legislative monkey wrench pre-installed in a supposed "inspection legislation" will easily elevate prior county sabotage, into a poison pill, designed from the outset to wreck Indian Point, our tax rates, and our electric rates, not to mention our local infrastructure viability. This same stunt was used to close Shoreham, which Long Islanders will tell you is sorely needed, now that their electric rates are the highest in the USA. What level of imaginary "security" is required for people to live in this region? How "safe" will it be when no new power plants are built, and our streets become unwalkable? The decay to follow will not require terrorists to bring it here. It is already coming here undocumented illegal by undocumented illegal, and only needs lack of jobs, fewer cops because of lost taxes, and darkened streets (as in a blackout), to express itself fully, a kind of slow motion horizontal world trade center attack, right in our town centers. For what? to re-elect Spano? To pay back John Hall's anti-nukes for voting right?

One could only hope that a "full, rigorous" truth-finding inspection would result from this bill, but the inspection results will be ignored, mark my words. The intent of the bill is NOT to inspect anything. Its intent, modeled on the Shoreham brouhaha, is to allow county non-participation in emergency planning to be leveraged into a pseudo-legal "Close Indian Point" argument. It is a sham piece of legislation, whose result can never be good enough for legislators to say: "We are satisfied, you can have your electricity".

It's intent is to harrass, and corral, NOT to inspect. The fix is in.
If this hocus-pocus shell game is allowed to play out, It will leave the area without power, without 1205 jobs, and without 10,000 vendor-supplier jobs, as well as without the 768 million dollar cash input Indian Point provides locally.

GUESS WHERE THAT TAX SHORTFALL WILL COME FROM?
That's right, people. It will come from you, blackout, or no blackout.

Bet you never analyzed it so deeply, right Bren?

ren

Oh, and by the way, I've commented (rather intelligently I thought) on local blogs for quite a while, until some rabid antinuke pukes who I will not aid by naming, began to play games with what I'd written, altering its content, and spewing it back skewed to the lurid side, and then closing off all comment to their blogs.

They viewed me as a demon, or a fool, and being neither, I took offense.

Being nuclear, I naturally took the "nuclear option" , and started my blog(s) for one single purpose.....
to teach them a lesson.

That single decision alone fully explains any "blogbursts" in evidence. I am quite thorough, as you know, and usually finish what I set out to do.

They are now, sadly, shut down, and no longer operating their crap-blogs.

Entergy itself, is not saying a word.

Myself, I prefer commenting to active blog publication, but a man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.

b tween

Ren, you'd bring out the big guns to shoot a paper tiger? I still marvel at your perceived power of the left. Or am I missing some Corliss Lamont/Soros funded conspiracy to "kerkorian" Entergy out of Buchanan?
The Senate will temper an ISA bill, or the President will veto it. The House will fail to override, everyone gets their Fought-The-Good-Nuclear-Fight medal and gets re-elected in 08 to try again.
Entergy will choose new pockets to fill, and keep running feel-good-cause-we-care siren-test ads in the local rags.

The people in the middle will remain apathetic and undecided, and the people on the outside fringes - those who work for and against IP, will blog hysterically, demanding action.

But the whole debate brings to mind ExxonMobil vs. BP and Shell.

All of them have roughly the same carbon footprint, but the public perception of the latter two is exponentially better than ExxonMobil's, *only* because of the jaw-dropping stupidity ExxonMobil manifested in their corporate stance toward global warming.
While the financial papers all carried BP ads showing the "green energy sun", ExxonMobil ran ads touting their achievements in harvesting oil from the most remote and dangerous corners of hell - in defiance of the trend away from "more more more oil!".

So, the "people" hate ExxonMobil, and love BP. BPs problems in Alaska are ignored by, or covered in the consumer press with a half paragraph on page 86, bottom left corner.

Meanwhile, Suncor makes plans to build a small nuclear plant to process bitumen, and Canada thinks this is quite sensible - moreso than burning gas.

So, where the ISA is concerned, the louder Entergy squeals in defiance, the more public opinion will turn against them, and the more power pols get to act tangibly against them

Like ExxonMobil's funding of contrarian, ideologically driven anti-global-warming "think tanks" and "research", letters to the editor by Arthur Kremer-types, like last year's are, in my humble opinion, a collossal PR blunder. Why in God's name would Entergy's lobby proffer a former politician - whose job was (effectively) to regulate them - as its spokesman? It stinks on its face. I ask myself who are these geniuses who come up with these ideas for stunts?

They certainly don't wish to advance their own cause.

And scientifically valid or not, when fish test positive for strontium 90, the natives get restless, in the same way that the natives who shrug of the strontium 90 get restless when their jobs and economy are threatened by closure.

Let's be realistic.

We can not continue to set fossil fuels ablaze to generate power.
We can not replace fossil fuel's generating capacity with windmills and solar panels as long as the political will is hogtied by NIBMYism (as in Hyannisport's windmill farm).

Hall's low head hydro generators are a great idea with promising capacity.

Requiring all new construction to include some renewable source of power - solar, wind, geothermal is a great idea.

To assert that, if IP goes offline, that residents of the Hudson Valley will sit shivering in the dark is an exaggeration, as we have the ability to import electricity from generating areas in the region.

So, what about an ISA conducted by Germany, France, Sweden or Norway?

Honestly, I'd trust their assessments more than I would trust one that's home-grown. They can be as politically neutral as possible. They could operate agnostically with no fear of retribution by the next American regime.

I still maintain Entergy, if it had any public relations sense would welcome an audit, should work to facilitate an audit and let the chips fall where they may.

I appreciate the economic consequences an action like closing Indian Point would have, but ya can't spend that paycheck when you're dead.

So come up with a better idea, because leaving things as they are is no longer an option.

b tween

I'm curious. Do ant-Indian Point and anti-nuke go together?

I wonder what Lovelock would say about Indian Point.

I'm going to email him and ask his opinion. I'll post what he says if he answers.

ren

The continual inspection by groups like INPO, & NRC have proven the installation to actually be at its safest today, under Entergy.

If I'd lived here in 1986, I would have worried., but I was in Loisaida then.

Entergy is taking your advice, and keeping mum.

I just get annoyed when I see less-than-truthful "myth-building" online.
I take it as a matter of personal pride to inject an alternate view into such efforts, and watch how they deal with it. These rats were just manipulative newbies, not in the movement, anxious to harvest movement attention & raise their own adsense click level by spouting hate.

If all goes as you say, I can relax now, and ease off my blitz. Anyway, I have to go out & shovel sleetdrifts.

Entergy's outlook seems to get better & better, with a little challenge. Let's see how good they can get.

Ren

b tween

Heh, that's generous of you. Because entergy should be proactively addressing the concerns of the people that live around them, not remaining mum. The more Entergy remains aloof or opposes ISA legislation, the harder activists will push to get it done. Why won't Entergy throw open the doors?
Like, consider the recent re-assignment of blame regarding air attacks on nuke facilities.
--We don't need to plan for an airborne attack because preventing them is someone else's responsibility--
Uh, yeah, so don't bother securing IP against anythign other than a land based direct attack on the facility?
And we the sheeple are supposed to nod and say, "sure they're right, the air force or NORAD, or Camp Smith will keep bad guys in birds away!"??
Are you for real?
I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling when the entity that profits from the operation of Indian Point refuses culpability in areas where we KNOW the people who have been named responsible CAN NOT DO THE JOB.
By the time jets were scrambled to respond to a commercial jet pointed at IP, it'd already be over.
So, remaining mum is the last thing they should do. While forming lobbying organiztions is next to last, and opposing free inspection of the facility is third-from.
Ya know, I don't think it should be entirely entergy's responsibility to detail an evac plan, certainly government must be involved, but it's mostly their responsibility.
For all the strategic regional significance - economic, and otherwise - that you give IP, they are NOT giving the electricity away for free, and some people who live far away in Arkansas and Louisiana are getting very very rich on it.
People and companies must necessarily make as much money as possible from their time, effort and resources, but not at the expense of the 8% of the population they put at risk doing so...
Mum?
Hah!

ren

Oh please....

Posse Comitatus circa 1873 mandates warlike attack scenarios, and all defense against them, be strictly a dept of defense function (dept of the Army at the time the law was passed).

Just give NRC its own little army, and in about an hour's time you'll be wailing, (or should I say Counter-wailing) that John Ashcroft is back wearing his little glue-on Hitler mustache to take all our freedoms away.

If DoD can't defend America, I don't wanna live here, and I'll help you with your hara kiri, if you'll help me with mine.

(As long as Senator Leahy gets the insurrection act reset to its original condition, we will have plenty of defense forces local at any particular time.)

There is absolutely no excuse for being selectively non-constitutional in the case of nuke plant defense, and then crying wolf in all other areas, because Bush stole your other prerogitives.

Advice: Don't give away for argument sake, what Adolf Bushler hasn't yet figured out how to steal from you.

Let DoD protect ALL internal infrastructure from external threats.
and THAT'S all the NRC ruling stated.

As far as Entergy not being St Francis of Assisi, I never said they were.

(That was RFKjr who claimed THAT).

b tween

Non-Constitutional in Nuke Plant Defense?
Have you gone socialist on me ren?
I never asked that we triple the size of that national guard so they can form a ring around every nuke and chemical facility in the country. In fact, I think it's stunning hubris to think there's any reason on earth why we should.
I will say again: Entergy does not give its electricity away for free. It is not a public service, it is a private company that operates for profit.
Don't blame me for that, I think privatizing and deregulating the utilities was madness.
But that said, the company that profits from a risk filled undertaking has a responsibility to make it as safe from external threats as possible.
Why you or anybody would believe the government responsible for armoring or protecting Indian Point from any threat is beyond me. It's this form of entitlement addiction - just a form of corporate welfare like oil exploration subsidies paid to companies that do not need taxpayer assistance - that we need to break.
People with that attitude honestly believe that poor people should eat dirt, but megacorps need billions from the taxpayers, and that's as American as apple pie.

It isn't, so no.

Entergy should pay for it, and IP should be able to provably withstand a direct hit from a fully fueled 747. Because no defense department jet can scramble and shoot down a hijacked civilian aircraft fast enough.

And for the record, posse comitatus does not imply any such thing. It *prohibits* the use of the military in domestic ops, not the other way around, unless expressly ordered by Congress. Good luck getting Congress to do that. The president lacks power (Stafford act wouldn't apply in this case, imho)

ren

I love a real conversation.

Yes, deregulation failed, because it was a scam, (like anti-nuclearism)
However, the service offered by privateer Entergy, is not an optional, or vanity service, It is not flaming crepes, sports events or hot action movies, it is in fact a super-essential and very critical infrastructure service, upon which all other domestic services rely, police, fire, commo, hospitals, home viability, transport, etc.
Being critical infrastructure (and on the DHS list as such) it gets public protection. Sorry Bren, that's the law.

Could Spitzer chip into the profits ("Dip his beak" like Johnnie Sack on the Sopranos)? Sure he can. When it gets onerous , Entergy walks away, and we all buy honda generators.

But.... going on your point, of protecting things...

OK, name for me all the other hardened facilities in other industries.

A system of beamhenges over all the NFL football stadiums?

Concrete and steel bunkers for the chlorine tanks at Hillside reservoir?

Armor plated windowless Metro North Trains?

and for that matter,

Large 20 foot high sandbag blast barriers in Grand Central Station?

Yes, I know, Westchester airport has blast mats on the parking lot.
that's ONE instance of compliance to your rule.

Ummmm... a large concrete tube built over the TZ bridge?
Over the GW, 59th street, Verazzano, & Bear Mountain bridges?

A mile-wide steel lid over Kensico reservoir?

Planes launched directly out of subterranean launch tubes at Kennedy & Newark airports?

Your problem is that you are crediting the Rory Kennedy delusion that

A) a terror cell wants Indian Point,

B) a plane can hurt Indian Point to the extent it endangers people outside the plant

C) hijacking an airliner is feasible after 9-11

D) that a damaged Indian Point can generate a plume dangerous beyond one mile.

The very worst nuke disaster ever possible, in a criminally negligently designed and run Chernobyl, a place with no reactor vessel, no containment, and no safety systems, killed only 31 people, all plant workers or firemen.

In point of fact, a successful direct hit by Al Qaeda (do they still exist?) in a 767 on an Indian Point dome would only shut down the plant. The plane would disintegrate on contact with the concrete. The dimensions of a plane are larger than the dome, so the pilot must choose either a direct center hit, where no engine hits the dome, or a side-hit, attempting to get some heavy engine parts on the dome, in which case he misses the dome entirely, and all the jet fuel burns harmlessly in open air. No structural collapse is possible, because the dome, being an arch in 3 dimensions is inherently stable, unlike a vertical box like the WTC, relying on weak floor joists to remain upright. Moreover, the dome is only the outer barrier. Large concrete missile shields, crane walls, and structural elements protect the hot stuff down, way down, in the lowest part of the dome interior. Way below all this is a 6 inch thick steel reactor vessel below a 3 foot thick concrete reactor shield wall, virtually impregnable, deep in the bowels of the dome. Far from being able to cause the "Rory Event" with a single 767, it would take at least three successive perfect 767 hits, to clear a large enough path through the barriers, to allow the FOURTH 767, to release source term to atmosphere. So tell me: Where are you getting 4 airliners, 4 top notch pilots, and the perfect once in a hundred lifetimes synchronization?

Your "movement myths" are very useful in recruiting newbies, and causing false concern, so that community builds, and we can all link arms and sing cumbaya with Pete Seeger, but in point of fact , the self-same PR myths cripple your judgement on these issues.

Or perhaps you have a detailed credible scenario where Indian Point endangers someone outside Buchanan?

Please tell me, if you do.

ren

Oh, and by the way.... $12 million dollars worth of not-to-be-revealed security hardening HAS gone on since 2002 at IPEC. Not against planes, though.

b tween

$12MM? hah. that correlates to me spending $49 on a motion-detector-160db-burglar alarm for my house. Actually, I'm probably wildly exaggerating. A more apt comparison might be $1.25 for an eye hook and latch.

DHS is a bad example, becuase they demonstrated with stark clarity that they are utterly clueless when assessing threats and targets.

But it would be foolish to assert that IP is not a target of more value than a doll museum in Indiana.

Nonetheless, your shrugging off of the plane brings to mind the "fact" that the twin towers were designed to withstand the same thing - and golly, look what happened there. All them fancy science boys and their fancy numbers were just wrong.

One of my closest friend's fathers was a Port Authority engineer on the WTC design team. He still doesn't believe to this day that what happened actually could have. They even brought him out of retirement as a forensic consultant and he still can't believe it. And neither he, nor I, are 911-truth nuts. Just people whose expectations don't always go as expected. It happens...

And goodness ren, I'm a patriot, not a dilletante. I would never put a detailed attack scenario/fantasy on the web, no matter how implausible, because I would never wish to plant any seeds of any ideas for our enemies who might think "hey, maybe this one's got legs".

Anyway, the notion of a 767 pricking the reactor balloon is one issue that when considered with all the others - unscheduled shutdowns, siren failures (more on this in a second), leaks, etc... they add up to a larger problem - that of an old structure showing its age and becoming a dangerous structure.

On the sirens... I've enjoyed the ads in the papers announcing the siren tests, but I've often wondered why there even are sirens?

If there's a catastrophe, nobody's going anywhere and the sirens will serve only to cause panic, give a few rapturists time to pack their spaceship bags and create chaos.

I favor nuclear energy in general - I think they're necessary because we have to stop using carbon fuels to make electricity. Uranium comes from friendly, stable countries and there's a hell of a lot of it in the ground - but as I've maintained all along, Indian Point is another matter entirely.

ren

Well, maybe 12 mil is small potatoes compared to, say, the Maginot line, but it makes it impossible to traverse the grounds near, and in, Indian Point, on foot, or by vehicle, and makes almost certain that anybody trying to do so is a real easy rifle shot from about six interlocking hidden, hardened fire points.

I've told people time & again why there are sirens, but forgetting the story is so useful to anti-nuke people, that they immediately forget what I said, and go back falsely using the sirens' existence as bogus "proof of danger".

Whem TMI had its event, no liaison existed between Pennsylvania state government, Harrisburg city government, The Utility that owned the place, and NRC. As hard to believe as it is now, they didn't know how to get in touch with each other. During a period of several days , several conflicting orders to evacuate, and to not evacuate were given by clueless members of the 4 agencies "In Charge" (joke).

Mainly to avoid similar agency embarrassment in the future, it was decided by NRC to administratively order that a standing evac plan be put in place, at least partly bought into by the state gov, local gov, utility, & NRC. This also had the effect of letting them each know who to call when, in the 3 other agencies.

The absolute NECESSITY of an evac, or an evac plan, in the world of "Does everybody Really Need To Run Away From These Things?", was NOT involved in the NRC mandate. (They thought running away was NOT needed, and wanted the plan in place to keep uninformed political idiots like the Harrisburg Mayor from independently ordering an evacuation).

There it is.

Now you can forget it, and go on with your "Rorymovie"

b tween

So, are you saying that when I hear a siren, I should take an Iostat and get back to the business at hand? Or not bother with the Iostat? Duck and cover when I see the blast?

At its most basic, accepting Entergy's, and the Government's assurances that all is well at Indian Point (or anywhere) is the province of Kool-Aid slurping fools.

But let's say I do accept at face value what you, entergy, the NRC and the host of other interested parties assert to be true: that Indian Point is an operationally safe, well protected from inside, electrical generator.

In the great American tradition of Ronald Reagan, I would like to see proof provided by someone from "my" side... remember "Trust but verify"?

That's me. I'm Ronald Reagan. And you, the NRC/ETR/DHS/DoD/etc are Gorbachev.

Sorry comrade, best analogy I could think of.

Sure, let's sit down to a nice 3 Stoli-martini lunch in Stalingrad and reminisce about the old marching and sign carrying "anti-nuke" days. Eventually we'll get past that to the modern "anti-Indian Point" movement.

There's a big difference between the former and the latter.

Entergy, the Indian Point apologists, and particularly the people whose livelihoods depend on IP (understandably out of self interest) try to paint everyone who believes in replacing that aging structure in Buchanan as a fringe anti-everything-nuclear nut, but that's simply not the case.

Most people weigh the dangers of spent uranium vs. coal/diesel smoke and agree that the one that isn't spewing carbon is the lesser of two evils.

You already know this.

I've been polling my environmentalist acquaintances casually, asking them what their thoughts are on that question and while some are intractable anti-anything-not-renewable types, many, particularly the younger ones, look at Europe and Scandinavia, see safe infrastructure like boutique nuke plants as common as local breweries in Germany, and think it's ok, because it's exponentially better than a thousand local coal plants.

One thing I find interesting is the dichotomy in your views when it suits your argument.

One moment your position is we face a ruthless, well equipped, well funded, enemy with terrifying capabilities and we need to close our minds and border and constitutional freedoms before we're overrun by crescent-sword wielding Bedouin hordes.. (read your pre-election comments around the time I wrote about the Confessions of an Economic Hit Man).

But when it comes to terror threats against Indian Point, well, it's not that big and bad a motherf*er of a world out there and all's good in Buchanan.

Should we shrug off wiretapping, mail-reading and shoe-removing at the airport because there are no serious threats against the grid? Or do we seriously examine the capabilities our government has to protect IP (which are frighteningly inadequate) and shift the bulk of the burden of that responsibility to the entity (Entergy) who profits handsomely from its sitting there humming away?

If it comes down to me paying for it through taxes (in addition to my central hudson bill), or just paying my CHEG bill, I'll take just the bill.

Ya know, I like Bush's suggestion that corporations lose the deductibility of executive pay that exceeds 25 times the annual salary of the lowest paid employee. Pity it took shareholder revolt over wild excess to get free-market dogmatists to cry out for government regulation, but it goes the show that business can't be trusted to regulate itself.

In the same way, while I'm sure entergy can be trusted to audit itself, I say trust but verify (independently).

Have a nice Sunday.

ren

Did I say bedouin hordes were on their way to overrun us? Must have been too much espresso.

The single most verified entity on the planet is an American nuclear generating station.

Was there a time when our nukes were loosely managed? Yes-- but even then, they were more verified than anything else anywhere.

Now that the nukes are seen as plum properties, possibly irreplaceable, the managers have been tightening up the oversight, and squeezing all the grapefruit juice they can out of these resources.

Why did anybody ever fear them?

They were lumped in with WMD's, by activists, in a luddite war on reality. (Once nuke physics was discovered, there was no going back.) I agree fewer WMD's is a wonderful thing to strive for, but there are no WMD's in Buchanan.

BUT ...The original oversight, coming out of a WMD era & agency (the AEC) was innately superstrict at the start, and right on through.

Rory's movie was a crock. Yes, the plane could have hit, but no, nothing all that bad would (or could) happen.
Other than the exaggerated result lie, all you have is a weird looking building that makes your electricity. And....Jihad martyrs seem to focus on "people-places"--airports, nightclubs, train stations, open air markets, people standing on lines, etc.

Aside from a vague, generalized "umbra of distaste" stemming from nukestuff being a movement pariah for 50 odd years, there is no rational substance to any objections either on environmental, financial, or technical grounds. That's why it's so hard to "keep the faith"-- the "faith" is wrong!

AND--- Hall's ISA bill, is not a bill that seeks an ISA. An ISA could go Entergy's way. Hall's bill is an attempt to rig a nuclear sandbagging, under the auspices of an ISA. The ISA is just the sugarcoating, to make voters not hate him for making them poor, without power, and totally messed up forever, to establish that John's antinuclear "branding" was not bogus.

If it's for that purpose, it obviously ain't worth the trouble, is it?

ren

Hi Bren..

This is waaaayyy off topic.....
But check it out:

Shays' rebellion is why the USA has a constitution.

In Massachusetts, speculative money lenders on the east side of the state were facing default on moneys they had loaned out to the revolutionary effort. When the state imposed a cash tax (under their lobbying) to officially pay these debts off, the form this payoff took, intentionally ensured that barter economy farmers in the west of the state were strapped, and milked. Having no specie to pay the tax, their one alternative was to sell their farms, and thus be both impoverished and disenfranchised at the same time (non-land holders had no vote). The fix was in. They rose up, and took over the west of the state. No law existed for the federal government to send any troops to counter the takeover. It was a fait accompli, and fully legal, under the articles of confederation! Debts were to be universally forgiven! Finally, a cabal of wealthy Bostoners raised a mercenary force of 4400 and took the Springfield armory. So mercenaries, in the pay of a cash-rich few, retook the state. Still the federal government stood helpless. Washington was told tales that the rebellion was a communistic "Levelling" rebellion, (and indeed, they called themselves "regulators"), and his fear of his own disbanded army in popular anti-elite rebellions becoming the norm, led him to approve of, and sit in at, the constitutional convention. A constitution imposed by the wealthy, for the interest of the eastern elite, forcing western farmers back into line as the wealth-creators, tax-payers, and obedient working class underlings ready & willing to go bankrupt so that urbane money speculators might not be impoverished, and forced into farm work themselves. Is it this Constitution that you revere so highly? Or a more mythic version of it, based on your ignorance of its true provenance?

These rebellious revolutionists were the same westerners who were forced to abandon west New England en masse after the Whiskey Rebellion, eight years later, fought on very similar issues, but enforced this time around by a constitutionally mandated 13,000 man conscript levy under Washington. Three American revolutions! All about the self-same issues! The first now called sacred, and the ensuing other two buried from our view! Just as English settlers had driven the original native populations west, so the urban cash-cult , originally alien to the Americas, arose and pushed good Americans off their farms, and into the western woods, for cash gain.Speculators protecting speculators. The intentional fleecing of the western parts of the colonies by the eastern urbans, backed with federal armies, is why western New England, Western Pennsylvania, and Appalachia in general is still a comparative wasteland. To let these unlettered rubes have full equality, and local justice, was too much for King Washington the first to bear, so he wiped them out financially, then chased them out militarily.(And incidentally became America's largest whiskey distiller, at a favored tax rate, much lower than that imposed on his plebeian brothers in Washington County Pa.) When Andy Jackson illegally did the same to the Cherokees and the Seminoles a decade or two later, he had the father of his country to imitate when he did it. What would a prosperous, fully inhabited non-slave Appalachia have looked like? Shropshire, or the Cotswolds? We will never know. What would a Seminole Florida, or a Cherokee Carolina have looked like? Costa Rica? Belize? Again we can not ever know. The "victors" write the "histories". The fact is, that the current Appalachian emptiness, only now being monetized by developers, was an artificially imposed emptying, an internal societal genocide, perpetrated by the "Blues" of their day upon the "Reds" of their time, (lesser schooled, less urban,... industrious but backward, and thus exploitable). The noble, personally built barter economies were what the whole had been, a mere generation earlier. To save the "House-flippers" of 1793 was why the USA has its constitution. (and Appalachian poverty, and Indian reservations, and king cotton, and slavery, and a civil war, and a KKK, and Jim Crow, and ignorance in general in certain areas, and black southern flight to northern ghettoes).

I just thought, since you favor northern blue state aggression, you might like to discuss your predecessors in this cultural cleansing.? Do you have any plans to begin chasing blue collar people out of the Hudson Valley? Or do you just deny southerners the right to vote red republican? This can be as tongue-in-cheek as you'd like to make it. I just miss decent blog voices around here.

B Tween

Very interesting, but it ignores geographical factors in how regions developed into what they are today.
Farmers in western Mass lacked the easy access to trade that their eastern counterparts had. The markets in the east used specie as a vehicle for trade, as opposed to barter because they had it to use. Trade near seaports naturally involved some sort of commonly accepted currency. When you're trading a bushel of corn for a bushel of wheat, you don't need coins against which to measure their value. When you're trading skins from Canada for a New York spinning wheel that you you bought with proceeds from the sale of your bushel of corn you have much greater flexibility and greater value.
There's a reason prices are higher in big cities. Because that's where the money is.
Whether that city is Atlanta, LA or NYC doesn't matter. Volume of trade equals wealth.
As it is, my theme has never been outright anti-Southern. It's anti-Southern Strategy. The people whose tails I like to pull can live anywhere. It's their intolerance - and more importantly, the price our Great Society has paid for it - that got me going.

So, the rationale for drafting a constitution is to me irrelevant. The document that we have today, that you argue was a direct result of money-machinations by early Blue-staters, is a hell of a well thought out piece of paper.

But, don't confuse me with a constitutional constructionist. I'm of the opinion that the Constitution needs to adapt to stay relevant, and while any formal amendment of the constitution must be done with great seriousness, it's not an intransigent dead document.

Chasing working people out of the Hudson Valley? It doesn't seem like it's going to take much to do that. With the cities and towns reassessing properties, nobody who lives here now will be able to afford to stay. A few hundred thousand Citiots won't do it. Greedy spendthrifts in local government will do that just fine on their own. They can't seem to stop giving their town's heritages away to McMansion developers.
In any case, why would you associate Republicans and working class interests? Other than a few peeking-into-your bedroom issues, they have no common interests.
Brings to mind a song by that great spoof band "The Upper Crust" called "Friend of a Friend of the Working Class".
The Republican party has talked the talk of working people so well for the last 13 years that they've tricked a huge number of honest, decent, hard working patriotic people into voting against their own interests.
But I have to say, that is changing. These are not stupid people, but they are loyal to their friends - to a point.
I think Mark Foley and Ted Haggard were that point. Not to mention Iraq. The jingoistic sheen wore off that one too.
And pocketbook issues.
What was a barrell of oil at when Bush was elected President?
Douglas Cunningham, who shortly before the election wrote a piece about the staggering rise of fossil fuel prices said something I found quite funny (I paraphrase): It's remarkable, with all of these oil industry vets in the administration, that we are seeing this energy crisis unfold.
Indeed.
I think they were doing a splendid job - serving the institutions that put them where they are. Not the people.
In any case, the house of cards is crumbling, and it will be very difficult for the party in power for the last 6 years to shrug off the loss of equity we experienced in the stock markets today, and will likely tomorrow.

What would you do ren? Clearly we're in for a bumpy ride, and the precarious economic base that's formed in the Valley over the last 5ish years is in jeopardy.

What would you do?

ren

It's pretty amazing to outlive the Marxian realworld experiment, only to realize that much of his analysis was spot-on. People rise above subsistence level via exploitation. Call it trade, or call it people-smuggling, society has a bunch of stuff that needs to get done, and most of us would rather negotiate someone else into the dirt jobs. Without the digging, no houses appear, without factories, no goods to trade, without craft work, no art, without domestic exploitation, real difficulties appear inside the family itself.

Is mankind evil then? I choose not to dress it up with Marx' dark coloration. It's just the way thinking animals pre-plan, for themselves and others. (I've even seen my Brittany Spaniel-a real brainiac, create a disturbance, so the Springer Spaniels run outside barking. He then proceeds to eat their food, which they've stupidly left behind, thanks to his phony alert.) I consider the alerts about Indian Point to be roughly equivalent.

We no longer proudly view ourselves as wealth-makers. Wealth makers are all foreign-born exploitees, in a space that perambulates around the east Asian periphery with the newest dictatorial regimes, peons of no human worth.

The only worthy figures are wealth-dispensers. The old rich, the new-rich, politicians, entertainers, (at one time these were separate callings), market mavens, arbitragers, developers, and all their tech minions--planners, politicoes, academics, police, transport- whatever.

No mining. No farming. No car-making. No TV making. No furniture making. No clothing production. No infrastructure building. No shipbuilding.The sole skills left to America are homebuilding, weapons production, and CG action movies.

The entire populace is being lulled with dreams of lives of recusal. An entire life, lived to experience white water rafting, or preparation for a political career. Al Gore is the biggest fattest example of this type. A $6000 per month energy bill on but one of his many houses, and he gets an enviro-oscar, and is immediately tapped as presidential. God help us. Nero masquerades as Jesus, if you ask me.

What would I do, Bren?
I would shout loud and hard, and hope somebody was smart enough to hear.

We need a more elemental society, or at least a more elemental respected component in our society. America cannot, at this moment decide if the flood of Central American mestizos is a godsend or a plague. That indecision is telling, and killing. If we document them, and provide "white economy" employment, they will be us in a decade or so. If we enjoy the difference too much, and use them too carelessly and exploitively, their view of who they are will grow more & more alien, and yet they will remain here. A guy just in from Tegucigalpa cannot become an investment banker--in our system. But if we exclude his ilk totally, he just might become a Mexican Mafia investment banker, and begin to exoploit us, and our children, for his "free trade" scheme in contraband. There is no room here, for anyone but peons. That is an invitation to a permanent ineradicable criminal alter-society.
It begins even as I write this.

We need factories. We need blue collar work. We need cohesive visions, to remake a nation out of what is now a hodge podge of conflicting immigrant desires. To do that, we may need a winnable war somewhere, more closed borders, less air travel, a less snide and revealing press, and some candidates of true stature. We need to attach some shame to reciprocal exploitation, via some system. It might be ethical, religious, political, whatever, but without it, a foreign interest --such as Islam itself-- will deserve to usurp the bastard freedoms which have led us to this point.

B Tween

We gave away our ability to have a working class when we sent all of our work to other countries. We traded blue collars for blue vests and smiley buttons, barrista aprons and orange prison uniforms.

So yeah, rebuild our working class, rebuild the middle class, end serfdom - but how? The infrastructure has already rusted away, and we can't compete with countries that pay workers pennies an hour.
Tarriffs? Fair Trade? Humane working conditions requirements? Close the borders?

Charming ideas I'm sure, but not solutions.

I don't know the answer, but I do know no politico has come up with anything even remotely workable-sounding.

Speaking of politicos... Bechtel, unlike Entergy, has worked both sides of the aisle for ages. Goes
back to my point about Exxon vs. BP - if you have a stake in the shepherds' or herds' opinions, make friends, not enemies. How do you think Bechtel got the contract for the Big Dig?

So let's get local... Attack John Hall before the election and he wins it, you lose - big time. And you lose much more than Kelly's seat. You lose a champion and representative. He's far more pragmatic than you give him credit for, and if Entergy hadn't been so forceful and virulent in opposing him (which almost certainly helped him, incidentally), the situation we are watching unfold today would almost certainly have been very different.

The power has changed hands but Entergy seems to think the methods that have worked for the last 20 years still work.

That's wrong.

In the same way Bush will pay for his "Democrat Party" digs - and he will - Entergy will pay for the tactics they have employed over the years to ridicule and alienate the fringe, because the fringe is now the mainstream, and they have access that was unimaginable 10 years ago - and at all levels of government.

For Entergy to essentially equate their contribution to the region's power needs to a patriotism, and to effectively assert that a vote for John Hall is a Vote for The Terrorists and Killers, is a failed rhetorical strategy. The pendulum had already swung the other way; it had been rocketing leftward since the Iraq invasion. Cheney was (and is again being) subject to endless ridicule for the incredible (literal use) assertion that any opposition to his opinions "emboldens the enemy". Remarkably, he still doesn't realize he's one of the only people left that doesn't snicker when he says that.

If Entergy wishes to remain detached from that reality, so be it, but there will be a heavy price to pay. And the messengers have the bill in their bag and it's the nUkeSlaYerS who are walking across the water to deliver it.

What happens next is almost entirely up to Entergy, in my opinion.

Which will it be? Red Pill or Blue Pill?

I think I know which pill they'll choose. But in this matrix, they won't get to just go back to sleep.

ren

Thanks for outing your inner vision in a public discussion. It brings a refreshing jolt of having actually connected. Maybe there is hope for blogs. I see that the left/right dimension looms large for you, and that you have inclusive, expansive hope about some new social paradigm, although you simply assume that all the members of this new inclusion will be getting along in some unspecified financial way. Would that this could be true. It might be out of reach from here.

As far as the part where you say Bush, or Entergy are "going to pay" for engaging in a public exchange in which you yourself maintain an "aggression" website, right there you begin to drift into partisan revenge- a kind of gang mentality. I don't resonate to thoughts of revenge. I aim to move events to where no revenge is required. The theories on both sides are not worth the human damage in shutting down our greater humanity, to take some blind ultra-partisan road. Live long enough (like me) and you'll see the underlying reality, the one that never moves in all the pendulum swings.

If "we" sent our jobs overseas, it was without me. I had no part in it. If New York State wishes to remove its own infrastructure, to get revenge on Bush, its news to me. Most people, (me included) see Bush as an inept dufus, trapped in an office he was wildly unqualified for. However, there may be a trend emerging here. All the major candidates seem unqualified. (Where's George Washington when you need him?). All the local candidates seem captured by an ephemeral activist cause which is in truth only half a cause.

In my long career of designing projects, I've always worked in two closely coordinated stages. You don't dig a hole, just to have an empty hole. That never works. At first the hole is an opportunity to build a new foundation. However, a hole with nothing built in it, very quickly becomes less than an opportunity, a danger actually, as it collects rainwater, undermines surrounding buildings, attracts kids, homeless folks, and illicit garbage dumping, and soon enough some oddball lifestyle inhabits the place, and eventually somebody is hurt, or killed.

If set in a 1965-type corporate reality, with lots of alternative cash, know-how, and support opportunities around, an anti-Indian Point campaign can make great sense. You will odds on not destroy anybody but the targeted entity by removing it. Now let us change time frames to 2008. All local attempts to build power sources have been killed by NIMBYism in one guise or another. Title X has not been renewed. Mirant has raped Rockland county and absconded, shutting its Lovett plant. NYRI has been blocked from "piping in" upstate windpower. Has development been stopped or even slowed? No. Great swaths of Hud Valley greensward are carved into cookie cutter MacMansion wildernesses & stripmalls, and lots of the Macmansions go begging, just too expensive to buy. Perhaps 100,000, perhaps 800,000 new lower class immigrant locals live silently among us, needing everything that human families require. A stock market glitch can impoversish those of us now doing OK in about a week's time, and no second system is in place, anywhere. No wealth creation, no work, except in NYC. Yonkers is overrun with Mexigangs. Mamaroneck is close second. Poughkeepsie is already lost. Beacon awaits the tipping point.

Remove Indian Point? At this point there is an easily arguable reality emerging, that such a cause, in such a setting, is naive, irresponsible Mao-esque youthism gone wild, in the environmental dimension, but so nicely pre-packaged by our camera-worthy celebractivist idols, that no local politician can rise to the stature required, to see its weaknesses, and to therefore act for the good of the common weal.

It is THIS, which is my personal mission. I must keep this greater realization uppermost in everyone's consciousness. Why? I have lived here all my life. My family has ties, deep ties, to the region. I will not be trashed, or let the region be trashed, on RollingStone philosophy, or inane pop dreams. No Kennedy, Cuomo, or Hall is worth more than my life, and my family's wellbeing. When these unworthy public figures get too full of pop trash pogrom posturing, and begin to forget the rest of us, I am the cure. There. Now you have MY personal vision.

In addition, please don't argue against Entergy when talking to me.
I am definitively not Entergy. Entergy's spokesman is a guy named Steets, from Middletown.

If you get a chance, go visit the Culinary Institute, near Marist College. On the south end of the campus is a small graveyard, where you will find the headstone of a Jesuit priest named Teilhard de Chardin.
He viewed this particular epoch with a much deeper understanding than anyone now living, and a short 20 minute read of any of his stuff can put left/right angst in a much better perspective for you. (Mind now--- don't accept the Wikipedia description of Tielhard--- its pop-sucking nonsense.) Teilhard set all this hubub in motion, 50 years ago. Read and judge for yourself.

As for Entergy? Are your lights on?

B Tween

You misunderstand me when I predict that the Bush administration will pay for their attacks - I don't wish this to happen, but I believe it will because it shows a very deep contempt for the group on the other side of the table.
Let's face it, the administration has shown nothing but hubris and contempt for Congress and the rule of law, taking the soundrel's refuge behind the cross and the flag.
The previous one party government lacked substantive reason behind their policies. They appealed to the base, fear-of-lightning passions of a passion-swept core of people. This approach that was taken, pursuing hot-button legislation got us to where we are today:
a hudson valley filled with cities and towns that are transforming to service economies. Muddy Cups over Tallixes and John Deeres. The national jobs reports are a macro view of the local one... loads of jobs are created and unemployment is down, but those jobs don't pay enough for workers to live in the towns they work in.
And the shift in power was absolutely propelled by national issues that have little direct impact. Unfortunately, this shift was alread well underway when Hall was elected - which is one reason why I really believed it was time to change leadership. Sue Kelly, and the Republican congress bent over backwards to give relief to the rich, while sticking it to the yeoman classes and small businesses in this country. Albany has done the same thing. Tax rates are unsustainable, as the three foreclosures within two blocks of my home will attest.
My house was recently revauled as part of Beacon's tax equalization program, and was valued by the city at $35,000 more than what it's worth on the open market.
That is going to get worse, as subprime lenders go belly up, the market cools further and housing cards topple.
I point to the sales tax plan. That's one way to shift the burden to those who can best afford to pay. I'm no economist or actuary, so damned if I can see why that wouldn't work nicely.

NIMBYism is a gigantic problem, and it infests both sides of the aisle. At least now, with a democratic congress, there are two competing NIMBY camps and nobody will get trampled as easily as in the past.
I wonder why power companies don't use the thruway corridor to bring power downstate from the generating regions?
While it adds to distance and certainly power attenuation, the upside to it is the route is already cleared, eliminating costs from eminent domain actions and actual clearing of the land, few people live close enough to it to complain and it runs from NYC to Plattsburgh and west to Buffalo. Why not bury a 6 foot pipe and run high power lines through that?
That kind of project, if well constructed could last 100 years and be extremely expandable.

Nonetheless, our goals are the same - to ensure prosperity for our families and future generations.
The question then becomes one of choosing leaders, and I've seen enough failure in leadership over the last 10 years to last me a lifetime.
I will read up on de Chardin. Wiki is at least gives background.

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