Shades of the Grateful Dead – trouble ahead, trouble behind
Daily Archives: March 25, 2012
When John W. Olsen, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, learned that the proposed Montville Biomass plant project wasn’t part of the Northeast Utilities-NSTAR merger settlement reached last week by state officials, he was angry.
Not only would the plant owned by NRG Energy have been a source of jobs, but also it would have advanced Connecticut toward the requirement that 20 percent of all power used or sold in the state come from clean or renewable resources by 2020.
Now Olsen and others are asking whether the merger settlement, which they say lacks a robust alternative energy funding component, is sending the wrong message — that Connecticut likes the idea of alternative energy but isn’t willing to fund it or fight for it.
The proposed biomass plant, a $100 million shovel-ready project, would convert up to 42 megawatts of an 82-megawatt steam unit to run on wood biomass as its primary fuel source. The power it would produce would be at a price far below the power generated by Cape Wind, Olsen said.
Let’s see if I have mastered Cos Cobber’s attempt to give me a lesson in electricty measurement – I’m sure I haven’t but I’m also sure he will correct me.
Connecticut consumed 33,000 million KWH in 2005 (latest data I could find). That’s thirty-three trillion, right?
This $100,000 million unionized project would produce 42 megawatts an hour ?), which is 1,0008 KWH a day X 365= 367,920 KWH per year?
33,000,000 divided by 367,920 means we’ll need 89,693 biomass plants if we want to switch energy production entirely over to that source or, if we merely want to meet our statutory mandate of 20% renewable energy by 2020, 17,939. That’s a hell of a lot of propeller beanies and that makes me suspect that Mr. Olsen of the AFL-CIO is less concerned with global warming and more concerned with generating thousands of ass-warming jobs for his union members.
$7,000 up front but like all Beninati’s projects, no return.
Despite holding tryouts again last fall for a 2012 team, the foundation — which The Post found is not really a charity — went silent in November. Parents’ demands for answers, and refunds, went unanswered. Valentine’s name, and his video endorsement, disappeared from the foundation’s Web site two weeks ago.
When confronted by The Post, Valentine said he learned of parent complaints only two weeks ago because Beninati handled the foundation’s affairs and he was merely a volunteer. He didn’t call Beninati, though, until Thursday when The Post started asking questions about the group.
“This isn’t a priority for me,” he fumed from Florida, where his team is in spring training. “In case you haven’t noticed, I have other things to do.”
“In our shortened . . . 2011 showcase season, when Bobby [Valentine] took the Red Sox job, we did not find a sufficient number of players that rose to the all-American level for a summer 2012 team,” said Beninati, whose son, Joey, played on last year’s team.
If 25 players attended each of 12 tryouts, the group could be on the hook for $142,000 in refunds.
The Web site says the “All-American teams are not-for-profit” and sponsors were welcome. But the organization was formed as a for-profit business, according to Connecticut public records. By law, donations could not be tax-deductible as some parents said they were told.
Beninati claimed the foundation didn’t generate a profit and he wasn’t paid.
NYC-funded group teaching breaking and entering skills to would-be squatters. As is always the case with these groups, they’re merely punishing those who have something to lose.
But squatting school outraged legal residents of Arlington Village.
“I can’t let nobody squat where I live,” said Pete Rolon, 64, a 35-year resident who claimed pimps had grabbed two apartments in the complex. “There were hookers. They were smoking crack. There were condoms all over the floor. There were hundreds of them.”
He remembers when the complex of 12 two-story, red-brick buildings was filled with families and children playing.
Police and residents eventually forced the sex-trade squatters out last fall, according to Rolon.
Mohammed Hossain, the super at Arlington, where pads go for $600 to $1,000 per month, said complaints about homeless people breaking in to steal pipes and metal fixtures are common.
“The homeless people, they have no right to be squatting here,” he said. “If they pay rent, that’s different.”
Residents also aren’t happy about city tax money going to a group that preaches squatting.
“That’s not right,” said one longtime resident. “That these guys are teaching classes on this — that’s ridiculous.”
Dollar Bill could not be reached for comment, as he was in class.
And doesn’t like what it sees. Decoupling from America as fast as possible.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA?“I was in Australia earlier this month and there, as elsewhere on my recent travels, the consensus among the politicians I met (at least in private) was that Washington lacked the will for meaningful course correction, and that, therefore, the trick was to ensure that, when the behemoth goes over the cliff, you’re not dragged down with it. It is faintly surreal to be sitting in paneled offices lined by formal portraits listening to eminent persons who assume the collapse of the dominant global power is a fait accompli. . . . Greece’s total debt is a few rinky-dink billions, a rounding error in the average Obama budget. Only America is spending trillions. The 2011 budget deficit, for example, is about the size of the entire Russian economy. By 2010, the Obama administration was issuing about a hundred billion dollars of treasury bonds every month — or, to put it another way, Washington is dependent on the bond markets being willing to absorb an increase of U.S. debt equivalent to the GDP of Canada or India — every year. And those numbers don’t take into account the huge levels of personal debt run up by Americans. College-debt alone is over a trillion dollars, or the equivalent of the entire South Korean economy — tied up just in one small boutique niche market of debt which barely exists in most other developed nations.”
No organization can survive corruption and ineptitude at the top forever. And we’ve had the worse political class in American history for a while now, though its rottenness has really accelerated lately.
UPDATE: A longtime reader emails:
I’m a Canadian, and you might be interested to know that the Harper government are working very hard (in the background) along the same lines as the Aussies. They are doing everything possible to diversify Canada’s export markets away from the US as fast as possible, for example the pipeline to move Alberta and Saskatchewan oil to world markets via the sea, not to the US. Ditto aeroplanes, rail cars, fibre-optic electronics, robotics, lumber, and a wide range of other products.
The quiet back-room planning is driven by the alarming extent to which the Obama administration has already deeply damaged the US economy (compared to Canada) with its policies, actions, and insane deficits. The Harper government are now moving to shut down US environmentalist activity in Canada — “We’re not going to be your National Park.” says the PM — and are already developing scenarios for maximum-possible disconnect from the States in the event Obama and his crew are returned to power in the coming elections.
It’s just that simple.Someone can have the best idea ever, but if they also have a job that comes along with group healthcare insurance, they are very unlikely to toss the job, and go off on their own. ONE illness/accident can financially ruin a person for life. [So doesn’t this suggest that free medical coverage discourages entrepreneurship? ED]
Granted, when they get laid off, they may try it out of desperation, but without financial backing and willing buyers, most entrepreneur-ish ventures fail…and fail miserably with the starter being broker than ever, and often families break because of the crushing debt. [If no one will fork over hard cash for your idea and no one wants to buy it, perhaps your idea isn’t as good as you think? ED]
Almost everyone has an “idea” or some grand plan to start their own business, but most do not because life has a way of intruding on those plans/dreams. [As a writer, I often hear people say, “I’ve got a great idea for a novel and could write it but …” Those who can, do, those who can’t, whine. ED]
It’s a real shame, because we are graduating so many bright young people every year, but they are hopelessly saddled with debt and joblessness, at a time in their lives when they could possibly put fresh ideas into the marketplace. [Higher education bubble, anyone? But what does this have to do with free birth control pills? ED]
We (as a society) claim to value inventiveness and adventure, but we lie, because we squash the dreams early and jam people into “boxes” and aid in the destruction of truly small businesses to the benefit of the mega-businesses that fill the marketplace with mostly foreign-made cheap crap that’s folded/stacked/sold to us by near-minimum wage workers. [Tell it to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates ED]
In a society with single payer/universal healthcare, free college to B-or-better students, and a living wage paid to unionized workers, we could make some real progress. [A living wage to unionized labor? Really? ED]
This is what passes for the American Dream in the wonderland of Democratic thinking. My guess is that if a 22-year-old is too scared to pursue a dream because he doesn’t have assurance someone will pay his medical expenses if he gets sick, statistically, a very low risk, he couldn’t possible summon the courage, ambition and drive to start a business. Of course, that same kid has been told since nursery school to be afraid: of strangers, of the food he eats, the water he drinks, the impending rise of sea level, helmetless bicycle riding and walking to school so he’s naturally scared of life and of risk. We’ve raised a generation of wussies.
A Puerto Rican shoots a black man in Florida and we have riots in Chicago against white racism? Strikes me as oddly similar to the outrage in the Muslim world when mobs thousands of miles away from some “outrage” are whipped up by those with an interest in formenting trouble for their own gain.
So who are our mad mullahs? The Great Divider himself, Obummer Hussein heads the list, along with his ally Al Sharpton, the media and folks like Spike Lee, who’s been tweeting the shooter’s home address. You’d expect Al Sharpton to stir up a black Lynch mob – that’s his job – but the president of the once-United-States? Remember when just four years ago he ran on a promise to heal the racial divide? Like all his other promises, that turns out to have a shelf life, long-since expired. Tom Wolfe must be chortling up his sleeve.
“The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another,” he offers. “A new spiritual world. The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering. Bugarach is one of the major chakras of the earth, a place devoted to welcoming the energies of tomorrow.”
Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be planning a trip to the mountain, 30 miles west of Perpignan, in time for 21 December, and opportunistic entrepreneurs are shamelessly cashing in on the phenomenon. While American travel agents have been offering special, one-way deals to witness the end of the world, a neighbouring village, Saint-Paul de Fenouillet, has produced a wine to celebrate the occasion.