Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fracking Helps Build Community (Common Unity)

I just want to say that fracking can do some good for a community. It can help build community and join people together. Why fracking has been bringing members of my town of Vienna, Ohio closer together since April of 2015. That is when one of our residents had his pond and wetlands polluted. This chemical spill was courtesy of his neighbor at the Kleese farm. The farm contains five injection wells operated by KDA (Kleese Development Associates). KDA wasn’t willing to share their profits with their neighbor but they did share the leak from their wells. The leak is thought to have been going on for six months. It has not been established exactly how many gallons of chemicals leaked into the pond and wetlands (2,000 gallons was the first guess). This from the Youngstown Vindicator will give you an idea of how much chemical waste comes to the Kleese farm for storage, “In raw numbers, the five Vienna wells injected about 19 million gallons underground during those six months, according to Vindicator calculations based on about 454,215 barrels of waste the EPA said KDA wells received.

The Western Pennsylvania counties Butler, Lycoming and Armstrong and a few others have decided to build community with Vienna, Ohio. They do this by sharing the chemical waste from their Marcellus wells. Their semi tanker trucks travel across the state line and create a lot more traffic in our little township. While PA. shares their waste and traffic they don’t share any of the profits from their Marcellus wells with the citizens of Vienna. Well, (pun intended) they do make the Kleese family rich but they were already one of the wealthiest families in Vienna.

This spill was able to bring the residents of Vienna together in a township meeting. Hundreds of residents attended and got to share with their neighbors. What they were sharing was fear. None the less, fracking was helping build community. Tremors were also recorded last September near injection wells in Weathersfield Township. That is another example of the fracking industry bringing one of our neighboring communities together. I could also say the same about the dozens of earthquakes reported in the Youngstown area. The fear of fracking in our valley did some good as it helped establish FrackFree Mahoning, The good folks at FrackFree Mahoning have been unsuccessfully trying to pass an area bill to ban fracking in Youngstown. All those earthquakes have not been enough to get the voters of Youngstown to join together in a community to protect their hometown against the fracking industry. Fracking has been able to build community between the pipefitters union and Regional Chamber. Those two are strange bedfellow because the Regional Chambers around the country are made up of businessmen who tend to be anti-union. Locally, they were able to put that aside and come together in a common cause to put profit before people and support fracking.

Because of the April leak, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered five injection wells operated by Kleese Development Associates, Warren, to cease operations. While the wells at the Kleese farm are not operating KDA is beginning to drill a new injection well a couple miles from their farm in another Vienna location. This location is near the Youngstown Airport on Rt. 193. Once again the fracking process was able to bring Vienna residents together. Last week protesters came together on Monday near the Rt. 193 drilling site, to speak against an injection well being located there. Once again fracking can be thanked for creating community. This time it created it between Vienna residents and members of FrackFreeMahoning. This organization had also come to help Vienna residents in April at the spill site and at our township meeting. I had to work last Monday so I could not attend the Vienna protest on Rt. 193. The day after that I was not working so I was able to participate as part of a national day of action called Hands Across Our Land. There was a nice turnout of people who held hands and signs beside the Spring Common Bridge (Mr. Peanut Bridge) near the B-and-O Station in Youngstown, Ohio. Most of those who turned out on that Tuesday were members of FrackFreeMahoning. They held signs against fracking expansion in our area. They expressed their concerns about fracking being a threat to public health and safety.

I joined those at the bridge because I believe in their cause of ending fracking in our valley. I talked to a few people at the bridge that had been at the protest in Vienna the day before. I thanked them and had some who lived in Youngstown thank me for coming from Vienna to join them. I felt like FrackFreeMahoning had done plenty of reaching out to Vienna residents since April so it was high time some of us Vienna residents should give back. It was also nice to get together with other like minded environmentalist at an event that wasn’t a spill or quake. Many at the Youngstown event left when it was over and went to another protest against fracking in Pulaski, PA. See there, fracking is once again helping to build community after community.

Jesse Colin Young: “Ridgetop”

“Grey Day”

“Only when the last tree has died,? the last river been poisoned,? and the last fish been caught? will we realize we cannot eat money.” —Cree Proverb




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Self-righteous Laws

Matthew 25:34-36  Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

I guess Matthew 25 was lost recently on
two Ohio republican state legislators.
Their proposed new bill wants to drug test
those getting cash assistance provided
through the Ohio Works First Program,
which serves about 115,000 Ohioans.
More than 90,000 of those are children.
If these two lawmakers did two minutes of research
they would have found that of the more than 87,000
welfare recipients Arizona tested for drugs
only three drug users were found from 2009 to 2014.
The state saved $1680 by denying these three people welfare benefits.
To save that $1680 Arizona drug tests cost $3.65 million.
It has been pretty much the same in all seven states
that have enacted these drug testing laws.
The fact is that the statistics show applicants
actually test positive for drug use
at a lower rate than the general population, which is 9.4%.
In Michigan and Florida courts have struck
down these laws as being unconstitutional.
Despite these drug test court rulings and the high cost,
legislators know it is a feel good law for taxpayers.
71 percent of Floridians — including 90 percent of Republicans
— supported the drug testing law even though
the Florida courts threw it out for being unconstitutional.
The law is still a win for lawmakers even when ruled unconstitutional.
They get to demonize the poor already struggling to make ends meet
and they get to make taxpayers who don’t know the high costs
and tiny amount of drug users discovered by the tests, feel good.
Then there’s the payoff for legislators to get to further
drive that wedge between the poor and the middle-class.
Neither the lawmakers nor the taxpayers that support
this kind of B.S. legislation are very Christian
and don’t seem to know Matthew 25.
Perhaps, the Ohio lawmakers should spend their time
trying to find a fair way to tax Ohioans to support schools
since a judge ruled that property tax was an unconstitutional way
to fund public education for children in a ruling in 1996.
Twenty years and the Ohio house and senate
haven’t found time to find a fair way to fund Ohio’s schools.
Yet, they have time to find ways to demonize the poor.
Missouri lawmakers have introduced House Bill 813 that would
prevent food stamps from being used to purchase fish and steak.
I guess loaves of bread only and no fish for you,
is what these state congressmen think Jesus said.
Their Jesus said, ‘No damned protein for the poor!’
Their next bill will have the poor and unfortunate
wearing a symbol on their chest.
They don’t want to help anybody up,
they’d rather cut the rope instead.
They feel better by kicking downwards.
Politicians want these types of bills to deprive the poor,
because they see being poor as a personal failing,
not merely an economic status that as Jesus said will always be among us.
Christ did not say, give if you think the poor deserve it.
Like Nike he said, “Just do it!”
They just truly believe the poor don’t deserve to eat well.
They don’t feel any need to disguise their disdain for the poor
to win elections anymore because the public
has been convinced that the poor are greedy people
who feel “entitled” to live off of the taxpayers.
Our elected representatives give Israel millions in tax dollars every day,
and they resent giving our own poor a penny.
If there’s a hell, there’s a special place in it for
people who take food away from the hungry.
Some politicians rant on about how they love small government
but they have no problem telling the poor what they are allowed to eat.
They sanctimoniously shame the poor
and go to church on Sunday and praise Jesus.
They truly feel they are worthy of halos.
No halo could be bright enough to light the way
for such selfish and dim-witted minds.
Our country has always had plenty of selfish bastards
who didn’t give a damn about anything or anyone else.
But we didn’t use to vote for them to run the country.
Today’s politicians don’t give damn anymore with a side of hate.
And by God it really shows.
We now have politicians who call themselves “compassionate conservatives”
who worship a system called, “trickle down” economics.
I won’t sensor myself so I’ll call it what it is, “being shit upon.”
It is way past time to stand up for the poor.
After all, the policies of our politicians
are making more and more of them.
America can truthfully say it is exceptional,
exceptional in its incarceration of children in adult prisons.
Even Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
have banned trying kids as adults.
We have let our elected representatives convince us
that our mentally ill and our youth deserve prison.
Trying 12-year-olds as adults and sending them to adult prisons,
shows that we’ve given up on them.
We are told North Korea is an enemy to be feared.
They spend all of their money on the military
while their people are starving to death.
The truth is we are on the same path as North Korea.
We have the most powerful military in the world
which is no consolation to our nations;
poor and hungry, the homeless, the mentally ill
who can’t afford treatment, returning injured veterans
who need help, children in adult prisons, those who rot away
in cells because they couldn’t afford justice, the sick and elderly,
the abused, the battered and the vanishing middle-class.
Our elected leaders bear most of the blame for the problems in our country
but the complacent citizens of our nation have a big share in that blame.
There may or may not be a Heaven in the afterlife
but we have the opportunity to make this world a Heaven
right here, right now and it’s time to get busy.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Mike Stout: “Terry Greenwood”

“[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.” ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski


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