Monday, December 11, 2017

Three Strikes. Time for real changes, government and their sheltered corporations.

Republished from

Saturday, June 25, 2016

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Southern California is in no wise prepared for a major earthquake. We should be, however. Thomas Jordan, 
director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, said at the National Earthquake Conference in Long 
Beach, California, that the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded, and ready to roll.” He added, “a massive 
earthquake could strike anytime.” Thomas's comments were quoted in the InquisitorStrike One.

Southern Californa is also unprepared for the perfect storm of brush fires which the long drought, die off 
of trees and vegetation, and high temperatures have delivered. Notice the news today. If you live in several 
parts of the southland just open your window and sniff the air. Strike Two.

These are problems caused by nature. We should have been prepared for these – but we weren't. Since we 
pay a lot for governmental agencies at the local, county, and state levels who claim they are in charge of 
ensuring we are safe it is fair to say they 'did not do their job.'

It is also fair to say they should held accountable for their failure to do so. If we survive we should ask this 
question loudly and accept no excuses.Strike Three.

The third danger hanging over our heads makes these first two impinging hazards far more serious. This 
involves a significant lack of oversight by those same agencies and the corporations they were supposed 
to be watching. The corporations, the utilities and oil companies who expect prompt payment from us, 
had all the control necessary to prevent the present situation. 

Quoted in the Times they said, ““Southern California’s smaller cities and large businesses must take 
the threat of a crippling earthquake far more seriously than they have been, a committee of business, 
public policy and utility leaders said Thursday, saying action is needed to “prevent the inevitable disaster 
from becoming a catastrophe.””

We thought the enormously expensive infrastructure of government and the utility companies were 
handling our safety and their own business. We were wrong. 

The most revolting and telling sign is the number of utilities and government agencies lining up, joined 
by Disney, to recommend (Your not going to believe this) another organization be formed to look at the 
problem. This is like starting a committee while the ocean is coming over the deck of the Titanic. Notice 
the attempt to slide out of the line of fire from the public outrage which should engulf them. 

Among these pampered individuals are, according to the Times article cited above, “executives for Southern 
California Edison, the Southern  California Gas Co., the Walt Disney Company, and Wells Fargo, along 
with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, USC, the Port of Los Angeles and the Southern 
California Assn. of Governments.”
Mickey Mouse can be overlooked. The rest cannot. They had well paid and qualified experts on tap but 
nothing happened – unless you look at their end of the year bonuses and raises.
These folks want to, “create a Southern California Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative, intended to highlight 
the unresolved earthquake risks and convince decision makers to fix them. The group issued a report with recommendations on Thursday.”

“Convince decision makers?” How stupid are these people? Send them to Kern County to fight the fires there,
 then they will not need to be convinced. 

This is a CYA moment if I have ever seen one. You have the same players who have never maintained their infrastructure lining up to justify, in advance, what is now poised to happen to people and property for which 
they are, by government, not held responsible when they cause a disaster. As you may know, their 'natural 
monopolies' are treated as an extension of government which also holds itself as not responsible for what 
happens to us, the people who are being squeezed to pay the bills, which includes their salaries and bonuses. 

These hazards include the potential for disaster in the Cajon Pass. This is where the San Andreas fault cuts 
through California, and where the full force of an earthquake is most likely to be felt. 

Consider for a moment this looming threat on the edge of Southern California’s sprawling metropolis. The 
Pass is a narrow mountain pass where the San Andreas fault, which travels down the length of California 
and then, “intersects with combustible natural gas and petroleum pipelines, electrical transmission lines, 
train tracks 
and Interstate 15 north of San Bernardino. Did it, along with the petroleum infrastructure suddenly appear, 
perhaps caused by Harry Potter? No, it did not. 

A huge earthquake on the San Andreas could move one side of the fault as much as 30 feet from the other. 
Such an earthquake would rupture flammable pipelines and lead to a catastrophic explosion so powerful it leaves behind a crater.” Read that again. 

This is a time to remember Porter Ranch clearly and distinctly. 

Governor Brown just declared Kern County a Disaster, which is certainly true as the wild fire there is continuing 
its merry course and has already burned more than 46 square miles, destroyed over 100 buildings and killed at 
least two people, maybe more. Do you want to bet more is not coming? 

Edison and other utilities have, historically, resisted vigorously any attempt to enforce readiness for disaster and 
with maintaining their facilities. But now they are faced with the meltdown of the petroleum industry and realize 
their very existence is now in question. Therefore, instead of admitting their culpability, they are attempting to 
create a false record showing concern for the dangers they knew all along existed for us for which they could not 
be held accountable. They sat there, like steaming dog turds until the fires had started and the media was 
trumpeting the imminent threat of a major quake. 

It is also likely these unnatural monopolies will be seeking subsidies to upgrade. They must realize the public remembers all too well the wrongs done by the petroleum industry within the last 18 months. 

This comes at a time when ExxonMobil is still facing the possibility of impacting more than a quarter million 
people living within three miles of the Torrance Refinery. Pause to consider the impact of an earthquake, and 
fire on that facility.

The problems Edison now admits must be handled, itemized in the Times article, include:
  1. Reduce the risk of catastrophe at the Cajon Pass would be to put shutoff valves on both 
    sides of the San Andreas fault on petroleum and natural gas pipelines. If the pipelines 

    are automatically turned off during the earthquake, it could prevent huge amounts 

    of fuel from being ignited if the pipelines break.”
    What an interesting idea. Now ask yourself why they did not take these steps 20 years ago. 
  2. In cities, water pipes and natural gas lines will burst during shaking. 
    without running water for six months. Natural gas pipelines can fuel dangerous city fires.”         The reality is disturbing — burst water pipes could leave parts of Southern California 
 3. “Large businesses and local politicians may be underestimating the worst-case scenario.

This 'advice' from the petroleum industry is truly ironic as it is their irresponsibility and the lack of awareness 
of existing building technologies which would have largely reduced these hazards, along with the failure of 
government to carry out the duties they are paid to perform. 

4. “Many Southern Californians don’t know their neighbors, and that’s going to hurt 
     neighborhoods’ ability to recover.”

And whatever happens it is someone else's fault, not theirs because you don't have time to socialize when 
you and your wife are each working three jobs to make ends meet. 

5. “Many cities do not require collapse-prone buildings to be retrofitted.”

And yet fees are extracted from those building structures using the justification this money is paid to 
ensure the structures are safe. But most are not safe, and the affordable sustainable technologies are 
very slow to be approved by these same agencies. 

Cities and towns refuse to allow the use of proven technologies exist which can provide safety from 
earthquakes, fires and flooding. While others around the world are already using these in America 
they remain largely unknown because of the collusion between government and existing construction 

The first reconstruction which Californians should demand is of government and the corporations 
who run government. Visit Agents Green to contact us and get information on sustainable materials 
what else should be done.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Celebrate an American Anniversary: December 16, 1773 The Boston Tea Party

From:  OpEd News 

General News 

On August 14, 1765 a small group of colonists came together to form a secret society in furtherance of independence. They first met in Boston under a tree located at the corner of Essex and Orange Streets near Hanover Square. They had gathered to protest the Stamp Act. When they left they had founded a secret society that would promote independence for the colonies, a front line for action. Effigies of two tax collectors had been hanged from what was ever after known as the Tree of Liberty. 

The Sons of Liberty came into existence because awareness was growing that action would soon be necessary. As the 233rd anniversary of the Boston Tea Party approaches all Americans should take a moment to thank those stalwart men who agreed on the need to preserve the autonomy of the colonies and took action. Today we have lost sight of the specific events that motivated the dumping of artificially cheap tea into Boston Harbor. But the reasons went to the insistence of the colonists that they were free, a truth we should never forget. 

The colonists in New England had served in the French and Indian Was fought out far to the west of them but since they were not allowed representation in the British Parliament they rejected the idea that they were obliged to pay for that war. 

In the wake of the French and Indian Wars the British Crown demanded payment for the expenditure of monies that war had cost the Crown, this despite the fact that the war was the continuation of a territorial conflict between the British Crown, France, and Spain. For Britain, the spoils of war was Canada, ceded to them by France. The colonists saw no reason that they should pay for the adventuring taking place far to the west of their own hard won colonies. But Britain had decided that the independence of those colonies, now developing and profitable, needed to be brought under firm control and used the War, which ended with the Treaty of Paris, February 10, 1763, as their excuse. 

The Crown was well aware that the colonists were used to governing themselves; after all, that is why the Puritans had gone there in the first place. But by imposing a tax the Crown hoped to both raise money and at the same time assert the right to impose whatever policies the Crown wished later. 

Imposition of the Stamp Act and the Townsend Acts in 1765 and 1767 were, therefore, a strategy aimed at both augmenting income to the Crown and establishing grounds for further control. This was clear to the colonists. Tensions rose, erupting in the Boston Massacre in 1770. 

Many Americans could see where the actions of Parliament were taking them and began to prepare for war in their towns. The Committees of Correspondence started meeting to read and discuss the causes in detail. The population as a whole was alive to the issues and well informed. 

The Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773, the culmination of that campaign by Parliament to coax colonists into establishing the right to tax. The previous Stamp and Townsend Acts has been rescinded, leaving only that small tax on tea. The Crown put the first part of the agenda, raising money, on the back burner to establish the principle that they could impose control without representation. The colonial leadership in Boston was determined that their plan be thwarted. American freedom was not to be purchased for the cost of cheap tea. 

Three East India Company ships entered Boston Harbor. They were confronted with the sight of a crowd of 7,000 colonists, talking and shouting. That morning a group had met at the Old South Church and voted to demand the ships leave the harbor without paying the required duty. A delegation was sent to the Customs House to demand the ships lift anchor and leave the harbor. The Collector of Customs demanded payment; the ships would not leave otherwise. 

A cry went up from the milling throng when this news was relayed to them. The response came just a few hours later from the Sons of Liberty.

"It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination." 

In 1834 the above report by George Hewes would be published. Hewes, then a very old man and one of the few surviving participants, reported that the group had marched in costume down the nearby hill where they had gathered, two by two dressed in Indian garb. They divided into three groups and made sure that the tea was no longer an issue; rowboats of men later made sure it was unusable. This resulted the next spring in the closing of Boston Harbor by order of Parliament. 

The Sons of Liberty had adopted the forms and terms of the Iroquois tribe for their own secret rituals. When the Revolution began they extinguished their camp fire and picked up arms to fight in that war. Uncertain whether or not the new government would be stable they remained a secret society, ready to take action as necessary, until after the War of 1812. 

In 1813, at historic Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia, various groups that were descended from the original Sons of Liberty had come together to form the Society of Red Men. In 1847 they would again meet at Baltimore, Maryland and found the national organization called the Grand Council of the United States, the Improved Order of Redmen. The Red Men is one of only three organizations ever chartered by Congress. That bill was passed by the 58th Congress 2D Session. March 15, 1904. 

Over the Nineteenth Century their form had changed but they continued to impact the course of American life. The Revolution had been capitalized by the blood, sweat, and tears of ordinary Americans, asserting their right to determine their individual and community direction and culture against the greatest super power in the world as it was then. The America that was coming into existence would confront a series of crises that carried forward the same theme with different players. Will the people govern themselves or will they be subject to the control of others? 

At the same time ordinary Americans were confronting the fact that a newly mobile society had needs for social insurance to spread the risk of events in the lives of individuals. In 1867 the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks came into existence to ensure that its members and their families would be cared for in the event of the death of the head of the household. The need for security of this kind resulted in an explosion in fraternal orders and programs aimed at ensuring that disaster would not destroy families. The Masons, the Foresters, the Moose, the Eagles, Woodmen of the World, and the reconstituted order that sprang from the Sons Of Liberty saw the need and began providing social insurance programs for their members. From those programs Teddy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt plucked the plans for such programs as Social Security, transferring these to government to be funded through taxation instead of through membership fees. 

The variety in fraternal orders had allowed Americans to choose one that suited their needs providing for their own security while extending the benefits of their efforts into their communities. The take over by government began the slow but steady process that converted control by the people to control of the people. 

The purpose of the fraternal orders was to see that Americans had in their own hands control of their security and well being. In the hands of the fraternal orders the costs of maintaining these programs remained low; retired businessmen administered them as volunteers. Since this was money they had raised themselves they counted every penny. With Government in charge costs and administration grew astronomically from then until today. Only when the people are in charge are the rights of individuals protected. 

On December 16th America will celebrate the 231st anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. It is an occasion that has been overlooked and neglected for far too long. The date marks the occasion when a small group of people thought through the issues and took action that kept control local, changing the future of the world. 

This December 16th many of us will gather to read the account of Hewes, toast the Sons of Liberty in whatever beverage most pleases us, and hold a moment of silence for those who took the actions that lead to Lexington, Concord and finally to the Declaration of Independence, establishing for the first time in human history the principles that each of us possesses our rights directly from God and through no king or government. 

By steps we became free; by the same small steps we could return to serfdom; that was the possibility that kept the Sons of Liberty active long past the ratification of the Constitution. The events that set our original course speak a truth we need today to turn America back towards the foundation of God-given rights that changed the course of history. The cost of liberty will ever be eternal vigilance and the willingness to take action.