A very helpful police department

From my friend Cheryl:

Body Found in River

The Salem, Oregon Police Department reports finding a man’s body in the Willamette River, just west of the Marion Bridge. The dead man’s name will not be released until his family has been notified. The victim apparently drowned due to excessive intoxication. He was wearing black fishnet stockings, a red garter belt, a strap-on sexual device, and an Obama T-shirt. The police removed the Obama T-shirt to spare his family any unnecessary embarrassment.

The Boy Scouts v the City

DRJ actually had this story yesterday — it’s a shame that she should beat me on a Philadelphia story, but I did have to work — but I was aware it was happening:

Trial opens in suit over Boy Scouts headquarters¹

By Emilie Lounsberry, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America could set rules as a private organization, even if that meant excluding homosexuals, the Philadelphia chapter disagreed with the exclusionary policy.

The local group, the Cradle of Liberty Council, thought scouting should be open to everyone. It even adopted a resolution saying it opposed any form of discrimination.

But Bill Dwyer, a retired chief executive of the council, told a federal court jury Tuesday that he and other leaders realized “in our heart of hearts” that “we couldn’t repudiate totally the national position. They would put us out of business.”

Dwyer’s testimony came on the first day of the U.S. District Court trial focusing on the city’s effort to evict the local group from the headquarters it built and has occupied, rent-free, for 81 years on city-owned property near 22d and Winter Streets.

The city gave the scouts three options: Pay $200,000 fair-market rent, move out, or “have the courage of its convictions and agree” to acknowledge the city’s antidiscrimination policy.

Much more at the link. This has been brewing for a couple of years now. I wrote to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia a couple of years ago, and suggested that, with several church facilities closed, including both parochial schools and churches, the Archdiocese could easily provide space for the Scouts. There is nothing that deteriorates faster than an unoccupied building, so allowing the Boy Scouts to use an otherwise unused church building actually helps to preserve the church’s property.

There really is a simple solution to this problem, but I never heard back from the Archdiocese, nor ever saw a news story about a potential offer of space.

All this lawsuit does is cost money, and, in the end, the Boy Scouts are very unlikely to win. The City has been giving them a gift, for years, and the Boy Scouts are suing to prohibit the City from ceasing to give them the gift. But if cooler heads prevail, the Boy Scouts can have their office space, for virtually no money, and the City can keep its policies. Just get it done, already!

¹ – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday, 16 June 2010, p. B-1

BO Has Lost His Cheerleaders At MSNBC

Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Howard Fineman react to President Obama’s Oval Office Address on the oil spill. Here are the highlights of what the trio said:

Olbermann: “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.”

Matthews compared Obama to Carter.

Olbermann: “Nothing specific at all was said.”

Matthews: “No direction.”

Howard Fineman: “He wasn’t specific enough.”

Olbermann: “I don’t think he aimed low, I don’t think he aimed at all. It’s startling.”

Howard Fineman: Obama should be acting like a “commander-in-chief.”

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying [Secretary of Energy] Chu has a Nobel prize. “I’ll barf if he does it one more time.”

Matthews: “A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk.”

Matthews: I don’t sense executive command.”

Read the rest here:


When environmental do-gooders don’t think ahead

This is rather obscure to most people, because it is industry specific, but it points out what happens when good-hearted and well-intentioned environmental activists don’t think things through.

The Fly Ash Threat

Designation as hazardous waste could turn concrete’s environmental image on its head.
Publication date: January 1, 2010

By William D. Palmer Jr.

View PCA’s response to the fly ash designation issue, “Fly Ash in Concrete-Benefits of Use and Impacts of its Designation as a Hazardous Waste.

The concrete industry as we k know it may be changing in response to an event that happened on Dec. 22, 2008.

At a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) electric generating plant in Kingston, Tenn., one dike of a containment pond ruptured, spilling more than 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash slurry. The Emory River was inundated and covered with more than 300 acres of wet fly ash. Cleanup is expected to cost more than $1 billion.

No one disputes this spill was a major engineering failure that led to a local environmental disaster. Four homes were destroyed and more than 20 were damaged. No one was injured and, despite dire predictions from environmental activists, water quality in the area did not significantly deteriorate. “All EPA, TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation), and TVA water treatment facility sampling results … continue to meet water quality standards for drinking water,” the TVA stated.

What is in dispute is what to do next. Spurred by cries of environmental activists to prevent such accidents, the long-term consequences of this accident, based more on politics than science, could change the way fly ash is used or disposed of in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. If fly ash is declared a hazardous waste, it is impossible to overstate the damage the concrete industry would suffer.

The EPA considers fly ash a nonhazardous waste material under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This means that individual states have jurisdiction over the material’s storage and disposal. Environmental groups want this ruling changed so that fly ash is classified a Subtitle C hazardous wastes which would be regulated by the federal government.

OK, so what’s wrong with designating fly ash a Subtitle C hazardous waste? Roughly half of the electricity generated in the United States comes from coal-burning plants. This produces about 130 million tons of coal combustion products (CCP). About 55%, or 72 million tons, is fly ash, and about half the fly ash generated is currently used for beneficial purposes, mostly in concrete. That’s roughly 36 million tons of what is essentially a waste product being recycled into something useful.

Flyash differs slightly by source, but, generally speaking, flyash weighs about 70 lb/ft³. Thirty-six million tons of flyash is slightly more than a billion cubic feet of material, of waste product. It’d be kind of nice to have something to do with that material other than put it in a landfill, right?1

I’d think so! Flyash is a pozzolan, which means that it is not cementitous itself, but becomes cementitous when mixed with Portland cement; the excess calcium hydroxide liberated in the hydration (setting) process enables the flyash to become cementitous.

Flyash varies in grade and pozzolanic activity, and some simply cannot be used. There are some disadvantages to using flyash as a partial cement replacement in concrete, but there are plenty of advantages, too. Further, by replacing some of the cement used in concrete, flyash lowers demand for the production of Portland cement.

The Portland Cement Association says that roughly one ton of CO2 is released in the manufacture of one ton of cement; for every ton of cement replaced by flyash, that would mean a ton less CO2 emitted.

The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that beneficial use of CCPs annually saves 159 trillion Btu, 32 billion gallons of water, 11 million tons of CO2 released to the atmosphere, and 51 million cubic yards of landfill space.

But what happens if the Environmental Protection Agency reclassifies flyash as a Subtitle C hazardous waste? The American Concrete Institute told the EPA that such a hazardous designation would probably result in flyash being removed from most specifications and standards, including the ACI 318 Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete. Once flyash is designated as hazardous, the liability involved in using flyash in concrete skyrockets.

The linked article mentioned that part, but there’s a lot more involved that was left out. If flyash is designated as hazardous, then the collection, handling and storage of flyash would all have to change; you cannot handle a hazardous waste in the same manner as a mostly inert mass. This would lead to significant cost increases for coal burning power plants, costs which would be passed on to the consumer in the price of electricity. Add to that having an additional 36 million tons to do whatever with, a further increase in costs, along with the loss of the sale of the material in the first place. All of that would fall on the shoulders of the customers of the utilities involved.

Not every concrete producer uses flyash, but a whole lot do; I use flyash. I store flyash in a single-walled silo, from which it is gravity-fed into the cement scale as needed. Flyash is delivered to the plant in single-walled trailers, and blown up into the silo with a forced air blower. If flyash is designated a hazardous material, it will become a lot more expensive to transport and handle; a concrete producer cannot risk a leak in a silo, or a leak in the hoses, pipes and connections through which the flyash is blown up into the silo. Simple and normal repairs and maintenance, such as changing an aeration pad2, will become much more difficult as none of the material can spill, and all of the personnel involved will require special training, tools and personal protective equipment. The hauling company which delivered the flyash would need special trailers, and an accident which resulted in the release of some of the flyash would become a hazmat problem. Even if ACI was wrong, and flyash wasn’t removed from specifications, the material would become much more expensive to handle from the standpoint of a ready-mixed concrete producer; there would be no economic advantage in using it3, and the liability in the event of a significant spill4 could be enormous, possibly enough to bankrupt a smaller producer. I’d advise any ready-mix company to simply eliminate flyash from their concrete if it is declared a hazardous waste.

It doesn’t matter how well-intended this proposal is: the result would be millions of tons of flyash wouldn’t get recycled, and millions more tons of Portland cement would have to be produced or imported. Costs would increase for contractors, concrete producers and electric utilities, and there would be more, not less, pollution as a result.

  1. When I got flyash by railcar, it would come in 100 ton lots. At that rate, 36 million tons of flyash would fill 360,000 railcars! [back]
  2. Cement and flyash will not simply fall out os a silo; the material will pack too tightly. Producers blow low-pressure air into the bottom of the silo to aerate the material, to make it flowable. [back]
  3. Currently, flyash is significantly less expensive than cement in most areas. [back]
  4. I have personally seen a forty ton spill of flyash, when a gate failed and the contents of an entire silo escaped. [back]

In Case You Wanted To Know

I searched Google to find something but couldn’t find it. So I searched Bing to find it and found it rather quickly. I don’t know if it is due to my poor searching skills or some other reason. But here is what I found:

I found it on this site through Bing but not through Google. What I found through Google was a number of hits to Media Matters, a far-left George Soros-run site that is agenda-driven rather than fact-based. (And George Soros is a far-left extremist billionaire.)

Racism coming out of the mouth of one Barack Hussein Obama, and not merely by way of associates of his.

Preview Of BO’s Tues. Oval Office Talk and How We Get Screwed

BO’s approach is if one does wrong, all must suffer:

Obama’s involvement in Chicago Climate Exchange—the rest of the story By Judi McLeod Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Good news to know that the truth will always out—even when you’re Barack Obama.

“Obama Years Ago Helped Fund Carbon Program He Is Now Pushing Through Congress” is a FOXNews story by Ed Barnes. In short, “While on the board of a Chicago-based charity, Barack Obama helped fund a carbon trading exchange that will likely play a critical role in the cap-and-trade carbon reduction program he is now trying to push through Congress as president.”

The charity was the Joyce Foundation on whose board of directors Obama served and which gave nearly $1.1 million in two separate grants that were “instrumental in developing and launching the privately-owned Chicago Climate Exchange, which now calls itself “North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.”

And that’s only the beginning of this tawdry tale, Mr. Barnes.

The “privately-owned” Chicago Climate Exchange is heavily influenced by Obama cohorts Al Gore and Maurice Strong.

For years now Strong and Gore have been cashing in on that lucrative cottage industry known as man-made global warming.

Strong is on the board of directors of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Wikipedia-described as “the world’s first and North America’s only legally binding greenhouse gas emission registry reduction system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil.”

Gore, self-proclaimed Patron Saint of the Environment, buys his carbon off-sets from himself—the Generation Investment Management LLP, “an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 with offices in London and Washington, D.C., of which he is both chairman and founding partner. The Generation Investment Management business has considerable influence over the major carbon credit trading firms that currently exist, including the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Strong, the silent partner, is a man whose name often draws a blank on the Washington cocktail circuit. Even though a former Secretary General of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the much hyped Rio Earth Summit) and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations in the days of an Oil-for-Food beleaguered Kofi Annan, the Canadian born Strong is little known in the United States. That’s because he spends most of his time in China where he has been working to make the communist country the world’s next superpower. The nondescript Strong, nonetheless is the big cheese in the underworld of climate change and is one of the main architects of the failing Kyoto Protocol.

More on this WMD at the Link

Look for a Carbon Tax of somekind. Look for Cap and Tax. And look for your energy bill skyrocket to punish BP. Because as Rahmbo says, never waste a good crisis.