Sunday, June 19, 2011

Last NH paper mill with new ideas?

Quoting from a Bangor Daily News article :
A cheaper source of fuel, a dedicated sales team and workforce, and an investment in a tissue machine will help the last paper mill in New Hampshire’s North Country succeed, state and mill industry representatives say.
“They’re concentrating on areas that they can be strong on, that there’s a little bit less competition — towel and tissue is a little bit more difficult to, let’s say, import from Asia and make it feasible,” said George Bald, commissioner of New Hampshire’s Department of Resources and Economic Development. 
Tilton plans to spend the money to convert the mill’s fuel source from oil to gas in about five months. “It’s a must,” she said. The gas line has been secured that would supply power to the mill from a landfill.
She said the largest investment will be a tissue machine, “so we can battle against foreign imports.” She estimated it would take about a year to build the machine and get it operating.
Tilton said one reason she took interest in Gorham was because Patriarch had bought the Old Town Fuel & Fiber mill in Maine a few years ago, the firm’s first mill venture.
Old Town’s owner had filed for bankruptcy. The mill had been selling pulp to customers such as the Gorham mill, but also was researching the development of biofuels.
“We got the mill back up and running, we put all the workers back to work, we were able to make money and we’re building a biorefinery,” Tilton said. “We’re going to be the first to make jet fuel out of wood on a mill level. Everybody, every day is proud of the work we do together. So that is what gave me the inspiration to be here.” 
Some interesting points to ponder........

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Katahdin landfill bill - Corporate Blackmail?

Quoting from the recent Bangor Daily News Article,
A bill authorizing the state to acquire an East Millinocket landfill received final approval Thursday, but not before some lawmakers compared the controversial deal aimed at saving two shuttered paper mills to “corporate blackmail.”A lopsided, 34-1 vote in the Senate Wednesday morning belied the consternation some lawmakers felt as state officials — in their quest to salvage two Katahdin Paper mills and hundreds of jobs — prepare to potentially take over an aging landfill tied to the mills.The Dolby Landfill has, for decades, received paper-related sludge, pulp and other waste from the two paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket. Nearly full, the landfill is now regarded as a liability and an obstacle to finding a new buyer for two mills that a few years ago employed roughly 600 people.
To me, the most troubling is :
Another issue raised Thursday was the level of contamination at the landfill. In a letter to the Attorney General’s Office, the Conservation Law Foundation pointed out that the landfill has struggled to receive a permit renewal from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection“due to continuing problems with leachate discharges and landfill stability issues.”
A few months ago I wrote to the Maine Center for Disease Control, Cancer Registry Dept., asking for a breakdown of the incidents of the different cancers broken down by town in Penobscot County.  The County figures are published online so you would think it wouldn't be too difficult to furnish the breakdown but to date I have received no information.

I also wrote to Erin Brockovich and have heard nothing yet.  Perhaps there are so many similar situations across the country that no one has time?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

14 Points of Fascism

14 Points of Fascism

This might sound extreme but is worth your time to read. Given the nature of what's going on today, it's hard to sort out what's really happening in politics today.  I hate to use the word politics because so many are turned off to it.  The definition, according to Wikipedia is: Politics (from Greek πολιτικός, "of, for, or relating to citizens"), is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions  It would help to read the above link 14 Points of Facism & give the points some thought & then look into the following book.  This is really eye opening........

 Quoting from one of the reviews on Amazon:
The term that pops to mind is that process that M.I.T. scholar Noam Chomsky would refer to as "manufacturing consent", a dangerous propensity which influences the perceptions of individual citizens by continually immersing the populace in an electronic stream of messages, both blatant and subliminal, that serves to condition them to a particular way of  perceiving the world around them. 

According to Laura Dawn Lewis, there are also 7 Conditions that Foster Fascism:

  1. INSTABILITY of capitalist relationships or markets
  2. The existence of considerable DECLASSED SOCIAL ELEMENTS
  3. The STRIPPING OF RIGHTS AND WEALTH focused upon a specific segment of the population, specifically the middle class and intellectuals within urban areas as this the group with the means, intelligence and ability to stop fascism if given the opportunity.
  4. DISCONTENT among the rural lower middle class (clerks, secretaries, white collar labor). Consistent discontent among the general middle and lower middle classes against the oppressing upper-classes (haves vs have-nots).
  5. HATE: Pronounced, perpetuated and accepted public disdain of a specific group defined by race, origin, theology or association.
  6. GREED: The motivator of fascism, which is generally associated with land, space or scarce resources in the possession of those being oppressed.
a) The creation of social mythology that venerates (creates saints of) one element of society while concurrently vilifying (dehumanizing) another element of the population through misinformation, misdirection and the obscuring of factual matter through removal, destruction or social humiliation, (name-calling, false accusations, belittling and threats).
b) The squelching of public debate not agreeing with the popular agenda via slander, libel, threats, theft, destruction, historical revisionism and social humiliation.  Journalists in particular are terrorized if they attempt to publish stories contrary to the agenda.
 Fascism DOVETAILS BUSINESS & GOVERNMENT sectors into a single economic unit, while concurrently increasing in-fighting and distrust between the units fostering advancement towards war. 
 a) Fascism PROMOTES CHAUVINIST DEMAGOGY, (appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the populace) by fostering selective persecution and accepted public vilification of the target group. It then promotes this a "patriotic", "supportive" or "the party line" and disagreement with such as "anti-government", "anti-faith" or "anti-nation".

b) Fascism CREATES CONFUSION through "facts". It relies on junk science, revisionism, the elimination of cultural records/treasures and obfuscations to create its case and gain acceptance. Fascism can also combine Marxist critiques of capitalism or faith based critics of the same to re-define middle class perceptions of democracy and  to force its issues, confuse logic and create majority consensus between targeted groups.  This is also referred to as creating a state of Cognitive Dissonance, the mental state human beings are most easily manipulated. TOP
 Both middle and upper-middle-class dictated democracy and fascism are class dictatorships that use ORGANIZED VIOLENCE (verbal or physical) to maintain the class rule of the oppressors over the oppressed.
 It is not too late to reverse this in either country, but it will be soon.  The first step is realizing it.  The second step is getting involved.  As the propaganda slogan disguising our current war goes, "Freedom isn't free." But our war for freedom isn't abroad; it's here at home.

Does any of this sound familiar? As America sinks deeper and deeper into corporate greed will this country continue to be a democracy by the people and for the people or will it be ruled by the few? Will the trinity of money, power and greed over come one of the greatest countries in the world? Only we, the people, can keep it free. SPEAK OUT AND LET YOUR THOUGHTS BE KNOWN...ONLY BY SILENCE WILL WE BE DEFEATED!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finance & Development, June 2000 - Subverting Corruption

Having been troubled by the current events, locally, nationally & globally, I came across the term "systemic corruption" which led me to the following article which starts:  The focus of countries' anticorruption efforts typically begins with consciousness raising, shifts to making governments less susceptible, and then addresses the problem of corrupt systems. When this third stage is reached, what measures can governments, concerned citizens, and others take to subvert entrenched corruption?
Finance & Development, June 2000 - Subverting Corruption

Like so many, it's hard not to feel helpless, but I want to believe that knowledge is power & these books will give a lot of insight.