Archive for Arkansas – Page 2

Here we go again: No. Dakota kept oil pipeline spill quiet for days; oil firm doesn't know when it started.


that's oil folks smaller

I recently posted Canada's booming oil sands industry offering a "choice between whether we starve to death or are poisoned to death". That was one of our many, many stories about how the oil industry is slowly destroying our environment (scroll) and life on this planet. We can't take much more pollution before the damage becomes irreversible. Oh wait.

Today I opened my Los Angeles Times and, once again, another pipeline leak story reared its slimy head. This time it was in North Dakota, and once again, it was a disgustingly frustrating tale of destruction and irresponsibility:

At least 20,600 barrels of oil leaked onto the [North Dakota farmer Steven] Jensens' land from a pipeline owned by Tesoro Logistics, one of the largest land-based spills in recent history. Neither the pipeline company nor the state informed the public of the spill for 11 days.

To put things into perspective, the Kalamazoo River spill in Michigan, where cleanup has gone on since 2010 (!), also gushed more than 20,000 barrels of oil.

Did I mention that a Shell pipeline broke in Texas, spilling 30,000 gallons of crude? And hey, how about that Arkansas pipeline rupture, folks?

But back to North Dakota:

No one knows how long the pipeline was leaking before Jensen discovered it, nor why sensors on the pipe failed to detect the leak. Neither the state nor the company could say what the pipeline's capacity was. Experts on pipeline spills question the accuracy of Tesoro's leak estimate, disputing its methodology.

Details, schmetails.


By the way, Jensen is worried that the goo could seep into the groundwater. He smelled the oil in his wheat field before he saw it, which makes to wonder how long the pipe had been leaking. Why wasn't he alerted again?

The questions have stirred concerns about North Dakota's handling of a major spill, especially because thousands of miles of pipe are being installed as part of the state's oil boom.

And then there's that little thing called accuracy:

The company initially reported that 750 barrels had spilled, but a week later revised it to 20,600.

Let's see, gimme a second here, gotta do the math; subtracting 750 from 20,600, carrying the one, calculating.. calculating... got it! Hey, that's only a difference of 19,850 barrels. Pffft! Chickenfeed. Why, whoever would be so critical as to fault Tesoro for a measly little 20,000 barrel error?

Steve Wereley, professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University and an expert on spill flows, who helped establish an accurate flow rate for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil volcano in the Gulf, put it this way:

"If we're talking about tens of thousands of barrels, shouldn't you notice 20,000 barrels missing at the end?"

Answer: yes.

And there's this:

The company has cleaned up about 3,000 barrels of oil. The remediation is expected to continue until late 2014 and to cost about $4 million, the state and Tesoro said.

Again, the Kalamazoo mess is still being mopped up, and it's been three years and counting.

Meanwhile, Jensen is still fretting about what's in his water supply. Silly Steven. What's he so worried about?

what me worry


VIDEO: Gun deaths o' the day: A three-year-old girl and a "blind," "deaf" 107-year-old man


guns children kill children Mike Luckovich cartoonVia Mike Luckovich

I've mulled doing a regular Gun Death Report, but @KagroX is way better at documenting stupid shootings than I am. However, occasionally, there are killings that scream for attention, as do the two I'm writing up here. One involves a three-year-old child, and the other a 107-year-old blind, deaf man. The disparate ages of the deceased and all-too-common egregiousness were equally appalling.

First, the story about the 107-year-old who died at his home after SWAT officers returned gunfire. An investigation is ongoing.


Pine Bluff [Arkansas] Police Lt., David Price, told KATV-TV that officers responded to Monroe Isadore’s residence after he brandished a weapon at two people inside his house.

Officers escorted the threatened pair from the home, but Isadore had locked himself in a bedroom. As officers approached, shots rang out. Isadore fired through the closed door, but nobody was injured. [...]

...S.W.A.T. officers released gas into his room.

When S.W.A.T. officers made their way into the house, Isadore allegedly shot at them, so they shot back, killing him.

Larry Smith, who was an attendee of New Direction Baptist church with IsadoreSmith told KLRT-TV:

“He couldn’t hear. Somebody should’ve told the [police] he couldn’t hear.”

Monroe Isadore's friends said that he was legally blind and believe he must have been confused. So he was legally blind and couldn't hear. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking he was the one at a disadvantage. Then again, Iowa Debates Permitting Blind People To Carry Guns In Public.

Now on to the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old at Yellowstone National Park, a case that is also under investigation. Via the Los Angeles Times:

The child’s mother told emergency dispatchers that her daughter shot herself with a handgun, park officials said in a statement.

Saturday's shooting occurred at the Grant Village Campground, where an emergency medical team tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the girl, the statement said. [...]

Carrying guns in national parks and federal wildlife areas is permitted as long as federal, state and local laws are obeyed. That policy came about because of the 2009 credit card reform bill, to which Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered the gun provision as an amendment. The Senate passed the bill, 90 to 5. The measure also passed the House, and President Obama signed it. The law took effect in February 2010.

But firing a gun and hunting are banned at Yellowstone.

Dear dead child's mom: Who negligently made a loaded gun available to a toddler?


State Senator Says Arm Teachers, Then Shoots Armed Teacher, By Mistake



A story has been circulating around the internet about Arkansas State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R) (above, left with fellow Republican State Senator Kim Hammer) shooting a teacher back in January. It's almost reached the level of urban legend. How true is it?

I won't keep you hanging. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette covers the story in it's article: GOPer Calling For Armed Teachers Shoots Teacher.

A few weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, when talk of arming school personnel was at its height fueled by the National Rifle Association, Hutchinson was approached by Benton Akansas police chief, Kirk Lane.

They decided that there would be a demonstration to show how effective this desired arming of teachers would be. It was meant to reassure the doubters that the NRA was right. The only way to take down a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

“The first two simulations they were just all bad guys, and so we got used to running in, you’d go to the sound of the gunfire,” Hutchinson said. “And then they threw a twist in on the third one, where there was what appeared to be a bad guy in the hallway, shooting into the classroom. And so, just instinctively, I shot. And then I turned the corner and saw that the bad guy that I had just shot was actually shooting with another bad guy, which kind of blew my mind for a second.”

Afterwards, the police informed Hutchinson that he had shot a “teacher.”

With his eyes now opened wide and seeing the insanity of this proposal clear as day, Hutchinson tried to get this demonstration repeated at other schools, to show them the dangers or arming teachers. Sadly the NRA got involved and too many obstacles suddennly got in the way. So this has all been tamped down successfully... at least for now.

Wake up, people. Arming everyone is an invitation for more gun deaths. Don't we have enough already? Stop the madness.


Arkansas Republican Party newsletter suggests “walking up and shooting ” legislators if they "got too far out of line."


gop newsletter

blablabla blah

Don't read this right before bedtime, you might get nightmares. It's densely printed conservative flatulence, a putrid stream of unhinged rambling lunacy in an April newsletter message from the Benton County (a very, very red county in northwest Arkansas) Republican Party, complete with misspellings.

It blasts Republican legislators who voted for a “private option” health care plan. I broke the tiny-typefaced paragraph up, because it was so packed with words that it was difficult to read:

Part of me feels that this betrayal deserves a quick implementation of my 2nd amendment rights to remove a threat domestic.  [...]

I don’t feel the same way about the Democrats as bullet backstops as I do about the Republicans who joined them. [...]

So what do we do?  While I believe that we as a party are done in Arkansas after this, if there is ANY hope of our survival, it is going to take not being forgiving.  Not only for past actions, but to show those who will come in the future that the cost of failure to do the thing they were elected to do will be significant.

We need to be making a point of this failure from this moment on.  We need to make a public statement from our groups that we no longer support those who turned on us, that we will NOT be working to their re-election, that we will be actively seeking replacements, and perhaps even working towards recall.

We as the Party have to stand up and say ‘no more – you were given a job, you campaigned on the promise to do this job, you had the ability to do this job, you had the votes each time to do this job, and yet for no legitimate reason you betrayed the trust put in you by the electorate and you are now completely and permanently politically finished.’

We need to let those who will come in the future to represent us that we are serious.  The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives.  It seems that we are unable to muster that belief in any of our representatives on a state or federal level, but we have to have something, something costly, something that they will fear that we will use if they step out of line If we can’t shoot them, we have to at least be firm in our threat to take immediate action against them politically, socially, and civically [sic] if they screw up on something this big.  Personally, I think a gun is quicker and more merciful, but hey, we can’t.

But we have to do something, we have to gain control of our representatives, if we don’t then what the hell are we doing as a party except having fundraiser dinners and meetings just to raise more money for future meetings and fundraisers, and giving money to empower and elect those who would betray us without having the control to keep them in line once we do?

There is more endless, teensy wordiness at the link.

Per TalkBusiness, several Republican lawmakers who voted for the private option called the remarks “shocking” and “scary.” They have a real flair for stating the obvious. The TB site also posted this update:

The Benton County Republican Committee issued a statement through their chairman Tim Summers.

“The letter was not approved and Mr. Nogy had no authority to submit it through the newsletter. As a committee, we respect the right of our legislators to vote based on their knowledge and feedback from the voters they represent.  We will discuss this issue further with our executive committee.”

So the letter was submitted wrongly, but the violent message was not an issue? Given the recent Newtown slaughter and so many other massacres, you'd think that there might be a little self-censorship, a modicum of sensitivity and thoughtfulness before inciting, or even suggesting, more violence, but no.

Fantasizing about shooting lawmakers as a solution if things don't go their way, how patriotic and rational of them.

Second Amendment remedies come first, respect for life comes second. Nothing hypocritical about that.

right to life my ass pro life


Stupid Twitter Tricks, Gun Nut Edition


stupid twitter tricks

It's time for today's Stupid Twitter Tricks, gun nut edition, brought to you by Think Progress.

Seriously, this is about as stupid and insensitive as you can get. I'd express my outrage, but the replies to these tweets saved me the time and risk of lapsing into an unprintable rant.

Presenting Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell (R):

tweet boston liberalsLink.

Here are a few of the replies that came his way:

  1. @CopyCurmudgeon @saberback @NateBell4AR let's all agree to ignore "Ms" Bell and let "her" go polish her barrel while watching teebee.

  2. @janeroper I think @NateBell4AR is joking. Nobody is actually that stupid

  3. @NateBell4AR First things first: Bostonians don't cower. This isn't Arkansas.

  4. @NateBell4AR You're like the gestalt of an overflowing toilet and a bag of dicks.

  5. @NateBell4AR We don't need machine guns. We have police officers who are putting themselves in harm's way to keep us safe. You?

  6. Human garbage. MT @NateBell4AR I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15

  7. @danigrrl @NateBell4AR Bacon and beer. Is it too early for beer? Could really use a drink after the past 12 hours. #watertown

  8. @tomecurran Yeah and I still can..what do you know about "AR 15's". That they are scary?? Sorry about the spelling mistakes. No editor!

  9. @mama2fluffs @NateBell4AR Hell no. Reprehensible people should be held responsible for their actions, and being a woman is not an insult.

  10. @neocMatt @NateBell4AR Oh my goodness, how I'd love a beer right now. Have to settle with tea. #Watertown

  11. @NateBell4AR So they can shoot a guy loaded with a bomb? That seems like not the best move in the situation.

  12. @JeanTerranova I know, I know. We're staying strong, though.

  13. @maggieserota It warms my heart that my deeply sarcastic tweet about awful human @NateBell4AR is quickly approaching 400 retweets.

  14. That didn't take long. “ many BOS liberals spent the night cowering...wishing they had an AR-15 w/hi-capacity magazine?”

  15. @maggieserota maggie how many Arkansans you think are cowering in their homes wishing they had MA's schools and obesity rates? @NateBell4AR

  16. @NateBell4AR Boston liberal here. Seriously? You just tweeted this. I can tell you that we never felt this way.

  17. .@NateBell4AR Breathtaking douchebaggery.

  18. @NateBell4AR I'm saddened by pitting people against each other that this tweet generated rather than a rational, educated discussion.

  19. @NateBell4AR Dear Heartless Gun Nut: Please keep making Heartless Gun Nut statements. Thanks, the USA.

Follow the link for more replies. But, hey, he apologized. Not for what he said, but for when he said it. Via Facebook:

I would like to apologize to the people of Boston & Massachusetts for the poor timing of my tweet earlier this morning. As a staunch and unwavering supporter of the individual right to self defense, I expressed my point of view without thinking of its effect on those still in time of crisis. In hindsight, given the ongoing tragedy that is still unfolding, I regret the poor choice of timing. Please know that my thoughts and prayers were with the people of Boston overnight and will continue as they recover from this tragedy.

There now, all better.

And now for the sequel from none other than-- wait for it-- Herman Cain's Cain TV account!

tweet cain guns boston This reply will suffice:

Georgia Liberal@Georgia_Liberal:

@CainTV No.


What I will not write about today



Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

Actually, I did write about one of them: Gun background check plan fails in Senate 54-46. Here are statements from NRA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and VIDEO: #Newtown parent, Obama on failure to pass gun violence law: “Gun lobby & its allies willfully lied about the bill.”

Here are the others that drove me to drink:

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

soon to be a drunk mess


Asa Hutchinson, former GOP congressman who led NRA School Task Force, is running for governor of Arkansas


lawrence o'donnell asa hutchinson

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Lawrence O'Donnell:

I am looking at the members now. RBT Solutions is a company, there are 13 members of your task force, five of them work for that same company. Another company that is not listed on here, six people are affiliated with, command consulting group. RBT Solutions is actually in the business, isn't it, of training school security officers? They would make money, a lot of money, if these recommendations that they voted for on your task force were actually carried out?


Well, I doubt that. they're actually -- they do work primarily for overseas military is my understanding.


So is it your understanding no one is involved in the task force that's involved with any company that would in any way profit from the recommendation made by this report if it was carried out nationally?


I don't think so.


And how much were you and the task force members paid for this work?


Well, we're not going to provide you with a line by line.


Why wouldn't you do that, congressman?


Because it is none of your business, primarily.


If you're submitting a report to be evaluated as an independent report, and you're being paid by the people who you are giving the report to, the credibility of the report rests on a lot of things, including that payment relationship. So I would like to ask you, how much did the National Rifle Association pay you individually to do this, and are they still paying you?


Lawrence, let me tell you, I compiled this group of experts to provide the report. Have you read the 252 page report?


Yes, I have, it is right here on my desk. If there's any page you want to refer to, I am happy to go straight to it.

That man, Asa Hutchinson, the one in the video who was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell, has now announced that he is running for governor of Arkansas:

(CNN) Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican congressman who helmed the National Rifle Association's task force on school safety, said Wednesday he was formally jumping into the race for Arkansas governor.

 tweet asa hutchinson run for gov


I wonder how much it will cost the NRA to buy his election.

Current Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe beat him in 2006.

You remember Asa, right? He was one of the managers (prosecutors) during the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1998.