Thursday, September 25, 2014

Do I Still Live in the United States of America or have we officially changed our name to the "Occupied" States of America?

Kim Fraczek, multitasker extraordinaire, giving a demonstration to Zephyr Teachout all she has mislearned about pipelines. Kim may be representing Occupy the Pipeline, the People's Puppets of Occupy, Sane Energy or Food not Fracking or alternately the 99 percent which I think means ahem, all of us.

People I bet think I am joking when I say that while they were sleeping or taking a picture of their lunch Occupy ended up both writing the news and being featured in the news, but I'm not entirely joking at all.

 Is it absurd to watch as activists like Kim Fraczek or the folks over at Sane Energy cozy up to politicians, give advice to politicians, perhaps write bills (?!?) or be featured regularly via all kinds of "news" saying things that are more times than not almost completely fact free? (Link to the unholy trinity of Kim Fraczek, Jessica Roff and Eric Weltman on BRIC "independent media" making almost no sense whatsoever on the topic of fracking and Brooklyn).  Yes. It is the most absurd thing I have ever witnessed in my life. And since I don't actually live in that "Bizarro Jerry" Seinfeld episode where everything is backwards or upside down, it is also a bit frightening.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Betta Broad, Maureen Healy and Judith Canepa-- Fun and hilarity 24/7 on the misinformation highway

Betta Broad is filming some antifracking propaganda featuring the non-stop hilarity of activists Maureen Healy and Judith Canepa

Betta Broad and friends at Love NY, Don't Frack it Up are continuing on with what appears to be the most superfun tactic of the antifracking activist world, using the Rockaway Pipeline project to promote misinformation and myth or as folks like to say in the community organizing world, "promoting awareness". What kind of serious topics have Maureen Healy and Judith Canepa made fun? Well they thought it might be fun/funny to ponder whether the Rockaway pipeline project is secretly for export. They thought it might be fun/funny to have a human pipeline event at Floyd Bennett Field where they could play at being both experts on the Rockaway Pipeline project and stakeholders locally effected. For anyone who knows just a hair about the Rockaway Pipeline project, what these ladies have to say is a hoot and a half but I'm pretty sure not in the way that Betta Broad of Love NY Don't Frack It Up and other "groups" actually intends.

 Here are some fun links to the latest hysterical things that are currently being said about the Rockaway pipeline project:

 1. A Call to Resistance Camp Against the Rockaway Pipeline advertised by some folks called Deep Green Resistance. Interesting info from them includes this refreshingly fun statement on the Underground Actions section of their website :  "The Underground Action Calendar exists to publicize and normalize the use of militant and underground tactics in the fight for justice and sustainability." What normalizing the use of "militant tactics" means is anyone's guess. That doesn't sound like camping to me. 

2. A strange video by someone named Louis Proyect, "The Unrepentant Marxist" apparently a moniker of choice. Interestingly enough Mr. Proyect also has made a video of the Left forum's recent panel called "Fighting the Frack Monster".  The panel was chaired by Peter Rugh, who is either a reporter or activist or both, although he is billed at this panel as reprenting the group  "System Change not Climate Change".  One superinteresting thing about this panel is that it included a "reporter" for deSmog Blog and an activist in California with surprise suprise!-- ties to Occupy. Has Peter Rugh ever written something about the Rockaway Pipeline project that is myth? Well yes he has. 

3. In a piece titled "Everything you need to know about fracking", apparently not written by Woody Allen though, the latest bit of misinformation to get absorbed and passed on by a "reporter" is that the exploding fracked gas rockaway pipeline project goes under two beaches now, not one.  

In other fun news I listened to a phone message from Zephyr Teachout asking for a vote tomorrow as she would like to be governor. She may or may not be getting her info on pipelines and therefore energy infrastructure from Occupy puppetmakers. 

The rockaway pipeline project has been interesting for a long time now. Way more interesting than one could ever imagine. The way it has been manipulated by activists and then covered in the news is one of the most interesting things I've seen in a while. 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rockaway Pipeline -- the Myths and Misinformation keep going and going and going

The signs usually accurately represent what the activists are against-- The latest Rockaway pipeline fighters most accurately would be described as being against "All Pipelines and All markets" 

The latest piece of propaganda (and it is that or just a really inaccurate news report on the Rockaway Pipeline project) came via Al Jazeera this week and just like Mr. Pinto who wrote about the pipeline for Gothamist and Vice, the reporter who wrote the article is supposed to be highly educated, specifically in the field of journalism. There are too many things wrong with Peter Moskowitz's rendition of reality on the rockaway pipeline project to name them all but for starters, and probably most importantly, he has chosen to use unreliable and uninformed sources to tell the tale. Maureen Healy for one is an unreliable source as the coalition she belongs to lacks merit. The other sources appear to be a woman who is new to the Rockaway area and an activist involved with another issue, cycling. What is false or alternately misleading about Mr. Moskowitz story? Almost everything. One has to wonder right off the bat why it is that Mr. Moskowitz and/or his editor at Al Jazeera could not find a photo of Jacob Riis beach and instead used a photo of a beach miles away from it. The photo that accompanied the story of course fits in nicely with the false narrative of the story-- that number one it is residents in the rockaways who are telling this story and who are opposed to this project because they are deeply concerned about their safety because of this project. Almost the exact opposite though is true and that can be said for almost every other detail in the rest of Peter Moskowitz's "report" as well.

 Ms. Victoria Barber, who may or may not be using the destruction by Hurricane Sandy to promote her art, is the latest to promote the myth that the people of the Rockaways did not know about HR2606 because the bill was magically written, introduced and moved through both houses of Congress and on to the Presidents desk in the time period following Hurricane Sandy while they were in the dark and cold. Of course Maureen Healy of CARP, the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, the other source absolutely knows that this is not the case. Maureen Healy knows that thousands of people signed petitions and wrote letters against that bill prior to Hurricane Sandy. She may not have run a post card writing campaign against that bill single-handedly like Joe did but she knows very well that the greatest number of people who opposed that bill were Gateway National Recreation Area users.

There isn't a kind way to say this-- Maureen Healy, more often than not, in her activism chooses lies or myth over truth. Al Jazeera's rendition of the rockaway pipeline project is like most renditions--- long on hype and fear and really really short on fact. And that is the most kind thing that can be said about that news article. If Al Jazeera was concerned about getting the facts straight on the Rockaway Pipeline project, the reality is that Peter Moskowitz' entire story would likely need to be retracted. It is that far from the truth.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Love NY: Don't Frack it Up and the Misinformation Highway

Betta Broad of Catskills Mountainkeeper and Susan Van Dolsen of SAPE and other antifracking groups

It will be impossible for Betta Broad and Susan Van Dolsen to produce an "episode" on the Rockaway Pipeline project that comes anywhere near truth when their sources are without merit and their knowledge of the topic they are covering is minimal. The result will be more confusion but they won't care because their point will only be to draw attention to the topic they care about and as long as they get the word frack in there it will be all good.

 When Nick Pinto who seems to specialize in pipeline opposition covered the Rockaway project for Gothamist and Vice, some of the reasons his reports were riddled in error are the same. From even the first sentence where he appears to think that Riis beach is in Brooklyn, his report demonstrates not his mastery of the topic he is writing about, but the opposite in fact. The Rockaway Pipeline is 26 inches in diameter with only a certain right of way on either side of its path. It does not pass under two beaches, (Riis and Tilden) but rather one. These errors only have to do with the location of a single cylinder. There are multiple maps on the project in different reports as well as actual maps of the city that one can even view on their computer so it is not like Mr. Pinto needed a FOIA request to get the details straight. Is it picayune to point out that Nick Pinto cannot even get the location of the project down straight, never mind other details more complicated than where this one pipe is going and what borough the Rockaway peninsula is in? It isn't when you consider that all of the activists have made it a point to confuse where this project is being built as well. Nick Pinto's errors are a result of him not knowing the topic he is writing about and him getting information on it from people who also don't know what they are talking about. Who are those people? They are defined as activists. Their activism is mostly connected (although not entirely) to antifracking opposition.

 Is it picayune to also point out that Mr Pinto also inaccurately states that Congressman Grimm introduced HR2606 in 2012? At least he didn't quote Clare Donahue's insane theory from his prior "article" in the gothamist about how less than a month after Sandy, Grimm pushed the law through Congress. The National Park Service and the city of NY in fact give testimony on that bill in the tail end of September 2011, more than a year prior to Mr. Pinto's version of reality, a hearing was had in Senate subcommittee in March of 2012, and the Senate passed their amended version of HR2606 a month prior to Hurricane Sandy. If a reporter cannot even get the who, the what, the when and the where down straight they are not doing quality journalism.

Mr. Pinto's reporting is flawed because he won't do his own research and because he doesn't understand that his sources (and they are activists) on a topic he is uninformed about are not trustworthy. The team of people who came together to produce misinformation on the rockaway project have unfortunately demonstrated that certain activists cannot be taken at their word. Those activists are not just effecting reporters. They actually are influencing people all over New York State and elsewhere, everywhere that a natural gas pipeline is proposed. Remember that they are pretending to be experts on a permitting process that is more complicated than a simple map of a straight line.

Journalists it seems won't look at what all of this means from a broader perspective. What has occurred with the Rockaway Pipeline project, the activism surrounding it and how the media has covered the issues is not actually a small unimportant story. It is one of the important stories of the day.

The militant survivalists, antifrackers and occupying forces who Mr. Pinto deems it important to give a platform to, have again decided they will demonstrate down at Riis.  As they say this will be a commentary on "what world we want to see". I want to see informed citizens in the world not the opposite.  Those activists don't care about the world I would choose to see though.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Let's give Peter Eliscu Another Moment to Shine with the Rockaway Pipeline Project

Peter Eliscu, Photographs the NYC Cargo Bike Collective's Epic Sign "Get the Frack Outta New York City" at Riis beach.

Let's not just celebrate Mr. Eliscu's photography (link to Mr. Eliscu's photographs being used by Gary Goff of Brooklyn for Peace's "opinion" piece on the Rockaway Pipeline in the wave) or video making skills. I will amplify his words here as written to FERC.

"The burden of proof for justifying the approval of a project should lie squarely on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This is not an instance of “benign until proven harmful,” but just the opposite. The Commission seems to have taken the erroneous position on project after project that it has no responsibility to insure that the public, the environment, and the planet itself are protected by its actions. This is the crux of the matter, and it is unconscionable. No project should be given a green light without demonstrating beyond a reasonable scientific doubt that it will not jeopardize the citizens who are in reality the foundation of government. Contrary to this underlying principle of democracy, the majority of the members of the Commission appear to have aligned themselves with the fossil fuel industry, which clearly poses a threat to the safety, health, and future of the planet. In my opinion, by voting in the past to approve dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project now under consideration, these individuals have broken the trust that was given them not only by the residents of New York State, but by the citizens in all states. It is time to rectify this betrayal of trust and reject any further incursions of the gas industry infrastructure into New York State."

Like most of the all-pipeline, ban fracking now, all fossil fuel and sometimes all energy other than wind and solar and also capitalism fighters, Mr. Eliscu fails to understand that FERC does not write our laws. Rather it is our elected representatives that do. And like most of the people who wrote into FERC under docket CP13-36 and PF09-8, he addressed not the particular project the docket was about, but some other issue, in this case his opinion that FERC has broken the trust given them not only by residents of New York State but by the citizens in all states by voting to approve fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Mr. Eliscu it seems can't even distinguish what fossil fuel infrastructure FERC even has jurisdiction over.

The Rockaway Pipeline project required an Act of Congress. In that sense part of the way the project moved forward wasn't abstractly about what we call democracy by any means. HR2606, which is now public law 112-197, was about a right of way for a natural gas pipeline through a park, the beach at riis and golf course primarily, and it was also about the lease of historic structures in the park to Williams for a metering station. What is not debated among people, whatever their position on the project might be or was, is the fact that most people didn't know about the bill or the project until the bill passed in the House and the fact is that the first public meetings on the project occurred after all testimony had already been heard in both houses of Congress on that bill as well.

But let's celebrate Mr. Eliscu illuminating for us what the issues are and what democracy is according to him.

What the NYC Bike Cargo Collective thinks this project has to do with cargo bikes, who knows? Some people like to party. Others just like to protest.