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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/13/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
  2. 4 points
    Kenny lays it on the line to Quebec!! Either accept western oil, or give up equalization. You can’t have it both ways !!1 https://www.facebook.com/kenneyjasont/videos/1187364091448510?sfns=mo
  3. 3 points
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is not entitled to their own facts. Alberta oil is cleaner than the oil we will import in it's place. It's also more ethical, from a human right POV, and benefits us economically - Kind of a tri-fecta.
  4. 3 points
  5. 3 points
    One thing that I have found about Lefties: When they yell at you and then you yell back they say 'Don't yell at me'.
  6. 3 points
    A "weighted" vote system is not a bad idea - the criteria should be; how much each person contributes to society. I am often reminded of Heinlein's book Starship Troopers. It's been made into a Hollywood movie that focuses on the sci-fi action but the book itself is more about politics and society. In the imagined society there are two classes; civilians and citizens. Both have rights but only the citizens get to vote and anyone can earn citizenship by public or military service. So those who are willing to contribute to society are the ones who get a say in how and where it goes. Seems like a good starting point. I've posted here before my feeling that only those who pay taxes should be able to vote. The British system used to be that only land-owners voted. Why should some person who never pays any tax but enjoys the benefits of a tax-payer supported life also get a vote in deciding anything? Perhaps a system where if you own property you get a vote, if you're a net-payer of tax you get a vote and if you're unable to meet either of these due to whatever reason you can earn your vote by public or military service.
  7. 2 points
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    Fans outraged after CTV's Jess Allen calls hockey fans, “white boys”, “not very nice” and “bullies” And yet Grapes is the one who gets fired!? Talk about a double standard! https://www.hockeyfeed.com/nhl-news/fans-outraged-after-ctv-s-jess-allen-calls-hockey-fans-white-boys-not-very-nice-and-bullies?ref=trevor
  9. 2 points
    If I were her I would "try to PIN my hair back and accidentally miss my head "
  10. 1 point
    I can pinpoint the exact moment at which I lost interest in this. The LtCol who acted as a witness in the hearing was born in the Ukraine, speaks Ukrainian and on 3 separate occasions has been offered the position of head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence..... keep in mind that he is a serving officer in the US military. Theatre of the absurd for political agnostics and only of further interest to those with agendas or people suffering from advanced TDS.
  11. 1 point
    "If Canadians were really worried about long term survivability for our next generations, they would have voted in the Conservatives." This thought (copied from another thread and posted here just to add another thread title to the batch that'll let others know at a glance that some of us share their left leaning opinions) would be hilarious if it wasn't so sadly misguided... and simply dead wrong. Conservatives, like the person who posted that, are apparently stuck in the belief that economics is the primary concern.
  12. 1 point
    The trees are doing very well and any that are cut down are replaced. Not sure why you think the oil sands are destroying trees? www.cosia.ca › initiatives › land › projects › faster-forests Faster Forests | Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance - COSIA www.vice.com › en_ca › article › i-worked-on-a-tree-planting-contra... I Worked on a Tree-Planting Contract in the Tar Sands - VICE Dec 4, 2014 - As far as planting is concerned, the two things that set the tar sands apart from other contracts is that the ground is incredibly hard and the variety of species planted is greater. By contrast, on a normal tree-planting contract it's not uncommon to plant an entire block with a single species of tree. www.suncor.com › en-CA › newsroom › community-news Suncor Energy plants five millionth tree at Oil Sands The tree planting, which was highlighted during a ceremony attended by Suncor executives and employees, local politicians and other local stakeholders, featured Ivy Wigmore, an elder with the Mikisew Cree First Nation who planted one of the first trees on Suncor's oil sands site in the late 1960s. www.canadasoilsands.ca › explore-topics › land-reclamation Land Reclamation - Canada's Oil Sands Canada's oil sands industry is committed to reducing its footprint, reclaiming all lands ... The process includes monitoring, seeding, fertilizing, tree planting, seed ...
  13. 1 point
    Hi Seeker. I appreciate your warm tone, thanks. You say, "we need the resource revenue from oil and gas production", but that's just not so. That's using the old, out-dated, un-sustainable line of thought. What we need is the trees that stand on the "oil sands" to stay right where they are, and the bitumen to stay in the ground. It's time Billionaires started to pay out a few more pounds of their ridiculous hordes. There is absolutely no shortage of available wealth for all sorts of good-for-the-planet ideas if we add some serious tax to those with endless truck-loads of money. The gap in wealth between the working poor and the yacht riding rich is insanely large and needs serious correction. Looking simply for "returns for investors" has been the goal for too long and has, in part, caused this whole problem. Priorities need to change, and as I see it, they are.
  14. 1 point
    As posted in another thread. Now if this gets implemented, it will start to erode fossil fuel need from the biggest polluters. https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html New York (CNN Business)A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet. Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren." biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Essentially, Heliogen created a solar oven — one capable of reaching temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you'd find on the surface of the sun. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution. "We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO, told CNN Business. "And that's really the holy grail." Heliogen, which is also backed by billionaire Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, believes the patented technology will be able to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Cement, for example, accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. "Bill and the team have truly now harnessed the sun," Soon-Shiong, who also sits on the Heliogen board, told CNN Business. "The potential to humankind is enormous. ... The potential to business is unfathomable." Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has achieved a breakthrough that could allow cement makers to transition away from fossil fuels. The company uses artifical intelligence and an array of mirrors to create vast amounts of heat, essentially harnessing the power of the sun. Unlike traditional solar power, which uses rooftop panels to capture the energy from the sun, Heliogen is improving on what's known as concentrated solar power. This technology, which uses mirrors to reflect the sun to a single point, is not new. Concentrated solar has been used in the past to produce electricity and, in some limited fashion, to create heat for industry. It's even used in Oman to provide the power needed to drill for oil. The problem is that in the past concentrated solar couldn't get temperatures hot enough to make cement and steel. "You've ended up with technologies that can't really deliver super-heated systems," said Olav Junttila, a partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a clean energy investment bank that has advised concentrated solar companies in the past. Using artificial intelligence to solve the climate crisis That means renewable energy has not yet disrupted industrial processes such as cement and steelmaking. And that's a problem because the world has an insatiable appetite for those materials. Cement, for instance, is used to make the concrete required to build homes, hospitals and schools. These industries are responsible for more than a fifth of global emissions, according to the EPA. That's why the potential of Los Angeles-based Heliogen attracted investment from Gates, the Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder who recently surpassed Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos as the world's richest person. "I'm pleased to have been an early backer of Bill Gross's novel solar concentration technology," Gates said in a statement. "Its capacity to achieve the high temperatures required for these processes is a promising development in the quest to one day replace fossil fuel." Heliogen, founded by Bill Gross, must convince industrial companies it's worth the investment to switch over to its solar technology. While other concentrated solar companies attacked this temperature problem by adding steel to make the technology stiffer and sturdier, Heliogen and its team of scientists and engineers turned to artificial intelligence. Heliogen uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other sophisticated technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to one single spot. "If you take a thousand mirrors and have them align exactly to a single point, you can achieve extremely, extremely high temperatures," Gross said, who added that Heliogen made its breakthrough on the first day it turned its plant on. Heliogen said it is generating so much heat that its technology could eventually be used to create clean hydrogen at scale. That carbon-free hydrogen could then be turned into a fuel for trucks and airplanes. "If you can make hydrogen that's green, that's a gamechanger," said Gross. "Long term, we want to be the green hydrogen company." 'No-brainer' For now, Heliogen is squarely focused on solar. One problem with solar is that the sun doesn't always shine, yet industrial companies like cement makers have a constant need for heat. Heliogen said it would solve that issue by relying on storage systems that can hold the solar energy for rainy days. Now that it has made this breakthrough, Heliogen will focus on demonstrating how the technology can be used in a large-scale application, such as making cement. "We're in a race. We just want to scale as fast as possible," said Gross. After the large-scale application, Soon-Shiong said Heliogen would likely be ready to go public. 'Nervous and scared.' Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy In the meantime, Heliogen will require a healthy dose of capital to scale and it's working with investors on a private round of funding. Soon-Shiong signaled he plans to invest more in Heliogen. Heliogen declined to provide information on how much money it has raised so far. "This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren," Soon-Shiong said. Heliogen's biggest challenge will be convincing industrial companies using fossil fuels to make the investment required to switch over. Gross said the company has been talking to potential customers privately and plans to soon announce its first customers. "If we go to a cement company and say we'll give you green heat, no CO2, but we'll also save you money, then it becomes a no-brainer," said Gross. Its biggest selling point is the fact that, unlike fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, sunlight is free. And Heliogen argues its technology is already economical against fossil fuels because of its reliance on AI. "The only way to compete is to be extremely clever in how you use your materials. And by using software, we're able to do that," Gross said.
  15. 1 point
    While you are stuck with the belief that the conservatives have the majority, the reality is that while they did get 34.4% of the votes cast in the election, at least 63.2% of the votes cast went against conservative policies and wanted something more progressive. https://globalnews.ca/news/6066524/canada-election-the-2019-results-by-the-numbers/ Your informal poll has not touched on the reality of what Canadians really wanted.
  16. 1 point
    Good point but everyone is entitled to change their POV based on what they believe are new facts. I of course don't agree with him. I guess what I am saying is "personal attacks" do not belong in any debate (despite the recent example of our politicians who believe they do)
  17. 1 point
    Seeing as how Air Canada gave Mitch a pretty nice career with its oil powered planes , tugs, vans etc., I find it a little hypocritical he stayed there after he saw the light.
  18. 1 point
    Hi Mitch, glad to see you back posting. Well, economics is the primary concern ultimately - you can do all the good you want until the bank account is empty and then what? Assuming you got your wish and all oil production ceased in Alberta - what is your plan to replace the lost dollars in the federal coffers? Where does the money come from to pay for health, education, etc? I don't disagree with the idea of moving toward a renewal energy future but we need the resource revenue from oil and gas production to pay for it and sustain us until we get there. If you hate your job you don't quit immediately but rather use the pay from that job to afford the education to allow to you to eventually quit.
  19. 1 point
    Just to be controversial..... It is the same as the Don Cherry episode. Those stuck in the past are doomed to repeat it!
  20. 1 point
    Well, I knew (hoped?) it would happen eventually - we actually found something to agree on! It's a red-letter day!
  21. 1 point
    A $50K (US) SUV with a 450 HP engine that goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. Who needs that? Produce a 200HP SUV that can tow a small utility trailer and costs $25K (US) and it will replace 80% of the vehicles on the road. I don't get that manufacturers. Tesla, BMW and now Ford. All of them. Designing and producing these stupid vehicles - don't need (or want) a vehicle that can do F-14 carrier launches. What I want is a vehicle to drive to the Sobey's and Home Depot.
  22. 1 point
    As this progresses, people will be forced to confront the question of what they are willing to give up to go from 1.7% of global emissions down to 1%. It's a huge cost, emissions are currently rising (not lowering) and as yet, no one has said where the 79 megatons of current accord deficits are to come from. Until those discussions start taking place, good intentions amount to nothing more than fluff in a belly button. Shutting down the entire agricultural sector (in its entirety) is currently not enough to do the job and with each passing day we are losing ground. Liberal platitudes about filthy oil are less than meaningless without huge sacrifices that liberals themselves will balk at. If you are a carbon tax fan (and I'm not) it needs to be at about $300.00 per ton. I will believe this is an emergency when those screaming emergency begin to act like it's an emergency. If you want to get my attention and support, you need to say where you want those 79 Mts to come from..... when you are willing to pay the price, I'm ready to listen. Until then, strident screams into a pillow is about all ya got.
  23. 1 point
    sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should. That thing does not deserve the Mustang name.
  24. 1 point
    Alberta contributes more to Canada than any other province. Canada's economic success over the past decade has largely been thanks to Alberta's success.Jul 13, 2017 https://www.660citynews.com › albe...
  25. 1 point
    “ Alberta is facing a full-blown economic crisis and it needs support, not condescension” “ Alberta’s billions in transfer payments have helped other provinces hurt by economic troubles, so where's the compassion for the province now?” Western Canada is currently facing uncertain times not witnessed since the Petro-Canada Centre, better known as Red Square, was built to house the then Crown Corporation in downtown Calgary in 1983. And with no resolution in sight for the five-year-long rout in oil and natural gas prices, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. While Encana’s decision to move its headquarters to Denver made headlines, the reality is that business are leaving the province in droves. One local realtor, Robert Graham at Arrowstar, told Global News recently that Arrowstar alone has helped 100 Western Canadian companies relocate to the Houston area, 40 of those in the past year and a half. Others are shutting up shop completely, or closing locations in the province: Chili’s shut all but three of its Alberta locations in 2017; Red Robin has plans to pull out of Alberta by year-end; and Starbucks has announced numerous closures in both Edmonton and Calgary. That on top of the multitude of mom-and-pop businesses that are simply going bust. There’s a tragedy unfolding in the oilpatch, but Ottawa doesn’t even seem to get it West of the oilsands, another sector suffers its own ’existential crisis’ Diane Francis: Kenney’s plan to get Alberta out from under Trudeau before he completely destroys it In total, we calculate that business insolvencies in Alberta have skyrocketed by more than 70 per cent from their 2015 lows, as compared to a 13.5 per cent decrease on average for the country as whole over the same period. Here in Calgary the mood is outright abysmal, with 89 per cent of businesses saying the current economic situation has deteriorated since last summer, according to city’s annual citizen satisfaction survey. Adding it all up, at the end of 2018, Alberta’s real GDP was one per cent below where it was in 2014 and six per cent lower on a per capita basis, according to ATB Financial. And it isn’t looking much better with what could be negative real GDP growth in 2019, according to the Conference Board of Canada. In fact, a recent Conference Board study showed that Edmonton and Calgary will post the weakest economic performance among 13 major Canadian cities this year. The result has been job losses — and a lot of them — sending unemployment rates in Calgary and Edmonton north of seven per cent, well above the Canadian average of 5.5 per cent. However, this really doesn’t tell you just how dire it is for many Albertans as we calculate that personal insolvencies are up nearly 28 per cent from their 2014 lows as compared to a 15 per cent decrease in Canada over the same period. While some economists are still citing our historically above-average “per-capita income” levels, consider this: one in four people using food banks in Alberta is employed or was recently employed — the highest level in the country. A volunteer stocks shopping carts at the Wood Buffalo Food Bank in Fort McMurray, Alberta.Jason Franson/Bloomberg files All of this may sound like preaching to those not affected but the fact of the matter is Alberta is facing a full-on crisis, and there is a real need for support and assistance, rather than condescension. A great place to start is with pipelines, and I mean more than just the Trans Mountain. Federal government policies are going to have to shift from being anti-resource development to ones that indicate the province is open for business, not only to attract foreign capital but also to stop the current exodus. Adjusting equalization so that struggling provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan can use more of their federal tax dollars for large infrastructure projects that are currently on hold would also send a very strong message. Regular Albertans also need to do everything they can to make sure they have the financial wherewithal to weather the storm. That means ensuring that savings and RSPs are topped up (if you’re still fortunate enough to have money to put away), diversifying your holdings and avoiding illiquid private investments. Also, make sure you have a personal financial plan, mapping out contingencies in the event of potential economic impacts. We didn’t invent hardship but Alberta is a province built on sweat, tears and hard work. Our founders each took a small piece of land leased from the railroad, including my grandfather who came here in 1905 from Montreal, and together turned the province into what was more recently one of the economic engines of Canada. This meant we were able to be huge financial contributors to confederation to the tune of $611 billion in transfer payments from 1967 to 2017, and lend a helping hand offering tens of thousands of jobs to those impacted by economic troubles in their own respective provinces. Asking for bit of compassion during tough times shouldn’t be considered a slap in the face but rather something most Canadians can understand. Martin Pelletier, CFA is a Portfolio Manager and OCIO at TriVest Wealth Counsel Ltd, a Calgary-based private client and institutional investment firm specializing in discretionary risk-managed portfolios as well as investment audit and oversight services. https://business.financialpost.com/investing/investing-pro/alberta-is-facing-a-full-blown-economic-crisis-and-it-needs-support-not-condescension
  26. 1 point
    Without a government subsidy impossible.
  27. 1 point
    If you actually knew something instead of parroting others you might actually be worth reading.
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    If Canadians were really worried about long term survivability for our next generations, they would have voted in the Conservatives.
  30. 1 point
    The problem we have with getting away from fossil fuels is the reluctance from those who are against it to lead the way by example. 1. getting rid of all fossil fueled vehicles, lawn mowers, emergency generators etc. 2. going off the electrical grid so as to reduce / eliminate any need to use electricity produced by using fossil fuels. 3. never using any public transportation (including airplanes) if they run on fossil fuels. and the list goes on. Re raping forests, now sure how you link that to Alberta, ( https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/annual-status-of-reforestation-in-alberta-report).
  31. 1 point
    Update from a Seattle Times reporter who follows Boeing. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeings-fix-tames-the-tiger-in-the-737-max-flight-controls/
  32. 1 point
    no the Liberals are a Minority. They have enough seats to hold the spot and with some effort can actually do something by working with the other parties. In the other situation you would have a PM in place where the MAJORITY of the seats are in opposition to him. He would have ZERO power.
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    We must have been on the same flight. I was across the aisle from him.
  35. 1 point
    “ There's an old saying - "a leopard doesn't change it's spots", this is probably true for Trudeau. Has he changed his behaviour? I doubt it. Is he scrambling to figure out how to run a country with a minority? Yes,I would imagine he is, or at least his PMO is. His "progressive" style of government has created a lot of problems in this country, it is more divided that ever before, his "change" is nothing more than keeping a low profile until he can find a new carpet to sweep things under to give the illusion that he knows what he's doing.”
  36. 1 point
    by Joe Durocher “ I have been disappointed in the recent divide of Canadians. We have been conditioned to accept polarized politics...left vs right...liberal vs conservaties...how about we act responsibly and stop wasting money and time arguing, and actually come to conmon solutions to social and natural problems? History shows us the best way to control a people is to "Divide and Conquer ", which is being successfully done in most countries in the world and also in a global way. If we all agreed to certain common principles, we could begin to move forward. There is a small number of individuals and families who seek control and power over the masses. They control the highest seats of governments, central banking institutions, media corporations, social media and search engine companies, etc. We need to be wise enough to see beyond the constant pumping of certain stories and narratives that are filtered towards our minds consistently, day in and day out, to keep us divided. Our goal needs to be to have free minds, that seek solutions to problems instead of bowing to the daily conditioning we receive, to constantly battle one another. We should be battling things together like political correctness etc., getting offended over everything, and other things that are dividing us and destroying our society. You have more inside you then you realize and have solutions to the world problems. Make your voice heard, but do it above the chaos of battling each other or arguing about silly issues. Work on solutionary thinking! Look to the year 2020 as a year where we begin to see through the smoke screens and begin to see with 20/20 vision. “
  37. 1 point
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  40. 1 point
    Did you read to the end of my post? Maybe we consider volunteering at the school as "public service", maybe raising a family is public service or maybe it isn't - I hardly know the answer. My point is that society has too many "takers". Encouraging and rewarding those who step up would be a good thing - no?
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    All major companies and public organizations in Canada and the US have a "whistleblower" system in place. These were put in place, primarily for financial issues following the Enron scandal, but are used for many other purposes.... non-financial criminal or immoral acts or breaking company rules being the secondary use. In many cases, they use a firewalled system so that the "company" can't see the reporter and doesn't know their identity but even simpler systems are in place allowing people to report to an email address using a temporary email. The point is that the reporter provides initial facts and the designated person is responsible for investigating and determining the validity of the report. It doesn't proceed solely on the basis of the whistleblower's complaint. The principle of the system is to protect those who know of illegal or immoral acts carried out by company personnel so that they can initiate investigations without concern about being fired or otherwise sidelined. In the case of Trump, the life of this unknown person would be at risk if exposed. If the reporters information leads to no illegal or immoral acts, then the investigator simply drops the case. In the case of Trump, if there was nothing to follow up, then the case would not have proceeded. There has been much confirmation (and more to come) of the contents of the whistleblower accusations and, since his accusations are, at least partly, hearsay, his/her direct testimony would add nothing to the proceedings. The whistleblower's report can't be entered into testimony and, if you are watching carefully, while he is referred to in the proceedings, none of the details of his report is mentioned. Trying to "out" this individual is simply an effort to dissuade other potential reporters in the future from coming forward with what they know. It would be a true shame if they undermine the reporting system as it would mean that those in power would be even more prone to break the law. This is exactly the way that the CrimeStoppers system works. That is a great way to get people to report crimes and identify perpetrators without having to risk personal harm. The perpetrator has no right to see his "accuser", nor should Trump. It doesn't really matter whether the Dems know or don't know the whistleblowers identity any more than it matters if the Police know who a CrimeStoppers reporter is. The only thing that matters is where the information leads. Regarding second hand information, the listener of the damning public phone call that Sondland had with Trump will be testifying tomorrow. So the GOP won't be able to call the phone call information "second hand" anymore. Really quite stupid of them. They pick a new rebuttal almost every day and it gets disgorged almost immediately. We'll see how compelling the witness' testimony. It may even result in Sondland's resignation... having a phone call with the president in public, which can be easily overheard while discussing a foreign government in a restaurant IN THE FOREIGN STATE. There is no decay of western society in this issue except that those in power seem to think that they are above the law. The U.S. President and his men may have broken the laws and the meaning of the Constitution which they vowed to protect and there is enough evidence to at least see what is there. The fact that they will not participate, which in itself may be impeachable, just means that they don't get to tell their side, which will probably at least keep them out of jail for perjury. If they have nothing to hide, why wouldn't they simply testify? To paraphrase a great exchange from yesterday: GOP: I think that the instigator of this investigation should be made to face this inquiry. DEMs: Absolutely. We await the President's attendance.
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    We have a mysterious whistleblower who the Democrats don’t know, then do know, then don’t know and a series of witnesses who weren’t there but heard second and third hand about it. The rules of evidence are out the window and suddenly people who don’t care about their own borders are concerned about the borders of Ukraine. I remain an agnostic here, if there is actual evidence of wrong doing let’s bring it out post haste, have the punishment fit the crime and get back to the nations business without delay. How long has it been since the Intelligence Committee had an intelligence briefing? That smell is the decay and purification of western society….. every sign along the highway is screaming “turn back now” and instead of seeing it as a plea for reasonableness, lawmakers see it as “you can’t tell me what to do.” If you are enjoying the show, be sure to buy a squirrel.
  45. 1 point
    A note for those who might be responding to any of my posts but who do not get any reply. That is not because I have been overwhelmed with your response but most likely because I have used the "Ignore" feature of this forum to filter out your posts and or responses and thereby reduce the number of posts that are in my reading file. In other words I no longer see your posts (original or rebuttals) Cheers all .
  46. 1 point
    Oh Hilary, please say yes - the country needs you! “Well, you know, I’d never say never to anything,”
  47. 1 point
    New York Times, October 31 2019 Before Deadly Crashes, Boeing Pushed for Law That Undercut Oversight The government has been handing over more responsibility to manufacturers for years. The new law makes it even harder for regulators to review Boeing’s work. Months after a second crash of the Boeing Max 737, the plane remains grounded and the company mired in crisis.Credit...Gary He/Reuters By Natalie Kitroeff and David Gelles · Published Oct. 27, 2019 Updated Oct. 31, 2019 With a few short paragraphs tucked into 463 pages of legislation last year, Boeing scored one of its biggest lobbying wins: a law that undercuts the government’s role in approving the design of new airplanes. For years, the government had been handing over more responsibility to manufacturers as a way to reduce bureaucracy. But those paragraphs cemented the industry’s power, allowing manufacturers to challenge regulators over safety disputes and making it difficult for the government to usurp companies’ authority. Although the law applies broadly to the industry, Boeing, the nation’s dominant aerospace manufacturer, is the biggest beneficiary. An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with more than 50 regulators, industry executives, congressional staff members and lobbyists, as well as drafts of the bill and federal documents, found that Boeing and its allies helped craft the legislation to their liking, shaping the language of the law and overcoming criticism from regulators. In a stark warning as the bill was being written, the Federal Aviation Administration said that it would “not be in the best interest of safety.” A labor group representing agency inspectors raised concerns that the rules would turn the F.A.A. into a “rubber stamp” that would only be able to intervene after a plane crashed “and people are killed,” according to internal union documents reviewed by The Times. Weeks after the law was passed, a Boeing 737 Max jet crashed off the coast of Indonesia, killing everyone on board. A second Max crashed in Ethiopia less than five months later, and the plane was grounded. On both doomed flights, a new automated system on the Max, designed to help avoid stalls, triggered erroneously, sending them into fatal nose-dives. Mired in crisis, Boeing is still trying to fix the plane and get it flying again. In the aftermath, lawmakers have seized on flaws in a regulatory system that cedes control to industry — an issue that is likely to put Boeing on the defensive this week when the company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, testifies before Congress for the first time since the two crashes. The F.A.A. never fully analyzed the automated system known as MCAS, while Boeing played down its risks. Late in the plane’s development, Boeing made the system more aggressive, changes that were not submitted in a safety assessment to the agency. The Max was certified under the old rules. The new law, the F.A.A. Reauthorization Act of 2018, makes it even more difficult for the government to review manufacturers’ work. President Trump signed the F.A.A. Reauthorization Act of 2018 into law last October. Most of the attention on the legislation had been on a failed Republican effort to privatize the air traffic control system.Credit...Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosia In the past, agency officials could decide whether to delegate oversight to the company or to maintain control, depending on the importance of a system or concerns about safety. Now, the agency, at the outset of the development process, has to hand over responsibility for certifying almost every aspect of new planes. If F.A.A. officials decide a system may compromise safety, the new rules dictate that they will need to conduct an investigation or an inspection to make their case before taking back control. If the officials raise concerns, ask for changes or otherwise miss certification deadlines, any disputes are automatically elevated by law to managers at the agency and the company. The law also creates a committee of mostly aerospace executives to ensure that the regulator is meeting metrics set by the industry, and the law allows companies to make recommendations about the compensation of F.A.A. employees. “The reauthorization act mandated regulatory capture,” said Doug Anderson, a former attorney in the agency’s office of chief counsel who reviewed the legislation. “It set the F.A.A. up for being totally deferential to the industry.” A spokesman for Boeing, Gordon Johndroe, said that the certification process is “part of an effective F.A.A. oversight of safety that permits them to focus on the most important issues that are critical to the safety of flight.” He added that “this authority has been a proven way for decades for government regulators across many industries to prioritize resources and rely on technical experts to maintain quality, safety and integrity.” When the legislation was hashed out, the lobbying effort barely registered in the country’s vast political machine. Boeing’s push, and the use of industry language in the crucial paragraphs, was standard amid the deregulatory drive by many businesses. Most of the attention on the bill was focused on a failed Republican effort to privatize the air traffic control system. Since the two fatal accidents, the law has set off worries in Washington about whether the rules championed by Boeing make company deadlines a priority over passenger safety. The manufacturer helped author a report that congressional aides used as a reference while writing the law, borrowing language and ideas that had long been used by Boeing. Its executives pressed Michael Huerta, then the head of the F.A.A., for support, telling him that the regulator’s inefficiency was threatening Boeing’s ability to compete against its chief rival, Airbus of France. They also helped persuade Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington State, where Boeing has its manufacturing hub, to introduce language that requires the F.A.A. to relinquish control of many parts of the certification process. “The method by which the F.A.A. certifies aircraft is in need of repair — I don’t think anyone could argue otherwise at this point,” Representative Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Washington, who voted in favor of the legislation, said in an interview. “No matter what we did last year, we need to be pulling some of that back into the public sphere, and take some of it out of the hands of industry.” Language of the Law Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, is testifying before Congress this week.Credit...Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images In closed-door meetings with congressional staff members, in testimony on Capitol Hill, in memos to lawmakers, the talking points were all the same. Starting in 2014, Boeing and its trade associations explained that streamlining certification would make American aerospace companies more competitive with overseas rivals, by allowing them to develop planes more efficiently. They argued that F.A.A. employees were interpreting the rules in seemingly arbitrary ways and slowing down the development process, according to seven people involved in the discussions and documents reviewed by The Times. In a 2015 memo sent to congressional staff members that was reviewed by The Times, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, which represents the business jet unit of Boeing, urged lawmakers to “fully implement” the so-called system of delegation. If disputes caused delays, the trade group called for “automatic escalation to appropriate F.A.A. and company management” so that issues didn’t languish. The Aerospace Industries Association, which was headed during part of the lobbying campaign by Mr. Muilenburg of Boeing, echoed those priorities. Richard Efford, a lobbyist for the group, said in an interview that he emphasized the need to “fully utilize” delegation. Boeing executives made the same pitch to Mr. Huerta at industry events and in meetings at the F.A.A., according to three people with knowledge of the matter. It became a routine discussion, they said. And they made their case publicly as well, at times citing the company’s safety record. In a 2015 hearing, Ray Conner, then the head of Boeing’s commercial airplane division, pushed like others for making “full use” of the system. He said it took too long to get approvals for interiors, like seats and bathrooms, that company engineers could assess. He argued that European regulators outsource far more. The language of their lobbying push was rooted in a 2012 report from an industry-dominated committee run by Christine Thompson, a Boeing executive, and Ali Bahrami, an F.A.A. official at the time who later became a lobbyist. Ali Bahrami, a Federal Aviation Administration official and former lobbyist, was co-chairman of a committee that in 2012 recommended streamlining certification.Credit...Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg In aerospace speak, it called for “full utilization of available delegation,” outsourcing as much oversight as possible. It outlined six recommendations that “will result in the reduction of certification delays” and “enhance the global competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry.” “There was a consensus that they had good recommendations, and that we ought to put them into writing,” said Matt Bormet, who formerly worked for Mr. Larsen. “I heard no complaints about the report.” Boeing and its allies found a receptive audience in the head of the House transportation committee, Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican staunchly in favor of deregulation, and his aide working on the legislation, Holly Woodruff Lyons. The F.A.A. Reauthorization Act of 2018 was broadly meant to provide agency funding for the coming years. Lawmakers also used it to introduce new rules for drones, airport noise and the certification process. As Ms. Lyons helped write the law, she was in regular touch with Boeing, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The critical paragraphs in the final bill borrowed heavily from industry language, instituting the “full utilization of F.A.A. delegation.” “The certification reforms in the F.A.A. bill were strongly desired and had bipartisan support,” Mr. Shuster said in an email, noting that delegation “has worked well and safely for over 50 years.” Then-Representative Bill Shuster, the Pennsylvania Republican who headed the transportation committee, in 2015. He recently said, “The certification reforms in the F.A.A. bill were strongly desired and had bipartisan support.”Credit...Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call The evolution of the bill had the imprint of industry. An early version that Ms. Lyons sent to lobbyists directed the F.A.A. to measure its own performance, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. In one circulated a month later, staff members had added a clause specifying that the agency would be judged in part by a committee dominated by aerospace executives, which would come up with metrics for the regulator. As the Senate prepared its own version in early 2016, Boeing was in close contact with the office of Ms. Cantwell. “Senator Cantwell is responsive to the needs of Washington State businesses,” said Nick Sutter, one of her former staff members. “Boeing people were in and out of the office all the time.” In conversations with a top aide for the senator, Matt McCarthy, Boeing lobbyists pushed for language that would compel the F.A.A. to rely more on manufacturers, according to two people directly involved in the discussions. Mr. McCarthy took a job as a lobbyist for Boeing in September. Regulators and companies agreed that the F.A.A.’s resources were best focused on new and high-risk systems, according to Peggy Gilligan, the agency’s head of safety back then, and several other officials. As the Senate prepared its own version of the bill in early 2016, Boeing was in close contact with the office of Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington State.Credit...Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times Ms. Cantwell submitted an amendment that directed the F.A.A. to automatically give companies the right to approve anything deemed “low and medium risk” on an airplane. It was language that particularly helped Boeing, with its wide range of planes. “Listening to your constituents is always the first step in legislating, but it’s certainly not the last,” said Ansley Lacitis, deputy chief of staff for Ms. Cantwell. “This concept of risk-based oversight was bipartisan, consensus-based and recommended by experts.” The amendment passed without any debate. At the hearing, then-Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat of Florida, cheered the changes. The law, he said, “will boost U.S. manufacturing and exports and — most importantly — create good jobs for Americans.” Quieting Criticis A 737 Max plane at the Boeing factory in Renton, Wash., earlier this year.Credit...Lindsey Wasson/Reuters F.A.A. officials tried to push back, raising concerns to congressional staff members and aerospace executives. But they were constrained in their efforts. As a federal agency, the F.A.A. is forbidden by law to use government resources to influence and lobby Congress. At most, officials could provide comments and feedback, so-called technical assistance in the legislative process. “It is true that we were supportive of delegation as a general philosophy,” said Mr. Huerta, the former F.A.A. chief. “It is not true that means the agency supported every proposal to expand delegation and impose limits on the agency’s ability to take back delegations.” Early on, Ms. Gilligan, the former F.A.A. official, said industry lobbyists suggested that the law should give companies input on performance evaluations of individual F.A.A. employees overseeing the certification of their planes. Two other agency officials confirmed her account. “It appeared they were looking to influence the individuals’ pay outcome in some way, and for the F.A.A. employees to know that potential pay impact,” Ms. Gilligan said. The final bill did not completely satisfy her concerns. The law created a panel with industry representatives to help assess “performance incentive policies” for F.A.A. employees, as long as they “do not conflict with the public interest.” Peggy Gilligan, then an F.A.A. official, testifying to Congress in 2014. She recently said industry lobbyists suggested that the reauthorization law give companies input on performance evaluations of individual F.A.A. employees.Credit...Win Mcnamee/Getty Images Mostly, top F.A.A. officials worried about the unintended consequences of giving more authority to manufacturers. Boeing employees have described pressures from their managers to meet deadlines while approving systems. Under the old rules, the F.A.A. could decide to take back oversight authority on a system if they were concerned about safety. The new law would require the agency to conduct an investigation or inspection to prove that there was a problem before stepping in, a potentially lengthy process. Industry groups told congressional staff members that manufacturers were sometimes subject to the whims of individual F.A.A. employees, who could block approvals and delay production schedules, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. “It causes delays and a lot of frustration within the companies,” said Mr. Efford, the lobbyist. But regulators were concerned that the new law would keep them from effectively doing their job. In early 2015, Brian Morris, a safety official at the agency, prepared feedback for lawmakers, arguing that the legislation would prevent the regulator from acting until a dangerous system had already been introduced onto an aircraft. “With this language, Congress is asking us to wait till we find a hazard before removing delegation,” he wrote, according to an F.A.A. document reviewed by The Times. A current and a former F.A.A. official said that Mr. Morris was collecting feedback from multiple departments, so the comments reflected the opinions of other agency staff members. The document notes that the comments were “provided in response to a congressional request.” The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union, a small labor group that represents F.A.A. employees, had a similar warning. If the regulator could only intercede after documenting problems, it may not be able to stop manufacturers from installing risky systems. “That will, as a practical matter, mean after the accident has happened and people are killed,” the union said in comments prepared for Congress in early 2016, which were reviewed by The Times. Through a spokesman, Ms. Lyons, the congressional aide writing the law, said she did not receive comments from Mr. Morris or the union, but was aware of the F.A.A.’s worries. “The concerns were discussed and considered in a bipartisan manner,” said the House transportation committee spokesman, Justin Harclerode. “Members did not agree with this interpretation of the language, and were not convinced the language would negatively impact the FAA’s ability to safely oversee the aviation industry.” He added that the F.A.A., under the law, could set the parameters of the investigation or inspection. Lawmaker’s Remorse Demonstrators hold pictures of victims of the crash of the Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia at a vigil last month outside the Department of Transportation in Washington.Credit...Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press At a ceremony in the Oval Office last October, President Trump signed the F.A.A. Reauthorization Act into law, while Representative Shuster, who shepherded the legislation, looked over his shoulder. The agency has already begun to make the required changes. In August, it announced the formation of the advisory committee charged with setting goals for the regulator. The committee includes two union representatives and 17 industry officials, among them Beth Pasztor, one of Boeing’s top executives. The F.A.A. recently selected managers for an internal office that will help enforce provisions of the law. As the rules take hold, some lawmakers who originally supported the legislation are backing away. Mr. Nelson, the former senator who co-sponsored the law, said he did not fully understand the ramifications. “This was never brought to my attention,” he said in an interview. “Had I known about it, I would have tried to put the kibosh on it.” Representative Peter DeFazio, the Oregon Democrat who is the chairman of the House transportation committee, celebrated the bill’s changes last year, saying it would maintain safety and “will help our manufacturers become much more competitive in the world market and introduce their products more quickly.” Mr. DeFazio, who is currently leading a congressional investigation into the crashes, said in an interview that he was reconsidering the law and might introduce legislation to restore some of the agency’s oversight authority. “If the F.A.A. basically deferred on a safety critical system and did not provide proper oversight, then either the individuals involved are going to be at risk, or the whole system itself isn’t working properly,” he said. A version of this article appears in print on Oct. 28, 2019, Section A, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Before Crashes, Boeing Pushed To Undercut F.A.A. Oversight. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
  48. 1 point
    Am happy to say my Dad was one of 'em, albeit towards the end of the war vice the Battle of Britain.
  49. 1 point
    This is a sticker on my (now retired) tool box I just took... Not the first time this kind of scenario has occurred.
  50. 0 points
    Never could figure out why vegans want to consume something that looks identical to "real Meat" products. Hamburgers, weiners etc. Vegan man claims Burger King cooked Impossible Whopper alongside meat ‎Today, ‎November ‎19, ‎2019, ‏‎4 hours ago | Hollie Silverman A man is suing Burger King because the meatless Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same grill as meat products, the lawsuit alleges.