Call for Criminal Investigation of MSHA and MMS
by Randy Shannon
The Justice Department is investigating the Bush bureaucrats in the Mine Safety and Health Administration – MSHA. They rewrote regulations so full of loopholes that Massey Coal could operate a mine that was a ticking time bomb that killed 29 workers.
The Justice Department must investigate the Minerals Management Service- MMS, that rewrote the safety regulations for the Deepwater Horizon drilling operation. They exempted BP from filing a safety plan to deal with a blow out. The Bush hacks and the oil companies agreed that it “wasn’t likely to happen” so there was no need to prepare for it. Eleven roughnecks died on that rig, blown to kingdom come, just like the miners.
The despicable 109th Congress, led by Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, and full of criminals now serving time, passed the Halliburton exemption in 2005. This allows the gas drillers to run roughshod over Pennsylvania and other states in complete disregard of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other laws to protect our lives and property from poisoning and destruction. In Pennsylvania, what the gas drillers are doing would be a crime if done by any other enterprise. But the Bush era Congress of criminals gave them a get out of jail free card. This law must be repealed. The gas drillers must be held accountable for the destruction of human lives, animals, forests, crops, land, infrastructure, water, and air.
Pennsylvania needs tougher regulations for Marcellus shale gas drilling, aggressive, independent enforcement, and a severance tax on the gas extracted, according to state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger.
And yesterday would not be soon enough to get all of that done and “done right” to protect the state’s water resources, said Mr. Hanger in a forceful keynote speech opening the Marcellus Shale Policy Conference at Duquesne University on Monday.
“Let me be clear: Self-regulation doesn’t work. That’s not contestable,” Mr. Hanger told the audience of about 250, including a significant number of gas industry representatives. “We’ve made mistakes before. We have to get this right or the costs will overwhelm the benefits.”
Temple Unions Ratify New Contracts, Declare Victory after Strike
1045 – 30 Vote in Favor
After 28 days on strike, the members of PASNAP, the union that represents 1500 nurses, professionals and technical employees at Temple University Hospital, voted overwhelmingly to accept the new contract agreements. After three ratification votes held throughout the day, the total members voting was 1075 with 97% in favor.
“Temple provoked this strike in an effort to weaken our unions and eliminate our right to speak out for our patients. What they got instead was an emboldened, stronger union membership that will continue to work under a contract with some of the best working conditions and benefits in Philadelphia,” said Jackie Silver, MSW. “We are proud that we reached a resolution and that we will be able to continue to fight for our patients, our rights, and our professions.”
by Tina Shannon, Chair, PA 4th CD Progressive Democrats of America
I invite everyone to listen to this performance. It always touches a deep emotional chord for me.
I was hesitant to post it since the song is a reaction to a different war in a different time. Tactics were different then. Feelings were different. Perhaps everyone isn’t as upset by the present situation as I am.
My tax dollars are being used to destroy men, women and children everyday in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I feel that horror and responsibility. As deep as those feelings run, this song arouses even deeper feelings in me. This song represents our responsibility to our own young.
As a teacher and as someone who’s had to recover from her own hard childhood I’ve learned a lot about the stages of human development. It’s an interesting field of study.
Responsibility to our young means understanding their developmental needs. It’s useful to see human development as a process that helps people meet the demands of learning to live in human society. These demands usually follow a sequence as a person grows.