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America’s Crisis of Character :: Is something more required to ‘Make America Great Again’?

Submitted by: SL @SLandinSoCal

The MSM continues to disgust me. The MAJORITY of people affected by the disaster in Texas have NOT complained. They have been thankful and even smiling. Yet as I watch MSM, I see them repeatedly playing clips of 3 ungrateful women complaining about the conditions at the George R Brown shelter. ‘It stinks in here’, ‘I didn’t have a cot for me or my kids last night’, ‘the mayor said we didn’t have to evacuate, but he LIED’.

These people disgust me, but MSM disgusts me even more. As they have covered this catastrophic event, most likely the biggest disaster our country has experienced, they have made every attempt to politicize it and criticize the response. A challenging thing, since the response has been amazing.

The impact of this disaster is FAR greater than that of Katrina but there are very DRAMATIC contrasts both in handling the response/rescue and in the reaction of the victims.

I would love to see someone put together a video that highlights some of these differences because I think it reveals both a core strength and a core weakness that exists in our country.

The issue is that of PERSONAL CHARACTER! I believe that the majority of Americans have good character, if not great character, but there is a subset of Americans who lack good character and some who have a very poor character. My concern is that America is facing a CRISIS OF CHARACTER!

When you see neighbor helping neighbor, gratefulness in times of crisis, respect for others & others property which includes cleanliness so you don’t leave a mess for someone else, these are the results of GOOD CHARACTER.

When you see people taking advantage of others by looting, or lack of respect for others in they way they talk or by vandalizing property or leaving a mess for others to clean up, when you see ungratefulness, people expecting others to do something for them but not being willing to help others, you are seeing the results of POOR CHARACTER.

The character of the people of our country is being undermined. Good character development is no longer being taught, exampled or encourage for many. We see dramatic displays of deplorable character in the Alt Left groups of BLM and ANTIFA. They have no respect for for their fellow man. They have many negative character traits. To make matters worse, many including MSM and prominent politicians are condoning and encouraging that character. There is no positive future for a society built on poor character.

If we are truly going to “Make America Great Again”, it will take more than jobs, tax cuts and a thriving economy. It will require programs and commitment to teach and build GOOD CHARACTER in the people of our country. Each of us should strive to build the elements of good character within ourselves everyday and also to encourage others to strive for those characters within themselves.

Here’s a link to a list of good character traits to strive for: http://www.character-training.com/blog/list-of-character-traits/ …

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LEASE SALE DISPLAYS POWER OF THE GULF

A message from Executive Director Lori LeBlanc

The oil and gas industry demonstrated its confidence in the power of American energy during the federal government’s Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale held March 19 in New Orleans. In fact, a total of 50 companies submitted 380 bids, and the Department of Interior garnered $850 million in high bids for about 1.7 million acres off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. This signals a continued strong business interest in offshore energy production.

It’s this confidence in the valuable resources of America’s Gulf that continues to drive our national and state economy, fund the U.S. government, employ hundreds of thousands of men and women across our country, and keep the lights on from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. Here in Louisiana, we proudly serve as the gateway to the Gulf, the front door to the boundless energy potential miles off of our coast and thousands of feet under the water’s surface. We proudly do a job that other states refuse to do; a job that literally fuels America.

GEST is pleased to help promote this rebirth of the Gulf as America’s energy workhorse, as well as the thousands of men and women who go to work each day to provide power to our people.

Hats off to all of you!

Read More: Here

Billionaire Swindlers Line Up for ObamaCare Cash

July 17, 2013
By Michael Volpe 

An information technology (IT) company in line to bid on billions in new contracts as a result of ObamaCare is the subject of a growing list of scandals and investigations in which its alleged that, among a number of abuses, the company has produced low ball bids in order to win Medicaid related contracts, only to create overages that balloon the expense of the project as it is implemented.

The name of the company is Client Network Services, Inc (CNSI) and it’s headquartered in Maryland. The company will be able to bid on billions in new ObamaCare-related IT contracts because, in order for states to receive new grants for expanded Medicaid rolls, ObamaCare requires states to have IT systems that are able to share data at so-called finger-tip access. Because most states have antiquated systems, such overhauls will often require the assistance of companies like CNSI.

In March, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal canceled one such contract between CNSI and his state after it came to light that a federal grand jury was investigating the relationship between one of his top aides and CNSI.

Front Page Magazine interviewed Tom Aswell, a blogger and author from Louisiana with more than three decades of news experience. Aswell has been writing about the case from the beginning.

Aswell said he first became aware something was amiss in June 2011, when Bruce Greenstein went before the Louisiana Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to be confirmed as the secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), the equivalent of the US Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary.

During the proceedings, things became contentious and confusing when Greenstein refused to divulge the recipient of a contract to upgrade the State of Louisiana’s antiquated computer system, which electronically processed Medicaid health care claims.

Greenstein went back and forth with lawmakers for quite a while before he finally admitted it was CNSI, his own former employer. He assured the state legislators at that hearing that he created a firewall between himself and his former employer during the contractual process.

That turned out not to be true, and, instead, in March 2013, news was leaked that a federal grand jury was investigating the potentially illegal relationship between Greenstein and CNSI during the process in which this contract was awarded.

Once that came to light, not only did Jindal cancel the contract, but Greenstein resigned shortly after. Aswell said that all sorts of issues were raised with CNSI’s bid ($194 million), and a number of people in the media raised concerns that CNSI would not be able to achieve the contract for the pre-arranged price.

In 2012, Southeast Michigan Healthcare Information Exchange (SEMHIE), a multi-stakeholder initiative trying to integrate a health information exchange throughout southeast Michigan, sued CNSI for breach of contract after CNSI allegedly failed to provide SEMHIE with prior agreed upon software. An email was left unreturned by SEMHIE for this story. Jennifer Bahrami, press secretary for CNSI, also didn’t respond to an email for comment for this story.

In 2011, CNSI was accused of lowballing a contract in South Dakota, only to have expenses increase exponentially as the project wore on. A local story on the affair explained:

The South Dakota Department of Social Services has paid $49.7 million so far for a new Medicaid processing system that at this point remains inoperable.

The original contract was for $62.7 million, but the new system is now expected to cost far in excess of $80 million to complete and will take two to three more years to get running, according to court documents filed as part of a lawsuit between the contractor and the department.

The most in-depth investigation of CNSI occurred in Maine in 2006, and it was conducted by the magazine CIO, a journal for IT professionals. In that piece, CIO concluded that not only did CNSI’s system end up costing 20% more than the company’s originally bid, but its implementation was a logistical nightmare.

The department’s Bureau of Medical Services, which runs the Medicaid program, was being deluged with hundreds of calls from doctors, dentists, hospitals, health clinics and nursing homes, angry because their claims were not being paid. The new system had placed most of the rejected claims in a ‘suspended’ file for forms that contained errors.

Tens of thousands of claims representing millions of dollars were being left in limbo.

About 15 IT staffers and about 4 dozen employees from CNSI, the contractor hired to develop the system—were working 12-hour days, writing software fixes and performing adjustments so fast that Hitchings knew that key project management guidelines were beginning to fall by the wayside. And nothing seemed to help.

Because CNSI is a private company, their financials aren’t published, and thus, the exact amount of business it does with our government isn’t known. Furthermore, because most IT-related Medicaid contracts are done on the state level, tracking the amount of IT business that ObamaCare will create is also very difficult to do. It is clear that one company that should be happy with the implementation of ObamaCare is CNSI because it is without a doubt a boon to a company like it. The company’s behavior before and during the implementation of ObamaCare should therefore be watched very carefully and Front Page Magazine intends to do so.

Source

Gulf of Mexico: Harvey Gulf to Build LNG Marine Fueling Facility in Port Fourchon

Harvey Gulf International Marine CEO, Shane Guidry, announced that Harvey Gulf has secured plans to construct and operate the first LNG marine fueling facility in the United States, to be located at its vessel facility in Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The fueling facility will be a vital addition to the growing national LNG supply infrastructure, supporting critical operations of the oil and gas industry’s offshore support vessel fleet operating on clean burning LNG.

Mr. Guidry commented: “To date, Harvey Gulf is the only company in North America that has committed $400M USD to build, own and operate LNG powered offshore support vessels as we’ll as two LNG fueling docks. It is clear that Harvey Gulf’s entire organization is committed to do its part to help reduce our impact on the environment.”

To support the development of the LNG fueling facility, Harvey Gulf has secured CH•IV International of Houston, Texas as the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor. The facility will consist of two sites each having 270,000 gallons of LNG storage capacity. The tanks will be stainless steel Type ‘C’ pressure vessels with vacuum insulation and carbon steel exteriors. Each facility will be able to transfer 500 gallons of LNG per minute. Aside from the facilities primary role of supporting the Oil and Gas Industry, the facility will be capable of supporting over-the-road vehicles that operate on LNG. The estimate to complete the first site is February 2014, with the second site following shortly thereafter.

Expanding on its commitment to safety and security of vessel operations and port facilities, Harvey Gulf has actively enlisted the expertise of the USCG to participate at all levels of the development of this facility. Mr. Guidry noted “the success of our LNG new build program would not be possible without the gracious cooperation and commitment of the USCG personnel.”

Harvey Gulf also announced the signing of a 6th Offshore Support Vessel to be built at Gulf Coast Shipyard Group (formerly Trinity Offshore) in Gulfport, MS. With this 6th vessel, Harvey Gulf will become the largest owner and operator of LNG powered OSV’s in the world. These OSV’s represent an ongoing collaborative effort by the vessel designer, Harvey Gulf, ABS and the USCG to develop the most environmentally friendly OSV’s that will operate in the Gulf of Mexico, complying with the stringent ABS Enviro+ notation. With 43 persons on board, the vessels, carrying over 16,000 Bbls of liquid mud, 10,000 cu.ft. of dry cement and 1,500 Bbls of Methanol, are 302′x64′x24.5′ with 7,530 installed kW powering 2,700 kW z-drives.

Source

Gulf of Mexico: Shell Invests in GoM Stones Project

Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) today announces a final investment decision in the Stones ultra-deepwater project, a Gulf of Mexico oil and gas development expected to host the deepest production facility in the world.

This decision sets in motion the construction and fabrication of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel and subsea infrastructure. The development will start with two subsea production wells tied back to the FPSO vessel, followed later by six additional production wells. This first phase of development is expected to have annual peak production of 50,000 boe/d from more than 250 million boe of recoverable resources. The Stones field has significant upside potential and is estimated to contain over 2 billion boe of oil in place.

“This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to usher in the next generation of deepwater developments, which will deliver more production growth in the Americas,” said John Hollowell, Executive Vice President for Deepwater, Shell Upstream Americas. “We will continue our leadership in safe, innovative deepwater operations to help meet the growing demand for energy in the US.”

The Stones field is located in 9,500 feet (2,896 meters) of water, approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, and was discovered in 2005. The project encompasses eight US Federal Outer Continental Shelf lease blocks in the Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary geologic trend. Shell has been one of the pioneers in the Lower Tertiary, establishing first production in the play from its Perdido Development.

An FPSO design was selected to safely develop and produce this ultra-deepwater discovery, while addressing the relative lack of infrastructure, seabed complexity, and unique reservoir properties. With an FPSO, tankers will transport oil from the Stones FPSO to US refineries, and gas will be transported by pipeline.

The launch of the Stones development is a key milestone as Shell continues to grow deepwater exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico, having made significant progress recently on the Mars-B development project with the arrival of the Olympus tension leg platform. Shell is also in the concept selection phase for the Appomattox and Vito discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell holds 100% interest and will operate the Stones development.

Source

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