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/ …
El Paso, TX :: ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas, Mexican Authorities Confirm
APRIL 14, 2015
ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.
The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.
During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.
Law enforcement and intelligence sources report the area around Anapra is dominated by the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel (“Juárez Cartel”), La Línea (the enforcement arm of the cartel) and the Barrio Azteca (a gang originally formed in the jails of El Paso). Cartel control of the Anapra area make it an extremely dangerous and hostile operating environment for Mexican Army and Federal Police operations.
According to these same sources, “coyotes” engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.
Mexican intelligence sources report that ISIS intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). The sources also say that ISIS has “spotters” located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations. ISIS is conducting reconnaissance of regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM.
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
Obama Breeds Rebellion Among the States
By Alan Caruba
The resistance to Obamacare is writing a new chapter in U.S. history. It may well become the most unpopular law since Prohibition became an Amendment to the Constitution in 1919. By 1933, another Amendment repealed it.
Obamacare passed by a straight Democratic party vote on Christmas Eve in 2009. No Republican voted for it and, as one poll recently revealed, a third of Americans are still unaware it is the law of the land. A divided Supreme Court gave it a pass, calling it a tax, but it is a profoundly unconstitutional law insofar as the federal government may not pass a law that requires Americans to purchase something and to fine them if they do not. It is also playing havoc with the economy, delaying recovery as it deters hiring and encourages firing.
Nonetheless, a number of states have gone on record seeking to nullify its enforcement and some are doing the same as regards gun control. Arizona became famous when it passed its own immigration law in response to the federal government’s failure to protect its border with Mexico. The proposed “Gang of Eight” immigration law is facing stiff opposition for its various provisions, most of which do not address the central issue of security on the southern border.
How out of touch is the President? He went to Mexico and blamed the violence arising from its drug cartels on America, saying “Most of the guns used here to commit violence came from America.” He made no mention of the scandalous “Fast and Furious” scheme in which the ATF actually ran guns into Mexico, claiming they would track them. It took an executive order to throw a blanket of silence over it and a compliant media to ignore that scandal.
It is, however, Obamacare that poses the greatest threat to the nation, intruding on the patient-doctor relationship, robbing billions from Medicare to pay for it, requiring states to fund more Medicaid when many are strapped to meet other needs, and putting 16% of the nation’s economy under federal control.
A total of twenty-seven states have filed suit against Obamacare. Two federal judges have upheld its individual mandate to purchase health insurance and two others have ruled that it is unconstitutional.
Twelve states have introduced versions of the Federal Health Care Nullification Act that was drafted by the Tenth Amendment Center. They include Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Alabama, and Maine. All declare that Obamacare is “hereby declared to be invalid, shall not be recognized, is specifically rejected, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect.”
In South Carolina, on May 1st, the state House passed a bill that declares the bill null and void and goes a step further, criminalizing its implementation. Earlier Governor Nikki Haley, in her state of the state address, said that South Carolina does not want and cannot afford Obamacare, saying of the President’s namesake, “not now, not ever.”
The following day, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback sent a letter in response to Attorney General Eric Holder’s opposition to its Second Amendment Protection Act, declaring it unconstitutional; essentially tell him to piss off. “The people of Kansas,” said the Governor, “have clearly expressed their sovereign will.” The same day, Missouri passed a comparable law protecting the Second Amendment.
Not since the years leading up to the Civil War was kicked off on December 20, 1860 when South Carolina voted for secession, has there been such open resistance to the mandates of the federal government by the states on a range of issues. Earlier, in 1832, President Andrew Jackson had threatened to send troops to South Carolina to enforce federal laws.
Nullification, however, will not succeed as a means to rid the nation of Obamacare. To Obama’s dismay, his gun control law failed in Congress when even members of his party joined in voting against it. The fate of immigration reform remains unknown but it will come to a vote soon enough.
The reason why nullification will fail is embedded in the Constitution. The Supremacy Clause states “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be found thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary, notwithstanding.”
That has not discouraged the legislatures of many states from expressing their opposition to Obamacare, intrusions on the Second Amendment right of citizens to bear arms, and to demand the federal government enforce the laws regarding its borders.
There isn’t a constitutional scholar that does not support the Supremacy Clause. The Heritage Foundation has a policy paper on the subject of nullification that says “there is no clause or implied power in either the national or the various state constitutions that enables states to veto federal laws unilaterally.”
The states, though, can express their displeasure and their opposition to federal laws and that is what lies at the heart of the spate of nullification laws that have been passed. As sovereign republics, the states can and do express themselves and, through their elected Senators and Representatives, have the power in concert to repeal obnoxious and injurious federal laws.
That will be the fate of Obamacare.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
Posted by Alan Caruba at 3:01 PM
VIDEO: Shell’s Olympus TLP Arrival to Texas
In the following video, see the Shell’s Olympus TLP hull arrive in Texas following the long journey from South Korea. The approximately 32,500 metric ton main body of the Olympus TLP, arrived in Texas two weeks ago.
The installation of the topsides will now take place before the TLP departs for its final location on the Mars Field in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mars Field, owned by Shell (71.5%) and BP (28.5%), and operated by Shell, continues to contribute to the Gulf of Mexico’s position as a critical component of the US energy supply. Discovered in 1989 and brought onto production in 1996, the Mars Field is considered one of the largest resource basins in the Gulf of Mexico. The site for the Olympus TLP, known as the Mars B development, is located about 130-miles south of New Orleans in the Mississippi Canyon and lies in approximately 3000 feet of water.
The Olympus TLP, Shell’s sixth and largest tension leg platform, will also provide process infrastructure for two of Shell’s deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos.
VIDEO of Shell’s Olympus TLP Arrival to Texas| Offshore Energy Today.
Corpus Christi, TX: Pangea Receives Permission to Export LNG
The U.S. Department of Energy has granted Pangea LNG Holdings, LLC, long-term, multi-contract authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to free trade agreement (FTA) nations from its South Texas LNG Project currently in development on Corpus Christi Bay.
Pangea LNG will be authorized to export up to 8 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG produced from domestic gas fields for a 25-year term commencing on the date of its first export. That amount is equal to 1.09 Bcf/day of natural gas.
Pangea LNG has also filed an application with DOE requesting authorization to export LNG to any country with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement in effect. That application, which was filed in December, is pending.
“Approval by the US DOE is a positive step forward for this project, which represents a significant investment in the development of the LNG market in the U.S.,” said John Godbold, Pangea LNG project director. “Exporting LNG will help stabilize U.S. natural gas prices, grow and sustain drilling and production jobs, and stimulate additional investment in developing the country’s gas reserves.”
DOE approval of FTA authorization is part of the regulatory process necessary to develop Pangea LNG’s new LNG export terminal on a 550-acre site. The site is located on the 45-foot deep La Quinta Ship Channel which is part of the Port of Corpus Christi, the sixth busiest U.S. seaport in terms of tonnage.
The South Texas LNG Project is subject to federal, state and local regulatory approvals with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) acting as the lead federal agency. Pangea will begin the FERC pre-filing process by the second quarter of 2013 and expects the project to be in operation by at least 2018.
FTA countries covered by the DOE authorization include Republic of Korea, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru and Singapore.
Pangea LNG B.V. is a holding company with two major LNG export projects under development – the South Texas LNG Export Project on the Texas Gulf Coast and the Tamar Project in the Eastern Mediterranean. Pangea LNG is a developer of liquefaction projects which are designed to accelerate and support the monetization of gas reserves.
USA: Pangea Receives Permission to Export LNG LNG World News.
Corpus Christi, TX: Extension Project on La Quinta Channel Underway
Construction is currently underway at the La Quinta Channel Extension Project in Nueces County, Texas.
Work includes deepening the channel extension and creating a beneficial use site with a scheduled completion of July 2013.
More: Dredging Today – USA: Extension Project on La Quinta Channel Underway.
Kinder Morgan to Buy Copano Energy for USD 5 Billion (USA)
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Copano Energy announced a definitive agreement whereby KMP will acquire all of Copano’s outstanding units for a total purchase price of approximately $5 billion, including the assumption of debt.
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, will be a 100 percent unit for unit transaction with an exchange ratio of .4563 KMP units per Copano unit. The consideration to be received by Copano unitholders is valued at $40.91 per Copano common unit based on KMP’s closing price as of Jan. 29, 2013, representing a 23.5 percent premium to Copano’s close on Jan. 29, 2013.
The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval and a vote of the Copano unitholders. TPG, Copano’s largest unitholder (owning over 14 percent of its outstanding equity), has agreed to support the transaction.
Copano, a midstream natural gas company with operations primarily in Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming, provides comprehensive services to natural gas producers, including natural gas gathering, processing, treating and natural gas liquids fractionation. Copano owns an interest in or operates about 6,900 miles of pipelines with 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas throughput capacity and 9 processing plants with more than 1 Bcf/d of processing capacity and 315 million cubic feet per day of treating capacity.
“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Copano, a company that we know very well and have partnered with through the years, as this transaction will enable us to significantly expand our midstream services footprint,” said KMP Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder. “As a result of this acquisition, we will be able to pursue incremental development in the Eagle Ford Shale play in south Texas, gain entry into the Barnett Shale Combo in north Texas and the Mississippi Lime and Woodford Shales in Oklahoma. We continue to be bullish on the domestic shale plays and believe they will drive substantial future growth at KMP. Copano’s assets are very complementary to ours, as KMP is principally a pipeline transportation and storage company, while Copano is primarily a fee-based gathering, processing and fractionation player. Broadening our midstream assets will allow us to offer a wider array of services to our customers.”
“We are excited to have reached this agreement with KMP, which delivers a significant premium to our unitholders that is reflective of the strength and potential of our business and provides an ownership interest in a highly diversified industry leader with an impressive history of sustained distribution growth,” said Copano President and CEO R. Bruce Northcutt. “Through this transaction, Copano will become part of a larger, investment grade organization with stable cash flows and the financial resources to fund our increasing number of high-return growth projects. We are committed to continuing to support our customers with the highest quality service, and expect that KMP’s size and scale will allow us to provide even more value for customers. In addition, we expect this combination will provide opportunities for our many talented employees. We look forward to completing this transaction and to building significant long-term value for all of our stakeholders as part of KMP.”
“Copano is already executing on a substantial backlog of expansion projects for which it has secured customer commitments and is exploring a significant amount of projects incremental to these,” Kinder added. “Given the growth in cash flow that will come from the projects already in progress with existing customer commitments, we expect the multiple of EBITDA paid for Copano to decline to the very low double digits over the next few years and considering the growth opportunities beyond that, we expect continued attractive EBITDA growth from these assets thereafter.”
The acquisition of Copano is expected to be accretive to cash available for distribution to KMP unitholders upon closing. The general partner of KMP, Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), has agreed to forego a portion of its incremental incentive distributions in 2013 in an amount dependent on the time of closing. Additionally, KMI intends to forgo $120 million in 2014, $120 million in 2015, $110 million in 2016 and annual amounts thereafter decreasing by $5 million per year from this level. The transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to KMP in 2013, given the partial year, and about $0.10 per unit accretive for at least the next five years beginning in 2014.
“Copano’s cash flow is largely and increasingly fee based, and our accretion projections are based on commodity prices consistent with the current forward curve for the portion that is sensitive to commodity prices,” Kinder explained.
The acquisition will be immediately accretive to KMI’s cash available to pay dividends, even after KMI foregoes a portion of the incremental incentive distributions this transaction is expected to produce. The increase in KMI’s cash available to pay dividends (net of the amounts voluntarily foregone) is expected to be approximately $25 million in 2014 growing to approximately $70 million in 2016.
“We anticipate retaining the vast majority of Copano’s approximately 415 employees,” Kinder said. “This transaction is about producing future cash flow and expanding our midstream services footprint.”
Upon closing, KMP will own 100 percent of Eagle Ford Gathering (currently a joint venture with Copano), which provides gathering, transportation and processing services to natural gas producers in the Eagle Ford Shale. Eagle Ford Gathering comprises approximately 400 miles of pipelines (including its capacity rights in certain KMP pipelines) with capacity to gather and process over 700,000 MMBtu/day.
Citi acted as financial advisor for KMP and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and Bracewell & Giuliani acted as legal counsel to KMP. Barclays Capital Inc. and Jefferies & Company, Inc. provided financial advisory services to Copano and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz acted as legal counsel to Copano.
- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners to buy Copano Energy (fuelfix.com)
- Kinder Morgan Energy buying Copano for $3.2B (seattlepi.com)