Sunday, September 11, 2016

Response to Pinnacol's CEO Kalin's Amendment 69 bashing letter.

Phil Kalin Pinnacol Assurance president and CEO has been going around Colorado writing self-serving letters and articles denouncing Amendment 69 the ColoradoCare health care reform amendment on this November's ballot.  I'm responding to the letter he had published in the September 8th issue of the Durango Telegraph and titled "Amendment 69 and workers comp." I have made the effort to incline footnotes with links to further information for your convenience.

Update, with more shocking research I realized there's way more information out there that people ought to be aware of than I can handle here at citizenschallenge.blogspot.
Therefore I've started a new information packed blog, Memes Courier, Election 2016.  If this topic interests you, you'll want to check out that collection of resources, with more to come.  (9/12/2016)

Having direct experience with Pinnacol Assurance practices I found their CEO Phil Kalin’s self-serving Amendment 69 bashing letter to the Durango Telegraph (Sept. 8) rather fascinating and I’d like to respond to him.

In his first sentence Phil Kalin voices his opinion: “Is there any question about the damage Amendment 69 would do (to Colorado’s Worker’s Comp program)?” He simply presents this query as a self-evident truth and moved on. But what is it that would be damaged? Worker’s Comp or Pinnacol Assurance’s cozy profitable arrangement?
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Irene Aguilar, M.D. Colorado State Senator and Primary Care Physician

Yes on Amendment 69: ColoradoCare makes sense economically

Knopf: Slaying myths around ColoradoCare and single-payer health care (column)
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Mind you, this is the same Pinnacol Assurance that was taken to task by Colorado legislators for having an excessive profits driven culture of refusing claims. Then reprimanded for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an executive golf vacation to Pebble Beach, giving 4.3 million in golden parachutes to 12 outgoing executives and other excessive bonuses.
See footnotes ¶3
Pinnacol Assurance | Performance Audit May 2010 
Colo. lawmakers question bonuses paid by insurer 
Audit: Pinnacol shows abuses  
More Scandal Ahead for Pinnacol?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Follow up on Tri-State's LPEA waiver request

I wrote the following as a "Letter to the Editor" in the weekly Durango Telegraph 
(8/18/2016) about the Tri-State, LPEA waiver request which seems to be fizzling out - pending yet another round of appeals and lawyerly bickering.  What remains is Tri-State Generation and Transmission unwavering commitment to suppressing regional alternative energy resource development.   
Our local LaPlata Electrical Association is but one of over forty co-ops that Tri-State supplies.  Tri-State is but one of 65 Generation and Transmission CO-OPs supplying 840 distribution co-ops across America.  Too many are still run by dinosaurs committed to yesteryear's realities, while ignoring the changes happening upon our only Earth.
What's important is that these distribution co-ops are member owned, meaning the public is welcome to attend their monthly board of directors meetings.   
Inform yourself, and help educate others, be a citizen's lobbyist.  One informed, honest, communicative individual can make a difference, even if that individual doesn't realize it yet.  But you'll never know until you go. 
Back in June there was a bunch of excitement about the LPEA board of directors considering signing a negotiation-waiver with Tri-State Generation and Transmission the supplier of the electricity that LPEA co-op distributes.  The waiver stipulates that Tri-State would be primary negotiator on contracts with all future alternative energy ventures. 

Basically Tri-State’s waiver would result in relegating LPEA to the position of an impotent, but vital, junior partner in all future forays into developing regional alternate energy sources.  The problem with this plan is that Tri-State has a long history of being hostile towards alternate energy development.  What alternative energy development Tri-State is involved in is minimal, forced, and more focused on PR mileage then on genuine commitment to develop alternate energy sources.  Coal remains their game and strangling expansion of alternate energy seems their business model.

In support of my opinion I offer a couple pieces of evidence. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dieter Miesler (7/20/1925 - 5/22/2006), obituary

This is a follow on to the previous post.  It's necessary because certain individuals who don't have any legitimate responses to my pointed critiques, go for the only thing they have - dirt slinging.  Poptech was more than happy to supply a narrative for like minded louts.  Basically, he claims my dad was a Nazi and that I'm a guilt-riddled drug-addict taking it out on those poor climate science contrarians who are only doing their duty of striving to stupefy our public and leaders.

It's fabrication by little minds who reject learning about the climate science and who have made it their duty to demonize anyone who is interested in conveying what scientists have learned about what we are doing to our one and only planet Earth.  Since my position free's me of the constraint students and scientists exist under - I feel it my duty to keep exposing the malicious dishonest underbelly of the double-standard of our current climate science education dialogue.  

But, right now the issue is maliciously slandering my dad in order to demonize me.  Thing is, I had wonderful dad!  Not perfect, but better than most, and way the heck more interesting than any of my friends' dads.

Dieter Werner Miesler (7/20/1925 - 5/22/2006) 
Durango resident Dieter Werner Miesler died in Durango from complications of pneumonia and longstanding Parkinson's disease on Monday, May 22, 2006. He was 80. 
He was born to Helmut and Olga Miesler in Breslau, Germany, on July 20, 1925. His family said he was artistically inclined. He became a self-taught musician, writer and photographer. By his late teens, he played the bass, cello and piano.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

On building stairs and integrity.

Recently over at Center For Inquiry's forum which I frequent regularly, I was confronted with another joker repeating Poptech's conjured description of me as a guilt-riddled strung-out druggie and lost soul.  Poptech's slander is his way of responding to my fact checking, critiquing and challenging his claims.  Others of his persuasion have been quick to embrace the bull-pucky.

It seems that every few weeks some new joker finds Poptech's article and gleefully grabs his ammunition and blasts aways at me in the middle of some other discussion.  That they are dealing with figments of their own imagination matters not one wit to them - it's character assassination they're interested in.

What else is there for someone who consistently misrepresents serious climate science?  They sure don't have solid evidence on their side.  Nor do they have the requisite intellectual curiosity to learn about the things they don't understand.  When something confuses them, assume the worst, with ignorant certitude.

Distraction is their game.  Marginalize the messenger and marginalize the message.  Spend all your time wrestling with ad hominems and there's no time to talk about our real world situation.  Go straight for the jugular of your opponent with anything you can conjure.  

There's a certain level of sick humor in reading how these minds can spin facts into tailor-made fictions - but of course, in the end all they want is to destroy any opponent in order to stifle fundamental climate science education - no commitment to honesty, or integrity, or respect for others.  Tragically absolutism and paranoia driven resentment seems all their hearts are capable of.

Admitting to and learning from mistakes is treated like blasphemy by the Republican contrarian crowd.  Nothing funny about that either.

It's irrational, irritating, stupefying and it certainly demands some sort of comeback.  But, I’m not into Poptech’s, or LandscapesandCycles' Jim Steele's or NC20 Burton’s style of childish messenger bashing. 

Still, since they want to get down and personal, I can respond with something personal.  Consider it another character reference . . . . . . . 

It started as a note to a friend . . .

Hey D, I never did tell you the end of the story regarding those stairs.  As you might remember last autumn I had me a hernia.  It took months longer to get repaired than it should have, towards the end of that run I was actually invalided, bed to recliner, no lifting.  Innards all funky.  Not fun.  Feeling every bit of my sixty years and reconciling myself to the end of my sweet vigorous years.  Among other dark thoughts was the realization that my carpentry days were totally behind me now.  Which they are, but to ponder that I’d never be able to climb walls again, or help set beams and rafters, or one of my favorites building stairs - that's a different thing from choosing not to do it.  A proud physical old man wrestles with those realities as the 'diminishing' advances with the years.  

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thoughts on the GOP platform and Rev. Burns message

The GOP Convention gave me a reason to read the 2016 Republican Platform which is the distillation of their rank and file’s world outlook along with their wish list, so it’s worth paying attention to. I had intended to report on it’s sketchy content.  Instead, I found myself overwhelmed by their attitude, which needs to be considered before the content can make sense.

For someone like me, a liberty loving rationalist who’s into the scientific enlightenment, the one that rescued humanity from religious superstition, someone who believes in evidence-based constructive learning about each other and this Earth from which we were born and which we shall all die back into, it’s a horrific document.

What made it especially frightening is its absolute self-certainty, along with a disregard, if not hatred, for all who are outside of their religious/philosophical tribe. It reads like there’s no more room for reason with this new Republican crowd, it’s their way or else, consequences be damned.

Here’s how they start: “We believe in American exceptionalism. We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth.” This sounds more like over-compensating barroom braggadocio than any sort of serious adult contemplation about our complicated world and USA’s place in it.

“Exceptionalism”? America certainly is unlike any other country in the world, but does that make us, its citizens, superior to all other peoples on our planet? Isn’t that totally counter to what our Declaration of Independence declares - “All men are created equal” and all of that.

Here it’s worth pointing out what most overlook - it’s not we who made our country exceptional. It was the land and resource cornucopia our pioneering forebears found from sea to shining sea. The land and its opportunities made us an exceptional people! It was not the other way around! Yet, the GOP willfully ignores such physical and historical realities.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Encouraging electric co-ops to resist Tri-State's hobbles.

Encouraging co-ops to look to renewables

Peter Miesler
Four Corners Free Press
July 2016 | page 20
{My previous post provides an introduction and the background for this FCFP column}

It started with an email that read: La Plate Electric Association’s board of directors is meeting on June 15 to consider a blanket waiver giving Tri-State Generation and Transmission, our power provider, the right to be the primary negotiator of ALL our renewable energy projects going forward. Given Tri-State’s reliance on coal, given how it is stonewalling affordable solar and other renewables …”

The email’s plea was simple, if you care about developing renewable energy, get informed, write the LPEA's BoD, and attend the upcoming June Board of Directors meeting at 9AM for your short opportunity to speak and share concerns.

My curiosity roused, I started ‘googling’ and reading related articles that pieced together an interesting regional story worth sharing. To understand what happened at LPEA this past month, you need to go back to the 1978 passage of PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act) which mandated electrical co-ops such as LPEA start purchasing some of their power from renewable energy sources.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission tries hobbling LPEA's renewable energy options

I submitted a column to the Four Corners Free Press for their July issue reporting on La Plata Electric Association's board of directors considering the forfeiture of their future negotiation rights on renewable energy projects to notoriously renewable energy hostile Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

Researching that column I came upon many informative articles that I didn't have the space to credit, so I've decided to collect the better ones and share a few key quotes from each for easy reference. 

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June 14. 2016
By Jessica Pace Herald staff writer
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June 15. 2016
By Jessica Pace Herald staff writer
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6/15/2016 - LPEA Statement
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June 21, 2016
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February 18, 2016
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July 10, 2015
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April 2, 2015
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June 19, 2009