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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Liberal Blogs and AM 950 Peddle Right-Wing Foundation's Transportation Snake Oil

The Reason Foundation released a report this week about congestion.

I haven't read the "study" because I'm all too familiar with the Reason Foundation's pro-highway, anti-transit snake oil. The emphasis on "congestion" is what signals that this is yet another bogus "study" from an oil, highway or automobile industry-financed "think tank".

The idea that we can "build our way out of congestion" is absurd. Los Angeles tried that and it obviously hasn't worked. Congestion happens. Most rational transportation planning provides choices for people to opt out of single occupancy vehicles stuck on congested highways. Those choices include investing in rail transit and other alternatives... but the Reason Foundation is against investing in rail transit.


A very likely explanation is that the Reason Foundation is funded and supported by the automobile and petroleum industry.

One of funders of the Reason Institute is the Koch Family Foundation. Billionaire David H. Koch sits on the Board of Trustees for the Reason Foundation.

Who is David H. Koch? From Sourcewatch:

David H. Koch is one of the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. With his brother, Charles G. Koch, he runs the Koch Family Foundations, one of the largest single sources of funding for conservative organizations in the United States.

Koch Industries received a $30,000,000.00 criminal fine in March 2000:

"$30 Million Settlement Approved - US v Koch U. S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore approved the Department of Justice and State of Texas' settlement with Koch Industries for $30 million in civil penalties and an additional $5 million in supplemental environmental projects to be funded by Koch. This is the largest penalty imposed on a company under federal environmental laws, and is based upon spills of at least 41,000 barrels of oil and other petroleum, resulting in over three hundred violations of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in six states. The largest single spill was approximately100,000 gallons of crude oil which caused a 12-mile oil slick on Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. Eroded and broken pipelines caused the spills. Six of the spills were into ponds, lakes and rivers." [1]

During the 1990s, the firm's faulty pipelines were responsible for more than 300 oil spills in five states, prompting a penalty of $35 million. In 1996, a flawed pipeline caused an explosion outside of Dallas in which two teenagers were killed. In a lawsuit related to the deaths, a trial court returned a judgment of $376.69 million against the company.

Speaking of Koch's pipelines, The Saint Cloud Times had a story this week about Koch asking big government to use eminent domain to condemn private property to make way for one of their nasty pipelines.

A pipeline company has started condemnation proceedings against Central Minnesota landowners who haven't signed agreements allowing a new oil pipeline to cross their property.

But, isn't the Reason Foundation against eminent domain?...they say they are.

More about Koch and their pipelines:
Koch Industries benefits from this project. They are the largest, most profitable private company in the world. They had revenues last year of $60 billion. Koch is active in politics, lobbying, making political contributions, and also through grants, foundations, and sponsorships such as the Cato Institute.

I was amazed and disappointed that AM 950's Minnesota Matters devoted an entire hour on the Reason Foundation's transportation "study" and both Minnesota Monitor and MN Publius had posts about it. Next time they want to write and talk about transportation, they should call up the the Sierra Club and Transit for Livable Communities instead.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

King Banian's Apology

From Lawrence Schumacher's SC Times Blog:

Meantime, there's an excellent blogfight going on right now between two St. Cloud area bloggers, King Banaian and Hal Kimball, that I'd really like to comment on but I can't at the moment.

The squabble revolves around an applicant for the Minnesota State College and Universities Board of Trustees named Luke Hellier, a St. John's University graduate. You should check it out if you haven't heard about it yet.

UPDATE: Apparently, the fight is over. King has left the field of battle and the day goes to Prince Hal.

The last paragraph of King Banian's apology:

My obligation is to the university in this regard. To them, I apologize for any confusion I may have caused in mistaking Hal as an ex-student. While I believe I took due care to ascertain his status, it is nevertheless my mistake for which I will take responsibility. I have communicated my regrets to Hal, who has been gracious in his reply. I will write no more on this matter, and I will clarify my mistake on the air next Saturday.

Read the entire post at SCSU Scholars.

Michael Brodkob and King Banian Talking About Hellier and Hunting

The podcast of King & Korb's Luke Hellier rant-fest is up on their archive.

A reader has this observation:

"Remember the screed about lefties attacking Luke because he was holding a "rifle" in that picture? And won't deer hunters be mad?

I looked at the firearm and thought it was probably a shotgun (in much of the agricultural part of the state, the DNR allows deer hunting only with slugs & shotguns). I had an expert look at the piciture: indeed, a shotgun.

Pretty entertaining to listen to a vegetarian college professor and a suburban political operative do the he-man thing about hunting on air. LOL."

Monday, June 25, 2007

The King and Korb vs Hal Kimball

Some damage control from King and Korb.

But, Hal Kimball has the last word.

Still no podcast of Banian's rant on the NARN radio show archives.

But, you can still listen to King Banian ranting and raving HERE.

Spotty at The Cucking Stool puts it all in perspective.

UPDATE: Korb is re-hashing the bashing he and King gave Hal Kimball.