Tag Archives: John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper shows Animas River mine waste is as drinkable as fracking fluid.

Gov. John Hickenlooper drinks from Animas River
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper put on his usual demonstration of drinking a bottle of contaminated water to show that the Animas River is just as potable as FRACKING FLUID. What he has really shown is that the mine waste which the EPA un-dammed from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River was toxic enough to kill GIARDIA. Who drinks river water in Colorado?! The EPA may have unleashed the waste seeping from a mine closed in 1928, but the extraction industry that created it is still hard at work making more.

Waldo Canyon Wildfire gives Colorado Springs a front range seat to war zone movie set, says Governor Hickenlooper


COLORADO SPRINGS- Governor Hickenlooper made the remark after touring the Waldo Canyon Fire by helicopter. After touching down on the grounds of Coronado High School, cleared mid-press-conference because it fell in the freshly designated evacuation area, the governor said the wildfire resembled the movie set of a military invasion. Predictably the media clipped his observation to just “movie set”, adding the fire chief’s “epic” and “historic”. President Obama is expected to visit the disaster zone on Friday. I wonder if he’ll match our governor’s candor. He is certainly in the position to say whether our present horror is any match for the devastation unleashed by our invasions. Perhaps he can tell us the fire’s equivalency in drone strikes. Is 100 homes a week’s worth? If President Obama wanted to be partisan about it (pretending his Democratic Party was the antiwar party) he might suggest that conservative war-mongering, race-baiting, climate-denying Colorado Springs had this front range seat coming. Unless sentimentally doused in prayer-sharing reverence, our local disaster, with Governor Hickenlooper’s unedited comment, could be an empathy-learning moment.

Hey Mike!

After last week, it seemed this entry would be a pep talk for disheartened Colorado Springs Occupiers. Instead it seems it will need to be my own mind meandering around in an attempt to make sense of the new dynamic rising from the ashes of the original manifestation we had going here, which has surely been destroyed. It feels something like a kids cabin make of Lincoln Logs or something after he knocks it over to build something else.

It’s been over a week since the City shut our permit down and confiscated our ramshackle, wind-ragged tents down at Acacia Park. After a few days of curious and somewhat disconcerting quiet, Occupiers in Colorado Springs are reconnected, reinvigorated, and in many cases really pissed off. Yesterday a contingency of us made our way to the old Venetucci Farm south of CSprings to harass Colorado’s Gov. Hickenlooper at the groundbreaking ceremony for a solar garden project of the city’s publicly owned utilities company. About 20 Occupiers of Colorado Springs mic-checked the governor and briefly disrupted the speechifying before a group that was made largely of Occupy’s natural allies, raising the ire of some attendees, but most assuredly reminding Hickenlooper that he won’t be allowed to ignore the movement simply by leaving Denver.

Some Occupiers present , including i, were ambivalent about our project. Hickenlooper is something of a liberal darling, having supported projects like the SunShare solar garden in the past, and the crowd at the event was populated by many of Colorado Springs’s “liberal” elite. The business of interrupting at these proceedings is a little sticky, and may have cost some in support for Occupy among this crowd. On the other hand, some of the issues addressed by Occupy were aptly illustrated within the very brief span of our attendance. Jerry Forte, who wrangles close to $300,000 a year for himself without considering bonuses as CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities, spent a few smooth-talking minutes going on about how cool the city’s utility non-profit is, noting the great advance the two or three dozen solar panels undergoing installation at Venetucci Farm toward his goal of deriving 20% of city power from renewable resources by 2020 represents. Gee whiz! At today’s use rates, by 2020, the world’s inhabitants, especially in the U.S., will be stabbing one another over firewood if we can survive the toxic byproducts of the petroleum industry, or the potentially nuclear wars we are preparing for our next trick in the Middle East. Hmm–wonder what gas prices will look like if the Levant and its environs are sealed under a “sea of glass.”

Forte also sits on the board at the local branch of the United Way, where Bob Holmes’s Homeward Pikes Peak brought in around $650,000 last year, and still can’t figure out how to house or manage the low-ball ,(and variable), estimate of around 1,100 homeless residents in Colorado Springs. Hickenlooper, a million dollar winner in the American sweepstakes who loves to project an aw-shucks, up-by-the-bootstrap, populist kind of image came to his ability to start restaurant empires via the petroleum industry. He presides over a state that panders shamelessly to the U.S. military and its attendant industrial complex, both of which entities these days seem to be no more than acquisition arms of the energy and financial elite about which you may have heard Occupiers railing in recent months. Mike Hannigan of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation was there, and i’m sure he was butt-hurt by the Occupiers implication by their mere presence that his organization might be elitist or something. The CC student i spoke with on the way off the farm grounds was perplexed and hurt herself, expressing solidarity with Occupy, but begging that we not “do it again, ” referring to our admittedly rather obnoxious interruption. She will likely go on from CC to join the cultured pseudo-liberal aristocracy of our guilt-laden Western catechism spinning its wheels till the Apocalypse. Hannigan manages some $50m in assets, and to be sure the foundation does some good work, but all the back-slapping and genteel coffee-sipping over a couple of ultimately meaningless solar panels sure feels a lot like John Rockefeller’s habit of passing out dimes to street urchins late in his life.

I am not accusing Hannigan, Forte, or others of comparability with Rockefeller, who made his initial fortune by arson and murder. Consider this, though. No one seems interested in whether the numbers in the mix add up to anything substantive or not. None of the serious players mentioned above have ever questioned the 1,000% spread between some of the salaries involved at CS Utilities, and when and if they do it’s generally to argue that we have to pay such ridiculous amounts to attract the “best and the brightest,” even though recent history shows plainly enough that it’s painfully obvious huge salaries hardly translate into top performance. No one scratches his head over the disconnect between the high-minded goal of CS Utilities for 20% renewable energy within minutes of the utter collapse of projected petroleum reserves. And aren’t we Americans, including especially those of us with the clout big money wields, responsible for our own politics? Are we really a bastion of freedom and intelligent, realistically utilitarian process or is all that rhetoric just a roll of dimes to cover up our guilt every time we go down to Wal-Mart to perpetuate our slave economy, without which we have never lived? What’s the disparity between Forte’s salary and the annual income of the guy that made his spiffy shoes?

Occupiers love solar projects. But nothing’s ever about just one thing, and it seems to me it’s about as rarely mostly about the thing at the top of the presentation program. We Occupiers are often accused of stupidly purveying no solid agenda. it may be apparent that at least my Occupy agenda is complicated. The above connects Big Oil, Third World labor, charitable impulse, income disparity, under-girding Western guilt, competitive job markets, and spiritual malaise, among other things, including much that remains implied. Many Occupiers i have met personally are still perturbed at the scanty portion of the American Pie they find available on their own plate. We’ve brought this whole scenario upon ourselves, though, and the current program will remain fully unsustainable whether the polite society of charity in the Pikes Peak region dismisses us over our antics or not. That’s why Occupy in general will be not so easily dislodged from its place in history.

The bitch about saying all this is i really, really like most of the people i recognized at Venetucci Farms yesterday. I like Americans in general–but man, we’ve got problems, just like the homeless guys Bob Holmes and his philosophical brethren like to try to control all the time. When i talk to those guys in line at the soup kitchen, i tell them, “Man, ya really ought to leave that dope alone a little.” They know me, and they know i love them. Really. I do–and really, they know it. They know they’re fucked up, too. Sometimes i’ll tell the most torn down that they need to leave the dope alone completely, before it kills them. That’s what i’m saying about our society here in Colorado Springs, in Colorado, the U.S.A., and the whole world. I really don’t have a beef with the bankers, politicians, and half-assed, dime-roll charities of the world, or the foolish scrabblers grasping at the American Nightmare. They’re working a system designed by haphazard evolutionary processes to favor ruthless competition. But i am saying that we need to get serious about fixing all these interwoven problems that stem from deep down in human souls, because we’re running out of time. If we lose, and everything goes to Hell in a handbasket, if none of us learn a genuinely cooperative technique for living together with ourselves, and with the Earth before she rejects us, we Occupiers will be able to tell our kids we fought the deadly processes that brought us down with everything at our disposal. Even if it’s with our dying breaths. What will those of us that insist on competing our species to death be telling theirs?

Occupy is not going away, here in Colorado Springs, or anywhere else. We’re planning more and escalating prodding at the fat, lazy system and its symbiotic remorae. We hope the World listens closely to what we’re saying and its members genuinely look inward to find that bit of truth that remains, concealed behind layers of self-deception and avarice. Because, sure, we’re pissed off about injustice–who wouldn’t be? But we also really like humans, and other living things, and we don’t want to see them all go away.

Thief of Jerusalem to speak in Denver

In Israel’s continuing PR barrage to elevate US jingoism against Iran, the regime has sent another official to lobby the Denver Jewish community. This time Mayor Hickenlooper and Governor Ritter are welcoming the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, to speak at the University of Denver. If you oppose Israel’s continued appropriation of occupied Jerusalem, which Barkat calls “the Jewish people’s eternal capital,” you’ll want to join Palestinian activists and the CFP, to protest Israel’s ongoing propaganda campaign. Come Tuesday, November 3, to the D.U. Newman Center for Performing Arts, 6PM.

C.E.L.L. house of horror indoctrination

THE CELL passcardDENVER, COLORADO-
The visitor brochure explains that THE C.E.L.L. exhibit SHATTERED LIVES is “designed to encourage critical thinking.” But a step through its doors proves it intends everything but. With a patronizing audacity beyond Orwell, these A.G.E.N.T.S. lurk with sensory trauma to infect your personal American idyll with fear.

To my mind, they’re Alarmist Goons Elevating a Nonsensical Terrorism Scare.

Picture-taking is forbidden beyond the lobby doors, but after the collage assemblage in the atrium, there’s nothing to photograph. The ticketed portion of the ride consists of crooked halls filled simply with video screens, projections, and blurbs of text on the walls; self-described “sophisticated multimedia techniques.” Monitors and kiosks are peppered throughout in multiples, as if the installation were anticipating subway-strength traffic making a beeline through; or large school groups with no freedom to move laterally.

Of course, the omniscient repetition also indoctrinates us subliminally. The TV news clips sample a half dozen terrorism incidents, Munich, Lockerbie, Nairobi, et EL AL. Remote voices accompany still photos of bloodied carnage. Fear falling shards Amidst the intonations of observers and analysts ring two repeated motifs: JFK’s mocking condemnation of terrorists, and Edmund Burke’s admonition “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Someone can’t resist that adage. I wonder if it’s true.

PUTS YOU AT THE SCENE
Before I relate the plenty creepy details, I’ll jump straight to the orchestration’s third movement. Perhaps someone else can compare the programming of THE CELL according to known indoctrination stratagems. I’ll call the third chamber the climax. Automatically-timed doors enforce a six-minute collective “immersion.” Signs warn away anyone with a weak heart, etc, although I didn’t see an alternate passage around. Neither do the doors allow anyone to pass quickly through. They release the previous group before locking to entrap the next.

( S P O I L E R – A L E R T )
Inside, a video-surround chamber simulates a camera obscura viewpoint, first we’re at a summer fair in Denver’s Civic Center Park, then outside the DAM, then a sunny morning on the 16th Street Mall. The movement of bystanders and passersby around us sometimes slows or accelerates. Until SUDDENLY –OF COURSE– we’re at the epicenter of a FURIOUS EXPLOSION and our mid-west urban tranquility is engulfed in fire. Soon enough, floating in the flames come images of urban battlefields, destruction and carnage. Eventually we can recognize the iconic photographs of Pan Am Flight 103, and the rescue of embassy employees in Kenya, about which we were just reminded in the previous chamber. Then we’re treated to a large text message which reminds us that a terrorist attack can strike “anyone, anytime, anywhere,” and we’re released into an antechamber of analysis.

Actually, claustrophobes might want to know that every segment of THE CELL is time-released. But there will be intrusive control elements to offend everyone.

PERSONALIZED ID
For starters, the entrance fee is $8, or $6 to Coloradans. Can you think of why the cost of admission would be more expensive for out-of-state visitors? I can’t. But the discount means patrons must show their ID to buy a ticket. The clerk issues a computer receipt.

Along with your ticket you get a magnetic passcard which you’re instructed to use at progressive kiosks along your route. You swipe your card to gain access to biographical information about a particular victim of terror. The first row of kiosks will reveal a first page of info, a later pod will reveal a second page, etc. No matter which kiosk, your card will only access a single bio, meaning passcards are keyed to the visitor. Mine brought up a middle aged professor whose life was shattered by terrorism. Perhaps a younger visitor would be given a passcard corresponding to a like-aged victim of “Shattered Lives.” Learning, as their own immersion into THE CELL progressed, how their adopted personage fared in THEIR brush with terrorism.

INDOCTRINATION
Let’s see. First chamber: Kennedy, Burke and multimedia barrage. Second chamber: news clips, kiosks with bio part one. Third chamber: BOOM. Fourth chamber: Rand Corporation analysts, so-called experts sitting beneath bookshelves of law books. Dershowitz and the usual talking heads that you see as FOX advisers. One important meme is the accusation that the internet is increasingly being used as a propaganda tool of the Islamists. Websites, blogs, chat rooms are suspect. Trust only the credentialed media apparently…

Two of videos in the last chamber are timed so that you have to watch one, then the other. They include snippets of the videos available at the interactive displays, in case you had chosen not to watch them. There are numerous clips from Islamic television which purport to demonstrate how Muslim children are being indoctrinated against the west.

No forewarningPHOTOGRAPHS:
Here is what greets us at the entrance of THE CELL, before we even get to the exhibit. First, flashing images of violence and victims. Next, a collage of the FACES OF TERROR. Already we are able to recognize faces from the video sequences on the first wall. (Are there so few victims of terrorism? Or are the show’s makers deliberately limiting the selection of iconic fear-triggers?)

Faces of Terror
Faces of fear. Isn’t that what “terror” means? We can project ourselves in those images. Faces forever fearful.

Bright dark future for terrorismNext a map with cross-hairs roaming at seemingly random locations “anywhere.” The text explains that acts of terrorism began in the latter 20th century, and apparently EL AL airline was its principle early target.

Definition of Terrorism
What young scholar’s essay does not begin with a “definition?” In this case the word, even more typically, is “for various political, social and cultural reasons” defies definition. How extraordinary! (It reminds me of the www.thecell.org website, which by any standard is written for under-sophisticated readers.)

Terrorism shatters lives
Here’s the exhibit’s theme, SHATTERED LIVES, adjacent the reception desk ticket counter. The wall is papered with names, resembling the black marble of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall, probably these are names from the WTC.

I was directed to take no pictures of the main installation, but I pulled my camera out again right before the exit door.

Mayor Hickenlooper says thanks
There I found Denver Mayor Hinckenlooper thanking everyone for visiting the C.E.L.L. and urging us to become active eyes and ears against the terrorist threat.

Giuliani says helloOf course, could there be any official statement about 9/11 without ex New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani weighing in? Etc, etc, and so it goes.

But I loved one of the parting shots, TV footage of Giuliani at Ground Zero in 2001 showed him wearing a mask. There’s the brave mayor making a quick round of handshakes, with workers notably not wearing any protection. Every one of those workers is now most famously dead, or suffering respiratory ailments in NYC hospices. While Giuliani still tramps around as 911 hero.

Wears mask at Ground Zero

(See previous NMT article about THE CELL.)

They had hid shit in bags!

big shitLike a carefully choreographed play, accusations by the police that they have uncovered shit and urine stockpiles by protesters has been their routine to cover up their actions at both the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions. By making these false accusations in the press, the police and politicians hope to cover up their own shitty actions against lawful protesters. What they are actually trying to do is make political dissidents in the US out to be of the same stripe as common criminals in the police torture chamber prisons around the US, thus justifying their overkill storm-trooper presence these last two weeks. Thus helping tear up all our legal protections and rights.

Sorry, Guys, it won’t work. To the world it looks like American police and government are of the same stripe as what we saw on TV in Beijing, China. Smart, Dudes! American police may still have the support of the conservatized American population as a whole, but this support will ebb if you keep these actions up for much longer.

Of note is that Denver’s Democratic Party mayor, John Hickenlooper, has joined with St. Paul’s Democratic Party mayor, Chris Coleman, in backing up these police smears in the press. The Denver Post today ran this piece of police disinformation backed up by the DP mayor of the city… Mayor: Protesters hid feces and tools Yeah, right! The real poop in bags being hidden is that of the mayor and police.

When are Democratic Party liberals going to hold their party accountable for acting like the Republicans, on behalf of the Republicans, and on behalf of abusive national policing policies? Many of you DP voting liberals are among the group of protesters being smeared with dishonest shit by these false accusations by Democratic Party mayors, so why do you take it? Shame on you and your party! All you can seem to do is scream about Sarah Palin. Democrats, you are a pathetic lot indeed. Cop talking shit!