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atomicsteve@gmail.com
Twitter: @SteveAhlquist

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

14 responses to “Burrillville residents refuse to drink tax treaty Kool-Aid”

  1. Johnnie

    I need a clarification: Did Invenergy elect the Town Council and Manager, and hire the town’s lawyers to represent them? If not, they sure could have fooled me.
    The people of Burrillville are receiving a painful civics lesson as to whom the politicians work for, one they were never taught in school.

    I wrote this recently and would like to share it here, If I’m allowed. It speaks to the issue above.

    Dismiss most of what the presidential candidates have promised because it is essentially feel-good talk. Whomever is elected will ultimately serve the underlying economic order, as it is in every country, and it cannot be any other way.

    Producers are in competition not only within countries but between countries. To compete profitably they must continually cut costs, revolutionize production and expand market share, or be taken over or driven under by their competitors. They have no choice. The profit-driven logic and dynamic of capitalism, and its all-against-all compulsions and demands, is what drives and shapes the world’s social relations and order. The self-serving and competitive nature of capitalism also explains why people lie and deceive, and continually seek an advantage over others, and why our concerns do not extend much beyond family. The strong pull of advanced capitalism, and those who benefit, creates willful blindness, pathological self-absorption and denial about the world we are leaving our children and posterity.

    This system is what gives rise to never-ending wars, climate disruptions and the despoliation of the earth’s ecosystem. It cannot be modified, reformed or made into something it is not – ecologically or socially conscious – or it wouldn’t be capitalism.

    As the ice melts, the U.S. must exploit the Arctic’s natural resources and its oil and gas reserves, or their competitors will. The U.S. must militarily control the geo-strategic land corridors and sea lanes, and the oil and gas pipelines, or another country will. The “choices” countries and corporations make are dictated by a system, and cannot be understood, reduced to or explained by individual motivation, malevolence or greed.

    The workings of capitalism itself is what is behind the wars, immiseration, mass migrations and seismic shifts in the world’s social order, alliances and ecological terrain. And it is on a collision course with the planet and people of the earth. The threat of war looms large, as does the potential for the collapse of our life-support systems. If we do not defeat and ultimately dismantle this globalized system of exploitation, parasitism and plunder, we and the planet are in serious peril.

    VA:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  2. Fred

    A Halloween Story: The Wicked Witch of the west needs water for one of Satan’s weather weapons…

    VA:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  3. salgal

    Attorney McElroy who spoke so eloquently and passionately about Burrillville’s complete disdain for the proposed power plant at the last EFSB meeting, the one where Invenergy was directed to Show Cause which they did not, was NOT the same McElroy who tried to infantalize the opposition with his lame slide show and sell them cheap Kool Aid at the Town Council meeting Wednesday night.

    It’s all quite curious. Who’s pulling his strings? Which performance can we count on as being “true”?

    VA:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  4. Kcinri

    Johnnie, well spoken words of wisdom and truth. Unfortunately, we know the answer to this mystery and you identified exactly why. Sad day in Burrillville, Rhode Island and our Nation. One step in reverse.

    VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  5. Johnnie

    Does anyone have a better explanation as to why the issue of climate change was never raised during the presidential “debates?” Did it occur to the movie star moderators, who ask the “tough” questions, and those who decide which questions to ask, that climate change is real, urgent and important? Are they just ignorant of the science, or is there more going on here?

    At one point, for about 12 seconds, Trump and Clinton both agreed that the most important issue facing the nation is the threat of nuclear war. But neither was asked if they agree with the Obama administration, and the congressional bipartisan support, – and the approval of funding – for the 30-year, trillion-dollar modernization of the US nuclear arsenal. They are developing lower-megaton weapons and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, weapons which are much more likely to be used and trigger a nuclear exchange. How many Americans even know about this program? And do Americans know that 40 million Russians recently participated in drills at their nuclear fallout shelters, as the US conducts war games on Russia’s western border, and challenges them in Syria, and elsewhere, in a game of brinkmanship.

    The ruling elite cook the planet and plan new wars, and the “debates” focus on poppycock and infotainment. It is disheartening to see so many sincere fools weighing-in, and so animated and eager to debate nonsense.

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    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  6. Fred

    @Johnnie: Ya this is some puppet show. Trump is just an actor, a show piece. Hillary is the chosen one.

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    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  7. Fred

    These comments here are getting automatic thumbs ups and downs. What the heck is going on?

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    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  8. Fred

    I didn’t watch this yet but it looks interesting.

    Before the Flood – Full Movie | National Geographic

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M

    VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  9. Fred

    One of our very own politicians talks about climate change in this doc.

    Human Extinction By 2030 – Climate Disruption The Movie

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsU5ZG_BPVw

    VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
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  10. Johnnie

    I’m reposting this because it was pushed off the “new comments” screen with a series of posts that say nothing:

    Dismiss most of what the presidential candidates have promised because it is essentially feel-good talk. Whomever is elected will ultimately serve the underlying economic order, as it is in every country, and it cannot be any other way.

    Producers are in competition not only within countries but between countries. To compete profitably they must continually cut costs, revolutionize production and expand market share, or be taken over or driven under by their competitors. They have no choice. The profit-driven logic and dynamic of capitalism, and its all-against-all compulsions and demands, is what drives and shapes the world’s social relations and order. The self-serving and competitive nature of capitalism also explains why people lie and deceive, and continually seek an advantage over others, and why our concerns do not extend much beyond family. The strong pull of advanced capitalism, and those who benefit, creates willful blindness, pathological self-absorption and denial about the world we are leaving our children and posterity.

    This system is what gives rise to never-ending wars, climate disruptions and the despoliation of the earth’s ecosystem. It cannot be modified, reformed or made into something it is not – ecologically or socially conscious – or it wouldn’t be capitalism.

    As the ice melts, the U.S. must exploit the Arctic’s natural resources and its oil and gas reserves, or their competitors will. The U.S. must militarily control the geo-strategic land corridors and sea lanes, and the oil and gas pipelines, or another country will. The “choices” countries and corporations make are dictated by a system, and cannot be understood, reduced to or explained by individual motivation, malevolence or greed.

    The workings of capitalism itself is what is behind the wars, immiseration, mass migrations and seismic shifts in the world’s social order, alliances and ecological terrain. And it is on a collision course with the planet and people of the earth. The threat of war looms large, as does the potential for the collapse of our life-support systems. If we do not defeat and ultimately dismantle this globalized system of exploitation, parasitism and plunder, we and the planet are in serious peril.

    VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  11. Johnnie

    The elected representatives of Burrillville, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, the GA leadership, the governor and big labor all support the Invenergy power plant – despite what they may say, or not say.

    Some environmentalists will seek to educate these officials, as if something they say or studies they cite will somehow change their minds. It won’t. When you look at this logically, you have to ask yourself : Why are these people acting irrationally and self-destructively? These people are not acting from ignorance; don’t they have children and grandchildren? Why are they pushing for another power plant that the citizens of Burrillville don’t want, we don’t need and is destructive to our collective environment . A power plant that will add to the air pollution, the carbon footprint and the heating of the planet. This scenario, and others like it, are being played out every single day throughout the US.

    This is an expression of the anarchy of capitalist production, and those in power, who do not serve the people but the underlying economic order. If something is profitable it will be exploited, irrespective of the social costs and whether or not it hurts the people and the planet. This is the irrationality and logic of a system that can not and will not leave profitable resources in the ground. We know the fracking process is polluting the air when they drill, and creating earthquakes. And that this natural gas cannot be burned without increasing the earth’s temperature, but it continues despite the fact that we have readily available clean and safe alternatives. – which the system will not exploit until it is as profitable as gas or oil.

    We do not even need another gas-fired power plant, as the Conservation Law Foundation has demonstrated, but the push continues from Invenergy and those in positions of power and authority. They not only support this power plant but also seek to upgrade, expand and extend the infrastructure of fracked gas for export. If we bring enough pressure they will be forced to back off – But Only Until Next Time.

    People in the US and around the world are fighting this system each and every day, as it spreads itself like some vampire squid or pool of piranhas devouring everything in its path. This system and the amoral, irrational and self-destructive people it creates cannot and will not change of their own accord. The boat we and they are in is listing and beginning to sink but they refuse to throw any of their gold bars overboard. This is the irrationality and compulsions of the capitalist mode of production, and those who serve it.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  12. Shame and betrayal as Burrillville enters into tax agreement with Invenergy

    […] McElroy may, “see no inconsistency between entering into these agreements and dead set opposition to the […]

  13. The People demand to be heard on Invenergy water sale at Woonsocket City Council meeting

    […] back in Novemeber I questioned Burrillville Attorney Michael McElroy‘s contention that there is, “no inconsistency […]

  14. Woonsocket water sale attorneys contributed thousands to Baldelli-Hunt’s campaign

    […] McElroy, the attorney who negotiated the tax treaty between Invenergy and Burrillville and then convinced the Burrillville Town Council over the objections of residents, said at the time that opposing the […]

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