Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Powering Up, Insensitive Twits, er, Tweets, and Holiday Wishes

Wealthy and Influential 
We’re sure that no one was surprised to see that Phillipe & Jorge were not cited by GoLocalProv (in their annual listing of the “50 most wealthy and influential Vo Dilanduhs”) as being among that august company. What’s the matter? Doesn’t Casa Diablo’s burgeoning 4-figure bank account merit respect?
However, we are content to note that we still have some influence, even if it’s only down at the Kennedy Plaza bus hub.

Get Energized

Much agitation up in sleepy Burrillville, where a firm named Invenergy is attempting to build a 900-megawatt fossil fuel-fired power plant. Demonstrations resembling a light version of the old Seabrook protests have already taken place, with some demonstrators even coming from out of state; such is the fear of more such facilities being sited along the East Coast.pnjF

In matters of energy, Phillipe and Jorge always turn to our friends at the Conservation Law Foundation, with whom we have worked for and alongside for years. While Invenergy has trotted out all their promotional materials and dubious claims that the new power plant will be a boon for The Biggest Little, CLF Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer, an old and respected pal, begs to differ, to put it kindly.

In three big areas, Elmer and CLF are far from amused by what Invenergy is telling the public.  (Although interestingly enough, Invenergy officials refused to talk to R.I. Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza when she did an initial story on it.)

CLF’s Elmer says that for starters, not only would the plant produce more carbon emissions that play right into future climate change problems in Vo Dilun, but that the facility would make it impossible for the state to meet its stated emissions goal. Second, while Invenergy is touting their spewing plant as a big energy cost saver for Little Rhody residents, CLF has run (and published) the numbers showing that “maybe” there would be a cost cut of only one-half of one percent. Maybe.

The real hummer, according to CLF, is the pumped-up and veiled threat that without the new plant, R.I. could end up with an electricity shortfall and be unable to prevent future blackouts. This is blatantly false (or in legalese, “bullshit”), and Elmer writes that the predicted “capacity shortage does not exist.”

We know that this kind of stuff makes your eyes glaze over, as it normally does ours, but Elmer and CLF have taken the time to spell out, concisely and using words and explanations normal human beings can understand, the whole situation and posted them online. This point-by-point refutation of Invenergy’s claims can be seen at:

The CLF site also has a way to send letters/emails to Governor Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Nick Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed asking them to tell Invenergy to hit the road and take their power plant with them. A note to Our Gina is the most important, since the state agency needed to OK the project, the R.I. Energy Facility Siting Board, is composed of three members, two of whom were appointed by the guv her own self. Not that P&J would for a second suggest that these two esteemed poodles, er, excuse us, people on the EFSB would say “How high?” when Our Gina told them to “Jump!”

Politically Incorrect or Just Willfully Insensitive?

Your superior correspondents imagine that we can thank Donald Trump for the recent uptick in people blurting out or “tweeting” stupid stuff. If you pay any attention to social media, we are certain that you have noticed this trend.
A recent example was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, during recent arguments on an affirmative action case in front of the court, blurting out from the bench that some black students might belong at “slower-track” universities. To be fair, Justice Scalia is not a newcomer to expressing thoughtless, insensitive opinions but, what the hell was he talking about?
One would like to think that Scalia might have some appreciation of what the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and ’70s achieved to improve opportunities (like voting rights and non-blatantly discriminatory state laws) for all citizens, but stuff like this leads one to believe that he doesn’t.
Oh well, the clown circus continues …

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

It never works well when advertising finagles its way into real life, a point being made daily on websites and in apps that provide real news as well as consumer come-ons.

The U.K.’s Private Eye magazine has been pointing that out of late in its “Malgorithms” and “Just Fancy That!” briefs, the latest outstanding example of which was in the November 27 issue:

Guardian (English newspaper website): “Molenbeek: the Brussels borough becoming known as Europe’s jihadi central.”

Accompanying ad on app: “FT Weekend ‘Hidden Cities’: Discover Brussels’ best-kept secrets.”

Cough, a-hem!  Yeah, just book right into that cute little B&B in Molenbeek.

In the US, the best example today of this sort of head-butting (pardon the pun…wait for it) juxtaposition can best be found in the ads for the upcoming Will Smith film, Concussion (there you go), which examines the horribly high incidence of brain damage in players who play professional football inflicted through multiple concussions. These spots have been running regularly during telecasts of NFL football games. Since the NFL supposedly comes out of the film with a real black eye for sweeping the issue under the Astroturf for years, the trailer for the film must have NFL execs banging their own heads … on their executive suite desktops. Gee, sorry boys, but you earned it. Incidentally, the role of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in “Concussion” is played by Pee-Wee Herman. Or should be.

A Spirit for All Seasons

Phillipe and Jorge would like to wish all our readers — who we know to be faithful, intelligent, drop-dead beautiful/dashingly handsome, icons of style and, of course, cooler than a frozen Pernod and grapefruit — a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. That goes double for Motif publisher Mike Ryan, our long-suffering editor Emily Olson, and all the Motif staff who crank this rag out every two weeks.

Despite the enormous amount of good spirit and generosity we see displayed from everyone at this time of year, let P&J remind you to put a placeholder in for months down the line in 2016, when the shelves of local food banks aren’t overflowing and the fulsome coffers of non-profit social service agencies are being scraped down to a bare minimum. Contributions in April and September can almost be more valuable than the hefty assistance giving during this time of joy and good cheer, so have a thought for those folks who help hold our communities together after the Christmas trees come down and the New Year’s Eve celebrations end. Thanks. We love you, you’re beautiful, don’t ever change.

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