Say NO to Drilling on Boyd Road

For the record, I am posting as a resident of Monroe County, Myles Samuel Yates, not a member of SavetheWaterTable.org.  The opinions below may or may not represent SWTO’s opinions.

Gordy Oil Company Permit Application for drilling a gas well –Wade Lively #1 in the Springfield District near Boyd Road in Monroe County.
  • KARST + ANIMAL LIFE : I request the application be denied because this well site is surrounded by karst, drains into karst, and may in fact be sitting directly above karst.  There are rumors of a sinkhole that has been covered in less than 100 feet from the site.  There are nearby streams, waterways, and ponds.  The site sits in front of a mountain ridge and the land slopes down from the field the site lives in.  Water flows down – and the land down the hill from the site is perforated with sinkholes.  Functionally, draining into karst is no different than drilling directly into karst from a vulnerability perspective. Two significant caves are around a mile away, while the legendary Salt Peter Cave, home to the Indiana bat (observed population 2006: 2; 2008: 12; 2010: 7) is just about 2 miles away.  THIS IS DANGEROUS.  Problems with fracking aside, surface spills in this area could poison the aquifer.  The water from that site would drain into a network of creeks that would ultimately drain into Indian Creek – home to wild trout.  The DNR keeps a count of the Indiana bat, as it is on the federal endangered species list.  Water contamination = dead bats and dead trout.  EPA considers karst to be an “environmentally sensitive location,” classified similar to wetlands.  BAD DRILL SITE.
  • GORDY CONSULT WITH USFWS ABOUT BATS : The FWS has requested that Gordy answer 9 questions about the bats.   USFWS has stated that the responsibility of these bats is that of the DEP and that Gordy is supposed to comply with this request for information about the bats, the caves, the water, etc.  I feel that whether the consult is REQUIRED BY LAW is not relevant – this is the right thing for Gordy to do – and the application seems incomplete without it.
  • SEDIMENT & EROSION PLAN : The WV Code #22-6-6(d) states that a sediment and erosion plan shall accompany any application. This is an important requirement, especially so in karst.   Application seems to be incomplete.
  • DEEP WELL PERMIT : I do not find the necessary permit from the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for drilling a deep well. 
  • INSUFFICIENT INSPECTORS : Randy Huffman has publicly stated that there are insufficient inspectors for the wells in WV.   Based on 55K active wells and 17 inspectors, there are 0.00030909 inspectors per well.  This is a crying, terrible outrage.  If we know we cannot monitor/regulate our current activities, how can we embark on new business?  Time to take a step back, write some new regulations and hire a couple hundred inspectors.
  • INACTIVE WELLS UNCAPPED : Recent number I saw suggested that of the 12K inactive wells, some 6K are uncapped and desperately need attention.  We have seen many stories of contamination from uncapped wells.  Another reason to focus on cleaning up the past before moving on to the future. 
  • ADDITIVES DOCUMENTED : I object to the fact that the additives used in the process are not listed.   Quoting from the Gazette-Mail dated November 10, 2010, “DEP wants chemical lists for Marcellus drilling permits.”  The “mud company” is not applying for a permit – Gordy is, and they must be accountable for the mud company’s formula.
  • INSUFFICIENT PERMITTING FEE : I object to this application because current discussions in Charleston include the possibly of a new fee schedule, which could change the fee from less than a grand to $10K or more.   With a higher fee, the DEP could have more inspectors.
  • DYE TESTING : Additional dye testing has been suggested by many – orgs, residents, even USFWS. This is a safety measure that needs to be addressed.  Water has been documented in Monroe County to travel up to 13 miles (additional testing may show even farther) – we need to further document the path of water from the well site to better understand what sources are at the most risk.
  • WASTEWATER : The application mentions that waste water will be put into injection wells. Where are they located? Will trucks be shipping the water to another site?
  • 1000 FOOT IMPACT ZONE : The single biggest joke of the whole thing.  Saying that only 1000 feet from the well site is considered the impact zone of a well is like saying that only the 1000 feet from the oil spill in the gulf must be tested and monitored and cleaned up.  Water travels miles in karst terrain, and dye testing has proven this scientifically – showing water travelling up to 13 miles.  I’d be excited to see that number moved to 5000 feet, but as that is wholly inadequate as well, I request the impact zone, the area in which Gordy must test and monitor water should be a 5 MILE RADIUS from the well site.  They must be required to insert their own custom, traceable dye in their utilized frack fluids, and they must monitor for them showing up at relevant hot points within the radius.
  • TRAFFIC IMPACT STUDY : I request there be a traffic impact study carried out when there are so many large and heavy trucks traveling on secondary roads.  I have personally traveled these roads with friends who are truck drivers.  There are many turns that will be extremely tight and will not allow traffic to pass while navigating the turn.  That is a disruption!
  • WETZEL COUNTY : I tend to believe that history makes a great teacher.  Based on what we have seen in pictures, videos, and first hand – WHAT HAPPENED IN WETZEL CANNOT HAPPEN HERE.  I mean the hillbillies (will come out of the mountains, and they will not be happy – it will not be pretty ladies and gentlemen.  And this is NOT meant to be threatening in any way – but I feel it is necessary to clarify the situation – MANY of the county’s residents are NOT land rich, have not leased, and frankly, do not care about the royalties they might be able to make – and in most cases these are people who have a deep, long-standing, impenetrable cultural attachment to their land.  If things proceed unchecked, and the county produces gas but things do go foul at some point (as they have many, many times many, many other places) – you’ve got a piece of the county who are making money, and you’ve got a piece whose land/water you have just destroyed – and they will be enraged, as you might imagine.   If this is done WHERE it can be done safely (which means not in karst), in a WAY that can be done safely on a TIMELINE that is safe with SUFFICIENT RESOURCES and REGULATIONS in place – we can avoid a total fallout in this county.
  • NOISE POLLUTION : Are there any regulations governing this?  I request that drilling should be limited to daylight hours and weekdays.  The inherent loss to our way of life should it proceed 24/7 will be immense.
  • AIR POLLUTION : Didn’t see anything in the application concerning air pollution.  There have been many news items linking air pollution to drilling activities.  I request this be addressed.
  • INADEQUATE BOND : I object! The $5K bond is ridiculously inadequate.  It seems the damages that could be caused by one slip-up could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, easily way more.  Therefore I request that before any company embark on this endeavor, they thoroughly demonstrate that they have the resources to fix anything they break.  A minimum of $1M bond seems appropriate to that end.
  • CONTAINMENT PONDS : It seems like one of the most likely ways contamination will occur is due to a containment pond that leaks or floods or meets animal life.  Again these surface spills could be catastrophic.  Bats and other animals will drink from the pond.  I request that containment ponds not be utilized, and all wastewater be carried from the site as it is extracted.
  • WATER WITHDRAWAL : Our precious tiny little watershed cannot support hydraulic fracture.  The rivers and streams have BEEN LOW REGARDLESS – I can only imagine with millions of gallons being pulled from the Greenbrier.  I request strongly that stringent guidelines define the water withdrawal practices to insure the system is not maxed out and run dry.
  • SUBCONTRACTORS : How are subs handled?  All sub or independent contractors must meet the same regs as Gordy, and a system of accountability for those subs must be in place.  I request that Gordy be held responsible for the actions of its team, both internal staff and subcontractors.  Subs should also be responsible for a significant bond so we can insure they are not total fly-by-night operations.
  • ADDRESSING NEARBY LANDOWNERS : The application fails to list at least two very nearby landowners, the Adkins and the Ramsey families.  They are very concerned and have been forgotten.  Dale and Terry Ramsey live downhill/stream from the well site.  I request that these nearby landowners be addressed professionally, not left out to get their news from the papers.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT : For the reasons listed above a THOROUGH assessment and investigation of the area and how it might respond to natural gas extraction activities is REQUIRED.  I request, and I truly hope that you guys at the DEP will leverage your experience and wisdom to not let this proceed unchecked.
  • LOSS OF LAND VALUE : So wait – this process starts, all of our land values plummet?  How will this be addressed in the “reclamation” plan?  I request that every landowner who loses assets (the value of their home, their land) due to the marcellus shale drilling activities should be compensated the equivalent of the lost assets, as determined by a third-party, agreed upon assessor.  Our tiny little economy WILL NOT BENEFIT in the long term from the Marcellus play if when the drillers leave in a decade – everything is worth jack.  Our community’s long-term financial stability DEPENDS on the value of our homes and our land.
  • DEP CONDITIONS FOR DENIAL OF PERMITS : a) the proposed well work will constitute a hazard to the safety of persons, because b) the proposed well work fails to protect fresh water sources or supplies (how could this be guaranteed?); or c) habitats of rare and endangered flora and fauna or even d)  bodies of water…including but not limited to wild trout streams.
  • FRED ZIEGLER, Geologist
    • The karst forming unit in Monroe is the Lower Carboniferous Greenbrier Limestone which covers about 70 square miles centered around Union, Pickaway and Sinks Grove, with smaller patches around Greenville and Wolf Creek.
    • A count of 168 large sinkholes was determined from the central zone giving a density of four per square mile.
    • No surface streams occur over much of the karst except near the margins where the flow can be shown to be underground during dryer seasons, confirming that underground flow occurs most of the time.  This is true of Indian Creek and its tributaries, Laurel Creek and Hans Creek around Greenville.
    • The Greenbrier Limestone has low porosity so polluted water entering the cave system would not benefit from the natural filtration effects of the groundwater table, but would pass directly into wells and beyond into the Greenbrier and New Rivers.
    • The Greenbrier karst phenomenon is limited to Monroe, and adjacent Greenbrier Counties and to a smaller extent, Pocahontas County.  (Caves are present in the folded rocks of the Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachians but are mostly limited to the much older Cambro-Ordovician formations which are not subject to deep drilling.)
    • Surface exposures of the Greenbrier Limestone are riddled with fissures so the general picture is of an anastomosing meshwork of large and small caves which continue to be discovered and mapped but have not been fully tested with die tracers to determine flow patterns.
    • The conclusion is that the Greenbrier Limestone poses a major challenge to proposed gas drilling.
    • Questions arising are:
      • How could wells be adequately cased in such a formation?
      • How could failures of the highly pressurized “fracking” process be avoided?
      • How will the containment ponds be designed to avoid rupture?
      • How will trucking accidents be avoided on the narrow, switch-back roads typical of Monroe County?
  • DALE MCCUTCHEON, Sanitarian, Monroe County Health Department
    Since Monroe County does not have streams with the capacity to provide for public water supply sources, almost all residents rely on groundwater for their water consumption needs.  The public supplies available, which provide for about half of the county usage, primarily rely on springs or wells for their intake.

    Due to the karst topography which underlies much of the county, underground streams, as indicated by numerous dye tracing activities conducted over the years, may travel for several miles.  Further, unlike in other subsurface environments such as sandstone wherein natural filtration takes place, karst aquifers do not receive this benefit.  This lack of filtration and substantial migration is, in the opinions of most authorities, the primary reason that about half of the water samples taken by the Monroe County Health Department over the last decade have been found unsatisfactory due to bacteriological contamination.  Thus a localized contamination event, such as might occur from a drilling error, has the potential to effect a hundred or more wells over a large area.

    Although, as mentioned above, a number of dye tests have been undertaken at various locales throughout the county, there is still a substantial lack of information related to our underground aquifer system.  Much more testing and cataloging of results into a coordinated framework is needed to establish flow patterns and contamination potentials before we may understand the full potential of a contamination event.

  • PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE : “The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.” (Wikipedia)
PLEASE, members of the Department of Environmental Protection, DO GOOD.


Fracking in MoCo? No Way!

An informal poll was posted on Topix and I would like to offer an extended response here.  I am writing here as a concerned resident of Monroe County, West Virginia.
#1. Are you for or against? Vehemently against.

#2. How much independent research have you done? I have been involved with studying, discussing, researching, meeting, thinking, watching, listening and independently exploring the topic in some level of detail for the last 6 months.

#3. Your major reason, for or against?  Simple.  Before:  clean water.  After natural gas and hydraulic fracturing operations?  Contaminated water.  No matter how it is presented by the opposition - this is the documented reality.  It doesn't matter whether the contamination ultimately stems from the fracking process or an overturned truck, or a leak in a containment pond, or a well exploding, or the well casing cracking, or the wastewater being disposed of improperly, or from misting, or a leak anywhere along the path that begins with drilling into the ground and ends when that product is transmitted out of Monroe County via major transmission lines.  The opportunities for an error are immense, and the likelihood of one occurring extremely high.  There are known documented risks with hydraulic fracture (and with standard vertical well drilling) - these risks are considered acceptable collateral damage by the corporations and ultimately, by our government.

Monroe County will become a resource colony much like much of our great nation and state has already become.  Is there no end to this devouring?  Is there a chance we can save our little corner of the planet from this destructive development?  There is very little land like it left.

As a matter of fact - our land is incredibly special:  for caves, sinkholes, vertical seams, and vast, interconnected underground water systems - our land is known worldwide.  This is ground zero for karst.  Our cave systems are vast, stretching for miles!  The Greenbrier River watershed is considered a notable karst area (Wikipedia).

Water here travels miles in ways that may not be apparent, and this has been shown with dye tests.  Liquids from a surface spill could enter a sinkhole and reach a cave or underground waterway and could travel miles underground before emerging in a natural spring, or stream, or drinking water well.  Any slip up of any sort with any serious contaminants (of which the process uses MANY) could poison everyone downline.

Folks, this is serious business and I hope those of you with strong but uneducated opinions supporting natural gas development using current techniques will do your own research on the topic and come back and post after you've let it settle in.  Try googling "hydraulic fracture disaster" or "natural gas contamination" etc.

This is not about one little well.  If the drillers come in here unchecked, we will be part of a massive network of natural gas development - a proposed some 30 thousands wells in Marcellus Shale in the next 20 years.  The risks associated with one well must be considered multiplied by this massive volume - and I think we can all do the math.  There is little chance we will escape unscathed.

And guys - there are no stringent regulations restricting the operations of oil & gas companies - due to special exemptions from the Clean Water Act and other restrictions that apply to all other industries, the government, in an effort to solve our energy crisis has essentially legalized harm.  Get the gas at all costs!  Everyone from Obama, to the EPA, Congress, the DEP, down to our local County Commissioners and Planning Commission have acknowledged that special ordinances are required to protect our people.

The DEP is conducting a comprehensive program review to revise their regulations - it could takes months or longer for it to be complete and the revised policies activated.  The EPA is conducting thorough studies on hydraulic fracturing as more and more evidence that it is connected with water and air contamination emerges - results might be ready in 2012.

Any permits given to drill right now would mean the company has 24 months to operate under current law, which has been admitted to be inadequate by the government and its agencies.  That would make us one of the last guinea pigs that later in history might be considered the "charter members" of the got-fracked club.  Wetzel County and others should be demonstrative enough to convince any thinking man, woman or child that this will change life here irreparably and forever.

And you think its going to bring economic gain to the area?  Ha.  The workers will be primarily from out of state.  Only a few residents will actually benefit from royalty checks.  The businesses that are likely to experience increased sales while the operations are active, or even the new businesses that might emerge?  The situation will be shortlived.  Once they have sucked the County dry of its gas and quite possibly a good bit of its water - they will leave.  And when they do, so will their investment into our economy - and the businesses will slowly die and sales for the businesses that make it will return to their previous levels.  I'm sure most of you knows of a town that once bustled with commerce and now is a ghost town with dilapidated storefronts and empty buildings. 

Only difference is property values will have plummeted, and of course don't forget the existing leases will expire and those checks will stop coming.  The few who have profited from the endeavor are likely to be living in their second homes, and we will be left to pick up the pieces, likely dealing with the after-effects of the disturbances to animal and human life for years to come.  This may all sound very post-apocalyptic.  It isn't - it is very real and could happen in our lifetimes.

If we do not act now to stop this from coming to MoCo, we'll be just another glorious community ravaged by industry and transformed into a resource colony.  It will be with great displeasure a few years down the road to say, "I told you so."

Wake up.  It's our only chance.

Find out more at SavetheWaterTable.org.


RTTT - One for the Books

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have made it through the first round of fights, going the distance and winning my bout with a unanimous decision.

Hooray!  I have accomplished all that I dreamed to do as part of the Road to the Toughman.  I signed up.  I got in the gym.  I trained.  I followed through, showed up on fight night - was cleared to fight and did so - emerging with a victory.

I am wholly and wonderfully appreciative of all the support I had there - seeing familiar faces in the crowd and hearing cheers and chants from the stands is an overwhelming and wonderful experience - and I thank all of you that participated, including those of you who couldn't make it but offered thoughts via Facebook, etc.

The loop has been completed.  I set out to do something, and I did it - I feel great about it, and those who care seem to feel good about it too.

Alas, now I find myself in a conundrum of sorts.  I advance to tonight's fights, where the winner will need to win 3 or maybe even 4 fights TONIGHT to win the event.

Testament to my opponent (Clint Caruthers, great fight buddy) I've awoken today with a variety of ailments, including a jaw that feels wired on a little loose and a head that just won't stop banging - but none of my ailments are serious.  Which considering the circumstances, is surprising.

This is not a situation that will continue - fighting the winners from last night in a multi-fight format will not be pretty.

My cardio was wholly insufficient for one 3-round fight, and those who were there know that I got a couple unintentional rests when my headgear came off (three different times).  I could not speak for 10 minutes after the fight - my fitness is right on the edge of the envelope of barely acceptable for one fight - and it is irresponsible and potentially dangerous to consider a multi-match endeavor in the same night.

Inherent in my personality is pride, and for those of you ringside last night know that after a slip and taking some damage in the first round, I began to panic slightly.  The moment of truth during the break before the second round produced the realization that I could not let this guy beat me no matter what - which led to more aggression and resolve in the second and third rounds.

So if/when I start taking damage tonight, I'm not going to roll over, I'm going to push, I'm going to try and stand, and I'm going to take just as much damage as possible.

There is a difference between stubborn and stupid - and endeavoring to fight tonight, I'm afraid, would be stupid.  There is no chance of victory for me.  For those of you that think this is a fantasy world, and want to say you can do anything - you can do it!  You can win! - guys, to win the Toughman, you need skill, experience, and stamina.  I have a little, they have a lot - and I would have to make it through 3 or 4 fights against increasingly powerful opponents to get the win.  Ladies and gents, it is not feasible, not currently.

Guys, this may be hard for some of you to understand, but for this reason and others, I am forfeiting my spot in tonight's fights.

I was never in it for the money, and was never in it to win it.  The fight doctor cleared me to fight (I view this alone a success), and I'm undefeated in my semi-pro career, 1-0.  A young lady asked to take a picture with me while I was leaving the building - my first fan photo! 

And most importantly, I've got a membership to the gym that I use and have lost nearly 60 pounds since setting out on this journey.

I do not need to prove anything else to myself, and you my friends and family, I hope I have nothing more to prove to you.

There is an outside possibility that in 12 months, having continued my workout regime, I will re-consider my candidacy for the Toughman and give it another shot.

Thank you again all of you, you are appreciated.  And finally, a big thank you to Jerry Thomas and the Toughman producers for putting on a first-class show.


Road to the Toughman - Fight Night

Ladies and gents, for those of you whom have followed the Road to the Toughman even if only slightly and from afar, I owe you this brief discussion on the topic.

Tomorrow night is fight night, and I'm excited and have butterflies and want to get it over with - and have all kinds of complex feelings about it.

On one hand, I'm taking the whole thing very simply and quite lightly - it's a bucket list item, and will be exciting (even if a little painful).

On the other hand, I was once an athlete and a competitor - and I am from the "play to win" camp - not to be confused with the "everyone's a winner" camp.

What is important? - I'm doing the Toughman because it was the thing that motivated me to get a gym membership and start going.  This fight tomorrow is the logical end of the Road to the Toughman, and a ultimately a necessary evil to complete the loop.  The Road to the Toughman wouldn't be interesting if it never reached its destination.

So - the fight is on, and I am psyched.  And I am thrilled that some of you will come and join me in support!

Since I do not take your support lightly, I want to clarify an important point - contrary to ruminations you may or may not have heard - I am not the favorite and I am not going to win the Toughman.

That has never been my intention or expectation, so my hopes are that you too will not even consider the thought.

I'm a lover not a fighter after all.  There will be real fighters that actually DO this in the competition.  And finally, let's be very clear about my condition - I've shaved 50-some pounds and have been hitting the gym - but I am still over 380, more than 120 pounds heavier than the next heaviest heavyweight - and no one has ever been in boxing shape at 380.  I have worked on cardio hard, but it is still way too weak to excel in the Toughman format - I WILL get tired.

And I will lose, eventually - even if I win a round or a match - and may even lose embarrassingly.  Please all of you be prepared for that, and feel free to point and laugh and take pictures when it happens.

That being said, I am amped to get in the ring and for the experience and promise to throw a punch or nine.   

Thank all of you that have offered thoughts and words of support throughout the process - it is significant and I appreciate it.

I can tell you that while the Toughman may end for me this weekend, my commitment to eating better and getting to the gym and having a healthier, more active lifestyle will live on.  All the best to each of you - and hope to see many of you tomorrow night.


An Additional Perspective on Suicide

This is tragic, and my heart goes out to the families and friends of the recent suicide victims.

I would like to offer an additional perspective - teasing/bullying has been around since bigger neanderthals picked on smaller ones, and while we have become more intelligent, our teasing has only become more brutal and organized - and it is unfortunately a part of growing up in the world as we know it.

I wouldn't spend a lot of time hoping or thinking that this is something that will change. It's like hoping that thieves will stop stealing or the concept of war would evaporate.

Our focus needs to be on boosting the personal strength of the individual - building characters that can cope with adversity at school, or in the workplace, etc. A strong, well-developed sense of self, even if lacking complete confidence - will not turn to suicide as a response to torment.

Rise up people - BE STRONG! Be who you are and move past the idiots who don't like it. It is your right to have this life as much (or more, some might say) as the morons who are teasing you - your one obligation is to keep moving forward, and under no circumstances, check out of the journey.

Princeton.edu says a victim is "an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance" - but suicide "victims" self-impose their victimhood.

Suicide is SELFISH. Suicides leave children without parents and parents without children, wives without husbands, etc.

Finally, if it seems as if there is no other option, it may be that you are seeing it from the wrong angle - and you need to reach out for help (friends, family, professional).

If that help doesn't arrive, then guess what? - you march on anyway and figure out a way to grow from it - because the alternative is unacceptable.

This is your life to live. Live it.


No Peace Without Hope

...how hard it must be to live only with what one knows and what one remembers, cut off from what one hopes for! There can be no peace without hope.

~ Albert Camus


Knowing & Being Opposites

It is absolutely impossible for a subject to see or have insight into something while leaving itself out of the picture, so impossible that knowing and being are the most opposite of all spheres.

~ Friedrich Nietzsche


The Stars Make Me Dream

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”

~ Vincent van Gogh


All roads are blocked to a philosophy which reduces everything to the word “no.” To “no” there is only one answer and that is “yes.” Nihilism has no substance. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing. Man lives more by affirmation than by bread.

~ Victor Hugo


Death is One of Two Things

Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.

~ Socrates

Death and the Sun

Death and the sun are not to be looked at steadily.

~ La Rochefoucald

Death a Dreary Affair

Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

~ W. Somerset Maugham




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Nader 2008

OK - so here's a debacle. The super-smart, super-educated, really rich, somewhat old, incredibly confident Nader has just declared his candidacy.

This is complicated. Some point blame to him for Gore's loss in Florida (Bush won by a couple hundred votes, Nader gathered almost 100K votes). Some analysts have attempted to show that his presence on the ballot increased voter turnout, and actually increased net votes to the other candidates, and by such ratio that the results would have gone the same way had he not been on the ballot.

He's got a lot of good, very liberal ideas, and he clearly gets right into the thick of things - why not tax Wall Street instead of clothing and dish washers?

But a nation under his leadership is probably simply not in question. Moderate and Conservative Repubs will not vote for him. The Rebub outsiders that lean way left by party standards may cast him a look; for the Dems, the radical leftists make up a much more substantial % of the party - and seemingly, this creates a potential disproportionate impact on the campaigns of each party - Democrats risk far more of its masses going the way of Nader.

Assuming that is the case - and entertaining that he has literally just shy of absolutely NO chance of winning - his candidacy means good for Repubs, bad for Dems.

So Nader, step down.


OR - is his candidacy a prime example of the electoral system working as it should - Independents weilding a heavy sword late in the game - with the ability to shave votes from one party or the other and sway the pendulum?

(Or is this even what it's about?)

Maybe Nader is secretly supporting McCain.


No, seriously.

No, no, just joking.

But seriously.