Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Meet the New Boss

Same as the Old Boss.

Neo and Morpheus. Not.

[a tip of the tinfoil for the pic]

...The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Tuesday to support the nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to lead U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, hours after he told the panel that he backed President Obama's proposed drawdown of troops there starting in July 2011.

At his confirmation hearing to replace ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Petraeus also said he would recommend delaying a large-scale withdrawal if security conditions on the ground are untenable. He called the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan "enduring."

We will withdraw in a year, unless we do not.

Now that's policy entertainment.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Justification of a Police State

Right out of the Company playbook, this little bit of theater was deja vu all over again:

There’s been a lot of crying about “thugs and anarchists” in Toronto. I live about 4 blocks from where some of the vandalism occurred, though I wasn’t there at the time.

As best I can tell, what happened is that for about an hour, the Black Bloc protesters clearly and visibly prepared for action, with both the police and other, non-violent protesters able to see they were doing so. The number of Black Bloc vandals seems to have been between 50 to 100, certainly not more than 200. (The police had 20,000 men.)

The police actually withdrew, leaving behind police cars for the Black Block to torch. Which they then did. The Black Bloc then proceeded up Yonge street (the main north/south street in downtown Toronto), vandalizing as they went, and eventually many headed over to Queen’s Park, the Provincial capital. Two hours after the first violence, the police finally take action, ensuring that there are plenty of videos of police cars burning and vandalism that would not have occurred if they had taken action earlier.

According to the police, rather than confront a maximum of 200 protesters, they withdrew behind the barrier around the G20 meetings and let them vandalize downtown Toronto for 2 hours.

At the end of the day the people who matter never even saw any protests and the 1 billion dollar police presence and suspension of civil liberties was “justified” by vandalism and burning police cars.

Simply put, the police decided that they couldn’t spare say 2,000 out of their 20,000 men to stop 200 vandals. This was a deliberate decision to allow downtown to be vandalized.

I leave it as an exercise for readers to decide if this was a matter of incompetence, or if it was a deliberate strategy. And if it was deliberate strategy, just what they were trying to accomplish with their strategy.

Of course, along the way Canadian Civil Liberties observers were arrested as well, and protesters were not allowed to see lawyers.

I am ashamed to be Canadian today, and I am ashamed of my governments, at all levels...

It's not like they haven't done this in Canada before...

How about this in Toronto? Look at all the baton wielding undercovers scuttling towards the police lines- including some black masks...

These are old Company tactice in 'Merika. Anyone remember Chicago in 1968?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Funny Guy


As of 9:20 PM tonight, no word in The New York Pravda of Al Franken's takedown of the Roberts court in Kagan's Judiciary hearings today.

...I noted that for years, conservatives running for the Senate have made it almost an article of faith that they won't vote for activist judges who make law from the bench. And when asked to name a model justice, they would often cite Justice Thomas, who I noted has voted to overturn more federal laws than Justices Stevens and Breyer combined. In recent cycles, they would name Chief Justice Roberts...

...Well, I think we established very convincingly during the Sotomayor hearings that there is such a thing as judicial activism. There is such a thing as legislating from the bench.

And it is practiced repeatedly by the Roberts Court, where it has cut in only one direction: in favor of powerful corporate interests, and against the rights of individual Americans.

In the next few days, I want to continue this conversation. Because I think things have only gotten worse.

And so I want to say one thing to the Minnesotans watching at home: With few exceptions, whether you're a worker, a pensioner, a small business owner, a woman, a voter, or a person who drinks water, your rights are harder to defend today than they were five years ago.

Our state has been victim to the third-largest Ponzi scheme in history.

And yet in 2008, in a case called Stoneridge, the Roberts Court made it harder for investors to get their money back from the people that defrauded them.
The Twin Cities have more older workers per capita than almost any other city in the nation.

And yet in 2009, in a case called Gross, the Roberts Court made it easier for corporations to fire older Americans and get away with it.

Minnesota has more wetlands than all but three states.

And yet in a case called Rapanos, the Court cut countless streams and wetlands out of the Clean Water Act-even though they'd been covered for up to 30 years.

Our state has banned all corporate spending on elections since 1988.

And yet in January, in Citizens United, the Roberts Court nullified our laws and turned back a century of federal law by allowing corporations to spend as much money as they want, whenever they want, in our elections.
Not just federal elections. Duluth elections. Bemidji elections. Minnesota elections.

There is a pattern here. Each of these decisions was won with five votes. And in each of these decisions, that bare majority used its power to help big business.

There's another pattern here. In each of these decisions, in every one, Justice John Paul Stevens led the dissent.

Now Justice Stevens is no firebrand liberal. He was appointed to the Seventh Circuit by Richard Nixon. And he was elevated to the Supreme Court by Gerald Ford. By all accounts, he was considered a moderate.

And yet he didn't hesitate to tell corporations that they aren't a part of "'We the People,' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established." And he didn't flinch when he told a President that "the Executive is bound to comply with the rule of law."

General Kagan, you've got big shoes to fill.

But before I turn it over to you, General Kagan, I want to talk a bit more about one of the decisions I mentioned. I want to talk more about Citizens United.

Now, you've heard a lot about this decision already today, but I want to come at it from a slightly different angle.
There is no doubt: the Roberts Court's disregard for a century of federal law-and decades of the Supreme Court's own rulings-is wrong. It's shocking. And it's torn a gaping hole in our election laws.

So of course I'm worried about how Citizens United is going to change our elections.

But I am more worried about how this decision is going to affect our communities-and our ability to run those communities without a permission slip from big business.

Let me give you two examples of what I am talking about.

In the early 1960s, car companies knew that they could avoid a large number of fatalities just by installing seat belts in every vehicle. But they didn't want to. They said "safety doesn't sell."

But Congress didn't listen to the car companies. And so in 1966, Congress passed a law requiring that all passenger cars have seatbelts.

Since then, the fatality rate from car accidents has dropped 71 percent.

Here's another story. Around the same time that we passed the seatbelt law, people started to realize that the leaded gasoline that cars ran on was poisoning our air. But oil companies didn't want to take the lead out of gasoline. Because altering their refineries was going to be, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, a "multi-billion dollar headache."

But in 1970, Congress passed the Clean Air Act anyway. And thanks in part to that law, by 1995, the percentage of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had dropped by 84%.

Along with the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Motor Vehicle Safety Act are three of the pillars of modern consumer safety and environmental laws.

But here's something else they have in common. They were all passed around 60 days before an election.

Do you think those laws would have stood a chance if Standard Oil and GM could have spent millions of dollars advertising against vulnerable congressmen, by name, in the last months before their elections?

I don't.

So here's my point, General Kagan: Citizens United isn't just about election law. It isn't just about campaign finance.

It's about seat belts. It's about clean air and clean water. It's about energy policy and the rights of workers and investors. It's about health care. It's about our ability to pass laws that protect the American people even if it hurts the corporate bottom line.

As Justice Stevens said, it's about our "need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government."

Save the Humans

The New York Pravda agonizes over the plight of the cetaceans, which to the monied is even better than, you know, doing something about them.

Where money is concerned, how can those who would Rule be concerned about intelligent non-humans when they are so unconcerned about people?

Pensacola, Florida:

The Escambia County Health Department lifted a health advisory on Pensacola Beach on Friday on the advice of a beach official and against the advice of a federal environmental official.

But the advisory was not lifted for Gulf Islands National Seashore’s Fort Pickens beach, immediately west of Pensacola Beach or Johnson Beach on Perdido Key.

And hours after the Pensacola Beach advisory was lifted, the health department asked for state approval to issue an oil-impact advisory that leaves the decision to swim in the Gulf of Mexico up to the discretion of individual beachgoers...

So far, 400 people have sought medical care for upper or lower respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation after trips to Escambia County beaches, Lanza said.

Swimmers who did venture into the water questioned whether it was really safe to wade, swim and play in the Gulf, especially when they had to walk through a line of tar balls and stay clear of skimmers scooping up oil just 25 and 50 feet from the shore.

“I only went into the water up to my ankles. That’s as far as I wanted to go,” said Joe Chambers, 28, of West Pensacola as he scrubbed off oily residue from himself and his son, Ethan, 4, in the public showers at Casino Beach. “It doesn’t smell like the beach. It smells like a gas station. There are no fish in the water. There’s nothing alive in the water. I don’t know how public officials can just look at the water and make a call to reopen it for swimming.”

Carol Doster of Grand Isle, Miss., said her son Dallas, 12, was frightened by the oil that streaked his legs and arms after a five-minute swim in the Gulf on Friday. “It won’t rub off,” Doster said.

She said the two were not going to get in the water again...

There is nothing alive in the water.

So I'm sure to many this seems like a good idea, too. The Gulf, the Mediterranean, there's a kind of balance there, no?

Speaking of balance, the G 20 are all basically in agreement: you little people are gonna pay for all the fraudulent bubbles you lost all your money in over the last ten years.

So is it so very strange that if our betters are so willing to eat us and eventually themselves alive they would be willing to devour every last whale and dolphin in the seas as well as the oceans in which they swim?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Total Information Mismanagement

The Pentagram Pentagon is alledgedly upset that the Rolling Pravda actually reported what it was told instead of getting on board with the pogrom program.

Frank Rich comments on some of the inconvenient laundry stains this whole episode has exposed to those paying attention:

...Once made the top commander in Afghanistan, the general was kept on long past his expiration date. He should have been cashiered after he took his first public shot at Joe Biden during a London speaking appearance last October. That’s when McChrystal said he would not support the vice president’s more limited war strategy, should the president choose it over his own. According to Jonathan Alter in his book “The Promise,” McChrystal’s London remarks also disclosed information from a C.I.A. report that the general “had no authority to declassify.” These weren’t his only offenses. McChrystal had gone on a showboating personal publicity tour that culminated with “60 Minutes” — even as his own histrionic Afghanistan recommendation somehow leaked to Bob Woodward, disrupting Obama’s war deliberations. The president was livid, Alter writes, but McChrystal was spared because of a White House consensus that he was naïve, not “out of control.”

We now know, thanks to Hastings, that the general was out of control and the White House was naïve. The price has been huge. The McChrystal cadre’s utter distaste for its civilian colleagues on the war team was an ipso facto death sentence for the general’s signature counterinsurgency strategy. You can’t engage in nation building without civilian partnership. As Rachel Maddow said last week of McChrystal, “the guy who was promoting and leading the counterinsurgency strategy has shown by his actions that even he doesn’t believe in it.”

This fundamental contradiction helps explain some of the war’s failures under McChrystal’s aborted command, including the inability to hold Marja (pop. 60,000), which he had vowed to secure in pure counterinsurgency fashion by rolling out a civilian “government in a box” after troops cleared it of the Taliban. Such is the general’s contempt for leadership outside his orbit that it extends even to our allies. The Hastings article opens with McChrystal mocking the French at a time when every ally’s every troop is a precious, dwindling commodity in Afghanistan.

In the 36 hours between the Rolling Stone bombshell and McChrystal’s firing, some perennial war cheerleaders in the Beltway establishment, including the editorial page of The Washington Post and Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, did rally to the general’s defense and implored Obama to keep him in place. George Stephanopoulos, reflecting a certain strain of received Beltway wisdom, warned on ABC that the president risked looking “thin-skinned and petulant” if he fired McChrystal.

But none of the general’s defenders had an argument for him or the war beyond staying the course, poor as the results have been. What McChrystal’s supporters most seemed to admire was his uniquely strong relationship with Hamid Karzai, our Afghanistan puppet. As if to prove the point, Karzai was the most visible lobbyist for McChrystal’s survival last week. He was matched by his corrupt half-brother, the reported opium kingpin Ahmed Wali Karzai, who chimed in to publicly declare McChrystal “honest.” Was Rod Blagojevich unavailable as a character witness?

Wrong Company faction, there. This would require another Reptilian, not a DINOcrat.

The only reason this story gained any traction in the media was that it showcases one Company faction using popular support to override another. More Rich:

...The war, supported by a steadily declining minority of Americans, has no chance of regaining public favor unless President Obama can explain why American blood and treasure should be at the mercy of this napping Afghan president. Karzai stole an election, can’t provide a government in or out of a box, and has in recent months threatened to defect to the Taliban and accused American forces of staging rocket attacks on his national peace conference. Until last week, Obama’s only real ally in making his case was public apathy. Next to unemployment and the oil spill, Karzai and Afghanistan were but ticks on our body politic, even as the casualty toll passed 1,000. As a senior McChrystal adviser presciently told Hastings, “If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.”

To appreciate how shielded Americans have been from Afghanistan, revisit Rahm Emanuel’s appearance last Sunday morning on “This Week,” just before the McChrystal firestorm erupted. Trying to put a positive spin on the war, the president’s chief of staff said that the Afghans were at long last meeting their army and police quotas. Technically that’s true; the numbers are up. But in that same day’s Washington Post, a correspondent in Kandahar reported that the Afghan forces there are poorly equipped, corrupt, directionless and infiltrated by Taliban sympathizers and spies. Kandahar (pop. 1 million) is supposed to be the site of the next major American offensive.

The gaping discrepancy between Emanuel’s upbeat assessment and the reality on the ground went unremarked because absolutely no one was paying attention. Everyone is now. That, at least, gives us reason to hope that the president’s first bold move to extricate America from the graveyard of empires won’t be his last.

Doubtful, that, given Petraeus Caesar's track record in Iraq, where the sounds of Hellfire missiles and sizzling phosphorous incindiaries were rapidly muffled. The War on Terra still goes on there, with American troops cocooned around the oil fields, and formerly Baathist Sunni factions bankrolled into the fight against the bankrolled Shiite government forces. Both sides are supported financially by Amerika. Mostly, both sides fight against each other.

This is the model McChrystal and Petraeus have developed so well in Afghanistan, where every tribe is always ready to shoot at the next when they're not shooting at the interlopers. But McChrystal's principal sin there was seek control of the drone war for himself instead of leaving it to the CIA. That, and seeking more press than his Caesar, who may well be the Reptilian candidate in 2012.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Experts Disagree

Nothing to see here!


These people obviously just need a better attitude...

"...it is not a change in policy."

Not in the slightest.

The policy being Empire. The need for Empire has to do with funneling most of the money of the Treasury into the perpetual motion war machine and the banks that profit from it.

Bob Herbert just does not get it.

...We’ve been in Afghanistan for nearly a decade already. It’s one of the most corrupt places on the planet and the epicenter of global opium production. Our ostensible ally, President Hamid Karzai, is convinced that the U.S. cannot prevail in the war and is in hot pursuit of his own deal with the enemy Taliban. The American public gave up on the war long ago, and it is not at all clear that President Obama’s heart is really in it.

For us to even consider several more years of fighting and dying in Afghanistan — at a cost of heaven knows how many more billions of American taxpayer dollars — is demented.

Those who are so fascinated with counterinsurgency, from its chief advocate, Gen. David Petraeus, all the way down to the cocktail-hour kibitzers inside the Beltway, seem to have lost sight of a fundamental aspect of warfare: You don’t go to war half-stepping. You go to war to crush the enemy. You do this ferociously and as quickly as possible. If you don’t want to do it, if you have qualms about it, or don’t know how to do it, don’t go to war.

The men who stormed the beaches at Normandy weren’t trying to win the hearts and minds of anyone.

In Afghanistan, we are playing a dangerous, half-hearted game in which President Obama tells the America people that this is a war of necessity and that he will do whatever is necessary to succeed. Then, with the very next breath, he soothingly assures us that the withdrawal of U.S. troops will begin on schedule, like a Greyhound leaving the terminal, a year from now.

Both cannot be true.

What is true is that we aren’t even fighting as hard as we can right now. The counterinsurgency crowd doesn’t want to whack the enemy too hard because of an understandable fear that too many civilian casualties will undermine the “hearts and minds” and nation-building components of the strategy. Among the downsides of this battlefield caution is a disturbing unwillingness to give our own combat troops the supportive airstrikes and artillery cover that they feel is needed.

In an article this week, The Times quoted a U.S. Army sergeant in southern Afghanistan who was unhappy with the real-world effects of counterinsurgency. “I wish we had generals who remembered what it was like when they were down in a platoon,” he said. “Either they never have been in real fighting, or they forgot what it’s like.”

In the Rolling Stone article that led to General McChrystal’s ouster, reporter Michael Hastings wrote about the backlash that counterinsurgency restraints had provoked among the general’s own troops. Many feel that “being told to hold their fire” increases their vulnerability. A former Special Forces operator, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, said of General McChrystal, according to Mr. Hastings, “His rules of engagement put soldiers’ lives in even greater danger. Every real soldier will tell you the same thing.”

We are sinking more and more deeply into the fetid quagmire of Afghanistan and neither the president nor General Petraeus nor anyone else has the slightest clue about how to get out. The counterinsurgency zealots in the military want more troops sent to Afghanistan, and they want the president to completely scrap his already shaky July 2011 timetable for the beginning of a withdrawal...

That's because Mr. Herbert is in deep denial the goal is exploitation not extirpation. The Powell Doctrine is so 20th century even Powell himself discarded it. If he could get back into the Game he'd be COINing the war on Terra, too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Masters of the Obvious

So many inevitable and unsurprising things happened today.

*The $upremes continue to provide the best Justice money can buy.
...Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of the Enron fraud, persuaded the Supreme Court that the concept of committing fraud through depriving an employer of “honest services” was not adequately defined in the law...

*As IOZ sez,
...I am glad to live in a world where the ongoing slaughter of civilians is a resume-builder but badmouthing the boss is a firing offense.

*Said bloody-handed butcher's seppuku accomplished exactly what it was supposed to: the man who "pacified" Iraq by withdrawing to bases around the oilfields, shutting down all main$tream reports out of there, and paying the Iraqi warlords whatever the hell they wanted to keep it quiet gets to do the same kind of thing in Afghanistan.
...“No one — be they adversaries or friends, or especially our troops — should misinterpret these personnel changes as a slackening of this government’s commitment to the mission in Afghanistan,” Mr. Gates said. “We remain committed to that mission and to the comprehensive civil-military strategy ordered by the president to achieve our goals there.”

*Yessir, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again alrighty;
Congress Fails to Pass an Extension of Jobless Aid

Why are these things inevitable and predictable? It's like Ian and Lambert said. They're obvious if chaos and collapse are not a bug, but a feature.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

in fact it's a gas

What is the big deal about the methane venting from the Gulf?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 12, 2001) — A tremendous release of methane gas frozen beneath the sea floor heated the Earth by up to 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) 55 million years ago, a new NASA study confirms. NASA scientists used data from a computer simulation of the paleo-climate to better understand the role of methane in climate change. While most greenhouse gas studies focus on carbon dioxide, methane is 20 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere...

the best justice black gold can buy

think of the jobs

WASHINGTON — A federal judge Tuesday struck down President Barack Obama's six-month ban on new deepwater drilling, siding with oil companies that argued that it would harm their businesses, eliminate jobs and weaken the economies of Gulf Coast states.

While the White House said it would immediately appeal the decision, environmental groups launched a quicker salvo, publicizing financial disclosure forms that showed that the judge in the case, Martin Feldman of the U.S. District Court in New Orleans, owns or has owned shares in several oil and gas firms. According to Feldman's 2008 disclosures, he held up to $15,000 in Transocean, the owner of the ill-fated rig at a BP well that's pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Legal experts said the revelation of a potential conflict of interest would bolster the Obama administration's case, but appealing the decision puts the president at odds with many Gulf Coast residents, who rely on the deepwater oil industry for tens of thousands of jobs...

As opposed to the 50 million or so of other people who depend on a live Gulf for a livelihood.

One heard Diane Sawyer wringing her hands about this on the Disney News the other night. Think of little Timmy, who will not be able to race his yacht.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"...Alive and Unafraid"

No matter what the fan club does to him, he's served his purpose.

...In an article in Rolling Stone magazine, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his aides spoke critically of nearly every member of the president’s national security team, saying President Obama appeared “uncomfortable and intimidated” during his first White House meeting with the general, and dismissing Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as “Bite Me.”

Now, while I'm sure Biden, the former DINOcratic $enator from MBNA, would be more than happy to Bite Him, the One seems to be a little more circumspect about snapping at this highly polished brass bait.

The fishers being the Company factors that support Petraeus Caesar for Prez. After all, McChrystal is a good Centurion for his Caesar first and foremost, and the One is in the perfect position to realize this. Why look how successful his efforts have been in Afghanistan [tip o'teh tinfoil to Ian Welsh].

The idiots in Washington think its been a failure. Just what do the Villagers know about the real motivations behind the War on Terra? What will they let themselves know? Like this is an accident.

McChrystal is smart and evil enough to realize that victory isn't measured in such a crude manner as winning the war on Terra. Victory is the Struggle itself, where the warrior elite endlessly rule in endless war. The bank$ters who profit tidily concur. They think it's easier to own an Empire than a Republic.

Obama had better not let McChrystal commit 腹切り his way. Best to sever the head from the body, lest this zombie or his master rise and run in 2012.

on the stove while they were burning the 1st amendment in the oven

...looks like the $upremes can't get enough of that funky stuff these days.

You don't want your soybeans making their own pesticides? Tough!

...A federal district judge in San Francisco had ruled in 2007 that the Agriculture Department had approved the genetically engineered alfalfa for commercial planting without adequately considering the possible environment impact, as required by federal law. The judge vacated approval, known as deregulation of the crop, and also imposed a nationwide ban on planting those seeds. The ban was later upheld on appeal.

But the Supreme Court, in a 7-to-1 decision, said the lower court judge had gone too far, ruling that the national ban prevented the Agriculture Department from considering a partial approval. That avenue, the court said, would have allowed some of the alfalfa to be grown under certain conditions; for example, isolating it from conventional alfalfa.

“The district court barred the agency from pursuing any deregulation — no matter how limited the geographic area in which planting of RRA would be allowed,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote in the opinion, referring to Roundup Ready alfalfa...

Let's forget about the only thing Roundup kills anymore is your liver and/or bone marrow and non-recombinant crops the farmer next door might be trying to raise. It increasingly doesn't do a damn thing to the worst weeds anymore.

But hey, it's great for Monsanto's drive to replace all traditional crops worldwide with sterile recombinant crops whose seed can only be purchased from Monsanto.

Protection Money

It's not just Taliban Warlords and Baath Sunni that get into the act. Meet the latest incarnation of Blackwater/ Xe:

The United States Training Center:

...The United States Embassy here said Saturday that the company once known as Blackwater Worldwide has been awarded a contract worth more than $120 million to protect new United States consulates in the Afghan cities of Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif, The Associated Press reported.

The United States Training Center, a business unit of the former Blackwater, which is now called Xe Services, won the contract on Friday over two other American companies, Triple Canopy and DynCorps International, an embassy spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, said, according to The A.P. The one-year contract can be extended twice for three months each for a maximum of 18 months, she said...

Giving Material Aid and Comfort to Terra

That's what The New York Pravda is evidently guilty of reporting this.

Or maybe not "it is said":

KABUL, Afghanistan — American taxpayers have inadvertently created a network of warlords across Afghanistan who are making millions of dollars escorting NATO convoys and operating outside the control of either the Afghan government or the American and NATO militaries, according to the results of a Congressional investigation released Monday.

The investigation, begun last year by the House Subcommittee for National Security, found that money given to these Afghan warlords often amounts to little more than mafia-style protection payments, with some NATO convoys that refused to pay the warlords coming under attack.

The subcommittee, led by Representative John F. Tierney, Democrat of Massachusetts, also uncovered evidence suggesting that American taxpayer money is making its way to the Taliban. Several trucking company supervisors told investigators that they believed the gunmen they hired to escort their convoys bribed the Taliban not to attack...

The Corporate State of Amerika has at least two divisions. One makes money on contruction. The other makes money on destruction. Thus the generalized policy: Chaos is the Plan.

Bob Herbert voices the concerns of the guys in the Empire-building division today:

We’ve blown so many enormous opportunities over the past several years. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, when most of the world had lined up in support of the United States, President George W. Bush had the chance to lead a vast cooperative, international effort to combat terrorism and lay the groundwork for a more peaceful, more secure world.

He blew it with the invasion of Iraq.

In the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we had not just the chance but an obligation to call on our best talent to creatively rebuild the historic city of New Orleans. That could have kick-started a major renovation of the nation’s infrastructure and served as the incubator for a new and desperately needed urban policy. Despite President Bush’s vow of “bold action” during a carefully staged, nationally televised appearance in the French Quarter, we did nothing of the kind.

The collapse of the economy in the Great Recession gave us the starkest, most painful evidence imaginable of the failure of laissez-faire economics and the destructive force of the alliance of big business and government against the interests of ordinary Americans. Radical change was called for. (One thinks of Franklin Roosevelt raging against the “economic royalists” and asserting that “we need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer.”)

But there has been no radical change, only caution and timidity and more of the same. The royalists remain triumphant and working people are absorbing blow after devastating blow. More than 1.2 million of the long-term jobless are due to lose their unemployment benefits this month.

The oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, as horrible as it has been, was yet another opportunity. In his address to the nation from the Oval Office last week, President Obama could have laid out a dramatic new energy policy for the U.S., calling on every American to do his or her part to help us escape the insidious, nonstop destruction that is the result of our obsessive reliance on fossil fuels.

He chose not to.

As a nation, we are becoming more and more accustomed to a sense of helplessness. We no longer rise to the great challenges before us. It’s not just that we can’t plug the oil leak, which is the perfect metaphor for what we’ve become. We can’t seem to do much of anything...

We do one thing quite well. We prop our axels up and give it all the gas we can to spin our wheels, generating tremendous amounts of kinetic energy and burning through an incomprehensible amount of money doing so. Pretty good deal for the guys who sell the stuff, no?

And to say otherwise, to point the way out of the maze to the harried competing rodents, by the $upreme's estimation, that's now illegal.

Chaos is the plan.

Monday, June 21, 2010

just Following up on Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

So... if the Pentagon pays off Sunni insurgents to keep the peace in Iraq, and the CIA kisses up to Afghani Talibani warlords who let the opium, the lithium, and the gas lines through with dollars and روپیہ they can use across their border, am I breaking the law if I pay my taxes?

no, but i used to party with a shining path maoist

Ask a silly question, get a date with Team Amerika to prove your Patriotism.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Final Solution

If concern about an endangered species presents problems for BP's bottom line, what's a Company to do?

Make sure every last one of the little bastards is burned alive, of course.

A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP's controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts.

Mike Ellis, a boat captain involved in a three-week effort to rescue as many sea turtles from unfolding disaster as possible, says BP effectively shut down the operation by preventing boats from coming out to rescue the turtles.

"They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us get back in there," Ellis said in an interview with conservation biologist Catherine Craig...

Why not? Well, probably there is this little factoid involved:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An internal BP Plc document released on Sunday by a senior U.S. congressional Democrat shows that the company estimates that a worst-case scenario rate for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be about 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

The estimate of 100,000 barrels (4.2 million gallons/15.9 million liters) of oil per day is far higher than the current U.S. government estimate of up to 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons/9.5 million liters) per day gushing from the ruptured offshore well into the sea...

This is an estimate a lot of scientists have been tossing around ever since the beginning, and a likely reason BP has been trying to block flyovers or any scientific investigations of the crime scene.

elements of a slave society

linked here

"the choice between inept government and no government is no choice at all"

Frank Rich lets the One have it today, linking to and summarizing Tim Dickson:

...Ken Salazar left too many “long-serving lackeys of the oil industry in charge” at M.M.S. even as he added to their responsibilities by raising offshore drilling to record levels. One of those Bush holdovers was tainted by a scandal that will cost taxpayers as much as $53 billion in uncollected drilling fees from the oil giants — or more than twice what Obama has extracted from BP for its sins so far.

Dickinson reports that Salazar and M.M.S. continued to give BP free rein well after Obama took office — despite the company’s horrific record of having been “implicated in each of the worst oil disasters in American history, dating back to the Exxon Valdez in 1989.” Even as the interior secretary hyped himself as “a new sheriff in town,” BP was given a green light to drill in the gulf without a comprehensive environmental review.

Obama has said he would have fired Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, but his own managers have not been held so accountable. The new director of M.M.S. installed by Salazar 10 months ago has now walked the plank, but she doesn’t appear to have been a major player in lapses that were all but ordained by policy imperatives from above. The president has still neither explained nor apologized for his own assertion in early April that “oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills” — a statement that is simply impossible to square with Salazar’s claim that the administration’s new offshore drilling policy, supposedly the product of a year’s study, was “based on sound information and sound science.”

The president must come clean and clean house not just because it’s right. He must rebuild confidence in his government for that inevitable day when the next crisis hits the fan. That would be Afghanistan, and the day is rapidly arriving. Already Obama’s chosen executive there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is calling the much-heralded test case for administration counterinsurgency policy — the de-Talibanization and stabilization of the Marja district — “a bleeding ulcer.” And that, relatively speaking, is the good news from this war.

The president’s shake-up of his own governance can’t wait, as tradition often has it, until after the next election. The Tea Party is at the barricades. When Obama said yet again on Tuesday that he would be “happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party,” you wanted to shout back, Enough already! His energy would be far better spent calling out in no uncertain terms what the other party’s “ideas and approaches” are. The more the Fox-Palin right has strengthened its hold on the G.O.P. during primary season, the sharper and more risky its ideology has become.

When Rand Paul defended BP against Salazar’s (empty) threat to keep a boot on the company’s neck, he was not speaking as some oddball libertarian outlier. His views are mainstream in his conservative cohort. Traditional Republican calls for limited government have given way to radical cries for abolishing many of modern government’s essential tasks. Paul has called for the elimination of the Department of Education, the Federal Reserve and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The newest G.O.P. star — Sharron Angle, the victor in this month’s Republican senatorial primary in Nevada — has also marked the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security and Medicare for either demolition or privatization.

Pertinently enough, Angle has also called for processing highly radioactive nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. If Americans abhor poorly regulated deepwater oil drilling, wait until they get a load of nuclear waste on land with no regulatory agency in charge at all. The choice between inept government and no government is no choice at all, of course. But there would be a clear alternative if the president could persuade the country that Washington, or at least its executive branch, can be reformed — a process that demands him to own up fully to his own mistakes and decisively correct them.

While the greatest environmental disaster in our history is a trying juncture for Obama, it also provides him with a nearly unparalleled opening to make his and government’s case. The spill’s sole positive benefit has been to unambiguously expose the hard right, for all its populist pandering to the Tea Partiers, as a stalking horse for its most rapacious corporate patrons. If this president can speak lucidly of race to America, he can certainly explain how the antigovernment crusaders are often the paid toadies of bad actors like BP. Such big corporations are only too glad to replace big government with governance of their own, by their own, and for their own profit — while the “small people” are left to eat cake at their tea parties.

When Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, revived Rand Paul’s defense of BP last week by apologizing on camera to Hayward for the “tragedy” of the White House’s “$20 billion shakedown,” the G.O.P. establishment had to shut him down because he was revealing the party’s true loyalties, not because it disagreed with him. Barton was merely echoing Michele Bachmann, who labeled the $20 billion for gulf victims a “redistribution-of-wealth fund,” and the 100-plus other House members whose Republican Study Committee had labeled the $20 billion a “Chicago-style shakedown” only a day before Barton did.

These tribunes of the antigovernment right and their Tea Party auxiliaries are clamoring for a new revolution to “take back America” — after which, we now can see, they would hand over America to the likes of BP. Let Deepwater Horizon be ground zero for a 9/11 showdown over the role of government. There couldn’t be a riper moment for Obama, as a man once said, to bring it on.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who Can Stop the (Organic Acid & Hydrocarbon) Rain?

Good question if that's what it is- no hard data is released yet.

not the New World Order they were thinking of

...not Poppy Bu$h anyway.

Nobody figured Pootie played chess and poker quite well...

Methane Clathrates & Oil Geochemistry: Totally Unrelated

..officially. There are two big theories (one favored and one scoffed at) that form the basis of the dogma of how you get the hydrocarbons in your gas tank.

The first theory is, chances are, the one you're familiar with: oil is a fossil fuel. Al Gore particularly likes that theory, as does the Left, since it's how they can drum up support (hey, it's a living) for decreased oil consumption. Don't use it all up, kids, 'cause in 50 years it's all gone.

Producing a new aristocracy in the interim... which is what the Bu$hies are into. Which likely means Cheneyburton believes it, as well. Some kinda NeoLiberals, those.

The other theory is the "abiotic" theory which the Russians and many of the Right wingnuts seem to favor saying that oil is continually produced by geochemical processes. Or God. Or somehow.

Which none of their leaders may believe, since it means there would be no way they could ever hope to establish their hegemony.

It may be that's the horn they toot because they want you to drive faster and use up all the oil.

Then there's the other theory, which is circumstantial, unsupported by any research, and of course, my pet crackpot idea. It has to do with methane clathyrates. These are found naturally- trillions of tons worth- at the bottom of bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico. They are also found (in uncomfortably high concentrations) associated with the oil that's found in the sediments at the Gulf of Mexico and other places.

These are produced by methanogenic bacteria in chemical reactions similar to the ones in your own gut. At high pressures and cool temperatures, however, the methane instead of being a gas, forms a semisolid gel with water. My bet- which nobody's officially ever tried to examine to my knowledge- is that under the floor of the ocean's sediments some extremophilic bacteria manage to glean some energy to survive by turning that methane into long-chain hydrocarbons. Like gasoline.

Of course, the idea that gasoline really is a renewable resource if you couple together the right enzymes to make it is an idea guys like Craig Venter cherish. That there may be metric tons of these organisms spewing up- and likely dying in the process- from the Gulf floor right now is one that does not seem to occur to anyone.

The idea that by culturing said organisms, or cloning their genes into bugs we can grow in the lab, we might be able to halt all drilling everywhere and end some very lucrative wars in the process does not seem to occur to polite company.

Still, the spice must flow, and doubtless the sandworms bacterially produced methane at the bottom of the Gulf has nothing at all to do with it.

Just to be perfectly clear, I imagine that biogenic not abiotic oil is renewable, but to get a reservoir the size of Saudi Arabia's or the Gulf of Mexico's it's still probably going to millions of years. That's a guestimate.

So yes, I think we probably will use it all up, but I also think the biology is out there to support a biotechnological industrial base.

I think it's also a safe bet those who would rule us won't allow its development until they've squeezed every last cent out of the ground.

Sanction with Extreme Bipartisanship

Bradley Manning committed the crime of trying to tell the 'Merkan public what the rest of the world pretty much knows.

Top Secret Strategery

I was getting tired of winters, anyway, and if you can't move down the Gulf, why not just bring the Gulf up to, say, Paducah...

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

[tip o'teh tinfoil to Thomas Daulton, Jack Crow, and IOZ]

Hope™ for Change®

Why I really believe the One is going to fix the Gulf!

Despite President Barack Obama's promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis.

The Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service has signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since June 2, when the agency's acting director announced tougher safety regulations for drilling in the Gulf, a McClatchy review of public records has discovered.

Three of the projects were approved with waivers exempting them from detailed studies of their environmental impact — the same waiver the MMS granted to BP for the ill-fated well that's been fouling the Gulf with crude for two months.

In a May 14 speech in the Rose Garden, Obama said he was "closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews."

Good thing, too. Could you imagine what the difference would be in the Gulf- or Iraq- or Afghanistan- or for your rights of habeas corpus if Bu$hCo-Cheneyburton were still in charge?

keeping it in perspective

after all, sez Pravda, it's no K/T boundary event


just wait until those ding-dongs, after discovering relief wells only make matters worse, decide to use a nuke to try to seal it off, without taking to account the deposit is the size of the state of Alabama, made of 40% methane, and at a pressure of 40,000 p.s.i. ...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Straw Shakedown

The main$tream punditry is shocked, shocked I tell you, at the Audacity™ of a $20 billion fund to fix the Gulf.

The usual suspects decry a socialist shakedown.

The reality is that the economic damage alone of what has happened and continues to be happening in the Gulf and elsewhere because of it easily dwarfs $20 billion.

But, chances are that all the handwringing about Whether He's Done Too Much, whether about the Gulf, the economy, or the War on Terra will continue in an attempt drown out the damage reports and the capitulation.

"...1937 all over again..."

Krugman doubts the moral virtue of the budgeteers:

... the real motivations for their obsession with austerity lie somewhere else.

In America, many self-described deficit hawks are hypocrites, pure and simple: They’re eager to slash benefits for those in need, but their concerns about red ink vanish when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy. Thus, Senator Ben Nelson, who sanctimoniously declared that we can’t afford $77 billion in aid to the unemployed, was instrumental in passing the first Bush tax cut, which cost a cool $1.3 trillion...

Austerity is a tool for social control. It's Robert Bork's "only way" to enforce his social worldview on the rest of the world. Of course, that moralistic worldview itself is a smokescreen for the very rich and powerful to retain their wealth and power with a minimal effort.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Silk Strategery

Chaos is the plan designed to keep control in control:

...Wherever there is a war, look for CIA/IMF/private military war profiteers covertly funding and supporting BOTH sides in order to keep the wars raging and the profits rolling in. As former CIA Station Chief John Stockwell explained: “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn...”

And it might be the Ring of Power, Mr. Stewart, but I know Frodo Baggins, and this man is no Frodo Baggins:

Respect My Authoritah
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Frodo was never pwned by the Nazgul:

...The White House is intervening at the last minute to come to the defense of multinational corporations in the unfolding conference committee negotiations over Wall Street reform.

A measure that had been generally agreed to by both the House and Senate, which would have affirmed the SEC's authority to allow investors to have proxy access to the corporate decision-making process, was stripped by the Senate in conference committee votes on Wednesday and Thursday. Five sources with knowledge of the situation said the White House pushed for the measure to be stripped at the behest of the Business Roundtable. The sources -- congressional aides as well as outside advocates -- requested anonymity for fear of White House reprisal...

No Frodo, Mr. Stewart. He's just another emissary of Sauron, holding the turf until the real Dark Lord returns.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cheap Hit

WASHINGTON — Four days of intense negotiations between the White House and BP lawyers allowed President Obama to announce Wednesday that the oil giant would create a $20 billion fund to pay damage claims to thousands of fishermen and others along the Gulf Coast...

Sure, they will, I'm sure none of that money will end up where it doesn't belong.

The thought occurs that once the entire Gulf marine ecosystem is dead and all the colorful locals have moved onwards (one way or another) the Company will be able to do whatever they want there. Drill as much as they want. Whatever.

Certainly they seem to have set up BP for the hit. An arrogant corporate structure with stupid and greedy executives that has already been seriously short-sold by Goldman-Sachs. If the One is stupid enough to take the hit as well with his Bipartisan bumbling obvious corruption, so much the better for the Cheneyburton-Bu$h clan plans or anyone else the Old Ones smile upon.

blame capture

Barry is trying to lay some of that Original Sin on you, so his owners can go to the bank without any hassle.

Juan Cole got this, alright, reproduced here:

No, the BP oil volcano in the Gulf of Mexico is not your fault, despite what many pundits will tell you. Back in the 1960s when the environmental movement got going, major US corporations responsible for much of the nation’s pollution decided to fight it by paying for television advertising that urged individuals not to litter, thus implying that pollution is produced by anarchic individuals rather than by organized businesses. It was a crock then and it is a crock now.

You did not demand that BP consistently cut safety corners more than any other petroleum company, thus resulting in the Deepwater Horizon calamity, which could end up costing the economy of the Gulf of Mexico literally hundreds of billions of dollars this year.

How much the Gulf oil catastrophe is not your fault can more clearly be seen if we consider the ways in which a BP refinery in Indiana is threatening the Great Lakes with excess pollution.

The BP refinery received permission from the Indiana legislature to increase its ammonia and silt (infested with toxic heavy metals) output into the Lakes. The increased pollution was part of an expansion of the refinery to allow it to process Canadian tar sands. In addition, BP has illegally spewed extra benzene into the lakes (benzene is a known cause of leukemia) and has also repeatedly broken the law with regard to air pollution standards.

You did not ask BP to dump extra benzene illegally into Lake Michigan (the lakes are connected). You did not agitate in Indianapolis to permit the refinery to expand to handle tar sand, which is all by itself an ecological catastrophe. You did not demand that more ammonia and toxic metals be dumped into the lakes. None of these crimes against nature was your individual responsibility.

Rather, the Indiana legislature passed these laws because of ‘legislative capture.’ That phenomenon occurs when an industry that is supposed to be regulated by a legislature instead pays so much for political campaigns that it captures the members and proves able to write the legislation affecting its interests. Legislative capture explains almost everything that is wrong with America today, from the wars to the difficulty in expanding health care, and from inaction on climate change to the high price of prescription drugs.

Legislative capture is not your fault.

In fact, it is mostly the fault of Ronald Reagan, who so lowered taxes on the rich that he allowed them to capture almost all the country’s increased wealth since the 1980s, depriving ordinary Americans of any real increase in the standard of living. Since our filthy rich quadrupled their wealth in recent decades but most of you don’t have 4 times as much money in the bank as you used to, you are competing less and less well with the rich for access to and influence with your elected representatives.

This year a man worth $9 billion died and passed it on to his children without paying any estate tax at all, thanks to the Republican Party. This situation is creating a permanent aristocracy of the sort that in the eighteenth century ruled the 13 colonies in the East and the northern territories of the Spanish Empire in the West, all of which now have congealed into the United States. One of the points of the American Revolution from the point of view of Thomas Jefferson was to make the country safe for middling, yeoman farmers and to prevent the distant colonial aristocracy from taxing us without representation.

Our new business aristocracy, whether Big Oil or Big Banking, taxes us indirectly by legislative capture, by arranging for bought-and-paid-for politicians to subsidize their industries with public tax monies. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, and often the wealthy have made key contributions to society. But let us face it. Business classes are interested in short-term profit and seldom think in terms of long-term cost-benefit for society. Having a dynamic business class in a society can be a plus if its focus on short-term gain for the company can be offset by other powerful forces in society– labor unions, NGOs, intellectuals and others. But when the business classes get so they own nearly half the privately held wealth, they can overwhelm everyone else and take society in self-destructive directions– as happened with the Iraq War, the economic collapse in September of 2008 and with the oil rig collapse in April 2010.

And that is not your fault.

Now, part of what the pundits are saying when they say the Gulf oil gusher is your fault is that you like to drive your car inexpensively to work, and so you are part of a consumer market that motivates BP to drill. But it is grossly unfair to blame you, the worker, for the difficulty of getting to work by much more efficient rail or for allegedly rejecting electric vehicles powered by .e.g. wind farms.

The US government gives and has for decades given massive hidden subsidies to the petroleum industry that make gasoline seem far less expensive than than it is, and auto, cement and oil corporations successfully lobbied for taxpayer subsidies for highway systems rather than for rail and public transport.

You did not ask them to do that.

And teh Speech?

I like this comment:

"Thirty years on and I'm as incompetent, out-of-touch, and untrustworthy as Reagan." That's all I heard.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"It is a clear and present danger to our Nation. These are facts and we simply must face them."

Dave Johnson takes us on a spin down memory lane.

Speaking of clear and present danger, look who Pakistan's ISI is supporting now.

For that matter, look who's supporting the ISI.

Seems like I heard all this awhile ago...

But of course, the Endless War couldn't be about the oil, could it?

Speaking of Endless War, and Make No Mistake, one begins to wonder if we aren't now endlessly screwed:

...Mr. Obama described the oil spill variously, using metaphors of war and plague, saying it is “assaulting our shores and our citizens” and in its spread is “like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

“But make no mistake,” he said, “we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.” ...

in the moral equivalent of war,

burning the village to save it

Speaking before troops Tuesday morning at a naval air station in Pensacola, Mr. Obama described the spill as an “assault on our shores” and invoked the need for a military response. “We’re going to fight back with everything we’ve got,” he said. “And that includes mobilizing our resources with the greatest military in the world.”

Whose major contractor for fuel is... you guessed it, BP.

Monday, June 14, 2010

just as angry as his makeup will allow

Ah, memories. Anyone still remember who really owns teh Rahmmer's free rental in DC?

The One's gonna make for green energy now and make BP pay.

For just as long as the main$tream's got the camera on him, I'm sure.

You can bet the main$tream won't put any cameras on this: a Russian prediction that this spill could go on for quite some time:

...In a recent discussion, Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Russian State University of Oil and Gas, predicted that the present oil spill flooding the Gulf Coast shores of the United States “could go on for years and years … many years.”

According to Kutcherov, a leading specialist in the theory of abiogenic deep origin of petroleum, “What BP drilled into was what we call a ‘migration channel,’ a deep fault on which hydrocarbons generated in the depth of our planet migrate to the crust and are accumulated in rocks, something like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.” Ghawar, the world’s most prolific oilfield has been producing millions of barrels daily for almost 70 years with no end in sight. According to the abiotic science, Ghawar like all elephant and giant oil and gas deposits all over the world, is located on a migration channel similar to that in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.

As I wrote at the time of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster, Haiti had been identified as having potentially huge hydrocasrbon reserves, as has neighboring Cuba. Kutcherov estimates that the entire Gulf of Mexico is one of the planet’s most abundant accessible locations to extract oil and gas, at least before the Deepwater Horizon event this April.

“In my view the heads of BP reacted with panic at the scale of the oil spewing out of the well,” Kutcherov adds. “What is inexplicable at this point is why they are trying one thing, failing, then trying a second, failing, then a third. Given the scale of the disaster they should try every conceivable option, even if it is ten, all at once in hope one works. Otherwise, this oil source could spew oil for years given the volumes coming to the surface already...”

According to a report from Washington investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, “the Obama White House and British Petroleum are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP’s liability for damage caused by what can be called a ‘mega-disaster.’” Madsen cites sources within the US Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection for his assertion.

Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Salazar, are working with BP’s chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. According to informed estimates cited by Madsen, however, the disaster has a real potential cost of at least $1,000 billion ($1 trillion). That estimate would support the pessimistic assessment of Kutcherov that the spill, if not rapidly controlled, “will destroy the entire coastline of the United States.”

According to the Washington report of Madsen, BP statements that one of the leaks has been contained, are “pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration., according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources.”

The White House has been resisting releasing any “damaging information” about the oil disaster. Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers experts estimate that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.

Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a “national security issue.” Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano’s actual reasoning for invoking national security, according to Madsen, was merely to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.

The Obama administration also conspired with BP to hide the extent of the oil leak, according to the cited federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day were gushing from the seabed chasm. Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day. However, submersibles monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what they describe as a “volcanic-like” eruption of oil.

When the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick, which is larger than is being reported by the media, it was reportedly denied the access. By chance, National Geographic managed to obtain satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site. Other satellite imagery reportedly being withheld by the Obama administration, shows that what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to Madsen’s sources.

The Corps of Engineers and FEMA are reported to be highly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only now has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. Under the loose regulatory measures implemented by the Bush-Cheney Administration, the US Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service became a simple “rubber stamp,” approving whatever the oil companies wanted in terms of safety precautions that could have averted such a disaster. Madsen describes a state of “criminal collusion” between Cheney’s former firm, Halliburton, and the Interior Department’s MMS, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.

Without doubt at this point we are in the midst of what could be the greatest ecological catastrophe in history. The oil platform explosion took place almost within the current loop where the Gulf Stream originates. This has huge ecological and climatological consequences.

A cursory look at a map of the Gulf Stream shows that the oil is not just going to cover the beaches in the Gulf, it will spread to the Atlantic coasts up through North Carolina then on to the North Sea and Iceland. And beyond the damage to the beaches, sea life and water supplies, the Gulf stream has a very distinct chemistry, composition (marine organisms), density, temperature. What happens if the oil and the dispersants and all the toxic compounds they create actually change the nature of the Gulf Stream? No one can rule out potential changes including changes in the path of the Gulf Stream, and even small changes could have huge impacts. Europe, including England, is not an icy wasteland due to the warming from the Gulf Stream.

Yet there is a deafening silence from the very environmental organizations which ought to be at the barricades demanding that BP, the US Government and others act decisively.

That deafening silence of leading green or ecology organizations such as Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and others may well be tied to a money trail that leads right back to the oil industry, notably to BP. Leading environmental organizations have gotten significant financial payoffs in recent years from BP in order that the oil company could remake itself with an “environment-friendly face,” as in “beyond petroleum” the company’s new branding.

The Nature Conservancy, described as “the world’s most powerful environmental group,” has awarded BP a seat on its International Leadership Council after the oil company gave the organization more than $10 million in recent years.

Until recently, the Conservancy and other environmental groups worked with BP in a coalition that lobbied Congress on climate-change issues. An employee of BP Exploration serves as an unpaid Conservancy trustee in Alaska. In addition, according to a recent report published by the Washington Post, Conservation International, another environmental group, has accepted $2 million in donations from BP and worked with the company on a number of projects, including one examining oil-extraction methods. From 2000 to 2006, John Browne, then BP's chief executive, sat on the CI board.

Further, The Environmental Defense Fund, another influential ecologist organization, joined with BP, Shell and other major corporations to form a Partnership for Climate Action, to promote ‘market-based mechanisms’ (sic) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental non-profit groups that have accepted donations from or joined in projects with BP include Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club and Audubon. That could explain why the political outcry to date for decisive action in the Gulf has been so muted.

Of course those organizations are not going to be the ones to solve this catastrophe. The central point at this point is who is prepared to put the urgently demanded federal and international scientific resources into solving this crisis. Further actions of the likes of that from the Obama White House to date or from BP can only lead to the conclusion that some very powerful people want this debacle to continue. The next weeks will be critical to that assessment...

Why We Fight

It's not just the oil!

WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys...

$1 trillion

No wonder we had to treat a crime as an act of war on 9/11 even though neither the Iraqi nor Afghani governments had anything to do with it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

a significant contribution to the greatest mass extinction since the end of the Mesozoic

5 of The World's 7 Sea Turtles are Threatened by the BP Gulf Oil Spill
Some migrate more than 1,000 miles. Some wait 50 years to mate for the first time. Some grow to the size of a small car. From the most abundant sea turtle in the world, to the world's only vegetarian sea turtle, five threatened and endangered turtles are in peril, thanks to the BP Gulf oil spill.

[tip o'teh tinfoil to Cookie Jill]

The FAA is restricting flights over the spill area- an increasingly huge part of the Gulf of Mexico. The better to keep most of you complacent with, my dears.

One suspects the time for complacence is long past even as the One tries to soothe the nervous sheep with promises of Moloch.

Jumpy, indeed:

...As you have probably seen and maybe feel yourselves, there are several things that do not appear to make sense regarding the actions of attack against the well. Don't feel bad, there is much that doesn't make sense even to professionals unless you take into account some important variables that we are not being told about. There seems to me to be a reluctance to face what cannot be termed anything less than grim circumstances in my opinion. There certainly is a reluctance to inform us regular people and all we have really gotten is a few dots here and there...

First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be happening..it's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do...you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:

The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".

That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...

The whole drillsite area is starting to leak as well:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Meet the New Boss

Same as the old boss.

And why not? [tip o'teh tinfoil to vastleft]

...The actual apparatus of government isn't "polarized" at all. War and big business are shared endeavors. The expansion of the surveillance state, the destruction of privacy, the erosion of individual human autonomy, the destruction of the rights of the accused, the essentially superlegal status of police and military forces, and the project to create a population of placid, uninformed instruction-followers via a carefully designed program of national mediocrity are all joint endeavors.

But, well, uh, I mean, I guess there are still plenty of schmoes who can't figure out that the good cop and the bad cop are on the same fucking team.

Which brings me back to my favorite topic of disaster & shock therapy. Atrios, man, the Very Serious People know exactly what they're doing.

How do you destroy an environmental awareness among the electorate? Why, have their Environmental President chair the destruction of said environment.

The Feds insist on leaving it all to BP, who insist on ignoring the practice of good booming, who refuse the free, no charge offer of assistance from the Alabama National Guard in the cleanup, who ignore the State of Texas's practice of using massive microbial degradation to clean up big oil spills.

They spread a bug powder on the oil. It goes away in a few weeks. It's that simple. It's not being used.

Chaos is the plan. Almost certainly, Obama is owned by the biggest contractor for fuel the Pentagon has, explaining why the Endless War remains endless, the same way the Endless Leak won't be stopped.

One-Upping Anything Bu$hCo Could Do

the environmental One supporting the green energy Company:

WASHINGTON — Weeks before the world had ever heard of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, President Barack Obama stood in the Roosevelt Room of the White House poring over maps of oil drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and elsewhere.

Satisfied that he knew all he needed to know and confident that it was safe, he decided to propose expanded offshore drilling.

"This is not a decision that I've made lightly," he said when he unveiled his proposal on March 31.

"Oil rigs today generally don't cause spills," he added two days later. "They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn't come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore..."

Friday, June 11, 2010

some oil for the blood funnel

The vampire squid turns up in the most interesting places.

Via Cryptogon, a word from the Trilateral Commission

Peter Sutherland is chairman of BP plc (1997 - current). He is also chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995 - current). He was appointed chairman of the London School of Economics in 2008. He is currently UN special representative for migration and development. Before these appointments, he was the founding director-general of the World Trade Organisation...

You have to admit, that squamous acolyte of Cthulhu gets around. But the minions of the Old Ones, it turns out, have played their eldritch games with the people bringing oil to your shores, too.

The brokerage firm that's faced the most scrutiny from regulators in the past year over the shorting of mortgage related securities seems to have had good timing when it came to something else: the stock of British oil giant BP.

According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman's sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP's stock during the quarter...

Failure makes money for the Faithful who are sure they will be eaten last.

Look for a franchise of R'lyeh to be opening soon near you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010



...From the beginning of the disaster, BP has provided estimates that were vastly lower than reality...

Capping the Flow

of news about the leak makes the pages of Pravda.

When the operators of Southern Seaplane in Belle Chasse, La., called the local Coast Guard-Federal Aviation Administration command center for permission to fly over restricted airspace in Gulf of Mexico, they made what they thought was a simple and routine request.

A pilot wanted to take a photographer from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to snap photographs of the oil slicks blackening the water. The response from a BP contractor who answered the phone late last month at the command center was swift and absolute: Permission denied.

“We were questioned extensively. Who was on the aircraft? Who did they work for?” recalled Rhonda Panepinto, who owns Southern Seaplane with her husband, Lyle. “The minute we mentioned media, the answer was: ‘Not allowed.’ ”

...Scientists, too, have complained about the trickle of information that has emerged from BP and government sources. Three weeks passed, for instance, from the time the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20 and the first images of oil gushing from an underwater pipe were released by BP.

...Anomalies or not, reporters and photographers continue to be blocked from covering aspects of the spill.

Last week, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, tried to bring a small group of journalists with him on a trip he was taking through the gulf on a Coast Guard vessel. Mr. Nelson’s office said the Coast Guard agreed to accommodate the reporters and camera operators. But at about 10 p.m. on the evening before the trip, someone from the Department of Homeland Security’s legislative affairs office called the senator’s office to tell them that no journalists would be allowed.

“They said it was the Department of Homeland Security’s response-wide policy not to allow elected officials and media on the same ‘federal asset,’ ” said Bryan Gulley, a spokesman for the senator. “No further elaboration” was given, Mr. Gulley added.

Mr. Nelson has asked the Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, for an official explanation, the senator’s office said.

Capt. Ron LaBrec, a Coast Guard spokesman, said that about a week into the cleanup response, the Coast Guard started enforcing a policy that prohibits news media from accompanying candidates for public office on visits to government facilities, “to help manage the large number of requests for media embeds and visits by elected officials.”

In a separate incident last week, a reporter and photographer from The Daily News of New York were told by a BP contractor they could not access a public beach on Grand Isle, La., one of the areas most heavily affected by the oil spill. The contractor summoned a local sheriff, who then told the reporter, Matthew Lysiak, that news media had to fill out paperwork and then be escorted by a BP official to get access to the beach.

BP did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.

“I said under what authority are you telling me I have to leave?” Mr. Lysiak recalled. “He said he would call the sheriff.”

I'm sure BP owns an army of 'em.

...CBS News reported last month that one of its news crews was threatened with arrest for trying to film a public beach where oil had washed ashore. The Coast Guard said later that it was disappointed to learn of the incident...

Disappointed, doubtless, by the failure of civilians to take the word of the criminals running the crime scene.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Useful Illusions

Democrats believe in democracy as a useful principle of governance. Meaning, of course, Democratic voters.

To think many people involved in government actually think this-especially our $elected officials, from the President through Congress- is sheer delusion.

For your consideration, the behavior of the One:

...Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez...

Just read it all...

The thought occurs, the best way to kill the environmental movement is to have their champion destroy what they would protect.

Like 9/11, my conclusion is they Let It Happen On Purpose.