Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I have no doubt were are poisoning ourselves. The plot developed in Children of Men seems probable to me given that many of the poisons we expose ourselves to impact reproductive processes.
This article on autism is timely given the horific chemical soup of toxins that is brewing in the Gulf thanks to the spill and the heavy use of chemical dispersants.
I don't know what else to say.
It is true that I work for a public university. However, I do not see for-profits as competition. I see them as bloodsuckers feeding off poor students who must accumulate vast amounts of loans, which they can never default on, to receive a crappy education (because federally underwritten student loans are not forgiven in bankruptcy).
I've known many students who worked and took classes at these for-profit corporations. The quality of instruction is poor. My students always mention that important fact. The most well known university in this class actually hires its own students (who have bachelor's degrees) to administer its online classes. Unbelievable.
Most students I know who worked at these for-profits were in sales/recruiting. These for-profits spend more on marketing and sales than they spend on instruction.
Their sales staff tell potential students they will earn degrees that will get them good paying jobs. $40k later the students have useless degrees and no job prospects.
Public universities are not perfect and I'm happy to discuss their problems. However, I can tell you that quality does matter and that relatively little is spent on marketing compared to instruction. Plus, public education is a LOT CHEAPER than for-profit education.
Here is a a short quote from the Alternet article by M. Brown that is linked above:
"According to data provided by U.S. Department of Education, students who enroll in for-profit colleges end up with debt that far outweighs that of their nonprofit and public school peers. The data showed that last year 350,000 University of Phoenix students were responsible for repaying almost $5 billion in outstanding loans, yet only 44 percent of them had the financial means to repay their loans...."
Steve Lendman writes: "On July 29, 2009, the House passed HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 "To amend the (1938 as amended) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market, and for other purposes."
Lendman criticizes the bill as empowering agribusiness while disempowering small, local food producers. Lendman is not alone in making this criticism. Read his article and decide for yourself. The Intel hub reports that the appointment of a former Monsanto employee at the FDA by Obama points to how this bill will operate. I hope that is not the case.
It is clear that corexit is still being sprayed (see my previous posts or read Washington's blog for details). Clean the Gulf Now has an excellent article on why the widespread spraying of corexit constitutes the largest chemical experiment ever. And we and the animals and plants of the Gulf are the lab rats.
Last but not least, the Wall Street Journal Reports:
"Suit Challenges Reach of U.S. 'Targeted Killings'" p. A7
Thank you ACLU for standing up to tyranny!
Monday, August 30, 2010
My only problem with the site is its archiving is a little tough to penetrate. So, if you care to read the whole article you may need to search for it by name:
August 28 "The Struggling Class – The emergence of consistent poverty. How the other half live financially. 40 million Americans on food assistance and large unbanked population. Family Dollar up over 80 percent through the recession."
The article's argument is summed up in the first paragraph, that I'm quoting here. Read the article to see how it is unpacked with statistics and illustrations:
"It is disturbing to see many articles published in foreign newspapers and magazines highlighting the plight of the middle class in America. You would think that our own media would want to cover this issue which should be at the top of the list for everyone. Instead, our mainstream media systematically attempts to keep everyone financially in the dark and shell shocked into spending money (assuming they still have disposable income). They do this by pumping out inane show after inane show to keep people numb to the deeper problems of the day. The middle class is giving way to a new struggling class. This is a class that is defined by a constant struggle merely to chase the middle class carrot on the stick while the large banking sector becomes ever more powerful and the resource pie shrinks. The recovery never even appeared for millions of Americans...."
Sunday, August 29, 2010
THIS LETTER IS FROM RIKI OTT. IT WAS SENT TO THE EPA. IT WAS PUBLISHED AT HUFFINGTON POST. I have highlighted key ideas in color. Otherwise the letter is unchanged.
U.S. EPA, Region 6
1445 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75202-2733 Via email: email@example.com
August 27, 2010
Re: Documentation of continued dispersant spraying in near shore and inland waters from Florida to Louisiana (despite contrary claims by USCG and BP) and documentation that dispersants made oil sink
Dear Mr. Coleman,
During the August 25 Dockside Chat in Jean Lafitte, LA, it came to our attention that the federal agencies were unaware -- or lacking proof -- of the continued spraying of dispersants from Louisiana to Florida. Further, the federal agencies were woefully ignorant of the presence of subsurface oil-dispersant plumes and sunken oil on ocean and estuary water bottoms. We offer evidence to support our statements, including a recently declassified subsurface assessment plan from the Incident Command Post.
But first, you mentioned that such activities (continued spraying of dispersants and sinking oil) -- if proven -- would be "illegal." As you stated, sinking agents are not allowed in oil spill response under the National Contingency Plan Subpart J §300.910 (e): "Sinking agents shall not be authorized for application to oil discharges."
We would like to know under what laws (not regulations) such activities are illegal and what federal agency or entity has the authority to hold BP accountable, if indeed, such activity is illegal. It is not clear that the EPA has this authority.
For example, on May 19, the EPA told BP that it had 24 hours to choose a less toxic form of chemical dispersants and must apply the new form of dispersants within 72 hours of submitting the list of alternatives. Spraying of the Corexit dispersants continued unabated. On May 26, the EPA and Coast Guard told BP to eliminate the use of surface dispersants except in rare cases where there may have to be an exemption and to reduce use of dispersants by 75 percent. Yet in a letter dated July 30, the congressional Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment reported the USCG on-scene commander (OSC) had approved 74 exemption requests to spray dispersants between May 28 and July 14.
Under the National Contingency Plan Subpart J, the authorization of use §300.910 (d) gives the OSC the final authority on dispersant use: "The OSC may authorize the use of any dispersant... without obtaining the concurrence of he EPA representative... when, in the judgment of the OSC, the use of the product is necessary to prevent or substantially reduce a hazard to human life."
Given this history of events and the NCP regulation, we would like to know what federal entity actually has the final authority to: order BP to stop spraying of dispersant; declare that spraying of dispersant after issuance of a cease and desist order is illegal; and prosecute BP for using product to sink oil.
The documentation of dispersant spraying in nearshore and inland waters includes:
√ claims by USCG and BP
√ eyewitness accounts
√ fish kills in areas of eyewitness accounts
√ photos of white foam bubbles and dispersant on boat docks in areas of eyewitness accounts
√ sick people in areas of eyewitness accounts
Claims by USCG and BP - and Counter Evidence
July 30-31: Lt. Cmdr. of USCG confirms, "Dispersants are only being used over the wellhead in Louisiana."
•When reached for comment, Lt. Cmdr. Dale Vogelsang, liaison officer with the United State Coast Guard, told The (Destin) Log he had contacted Unified Command and they had "confirmed" that dispersants were not being used in Florida waters.
•"Dispersants are only being used over the wellhead in Louisiana," Vogelsang said. "We are working with Eglin and Hurlburt to confirm what the flight pattern may be. But right now, it appears to be a normal flight."
•Vogelsang also said Unified Command confirmed to him that C-130s have never been used to distribute dispersants, as they "typically use smaller aircraft."
Contradicted by evidence in same Destin The Log article and posted on websites:
•But according to an article by the 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office, based in Youngstown, OH., C-130H Hercules aircraft started aerial spray operations Saturday, May 1, under the direction of the president of the United States and Secretary of Defense. "The objective of the aerial spray operation is to neutralize the oil spill with oil dispersing agents," the article states.
•A Lockheed Martin July newsletter states that "Lockheed Martin aircraft, including C-130s and P-3s, have been deployed to the Gulf region by the Air Force, Coast Guard and other government customers to perform a variety of tasks, such as monitoring, mapping and dispersant spraying."
•Further: "Throughout the effort, Lockheed Martin employees have been recognized for their contributions in a wide range of roles. IS&GS senior network engineer Lawrence Walker, for example, developed a solution to a critical networking issue involving two C-130's that arrived from the Air Force Reserve Command's 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown, Ohio, as part of the cleanup mission."
May 11: USCG and BP claims of no dispersant spraying activities are further contradicted by intentional mislabeling of flight plans:
•Aerial dispersant operations - Houma Status Report, Dispersant Application Guidance, p. 4, point 8: "Use discreet IFF codes as provided on separate correspondence. This removes need to file DVFR flight plans."
Destin - Fort Walton, FL
July 30-31: Destin Mayor Sam Seevers investigating claims of dispersant spraying:
•Resident and former VOO worker Joe Yerkes testified that he witnessed a military C-130 "flying from the north to the south, dropping to low levels of elevation then obviously spraying or releasing an unknown substance from the rear of the plane."
•The unknown substance, Yerkes wrote, "was not smoke, for the residue fell to the water, where smoke would have lingered."
Austin Norwood, whose boat is contracted by Florida Fish and Wildlife, also provided a written account of a "strange incident."
•While Norwood was observing wildlife offshore, he had received a call from his site supervisor at Joe's Bayou. After telling the supervisor that he and his crewmember were not feeling well, the supervisor had the two men come in "to get checked out because a plane had been reported in our area spraying a substance on the water about 10- 20 minutes before."
•Norwoord complained of a bad headache, nasal congestion while his crewmember said he had a metallic taste in his mouth.
•After filling out an incident report, both Norwood and his crewmember were directed to go to the hospital. The following day, the two men were once again "asked to go to the hospital for blood tests."
Aug. 2: Joe Yerkes reported sludgy brown oil and foamy white dispersant bubbles in Destin and 40 miles east in St. Joe Bay, just days before a fish kill of croaker, flounder, trout, and baitfish on August 5.
Perdido Pass, AL
Aug. 24: Received report of oil debris from anchor chain while weighing anchor at position 30*15.6 N 87*32.7 W, 0.6 nm east of Perdido Pass sea buoy. Samples taken.
Dauphin Island, AL
Aug. 21: Fisherman Chris Bryant documents Corexit 9500 use
Aug. 24: Washington's Blog interview with chemist Bob Naman
•Bob Naman is the analytical chemist who performed the tests featured in WKRG's broadcast. He was interviewed by or an August 24 report. Highlights include:
•Naman found 2-butoxyethanol in the Cotton Bayou sample. [Ingredient in 'discontinued' Corexit 9527.]
•Naman said found no propylene glycol, the main ingredient of Corexit 9500.
•Naman said he went to Dauphin Island, Alabama last night and while there observed many 250-500 gallon barrels which were labeled Corexit 9527. Naman took pictures that he will soon be sharing.
•Naman said he saw men applying the Corexit 9527 while he was in Dauphin Island and also in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
•Naman said the Corexit 9527 is being haphazardly sprayed at night and is impacting beach sands in a highly concentrated form.
Bayou La Batre, AL
Aug. 4: Fisherman Chris Byrant documents oil-dispersant in Mississippi Sound, northwest of Katrina Cut, in an area open to fishing in state waters between Dauphin Island and Bayou La Batre
Aug. 19, Aug. 21: Rocky Kistner with NRDC documents use of Corexit 9527a and Corexit 9500 and oil-dispersant visible sheen in area open to fishing in state waters
Aug. 23: Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard posting
We spotted huge plastic containers marked with Corexit warning labels on the dock public docks near Bayou La Batre. ...
The next day at a town hall meeting in Buras, LA, BP Mobile Incident Commander Keith Seilhan was asked about the use of chemical dispersants. "We are not using dispersants and haven't been for some time," he said.
But when asked whether contractors who operate in state waters could be, he said he could not be certain. "We have lots of contractors, but no one should be using them. If they are, we need to know about it and stop it."
Long Beach, MS
Aug. 8: Fisherman James "Catfish" Miller sampled the subsurface oil plume (VIDEO)
Miller tied an oil absorbent pad onto a pole and lowered it 8-12 feet down into deceptively clear ocean water. When he pulled it up, the pad was soaked in oil, much to the startled amazement of his guests, including Dr. Timothy Davis with the Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System. Repeated samples produced the same result. Three weeks earlier, there had been a massive fish kill along the same shoreline from Gulfport to Pass Christian.
Aug. 23: The methods for sampling subsurface oil used by Mr. Miller are also being used by Incident Command for the Deepwater Horizon as evidenced in a declassified document (p. 3).
Hancock County, MS
Aug. 23: Dispersant container found in Bayou Caddy Hancock County marsh. White foam indicative of dispersant use in marsh. Samples taken and being analyzed.
July 31: Documentation of oil in Barataria Bay.
Aug. 11 (reported): Contractor sick from dispersant spraying
Summary: Based on these documents, and more, we believe that dispersant spraying in inland and near shore waters across the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle is occurring now and has continued unabated (before) and since July 19, the date that the seafood safety panel proclaimed was the last day dispersants were sprayed. Based on these documents, and more, we believe that the dispersant spraying in inland and near shore waters is being conducted for the sole purpose of sinking the visible oil, an activity that is supposedly illegal. According to the University of South Florida, dispersed oil micro-droplets have been documented throughout the Gulf water column and are likely to affect the entire ecosystem.
The inability of the federal and state agents who attended the Dockside Chat in Jean Lafitte, LA, on Aug. 25 to find recent subsurface oil and ocean bottom oil or dispersant spraying activity in inland or near shore waters gives us zero confidence in these same agencies' declaration that they can find no oil or dispersant in Gulf seafood product.
Riki Ott, PhD
Ultimate Civics Project
Earth Island Institute
Cordova, AK 99574
Craig Aaron, Managing Director of Free Press, has a must read article at Huffington Press about the dangers of the Google-Verizon Pact. Here are a few excerpts from his must read article:
"What Google and Verizon are proposing is fake Net Neutrality. You can read their framework for yourself here or go here to see Google twisting itself in knots about this suddenly "thorny issue." But here are the basics of what the two companies are proposing:
1. Under their proposal, there would be no Net Neutrality on wireless networks -- meaning anything goes, from blocking websites and applications to pay-for-priority treatment.
2. Their proposed standard for "non-discrimination" on wired networks is so weak that actions like Comcast's widely denounced blocking of BitTorrent would be allowed.
3. The deal would let ISPs like Verizon -- instead of Internet users like you -- decide which applications deserve the best quality of service. That's not the way the Internet has ever worked, and it threatens to close the door on tomorrow's innovative applications. (If RealPlayer had been favored a few years ago, would we ever have gotten YouTube?)
4. The deal would allow ISPs to effectively split the Internet into "two pipes" -- one of which would be reserved for "managed services," a pay-for-play platform for content and applications. This is the proverbial toll road on the information superhighway, a fast lane reserved for the select few, while the rest of us are stuck on the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road."
Majia here: The internet offers the best access to information that has ever existed in human history.
I read analyses, news reports, personal experiences, raw data, etc on the Internet. I particularly enjoy the wide array of viewpoints available. THIS WILL BE COMPROMISED by a system that allows some companies to pay for faster internet delivery.
Our democracy is under siege and the discussions about why, how, and what to do about it are found on the Internet.
The new system will enable censorship so that audiences will only have access to sites that pay for their delivery and/or that are deemed pro-consumer.
The net will constrict and constrain rather than expand and embrace....
Friday, August 27, 2010
"Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" by Renee Schoof:
WASHINGTON — A study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated..."
AND a video interview with Robert Kennedy at Ring of Fire.
Here is a description of the interview:
"For the last 30 years, the coal industry has been working closely with government regulatory agencies to keep the dangers of their toxic waste hidden from the American public. During the Bush administration, the industry became so entwined with the EPA that it was almost impossible to distinguish the two, and the industry was given everything it could ever want. The question we now have to answer is whether or not the Obama administration is going to stand up to Big Coal, or will they continue to tow the line. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. discusses how the coal industry managed to completely capture the government with Jeff Goodell, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine, and author of the new book “How to Cool the Planet: Geo Engineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth’s Climate.”
here is an interesting excerpt from this excellent article:
"Go ahead, do the math – adding up the total wages of the bottom 90% against the total wages of the top 10% give you a real idea of what a “fair and just” system we’re participating in:
14,836 people earn $17,271,381 in average annual income ($256Bn),
133,525 earn $2,569,388 ($343Bn),
593,444 earn $760,680 ($451Bn),
741,805 earn $393,583($292Bn),
5,934,440 earn $188,513($1,119Bn) and
7,418,050 earn $117,688($873Bn)
while the the wages of the bottom 90% are
133,524,900 people earning an average of just $30,173 ($4,029Bn).
So interesting fact number one is that the 13M people in the top 10% earn (not including capital gains, which make up the bulk of their true income) salaries of $3.3Tn while the other 133M schlubs earn $4Tn...."
I found this story at Alexander Higgins blog but my link is to the original news report.
Here is an excerpt from the newsreport at WKRG as reported by Jessica Taloney on Aug 13:
"MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Alabama's attorney general is suing BP and others over the Gulf oil spill saying the oil giant has broken too many promises.
Attorney General Troy King filed two lawsuits in federal court in Montgomery late Thursday afternoon. One suit is against BP, the other against Transocean.
In a statement released Friday, King said "their history of saying one thing and doing another, and now, new information that they have been secretly working to gain a legal advantage, can only further damage our people."
The lawsuit claims "defendants were slow and incompetent, if not dishonest, in their announcements and warnings to the state of Alabama and its citizens and businesses," referring to the drastic difference in the initial oil flow estimate of 1,000 barrels per day and the latest estimate of as much as 60,000 barrels per day. .."
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified money damages plus punitive damages, also references BP's choice of a "highly toxic chemical used to disperse oil in the ocean."
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Florida Oil Spill Law has a story about a chemist who found corexit in Alabama.
Washington's Blog, posted today at Zero Hedge and Naked Capitalism has the same story, developed in more detail.
"Guest Post: Gulf Chemist Says Mercenaries Hired By BP Are Now Applying Toxic Dispersant – at Night and In an Uncontrolled Manner – Which BP Says It No Longer Uses"
Here is the link to Washington's post found at Naked Capitalism, which has more comments.
Finally, see Counterpunch for another good article on Gulf coverups. This one is by Anne McClintock:
"Three vanishing acts are being played out in the Gulf: the disappearing of the oil from the ocean surface by Corexit, the disappearing of the story by the media blockade, and the disappearing from view of the shadowy private contractors who are making a mint helping BP and the Coast Guard keep a cover on the clean-up...."
For the even more conspiracy minded, see B K Lim's latest
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Also read the report on mis-investment in agricultural land in Africa
When wealthy nations such as Saudi Arabia, investment funds (Goldman Sachs) and hedge funds buy up land in Africa to export food or simply to invest in a tangible commodity-land-they force local people off land.
These local people are then denied the ability to sustain themselves from their own agriculture.
This happened in Mexico when NAFTA privatized land formerly owned collectively by indigenous people. This land was sold to U.S. transnational corporations. The local farmers in Mexico were forced over their land.
The World Bank is supposedly promoting these types of policies under the guise of "development."
Another example of neofeudalism in the making....
Monday, August 23, 2010
Read this article and his analysis of how BP is deceiving the public, and perhaps, government as well!
Council on Foreign Relations
China Will Force the World Off Oil
By Paul Swartz
August 23, 2010
"As a country’s per capita income increases, its per capita oil consumption increases. Consumption growth tends to be modest up until $15,000 income per head, but then accelerates rapidly. China is quickly approaching this point. South Korea, which consumes 3% of world oil output, is too small to disrupt oil markets.
"China is too big not to disrupt them. Were China’s per capita oil consumption to be brought up to South Korea’s, its share of global consumption would increase from today’s 10% to over 70%. In order to cap China’s share at 22%, which is the U.S. share today, global oil output would have to increase by a massive 13% per annum over ten years – well beyond the 1% growth averaged since 1975..."
Sunday, August 22, 2010
ROV watchers, bloggers and scientists/toxicologists deserve credit and recognition for fighting the BP engineered-Government collaborated cover-up of the greatest crime against America since the turn of the twentieth century.
I've followed floridaoil spill (linked above), Washington's blog, Alexander Higgins blog, BP Slick, Bob Cavnar, Global Research, and so many other sites and authors (who publish many places).
Thank You ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times:
"...the policy elite — central bankers, finance ministers, politicians who pose as defenders of fiscal virtue — are acting like the priests of some ancient cult, demanding that we engage in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods.
"Skeptics pointed out that slashing spending in a depressed economy does little to improve long-run budget prospects, and may actually make them worse by depressing economic growth. But the apostles of austerity — sometimes referred to as “austerians” — brushed aside all attempts to do the math. Never mind the numbers, they declared: immediate spending cuts were needed to ward off the “bond vigilantes,” investors who would pull the plug on spendthrift governments, driving up their borrowing costs and precipitating a crisis..."
The fallacy that economic growth will stem from budget cuts is already being demonstrated in Greece, where austerity measures are now resulting in a contracting economy.
To repeat: Austerity in Greece isn't producing growth, its producing contraction!
The Austrian economists and the bond vigilantes are simply wrong on this logic that smaller deficits produces bigger growth.
Their error is to believe that government debt makes less money available for private business.
This is simply not true. Marshall Auberback and Randall Wray have very convincingly demonstrated that government budgets and finance are NOT like household budgets and finances.
As the sovereign, government can always produce more currency. It does not have to borrow it unless the government doesn't control its own money supply, as is the case in the European Union monetary system.
However, I do agree with Ellen Brown that the semi-private federal reserve system ought to be replaced by a fully public central bank. This move would allow the government to offer even lower interest rates to borrowers, as demonstrated by the capacity of the public bank of North Dakota.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Dr. Bea tells Washington's Blog that stopping this well is probably going to be very difficult--perhaps impossible-- to "kill" because of the likelihood of fractures in the ocean floor.
Additionally, he tells Washington's Blog he does not know if the other well drilled by BP is leaking or not, but there are unsubstantiated reports of 2 leaks to the west, one about 400 feet away and one several miles away.
Dr. Bea also confirms that although a methane release is unlikely to be dangerous, there does exist the real danger of hydrogen sulfites being released.
Dr. Bea's interview lends support for and/or confirms a lot of Matthew Simmons's claims.
Matt Simmons claimed the ocean floor was fractured. Dr. Bea substantiates the likelihood of that being the case.
Matt Simmons claims there was more than one leak. Dr. Bea cannot substantiate this, but confirms there are reports this is the case and that oil will continue, in all likelihood, to leak from the fractured ocean floor.
Now the real question is HOW MUCH COREXIT IS BEING DUMPED IN THE GULF TO HIDE THIS MONSTROUS DISASTER?
Dr. Bea and Washington's Blog deserve recognition for being authentic American heroes.
"Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have detected a plume of hydrocarbons that is at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The 1.2-mile-wide, 650-foot-high plume of trapped hydrocarbons provides at least a partial answer to recent questions asking where all the oil has gone as surface slicks shrink and disappear. “These results indicate that efforts to book keep where the oil went must now include this plume” in the Gulf, said Christopher Reddy, a WHOI marine geochemist and oil spill expert and one of the authors of the study, which appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the journal Science.
The researchers measured distinguishing petroleum hydrocarbons in the plume and, using them as an investigative tool, determined that the source of the plume could not have been natural oil seeps but had to have come from the blown out well..."
Here is the Second Report from the Guardian:
BP oil spill: US scientist retracts assurances over success of cleanupNOAA's Bill Lehr says three-quarters of the oil that gushed from the Deepwater Horizon rig is still in sea while scientists identify 22-mile plume in ocean depths ....
Bill Lehr, a senior scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) departed from an official report from two weeks ago which suggested the majority of the oil had been captured or broken down.
"I would say most of that is still in the environment," Lehr, the lead author of the report, told the house energy and commerce committee....
IT IS INCREASINGLY CLEAR THAT A MAJOR COVER UP IS SLOWLY BEING REVEALED. WHAT ELSE IS GOING TO BE DISCLOSED BY WHISTLEBLOWERS AND SCIENTISTS NOT BOUGHT BY BP???????????
The New York Times has reported to what amounts to propaganda. University of Florida and University of Georgia marine scientists have found that upwards of 80 percent of the oil remains uncollected. Much of the remaining oil is in dispersed form that is not visible to the eye. However, dispersed oil, particularly when mixed with corexit is dangerous to sea life.
“Oil that dispersed in the Gulf of Mexico is still out there, coating deep-water spawning grounds and potentially resurfacing on Panhandle beaches, University of South Florida researchers say.”
The University of Florida and Georgia faculty and every other researcher, community activist and whistleblower should be commended for speaking up about this ongoing disaster.
Additionally, the well is not dead and ROV footage indicates that oil and methane are leaking from the bottom of the ocean still. It is not clear whether or not BP is still using dispersants.
There has been a BP orchestrated and government sanctioned cover-up of the scope and severity of this oil disaster. Although the New York Times started its coverage with some good analyses, it has now been transformed into a propaganda device for unsubstantiated BP and NOA claims.
Americans, Mexicans, Cubans and every other people who care about the oceans need to pay careful attention to what is going on here. The oceans are in deep trouble with toxins regularly dumped, spreading dead zones, and compromised food chains. Our future is linked to the future of our oceans. We must not allow propaganda to persuade us to look away from what is really happening.
Cites that cover ongoing news on the oil disaster include:
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The intel hub does a good job listing both closed beaches and dead fish washing up on beaches. He marks them on a map of the east coast. There is clearly something going on here.
Others have also commented on this flood of dead fish washing up on east coast beaches (in New Jersey in particular) and assembled some news stories documenting these events. See Washington's blog and Alexander Higgins blog.
What is going on? Is it the corexit? Is it the oil? University of Florida scientists have documented that the oil is thick in the water column--only dispersed into tiny particles. Dispersed oil and corexit could I suppose be in the loop current going up the east coast and killing fish as it moves north.
Or perhaps it is some sort of algea bloom brought on by the oil in the water or even warmer water temperatures not related to the spill.
The cause matters but the effect (scope and severetiy) also needs to be examined systematically and holistically.
The canary in the coal mine is dead. If fish kills are widespread, we are in deep trouble.
"Right now, if measured according to the methodology of 1980, the US unemployment rate is about 22%. Thus, the reported rate of unemployment hides more than half of the unemployed."
Excerpts from the Discovery News article, written by Michael Reilly:
"Most of the oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year is still there, and poses a sizable risk to the marine ecosystem, according to a report issued yesterday by a group of independent marine scientists.
"Of the 4.1 million barrels of oil spilled during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the researcher estimate between 70 and 79 percent remains in the water. The new calculations are a marked difference from a government report issued on August 4 which argued that just 26 percent of the oil was "residual" in the water.
"Media reports quickly picked up on this figure, and made it sound as though the vast majority of oil had simply disappeared. Jane Lubchenco, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, appeared to be hedging her bets when she said, "At least 50 percent of the oil that was released is now completely gone from the system, and most of the remainder is degrading rapidly or is being removed from the beaches." .....
The new report, authored by a mix of oceanographers at the University of Georgia and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography called such characterizations "largely inaccurate and misleading
I also recommend reading Washington's blog today. He has 2 very interesting articles posted. One concerns the finding by University of Florida Marine scientists that oil is extensively present in dispersed form beneath the surface of the ocean. This dispersed form poses a potentially significant threat to sea life and, for humans, sea food due to bio-accumulation.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts has some good ideas about how to reinvigorate the nation. They include bringing jobs back to the U.S., government investment in the nation's infrastructure and the drawdown of U.S. military imperialism. Here are some excerpts from his great essay:
"Here is what can be done. The wars, which benefit no one but the military-security complex and Israel's territorial expansion, can be immediately ended. This would reduce the US budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars per year. More hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved by cutting the rest of the military budget, which in its present size, exceeds the budgets of all the serious military powers on earth combined.
"US military spending reflects the unaffordable and unattainable crazed neoconservative goal of US Empire and world hegemony...."
Roberts warns against cutting social security and medicare
"Perhaps economists lack imagination, or perhaps they don't want to be cut off from Wall Street and corporate subsidies, but Social Security and Medicare are insufficient at their present levels, especially considering the erosion of private pensions by the dot com, derivative and real estate bubbles. Cuts in Social Security and Medicare, for which people have paid 15% of their earnings all their life, would result in starvation and deaths from curable diseases."
"The United States and the welfare of its 300 million people cannot be restored unless the neocons, Wall Street, the corporations, and their servile slaves in Congress and the White House can be defeated.
"Without a revolution, Americans are history"
Amen to That!
"Relief Wells Delayed ... New Tests Show 'Gap' in Oil 'Well Column' Causing Loss of Pressure ... Does the Government Have ANY IDEA What It's Doing?"
"Independent toxicologists issue warning: We object to the FDA Claim that chemical dispersants have a low potential for accumulating in seafood and do not pose a public health concern"
"Massive Hole Found In Sea Bed After ROV Captures Methane Tornado Near BP Gulf Oil Spill Well"
Sunday, August 15, 2010
This article examines the claims made by BP and suggests a more probable alternative interpretation of what happened.
The Hidden Tragedy of the CIA's Experiments on Children
Wednesday 11 August 2010
by: H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey S. Kaye
"From early 1940 to 1953, Dr. Lauretta Bender, a highly respected child neuropsychiatrist practicing at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, experimented extensively with electroshock therapy on children who had been diagnosed with "autistic schizophrenia." In all, it has been reported that Bender administered electroconvulsive therapy to at least 100 children ranging in age from three years old to 12 years, with some reports indicating the total may be twice that number. One source reports that, inclusive of Bender's work, electroconvulsive treatment was used on more than 500 children at Bellevue Hospital from 1942 to 1956, and then at Creedmoor State Hospital Children's Service from 1956 to 1969..."
These children were tortured.
The article does not stop here but goes on to describe other psychological, medical, and CIA experimentation on children that amount to torture.
I wonder what will be leaked in 20 years about events occurring in the "war on terror."
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I'm of the mind that we never left the recession.
The problem is fundamentally about jobs.
Although the banking section has been granted every conceivable crutch--including officially legitimized fraud in accounting standards and a zero percent interest rate from the fed--these same types of supports have not been extended to the public.
As mybudget 360 points out, the prioritization of the financial sector over other economic sectors has undermined authentic, sustainable recovery:
"When that bubble burst, typical American workers were thrown under the bus for the sacrifice of the banking sector once again. Ultimately that is the problem. From the start of the recession back in late 2007 the entire focus has been on protecting banks and keeping home prices inflated to keep banks propped up. Home prices fell while bigger banks consolidated power and became more powerful. What should have occurred was a focus on creating jobs to ensure a vibrant middle class in the U.S. That question never appeared anywhere for policy discussion...."
This basic problem of lack of jobs has not been seriously addressed by this administration. No doubt this unwillingness to address it stems from a wide variety of factors, ranging from "capture" to outright resistance to significant stimulus from conservative Republicans.
Unless we want the U.S. to devolve into a "third world" type nation, we had better look seriously at infrastructural investments in the economy capable of producing sustainable jobs and recovery.
Already, data point to disturbing trends in the economic welfare of the populace. See the following link on distressing stats about the average American's welfare:
Here are some data points from this article:
1 - According to one shocking new survey, 28% of U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.
2 - A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.
3 - There are 9.2 million Americans that are unemployed who are not receiving an unemployment insurance check.
4 - In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
5 - According to one analysis, the United States has lost 10.5 million jobs since 2007.
6 - China's trade surplus (much of it with the United States) climbed 140 percent in June compared to a year earlier.
7 - This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
8 - According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck. That was up significantly from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Oil Industry Bob Kavnar writes at the Daily Hurricane:
"In actuality, this "static kill" did nothing that BP and Allen said it would do. Certainly the well is not dead or "static". It hasn't accelerated the relief well, but it has obscured the well's pressures, making it more difficult to kill...."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I have an earlier post on this toxic release, but since BP now faces fines I thought I would address it again. Here is how it is described by Propublica author, Marian Wang:
"The state of Texas is suing BP for a huge release of toxic chemicals—including benzene, a carcinogen—that went on for 40 days at the company’s Texas City refinery last spring. The lawsuit could result in civil penalties reaching into the millions.
The release, as we have reported , started April 6, just two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, when a key piece of equipment failed and, rather than stopping production to fix it, BP attempted repairs  while operations were continuing — resulting in a release of 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals."
Does this story sound familiar, even if you haven't heard it before? The theme is familiar: Multinational corporation puts $$$ ahead of safety and ends up poisoning local communities.
There is a very interesting article by BK Lim describing potential geological problems BP may have had with the well. However, for the purposes of this post, what is relevant about the article is Lim's observation that BP staff probably knew early on that there were grave problems with the Deepwater Horizon project. That is why senior BP executives sold off BP shares:
"...there was a massive share sell-off (531,461 shares in total) by 4 BP directors just days after the 11 March incident. Tony Hayward sold 223,288 shares (a third of his total holding) on 17 March. This was followed by Byron E Grote on 18 March (58,536 shares), Andy Iglis on 23 March (219,500 shares) and Ian C Conn on 30 March (13,073 shares). And that were only BP’s directors. What about the shares sell off by BP’s executives?"
see here also
the story is confirmed by The Telegraph
Multinational corporations and their employees make decisions that benefit their interests. Public safety and health are irrelevant.
They are allowed to behave this way by corrputed politicians and regulators (defined by William Black as "regulatory capture."
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This really makes me angry. Here are some excerpts from the article written by Craig Pittman published today at Tampabay.com
"A month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, scientists from the University of South Florida made a startling announcement. They had found signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume snaking along in the deepest recesses of the gulf.
The reaction that USF announcement received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research:
"I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil," USF marine sciences dean William Hogarth said. Some officials even told him to retract USF's public announcement, he said, comparing it to being "beat up" by federal officials.
The USF scientists weren't alone. Vernon Asper, an oceanographer at the University of Southern Mississippi, was part of a similar effort that met with a similar reaction. "We expected that NOAA would be pleased because we found something very, very interesting," Asper said. "NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us. It was just a shock to us."....
READ THE WHOLE STORY.
WHAT ELSE IS BEING SUPPRESSED?
Check out Fintan Dunne's article, "BP's Immaculate Deception"
Dunne examines the 2 well hypothesis and has information posted about the geology and severity of the drilling debacle(s).
Monday, August 9, 2010
There is quite a lot of debate going on today at zero hedge.
Some people say Simmons' claims were crazy. Others doubt he would risk his reputation if he didn't believe what he was saying.
One of the issues debated at the zero hedge site is the truth of this article that was cited as support for Simmons' claims about the fractured sea bed:
The Pravda article reports that a Russian scientist claimed the Gulf sea floor was severely fractured and that the corexit is going to end up in precipitation in the regions.
The zerohedge comment said this Pravda article was debunked. Here is my commentary on all of this:
I wonder if the person whose blog is quoted here speaks Russian. I also wonder why Pravda would report falsely about Dr. Sagalevitch's comments. Academics tend to get rather irate when false statements are attributed to them in the press (I know--I'm an academic).
I'm not implying that I believe everything Simmons said was true, or that I thought that nuking the well was a good idea.
However, BP is lying about the condition of the ocean floor. The government's own data show lots of significant methane seeps. The 2 largest seeps were at the riser pipe and immediately southwest of it. Check out the last 2 pages of the report here:
I also tracked the grouping of boats at the Deepwater site using the online marine tracking system around the time immediately before and after the tropical storm Bonnie. The grouping of boats in the days prior to, and immediately after, tropical storm Bonnie mapped directly onto the two main methane seeps.
Most recently I've seen what are claimed to be copies of BP's drilling licenses for 2 distinct wells.
I don't know if these drilling records are authentic, but what I find disturbing is that the proposed drill sites in these records map directly onto the 2 main methane leaks and the marine groupings I observed previously. The locations match.
BP is chopping up dead sea mammals while at sea in order to avoid paying fines, according to the article "The Poisoning" reported at The Rolling Stone magazine. Contaminated sand on public beaches is simply being covered up with clean sand (until contaminated with the next high tide).
Quite a few marine biologists and toxicologists have come out publicly, including an EPA whistleblower (Hugh Kaufman), with their concerns about the millions of gallons of toxic corexit used in the Gulf. The use of corexit, sprayed underwater and by planes, explains the "dispersion" of oil and its lack of overt visibility.
BP has lied. The government has lied (about the safety of corexit). I'm more inclined to believe there are elements of truth to Matt Simmons' stories than the proven falsehoods of government agencies and BP.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I am not suggesting that these books should be replaced by others that reflect only my political viewpoints. The problem with these books is that they are intolerant and intensely, incredibly simplistic. Their solutions to complex problems are absurdly unrealistic. Most problematically, they spew hate.
This is not about defending liberals or democrats or greens or whatever. Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and crew reduce problems to persons and values. The problems facing this nation are not reducible to persons and values in the 1-dimensional manner implied by these authors.
Americans' legitimate frustration with our hollowed-out neoliberal economy, out-of-touch and corrupt politicians, and imperialism abroad are being channeled by these right wing nuts into simplified problem-solution frames that rely on "purges" for their solution.
Ann Coulter implies that liberals ought to be purged. Doesn't this remind the reader of some other famous purgers: Hitler? Stalin?
The U.S. does need a new political party. But it also needs a better educated public that can be distracted from television long enough to learn about, and engage in serious dialogue over, the serious and complicated issues confronting our nation.
Max Keiser's interview with Danny Schechter today (Aug 8) takes up this challenge of reaching an apathetic public that has been trained to respond only to the most base and vulgar forms of political appeals.
I fear that totalitarian fascism is right around the corner...
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I also tracked the grouping of boats using the marine tracking site. The grouping of boats in the days prior and immediately after tropical storm Bonnie mapped directly onto the two main methane seeps.
Most recently I've seen what are claimed to be copies of BP's drilling licenses for 2 distinct wells.
I don't know if these drilling records are authentic, but what I find disturbing is that the proposed drill sites in these records map directly onto the methane leeks and the marine groupings I observed previously.
In the mapping that I see echoed over and over the main well is analogically at the center of a clock. The second site is around the clock's 7, or directly southwest.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist but am now having trouble believing the official story....
My doubt about the official story is only enhanced by the baloney claims that the oil has disappeared from the Gulf and that the corexit is not toxic. The current must read story on this is at Huffington Post. It documents the vast destruction of animal life in the Gulf
See the interview with Jerry Cope by Democracy Now about the nearly complete absence of animals in a strangely hued Gulf of Mexico.
Read his article at Huffington Post: "The Crime of the Century"
Highlights include the illegal destruction of animal carcasses killed by the oil and corexit, including whales, dolphins, rays, etc. and the widespread respiratory illnesses among people living along the gulf coast, believed to be due to the corexit.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Alexander Higgins looks at ROV footage and identifies oil and methane leaks
Another site has some commentary by self-proclaimed oil authorities who say the leaks indicate that the well integrity is compromised. These comments are worth reading:
I'm going to quote passages:
"If this thing had worked, (It hasn't) there would be no leaking oil, it would be leaking mud.
They are most likely pumping through the rupture disks in the 16" and thence into the formations at the 18" and or 22" shoes.
The reason this is, it's because the rupture disks have already failed, they were designed to rupture below the burst pressure of the 16" which is 6,917psi and below the collapse pressure of the 9-7/8" which is 5,340psi at the casing hanger.
They have pulled the same scam they did on the first top kill, declaring it a success, when everyone watching an ROV cam knew different, dead wells don't flow, PERIOD!.
The leaks on the BOPs are getting worse not better, as would be the case if the well were dieing do to the hydrostatic of the mud. Their pump pressure should be decreasing with each bbl of mud pumped, until the mud reached the producing formation, it has not done so.
if they were pumping mud down the path of the oil flow, given the rate of leakage from the several places in the BOPs, there would be mud flowing from those leaks, as the oil would have been displaced out of the stack trough them and replaced with the inflowing kill mud, that has not happened as the leaks are still flowing oil and gas. The pressure to push mud up the stack and out of the leaks would be less than the pressure to push it downhole, 2,200psi vs 7,000psi.
Just an educated guess but the combined leaks are probably close to 1/2 to 1 bpm in volume, they have been pumping for close to 24 hours, the stack holds about 30bbls the leaks should be emitting mud, they are not.
There is no evidence of a decrease in pressure, even though BP does not show the readings, that too is obvious as the leaks are increasing in size, rate and number not decreasing as they should if the well was dying due to mud hydrostatic. (If the Pressure was dropping)....
I have been doing well kills for 25 years, I am not a worm.
The well is either not dead or they are still pumping on it, as oil and gas are still coming out of the leaks. Mud is not...."
There is a lot more and additional comments agreeing with this person's analysis.
I'm not an expert on oil or drilling, but as a rhetorician, I'm concerned: BP has been lying from the outset and the Government has been slow to catch on.
I don't trust BP and I sure don't believe the oil has "disappeared" when it simply has been dispersed and submerged. EPA's whistle blower, Kaufman, has gone on the record stating the oil is still present, simply submerged. Kaufman also accused BP of basically buying off scientists.
What a mess and what a tragedy for the people of the Gulf and environment...
More than 1/8 th of the population is now receiving food stamps.
I once had a student who needed food stamps but could not get them in Arizona. She had no income and a daughter. She couldn't find work.
She couldn't get welfare because she had reached the lifetime limit (I think it was 2 years) while going back to college. So, she had no job and could not get welfare or foodstamps. She eventually found a job through hard work.
Had it not been for the generosity of a neighbor, she would have lost her home and car.
Not everyone who needs them can get food stamps. How many people need them in addition to those receiving them?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The WSJ surprised me today. Unlike so many other mainstream media, it debunked the BP engineered and media-promulgated myth that the oil has disappeared.
The best place to see clips of biologists claiming the oil is still around, just submerged, can be found here:
Alternet dispelled the idea that the environmental impact will be muted, postulating decades of adverse effects on wildlife (and people too!)
One biologist who has studied the long-term impact of oil spills was quoted:
"'My prediction is that we will be dealing with the impacts of this spill for several decades to come and it will outlive me,' Dr. Ed Cake, a biological oceanographer, as well as a marine and oyster biologist, told IPS, 'I won't be here to see the recovery.'"
Florida Oil spill news has a clip from another biologist warning of submerged oil:
And Raw story reports on BP's tactic of using video loops to replace live footage whenever events occur that might call into question the official "rosy" story:
In addition to the environmental and health horrors, what disturbs me about this disaster is the outright deception that has occurred by our government. I have posted on this many times but the complicity of the main stream media in dropping this ONGOING cataclysm simply makes me physically sick.
Witnessing this overt censorship, deception, lies, etc. has deeply affected me. I never have trusted the media or the government, but this degree of cover-up when public health is at issue is truly mind boggling...
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This 7 minute clip establishes the following:
1. BP is simply trying to limit liability and is NOT "making things right."
2. BP is still spraying dispersants, particularly at night so the oil vanishes from view
3. The Federal Government has abandoned the populace by its unwillingness to test for dispersants in seafood and water, because they believe the dispersants aren't there (Unbelievable)
I hope the good people of Grand Isle stand firm. I wish I knew how to support their efforts...
Monday, August 2, 2010
The Republic doesn't get it. The headline begs the problem, which is that the U.S. economy has become so inequitable in the distribution of its resources that it depends upon the consumption of a very small elite.
In the film, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore examines a Citigroup document, which argues that the U.S. is not a democracy, but rather is a plutonomy. Plutonomies depend upon the consumption of elites and disregard the rest of the populace. The AZ Rep. article reinforces the emergence of the US as a plutonomy.
Plutonomies are inherently unstable because they rely on the oppression of a larger population. Plutonomies aren't economically viable either, because demand is so centralized it becomes vulnerable to disruption.
Keynesian economics recognizes this problem and argues that governmentshould ensure adequate demand through investments in the nation, its infrastructures and populations.
Widespread demand is more resilient than centralized demand. Equity is more sustainable for a system than oppression.
Unfortunately, our media, corpatocracy, and "leaders" seem to be missing the obvious problem, which is the impoverishment and marginalization of the populace...