Friday, May 28, 2010

Latest tactic


© R J Matson
Sphere: Related Content

Screw the Environment: BP and the Audacity of Corporate Greed

Even as BP's blown well a mile beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush forth an estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea, and the fragile wetlands along the Gulf begin to get coated with crude, which is also headed into the Gulf Stream for a trip past the Everglades and on up the East Coast, the company is demanding that Canada lift its tight rules for drilling in the icy Beaufort Sea portion of the Arctic Ocean.

In an incredible display of corporate arrogance, BP is claiming that a current safety requirement that undersea wells drilled during the newly ice-free summer must also include a side relief well, so as to have a preventive measure in place that could shut down a blown well, is "too expensive" and should be eliminated.

Yet clearly, if the US had had such a provision in place, the Deepwater Horizon blowout could have been shut down right almost immediately after it blew out, just by turning of a valve or two, and then sealing off the blown wellhead.

A relief well is "too expensive"?

The current Gulf blowout has already cost BP over half a billion dollars, according to the company's own information. That doesn't count the cost of mobilizing the Coast Guard, the Navy, and untold state and county resources, and it sure doesn't count the cost of the damage to the Gulf Coast economy, or the cost of restoration of damaged wetlands. We're talking at least $10s of billions, and maybe eventually $100s of billions. Weigh that against the cost of drilling a relief well, which BP claims will run about $100 million. The cost of such a well in the Arctic, where the sea is much shallower, would likely be a good deal less.

An oil spill under the ice would be impossible to stop or clean up.
An oil spill under the ice would be impossible to stop or clean up.

Such is the calculus of corruption. BP has paid $1.8 billion for drilling rights in Canada's sector of the Beaufort Sea, about 150 miles north of the Northwest Territories coastline, an area which global warming has freed of ice in summer months. and it wants to drill there as cheaply as possible. The problem is that a blowout like the one that struck the Deepwater Horizon, if it occurred near the middle or end of summer, would mean it would be impossible for the oil company to drill a relief well until the following summer, because the return of ice floes would make drilling impossible all winter. That would mean an undersea wild well would be left to spew its contents out under the ice for perhaps eight or nine months, where its ecological havoc would be incalculable.

         BP and other oil companies like Exxon/Mobil and Shell, which also have leases in Arctic Waters off Canada and the US, are actually trying to claim that the environmental risks of a spill in Arctic waters are less than in places like the Gulf of Mexico or the Eastern Seaboard, because the ice would "contain" any leaking oil, allowing it to be cleared away. The argument is laughable.

This is not like pouring a can of 10W-40 oil into an ice-fishing hole on a solidly frozen pond, where you could scoop it out again without its going anywhere. Unlike the surface of a frozen pond, Arctic sea ice is in constant motion, cracking and drifting in response to winds, tides and currents. Moreover, the blowout in the Gulf has taught us that much of the oil leaked into the sea doesn't even rise to the surface at all. It is cracked and emulsified by contact with the cold waters and stays submerged in the lower currents, wreaking its damage far from wellhead and recovery efforts.

Active oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico
Active oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico

Finally, as difficult a time as BP has had rounding up the necessary containment equipment and personnel in the current blowout 50 miles from the oil industry mecca of Texas and Louisiana, the same task would be far harder to accomplish in the remote reaches of the Beaufort, far above the Arctic Circle, where there aren't any roads, much less rail lines or airports.

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/65

Sphere: Related Content

Throw the Top BP Executives and Its Two SubContractors in Federal Prison Until the Gulf Well is Capped and Damages Paid

Since the Supreme Court in January declared that "Corporate Personhood" is the law of the land, let's treat British Petroleum like a person and hold them accountable as we would any person for such devastating destruction to the people, land, environment and animals in American and Caribbean waters.

BuzzFlash, in the spirit of Jonathan Swift, offers a modest proposal that applies the concept of corporate personhood.  Simply put, the top 5 executives of British Petroleum, Transocean (the operator of the oil rig), and Halliburton (the Dick Cheney subcontractor who was handling things when the deep sea well blew) should all be incarcerated in a federal prison (and not the "camp" kind for white collar criminals) until such time as the volcanic oil well is 100% capped and sealed.  That's 15 (we assume white men) behind bars from the three corporations guilty of crimes against the people of the United States and the earth.  We think that might precipitate a capping of the well right quick. If not, let them mix with the hardcore felons until they rot.

But we think imprisoning the 15 officials from the three companies would result in a timely stopping of the horrific amounts of oil polluting the Gulf and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. They can't live without their Gucci shoes, Rolexes, and $3000 suits for but a day or two.

Then, when the oil stops spewing out, release the 15 executives -- and as soon as they exit the prison, arrest them again, and only allow them out of jail only when $150 billion is paid in full to the U.S. government for oil clean-up, compensation to those who have lost income or their livelihoods to the spill, long-term damage to the environment and housing, the death of untold creatures of the seas, birds and animals, and the damage to tourism.

http://blog.buzzflash.com/editorblog/309

Sphere: Related Content

Louisiana needs its share of offshore oil revenue now, Mr. President: An editorial

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune

Louisiana fought for decades to convince Congress that our state should get a share of the oil and gas wealth being mined off our shores. We're still waiting.

coast-oil-spill.JPGWe're being asked to hold our collective breath till 2017. That's when the revenue-sharing measure that was finally adopted in 2006 takes full effect.

Today President Obama has the chance to personally witness how millions of gallons of crude pouring from BP's sundered pipes are befouling the Gulf of Mexico and our fragile estuaries.

The nation benefits from the oil extracted by BP and others off our coast. But we are the state that bears the brunt of the oil industry's collateral damage. Thanks in large measure to the industry's crisscrossing pipeline canals, we're losing a football field of wetlands every 30 minutes and are more vulnerable than ever to hurricanes.

Twice in the past five years, Louisiana has been knocked to its knees by disasters rooted in the quest for oil.

Our bill has come due.

We can't wait till 2017 for the resources we need to save our imperiled coast. We and other oil-producing coastal states must start getting the 37.5 percent share of oil and gas royalties from new drilling in the Gulf now. Not seven years in the future. Not when it's too late and there's nothing left to save.

Sen. Mary Landrieu has introduced a bill that would speed up the timetable. It would cost the federal treasury $3 billion a year. It's the right and fair thing to do. The decision lies with Congress. President Obama should be our ally-in-chief in the battle to save Louisiana's coast. His administration should work tirelessly on behalf of this legislation. So far, he's been silent.

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/louisiana_needs_its_share_of_o.html

Sphere: Related Content

‘McCarthyite’ provision in defense bill targets ACLU lawyers

http://rawstory.com/rs/wp-content/themes/revamped/img/top_banner.gif

By Muriel Kanetorture chair gitmo McCarthyite provision in defense bill targets ACLU lawyers

The defense appropriations bill currently moving through the House of Representatives includes a measure which directs the Defense Department's inspector general to investigate attorneys who may have "interfered with operations of the Department of Defense" while representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay and report back to Congress.

That measure has civil libertarians up in arms. Salon's Glenn Greenwald, for example, described the "truly vile provision" as a "McCarthyite attack on detainee lawyers" and identified it as "the brainchild of GOP Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, who has labeled efforts to represent detainees ... a 'treacherous enterprise" and smeared those lawyers as 'disloyal.'"

According to ABC News, Rep. Miller "proposed the language to the bill because he was outraged by the allegations behind the Department of Justice investigation that is being led by U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Miller said it's important to subject detainee defense lawyers to greater scrutiny in order to 'identify any policy violations,' that, he said, could compromise national security."

The allegations cited by Miller became public knowledge last March, when it was revealed that the Justice Department had secretly been investigating whether lawyers involved with the ACLU's John Adams Project had broken any laws in their attempts to to have detainees identify CIA interrogators who might have been involved in torture. When it appeared that the Justice Department was about to conclude that no crimes had been committed, the CIA complained and the department brought Fitzgerald in to resolve the dispute.

Since Fitzgerald's investigation remains ongoing, Miller's measure would seem to be intended primarily to drag the issue into the political arena and make it the subject of Congressional hearings during the period immediately prior to next fall's elections.

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0527/defense-bill-includes-mccarthyite-provision-targeting-aclu-lawyers/

Sphere: Related Content

Sacrificing Women to the Budget Gods

As states scramble to stay afloat — how are they balancing their budgets? On the backs of working women of course. The new big trend is to cut subsidies for child care. And with child care — poof – a critical lifeline to working moms is disappearing. The same states that cut welfare entitlements in the 90s, forcing moms out to work, are now cutting the subsidized child care that was promised in return for workfare.

While the Obama government has provided some aid to states to keep subsidies up, it is not nearly enough, and some states are just calling it quits. In California, Governor Schwarzennegger, whose respect for women is well known, recently proposed to eliminate the entire state welfare and child care program entirely, affecting 1.4 million people, two thirds children.

In some places, Head Start programs that have been in place for five decades, are competing for contributions from hedge funds and running street fairs. Many will have to charge tuition for the first time this September, exactly the opposite of the vision of the program.

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/05/26/the-f-word-sacrificing-women-to-the-budget-gods/

Sphere: Related Content

Normal human problems are turned into medical conditions, spiking healthcare costs

NaturalNews.com
 
by Sherry Baker
 
Mainstream medicine has a huge new growth industry underway -- the "medicalization" of the human condition. That's the conclusion of a study headed by Brandeis University sociologist Peter Conrad that was just published in the journal Social Science and Medicine. The report, the first study of its kind, documents that over the last several decades, numerous common problems -- many of which are simply due to being human -- have been newly defined as medical disorders that supposedly need prescription drugs and other costly treatments.

For example, menopause is a perfectly natural part of womanhood but it is now considered a "condition" complete with symptoms that physicians often believe need treatment with hormones and anti-depressants. Likewise, normal pregnancies, taking longer-than-average time to get pregnant and impotence (now known by the medical term "erectile dysfunction") are all now seen as medical conditions that may need intense medical monitoring and treatment. And if a child fidgets in class -- bingo! He or she is frequently classified as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and quickly placed on stimulant drugs like Ritalin
.
Conrad and his colleagues used national data to estimate the costs of these and other common conditions -- including anxiety and behavioral disorders; worries over body image; male pattern baldness; normal sadness; being overweight; difficulty in sleeping through the night and substance-related disorders. In order to document what role medicalizing these problems could be playing in escalating U.S. healthcare spending, the Brandeis research team evaluated current data showing just how much medical spending results from the diagnosing and treatment of these "conditions".

Their findings? The researchers concluded there is a strong and undeniable trend toward a medicalization of human conditions, with a constantly increasing number of medical diagnoses and treatments for behavioral problems and what the researchers called "normal life events".

When they analyzed payments to hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and other health care providers for medical treatments of these medicalized conditions, the researchers discovered that the costs accounted for $77.1 billion in medical spending in 2005. That amounts to almost 4 percent of the total U.S. healthcare expenditures.

"We spend more on these medicalized conditions than on cancer, heart disease, or public health," Conrad said in a statement to the press.
 
Sphere: Related Content

Humans evolved to smoke pot!!!!!

http://www.theweeklyconstitutional.com/templates/twc_purity/images/theweeklyconstitutionallogo2.png

evolutionary-chartA book has come to my attention which may be of importance to my brothers in the legalization movement.  The book suggests that over the eons of time, human beings evolved to be potheads.

Yes, you read that right.  Over the eons of history, throughout our many different evolutions and changes to make us more suitable for survival in this cruel and harsh world, and one of them was that our bodies (especially our brains) have evolved to more efficiently receive the effects of using (be it through smoke or ingestion) marijuana. 

the-botany-of-desire-375x500In The Botany of Desire, the author Michael Pollan explains how the human brain has evolved to experience the marijuana's high.  According to Pollan, much like the brain is "pre-wired" to receive the chemicals of endorphins and serotonin, so too is it prewired to receive the cannaboids (chemicals, including the high inducing THC, found in marijuana).  Pollan claims that there are "Cannaboid receptors" located all over the body allowing the whole body to experience the 'high" usage of marijuana produces.

But why take my words for it...

pollan_highres2In 1988, Allyn Howlett, a researcher at the St. Louis University Medical School, discovered a specific receptor for THC in the brain -- a type of nerve cell that THC binds to like a molecular key in a lock, causing it to activate. Receptor cells form part of a neuronal network; the brain systems involving dopamine, serotonin and the endorphins are three such networks. When a cell in a network is activated by its chemical key, it responds by doing a variety of things: sending a chemical signal to other cells, switching a gene on or off, or becoming more or less active. Depending on the network involved, this process can trigger cognitive, behavioral or psychological changes. Howlett's discovery pointed to the existence of a new network in the brain.

The cannabinoid receptors Howlett found showed up in vast numbers all over the brain (as well as in the immune and reproductive systems) though they were clustered in regions responsible for the mental processes that marijuana is known to alter: the cerebral cortex (the locus of higher-order thought), the hippocampus (memory), the basal ganglia (movement), and the amygdala (emotions). Curiously, the one neurological address where cannabinoid receptors didn't show up was in the brain stem, which regulates involuntary functions such as circulation and respiration. This might explain the remarkably low toxicity of cannabis and the fact that no one is known to have ever died from an overdose.

On the assumption that the human brain would not have evolved a special structure for the express purpose of getting itself high on marijuana, researchers hypothesized that the brain must manufacture its own THC-like chemical for some as-yet-unknown purpose. ... In 1992, some thirty years after his discovery of THC, Raphael Mechoulam (working with a collaborator, William Devane) found it: the brain's own endogenous cannabinoid. He named it "anandamide," from the Sanskrit word for "inner bliss."

**excerpt taken from The Botany of Desire

Wow...Take that DARE...

Human beings are literally born to smoke pot...


Read more about Humans evolved to smoke pot!!!!! by www.theweeklyconstitutional.com

Sphere: Related Content

Brad Pitt eyes 2016 presidential bid?

BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Reports are rife that Brad Pitt is pondering a career in politics and to make a bid for the White House with Angelina Jolie by his side.
The Hollywood star will be turning his back to the dull acting and trying his hand at politics, but he will start with running for the Senate first, media reports said Thursday.
"There's not much left for him to do in Hollywood," a source close to Pitt says. "Brad will run for Senate and if all goes well will mount a bid to become President in 2016."
So what's on the top of Pitt's agenda? Legalizing marijuana. "He believes it would be the biggest moneymaker since the Internet," the source said.
Sphere: Related Content

One of these things is not like the others

Sphere: Related Content

Blog Archive

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Search This Blog

Salvador Dali of the Day

There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget

About Me

My photo

I am not that other Michael Dare.

Subscribe Now: standard