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Mein Kamp

July 28, 2010

I thought Star Trek was the only campy 60s scifi TV series until running across this bit of German cheeserificness. Ich muss der Käse haben! The space aquarium stocked with giant fish was a nice touch.

(Apologies to our vast German readership for the bad puns and probably bad German grammar)

So what else is new?

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52 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    July 28, 2010 12:33 pm

    Sigh. It appears that there is a big game of whack-a-mole going on with the oil infrastructure in this country. Just when the BP well is temporarily at least not gushing quite as much oil as it had been, another Gulf well starts a gusher and a pipeline leak in Michigan is fouling the Kalamazoo River.

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 28, 2010 7:03 pm

      Guess who owns the Kalamazoo Terminator?

      If you said Enbridge, you win another dead ecosystem.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 29, 2010 5:22 am

        You probably saw this already, but I did get some encouraging news on this front in my email from the Center for Biological Diversity –

        We’re finally getting some good news for protecting wildlife from offshore drilling.

        Today the Obama administration announced it’s canceling two offshore oil and gas lease sales: one in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia and another in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a major stride in protecting our oceans and coasts from the devastating impacts of another spill like the massive BP disaster in the Gulf.

        The decision comes after tens of thousands of you told the administration to cancel plans to expand dangerous offshore drilling into new areas. Thank you for keeping the pressure on.

        ~snip~

        The news comes on the heels of another important victory last week in halting drilling in the Chukchi Sea off the north coast of Alaska. In that case, a federal judge ruled that the former Minerals Management Service didn’t do enough to analyze the environmental effects of offshore drilling in the area, which is home to threatened polar bears and other important Arctic species already fighting for survival.

  2. artemis54 permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:29 pm

    What delighted me today?

    My four o’clocks and my tithonias. The heat just seems to have made them stronger. They are just now coming into their own. The foc’s in particular are like a spring flower in the summer, when you really need them.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 29, 2010 5:17 am

      I’ll have to try some four o’ clocks again. Pretty sure that’s what I tried last year. For this area, the directions on the seed package said to start them indoors in a window pot for a few weeks before transplanting outside. They were coming along quite nicely until one night the cat decided he needed some roughage….

      I’ve been enjoying my asiatic lilies. The last of the Stargazers just went by but the Casa Blancas are in full bloom right now. Wonderful fragrance that you can smell through the whole yard and indoors too- the squidlette likes to give them a sniff and comes out with an orange nose full of pollen :)

      • artemis54 permalink
        July 31, 2010 9:49 pm

        As part of my ongoing grass removal program, I’ve decided to put in 10-15 rhubarb plants next year. Some lilies in between would really set it off. Maybe some Columbia Tiger Lilies – oh hell yeah.

        • cometman permalink*
          August 2, 2010 7:20 am

          Rhubarb sounds nice. I’ve been looking for a good spot for some rhubarb in my yard too. Don’t really have enough room in my garden for it but I think I might try some along the fence in the back yard next year. Nothing planted there now since it was mostly shade, but I trimmed some of the trees to let more sun in and I put in some violas and pansies there as an experiment this year just to see if anything would grow and they did fine. This is the fourth summer in our house now and I’ve been planting a little more every year. My lawn area is down by about a third since we moved in and it may disappear completely in a few more years if I can do the landscaping right.

          • artemis54 permalink
            August 2, 2010 8:18 am

            In the Columbia Basin, which is essentially where I am climate wise, rhubarb needs afternoon shade and seems to do fine in dappled shade. It also seems fine in a bed of fairly insubstantial flowers, rootwise, like pansies etc. that won’t intrude much on its roots.

            Kind of a funny plant. Seems a little fussy until it really gets settled in – then you can pretty much leave it alone.

  3. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2010 12:14 pm

    Interesting article about the California city of Maywood that fired all its employees and contracted out everything.

    I’m adamantly opposed to these types of deals. Sometimes outsourcing can save money but when its labor being outsourced, the savings come from paying workers low salaries and denying them benefits with the parasitic contractor pocketing the difference. The contractor often bills a company a higher labor charge than what the company would have paid on its own but the company saves because it doesn’t have to pay benefits. Of course neither does the contractor as all its workers are temps. Still haven’t heard a good explanation regarding how selling the labor of others is all that different from slavery, except that desperate workers enter into these deals voluntarily because they can find permanent work.

    Surprisingly enough though, the citizens of the town seem to be happy with the initial results of this policy and the town isn’t contracting out solely to private companies but to other municipalities, for example the LAPD is taking over police duties.

    It may have started well, but I doubt it will end that way. One of the municipalities Maywood is using to provide its services turns out to be Bell, the city whose employees were recently discovered to have been robbing the city blind through excessive salaries.

  4. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2010 12:21 pm

    Heard an NPR report a few weeks ago regarding speculation that Michelangelo had incorporated anatomical drawings into the Sistine Chapel and this article has some good pics of what they were talking about. Looks plausible to me considering the artist was known for studying human anatomy.

    Also from ScienceDaily some new research into Antartic octopus venom including a nice pic of one of them. That one may have to go into the Podkeepers collection.

    Team Leader, Dr Bryan Fry from the Bio21 Institute says it was a mystery how venomous animals have adapted their venom to have an effect even in sub-zero temperatures, where most venoms would normally lose their function.

    “This is the first study that has collected Antarctic octopus venom and confirmed that these creatures have adapted it to work in sub zero temperatures — the next step is to work out what biochemical tricks they have used,” he says.

  5. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2010 12:36 pm

    Ha! Since hearings showing internal emails have exposed the potty mouths of some of their employees, the Goldies have banned blue language – George Carlin Never Would’ve Cut It at the New Goldman Sachs .

    This one’s for you Blankfein, you ratfucker!

    • sisdevore permalink
      July 30, 2010 10:09 am

      Hey notice how the press is being so polite to refer to Chelsea’s hub-to-be, as someone who works as an investment banker. Skip the mention of a Goldman Sach’s investment banker.

      When the banking crisis was at its height, Hillary vociferously denied Chelsea was engaged!

      Slime everywhere.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 30, 2010 11:46 am

        Huh, I can’t imagine why the Clintons wouldn’t one to be associated with the one company more than any other single entity that was responsible for driving the country off a cliff (and deliberately in the Goldies case).

        To tell you the truth, it seems like well over a year ago that I heard she was engaged to a GoldSucker and I thought she had already gotten married. How naive of me to think that they would have had a quiet wedding. Now that the BP gusher is “fixed”, I see that the Single Most Important Thing We All Need To Know is which of the oligarchs were or were not invited to Bubba’s spawn’s nuptials.

        Slime indeed.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 30, 2010 11:48 am

        Oh and, hi Miss D! Long time no see! Thanks for stopping in.

  6. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2010 12:38 pm

    Are there any campaign promises Barry hasn’t broken? Now he wants authority to spy on us even more than is already going on.

  7. artemis54 permalink
    July 29, 2010 11:20 pm

    The Invisible Paw

    It appears just possible that the average capuchin monkey may be as bad at forecasting as your financial advisor – and for the same reasons.

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 30, 2010 6:36 am

      It would be interesting to try these experiments with bonobos to see if they turned the tokens into musical instruments or maybe sex toys.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 30, 2010 9:04 am

        That would be a good one. Since they already use sex as a means of exchange they may find no economic use for the tokens.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 30, 2010 8:52 am

      That was an excellent talk – thanks for putting it up. She touches on a lot of the same things Taleb does in The Black Swan. Because we don’t think things through completely, in trying to mitigate risk we often make disasters more likely to occur. The financial derivatives which have caused so many problems were supposedly put in place to make meltdowns less likely but they had the opposite effect.

      It pains me a little to say this, but Donald Rumsfeld did have a point when he talked about “unknown unknowns”. This is a very valid concern although Rummy and the neocons interpreted it in the wrong way. What we don’t know can hurt us, but in the absence of evidence (which is NOT equal to evidence of absence) that something will definitely harm us, we tend to throw caution to the wind and hope for the best, making bogus rationalizations to justify the decision. Sometimes doing nothing is the best option when you don’t know what the consequences of action might be. Human beings used new technology and made a lot of oil rigs that didn’t explode and came to believe that that meant oil rigs wouldn’t explode. For a while it may have seemed true, but it only takes one instance to destroy that entire theory.

      That’s why I never liked the concept of hope very much. It often means we’ve run out of good ideas and have given up on thinking.

      • artemis54 permalink
        July 30, 2010 9:23 am

        There is something very profound in yr last statement there.

        Hope is almost a derivative of faith.

        When people say they believe something, that they have faith or hope, it means they have given up on actually accomplishing anything. You hope in the shadows and have faith in private or in church. In public, in the real world, what matters is action, what matters is the will made real.

        It seems to me there is a glut of hope and faith and a severe shortage of will and guts. Show me something that hope ever accomplished.

        Of course I’m an atheist. I don’t believe it or have faith in it, but I know it: wish or have faith and hope in one hand, and shit in the other and see which gets full first.

  8. sisdevore permalink
    July 30, 2010 10:04 am

    barry was a bore on the view yesterday. I could predict everything that came out of his mouth.

  9. artemis54 permalink
    July 30, 2010 10:53 am

    Daily Kos football team shamed in six-hour public inquiry over World Cup

    The players were subjected to a “grand debate” on July 2 because they failed in their “ideological struggle” to succeed in South Africa, Radio Free Asia and South Korean media reported.

    The team’s coach, Kim Jong-hun, was reportedly forced to become a builder and has been expelled from the Workers’ Party of Korea.

    Maybe if they got something to eat?

  10. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2010 11:52 am

    This can’t be good – new research shows phytoplankton has declined by 60% over 40 years.

    Perhaps it’s too little too late, but the EPA has finally begun to show some semblance of having a spine by rejecting petitions to reverse their finding that climate change is actually happening.

    • artemis54 permalink
      July 31, 2010 12:52 pm

      Never fear, good ole dem Jay Rockefeller is fixing to gut the EPA.

  11. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2010 11:56 am

    Well worth reading this excerpt from a new book by Bill Kaufmann – The New Secessionists – Wherein We Meet Genial Radicals by the Shores of Lake Champlain . another one to add to the reading list. I was hooked at the first sentence –

    The American Empire is dead.

    Some nice jabs at Government Sachs and he even throws in a cephalopod reference –

    The Crash of 2008 and its salutary humbling of the hubristic was only the overture. The dissolution is yet to be played out, though the plot thickened and union thinned early in the first year of the presidency of Barack Obama, who continued the Bushian policy of socializing risk and privatizing reward in his series of bailouts of corporate entities that were, in the obscenely inverse phrase of the mass media, “too big to fail.” The phrase reeked of wishful thinking, though it conveyed with great effectiveness the mind-set of those who run the empire. Bigness is next to godliness, which is in turn a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs; smallness is mingy and negligible; and modesty is for losers. Ten thousand corner delis must die so that AIG can live. The political corollary is that Xenia, Ohio, and Fairbanks, Alaska, are nothings, fit only to send tribute in the form of taxes to Washington and future corpses to the war of the hour. The fifty stars of Old Glory are no more than smudge marks on a wet rag; what counts is the octopus in the District of Columbia whose tentacles curl out to smother and strangle and steal from the nether provinces.

  12. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2010 11:58 am

    And a little levity heading into the weekend. While our civil rights continue to be eroded on a daily basis, at least we are still free to wear dumbass pants.

  13. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2010 12:32 pm

    The whole world seems intent on continuing its faulty thinking and sticking to the disastrous status quo. Even the socialists in Greece can’t find the αυγά to tell the IMF and the banksters to go screw and they are cracking down on striking truck drivers in an attempt to comply with the austerity measures imposed on the country.

    The government announced it would issue the civil mobilization order, normally used in times of war or national disaster, and send letters to each of the truck drivers ordering them to report to duty. If they fail to comply, they could face criminal charges and up to five years of jail time.

    It isn’t going to work – stop this strike and another will start. Try to stop them all and watch the riots start up again.

  14. sisdevore permalink
    July 30, 2010 1:24 pm

    I just listened to Newt Gingrich on Newsmax. We’re only 1 for 3 on the axis of evil. I’m going back to the pool.

  15. artemis54 permalink
    July 31, 2010 1:01 pm

    Woo hoo! Great day!

    1. It rained last night. That may not seem very exciting to those living in places that get more than ten inches of rain a year, but it’s a cause for celebration here.

    2. My gourds finally decided to set after dozens of aborted blooms. They are the great big perfectly round kind – cv “Bushel” – that have really no purpose whatsoever, although they would make good storage containers.

    3. Doing the weekly shopping this a.m and the supermarket muzak went on a Motown jag. Stylistics, etc. This got me and a complete stranger motatin’ and eventually dancing through the produce aisle, getting laughter and applause from the old folks especially. We decided we need to get together again. She is female, married, etc – a cute little latina full of laughter – we seem to be kindred souls in some weird way.

    Ha! I hope to die laughing at fate.

    • cometman permalink*
      August 2, 2010 7:31 am

      If you figure out a way to get the gourds to put out fewer false blossoms please let me know. Last year the weather was terrible and I thought that was why I couldn’t get many squashes to set, but the weather has been a lot better this year and I still have tons of false blossoms – so far I’ve only picked one zucchini and two summer squashes and don’t have too many more that are setting. Maybe they’re just fickle like that. Side note: squash vines make really nice horns – the squidlette has been getting a kick out of them this summer.

      Sounds like a fun trip to the produce section! I’d like to go that way myself some day, laughing into the abyss a la Kazantzakis.

  16. artemis54 permalink
    July 31, 2010 1:06 pm

    Arizona is on red alert looking for three escaped . . . um . . . . straight Christian Anglos.

  17. cometman permalink*
    August 2, 2010 8:20 am

    So a BP executive has declared that he would absolutely eat Gulf coast seafood and would serve it to his family.

    “I have a lot of confidence in those agencies and I trust their recommendations and I would eat their food — the seafood out of the Gulf, and I would feed it to my family,” he [BP COO Doug Suttles] said.

    Of course, the people who actually live there would beg to differ.

    …I attended a BP community forum in St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana with representatives from BP, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other agencies available to talk to the public.

    Here I met fishermen desperate to be put to work as part of BP’s Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program, using their boats to fish for oil instead of seafood by laying boom and absorbents and skimming. When the Parish President announced that St. Mary’s Parish did not, does not, and would not have oil, he was immediately surrounded by local fishermen, one of whom said loudly, “then why does Kermit have oil in his bag right now?” At which point the President turned off the mike and, in Kermit’s words, “all hell broke lose.”

    More here.

    …Dawn Nunez’s family has for 30 years operated a wholesale business that sells shrimp to restaurants and seafood processors. She worries no one will want to the local catch.

    It’s absurd that the government is reopening the fishery when so many doubts linger, she said.

    “It’s nothing but a PR move,” she said. “It’s going to take years to know what damage they’ve done. It’s just killed us all.”

    And relying only on a smell tests stinks, said Ryan Lambert, 52, a charter fishing captain who sometimes takes his clients out in the waters that just reopened. Fishing shouldn’t resume, he said, until more data exist and better dispersant testing is devised.

    “I have no confidence in their testing methods,” Lambert said.

    Hadn’t noticed the lingo before, but what the hell kind of Orwellian bullshit is the moniker “Vessels of Opportunity”, which shows nothing but condescension and contempt for the people whose livelihoods have been ruined?!?!?! But hey, maybe those “Vessels of Opportunity” should take Suttles at his word. Start fishing again and send the entire catch to BP’s executive dining rooms since they’ve indicated they have no qualms. Let them and their families gorge on Gulf shrimp gently braised in light sweet crude until they choke on it.

    • cometman permalink*
      August 3, 2010 10:38 am

      More on BP and the US government colluding to cover up the damage in the Gulf – Oilgate! BP and All the President’s Men (Except One) Seek to Contain Truth of Leak in the Gulf .

      The official story does not match the reality that I saw from the Cessna or have heard from people I have met during community visits since the well was temporarily sealed – and ever since I first arrived in early May. Public health is a huge concern – and with good reason.

      BP has created Frankenstein in its Gulf laboratory: an oil-dispersant chemical stew that so far has contaminated over 44,000 square miles of ocean and caused internal bleeding and hemorrhaging in workers and dolphins alike, according to Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the EPA, who recently blew the whistle on the industry-government cover up. BP has sprayed dispersants steadily in the Gulf with Coast Guard approval from the beginning – under the sea, on the surface, offshore, near shore, in inland waters, at night, during the day – despite a public uproar to cease and desist.

      Much more at the link.

  18. cometman permalink*
    August 2, 2010 12:21 pm

    Just when you think things can’t get any dumber, you find that there are still those reminiscing about bringing us all back not to a “Golden Age”, but to the Stone Age.

    Creationists teaching in public schools in Australia vie to show that they are dumber than 5 year olds.

    And a Missouri jury has ruled that women who are present in a bar at the same time as a video camera have implied their consent to have their half naked bodies shown to leering men in perpetuity even when a third party rips their clothing off against their will.

    Perhaps somebody ought to start filming the peepees of men when they go to the restroom in a bar where one of these “Girls Gone Wild” filming parties is being held and start selling videos of those with faces attached since the men clearly knew there were cameras around when they walked in the bar. Somehow I doubt too many people would agreed that implied consent, but I guess the women “deserved it” somehow.

  19. cometman permalink*
    August 2, 2010 12:26 pm

    I need some help with this one since I can’t remember its Jane Harman or Diane Feinstein who is the biggest shill for their husbands and the defense and intelligence communities which have made their families quite wealthy. If memory serves, they are both pretty bad actors along these lines.

    Anyhoo, it’s Harman’s husband who is nearing a deal to have his own outlet to spout propaganda by purchasing Newsweek.

  20. cometman permalink*
    August 3, 2010 9:31 am

    Excellent post from Glenn Greenwald with more on the wikileaks case and the ongoing surveillance state we are all being subjected to – Project Vigilant and the government/corporate destruction of privacy. Well worth reading in its entirety.

    Shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone here that despite having some of their spy programs shut down, the government just did an end around to get the information they wanted, using private firms like Project Vigilant, full of self-professed “patriots” who voluntarily hand info to the government on hundreds of millions of people. Greenwald concludes:

    That’s why WikiLeaks is so despised, deemed such a threat: because they are undermining in very modest ways the absolute secrecy of these power factions, and many citizens have been trained to believe in the justifiability of that pervasive secrecy as well.

    But while these factions demand total secrecy for their actions, they simultaneously demand that you have none for yours. They want to know everything about what you do — and are knowing all of that — while you know nothing about what they do. The loss of privacy is entirely one-way. Government and corporate authorities have destroyed most vestiges of privacy for you, while ensuring that they have more and more for themselves. The extent to which you’re monitored grows in direct proportion to the secrecy with which they operate. Sir Francis Bacon’s now platitudinous observation that “knowledge itself is power” is as true as ever. That’s why this severe and always-growing imbalance is so dangerous, even to those who are otherwise content to have themselves subjected to constant monitoring.

    • cometman permalink*
      August 3, 2010 9:38 am

      And check out this interview with Adrian Lamo, the guy who turned Manning in to the government. There is something seriously wrong with this guy, and like Greenwald mentions, it’s very curious that Manning just happened to disclose what he knew to Lamo, who just happened to be a “volunteer analyst” for Project Vigilant.

      Perhaps I’m being too Fristian with my diagnosis, but the guy looks like he’s had a serious attitude adjustment before going on the air-

      • fixnichols permalink
        May 19, 2011 5:02 pm

        I have written a nice lengthy article on Infragard here on my blog if anyones interested in an independant summary of the group.

  21. cometman permalink*
    August 3, 2010 10:05 am

    Hardy har har har! The Elf tells us the economy is fixed! Found the link via zerohedge, which prefaced their link to the article with “Tim Geithner just broke every lie detector in the country”.

    Of course those not in the racketeering business, like Danny Schechter, disagree – On the Third Anniversary of the Crash of the Economy: ‘Those Were the Days, My Friend. I Thought They’d Never End.’ They Haven’t.

    Much more importantly,China also begs to differ. Now I doubt the Chinese have their house completely in order either, but I’d take the following as a shot across the bow:

    U.S. Treasuries fail to provide safety or liquidity when it comes to managing China’s $2.45 trillion foreign-exchange reserves, said Yu Yongding, a former central bank adviser.

    “I do not think U.S. Treasuries are safe in the medium-and long-run,” Yu, a member of the state-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions. China is unable to sell the securities in a “big way” and a “scary trajectory” of budget deficits and a growing supply of U.S. dollars put their value at risk, he said.

    Translation: You can print a shitload of money in the short term to prop up the house of cards that is the US economy (which is exactly what they’ve been doing), and that may fool some of the rubes temporarily, but you can’t do it forever without the currency becoming worthless, and right now the US doesn’t seem to have any other plan.

    • cometman permalink*
      August 3, 2010 10:31 am

      Yves Smith has more on those statements from China, with a more detailed translation of what they might mean. She doesn’t argue with the remarks themselves, because I think it’s pretty clear that current US monetary policy is another disaster waiting to happen, but she tries to read the tea leaves to figure out why China would make those remarks. She mentions that China will lose lots of money when the dollar goes bust and remarks:

      If they can convince us to buy this barmy argument, that their certain losses on their currency manipulation are somehow our problem, then they can extract some completely unwarranted concessions from us.

      ~snip~

      Yu’s comment about the illiquidity of China’s Treasury position is accurate but equally wrongheaded. Take a big enough position in ANY instrument, no matter how actively it is traded, and you will not be able to exit your position quickly without depressing the market, as LTCM learned painfully when its interest rate swap bets constituted 10% of the market and it desperately wanted to reduce them.

      On a somewhat related note, it looks like some in the financial world are finally heeding the lessons of the LTCM collapse (and the current global meltdown) and are finally listening to what Benoit Mandelbrot explained almost 50 years ago (and what Taleb has been saying more recently) about how economic risk should really be calculated – Pimco’s Clarida and El-Erian Describes Risks of a Fatter-Tailed World.

  22. cometman permalink*
    August 3, 2010 12:58 pm

    If you live in northern latitudes, be sure to take a peek at the sky tonight to see the Northern Lights.

    A little more about it from Cosmic Variance including a video of the solar eruption that caused the particles to head our way here.

    • artemis54 permalink
      August 3, 2010 5:22 pm

      Thanks, I will alert my amateur astronomer neighbor if he doesn’t already know – this may call for a little trip up over the ridge.

      • cometman permalink*
        August 4, 2010 8:19 am

        I looked a couple times last night but didn’t see anything – it was a little too cloudy out and I could barely see any stars. The article said you may be able to see them on the 4th too so I’m going to check again tonight.

  23. artemis54 permalink
    August 3, 2010 6:59 pm

    RIP Roy A. Jones

    beaten to death at age 17 months because he was not acting masculine enough

    h/t towleroad

    • cometman permalink*
      August 4, 2010 8:20 am

      That is extremely disturbing to say the least. Somehow I don’t think the guy’s claim that he never hit the kid that hard before is going to help him very much at sentencing.

  24. cometman permalink*
    August 4, 2010 9:42 am

    More on the BP disaster.

    Government officials are trying to claim that 75% of the oil spilled is gone although from reading the article it appears they don’t have a clue where it may have gone to. And this quote from Jane Lubchenco is the exact kind of wrongheaded reasoning that causes the craniums of those who understand what Taleb was getting at in The Black Swan to explode:

    “There’s absolutely no evidence that there’s any significant concentration of oil that’s out there that we haven’t accounted for,”Jane Lubchenco, head of the agency, was quoted as saying.

    Absence of evidence DOES NOT EQUAL evidence of absence!!!!!! That really shouldn’t be that hard to understand.

    Nobody can be sure how much oil is still out there or how much continues to leak, especially when it appears that BP may be looping the video from the camera it has on the well to erase evidence of new leakage.

    And of course their officials are only talking about the oil, and not the effects of the dispersants used to make the oil less visible (but not absent) in the first place. Looks like the EPA is busy trying to hush up the concerns of scientists within the agency about the dangers posed by dispersants.

    Jeff Ruch, the exective director of the whistleblower support group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said he had heard from five scientists and two other officials who had expressed concerns to their superiors about the use of dispersants.

    “There was one toxicologist who was very concerned about the underwater application particularly,” he said. “The concern was the agency appeared to be flying blind and not consulting its own specialists and even the literature that was available.”

    If the government does ever decide to tell the truth about anything, who would believe them at this point?

    What to do about this and other environemental issues that are quickly turning the planet into a dump? Bill McKibben suggests we get mad – We’re Hot as Hell and We’re Not Going to Take It Any More .

    So now we know what we didn’t before: making nice doesn’t work. It was worth a try, and I’m completely serious when I say I’m grateful they made the effort, but it didn’t even come close to working. So we better try something else.

    The realization that playing nice isn’t going to work is a start. He’d like to see a movement grow, but any movement is going to have to do more than just try to further pressure an unresponsive government. They’re going to need to start throwing wrenches into the works.

    • artemis54 permalink
      August 5, 2010 8:33 am

      You remind me I need to read eaarth this evening. Does anyone else find it odd that the Beltway’s response to the spill was to kill any chance of any climate legislation? Hey look over there! Someone’s getting married, or something.

  25. cometman permalink*
    August 4, 2010 10:05 am

    Interesting juxtaposition of what those with different views of the world (ie. the batshit crazy view vs. a rational one) consider a waste of stimulus money.

    Reminiscent of Caribou Barbie’s tirade against fruit fly research, the knuckledragging contingent is fed up that some of their fellow knuckledraggers have been getting free cocaine – ‘Coked-up stimulus monkeys’ roped into Nevada’s Senate race.

    In a news release, [Republican Senate candidate from Nevada] Angle focused her attention on a $71,623 grant awarded to the Wake Forest University Medical Center. Part of the university’s research involved studying the effects of cocaine on monkeys.

    “We had no idea Harry’s plan of ‘more’ meant spending millions on coked-up monkeys and exotic ants while our state is ravaged by the worst foreclosure rate and highest unemployment rate in the nation,” an Angle spokesman said in a news release.

    Perhaps they’d have preferred to use Congresspeople from Nevada as test subjects since whores and cocaine do sometimes complement each other nicely. Can’t have too many perks if you’re a Congressman!

    Meanwhile Ken Silverstein notes millions spent to refurbish a firehouse that had already been repaired.

    Olshwanger submitted the application last summer to replace Station No. 1, at 6801 Delmar Boulevard. FEMA accepted Olshwanger’s pitch and in October gave the city $2.6 million in stimulus money for the new station. But a tour last week of the 107-year-old station by the Post-Dispatch showed that while it may be a dreary place for firefighters to bunk, no structural problems were visible. And an examination of city documents showed that some of the problems cited by Olshwanger have already been fixed.

  26. cometman permalink*
    August 4, 2010 12:24 pm

    Evidently Barry’s envoy to the Muslim world can’t handle the truth.

  27. cometman permalink*
    August 4, 2010 1:24 pm

    Excellent article from The Nation interviewing some of the soldiers involved with the incident that produced the wikileaks “Collateral Murder” video – WikiLeaks in Baghdad .

    Some were appalled by what went on and have decided to speak publicly including Army Spc. Ethan McCord, the soldier who pulled the two wounded kids from the van after it was shot to pieces. Check out the reaction he got from his commanding officers –

    “It seemed unreal,” says McCord, who describes running up and “seeing the carnage of what used to be human beings on the corner.” A passenger van sat nearby, pocked with bullet holes and littered with bodies. Corcoles arrived on the scene shortly after McCord, who soon discovered two critically wounded children in the van and was able to pull them to safety. These moments would later be broadcast around the world in harrowing detail. McCord is seen in the video rushing wounded children away from the van. Photos that McCord took at the scene show mangled corpses lying in the road and one of the children, crouched in the front seat of the van next to a dead body.

    Immediately following the incident, McCord was threatened and mocked by his commanding officer for pulling the children from the van. He says his platoon leader “yelled at me that I need to quit worrying about these ‘motherfucking kids’ and pull security.” McCord later approached a staff sergeant and told him he needed mental healthcare after the incident. “He told me to stop being a pussy…to get the sand out of my vagina,” he says. “I was told there would be repercussions.” Fearing punishment, McCord did not ask again.

    Will anybody listen to what the soldiers who were there have to say? IMO the following can’t be stressed enough-

    The three have decided to go public to let the world know the context behind the acts caught on film. “If people don’t like that video, then the entire system needs to be re-examined, and I think it illustrates why we shouldn’t put soldiers in that situation,” insists Stieber. Corcoles, now suffering from severe PTSD, says he wants the public to understand that “war kills civilians first.” He says, “I think Americans…need to take responsibility. If you pay taxes, you pay for that soldier’s wage. You’re just as guilty as the soldier pulling the trigger.”

    In that both taxpayers and soldiers are following orders with severe repercussions for disobeying, I have to agree with him. But neither the taxpayer nor the soldiers are anywhere near as guilty as the generals and officers who give orders to shoot indiscriminately or the politicians who started the war in the first place to line the pockets of their fellow oligarchs. I really wish there were a hell for those people to go to.

  28. artemis54 permalink
    August 5, 2010 8:27 am

    You really need to read the Findings of Fact in Judge Walker’s Prop 8 ruling. They start out quietly enough, but build until by the time he gets to the 60th finding and beyond, he is blasting away with an automatic in each hand, demolishing every stereotype in the wingnut encyclopedia. This is going to be hard for them to unwind, not that the 9th Circuit would have much heart for such a thing anyway.

    Meanwhile, Obama reaffirms his opposition to gay marriage. Nice timing, you fucking asshole. He is beginning to remind me of a kinder, centrister Lester Maddox with this bullshit.

    • cometman permalink*
      August 5, 2010 8:58 am

      Sounds like it’s time for Barry to listen to Randy Newman. It isn’t just dumbass rednecks trying to keep people down.

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