May 3, 2010 archive

Presidential wit.

A guy walks into a bar with a handful of shit,

And says, “Look at what I almost stepped in!”

Pique the Geek 20100502: Gulf Disaster

The explosion of the BP oil platform in the Gulf on 20100420 will certainly be amongst the worst, if not the worst, oil release into the environment in United States history.  Already at over 2.6 million gallons of oil split, there is no plan to contain the gushing until it will exceed the Exxon Valdez incident decades ago.

I have in intention of speculating on the cause of the explosion at this point, because a proper investigation has yet to be completed.  As attractive as is might be to blame Halliburton, there is, in my opinion, a dire dearth of information to blame anyone at this point.  Investigations will uncover the facts.  This incident is too big and too well publicized not to have sunlight.  However, I do intend to voice my thoughts about events prior to the explosion that were not done that should have been, and actions (or lack thereof) after the explosion for good or ill.

DADT: Dr Dean & Choi @ Today’s WH Protest, More Arrests

This was so totally fitting for today, as the President gave a short on details and lackluster speech down in Louisiana, during day 12 of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill blowout.  


Choi, who has twice been arrested after handcuffing himself to the White House gates and has now been court ordered not to enter a certain perimeter around the White House, was joined by a handful of other speakers, including former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, Servicemembers United executive director Alex Nicholson, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis.

The protest came on the heels of a letter leaked late Friday afternoon in which Department of Defense secretary Robert Gates urged House Armed Services Committee chairman Ike Skelton “in the strongest possible terms” to delay legislative action on repeal until the Pentagon completes its assessment of how to implement repeal.

An Amazing Confession by General Stanley McChrystal

The New York Times ran this story in two slightly different versions, on March 26, 2010…

We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” said Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who became the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan last year.

And then on April 12, 2010…

“However, to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I’ve been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it.”

I don’t know exactly what to think about General McChrystal’s amazing confession, and it quickly disappeared in the usual hurricane of media noise about nothing…

But it somehow reminded me of another summation which was almost entirely overlooked by American media.

US forces were reported to have killed 106 Afghan civilians when they dropped bombs on the village of Qalaye Naizi, in eastern Afghanistan.

And of course…

Military authorities denied having mistakenly bombed a village, and said the warplanes had targeted a compound used by al-Qaeda.

And it would have been just another story like so many others, except that was the day when…

The number of Afghan civilians killed by US bombs has surpassed the death toll of the 11 September attacks.

We passed that milestone on January 2, 2002.

Community Action: Working to Save our Environment

A student with one of the trees

Never underestimate the power of a small but committed group of people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

This is another update of a the original piece Save the Trees.  The first update was DK Greenroots:  Saving the trees…and maybe the bats.

Here in West Orange, NJ, past home of Thomas Alva Edison and present home of Whoopi Goldberg, a small but committed group of people is fighting the powers that be…in this case the West Orange Zoning Commission and Seton Hall Prep (and through it, the Archdiocese of Newark) in order to prevent the demolition of McClellan Old-Growth Forest in order to build sports fields.

I’m posting tonight in order to provide a conduit between those local voices and a larger community of activists.  At least I hope so.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Oil slick closes on U.S. coast, BP pressed to act

By Matthew Bigg, Reuters

1 hr 20 mins ago

VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – A huge wind-driven oil slick bore down on the U.S. Gulf coast on Sunday, threatening an environmental catastrophe, and the Obama administration heaped pressure on BP Plc to halt the uncontrolled spill from its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well.

Since the explosion and sinking last week of the Deepwater Horizon rig, a disaster scenario has emerged with hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil spewing unchecked into the Gulf and moving inexorably northward to the coast.

The spreading black tide threatens wildlife, beaches and one of the world’s most fertile fishing grounds in an area stretching across four states, from Louisiana to Florida.

Load more