June 7, 2010 archive

Three nuclear subs and an Israeli Strangelove


Three Israeli nuclear-armed submarines are headed for the Persian Gulf to be stationed there permanently and “potentially land Mossad agents in the region.”

Amid speculations about Israel’s hostile future policies against Iran, a report says Israel is to deploy three submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf.

Snip –

The Sunday Times quoted a flotilla officer as saying that the vessels were sent to carry out intelligence gathering missions and potentially land Mossad agents in the region.

Talking about the prospect of a possible military attack against Iran, a navy officer said, “The 1,500 km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran.”

The revelation came after earlier this week, Iranian naval forces detected a US nuclear-armed submarine in the Strait of Hormuz.

Not that they’d do anything crazy.

But it is an interesting development given this recently published paper by Harvard professor and Israeli Strangelove, Chuck Freilich.

Wounded Waters


My favorite blogger on Buddhism, Tenpa from Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar posted a story and a prayer about the devastation that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico.  The post is entitled Wounded Waters: Prayer for the Gulf of Mexico.

Tenpa talks about how, in 1964, he and a friend would camp at Longboat Key.  They performed acts of Buddhist vandalism:

The fishermen at Longboat Key used to plant their reels in the sand, and leave their lines cast out into the surf. The waterbirds would come skimming across the water at dusk, and get entangled in the lines. Do and me used to sneak along the beach and cut the lines, so the fish would not be tempted, and the birds would not drown


Take action on the BP disaster: protests near you (including national events on 6/12 and 6/26)

(Image from Greenpeace)

Hello all – hopefully I can make this into some kind of a short series or get someone to help me with this, but if not you’ll probably see at least one more diary on the subject from me.  Basically, here’s a post where I’m trying to assemble all the information for protests that you need to know in order to take action against BP and for some kind of a clean energy future.

Go below the fold for a list of events/websites/facebook pages/etc.

(Just because of my own time constraints, I’ve only listed events in the US)

Pique the Geek 20100606: Misused Technical Terms

This topic was suggested a couple of months ago by a reader who was thoughtful enough to comment and recommend it.  I appreciate reader feedback very much, and actually likely would not write this series if not for it.

There are many terms that are used incorrectly, sometimes by people who should know better.  I am not taking about casual conversation, where the rules for precision are looser, but rather in more technical communications.  News readers are particularly prone to do this, and unfortunately that is associated with an air of authority.

Brad Sherman (D-CA) wants to prosecute U.S. flotilla humanitarians using “anti-terrorism” laws.

The Free Gaza flotilla incident seems to have pushed Israel and its supporters, including those in the US government, over the edge of reason (Original reporting Here). And you thought our neoconservative psychotic episodes had subsided once BushCo left office.  

A Democratic member of the US House of Representatives says he wants to see US citizens aboard the Gaza flotilla prosecuted for providing aid to terrorists.

In a conference call organized by The Israel Project, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) told reporters that activists participating in the flotilla were aiding Hamas and therefore breaking US law.

“The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 makes it absolutely illegal for any American to give food, money, school supplies, paper clips, concrete or weapons to Hamas or any of its officials,” Sherman said, as quoted at Jim Lobe’s foreign policy blog. “And so I will be asking the Attorney General to prosecute any American involved in what was clearly an effort to give items of value to a terrorist organization.”

Sherman also said that he plans on working with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure that any non-U.S. citizen involved with or aboard the Flotilla are excluded from entering the U.S.

Now, before I tee off on Brad Sherman or any other member of Congress contemplating the use of demented and Orwellian “anti-terrorism” laws to coerce free-thinking Americans into silence, or to bring them in line with crazy and criminal policies of Israel’s ever-worsening bunker mentality, over at TPM, M. J. Rosenberg makes an appropriate distinction worth acknowledging:

Brad Sherman (D-CA) is probably (possible exception Shelley Berkley of Nevada) the most pro-Likud Democratic member of Congress. (No, not pro-Israel. You can’t support policies that cause the whole world to turn against Israel and use that label).

But this is crazy even for Sherman.

Okay, caveat made.  We’re not talking pro- or anti-Israel.  We’re talking about insane pro-Likudnik policies.  Now, cue the outrage.

Obama Bitch-Bitch-Bitches About BP

President Obama, speaking from Louisiana today, criticized BP for spending big money on television advertising and shareholder dividends, suggesting the company was prioritizing its own interests over those of Gulf residents.

Every day it’s something different! Yesterday it was TV ads, last week it was crime!

“We have an obligation to investigate what went wrong,” Obama said. “If our laws were broken, leading to this death and destruction, my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice.”

If our laws were broken?

BP was cited by OSHA for 760 egregious willful violations between June 2007 and February 2010!

Egregious! Meaning “flagrant, outstandingly bad!”

Willful! Meaning it wasn’t some sort of “oopsie, we didn’t mean to do it!”


That’s 97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors over the past three years!

My solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice.

So what are you waiting for?

Round ’em up! Lock ’em up in Guantanamo! Throw away the key!

BP also killed 15 people in Texas in 2005, and the case was still pending when Obama walked into the Oval Office in 2009.

In 2009, the British-based company paid $87.43 million for a single Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violation for willful negligence that led to the deaths of 15 workers in a 2005 explosion at a Texas refinery. BP handed over $50 million to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the same crime.

BP paid Obama a couple of fines for the criminally negligent homicide of 15 workers, and the $137 million total of those fines amounted to BP’s profits for two whole days, at $6 billion per quarter, $2 billion per month, $66 million per day!

So Barack Obama isn’t exactly a hanging judge when it comes to punishing corporate criminals, even for homicide, and I guess it isn’t suprising that all he does is bitch, bitch, bitch, while the Gulf of Mexico fills up with oil.

But wasn’t this a perfect time to turn around the Republican meme that the federal government is always the problem, and never the solution for any problem?

Wasn’t this a perfect time to put the best and brightest in one big room, and keep them locked up until they solved this goddamned problem?

The federal government of the United States put a man on the moon!

And now all Obama can do is bitch, bitch, bitch?

The federal government of the United States defeated two enormous industrial and military powers in WWII!

And now all Obama can do is bitch, bitch, bitch?

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