June 12, 2010 archive

Open Pocket


Book Review: Leighninger’s Long-Range Public Investment (2007)

Book Review: Leighninger, Jr., Robert D. Long-Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal. 1st ed. 1 vol. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2007.

(crossposted at Orange and Firedoglake)

(Inscription found on the Claremont, California post office)

News at Noon

From Reuters

Obama, Cameron, to discuss BP oil spill crisis

by Jeffrey Jones

June 12, 2010

Louisiana (Reuters) – BP Plc’s handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was expected to overshadow talks on Saturday between U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The two leaders will discuss the crisis against the backdrop of public anger and political pressure on both sides of the Atlantic over the spill, which has fouled coastlines, closed rich fishing grounds and battered BP’s share price.

BP has been the target of stinging attacks by the White House and its share price has gyrated on London and New York stock exchanges this week. Obama administration officials have threatened to increase BP’s liabilities for the spill.

Related Stories:

Obama fights critics on spill response: report

Docudharma Times Saturday June 12

Saturday’s Headlines:

Angry Britons have BP’s back

$2.6 million bid wins lunch with Warren Buffett


South Carolina Votes First, Asks Questions (Who’s Alvin Greene?) Later

‘Tea party’ candidates hurt by lack of organization in movement


Italian media protests over Silvio Berlusconi ‘gagging law’

Belgium votes in election that could split the nation

Middle East

Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

Israel to set up inquiry on ‘Freedom Flotilla’ raid


Violence returns to Kyrgyzstan as 40 are killed in gang riots

Gates closed out of China


World Cup village transformed with mobile cells and water cannon

Is Obama starting to prod Egypt on human rights?

Latin America

Priest faces criticism for shining light on human rights abuses in Colombia

FBI Visits Mother of Five

Very confident in her “rights” as an “American” and knowledgeable enough to defend herself in the areana of Homeboy Stupidity.  What can I say, You Go Girl!  I wonder when filming FBI agents at your door will be “illegal.”


eBay bans the famous Hitler/Mao/Stalin gun control works T-shirt and blames it on “anti-semitism.


Big manhunt for founder of whistleblower website wikileaks.


20 Million wasted on “Fusion of Stupidity” center.


The official government stance on 911 and all other subjects inconvienient to world dominating assholes.


In the way out there X-files category I have this.

What we have here is sort of a pissing contest between two personalities of the “New Age conspiracy” movement.  It relates to the ascention of the human race on Dec 21, 2010.


Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan


A 42-year-old Defense Ministry official found himself in hot water after dressing up as a woman and attempting to enter the ladies’ bath at a Shibuya sento.

Giving new life to the term “You go girl!” 11-year-old go prodigy Rina Fujisawa came up short in her professional debut, falling to 20-year-old Mitsunari Horimoto.

The Japan Electric Vehicle Club set a record for an EV car running on a single charge: 1,003.184km, on a test course near Tokyo. Musta been exciting to watch that one unfold…

Guinness World Records also recognized Nintendo’s Dragon Quest 9 for having “the world’s most popular ad-hoc wireless game feature”: a system whereby different players can exchange info through their consoles simply by passing one another on the street.

Struggling clothing maker Renown has become the first blue-chip company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange to get a cash injection from Chinese investors.

An art exhibition in Paris featuring the works of comedian/director/actor Takeshi Kitano includes a mannequin holding its own brain in its hands. Yuck!

Two years after a knife-wielding nutcase killed seven people on the streets of Akihabara, the district will once again have car-free public shopping roads on certain days.

After residents in the library-less Fukushima village of Iitate made a plea for used children’s books, over 10,000 books came pouring into the small mountain town from around the country.

Pissed off! (Surely, I’m not saying this out LOUD!

So, I receive this from Sen. Leahy today, as follows:

Dear …….

Figuratively speaking, what BP has done to the communities and ecology of the Gulf Coast is downright criminal.

Eleven workers lost their lives in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. Countless more have lost their livelihoods. The environmental devastation to marine life and coastal wetlands is unfathomable.

Yet under current law, if a jury finds BP criminally negligent, the company would not necessarily have to pay any restitution to the victims of the spill — not even to the families of rig-workers who perished or to the fishermen put out of work. Furthermore, criminal penalties are currently too lenient to adequately deter corporate wrongdoers from authorizing risky schemes that damage the environment.

That’s why this week I introduced the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) to make restitution for violations of the Clean Water Act mandatory and increase criminal sentences for violators.

Urge your members of Congress to support the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) to start treating preventable environmental catastrophes as serious criminal acts.

This legislation takes important steps towards deterring criminal conduct that leads to environmental and economic catastrophe.

Too often, big oil companies treat criminal fines and penalties as a mere cost of doing business. But passing ECEA would change all that, sentencing corporate wrongdoers to serious prison time and mandating restitution payments be made to the victims of corporate malfeasance.

So please, take a moment to support this important legislation by clicking here.

I fully support lifting the miniscule $75 million liability cap on corporations responsible for environmental disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill, but I believe we must also go further to treat such acts as serious crimes against our communities, our economy, and our environment.

If you agree, please support the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) today.

Thank you for taking action to hold corporate wrongdoers accountable and ensure something like this never happens again.


Patrick Leahy


Tonight a little set of pictures of one little fish.

The object of the posting is not really to show you a fish,

although this “Six Line Wrasse” is really a beauty.

The point behind the images is the different backgrounds of the shots.

This species of wrasse is constantly moving, curling through coral heads

& dipping in & out of nooks & crannies, but always on the reef face.

Taking shots of this constant cruiser is a bit of a challenge.

One has to focus on a spot where the wrasse should eventually be.

Then one should be fast enough to click the shutter

before simply getting a section of tail for a shot.

A few things: The wrasse is less than two inches long.

The tank is less than the size of an old “tube” TV.

Now imagine the size of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is so much life there, although for how much longer is a sad question.

To change the subject to an aromatic one,

I`ll show you a few shots of a few flowers from my front stoop.

Then the wrasse hunting begins.







Original v. Cover — #29 in a Series

the band 1968 Pictures, Images and Photos

Do you remember the late 1960s, still have a tie-dyed shirt, your original Woodstock rock festival poster, bell bottoms, and other assorted memorabilia from this now seemingly innocent and magical era buried somewhere in your closet or attic?  If so, this week’s selection should transport you back to that era, so filled with anger, protest, and yet, remarkably, relative prosperity and hope for the future.

This song from 1968 instantly evokes the counterculture of the time, even though it never became a mainstream hit, peaking at only #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song was more successful in Canada (#35) and the U. K. (#21). The album on which the song appeared, “Music from Big Pink”, was ranked #34 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  Bob Dylan was credited with designing the cover for this album.

Remarkably, the laid-back feel of “Music from Big Pink” was cited by Eric Clapton as inspiring him to leave Cream and pursue the stylings found in his work with Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie, Derek and the Dominoes, and for his debut album.  George Harrison also took took note of this style and the associated down-home camaraderie as the divisiveness within the Beatles intensified.  

Popular Culture (Music) 20100611. Screaming Lord Sutch

Screaming Lord Sutch was an early and, unfortunately, now obscure British rocker.  He did not really have that much musical ability of his own, but was able to collect about himself a collection of current and future British rock superstars.  His band came and went, but included some really big names.

He was not a Lord at all, he was a commoner named David Edward Sutch, born 19401110.  He took the stage name Screaming Lord Sutch, third Earl of Harrow (I have also seen fifth Earl quoted) in the early 1960s, and was pretty much known by that afterwards.  He took the “Screaming” part from Screaming Jay Hawkins, who we mentioned last week in the Arthur Brown istallment.

Ellsberg Afraid US May Kill Wikileak’s Assange Over Iraq Leaks

This was previously blogged this afternoon over at FDL much better than I could do it, so I’m going to direct you over to there and Jane Hamsher and Jim White:

Transcript:  Daniel Ellsberg Says He Fears US Might Assassinate Wikileaks Founder


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange released the Iraq War video “Collateral Murder” this past April, which is shot from the viewpoint of the US Apache Helicopter crew who murdered 2 Reuters journalists in 2007.   The person who leaked the video to Wikileaks, Spc Bradley Manning, was arrested May 26th 2010 in Iraq.

My previous diary 6/7/10  “Wikileaks source arrested, hacker snitched”


Diary on the video, 4/5/10,   “Wikileaks: Reuters and kids as collateral damage”


For you younger folk, Daniel Ellsberg was the reason we finally began to get out of the Vietnam War, because he leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971.  

Ellsberg wiki:


He attended Harvard University, graduating with a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Economics in 1962 in which he described a paradox in decision theory now known as the Ellsberg paradox. He graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an officer in the Marine Corps for two years. After his discharge, he became an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Ellsberg served in the Pentagon from August 1964[1] under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (and, in fact, was on duty on the evening of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, reporting the incident to McNamara). He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department.

After returning from Vietnam, Ellsberg went back to work at the RAND Corporation. In 1967, he contributed to a top-secret study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War that had been commissioned by Defense Secretary McNamara.[2] These documents, completed in 1968, later became known collectively as the Pentagon Papers. Because he held an extremely high-level security clearance, Ellsberg was one of very few individuals who had access to the complete set of documents.[3] They revealed that the government had knowledge all along that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly.[4] Further, the papers showed that high-ranking officials had a deep cynicism toward the public, as well as disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians.[4]

Pentagon Papers wiki


The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Commissioned by United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 1967, the study was completed in 1968. The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.[1]

Daniel Ellsberg quote, years later:

Well, I had been consulting for the government, and this is now ’64, for about six years at that point, since ’58, in particular since ’59: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and now Johnson. And I had seen a lot of classified material by this time-I mean, tens of thousands of pages-and had been in a position to compare it with what was being said to the public. The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. …..   The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth-essentially, never say the whole truth-of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.[26]

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