June 15, 2010 archive

Europe’s Black Swans

  The financial news from Europe is getting increasingly distressing.

A new EU report warns that economic conditions in Portugal and Spain could “result in a high ‘snowball’ effect on the government debt.”

  French financial group AXA says “there is a fatal flaw in the system and no clear way out.” They are predicting the Eurozone to break in half or completely disintegrate in the next 18 months.

  Over 13% of Europe’s investors are betting on a Black Monday-style collapse in stock prices (think 1987).

On Poor Management, Or, Did You Know There Was Another Deepwater?

It is by now obvious that even after we stop the gentle trickle of oil that’s currently expressing itself into the Gulf of Mexico (thank you so much, BP) we are not going to be able to get that oil out of the water for some considerable length of time–and if you think it could take years, I wouldn’t bet against you.

While BP is the legally responsible party, out on the water it will be up to the Coast Guard to manage the Federal response, and to determine that BP is running things in a way that gets the work done not only correctly and safely, but, in a world of limited resources, efficiently.

Which brings us to the obvious question: can the Coast Guard manage such a complex undertaking?

While we hope they can, you need to know that the Coast Guard has been trying to manage the replacement of their fleet of ships and aircraft for about a decade now…and the results have been so stunningly bad that you and I are now the proud owners of a small flotilla of ships that can never be used, because if they go to sea, they might literally break into pieces.

It’s an awful story, and before we’re done you’ll understand why Deepwater was already an ugly word around Headquarters, years before that oil rig blew up.  

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – BP is the New BS

Crossposted at Daily Kos


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Open Dream


BP Hiding Oiled Animal Carcasses Washing Up On Gulf Beaches?

Crossposted from Antemedius

On MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann Monday night, Marine toxicologist Riki Ott alleged that British Petroleum (BP) is trying to discourage or disallow public and media from seeing some of the horrific results of their oil leak by removing oiled animal carcasses from Gulf beaches.

“Turtle watch volunteers who walk the beaches consistently every morning at 6:00 a.m., they’re saying the carcasses are disappearing”

“People who walk the beaches at night, they’ve seen little baby dolphins wash up dead, flashlights, people descend out of nowhere, carcass gone in 15 minutes.

There’s reports from offshore of massive kills on the barrier islands from fishermen who have been working on the spill response…

BP’s response has been to use metal detectors to keep and prevent the people from even taking cell phones out to photograph this.”

There have been reports in the past few days of BP hiring private security contractors to keep the public and media away from oiled beaches.

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown June 14, 2010.

News at Noon

From Reuters

Q&A: What’s behind China’s recent labor unrest?

by Reuters

June 15, 2010

(Reuters) – A string of strikes at foreign-owned factories in southern China, especially Honda vehicle plants and parts suppliers, has highlighted the rising demands of young Chinese workers from the countryside.

A series of suicides at Foxconn, an electronics maker with a huge plant in southern China, has intensified attention on discontent in China’s labor force.

Here are some questions and answers about the unrest.

Related Stories:

China urges improvements at work as Honda strike ends

Labor updating petition on China workers’ rights

Foxconn suicide probe to be made public

Bin Laden Films

Docudharma Times Tuesday June 15

Tuesday’s Headlines:

BP ignored warnings and cut corners, says Congress

Anthony Burgess: More than ultraviolence


Concern on Capitol Hill about Afghanistan war grows

Stakes rise for Obama amid oil spill crisis


Markets braced as Greek credit rating cut to junk again

EU rule-breakers ‘should lose their voting rights’

Middle East

Turkish aid flotilla was bringing wheelchairs, toys – and hope

Iraq’s new parliament meets for first time, and promptly suspends


Uzbekistan closes borders to refugees

American on solo mission to kill Osama bin Laden arrested in Pakistan


Kenya MP held for hate speech, minister Ruto accused

Egypt in awkward position on Gaza following Israeli attack on aid flotilla

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Mandala 2

(Click on image for larger view)


Probability of another “recession” = zero.

Jeebus Lord God His-Self, MacroAdvisers:


Flying saucer?  Four-way window pane?  What are they eating?

Late Night Karaoke


On Saving Louisiana, Or, Send Me Your Mud, Yearning To Be Free

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a story I originally posted in March of 2007 that seems so important right now I’ve brought it back for your consideration.

Let’s begin today’s discussion with a quick thought experiment.

What is the single most important thing necessary to ensure the survival of the State of Louisiana?

Improved government administration?

More and better levees?

The success of the “Road Home” project?

I submit it is none of these.

The single most important factor determining the future of the State of Louisiana is mud.

That’s right, mud.

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