Jun 23 2010
Bands of chimpanzees violently kill individuals from neighboring groups in order to expand their own territory, according to a 10-year study of a chimp community in Uganda that provides the first definitive evidence for this long-suspected function of this behavior.
Admittedly, it probably does require a 10-year study to substantively indicate what we’ve known all along.
Jun 23 2010
Last week on June 15 the US Department of Energy announced that a group of federal and independent scientists convened by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Chair of the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) Dr. Marcia McNutt (Director of the U.S. Geological Survey) had developed a new estimate for the amount of oil gushing from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico that indicated the leak could be spewing up to 2.52 million gallons of crude oil per day into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from British Petroleum’s Macondo Well.
“This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor, and represents a significant step forward in our effort to put a number on the oil that is escaping from BP’s well,” said Chu, who then expanded with “As we continue to collect additional data and refine these estimates, it is important to realize that the numbers can change. In particular, the upper number is less certain – which is exactly why we have been planning for the worst case scenario at every stage and why we are continuing to focus on responding to the upper end of the estimate, plus additional contingencies.”
Estimates from both BP and from the US Government of the amount of oil gushing from the blown out wellhead on the gulf seabed have been almost continually revised upwards since the well blowout and leak began on April 20, with widespread suspicions that BP has deliberately understated the leak rate in attempts to limit liability for the company.
It now appears that Chu may have been somewhat prescient with his statement that “it is important to realize that the numbers can change”, and that the estimate of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico may need to be increased again, since an undated internal BP document (.PDF) obtained by Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) was released by Markey on Sunday June 20 showing that BP’s own internal analysis believed that a worst-case scenario, based on damage to the well bore, could result in a leak of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
Jun 23 2010
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Yoda: I am wondering, why are you here?
Luke: I’m looking for someone.
Yoda: Looking? Found someone, you have, I would say, hmmm?
Yoda: Help you I can. Yes, mmmm.
Luke: I don’t think so. I’m looking for a great warrior.
Yoda: Ohhh. Great warrior. [Yoda laughs and shakes his head]
Yoda: Wars — NOT — make one great.
Not even wars, for control and mining of strategically important geo-politcal Natural Resources — that may or may not, determine the course of the world’s future …
Jun 23 2010
By Kathy Kelly
June 22, 2010
Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. U.S. Constitution Amendment I
An old cliché says that anyone who has herself for a lawyer has a fool for a client. Nevertheless, going to trial in Washington, D.C., this past June 14, I and twenty-three other defendants prepared a pro se defense. Acting as our own lawyers in court, we aimed to defend a population that finds little voice in our society at all, and to bring a sort of prosecution against their persecutors.
Months earlier, on January 21st, we had held a memorial vigil for three innocent Guantanamo prisoners, recently revealed to have been in all probability tortured to death by our government with what would turn out to be utter impunity – and because we had wished the culpable parties to take notice, we’d staged a vigil where they worked, specifically on the Capitol Steps and in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building. We had been charged with causing a “breach of the peace,” a technical legal term for a situation that might risk inciting people to violence. In abetting Administration use of torture, Congress had been inciting others to horrendous violence, and we’d been protesting perhaps one of the gravest imaginable breaches of the peace. Now we were making our small attempt to take these crimes to court, in the course of defending ourselves against what we felt to be a misdirected charge.