July 17, 2010 archive

Arizona: Neo Nazis Patrol Border

Is it chickens or is it eggs?  Is it that Governor Brewer’s immigration extremism gives cover to Nazis?  Or is it that Neo Nazis give cover to the ugliness that is SB 1070? Is it that Joe Apraio was thought to be as extreme as anyone could be, but people have emerged in Arizona who are even further beyond the Pale?

Is Arizona a Petry Dish from growing more and more virulent forms of extremism?  You pick.

This from AP:

Minutemen groups, a surge in Border Patrol agents, and a tough new immigration law aren’t enough for a reputed neo-Nazi who’s now leading a militia in the Arizona desert.

Jason “J.T.” Ready is taking matters into his own hands, declaring war on “narco-terrorists” and keeping an eye out for illegal immigrants….

But local law enforcement are nervous given that Ready’s group is heavily armed and identifies with the National Socialist Movement, an organization that believes only non-Jewish, white heterosexuals should be American citizens and that everyone who isn’t white should leave the country “peacefully or by force.”…snip

But Ready, a 37-year-old ex-Marine, ,,, and his friends are outfitted with military fatigues, body armor and gas masks, and carry assault rifles. Ready takes offense at the term “neo-Nazi,” but admits he identifies with the National Socialist Movement.

“These are explicit Nazis,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. “These are people who wear swastikas on their sleeves.”

And so, today, running around in the desert where it’s dangerously hot are a bunch of heavily armed Nazis.  And Sheriff Arpaio continues to humiliate immigrants while failing to prevent crime.  And the Governor of Arizona continues to insist that SB1070 is not preempted.  And not racist. And a waste of money.

Arizona is a hot, dry Petry Dish for growing extremism.

My revulsion overflows.  I’m not advocating violence.  I’m just noticing the strong, negative feelings all of these creeps evoke.  I hope that the people of Arizona will find a way to be free of these demagogues.

simulposted at The Dream Antilles and Stars Hollow Gazette and dailyKos

Las Vegas: Chihuly and the Crew

Bellagio Lobby

For those of you traveling to Las Vegas in the near future, I’d like to encourage you to stop by the Bellagio lobby to see some great glass sculpture, by Dale Chihuly, if you like that sort of thing.

More Chihuly is available in some of the Bellagio’s nightclubs and for purchase in the Chihuly shop in Via Fiore.

My photos are not the best.  My apologies for the inadequate skill and the bad eyesight. Official photos can be found here.

I took most of my images (inside) at night.  There is a totally different vibe in the bright of day.  Maybe you can get a sense of that from the lobby shots.

Open Smoke


Vietnam Congressional Debate Papers into Public View

Once upon a time, sounds like a fairy tale beginning but even as we’ve sunk to the depths of incivility in more then our politics in this country, it isn’t a fairy tale I assure you. For once there was a closer resemblance to debating issues and cross political party ideology, good or bad, were really discussed seriously.

What do the Vietnam congressional debates have to do with the now, as Sen. John Kerry says “lawmakers’ meetings during the Vietnam War offer useful lessons for the discussing the Afghanistan war.”

Poor Macondo Can’t Get It Up, Can We Just Give Him Cialis & Be Done With It ?

The Further Adventures of Macondo, the Misbehaving Well.

Oh, Macondo, you were supposed to save us, and now look what you’ve done!

Can you hear the drums, Fernando ? I remember long ago another starry night like this

In the firelight Fernando, You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar

I could hear the distant drums , and the sound of bugle calls were coming from afar

They were closer now, Fernando, every hour every minute, seemed to last eternally.  I was so afraid Fernando, We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die

and I’m not afraid to say, the roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, they were shining there for you and me, For Liberty, tho we never thought that we could lose, there’s no regret,  if I had to do the same again, I would my friend, Fernando  

Friday:  The First Family puts on their color coordinated summer outfits in muggy DC,  and marches dutifully to the helicopter for the obligatory New England Summer vacation in Maine.  They will be staying at the Holiday Inn in Bar Harbor on Mt Desert Island, which was last visited by a President while in office 100 years ago,  when William Howard Taft showed up.

President,Maine,weekend getaways,Acadia National Park

Enjoying a stroll today at Acadia National Park in Maine, Properly Attired for the Neighborhood.

A small earthquake hit Washington DC, this morning.  The 3.6 magnitude rattler was the largest recorded within 30 miles of the nation’s capitol since 1974.  There were no reports of damage from the 2.0 aftershocklette.

DC earthquake,2010 July DC earthquake

Matt Simpson’s Prediction Comes True at Last.

The House of Congress adjourned the day before, and scheduled its next meeting for lunchtime on Monday, July 19, 2010.  The Senate also adjourned at 6:33 pm Thursday, and vowed to return next Monday afternoon, whereby they will take up the Jobs Bill. Or the Energy Bill. Or something.

Gov Manchin of West Virginia will have appointed a new Senator by then to fill the seat left vacant by the loss of Senator Byrd.

And thereby complete the Entire Remaining Agenda of the First Term of the Obama Administration in 12 Days.  Yes, By God, West Virginia.  

Almost heaven. Life is old there. Older than the seas, Younger than the mountains, Blowin’ like a breeze. Take me home. To the place. I belong.  

Or at least get the polling numbers up.

(sssppst, those polling numbers….  didja fire the old one yet ? )  

Home. If home foreclosures continue at the current rate this year, in 2010 there will have been a million homes lost to the banks, more than the 900,000 homes lost to foreclosure in 2009.  The usual amount is about 100,000 homes a year, before the mortgaging/bank financial meltdown started.  7.5 million homeowners are in some sort of payment problem.  The 3.2 million jobless people who had their unemployment benefits expire because of lack of Senate action so far this month   become the targets of the self righteous, who ignore the higher “unofficial” unemployment rates of 15 to 20% in places like Republican Tea Partier’s Wally Herger’s district in the rural north of California, and tell them to get off the couch, stop eating chips and sodas, and learn to live on subsistence income.  Because the system shouldn’t reward the lazy nor punish those who succeed. It is 107ºF degrees in Redding this afternoon, this Friday.  Not using air conditioning is the new patriotic.

It was the 87th day since the pierced earth in block 252 of the Macondo prospect in Mississippi Canyon, nearly a mile under the sea, had bled out all the ancient dead liquified souls that it had held for eons, and covered it, shifted it back and forth by wind, strangled it in its carbon and sulfur stench, and mired its living things in tar and fed the swimming things the liquid toxins.  People of the coastal Gulf waters watched with cynical eyes as the British Petroleum company and the government told them that first they had shut it off, and then they would wait and see, and then maybe they would turn it back on, after all.

Pressure readings after 24 hours were about 6,700 pounds per square inch and rising slowly, Allen said, below the 7,500 psi that would clearly show the well was not leaking.  He said pressure continued to rise between 2 and 10 psi per hour.  He said a seismic probe of the surrounding sea floor found no sign of a leak in the ground, one of the major concerns because oil erupting into the surroundings would be harder to contain and could weaken the well before it is plugged for good.  The news came at the dinner hour on Friday, just as it always does.  

The slow deflation of optimism continued.

All the miracles of modern technology, 4 billion dollars and 3 months later, and still couldn’t get it up.


Said from the start if pressure didn’t rise to 5- 6K PSI, no well integrity & 7,500 + PSI, we would absolutely have integrity.

-Kent Wells

BP_ America

Official BP    


Maybe there is a blockage in the well.  “The pipe integrity’s still there, It’s just getting around obstacles,” said one geology professor at Columbia.

A few hours earlier, another one at the University of Houston named Don Van Nieuwenhuise had tried to say that the well had merely lost power over the time it has been leaking.  But in another source he says

“There’s a couple of weak points at 9,000 feet, and one at 17,000 feet, that they might be particularly interested in looking at watching in the seismic. ”


Another telegenic oil wonk, Rob Cavner, of Houston, put it thus:  

“they are just sitting there circulating on the bottom at 17,840 (feet).  Just sitting there. Wells claims they are doing that for “safety reasons” during the well integrity test. What ? …. what the hell are they doing ? They now have an ability to capture all the oil and stop this massive pollution of the Gulf, as well as measure it. We have great weather to get the relief well completed. We already know without the “well integrity test” that they have severe damage to the BOP and other surface equipment and casing. If that were not true, it wouldn’t have blown out in the first place.”


“As soon as they do capture all the flow, then a real, measurable number will be in front of the public, and that’s the last thing BP wants, since that number will then be used to extrapolate environmental damage, hence per barrel fines that will likely run to the tens of billions anyway.”

   So just call Dickie’s cardiologist, would you ?

But for those who need help before a heart is available, or for whom a transplant is too risky, we have a gizmo called the left ventricular assist device, a $200,000 item. The LVAD is a cumbersome almost-artificial heart that requires the recipient to wear heavy batteries, a shoulder sling with various parts, tubes going through the chest and into the heart and abdomen, and other substantial inconveniences. It helps push a portion of the heart’s blood forward, doing the work the failing ventricle no longer can accomplish. Once used only to stabilize people awaiting heart transplant, it now is referred to, not ironically, as a “destination therapy”-the exact intervention that you want, not the half-assed loaner you are stuck with till the real McCoy arrives.

Six years ago, the doctor and medical historian Howard Markel, writing in The Atlantic, assembled seven fancy cardiologists and discussed Anonymous Patient C’s medical history with them; all were surprised that he was still puttering along, and even more surprised to then be informed that he was at the time their vice president. Stated most simply, he should have died long, long ago. Most people with his heart, his weight and sedentary habits, his history of cigarette smoking and who knows what else already have heard the bell toll. But not Cheney-pointing out that, though useful to define national trends, population-based statistics are completely useless for predicting the fate of an individual. The extremely unlikely happens every day, all of the time:   Just as it’s the rare person who wins the lottery, or is struck by lightning, or rolls snake eyes 50 times in a row, so too does a bad guy with a worse heart beat all the odds to stay alive.

So too does a destructive national energy policy, with a bad deepwater oil well, beat all the odds to stay alive.


Saturday Dawning:

Break out the champaign for brunch, darlings!

BP announces at its only press briefing of the day that :


[13:39] “You’ll see bubbles on the 36″ casing”

[13:39] “This is quite normal. First piece of pipe put in down to 500′. Build well on top of that”

[13:39] “There are 6 or 8 valves around this piece of pipe, it’s quite caution. But we’ll go take a sample and make sure it’s not gas from deeper down in the riser”

[13:40] ahh

[13:40] “Could be nitrogen or biodegrading methane”

[13:40] “As the well cools down, that’s probably what caused those bubbles”

Next technical update will be tomorrow (July 18) at 7:30 am CT. Any other updates btwn now & then will be announced.

about 2 hours ago via web   http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

At this point, there is no evidence that we don’t have well integrity. -Kent Wells

about 2 hours ago via web   http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

The longer integrity test goes, the more confident we get & the test will end when it is the right time to make that decision. -Kent Wells  

about 2 hours ago via web    http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Continuing to progress with long-term containment options as planned. -Kent Wells

about 2 hours ago via web    http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Bubbles you see on the 36″ casing on one of ROV cameras is normal. Being cautious, going down to double check & get a sample. -Kent Wells

about 2 hours ago via web    http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Well integrity test continues, with pressure currently at 6,745 PSI, building at approx 2 PSI per hr. -Kent Wells

about 3 hours ago via web  http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

Every 6 hrs we’re going to look at the info & keep making decisions at that point on what to do going forward. -Kent Wells  

about 16 hours ago via web   http://twitter.com/BP_America/…

  ooh la lah, Le Weekend Sans Fin.  Est il droit pour vous ?  Toute l’heure peut etre le bon moment avec BP.                  

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy…

…engineers huddled over puzzling pressure readings from the bottom of the sea Friday to determine if BP’s capped oil well was holding tight.

Halfway through a critical 48-hour window, the signs were promising but far from conclusive.

Kent Wells, a BP PLC vice president, said on an evening conference call that engineers had found no indication that the well has started leaking underground.

“No news is good news, I guess that’s how I’d say it,” Wells said.

Engineers are keeping watch over the well for a two-day period in a scientific, round-the-clock vigil to see if the well’s temporary cap is strong enough to hold back the oil, or if there are leaks either in the well itself or the sea floor. One mysterious development was that the pressure readings were not rising as high as expected, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government’s point man on the crisis.

Allen said two possible reasons were being debated by scientists: The reservoir that is the source of the oil could be running lower three months into the spill. Or there could be an undiscovered leak somewhere down in the well.

Gucci Cadillac LiLo

Why would a swarm of paparazzi follow this guy…

Mark Ronson Gucci sneaker

…who never wears sneakers, and never “designed” anything except a line of $1400 sneakers for Gucci?

Docudharma Times Saturday July 17

Saturday’s Headlines:

BP, the Gulf oil spill and 87 days that changed the world

A Star Keeps Rocking in the Not-So-Free World


Republicans divided on the importance of an agenda for midterm election

Arizona’s immigration law isn’t the only one


Champion of UK burka ban declares war on veil-wearing constituents

Mystery trader buys all Europe’s cocoa

Middle East

Yemeni cleric blacklisted in US

Iraqi leaders and the selfish gene


South Korean oil spill victims’ cautionary tale

Pakistan army accused of extrajudicial killings in Swat

Latin America

A Tree Grows in Haiti

Late Night Karaoke

Updated! Who Designed the New BP Containment Cap?

According to University of California Professor of Engineering Robert Bea, the cap being used by BP, which has, at least for now, stopped the gushing of oil into the GOM, could well be the design of an anonymous mystery plumber.

UPDATE: 7/18/10

Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse in The Great Orange and Patrick Jonsson in The Christian Science Monitor report that the anonymous plumber has come forward and identified himself.  He is Joe Caldart, a 40-ish married father of five with 3 hound dogs living in St. Francis, Kansas — just a regular blue collar guy who has made quite a contribution.  I find this to be quite wonderful!  (And please check out the Three Stooges videos downstream in comments.  I ROFLMAO-ed without stop.  Either BP should give royalties to the 3 Stooges, or the stooges should pay BP for PR (provided they donate all proceeds to the many places which deserve financial compensation).  

***end update.


Reporting in Yahoo News on Friday, June 16, Brett Michael Dykes states:

…the model of the well cap now in place didn’t exist in the earlier stages of the spill saga. But what’s more noteworthy than the timing issue is the likelihood that the device owes its origin to the same authority that any homeowner turns to in order to get a leak plugged: a professional plumber.

More below…

WH to Obey: Food stamps pretty good deal, so cut ’em.

According to Rep. David Obey:

We were told we have to offset every damn dime of [new teacher spending]. Well, it ain’t easy to find offsets, and with all due respect to the administration their first suggestion for offsets was to cut food stamps.  Now they were careful not to make an official budget request, because they didn’t want to take the political heat for it, but that was the first trial balloon they sent down here. … Their line of argument was, well, the cost of food relative to what we thought it would be has come down, so people on food stamps are getting a pretty good deal in comparison to what we thought they were going to get.  

Dear Fucking White House,

At the risk of unduly adding to “liberal lamentations unhinged from historical context or contemporary political realities,” I’d recommend someone on your staff taking a crash course in biology, or perhaps taking a quick peek at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  The un-fed are not the self-actualizers you might think.  Fuck you very much.


A Lacrimose Liberal

Random Japan


A study group at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases released an announcement warning people not to kiss their pets, “citing a possible infectious disease caused by a bacterium in the mouths of animals.”

The Supreme Court ruled that a Kyoto man whose house is near a funeral hall is not entitled to demand that a fence be built to shield him from viewing funeral processions. Two lower courts had ruled that the man’s daily life “had been greatly affected” by the sight of passing hearses.

It was reported that the average summer bonus of government workers this year is a cool ¥577,500, up ¥4,000 from last year.

Even Yukio Hatoyama, who stepped down as PM in June, managed to snag a ¥4.99 million bonus.

At the same time, it was reported that “average income of Japanese lawmakers hit a record low of ¥22.23 million in 2009, down ¥2.6 million from the previous year.”

Police in Osaka say that 48 Chinese illegally took up residence in the city in order to collect welfare benefits.

It was revealed that Japan has entered talks to help India build 20 new nuclear power plants.

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