July 19, 2010 archive

DREAM Now Letters: Mohammad Abdollahi

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, havegood moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.

Boulder Dam


When I grew up, we almost always referred to the dam as Boulder Dam, rather than Hoover Dam.  Maybe that had to do with the fact that I grew up in a democratic, union household.

Actually, it shouldn’t be the Boulder Dam either.  While Boulder Canyon was the original site selected, it turned out there was a geologic fault right down the middle of that canyon, so they kept looking until settling on Black Canyon.

This is a continuation of a series of photo-journals of things to see near Las Vegas.  

Next up will be Red Rock Canyon.

Open Camera


News at Noon

From Reuters

Investors worry about seepage at capped BP well

By Tom Bergin and Chris Baltimore

July 19, 2010

(Reuters) – Investors fretted about possible seepage from BP’s capped Gulf of Mexico well on Monday and speculation grew about assets the company may sell to pay multibillion dollar costs for its oil spill.

BP shares, which have been rallying over the past three weeks, slipped 2.6 percent after the top U.S. government spill official said that engineers had detected seepage, raising fears of problems with the cap that stopped oil spewing into the water nearly three months after a rig explosion.

A BP spokesman said the seep was detected by its engineers but it was unclear whether the source was the blown-out well, adding that seeps were a natural phenomenon in the Gulf.

Related Stories

BP says oil spill bill nears $4 billion

Cap marks only end of beginning for BP crisis

What’s Your Favourite …?


Welcome to the second in a NEW series…

What’s Your Favourite…?

each week i’ll be asking you What’s Your Favourite…? about different item/thing/idea



What’s Your Favourite…. Advice?

Join the Green New Deal Coalition

In response to our nation's vast economic and ecological problems, Green Change has launched a campaign for a Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is an ambitious program to create economic prosperity together with ecological sustainability.

We are building a coalition of candidates, individuals and organizations to support the Green New Deal – starting today.

Join the Green New Deal Coalition now.

Here are the ten policies you endorse by joining the Green New Deal Coalition:

1) Cut military spending at least 70%;

2) Create millions of green union jobs through massive public investment in renewable energy, mass transit and conservation;

3) Set ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax to meet them;

4) Establish single-payer “Medicare for all” health care;

5) Provide tuition-free public higher education;

6) Change trade agreements to improve labor, environmental, consumer, health and safety standards;

7) End counterproductive prohibition policies and legalize marijuana;

8) Enact tough limits on credit interest and lending rates, progressive tax reform and strict financial regulation;

9) Amend the U.S. Constitution to abolish corporate personhood; and

10) Pass sweeping electoral, campaign finance and anti-corruption reforms.

Will you help us turn these ideas into reality?

Sign up for the Green New Deal Coalition now.

The first step is to agree on these ten priorities. The next step is to push for specific policies to make them happen.

We need your help. Share your ideas about a Green New Deal on the Green Change network.

Movin’ On Up

The past several days I’ve been musing on the chosen strategies employed by the privileged and the well-educated to solve societal problems.  In particular, I’ve been contemplating the idea of poverty.  As is typical for me, I’ve been seeking to find intersections and similarities between seemingly divergent topics, all in the hopes of eliminating confusion among everyone.  Sometimes we disagree because we inadvertently work at cross-purposes to each other.  The anecdote to follow illustrates how social class muddies the waters quite considerably, and how in the process we often find ourselves talking past one another.  I’ve found this exercise personally helpful in many instances, and I tell it now in the hopes that readers might feel the same.

Docudharma Times Tuesday July 20

Tuesday’s Headlines:

White House shifts Afghanistan strategy towards talks with Taliban

The bitter legacy of Franz Kafka


Signs of the times: Oil-spill victims on Grand Isle post protest

Veterans can have seizures decades after a head injury, study finds


Northern Cyprus plans to become Mediterranean ‘Las Vegas’

Russian upper house increases KGB successor’s power, to activists’ dismay

Middle East

Iraq’s Conflict, Reflected in a Family Tragedy

Syria bans niqab from universities


India rolls out red carpet for its pariah friend

Kyrgyz deal a Silk Road turning point


Studies show promise in curbing AIDS in Africa

Sudan brutally suppressing dissent, says Amnesty

Latin America

Cold temperatures cause death, damage in South America


A Washington Post Investigation

Docudharma Times Monday July 19

Monday’s Headlines:

A hidden world, growing beyond control

Patch heralds new era in battle against pandemics


Seep near capped well worries U.S.

Unlikely Senate candidate Alvin Greene lays out his platform


Grandiose Nazi airport becomes a wild and free park

Blow for Angela Merkel as ally resigns

Middle East

Death in Police Encounter Stirs Calls for Change in Egypt

Turkey’s tourist resorts threatened with terrorist campaign


Found: Sri Lankan primate thought to be extinct for 60 years

Sabotage probe after Indian train crash kills 56

Latin America

Zero-percent unemployment Cuba’s labor strife


A Washington Post Investigation

How Much Coast Can You Cover with 174,000,000 Gallons of Oil?

If we run with the current “high” estimate of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico at about 60,000 barrels per day, and making a generous allowance for BP’s partial containment at about 10,000 barrels per day…

Then a reasonable estimate of the total spill would be about 50,000 barrels per day, about 2,000,000 gallons, and in 87 days that adds up to about 174,000,000 gallons of oil.

A standard authority about the mechanics of oil slicks calculates the “critical” thickness at which a slick still presents a uniform black sheen at about 0.1 millimeter.

Google’s handy calculator of volumes reveals that 174,000,000 gallons is just about 660,000 cubic meters, and since 1 cubic meter of oil will cover 10,000 square meters to a depth of 0.1 millimeter…

We can now calculate that 660,000 cubic meters of oil can produce an oil slick which extends over 6,600,000,000 square meters.

The entire coastline of the United States is about 12,000 miles long, and since 6,600,000,000 square meters is about 2,500 square miles…

We can now calculate that 174,000,000 gallons of oil could cover the entire coastline of the United States for about 1000 feet inland from the tide-line.

And how would that look on a map?

Oil Map

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Look upon the world as a bubble,

look upon it as a mirage:

the king of death does not see him

who thus looks down upon the world.

–The Dhammapada, 170

Phenomena XVIII: altering

Half Twist

Mental Gymnastics

Steps forward

do not automatically

come with steps back

Expecting them

is the road

to pessimism

Better is to follow

the steps forward

with two and a half somersaults

with a half twist

to the left

in pike position

and see what

can be seen

from this new perspective

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–Febraury 18, 2008

Morning Migraine: Democrats Finally Go For Jobs Program & Peace

United States to  Spend $7.5 Billion on jobs program on water, energy, and health.


…. a vision of a future in which all people can live safe, healthy, and productive lives; contribute to their communities; and make the most of their own God-given potential.”

Clinton said the U.S. will complete two hydroelectric dam projects to supply electricity to more than 300,000 people in areas near the Afghan border, will renovate or build three medical facilities in central and southern Pakistan and will embark on a new initiative to improve access to clean drinking water in the country.

These projects and several others focused on promoting economic growth will cost some $500 million and will be funded by legislation approved by Congress to triple nonmilitary aid to $1.5 billion a year over five years.

Vice President clarifies what it means to be elected because your country wanted a change in foreign policy after 7 years of war.   12 months x 103 per month = 1236 more fatalities by next July in Afghanistan, when we’ll…..  slow down.  


Vice President Joe Biden is taking a more cautious approach when it comes to next summer’s planned military U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

He once predicted the drawdown next July would mean “a lot of people moving out.”

But he tells ABC’s “This Week” that the number of U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan “could be as few as a couple of thousand troops.”  

Biden says it’s too early to judge whether the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan will succeed, but he says there is progress.

A record 103 NATO troops were killed in June, the deadliest month of the nearly 9-year-old war for international forces.

I know we can fix the international financial crisis and the domestic 20 out 10 Depression with more of the same.  And this should help the Democrats with their message fine tuning during the fall campaigns.

Whew.  And here I was worried about that oil well developing a little leak.  

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