July 20, 2010 archive

Secrets and Surprises


From the New York Times, July 14, 2010…

“If this country has been misled, if this committee, this Congress, has been misled by pretext into a war in which thousands of young men have died, and many more thousands have been crippled for life, and out of which their country has lost prestige, moral position in the world, the consequences are very great,” Senator Albert Gore Sr. of Tennessee, the father of the future vice president, said in March 1968 in a closed session of the Foreign Relations Committee.

And yes indeed, the country had been misled, but there were no consequences for any of the liars who lied us into Vietnam.

At another point, the committee’s chairman, Senator William Fulbright, Democrat of Arkansas, raised concerns that if the senators did not take a stand on the war, “We are just a useless appendix on the governmental structure.”

And thirty years later, in 2001 and 2003, that same “useless appendix,” the United States Senate, was once again stampeded into endorsing useless wars based on nothing but lies.

Even at the time, there was widespread skepticism about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which the North Vietnamese were said to have attacked American destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964, two days after an earlier clash.

In the end, however, the senators did not further pursue their doubts. As Mr. Church said in one session that was focused on the staff report into the episode, if the committee came up with proof that an attack never occurred, “we have a case that will discredit the military in the United States, and discredit and quite possibly destroy the president.”

“We have a case that will discredit the military of the United States,” said Frank Church, but this was a ridiculous exaggeration.

Would their case have discredited private soldiers on the field of battle, bravely advancing against the enemy?


Would their case have discredited junior officers or even brigade or division commanders?


But their case would have totally discredited the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the CIA, and the President of the United States, and was saving those goddamned liars more important than the 58,000 American soldiers who were killed in Vietnam?

Was saving those goddamned liars more important than the 2,000,000 Vietnamese civilians who perished in that senseless war?

And the answer was yes, for the Washington elite, and even for liberal Democrats like Frank Church and William Fulbright.

But would the American public have been so eager to sacrifice so many lives for nothing, if they had known the truth?

“In a democracy you cannot expect the people, whose sons are being killed and who will be killed, to exercise their judgment if the truth is concealed from them,” said Senator Frank Church.

“You cannot expect the people to exercise their judgment if the truth is concealed from them.”

And how was the truth concealed?

Adm Allen to hold delayed Press Conference at DOJ

The Federal Government has been sort of quiet the last 24 hours.

Today July 20, 2010  10:00 am CST

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen’s press briefing has been postponed until this afternoon. Details will be provided as they become available.


then a bit later,

Today July 20th 2010 11:31 am CST

Updated Media Advisory

Media briefing to provide update on ongoing Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill response efforts

Where:   7th Floor Conference Room

Department of Justice  

950 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington DC

When: Tuesday July 20,2020    3:30 pm EDT


Guess they want the DNC Villager Pundits, WAPO, and the Beltway to have a front row seat, and the locals in Louisiana, not so much.

I’m sure they won’t announce anything too exciting, but it will be in time for this evening’s news and and they will be reporting from in front of the Dept of Justice in DC, which makes a nice backdrop.  

Headline from Nola.com David Hammer of the Times- Picayune   BP did not suspend drilling operations after reporting leaking blow out preventer


Well site leader Ronald Sepulvado told a Marine Board investigative panel in Kenner that before he wrapped up his stint as BP’s top man on the rig four days before the April 20 accident, he reported that one of the control pods on the blowout preventer, or BOP, had a leak.  

He said he told his supervisor in Houston, BP team leader John Guide, and assumed that Guide would notify federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service. According to investigators, that never happened.  

Federal Regulation 250.451(d) states that if someone drilling in federal waters encounters “a BOP control station or pod that does not function properly” the rig must “suspend further drilling operations until that station or pod is operable.”  

Asked if that was done, Sepulvado said it wasn’t.

Oh, and about the old, original, and now officially leaky BOP-  it was serviced in CHINA before being put on top of the well.   Story originates in the British press, of course.


The Guardian UK,  Sunday July 18, 2010

Blow out preventer was sent to the Far East at BP’s request rather than overhauled in US

There is no evidence that the significant modifications to the blowout preventer (BOP), which were carried out in China in 2005, caused the equipment to fail. But industry lawyers said BP could be made liable for any mistakes that a Chinese subcontractor made carrying out the work. It would be almost impossible to secure damages in China, where international law is barely recognised.

This week David Cameron will travel to the US to meet Obama and other politicians where he will stress the importance of BP to the UK economy. Business figures such as Lord Jones, the UK trade ambassador and former CBI boss, criticised Cameron for not being sufficiently supportive of the company last month after he said that he “understood the US government’s frustrations” over BP’s failed attempts to stop the leak.

A government adviser said that Cameron and Obama shared common interests over the crisis, and that both wanted BP to survive the incident.   BP accounts for over a tenth of all share dividends paid by UK companies, and pension funds rely on the income it generates. Politicians in the US want BP to make enough profits to pay potentially billions of dollars in compensation and damages arising from the spill.

BP needs cash.  BP having garage sale, raises $1.7 billion.  Announced today.

BP to sell assets in Vietnam and Pakistan to pay for oil spill    Tue Jul 20, 2010

(Reuters)  http://www.reuters.com/article…

As British Prime Minister David Cameron sought to defend the energy giant before meeting President Barack Obama and U.S. senators, the energy company outlined its latest plans to raise money.

Exactly three months after an explosion on an offshore rig killed 11 workers and caused millions of barrels of crude to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, BP announced it would sell its Vietnam pipeline and upstream assets as well as its Pakistan assets.

Pakistan ?  Isn’t that where we’ve had the CIA droning along looking for the Taliban lately ?  US  Secretary of State H. Clinton just announced a $1.5 billion aid package allegedly for domestic infrastructure for Pakistan yesterday….

Oh, now we get it.   Sleight of hand !  

If you thought “Top Kill” was dead, guess again, it might be back.  Only now with the well wearing a sealing cap and ram stack on top, which has temporarily stopped the leak, they’re calling it a “Static Kill” or “Bullhead Kill.”

Upstream Online  Jul 20, 2010


(Kent Wells of BP ) Wells characterised the second attempt as a “static kill” because the cap provides a closed system that has back pressure to pump against rather than the first “dynamic kill,” attempt, which essentially was pumping contest between the vessels on the surface and the producing reservoir.

It is the first time BP has talked about trying a second kill operation before the relief wells intercept the Macondo bore.

Wells said scientists realised it might be possible when pressure in the capping stack did not build as high as expected.

Because of the low pressure and the closed system, crews would not have to pump at as high rates and pressures as they did during the first attempt, Wells said.

This is important because BP was worried that high pressure could cause some of the components of the well to fail, he explained.

Even if the top kill is successful, BP will still finish the relief well to ensure that the Macondo bore is shut and stable.  

Kent Wells of BP also claimed in the above story that the tests show the wellbore is likely not damaged.  Pressure is at 6811 psi – pounds per square inch, and rising at about 1 psi per hour.

Oh, and the U.S. House of Lords, aka “the Senate,” is going to try to put the Kerry- Lieberman bastard love child energy bill on the floor of the Senate during the last week of July, before August recess, for a vote.   The phrase they are using is “utility only.”  This means the bill focuses on carbon emitted by utilities and not on manufacturers and industrial sources.  Currently Lindsey Graham and Olympia Snowe, the reasonable bait and switch Republicans, like the “utility only” approach.  You know what that means later.   Anything for those 60 votes because only in America is 51 not a majority, and since the election of Barack The Constitutional Law Scholar O’Bush in the year 2000, only the Senate writes legislation, and the House takes it or goes fish.  Wait, there are no fish anymore….    Maj. Leader Reid of Nevada noticed he was up for re election, and decided to put this turkey on the floor July 26th.   It’s not that opponent, nutcase neoconservaflatearthfundi Sharron Angle is a great candidate, it’s that she has the full bore power thrusters of the Oil Industry/Pentagon warhawks funding her, and the swiftboaters are just getting warmed up.  


The Hill 7/13/2010

Jeff Bingaman (D, NM) amendment

It would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the utility and potentially other industrial sectors by 17 percent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2030.

It would mandate that electric utilities participate in a cap-and-trade program by 2012 but allow manufacturers and other industrial sources to elect to “opt in” to the program. While some manufacturers who do not participate would not receive free emission allowances to offset higher electricity costs, local distribution company allowances would go to residential consumers and certain industrials regardless.

“New Mexico”  means this bill will be full of goodies for the nuclear industry, which, because of its toxicity of the fuel and security concerns, is about as right wing as any segment of industry can get.  More Homeland Security money, anyone ?

Opt – in.   Yeah, sort of describes the entire Democratic administration so far, electing to “opt in” to the issues concerning the liberals whenever there is a need for a catchy buzzphrase or to get elected.

Should be fun !  

Red Rock Canyon


On our last day in Las Vegas, our plane wasn’t scheduled to depart until 9:50 pm, so we checked out of our room and checked our bags with the bell desk, and took a tour with Pink Jeep Tours of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

We didn’t see much wildlife on this trip, but it is there if one looks far and long enough.  Both a chipmunk and a squirrel ran across the road in front of the jeep and one of our party spotted a small thin lizard.  But there is often more…as you can see by visiting this site.

What we did see were awe-inspiring panoramas of hills, mountains and side canyons…and vegetation.  The words “dead stinking desert” should not be used together…unless maybe one is referring to Death Valley.

And we saw an Anasazi campsite.

Open Berry


News at Noon

From Reuters

BP rises on cap news as Cameron set to talk Libya

By Tom Bergin and Kristin Hays

July 20, 2010

(Reuters) – BP shares rose on Tuesday on confidence that a cap on its Gulf of Mexico well was holding, as Britain’s Prime Minister agreed to meet senators probing the oil major’s role in the release of a Libyan jailed for bombing a U.S. plane.

BP Plc shares traded up 1.1 percent at 0931 GMT (5:31 a.m. EDT), outperforming a 0.2 percent rise in the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index, after Thad Allen, the top U.S. oil spill official said a seep detected about 3 km (1.9 miles) from the well was not caused by a pressure test on the well.

The test has stemmed the flow of oil since Thursday, bringing hope to residents in the Gulf region, and to BP investors, that the crisis has turned a corner.

Related Stories

First oil well since BP spill starts production

Q+A: Will BP spill taint Cameron’s U.S. visit?

‘Be the One’

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Who offends the inoffensive,

the innocent and blameless one,

upon that fool does evil fall

as fine dust flung against the wind.

–The Dhammapada, 125

Phenomena XIX: comparing

Groove Thing

Are we there yet?

We can spend our time

counting the days

living metronomes

beating out the hours

minutes or seconds

but in the end

the important question

is whether or not

tomorrow will be

a better day

than today

and perhaps

we could wonder

for whom

that may be

and for whom

it will not

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 2, 2008

Late Night Karaoke

Anticapitalist meetup, 7/25, noon PT, 3pm ET: suggestions, ideas, thoughts?

Folks, we’re going to have another anticapitalist meetup over at Kos.  The last one (which I hosted) received 27 tips and 100+ comments.  The next one will be hosted by goinsouth, who has promised to say something about Wallerstein.  We are also going to try to form a group of diary hosts for the meetups, so that we can get someone to host the 8/1 meetup who will not be goinsouth and who will not be me.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for the next meeting?  Any volunteers for the 8/1 diary hosting?

CT/RT Mediators

Why should we stand and wait for answers from institutions which can no longer bring us answers to anything


Designing and planning for much of the hassles in life.  Stress avoidance through total knowledge of how you are screwed in the first place just by being born.  Yes, friends, a sappy happy attitude might win friends and influence people to a point but knowing how people,corporations, institutions and government are designed to step on your face in advancing themselves up the ladder is key.  The techno world is expensive.  It is designed to demand more energy in order to function and in short it won’t.  With black oceans, smart grid, nuclear plants dropping out of service and the green taxation which is going to remove energy from the grasp of the newly poor, well, end of story.