August 5, 2010 archive

Open Ribbons


News at Noon

From Reuters

BP shares rally on hopes for final leak plug

By Tom Bergin and Deborah Zabarenko

August 5, 2010

(Reuters) – Shares in BP hit two-month highs on Thursday on hopes the group would soon permanently seal its Gulf of Mexico oil well and after President Obama said the battle to contain the leak was nearly over.

BP shares were up 2 percent at 430 pence at 5:44 a.m. ET, having earlier hit 434.5 pence, a level last seen in early June, on day 108 of an environmental disaster that has ravaged communities and ecosystems along the Gulf coast, killed sea creatures and coastal birds and cost Chief Executive Tony Hayward his job.

After several setbacks in efforts to plug the deep-sea well, which was damaged by an explosion at a rig on April 20, BP said on Wednesday that heavy drilling mud injected into it the previous day was stemming the flow of crude.

Related Stories

Factbox: Developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP has backup plans for oil spill if kills fail

Prop 8, Feminism, And the Law of Unequaldynamics.

Unequaldynamics: (noun, Dianism* )

(see disambiguation: white people suck)

1. The process by which in a closed system, one group of humans will drain all the power and assets unto themselves, leaving the majority of people destitute and utterly void of self-determination.

2. The system pertaining to a class of ruling elites who have removed all true freedom from its conquered people, while maintaining an illusion of said freedoms.

3. The inverted pyramid model by which all empires fail.


*Disclaimer: Yes, I toyed with the idea of using the pronoun “In” rather than “Un” but inequality suggested a more random bias, while unequality an intentional one. Sue me. I reserve the right to be the last word on my made-up words.

So. Prop 8 was overturned. In a totally unrelated story, a leading feminist blames feminism for messing up the kids.

I have to look around, and ask, “Bigger picture, anyone? ANYONE?”

So the Weirding Woman must speak.

Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal Kabuki

Gareth Porter is an historian and investigative journalist and US foreign and military policy analyst. He writes regularly for Inter Press Service on US policy towards Iraq and Iran. Porter is author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.

Porter talks with Real News Network’s Paul Jay with a dissection of Obama’s Iraq ‘withdrawal’ smoke and mirrors kabuki.

Real News Network – August 5, 2010

Gareth Porter:

Obama backtracks on commitment to withdraw combat troops from Iraq

Transcript below the fold

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – July 2010

Iraq, Rapidly becoming the Forgotten War!!

There have been 4,733 coalition deaths — 4,414 Americans, 2 Australians, 1 Azerbaijani, 179 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, 1 Czech, 7 Danes, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 1 Fijian, 5 Georgians, 1 Hungarian, 33 Italians, 1 Kazakh, 1 South Korean, 3 Latvian, 22 Poles, 3 Romanians, 5 Salvadoran, 4 Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, 2 Thai and 18 Ukrainians — in the war in Iraq as of August 4 2010, according to a CNN count. { Graphical breakdown of casualties }. At least 31,897 {31,860 last month} U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. View casualties in the war in Afghanistan

Docudharma Times Thursday August 5

Thursday’s Headlines:

Oil Spill Calculations Stir Debate on Damage

Can malaria be beaten?


Google and Verizon in Talks on Web Priority

‘Static kill’ of oil well deemed a success; gulf waters begin clearing


Russian wildfires: ‘Even the road seemed to be on fire. It was like descending into hell’

Cloned beef in food chain spreads alarm in Britain

Middle East

Obama drops pledge on Iraq


Children found starving in rural Australia

Asif Ali Zardari ‘has let down Pakistan more than David Cameron’s terrorism remarks’


Naomi Campbell to give war crimes testimony

Kenya referendum monitored by SMS and Twitter

Latin America

Colombia offers clues for solution to Mexico drug war

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The wise ones,

ever meditative and steadfastly persevering,

alone experience Nirvana,

the incomparable freedom from bondage.

–The Dhammapada, verse 23

Phenomena XXXI:  musing


What if?

What if rainbows

came in textures

and kaleidoscopes

played with sound

What if feelings

were for wearing

and thoughts weighed

each a pound

Would hope appear upward

and love feel cerise?

What would be the taste of freedom?

What would be the scent of peace?

Could I pay my rent

in moonbeams

when the future

becomes our toy?

When hate and greed

are left behind

could I measure wealth

in joy?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 26, 2008

Robert Reich: Nobody could have fuggin’ predicted…

In a piece titled “The Obama agenda and the enthusiasm gap,” and by “gap” I hope he doesn’t intend something on the order of a “spark plug gap” when many of us are seeing a “no man’s land” between existentially warring armies littered mostly with our dead bodies, Robert Reich looks to the November elections and sees storm clouds, due to Obama’s tepid policies:

Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The president may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.

Activist phase?  Is “legislative success” akin to “staying the corporate course?”  By “opposition” Reich probably means utterly predictable gun-toting, racist, Randian, war-mongering, just-say-no wingnuts, but how about the resentment fueled amongst hope-and-changers who have been completely shafted on just about every issue from GITMO to the economy?

We’ll always have Cairo

While the Nutroots Nation polled support for Obama at some ridiculous margin of around 85%, more realistic minds in the Arab world have reassessed His Potential Hopey Changey-ness.

The 2010 Arab Public Opinion poll will be released Thursday at the Brookings Institution by Shibley Telhami, of the University of Maryland and Brookings’ Saban Center for Middle East Policy. The annual survey, conducted in conjunction with Zogby International, polled 3,976 people in six countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates – in June and July.

The most striking finding is that while early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, some 51 percent of those polled expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East; in the 2010 poll, only 16 percent were hopeful, while a majority, 64 percent, were discouraged.


“Basically, Arabs have concluded that he can’t deliver on his promises at best, or that he’s just like Bush at worst,”  George Washington University Middle East specialist and writer Marc Lynch said. “But there’s still considerable residual hope at this point that they’re wrong and that he’ll come through in the end.”

Pretty standard “looks-like-a-duck-walks-like-a-duck” assessment, which is generally and amazingly unavailable to progressive/liberals, except for those of us specializing in infantile tantrums, moral purity, and “poutrage,” those of us for whom Obama can do no good and deep down want the true psychopaths, not the pseudo-psychopaths, back in charge.  Whatevs.  The dude is a colossal disappointment.  A chronic fuck-up, really, completely lost, and wandering his own special Limbo as if in  a moral twilight zone.

This is also interesting:

Other key findings are that views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and its prospects for resolution have remained stable, and that a slight majority of the Arab public now sees a nuclear-armed Iran as being better for the Middle East.

Arabs prefer that Americans and Israelis walk on eggshells in the Muslim world, and seriously, who can blame them?  

Late Night Karaoke

Yep, They really do look alike, I guess

Maybe it is because I’m a really great fan of Maxine Waters.  I really don’t know, but I was seriously disconcerted by Greta Van Susteren’s inability to distinguish between Shirley Sherrod and Maxine Waters.  Is it just me?  Am I the only one who thinks they look really different, really individual?

article & video here

I can’t help but feel that the repeated, endless attacks on blacks (Afro Americans) and Obama’s predilection to abandon them at the first sign of attack is a truly condemming comment on his Presidency.  Maybe they’ll go after Valerie Jarret next.  That would put him in quite the excrutiating predicament.

Please discuss…

Tribute to Dr. William Harrison 20100804

I read with sorrow this evening that Dr. Harrison is closing his practice.  He is an excellent physician, and skilfully delivered my firstborn son in 1985.

Dr. Harrison has been in a bit of controversy, since he is the only OB to provide abortions in the northwest Arkansas area.  This man has guts.  The fundies are rejoicing.  I am mourning.

When the former Mrs. Translator and I visited his office in late 1984 and early 1985, he also practiced OB-GYN and delivered babies.  The costs of that became large afterwards, so he limited his practice to abortions.

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