January 2, 2013 archive

Should Auld Civil Liberties Forgot

Adapted from Rant of the Week at The Stars Hollow Gazette

You Have No Rights

The Bill Of Rights Has A Very Bad Week

By Charles P. Pierce

Of course, while everyone in Washington, and the courtier press that serves them, were endlessly droning on and on about the Gentle Fiscal Incline, the Bill Of Rights closed out 2012 by having one of the worst weeks it’s had in the two centuries of its existence. But the courtier press paid that little mind, possibly because selling out the Bill Of Rights was done on a “bipartisan” basis, and the denizens of the various Green Rooms would endorse cannibal murder if both parties agreed to subsidize it. [..]

This latest thing was to reauthorize the truly spooky FISA Amendments that were passed in 2008 when the president, in one of the actions he’s taken that really was a naked sellout of his previously enunciated principles, joined with a Senate majority to immunize the telecommunications companies that had participated in the Bush Administration’s lawlessness regarding wiretapping, as well as to authorize sweeping new wiretapping powers far beyond those against which the companies were being immunized. What the president did is not excused by the fact that he was running for president at the time. This wasn’t a flip-flop he took because he wanted to be elected. This was a flip-flop he took because he wanted to do some things once he was elected. [..]

Later, came the release of some FBI documents in which it seemed to indicate at least an unacceptable level of involvement by federal law enforcement in the crackdowns by local authorities on the various outposts of the Occupy movement. The hooley on the Left, which is going on vigorously over in the LG&M saloon, seems to center on whether or not federal authorities directed the activities of the local cops, or whether they simply provided logistical and intelligence support. (There’s also a great deal of swatting at Naomi Wolf, on which I will pass, thanks a lot.) To me, this is a distinction without a difference. [..]

Moreover, the documents also seem to indicate that the FBI was coordinating with the banks and the financial institutions as regards to the burgeoning Occupy movement. This, also, would not be unprecedented. The FBI always has been willing to do private favors for the powerful, and it rarely works out well. [..]

Rule Number One For Daily Living: There is no such thing as an “informal” chat with the FBI.

Tis’ but a scratch!

When last we checked in on Royal Dutch Shell’s “High Tech” Arctic drilling operation they were pretty hosed, eh?  Their containment unit was crushed like a beer can at half its designed operating depth on a clear sunny day in Puget Sound Washington.

Well the weather is not always so nice as that farther north and later in the season and the drilling rig Shell has been using, the Kulluk, and Aiviq the tug moving it to it’s winter quarters in Seattle from Dutch Harbor (famous from Deadliest Catch), ran into some.

Now what some people would call a ‘big storm’ is not so much by comparison to your typical gale, ask anyone who has lived in Maine or Syracuse (6″?  A dusting.  You don’t even get a snow day.).  This one was big enough though, 40′ seas and 70 mph winds.  Kulluk broke her tow and started drifting.  Then when they finally got a line on her again the engines on Aiviq went out, all of them.  Bad diesel they say.

So they called in the Coast Guard which was luckily enough based quite nearby on Kodiak Island instead of a thousand miles away like they would be during actual drilling and they were able to restart Aiviq and with the help of a couple of Cutters start towing again.

Monday, New Year’s Eve, they gave up on that and intentionally grounded Kulluk on the environmentally sensitive but uninhabited Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak Island with the intention of re-floating it and trying again when the weather moderated.

And it did, to a more typical 30′ swell and 35 mph breeze which the Coast Guard divers looked at and decided was maybe not as moderate as they needed to survive.

There it sits today, Wednesday, rocking gently back and forth on a sandy beach with no sign of leaking its 143,000 gallons of fuel or 12,000 gallons of lubricants and hydraulic fluid OR getting pounded to razor blades on the rocks depending on whether you believe Shell propoganda or not.

As always EdwardTeller @ Firedog Lake is on top of the story with these posts I highly recommend you read-

But if you prefer corporate media instead of DFH Firebagger bloggers here’s a sample-


On This Day In History January 2

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 2 is the second day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 363 days remaining until the end of the year (364 in leap years).


On this day in 1962, the folk group The Weavers are banned by NBC after refusing to sign a loyalty oath.

The Weavers, one of the most significant popular-music groups of the postwar era, saw their career nearly destroyed during the Red Scare of the early 1950s. Even with anti-communist fervor in decline by the early 1960s, the Weavers’ leftist politics were used against them as late as January 2, 1962, when the group’s appearance on The Jack Paar Show was cancelled over their refusal to sign an oath of political loyalty.

The importance of the Weavers to the folk revival of the late 1950s cannot be overstated. Without the group that Pete Seeger founded with Lee Hays in Greenwich Village in 1948, there would likely be no Bob Dylan, not to mention no Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary. The Weavers helped spark a tremendous resurgence in interest in American folk traditions and folk songs when they burst onto the popular scene with “Goodnight Irene,” a #1 record for 13 weeks in the summer and fall of 1950. The Weavers sold millions of copies of innocent, beautiful and utterly apolitical records like “Midnight Special” and “On Top of Old Smoky” that year.


Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Ornament 9

Orange Bowl

That’s what you make by cutting an orange in half and scooping out the edible part so you can put fruit salad in it right?

Oh, you are so old school.

It used to mean something, now the parade isn’t even on TV (though they still drive around some of the floats at halftime).  This year’s competitors are Florida State vs. Northern Illinois.

Go Huskies!  Or maybe not, too much New Year.

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