Monday, May 31, 2010

Fool Me Once... Won't Get Fooled Again, Maybe

I don't get it. I don't have that good of a memory, which makes reading an eternal joy. Read a good book, put it on the shelf and in two years, it is a new book I can enjoy again. I know that.

When it comes to politics and world economic stuff, I hope there are those out there who are leaders who are smarter than me.

So when I hear that BP had this problem in the gulf and they were not ready for it and it may have been prevented by a shut off and the current shut off failed in testing, I guess I am not surprised they lie about other stuff.

I mean, how far can they really be trusted? Their history as a firm is one of manipulation of governments. They owned the Iranian oil riches. When Iranian oil was nationalized in the early 50s, they conned MI 6 and the CIA into organizing a coup, took back over the oil fields, but made a joint venture with Iran stating they would only take back 40% of the oil fields, with Shell and others getting the rest. O yes, they COULD NOT BE AUDITED or have any Iranians on the Board. I am sure they were honest all the way in their profit sharing.

Then they bought a percentage of Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO) and SOHIO was supposed to keep a branding, but BP bought they other 45% surprisingly. Guess who had invested heavily in the development of Prudhomme Bay Oil? They bought Standard of CA and Indiana. The government nicely protected American business interests.

So here we have a company that has in the past directed coups, using the strength of other countries intelligence and military infrastructure, lied as it took over companies and we expect the truth now?

How naive!

Considering they have brought down other governments as they were nationalized, what are the chances we will get a fair shake economically over the Gulf spill?

A Memorial Day to Remember

This is certainly a busy news day. First, let us honor the memory of those who have lost their lives protecting this country in war.

I see that California is passing legislation that will review Texas schoolbooks and make sure they are factual so that the conservative bias will not enter the CA school system. It does make me wonder why there are not minimal national standards.

In another CA story, there are 4 judges running for office in San Diego area who are conservative Christians and feel that they need to be elected so that the liberal courts can get a taste of Christian justice. As expected, the right-to-life candidates are pro death penalty. These guys went to law school? I just don't get it. I would think you go to school to learn, not back up your ideas with theories.

CA is now going to make those who divert water from streams actually state how much water they take. The State Water Board wondered why rivers never made it to the deltas. Duh?! Because people were not required to say they took water. Every other western state requires water rights diversion and use reports annually. Gee, why is there no water for salmon? Let me guess. Because people can take water and use is with impunity and complete disregard for water rights. I mean, no farmer or business would ever take water that is not theirs to keep a crop alive in 100 degree heat, would they? We can trust businesses completely, right?

And finally, Israel kills 10 people minimum (some reports are now at 19) as aid is attempted to be delivered to refugees on the Gaza. This is a rogue country and they have NUKES. Doesn't anyone get that? We worry about Iran, and yet we let this country have nukes. and kill with no regard. I just shake my head.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Well-Regulated Militia, NOT!

In reading this morning's Sacramento Bee, there were TWO stories of people being shot as the result of gun-toting libertarianism. The first was in Yuba City, CA where a census worker was threatened at gun point to leave. When the police came to settle matters, the man surrendered his handgun, but an older woman in the house came out with a shotgun, advanced on police and was killed. In Arkansas, two Ohio anti-government crazies gunned down State Police with AK-47s when they were being ticketed for speeding.

I believe the second amendment talks about a well regulated militia and the right to bear arms. Not to shoot the fuck out of people over census or speeding.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dinosaur Hunt

and now one with his protege Tal Wilkenfield on bass!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thoughts for a Sunday

First thought--
There had been a big push to "Drill, Baby, Drill", but with that push there was no guarantee that any oil wells drilled would produce crude oil that would be sold for energy in the US. Seems like Deep Water Horizon actually found a gusher. In that they succeeded. But in the end, they were going to cap it and sit on the oil until hell froze over or they could wait for prices to climb making it more profitable. So, their reticence to actually produce and rather wait for more profits caused this problem.

Second thoughts--
We have all heard the story of the Family Values dude who went to rent boy to get someone to carry his bags and give him massages while on vacation together (got him from, I believe). But he was not gay and did not participate in any gay behavior. I see all mention of him has been scrubbed off the Focus in the Family website. These Christian clowns from Colorado Springs really thought they had a cure for "teh gay" and marketed it. So far the co-founder has been on a cruise with someone from rentboy and one of the teachers was photographed picking up a dude in a gay club, while his wife was in the hotel room upstairs. Sounds like their cure doesn't take.

But that opens up a bigger topic. There are people a lot who focus their attention on criticizing what in their minds is "the gay agenda." The only reason they hate it so much is because it is part of their psyche and they don't like it. It gets consciously repressed and comes out in all sorts of weird ways. So far three of the biggest gay haters have been caught in gay trysts. Sounds like they have some self-awareness recognition and homework to do.


Friday, May 07, 2010

What Emergency Action Plans?

I work in a highly regulated industry, sewage and water treatment. For sewage treatment, you need to have a plan in case a sewer line ever backs up. This includes in someone's house, in a street, or near a waterway or storm sewer system. You need to have emergency by-pass pumping, the hose to go from one manhole to another, booms or sandbags to stop the flow of raw sewage above ground, a means of sucking up any spill, and a means of disinfecting and cleaning up the spill. This does not include reporting requirements. Improper reporting carries its own fine. Oh yes, you have to practice emergency response, too.

The fines for spilled sewage depend upon the damage and the State, but can go up to $10,000 per gallon, while $1-2/gallon are more common. If you are the licensed operator when this happens under your license, you can lose your license if you are unprepared or if you report incorrectly.

In the Gulf, it appears there was no Emergency Action Plan (dictated by OSHA beyond getting personnel off the platform). It was reported incorrectly in terms of severity. There were no oil booms at ready in case of a blunder. No privateers ready to be hired to contain the spill. The Coast Guard had to be involved. Now there is the use of chemicals to spread it out so it doesn't look so bad. These chemicals themselves may be harmful if they enter the food chain. Considering most shellfish (mollusks, oysters, clams, etc.) are filter feeders that is very likely to happen. So, let's see, BP was operating without an Emergency plan. Did not have containment procedures in place. Not enough oil containment booms, no practice and no way to get booms in place for the few they had. Oh yes, causing billions of dollars of long-term damage. And to slap the locals in the face, they mistakenly offered them $5,000 as long as they signed a waiver saying the firm had no future liabilities. Yes, that just happened to appear on the preprinted forms by accident. No malicious intent there. Nope, didn't try to to slip liability limiting clauses in without telling anyone. Yet, they had record profits.

How can anyone keep a straight face and allow them a business license in the US? Oh, wait, they have us by the nuts because Reagan and those who followed said we do not need alternative energy. Way to go. Hell, as far as I am concerned we could take over all their platforms and assets in the US by imminent domain because of their business practices and operate them ourselves or sell them to the highest bidder and say "FU BP!"


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Music Today


Gosh, there are so many things I wanted to write about yesterday as I was driving, but the only one I can remember is thinking of how many people I have seen chanting "Drill, Baby, Drill!" on national TV on stage at the Republican convention. Well, recent events have shown the hazards of having an oil based economy. In the end, I would distrust anyone who had that thought to make my energy decisions. I think it will take routine oil disasters to keep this at the foremost of our thoughts as we make decisions in terms of our energy consumption and sources of energy. And I do not understand why the media does not just discredit or paint these people as the buffoons they are, instead of being serious people. Oh, they are serious, all right. Seriously stupid in terms of energy policy. We are not talking renewables here. Just keeping that oil pipeline open to the US will forever keep us in debt as we pay our military to keep our presence around the globe fearsome enough to stop evil-doers from blocking oil imports (the debate of whether over consuming are the real evil-doers will be had another time.)

Also, the US just keeps sending money to states that politically are our ostensible enemies (damned radical Muslims) as we just buy our oil fix from them daily. I was watching a TV clip yesterday where the retired Senator was proudly stating that by 1985 we would energy self-sufficient. Yeah, like that happened in the past 25 years.

I am sorry, but Reagan taking the solar panels off of the White house is alone to vilify him and his ilk forever. Completely condemned the US to a future debt our great-grandchildren will have to pay. It is so much larger than the debt we would get from Nationalized Health Care or social handouts, especially when military spending is included, it is ridiculous!!!! Just shows to go you that Republicans, who are supposed to be conservative spenders, have no long term plan, just political expediency. Doubt it if Dems are much better. Few in power have ever thought of sustainability, just keeping power during their lifetimes.