Saturday, May 29, 2010

Top Kill Fails - Now What?

Well the whole Top Kill thing was a bust.  I knid of figured they were not having success when I heard them try the junk shot, which just sounds desperate but supposedly it can work.  Now it try to cap the thing with what is basically a big box again, this time bigger and better supposedly. 

Meanwhile the gulf coast gets progressively worse.  It may be time for the government to bring in Army Corps of Engineers and get the coasts better protected.  It also is high time the press started looking to BP for solutions.  The government is not at fault and they have no expertise in oil drilling.  Unfortunately, it is up to the folks who caused the mess to stop the leak.  Once that happens, my opinion?  Nationalize BP's interests in the Gulf of Mexico and use the seized assets to pay for the damage.  Press criminal suits against the well operators for cuting corners and using sea water instead of drilling mud and hold them responsible for the deaths of the 11 men on the rig who died in the explosion.

Malawi Pardons Gay Couple!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the gay couple who were being sentenced to 15 years in prison for getting married.  Well Malawi's laws have not changed, but pressure from the UN and other human rights groups has softened the heart of the President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika.  The Mutharika said he was pardoning the couple for humanitarian reasons.  

This means they will be freed without repercussions, however local human rights groups in Africa are going to take them to a safe location fearing reprisals by citizens.

This is great news, though LGBT people in Malawi are criminals by definition, this move may show a step toward the 21st century and basic freedoms for all Malawi's people.  I applaud the president on his action and pray for the safety of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rand Paul Hates the Constitution

OK strong headline, but check out this latest quote from an alleged libertarian.
"I recently have been talking more about satellite observation. They say you can sit in front of the store here and a satellite can read the headline on your newspaper. So I think you could also monitor your border with satellites, and then you just have to have some means of intercepting people who come in illegally. You could have helicopters stations positioned every couple of hundred miles. . .
We’re the only country I know of that allows people to come in illegally have a baby and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop also."
Paul made the statement that directly contradicts the 14th Amendment (birthright) in an interview with Russian television.  Strangely enough he advocates an incredible level of surveillance for someone who claims to be for civil liberties.

This guy is a walking PR nightmare and the GOP must be trying to distance themselves from him as quick as possible.

DADT Repeal Measure Might Make It

Both the House and the Senate panels have passed an amendment to the Defense Appropriation Bill that would end Don't Ask Don't Tell as an official policy once the military gives their OK.  This is both big news and no news.  First of all it isn't a done deal.  The obstreperous GOP has threatened to filibusterer this measure, and once signed into law it still depends on the military to "pull the trigger" and strike the policy from the books.

The military is doing a study to see how it could be enacted and how it would affect their operations.  So far it looks promising, bu I will wait to celebrate until it actually becomes policy. 

I applaud President Obama and Congressional leaders for getting this far.  It's a tough step to take in an off year election cycle, but some apparently have the guts to actually vote their conscience. 

Now it's up to the guys in uniform and that won't be until December.  My fingers are crossed.

CEO of BP Admits Environmental Catastrophe in Gulf

The CEO of BP has finally acknowledged that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is an "environmental catastrophe".  Those are words I never expected to hear from an oil company executive about the situation their company caused, but I guess the British are less prone to spin than their American counterparts.  Who knows?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oil Catastrophe Becomes Clearer - Biggest in US History

As BP comes closer to stemming the flow of the oil gusher that has polluted the Gulf of Mexico the magnitude of the tragedy is starting to become clearer. For those who have asked my why I am so concerned with this issue the answer is simple. I love our coastlines here in Texas and Louisiana and know the devastation the people and animals who call that area home had dealt with over the past few years.  Now comes this and it's a whopper!

Latest estimates saw it dwarfs the Exxon Valdez

To see just how bad it is, check out this photo essay on Huffington Post.

"Top Kill" May Be Working - Still Waiting for Confirmation

The oil mess in the gulf may have some good news today.  News sources say the "top kill" tactic being used by BP is starting to work and reduce the flow of oil.  Still a wait and see period right now.  Below is the live feed from the underwater remote robots working on the well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Family Association Claims Hitler Was Gay - Say What?

The American Family Association will stop at nothing to demonize LGBT people.  They are a fountain of lies and if you ever needed proof here is a direct quote from one of their mouthpieces Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy, Bryan Fischer.  Mr. Fischer in a radio broadcast makes the ludicrous assertion that Adolph Hitler was gay and it gets worse.
"So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn’t the Germans, didn’t the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals."
OK Mr Fischer, here is the truth.  Hitler was not gay.  Ernst Röhm, one time director of the Brownshirts was but Hitler had him and his companions murdered. That little incodent called "The Night of the Long Knives" On June 30, 1934 was the beginning of that purge.

Hitler was a megalomaniac, a mass murder of gays, Jews and gypsies among others, but he had a long time girlfriend whom he married just before committing suicide. Which just proves how dangerous heterosexuals are.  Now, shut the fuck up!

Pray the Top Kill Maneuver Works on the BP Disaster

The incredible amount of oil vomiting into the Gulf of Mexico might be stopped today or in the next few days if the risky tactic known as a Top Kill works.  BP officials only give it a 70% chance since it has never been tried as the kind of depths where the leak is located.

The procedure involves pumping huge quantities of drilling mud down the well in hopes of stopping it up.  If that works, cement will be forced down and the well will be capped permanently.

Aside from the technical gamble, the environmental problems are already myriad.  Photos from the Louisiana coast show hopelessly clogged marshes and wetlands black with oil.  Worse, the oil that has been dispersed is sinking to the bottom, where shrimp feed.  This spill may kill the lucrative gulf shrimp industry for many years or perhaps permanently.

Stories have surfaced that BP had a warning that there was a problem prior to the blowout, and operators of the well were using seawater instead of drilling mud.  A worker for Trans Oceanic, operator of the platform, Truitt Crawford testified, "I overheard upper management talking saying that BP was taking shortcuts by displacing the well with saltwater instead of mud without sealing the well with cement plugs, this is why it blew out."

I suspect we will be hearing about this and other surprises in many days to come.  Meanwhile, pray that the effort works, otherwise the leak may spew for months until relief wells can be completed.

Miller Lite Goes Homophobic

I have to wonder when advertisers are going to realize that making juvenile sissy jokes is just downright offensive. The latest campaign without a clue is for Miller Lite. In the spot men who drink outher light beers are shown wearing skirts and being less macho. No I understand it's a joke, but it's every bit as offensive as a racial or ethnic joke. The agencies just don't get it.

It's time they did. Write to Miller and let them know their campaign is boorish and offensive. Better yet, tell bars that serve Miller Lite to STOP. It worked pretty well back in the 80's with Coors.

Miller Brewing Company is encouraging homophobic/transphobic attitudes and even though they are done tongue in cheek, it's crude and wrong.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Philippe Cousteau Dives Into the BP Spill - "It’s absolutely disgusting"

“I think this has got to be one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen underwater.”

New BP Ad Parody - Video!

BP Trys Another Tactic to Stop the Gusher

Once again BP and its minions are going to try to stem the geyser of oil polluting the Gulf of Mexico.  This time, they claim, they will try to "top kill" the well.  This involves pumping a lot of mud into the well to try to clog up the flow. 

The biggest problem is this has not been tired at the depth they are drilling in the Gulf.  Oh boy!  Another prototype!

Supposedly they will utilize the failed blowout preventer to do this, ramming tones of mud down the openings in the device.  Some will most likely flow back out the damaged pipe that is the source of the trouble right now but they hope enough will go in to essentially smother the gusher.

I sincerely wish them all the luck in the world and I sincerely want to know why they didn't have some kind of plan-B in place should a blowout "preventer" fail as it did in this case.  Apparently they never considered that.

On a personal note, I love with an engineer.  These guys eat and breathe "what ifs" and it absolutely amazes me that BP just figured their only safety measure would work no matter what.  My guess is that once the hearings start we will see how engineers were ignored in order to improve the bottom line.  Already it looks like Halliburton and others finagled things and insufficient inspections, etc. are coming to light as well.

Once the leak is stopped, and the clean up begins, I will be interested to see how long BP stays in business.  My guess is they will quickly sell off assets to another shell corporation and mysteriously evaporte before the big lawsuits can be filed.  Just a guess.

Tony Perkins - Family Research Council - Is An A*&$#T

I normally refrain from calling names here, but sometimes I just can't avoid it.  Tony Perkins (of Family Research Council, not the actor) is an ASSHAT!

Let me back that up with a quote from Mr. Perkins.
"I know a lot of people point to militaries that have allowed homosexuality within the ranks – there’s twenty-five of almost two hundred nations but the top militaries in the world do not allow homosexuality to be openly engaged in, in the military – I mean, if you want a military that just does parades and stuff like that then I guess that’s okay."
Parades and stuff?  Excuse me you ASSHAT, but I have many friends who are gay who served honorably and heroically in the military, all the while hiding their sexual orientation.  That takes guts.  More over some of those same friends would have served just a honorably and heroically if they had been allowed to be open about their sexual orientation.

Now about those top militaries, most folks consider Isreal, Canada and the United Kingdom as having pretty darned good militaries and all three of those countries allow openly lesbian or gay service members. And another thing you ASSHAT, they do a lot more than parade!

Meanwhile Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA)is one of the sponsors of the measure to toss out the flawed policy of DADT.  By the way, he's straight and he is a war veteran.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fox News Slips - Host Asks GOP, Where Are "We" Now?

Think Progress found this tidbit and it is painfully obvious that the "fair and balanced" folks at Fox are just the GOP noise machine with a fancy wrapper. In an interview with Georgia Republican, Rep. Tom Price, host Bill Hemmer lets this one slip:
HEMMER: I want to know from you how you evaluate all these primaries we’ve been watching now. … As you evaluate things right now, some five a half months out, I mean, where do we stand? How strong a position are Republicans? Or what happened in Pennsylvania, in Jack Murtha’s old district, does that give people like you pause and say, hang on here, we’ve got a lot of work to do still.’
 What do you mean "we" Mr. Hemmer?

Oh No! Kung Fu Bears!

I can't wait to see what Stephen Colbert does with this. Remember his #1 enemy of America is BEARS!

Nancy Pelosi Speaks at Harvey Milk Day in SF - Ending DADT Will Happen This Year

OK, she makes about as much of a promise as I can imagine, so let's hold the Democrats to it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Louisana Coast May Never Fully Recover From The BP Disaster

As the BP oil disaster grows, the coast of Louisana is beginning to feel the pain.  The sensitive wetlands and marshes along the coast are filling up with oil.  Pelican rookeries have been sighted with the birds and their eggs covered in oil. 

The biggest problem with the marshlands is there is no effective way to clean them up.  Waco suggestions such as burning them off and flooding them to "float the oil" off have been suggested but thankfully neither has been put into practice.

The coast may have to recover on its own which means many years from now it might be cleaner, but never the same.  The industries that rely on this are may be destroyed as well.  Shrimping, oysters, etc are not happening any time soon.

Thanks BP!  Glad you are Beyond Petroleum.  Now if you were only beyond incompitent that would be better!