Links 6/27/10

Why kangaroos evolved small arms and long legs BBC

WARNING: 3D Video Hazardous to Your Health Audioholics

The 36 Hours That Shook Washington Frank Rich, New York Times

Toronto in lockdown as G20 protesters clash with police Raw Story

Prime property most at risk of slump, says Savills Telegraph

Spain’s Debt Maturity Wave Hits Next Month And It’s Already Obvious They Don’t Have Enough Cash Clusterstock

Brent Coon: tough-talking lawyer going after BP on his Harley Guardian

BP and Counterparty Risk Streetwise Professor

Extreme Measures: Arming the Zealotocracy, Serving the Elite Chris Floyd

Antidote du jour from reader Matthew K:

I’m from Vancouver, BC, and have been a reader for a couple years. We took my in-laws on a Rockies Road Trip last week, and were lucky enough to come within a few feet of a mother black bear and her two cubs. (They sauntered past our parked vehicle.)

DSCN2230 - Three Bears

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  1. attempter

    We had a Yellowstone-style tableau at a county park here in suburban NJ a few weeks ago.

    With lots of people in sight, the adolescent bear just moseyed over to the dumpster, opened the sliding door on it (I assume part of the door’s purpose is to keep bears out), climbed in, and a few minutes later emerged carrying a garbage bag, which it then ripped open right there on the pavement. By then there were about a dozen people standing around watching. I thought, “we’re just like those tourists at Yellowstone”.

    The bears are abundant and often brazen around here. Like the deer, they’re thriving on wasteful suburbia and all its detritus. Another gang of rent-seekers. :)

  2. Richard Kline

    Regarding the piece on McChrystal’s dismissal, I’ll take a moment to say how much I’ve come to appreciate Frank Rich. Here is a man who, somewhere five and six years ago, realized that his country had gone to Hell, his profession was gussing up the fact of it, and who so far as I can tell decided that he personally was _not_ going to sing along with that hired choir. He isn’t a ranter, but that perhaps makes him all the more effective when he lifts up the curtain and points at the pathetically scrawny figure behind the lies. I’d be interested on a day to read a column by him on what induced his epiphany.

    His article points out the odious fecklessness of the high-and-mighties of the American Press corps, getting scooped on the McChrystal screed. Said highsters in the press do nothing more than vomit propaganda and look for a pat on the head from the oligarchy, which is no small part of why both the media are despised and deserted on the one hand and on the other whey the public can’t catch a clue concerning how things really lie. And why did Obama tolerate Gen. Terminator’s gross insubordination a year ago when Surge II was pressed upon him, as mentioned in passing in this piece too? Naivety? Naw: to me, Obama and his top set were in awe of McChrystal’s impeccable reputation as a tireless death squader who delivered the bodies, and McChrystal was Robert Gate’s favorite son.

    But here’s the thing which has most struck me about the out and in with the Afghanistan command. Barack Obama had the deserved reputation as a very smart man, especially with regard to electoral politics. This wasn’t an illusion. Yet we have seen very, very little of those smarts from Day Two of his Administration. In my view this has been half because he is a very weak man, as we see, and half because he had zero prior experience as a political _executive_, and has utterly failed to conduct himself as one, with the powers and prerogatives of one. Obama has conducted himself as a dealmaking legislator, not an executive, and been spun by the powers around him. But I think that Obama’s decision to send Petraeus to take over in Afghanistan is by far the most brilliant move I have seen him, the President make. And he knows exactly what he’s doing.

    Afghanistan is a reputation killer, is what it is. The last two American commanders there have both been fired, both in reality for failure on the ground though ostensibly for a lack of ‘team spirit.’ Senior British commanders before them carrying the ball in the Stan likewise left with their careers in ruins. And that is exactly the most likely outcome for David Petraeus. Y’know, the leader in uniform who has openly let it be known he covets the White House. The guy whom the Republican Pary honchos are horndog stiff to draft as their candidate. Their candidate for 2012, against, y’know, Barack Obama. Having the stinking albatross of a failed campaign hung around St. David’s neck is by far the best tocsin against any such outcome. And Afghanistan is the Unwinnable Patch, where there is and will be no military solution, most certainly not between now and the end of Petraeus’ tour of duty.

    But wait, you say, supposing that David Petraeus manages to declare victory of some kind; doesn’t he look sweet to campaign as The Victor? Obama is his Boss; Obama has put him there ‘by order of the Commander-in-Chief’ to implement _our_ strategy. Obama nets the first bowl of cream from victory should it happen, and leaves Petraeus in a very awkward position to run against him. From the electoral standpoint, this is just the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen. If Petraeus loses, he’s tarnished as the strategist and commander on watch. If he wins, Obama gets first, best credit. Afghanistan: I have no reason to think that Barack Obama knows or gives a tinker’s damn for anything that happens there because he’s well aware that the public doesn’t want to know and that the punditocracy can’t get their teeth in him unless things realy blow to Hell and gone in which case they’ll have to expend most of their ire on the person of Petraeus whom Barack has now clutched to himself like a human shield against blame.

    For the people of the US, of Afghanistan, and of Pakistan, this is a sick game played by imperialist hypocrites, just like back in the days when the sun never set on the red, white, and blue shenannigans of like sort. But as an act of political jiujitsu it’s sublime. Too bad for all of us that this is the only sport for which Barack Obama has any kind of game.

    1. Skippy

      A way back we had a discussion of how many troops it would take to end this fracas, I now reevaluate it to over a million with_additions_with the passage of time.

      Sorry for riding in on your coat tails RK but, could you pass the Roman feather for this will not end well, the meal you just served.

      Skippy…just how many does it take to pacify 25M+ people…eh.

      1. Richard Kline

        With 500k pairs or real boots we’d make a dent. Winning would take on the order of a million, yeah. We’re not even pretending to be serious, as the numbers say. Why are we there?: Political theather to give our puppet leadership the backdrop they need for a Long War for Which We Must Vote What Is Required. Plus a rake off to the contractors who kick-back or are owned by the war profiteers behind it all. The utter strategic IRRELEVANCE of the Stans to the interests of the American nation, to say nothing of the American people, are a truly stunning mismatch of objective and reality. We’re there because, well, we need an Evil Other to make our myths of righeousness cohere their tatters on the nightly news, and the Great White Finger was pointed: “Them.” ‘The most incredible bullshit’ [sounds better in Russian] . . . .

        1. DownSouth

          Richard Kline,

          ”We’re there because, well, we need an Evil Other to make our myths of righeousness cohere their tatters on the nightly news, and the Great White Finger was pointed: ‘Them.’ ‘The most incredible bullshit’ [sounds better in Russian] . . . .”

          Perhaps no one articulated it better than Gorbachev, when in 1985 he said to some American visitors: “We are going to present you Americans with a terrible dilemma. We are going to deprive you of an enemy.”

        2. Jackrabbit

          We’re not there to occupy and subjugate so we don’ t need 500,000 troops.

          And if feeding the war machine was our prime interest, then we could certainly pick better targets.

          I think US strategy is much more comprehensive than your analysis acknowledges. Afghanistan may pose no direct threat to the US but it, and the other ‘stans are important to other countries in the region and beyond. And we are much more justified to be there than Iraq.

          1. liberal

            Afghanistan may pose no direct threat to the US but it, and the other ’stans are important to other countries in the region and beyond.

            Perhaps, but worth a few $B to us/mo? Doubt it.

            And we are much more justified to be there than Iraq.

            That’s true.

          2. Jackrabbit

            It cost us thousands of civilian and military deaths plus trillions of dollars in property damage and the cost to justifiably oust the Taliban and Al Queda. All because we discounted the threat from a few extremists on the other side of the world.

            What IS an unjustifiable expense is the Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy while we are fighting these wars.

            And what of the future cost of leaving Afghanistan in a condition that allows a Taliban return (with Pakistan-ISI blessing) or Iranian meddling?

    2. DownSouth

      Richard Kline,

      Well said.

      Two senseless, unending quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq. An official unemployment rate hovering stubbornly at around 10%, but with the banksters chanting “party on” as their bonuses soar to obscene new levels. The Maconda No. 1 spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the worst environmental disaster in America’s history.

      And what is Obama’s top priority? Playing political games, the only area where he’s demonstrated any competence.

    3. Jackrabbit

      Obama deftly maneuvered to co-opt a potential political rival? I don’t buy it.

      The McChrystal situation is a huge embarrassment for Obama. Obama campaigned on getting us OUT of these wars – now he is “all in” to accomplish a set of objects that he can define as a sort of “victory.”

      Obama needed to find a trusted hand quickly to defuse the situation. He choose Petraeus. That implicitly recognizes Petraeus’ stature and capability.

    4. Ignim Brites

      RK may be correct in his analysis of significance of the McChrystal dismissal. However, my first thought upon hearing of the Rolling Stone story was that McChrystal and Petraeus have decided that the Afghan war cannot be won given the level of commitment by the political leadership and citizenry in the states. The dismissal of McChrystal provides Petraeus the opportunity to re-evaluate the strategy. If he rapidly concludes a treaty with the Taliban he can begin troop withdrawals later this summer.

    5. Jim Haygood

      Like his unreelectable predecessor Lyndon Barack Johnson, Field Marshall O’Bomber — the Viceroy of Vietghanistan — is going to be dragged down by the Af/Pak quagmire and its baleful drain on the economy.

      O’Bomba’s servile minions — time-serving party hacks like Leon Panetta, blabbering about ‘progress’ — lie shamelessly and frequently, just as LBJ’s flunkies did.

      O’Bummer’s a one-termer at best. I’d give about 20% odds that a corruption scandal emanating from the Chicago cesspool that he emerged from, will end his term even sooner.

      O’Bumbler is damaged goods, festering in a broken system. He’s not stupid, he’s pwned.

        1. reskeptical

          Watched another depressing documentary about US oil dependence on the weekend and saw some old footage of GWB. Unbelievable that he could become pres. let alone Governor of Teckas. The guy could barely string a comprehensible sentence together. If you met someone like that in any other context, you’d be forgiven for thinking narcotics anonymous. Anyway, this generation make Nixon et al look like giants. I mean, Nixon had secret police, Clinton was screwing the trainee and had a dog named Buddy?! [Curtain call! End it now.]

    6. Z

      Isn’t it nice to be on top of the amoral amerikan imperialistic political power structure where you are lauded for your political “brilliance” by cheerleading party hacks in the media and the public while thousands of lives are destroyed and sacrificed in the process?

      I don’t think that his political “brilliance” is admirable; I think his immorality and amorality are deplorable.


      1. Z

        … and the biggest gain from those thousands of lives destroyed and damaged goes to our political leaders who get pats on the back for their political “brilliance”. How disgusting …


        1. D. Warbucks

          It takes many villages full of dead civilian bodies tossed carelessly in a mass grave to earn a Nobel Peace Prize.

    7. i on the ball patriot

      Richard Kline, get a grip! Frank Rich plays the good cop role — its the new york slimes for christ’s sake! Rich legitimizes and validates the gangsters system with his attention and you think you have a card in the game.



      In the Full Spectrum Dominance perpetual conflict dynamic CONSTANTLY LOSING IS WINNING!

      Keeping the new military externalizations coming down the pipeline and used just enough to keep them well oiled — while at the same time maintaining sufficient death and destruction to instill global fear, tension, and anxiety — is all that is necessary. Old war strategies and the old nation state boxes mean nothing!

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    8. reskeptical

      Sounds like the smart thing for Petraeus to do is to actually “lose” the war and then “manage” the withdrawal. That would be enough considering the state of play atm.

      The other big cost of this war (and Iraq) is the loss of US reputation in Asia but especially Europe. The outcome of which can be seen in Toronto yesterday. The US is becoming an expensive irrelevance– useful only to the depth of its citizen’s pockets (or credit lines).

  3. DownSouth

    Re: “Toronto in lockdown as G20 protesters clash with police” Raw Story

    The NY Times story on the almost $1 billion price tag for security was an eyeopener:

    The security force for the two meetings includes 20,000 soldiers, intelligence agents and police officers drawn from across Canada, a draft of about 13 percent of all available police officers and troops in the country.

    It’s unseemly the extreme measures that are required, and the obscene amounts the public is forced to spend, in order to protect the international criminal banking cartel.

    1. Richard Kline

      The oligarchy doesn’t care what they charge you for their convenience. The important thing to show us is who’s boss. When some of those 20k troops-and-police guarding the Blowhards turn their aim around, we’ll have some real news. . . . ‘S happened before.

    2. Glen

      Man, a billion bucks is serious dough for such a short event!

      Didn’t the Canadian security spend about the exact same amount for the Winter Olympics? (Even though it was originally estimated to be five times less.)

      Everybody likes to feel safe and all, but come-on, this is Canada! The rest of the civilized world wishes they had such low crime and nice people. I can see spending that amount on the Olympics, but the G-20?

      They must have planned for serious trouble. Luckily, the police are also ready to CAUSE serious trouble so they can justify all that money:

  4. No Problemo

    “Once people understand their connection to the land, Leopold concluded, they would willingly take personal responsibility for maintaining its health.”
    Boy, BP sure blew that philosophy out of the water.

    Need to add – except when personal wealth is a stake.

    Personal and public responsibility, what quaint concepts. How about corporate responsibility, or corporate ethics, now AIG can provide an education and role model.

    Why should anyone get rich on developing (exploiting) public resources or protecting those resources ? In fact, why should anyone get rich on exploiting natural resources at the expense of public interests.

    Golden Rule – Scam the many for the few.

  5. Ottawan

    On Toronto Security Costs:
    This is a curious case for many Canadians. Outrage from all corners of the country has been poring out for weeks now, so much so that this “security spending” may well be the final straw insofar as the public’s view of the current federal government. While my compatriots are generally a stupid bunch that can be relied upon to completely miss highly relevant stories and egregious scandals (for instance the highly mysterious “extra” hundreds of millions that turned up at CMHC last year that bought the board a scrutiny-free fiscal year…), even those with the dullest imaginations have no problem inferring corruption and fraud from the surface elements of this “security” spending. The government will predictably fend off critics with the blunt instrument of state secrecy, but this will likely make things worse. Everyone will assume that they’re padding the inscrutable (legally off-limits) party books.

    At a certain point (hopefully soon), Canadians will stop caring about whether the opposition is capable of governing. A good chunk of the populace delights in turfing incumbent MPs, a fact hidden by long-standing governments at the fed level and in some provinces, and hopefully we will have a joyous round of punishing the fraudster sumnab****es.

    The oft-quoted 1B price tag is only a conservative accounting (!).

    PS. For those unaware of Canada’s recent political history, the current federal Conservative Party is yet another different incarnation of the corporatists that have ruled the roost for, well, our entire brief history. This version of corporatists favour corps like Lockheed ($20B+ purchase of JSFighter upcoming), or Wall Street/Bay Street, Big Energy(gas players especially), big eng (SNC), big accounting (PWC, Deloitte, E and Y) and foreign telcos (Orascom for instance). They get along well the Demoblicans, who are likely impressed that the Cons massively cut the Canadian Forces while SUCCESSFULLY creating the impression that they were increasing the forces budget AND filling the pockets of their buddies via massive equipment purchases (that the military isn’t sufficiently funded to maintain/use).

  6. Carrick

    A few years ago, I lived in the Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park back country for six months working on a trail crew.

    Any time we saw a bear, day or night, the entire crew of 15 people had to charge the bear at full sprint, screaming and yelling to terrify the bear. If we could, we were trained to chase the bear up a tree, and scream, taunt, and throw rocks at it for hours until while it cried and shat itself. The point, was that unless the bears are terrified of people, they continue to view them as a source of food.. and once they equate people with food, they abandon their natural foraging/hunting skills, and have to be put down by park staff.

    We’d chase these 300-400 pound bears, sometimes with cubs, for miles, sometimes at 3am while trying to go to the bathroom. Then we’d catch some idiot intentionally luring a bear in by feeding it toothpaste. The bears get so accustomed to people, that eventually they shred tents with people sleeping inside and the people confuse this foraging for an attack, and attack in kind.

    When I see ‘cute’ pictures like this one, of bears sauntering beside cars and people (or worse, people doing things to keep their bears around for the sake of a photo), I get bummed.. one of those cubs is going to under up shot by park staff, because people have no grasp of nature, and think they’re watching TV. We’re turning into the Japanese..

  7. doc holiday

    BP to use Red Tide data for death toll?

    Looks like BP will try to manipulate data, in a suggestion that oil is not behind aqua deaths…

    > “It’s good that we have the data, and it’s sad that we are here,” said Balmer, who returned to the bay this month — on a hastily arranged research trip paid for by BP — for what could be a last check on the dolphins before the oil arrives.

    To this day, scientists from government agencies and universities can’t say for certain whether a red tide was responsible for the deaths of St. Joe’s dolphins six years ago. Just as perplexing is what percentage of the bay’s dolphin population at the time died that year and whether any of the bay’s current population of nearly 100 have the ability to leave their 73,000-acre sanctuary should oil threaten.

    Randall Wells, a scientist at Mote Marine Research Laboratory in Sarasota, has learned from more than 40 years of studies in Sarasota Bay that the dolphins there don’t stray far from home…


  8. doc holiday

    BP Blocks Attempt to Save Endangered Sea Turtles from Oil Spill

    He was captured on video saying that the turtles are being collected in the clean-up efforts and burned up like so much ocean debris with other marine life gathering along tide lines where oil also congregates.

    He witnessed BP workers burning turtles caught in the oil booms. Rescue efforts are being ended tomorrow.

  9. Ignim Brites

    The explanation for roos’ short arms is underwhelming. Why does this feature even need explanation. Seems like a case of big armism. Isn’t the whole point of modern evolutionary theory that life forms are in essence accidental? What is the point of postulating that one or another feature or one or another life form is “constrained” and then offering a quasi teleological explanation of that feature. Roos have short arms so that as infants they can climb into the pouch. Really? Maybe roos have pouches because as infants they have short arms.

  10. doc holiday

    Corexit 9500 ‘Dispersant’ Suspected In Widespread Crop Damage

    Wow …. listen to the video there!!!

    Re: There is no other explanation for the crop damage. It’s conjecture on my part but everything points to something that has a widespread effect on plants and crops. Studies on Corexit and its effects on plants are consistent with the damage sustained in the lower Mississippi area. Check out the table on page 877 of the study. While no one precisely knows, all the signs point to BP’s use of aerosolized Corexit brought inland by the ocean winds or rain. Remember acid rain? Now it seems we could have toxic dispersant rain.

    ==> Time to get serious about BP/Governmnet collusion???

    1. D. Warbucks

      If we were at war with the British, this would be called chemical warfare. Luckily, there is no war.

      1. doc holiday

        Re: chemical warfare.

        It’s very disturbing to look at this event from thousands of miles away, but the people being physically impacted by the reality of this have to be getting really pissed off, and pushed to a breaking point. This is starting to remind me of:

        In the aftermath of the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, of whom 31 died within the first three months.[81][82] Most of these were fire and rescue workers trying to bring the accident under control, who were not fully aware of how dangerous exposure to the radiation in the smoke was. Some 135,000 people were evacuated from the area, including 50,000 from Pripyat.

        The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Northern Europe. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia had to be evacuated, with over 336,000 people resettled. According to official post-Soviet data,[1] about 60% of the fallout landed in Belarus.

        >> The designation of the affected population as “victims” rather than “survivors” has led them to perceive themselves as helpless, weak and lacking control over their future. This, in turn, has led either to over cautious behavior and exaggerated health concerns, or to reckless conduct, such as consumption of mushrooms, berries and game from areas still designated as highly contaminated, overuse of alcohol and tobacco, and unprotected promiscuous sexual activity.[132]

        Fred Mettler commented that 20 years later:[133]

        The population remains largely unsure of what the effects of radiation actually are and retain a sense of foreboding. A number of adolescents and young adults who have been exposed to modest or small amounts of radiation feel that they are somehow fatally flawed and there is no downside to using illicit drugs or having unprotected sex. To reverse such attitudes and behaviors will likely take years although some youth groups have begun programs that have promise.

          1. Jack Parsons

            We already have a benzene problem. Sodium benzoate and citric acid react to create benzene. Lots of soda has this combination. It’s not generally a problem if the soda can is kept at room temp or fridged, but lots of times they sit out in the hot sun and go up to 150o at least: the reaction speeds up and you get dangerous amounts of benzene in the soda can.

            Don’t drink soda with sodium benzoate. Ever.

        1. D. Warbucks

          It’s a good thing Tony Hayward is not muslim. Otherwise, this thing would go down as the biggest terrorist incident since 9-11, and we’d have to invade Pakistan (for harboring the people who Tony Hayward buys his curry from).

          1. Doc Patriot Holiday

            It’s a good thing Tony Hayward is not muslim.

            LOL, yah, we wouldn’t want our enemies to be like us, or be British, that would be too difficult to tell who is who. It may be time to re-write the Declaration of Independence of the 4th?

            ==> Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Petroleum propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.

            —Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

  11. doc holiday


    Toxins in air from evaporating oil may pose greater threat to Gulf residents than oily water

    Also See:

    Kessler’s team measured both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP’s destroyed wellhead. “There is an incredible amount of methane in there,” Kessler told reporters. He said the level may be as much as one million times the normal level.

    In addition, Madsen reports, Corexit 9500, the oil dispersant used by BP, is viewed by FEMA sources as mixing with evaporated water from the Gulf. This deadly mixture is then absorbed by rain clouds and produces toxic precipitation that threatens to continue killing marine and land animals, plant life, and humans within a 200-mile radius of the Deepwater Horizon disaster site in the Gulf.

  12. doc sick of this holiday

    Retarded science at its best:

    May 27: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Director Dr. Marcia McNutt announces that a government panel dedicated to the Gulf spill response, known as the Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG), has developed an “independent, preliminary estimate of the amount of oil flowing from BP’s leaking oil well.” The FRTG says the leak is spewing between 12,000 to 19,000 barrels (504,000 to 798,000 gallons) a day.

    June 10: Based on new video obtained by BP, the FRTG releases a new estimate – the spill could be anywhere from 20,000-40,000 gallons per day, or double the previous estimate.

    June 13th: Adm. Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander and the Obama Administration’s go-to man in the Gulf, tells CBS that the government thinks the best figures are from a middle-of-the-road estimate, which would put the spill at around 66 million gallons of oil.

    June 15th: The government changes its tune again as the FRTG declares that as much as 60,000 barrels a day could be spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, or an amount equal to the entire Exxon Valdez spill every four days.

    Read more:

    > According to BP, estimating the flow is very difficult as there is no metering of the flow underwater and because of the presence of natural gas in the outflow.[49] The company initially refused to allow scientists to perform more accurate, independent measurements of the flow, claiming that it is not relevant to the response and that such efforts might distract from efforts to stem the flow.[14] Former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Carol Browner and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) both accused BP of having a vested financial interest in downplaying the size of the leak

    Very weird link which is as good as any out there …. : Gulf Oil Gusher: Danger of Tsunamis From Methane?

    The “flow team” of the US Geological Survey estimates that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas, which primarily contains methane, is being released into the Gulf waters with every barrel of oil. The constant flow of over 50,000 barrels of crude oil places the total daily amount of natural gas at over 145 million cubic feet. So far, over 8 billion cubic feet may have been released, making it one of the most vigorous methane eruptions in modern human history. If the estimates of 100,000 barrels a day — that have emerged from a BP internal document — are true, then the estimates for methane gas release might have to be doubled.

    ==> “mi2g remains highly committed and most comfortable servicing its clients at the Chairman, CEO and CFO level”

    “To generate and protect online wealth for our Clients and ourselves by delivering competitive advantage through information intelligence development. Our Clients’ interests always come first but our own success is inextricably intertwined with that of our Clients.”

    yah, too weird for me… see yah!

  13. emca

    Not to tread on your toes Doc, and maybe you posted this link, but this guy has a number of stories on the leak and the evolving story around BP’s attempt to PR it to oblivion:

    Current links:
    A story on oil/corexit solutions corroding boat hulls
    The probability of a Maconda Spill water/oil mixture (WOM) off the coast of North Carolina
    The refusal of BP to provide oil samples from the leak to University of Florida professors seeking to confirmed the source of water/oil mixtures off Florida.


    The author links also to non-government maps from Roff’s showing their analyst of the spill’s distribution in the GOM, something which I was under the impression of, were no longer being published. They are in my mind, the best overview of what’s happening with the spread of oil contaminates within the Gulf.

    Here’s a quote of interest from the second story:

    “Scientists will try to confirm its origin by “fingerprinting” the oil, or chemically matching it to BP’s oil. That task has been hampered by a BP official’s refusal to provide scientists with a sample of its oil, Hollander said.

    A BP spokesman said he wasn’t able to comment on that exchange but that “BP is cooperating fully with NOAA’s research into the subsurface impacts of the oil spill.”

    Sounds something in the order of BP and O administration being “partners” in the clean-up (PR) effort.

    1. doc holiday

      Not to tread on your toes Doc,

      ==> I appreciate all additional links and I strongly feel that the blogging world has an obligation to use the internet to dig deeper (and go beyond corporate media propaganda)!

      I never know if anyone is even paying attention to what I post — but if there are enough of us doing this, it hopefully will be helpful. I’m always grateful to be able to use Nakedcapitalism as a launch-pad, and maybe a few people are getting more balanced information as a result of our efforts. It is confusing out here!

      Also see Baba O’Riley:

  14. NOTaREALmerican

    Regarding stuff:

    Ok, I went and saw Faust at the SFO opera Saturday. We’re doomed, but life will go on.

    Different clowns, same circus.

  15. Peripheral Visionary

    Re: Extreme Measures: Arming the Zealotocracy, Serving the Elite

    A fact check on Floyd is in order.

    First of all, he dates the rise of Islamic extremism to the mid-20th Century, but the reality is that the rise of Islamic extremism goes to a much earlier date. The opening salvo of the extremists’ war on the West would likely be the Mahdist uprising in the Sudan in the 1880’s; but at any rate, Islamist movements led by the likes of Hassan al-Banna and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem were well in place even before World War II, with the ranks of extremists swelling in Egypt, Palestine, and elsewhere.

    The next problem is with his argument that “tyrants of every stripe (often clients of the West) turned to hitherto marginal fundamentalist religious groups”. First of all, many, if not most, of the Middle Eastern regimes in predominantly Islamic countries, including the specific example of Egypt that he cites, were clients of the Soviet Socialist state, not the Western democratic states, with the U.S. maintaining its alliance with Israel, secular Turkey, and secular Iran. Second of all, the regimes in question had limited and conflicted relationships with the extremists, with the most frequent outcome being systematic repression, e.g. Egypt’s extended campaign to crush the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Floyd’s argument that “this same dynamic . . . has happened in Iran” is nonsense on stilts. Iran was a secular state supported by the West that was overthrown by Shi’ite Islamic extremists that the U.S. was vehemently opposed to.

    Oddly enough, the one place where his argument works–Afghanistan–is the one example he does not cite. That really does make me wonder–what exactly is the agenda here? How could anybody talk about the mistakes of the West in supporting extremism when the one clear-cut, incontrovertible example–Afghanistan–is ignored? I am reluctant to come to this conclusion, but it is hard to escape the possibility that his sympathies in the Afghanistan conflict of the 1980’s may lie with the other side.

    Given his inability to grasp (or recognize) basic facts, there isn’t much of a point of even responding to the rest of the post-Marxist rantings. I will give credit where credit is due, however: Floyd appears to be one of the few remaining progressives who is actually willing to consider Islamic extremism to be both a real phenomenon and a bad thing. Either that, or he hasn’t gotten the memo yet.

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