Links 7/5/10

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Oil Spills Raise Arsenic Levels in the Ocean, Says New Research Science Daily (hat tip reader John D)

Looks Great, Less Nutritious? Mother Jones (hat tip reader John D)

Not Following Professional Ethics Matters Also Dean Baker (hat tip reader Barbara B)

Britain to Probe Collaboration with CIA RenditionsInterPress Service (hat tip reader Francois T)

Don’t Tread on Me Joe Costello

The Court’s Aggressive Term New York Times

Surrogate Warfare, Killing Americans for Fun and Profit Gordon Duff, Veterans Today. Reader Skippy very much wanted this highlighted.

How Goldman gambled on starvation Johann Hari, Independent (hat tip reader bob)

Japan revises its role in the China market Financial Times

China Fears Warming Effects of Consumer Wants New York Times

Europe risks failing the real test on banks Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

Enduring the ‘Phoney War’ Tim Price

IMF wants bank levy triple the size of Osborne’s bailout tax Guardian

What do banking crises have to do with consumption? Michael Pettis (hat tip reader Don B)

With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph (hat tip reader Russell F)

The Celtic Tiger is not a good example billy blog

The ABCs of Reform Eliot Spitzer, Slate (hat tip reader Francois T)

Antidote du jour:

Picture 1

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  1. Bates

    “What do banking crises have to do with consumption?” Michael Pettis

    “Astute readers will have noticed that every solution to a banking crisis eventually boils down to the same solution: force households to clean up the banking system, either in the form of explicit taxes or in the form of hidden taxes. Before we get too cynical about this, it is worth remembering that there are huge benefits to having a functioning banking system, so that the high costs of cleaning the banks up are probably worth paying.”

    I would go along with the concluion of Pettis IF the much needed banking regulations to prevent a future re-run of the recent financial melt down were put in place first.

    I am not willing to re-finance a banking system that is certain to repeat the recent financial melt down because no significant regulations (for instance re-imposition of Glass Steagle) have been placed on the large Wall St banks.

    I will take all legal steps that I can to avoid participation in recapitalization of a banking system that has become a burden to the world economy and is absolutely certain to blow up again without significant re-regulation. If congress is not willing to pass real banking regulation then I will do my small part to vote NO to contributing to bail out the too big to fail banks. Credit is an addiction that any citizen can kick…We are not all consumers.

  2. Richard Kline

    Re: Gordon Duff, what he said. Thought everyone of those thoughts myself, in much the same words. Good to see them put all in one place coherently.

    The ostensible reasons for policy are never the actual reasons. And the actual reasons are never the actual causes. And the actual causes are seldom the proximal causes. Anyone who believes the official version is a fooled. And the deeper reasons for our Long Wrong War are much what are described here.

    Re: the counterfactual example of ‘if the US had backed Deutschland in World War I,’ well the Fritzes were no angels, either, so it’s hard to say if we’d have gotten a better world on the other side. But we got all kinds of Hell and enough lies to fill a university library out of the choice that was taken. It is further true, in my view, beyond what Gordon Duff states there that the US simply stepped into the shoes of Britain’s imperial policy when the UK became incapbale; same allies, same territories, same policies, same lies, same goals. We surrogated ourselves there, for reasons complex, but still. The truly bizarre manner in which the US has abdicated all present control of its foreign policy to Israel, despite the hostility of Israel to any actual interests of America, will be a study for the ages when this country finally takes the shit-colored glasses off its eyes and sees what we have made of ourselves in this one. Too long a tale for this day, but more and more one that needs to be told. Has anyone thought, really thought and gamed out, just what the US is going to do when we finally say no to that hyper-militant, nuclear armed, embodiment of contempt for international law and justice? Israel is by far, by an order of magnitude, the largest _actual_ threat to the US and its interests. . . . Maybe that’s why we’ve surrendered to them. Just a thought for today.

    1. Bates

      Mackinder and his ‘Hearland Principal’ had a huge impact on geopolitical thinking prior to WW1 and the coming of strategic aircraft for bombing. Both WW1 and WW2 were fought, among other reasons, to stop any single country from unifying the ‘World Island’. Since a unified World Island would have been pretty much impervious to naval power and long range aircraft were not yet invented you can see how a unified ‘World Island’ would have been a major problem for the empires depending on naval power. Especially Britain that needed to protect sea lanes for their empire while steaming under the guns of shore based batteries on the World Island.

      Here is a summary and a Wiki link:

      “In 1919, Mackinder summarised his theory as:

      “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
      who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
      who rules the World-Island controls the world.”

      ‘The World-Island, comprising the interlinked continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. This was the largest, most populous, and richest of all possible land combinations. The World Island contains over 50% of all resources.’

    2. brazza

      What are the pro-Israel control mechanisms in the US that allow this situation to perpetuate itself? Who is pulling the strings, where does the money trail lead?

  3. Tom Crowl

    I want to bring up an issue that’s giving me some difficulty.

    Looking at economics from a ‘metabolic’ perspective… that is… the metabolism of a social organism. There’s a clear problem ahead for its root assumptions.

    As should be clear from my posts here I don’t see the current system as long-term workable and tend to take a ‘progressive’ approach to solutions… in favor of Keynesian stimulation and a better balance of ‘social energy’ distribution generally.

    Yet we face a ‘physical’ dilemma. The human biomass alone now exceeds by hundreds of times the biomass of any previous single land animal.

    This DOES NOT include human-controlled biomass… (agricultrure, animal husbandry, aqua-culture and ocean harvesting.)

    This loss of species variation and frightening dependence of single crop varieties, etc. WILL NOT be sustainable.

    This suggests that an economic ‘health’ supposedly dependent on constantly increasing consumption has to change… just as ‘profit’ incentives… down to the individual level have to move towards new modes of ‘valuation’.

    I suppose the ‘carbon-tax’ idea is part of this approach but I’m not sure its well-designed and is insufficient regardless.

    I don’t yet have an answer for this but its a vital issue in the mix. Again, I believe attention to the relationship of money (trade tokens) to the concept of ‘social energy’ and ‘decision allocation’ as opposed to ‘a store of value’ (whatever that is) is worthwhile.

    Of course not as worthwhile as the work of ‘geniuses’ like Cassano at AIG who we all know make the world go round. Talk about a stupid way for a civilization to distribute its energy…

    1. Conor

      Mr. Crowl,

      Bravo to you, Sir!!

      I really think the entire population of our dear planet needs a thorough education in the second law of the thermodynamics. In my possibly not-so-humble opinion EVERYTHING!! And I mean simply just everything, leads ultimately to inertia. All energy – specifically human energy – exists with the end-result being entropy, including economic activity; since all value and wealth is derived from the burning of fuel of some kind.

      Sadly, too many well intentioned people are in a terrible state of denial over this.

      Let’s take Al Gore as an example: Al is a great guy, and has done an invaluable service in informing a wider audience to the hazards of global warming, but every dollar in his very substantial bank account is an absolute and real representation of a carbon footprint… Those dollars ARE carbon footprints. In other words, his personal carbon footprint compared to the rest of most of us is completely OBSCENE!! (Sorry Al, I love you still.)

      Or, better yet, take those who drive hybrids and electric cars: these well intentioned people are essentially outsourcing their fossil fuel-burning to the power companies – and the energy it takes to turn that energy into electricity and deliver it to their electrical outlets (then “recycle” those very toxic batteries), they might as well be driving around in Hummers. They would do more for the environment if they just drove around in a four cylinder gas burning vehicles.

      No doubt about it, we are in big trouble. Denial and hypocrisy is not going to help the matter… *sigh*

    2. psychohistorian

      What if you were members of the oligarchy and saw overpopulation as the problem you do? (me too)

      More wars are economic strife should reduce the rabble rousers, they say….bring it on!

      While reducing the numbers of the oligarchy would not solve our population problems it may make a big difference in the lives of the rest of us.

  4. Russell1200

    The Duff piece is a rather dangerous piece of revisionism.

    The Germans in the run up to World War 1 were such a bunch of clumsy bullies that the all their neighbors banded together to protect themselves from them. The Germans than began to get nervous that their power was on the wane and that if they did not act soon, they would loose their chance at greatness.

    Their goals going into WW1 were rather similar to Hitlers. A German hegemony over Europe (even without Hitler) is not a good deal for anyone else.

    The further arguments that “nothing is as it seems, it is as I say” is of course classic conspiracy. Since all evidence you choose is counter factual, reality can be pretty much what you want.

    We live in an ugly enough world without having to make things up.

    1. Skippy

      Do tell, bankers fighting bankers under the guise of nationhood, many a monarch or sovereign would tell tales of that first nights bliss, followed by agonising years of regret.

      The WWI bit is just refracting the historical light, so as to examine the full spectrum, much more going on there than anyone has time to expand in this forum.

      I find your casual dismissal of everything else he put forth in your deconstruction “nothing is as it seems” by invoking the *classic conspiracy* as weighty an argument as that you decry. With the application of that one *classic truthism* you negate the article in its entirety with out so much as a second breath escaping your lips.

      If time permits I would like to hear a counter argument, a summation of your experience with these matters. Better yet read his Bio and then provide your own and countermand his statement’s.

      Skippy…as someone that use to hold high security clearances in the DOD I can say that yes all is not as it seems…so does that make_me_a classic conspiracy individual?

      1. psychohistorian

        Skippy, I love ya man!

        I am into sharing today and thought you would like my extension to Voltaire

        Sanity, like history, is a lie commonly agreed upon.

    2. Rex

      “The Germans than began to get nervous”

      Why is such a huge portion of internet posting determined to FLIP-FLOP the usage of
      THEN vs THAN ?

      Make your great philosophical point and mix up these simple words in the process, and I get distracted and think if you can’t master the simple tools of language, why should I listen to you?

      Get it right, THEN I might think you are smarter THAN a 5th grader.

      It’s becoming ubiquitous — then, than, your, you’re — are in the top of the list. Please, everyone, try to learn the difference and use them correctly while making your brilliant commentaries.

      While we are trying to steer the world toward the better place we think we remember, please let’s try to use the good old grammar.

      Sorry for the rant but I think the then/than decay is in line with the rest of our failures to acknowledge what is wrong around us. Obvious, but politely ignored as just the way it is.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        Loose/lose bothers me much more than the other examples. It’s verging on ubiquitous. Where did everyone come upon the idea that one “looses” a battle? Arggggg!!!

  5. Stephen A. Meigs

    The Gordon Duff piece I found quite revolting. It was Theodore Roosevelt, the reformer who broke up Standard Oil, who was most for getting us into World War I, not the largely pacifist creator with the banksters of the Federal Reserve, Woodrow Wilson. What is the case is that, ironically largely because of having been influenced by the materialism of socialists, rich people nowadays tend to think that lack of money and the refinement it supposedly buys is what screws people up. What set the pietists against the first socialist, Robert Owen, was not his view that helping the poor is appropriate (something the pietists argued themselves), but finding out that he didn’t think religion was necessary for morality because he thought that if poor people had money they would more-or-less automatically adopt refined morals. (Not that the pietists had the moral answers, but the best alternative to wrong moral teaching is not arguing that poverty is what causes moral depravity.) The bankster class seems mostly to have come to agree with the materialism of the socialists, and so they think themselves great, the “best and brightest”, to use Obama’s phrase. The financial crisis in the elitists’ opinion? Just a few mistakes made by the best and brightest, who, being the best and brightest, will correct things shortly. The rich have had all the advantages that schooling and exposure to classical music, etc., can give, and in their view that just makes them more moral and wise. And they know that worrying whether their sexual emotions are clean or not is just something that a vulgar person would do, because their selfish peers have taught them that people should mate not so much on account of sexual emotion but for the more emotionally muted monetary reasons that arise when considering it takes money to raise children, and more particularly to raise children with the all important material advantages necessary in their view to good morality.

    The problem is that rich people don’t tend to believe in the significance of nastiness. The Taliban fighting merely because they don’t like Karzai? More likely, the Taliban leaders, like most enablers of mass murder, are a bunch of sodomizers using the war to commit forcible sodomy. Go look at the movie “The Kite Runner”. Rich people may on average be more respectable that the poor, inasmuch as if you are better positioned to buy a mate than your competitors, you will more support people mating for money rather than depravity, but the rich tend to be very naive. Wars aren’t all about money, oftentimes they are more about nasty forcible sodomy and glorifying the inappropriately controlling behaviors that sodomizers tend to possess. As my grandmother, who was a Belgian young teenager during the war, and once was lined up probably to be shot at dawn (escaping during the changing of the guard) told me, I don’t think people really appreciate that the brutishness of the Germans didn’t just start in the Second World War, there was plenty of it in the First War too, like when they lined up the Belgian men nearby where my grandmother lived, shooting dead on the spot every third one, imprisoning as hostage the next one, and freeing the one after that.

    People know intuitively there is something to be ashamed of. Rich people tend to think the poverty that makes one one of the “little people” is what one should be ashamed of, and this tends to keep them from realizing that sexual depravity is properly what shame is about. Churchy conservative types may tend to be too reluctant to admit that our country has behaved improperly because, indiscriminatingly viewing much innocuous sexual pleasure with the same shame as depravity, they already have an excess of stuff they feel one can be ashamed of. Liberals, though, tend to feel too much shame even about our country’s appropriate behavior because, being largely dumb asses who have been manipulated into viewing sodomy as a homosexuals’ civil rights issue, they emotionally need a place for shame. Oh, I’m sorry, I was being a little too inclusive there–it’s only the good liberals that are really ashamed of the heroism and good sport that is rescuing countries from evil tyrants. The bad liberals only pretend to feel shame at rescuing the oppressed because they just want to make it seem like rescuing people from nasty misogynist sodomizers is wrong because they dont want the people they’ve addicted with oral or rectal sodomy into being rescued from them (say, by parents or other parties telling the girl her boyfriend is nasty and that she is becoming or has become a skank).

    Why would banksters support the war anyway? So our deficits can encourage the Fed to raise interest rates? Arguably, it’s only because interest rates are practically zero that the mega banks can survive. A war with Iran would probably increase interest rates, resulting in a further depressed housing market and a decreased value for mortgage backed securities, etc. If I were trying to find where the banksters black hand is manipulating matters, I would look rather at whether it be behind the recent increasing hysteria against deficits.

    1. Skippy

      Well were to start umm…I’ve had a look at your blog and it has zero relevance to economics, war, politics etc, it seems your traveling down the twisty road of deconstructionist physical/emotional sexual behavior. Which has its part in all we do but, very little to do with the portent of his post.

      Look movies are great although I recomend seeing it for your self, then decide.

      Skippy….VINNY HELP!

    2. Conor

      Mr. Meigs,

      Sir, may I suggest a spot of chamomile tea would to you wonders. Furthermore, sodomy done with sensitivity is truly refreshing.



    3. Stephen A. Meigs

      Sexual behavior has everything to do with war. When people fight for the wrong reasons, sometimes money or a kind of nationalist racism plays a large role, but I am inclined to think usually it is because they are glorifying their own domineering rapacious sodomizing behavior, if it’s not a simple matter of wanting to rape and pillage villagers. And when people don’t fight against such types notwithstanding it is expedient or moral, usually it is because they are making a sexual statement about the inappropriateness of rescuing people from such bullying, often for selfish reasons. People don’t just care about money, they also care about sex.

      Selfish people don’t vote for the politician it is in their selfish interest to get elected, because there is but a miniscule chance their vote will make the deciding difference. Selfish people tend to support the politics that is in their selfish interest to be seen as supporting, which selfish interests often are about sex and mating.

      Sodomy has everything to do with war and why Duff is wrong. Rich people nowadays are not excessively pro-war as Duff was contending, but too pacifist, and the reason is their naive attitude that lack of money and what that provides is what one should fear, and not so much depraved sodomizing homicidal mass murderers. True, they have just as much to lose from depraved sodomizing homicidal mass murderers as the less advantaged of us, but they are too naive to realize it, and they vote according to their individual selfish mating interests, which they consider tend to align to the notion that it’s not nastiness per se that causes bad mating decisions but rather it’s any desire to mate without great regard to financial considerations that causes bad mating decisions. Yea, verily, rich people if snooty enough will even make out that what since they have immersed themselves so completely in the cleansing and prophylactic powers of the properest of the most refined culture, it would be inconceivable that they or their refined daughters could ever succumb to vulgar sexual desires. They underestimate the power and visciousness of the nasty. But the rich aren’t without instincts. Fearing the wrong thing (viewing poverty rather than sodomy as what causes depravity) tends to make one anxious, because the emotions sense something out of alignment fear-of-sodomy-wise. To avoid anxiety, all too often the elites use the crutch of convincing themselves that disasters just don’t happen as much as emotionally one expects, or that when they do happen, they can’t really be all that bad. Their emotions try to encourage them to fear sodomy more, but they respond by deciding irrational emotions try to make them fear things other than poverty too much. Pffft! So it’s not just ruthless sodomizers in bed with even worse sodomizing homicidal maniacs trying to kill us all that the rich elites don’t take seriously, they also show a disturbing lack of concern as regards a seriously wrong financial system that is at the point of unleashing Great Depression 2, oil geysers in the wrong places, that hurricanes can cause flooding that like kills people, and even the bird flu.

      I did see the Kite Runner in its entirety. My recollection is that it is about rescuing a boy who was being sodomized by a Taliban leader.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        In all honesty, in the plus three years I have had this blog, this is probably the most ill reasoned tripe I have EVER seen in comments, this and your earlier remark.

        You base an entire theory for a war based on a story of a SINGLE individual in a work of FICTION? What planet are you from, exactly?

        And what proof, despite your own considerable prejudice, do you have for Taliban = sodomy and sodomy = war? Oh I see, the US has a lot of gay men, that’s the real reason we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        And per Conor, a lot of couples, straight as well as gay, happen to like anal sex.

      2. i on the ball patriot

        Errr … When you get past Stephen A. Meigs deflective head fuck …

        The very excellent Gordon Duff piece comments section led to a web site; “Reflections in a Petri Dish’. There is a worthwhile article there entitled; “The Serving Armies of The Standing Bankers.”

        These are the closing paragraphs …

        “The greatest of honors are reserved for those who have the courage to see the lies and to admit that they were in service to lies and who then denounced the lies and their own complicity in them. These are the few and the brave who are no longer proud. How often have we seen any man accomplish this before the world and then go on to live the truth he has discovered at the cost of all he once believed to be true?

        It has been truly asked what it profits a man to gain everything and lose himself. There are real heroes among us but their ranks are not composed of the men and women who have served the interests of those who sacrificed them for a lie.”


        Save the quote, the link, and a link to the article Skippy provided. They are perfect to send in response to all of those hate and fear mongering emails you get from system tools, especially the law enforcement and military tools.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      3. Stephen A. Meigs

        Uhh. What reasoning did you employ that caused you to believe that my opinion that sodomy is behind the war in Afghanistan is a result merely of my having seen the Kite Runner? Let’s see. I also remember reading somewhere about the British soldiers being surprised that not infrequently transvestites would come making advances at them upon liberating villages, as though the villagers assumed they were like the typical soldiers they were accustomed to. And then I read stuff like Michael Totten’s blog wherein he discussed how the Taliban (or was it Al Qaeda?) not infrequently are fond of desecrating mosques of sects differing from their own by going to the bathroom in them, apparently considered an extreme humiliation. But then since I have examined mass murderers a fair amount, and noticed that typically they are sodomizers, why would I not assume that sodomy is behind what Bin Laden has done? It would be illogical to think else. But I am not giving a good impression of my reasonings. If you have thought about sodomy as much as I have, you get so emotionally you can pick up a zillion things. I knew Bin Laden was a sodomizer so soon as I examined the videos of him playing with guns while he was all laid back like. I understand my instincts–nervousness no idle emotion but a useful anti-sodomy defense. To be around violence and be so blasee and laid back about it, it’s a sure sign of one with little or no anti-sodomy instincts, and that implies mothers with little or no anti-sodomy instincts, and that implies fathers who are sodomizers and everything that entails inheritance wise.

        Married partners enjoy sodomy? What does that prove? You think I am some religious zealot who only criticizes sodomy because it’s something to point at as dangerous because it could corrupt marriage? Your enlightened economic opinions notwithstanding, you are being exactly like the rich snooty people I am criticizing by intimating I should respect sodomy on account of people who mate only after the commitment that rich people think magically creates cleanliness also do like sodomy. I am not a snooty upper class snob who thinks that females who have sex without requiring all the resources of their partners are less likely to be wise about what constitutes cleanliness than other people. Furthermore, I not only believe that f*ers are not infrequently just fine in their behavior, but that females unselfish enough to enter such relationships are worthy human beings who also deserve cleanliness. That partners do engage in sodomy suggests that semen might contain addictive chemicals and that sodomy is about control. I mean really, if it were just a masturbatory thing, why not just masturbate on belly buttons? A lot cleaner. So rather than just be trendy and assume that our generation is right and previous generations were just prejudiced idiots, one can bother to read the literature on semen chemicals and notice that semen contains anandamide, the neurotransmitter that marijuana acts on and also PGE1, which alcohol increases in the brain and when blocked does greatly decrease the time drunk rodents take to right themselves. And one also could bother considering the philosophical ramifications of semen containing copious amounts of PGE2, the chemical analgesics act upon by blocking, and which the uterus presumably has so evolved to find revolting that it must be washed away from semen before semen is used in intra-uterine artificial insemination on account of its painful cramp inducing effects being so severe. Actually, probably the central reason sodomy goes hand-in-hand with violence is not that its vile addictive effects hoodwink females into reproducing contrary to their own natural natures (the same reason violent rape is so wrong), but that semen contains pain sensitizing chemicals like PGE2 which make physical abuse that much more terrifying.

        True, you probably won’t find any investigation in the so-called scientific literature of whether sodomy be addictive in the standard sense (though the psychologist Gordon Gallup toyed with the idea of investigating oral “sex” in this regard after suggesting that semen contains anti-depressants capable of being absorbed vaginally, but my impression is that the histology of the vagina is not ideally suited to absorption, which explains why mammals have done so well, they with a few exceptions unlike cloacal reptiles having the terminus of the digestive system separate from the female reproductive system). Not hard to see why the intellectual elites are so indifferent. The intellectual elites make a similar mistake as the rich elites. Only instead of making out that it is lack of wealth that people should be ashamed of instead of sodomy, they selfishly or by imitation make out that it is lack of book learning that people should be ashamed of (at the expense, btw, of reflection in the Lockean sense, and the common sense that such reflection would tend to create). I’d see it when I taught math. A student does poorly on an exam, and then she crumbles into numb hopelessness like she wonders whether she’s got her ass screwed. They were brainwashed by pedants, the tangent 60 degrees = square root of 3 over 3 people who make out that irrational denominator = irrational bottom of fraction = irrational bottom = bad bottom.


        No, I’m inclined to think sodomy being not uncommon here predisposes us to unwarranted pacifism. I should have thought the tenor of my comments would have suggested to you I felt as much. That the Nazi debauchers ultimately faired so poorly during the Second World War rather forcefully refuted the pretensions of those who believe that enslavement by brute force is appropriate. Nowadays, at least in America, the seductive sodomizers tend to be more of a force than their rapaciously sodomizing counterparts, especially as sodomy is now largely considered merely some innocuous type of sex by our elites. Modern American sodomizers, or at least the more influential of them, probably are mostly employing seductive deception rather than forcible sodomy, and so naturally are more against people forcefully rescuing people from depravity than against losing an opportunity to forcefully use violence. It’s very important that sodomizers don’t take away peoples’ right to speak freely about sodomy being evil, though they are trying. The Vietnam War was less clear—the whole anticommunist hysteria thing was perhaps largely caused by sodomizers wanting a red herring for people to misdirect their natural anti-sodomy emotions at. I don’t sense that with our current wars.

        I’m from Earth. I just am unusually given to not assuming that standard opinion is right. And actually, my reasonings are logical. I should know since I am sufficiently acquainted with my capacities that I know next to moral philosophy I am more skilled at logic than anything else, no really, in fact I am in the process of writing a little book on the fundamentals of mathematical logic that has quite a few advantages in it over standard treatments. I define a laugh operator “ha” that should enable mathematicians more easily to speak absolutely precisely about things without being forced to say the trivial, but for it work well, mathematicians must adopt the subjunctive in ordinary discourse (whenever they are asserting something that might be silly rather than that something be true), and so I’m worried mathematicians may be so afraid of sounding like they are sillies pretending they are pirates (pirates are vile) that it won’t catch. Old Mariner English is artistic and not pirate talk.

        1. Skippy

          Ex General MCCrystal wants your home phone number, better yet I think your work need field exposure, try enlisting.

          Skippy…good luck with your work and book.

    4. Fick dich weg

      Didn’t make it too far through that reinforced concrete wall of text, but I think I agree. We’ve got to liberate the in and out holes of our GI tract from the super-rich, like we liberated Europe from THE NAZIS. Free oral and rectal sodomy for all?

    1. doc holiday

      That is curious that some Republicans would be using the media to push for oil drilling in that clever report — what a shock. That report from the Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is an odd organization, is it just a few Republicans that issue this stuff, or is it Fox news and a handful of retards?

      Don’t get me wrong, the BP oil spill is Obama’s Katrina, but I think we have Bush to blame for destroying almost all regulation in America. Obama is dealing with the generational aftermath of the Bush legacy — in addition to dealing with on-going real-time disasters like the BP spill. Obama and all government efforts do suck — and it does look like collusion and corruption — it almost looks like Bush never left office, but what now, turn this disaster into a political game, in a distorted effort to take people’s attention away from reality?

      Is the objective of Fox news to discredit Obama and ignore the needs of the people in the gulf — and use their media machine to do more harm? The people that want to add chaos to the damage already done, are essentially evil bastards, they are divisive and self-serving like cancer cells that mutate towards a common cause of group extinction.

      Like water and oil — I don’t think there is a way to separate the good people from bad at this point, due in large part to organizations that use propaganda to brainwash people with misinformation — but I thought I’d comment here about your organization and suggest that our world still needs a sort of 5th Estate of bloggers that will bring about some objectivity to this chaotic and evil world — but unfortunately, at this point, any effort to provide clarity, just adds more noise. God help us all and may God strike down the evil people that do harm!


      1. Conor

        Ooooooh!! doc holiday, you’re a sharpy. Very good! To have caught that insertion regarding “not wanting a moratorium on oil drilling”. (lifts my coffee cup to you in salute!)

        Do you kind folks know who Darrel Issa IS!!? *GACK!!* He’s the “car alarm king”. Every time you hear a car go honk-honk-honk-honk-honk-honk it’s due to Darrel.

        He’s also responsible for Arnold, the Governator. Darrell Issa was the one who initiated the recall of Grey Davis, then Governor of California, in the hopes that he would move into Davis’ seat – the Arnold moved in and took it from him and ruined his fun. Darrel Issa’s most famous moment: “Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo. boo-hoo-hoo-hoo.” *sob* “This recall was not about meeeeee.” *sob*

        Too much!

  6. michel

    “The problem is that the Irish government has no real options while they remain constrained by the Maastricht Treaty and their lack of sovereignty.”

    No, the Irish problem is that they found themselves in a situation in which not being constrained by the Maastricht Treaty or lack of sovereignty would not have helped. This was because they had behaved recklessly, incurred debt, spent money they did not have, inflated a massive credit and construction bubble, expanded state benefits and state staffing levels to no particular purpose.

    After they had done this, they were going to have a living standards crash. Whether they run their own currency or not. Whether they are in the EC or not. Whatever they do. They destroyed value, and now its gone.

    If you go around tearing up your highways, at the end of the day, in the EC or not, you are going to have to rebuild them all, if you want a transport system involving cars.

    What we need from people arguing to the contrary is a clear depiction of the scenario that they think the Irish could have engaged in, given no Maastricht.

    And maybe, while they are at it, an explanation of why this would be good for California, too?

  7. KFritz

    Re: Gordon Duff’s piece

    This is fact-seeded ad hominem rant. Israel does exert undue influence on US policy. The PRC does fund Pakistan for its own purposes. But the US is not yet Israel’s sock puppet, nor is Pakistan the PRC’s sock puppet. Some of the recent wars mentioned had far more complex underpinnings than Mr Duff credits.
    None of the European powers of WWI had clean hands, but only Germany’s Grosse Generalstab had detailed plans for the conquest of its neighbors, to the best of my knowledge. WWII might been interpreted as the fruition of those plans. So the US entered WWI on the correct side. The only remotely possible mitigating factor for the insane aggression of the Third Reich was the stupidly punitive ‘peace’ terms imposed on Germany after WWI.
    Saddam Hussein’s suprise invasion of Kuwait implicitly treatened a similar invasion of Saudi Arabia. Nothing stood between Saddam’s aggressive tendencies and Riyadh except the Saudi Air Force’s capacity to destroy Iraqi mechanized units. He NEEDED containment.
    Happy 5th all!

      1. KFritz

        As a sometime sloppy reader myself: I said that Israel DOES exert disproportionate influence on American foreign policy, but that we are NOT Israel’s sock puppet. That naval incident does still rankle.

    1. Skippy

      KFritz the kuwait invasion was not a surprise, although it was neither a certainty. Saudi Arabia was never in harms way, remember Saddam was our man for how long[?] how many lives did he put at our disposal and yet he threw the one relationship that insured his political life away..really now.

      I suggest that by your circular logic it could be argued not unlike the Zionist’s aspirations that Iraq was in its rights to annex Kuwait if we picked a map and a date corresponding to our desires.

      Skippy…in all my military/business experience the one thing that sticks in my mind is never trust some one else’s intel, kinda like due diligence and investing.

      1. KFritz

        I’m at a loss to describe this statement. Stupidity? Strategic ineptitude? Clinical insanity? I feel like making book on the question.

      2. KFritz

        Oops. Evidently, this program automatically deletes statements bracketed by the ‘carrots.’

        The statement I find unbelievable is ‘Saudi Arabia was never in harms way.’

        1. Skippy

          KFritz…adjectives are not an argument.

          I have worked around the world in areas of conflict since the 70’s (much of it in the middle east), as a government tool and in the private sector. My years of experience coupled with the contacts I have made and still have tell me different.

          Your insight is from what prospective exactly[?] TV, MSM, blokes at the bar, I know not, please illuminate me. Your simplistic proclomation of say it aint so is the kinda blog SITREP that would get people killed in the real deal and does…think about that for a moment.

          The simple observation of the wests (200+ years) actions in the middle east says it all, expand all thoughts from that one statistic and see where you end up at.

          Skippy…make some points of contention, expand on your observations and then we can debate, share, increase the granularity of which we disagree or agree upon.

          1. KFritz

            You’re a genius. At something. What is it?
            Aggressive actor invades one country. No pushback. Sees a bigger prize. With no significant protection. What’s likely to happen next? If all your years of vahst experience don’t recognize a pattern in this….Don’t hand me this, “I’ve been there and have more knowledge than you.” Explain to me how Saddam Hussein didn’t in some real way threaten Saudi Arabia by invading Kuwait. I enjoy tortuous logic. But no hold it. Fuggediboudit. The WC Semifinals are coming up. They’re better entertainment than your absurd platitudes of, “I know best. I’M AN EXPERT.”

          2. Skippy

            He was our gollum, same as every tin pot tyrant that we have installed or obliquely assisted globally since Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippians and the debate of American imperialism there after…20 million was all that it cost to start down our road to this mess and 10 of millions of deaths on our plate.

            We backed him, he did our biding…till his services were no longer needed, we allowed him to do what ever he had too, kill, imprison, torture, ethnic cleansing, etc to keep the oil flowing and counter act Iran, then set him up for an ambush.

            Remember this see: U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie met with Saddam in an emergency meeting on 25 July, where the Iraqi leader stated his intention to give negotiations only.. one more brief chance before forcing Iraq’s claims on Kuwait.[44] U.S. officials attempted to maintain a conciliatory line with Iraq, indicating that while George H. W. Bush and James Baker did not want force used, they would not take any position on the Iraq–Kuwait boundary dispute and did not want to become involved.[45] Whatever Glapsie did or did not say in her interview with Saddam, the Iraqis assumed that the United States had invested too much in building relations with Iraq over the 1980s to sacrifice them for Kuwait.[46] Later, Iraq and Kuwait met for a final negotiation session, which failed. Saddam then sent his troops into Kuwait. As tensions between Washington and Saddam began to escalate, the Soviet Union, under Mikhail Gorbachev, strengthened its military relationship with the Iraqi leader, providing him military advisers, arms and aid.[47]


            In what capacity did you work over in the box and for how long, time lines? Friends of mine were in that little helo debacle with Iran, I was on stand by, then Egypt, then the Stan’s, then central/south America , then South Africa and back to the Stan’s. I have worked with almost every special Ops group in the world, have contacts with officers and NCOs in several militaries and private contractor’s globally, so you’ll have to pardon me if I find your statements under qualified in my book, lots of people go over there but never see anything past the tourists prospective, even if lead is part of the tour.

            Skippy…I was one of the unlucky that was handed a A-4 piece of paper in a sound proof room with only a few lines upon it. Personally I have had a gut full of death, it never fixes any thing, save make some rich. Sounds like you still want to GET SUM or have others do it for you.

            PS. nice of you to devolve to a spittle/foam attack paired with your simplistic if they did Kuwait, they must mean to invade Saudi Arabia reflexology.

            You remind me of a little sci-fi sketch.

            Part 1 of 3, enjoy!


          3. KFritz

            The only useful information in that was ‘long standing claim to Kuwait.’ If Saddam saw his action as that, there’s some validity to your claim.
            It would be nice if your wrote in English instead of Tourette’s.

            Your attitude of authority and expertise reminds me of General Sedgwick that day in 1864 when he informed his troops that no one could shoot accurately from that distance. He might even have been right a few years before that fateful day. Authority has its limits.

          4. KFritz

            PS I didn’t claim that Iraq PLANNED to invade S. Arabia. I don’t believe that was part of their plan. But the action of invading Kuwait upset the balance of power on the Arab side of the Gulf, and implicitly threatened every other political entity in the area.

        2. Skippy

          Sorry for the late reply, out of town.

          I only have one thing to point out, we could have sent a firm message…NO…it is not alright with us if you invade Kuwait. From that one move all other actions would have been undone, how much more simple can it be.

          Skippy…the personal touch in your arguments discounts them, some wit would go a long way.

  8. doc holiday

    Seagull Blood Shows Promise For Monitoring Pollutants From Oil Spills

    Gulls exposed to the oil showed twice the levels of PAHs in their blood than unexposed birds, even though these levels were measured 17 months after the initial spill, the researchers say. The findings “give support to the nondestructive use of seabirds as biomonitors of oil pollution in marine environments,” the article states.

    ==> A mighty BIG hat tip to reader John D; I just read your link and came across this one.

    Re: Oil Spills Raise Arsenic Levels in the Ocean, Says New Research Science Daily

  9. doc holiday

    Will people in GOM be tested????

    ==> This is a great way to gather data from the spill — a shit load better than the NASA retards that are out recording fish sounds — I wonder if CDC, EPA, FDA or any health org will actually get involved in studies to look at the long-term health concerns of this disaster? We know that nothing was done in Alaska after Valdez and I’m not 100% sure, but I doubt if any studies were done after Katrina. I think people just assume that after a few weeks you can start eating seafood and that there is no problem …. I mean, shit, if EPA says that dispersants are super safe, maybe EPA employees should be studied by a third-party and see if they have the same survival rate as the people that exposed to toxins? Just a dumb-ass thought … but, if you write a report, it would be nice to see a person from some government agency put their life on the line!

    “This study highlights the delayed effects of oil spills that we know very little about,” said Stuart Bearhop, a conservation biologist at the University of Exeter in England who was not involved in the study. “It’s very easy to see what happens right after an oil spill: everything dies. But there are probably a lot of later effects we’ve overlooked.”

    Seagulls that eat oil from a spill, either through munching contaminated ocean critters or grooming, form dangerous chemicals in their bodies known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds are linked to cancer in humans.

    To measure avian PAH levels, the study’s authors captured live birds, took a small blood sample for testing and then released the birds. Birds living near the Prestige spill zone were found to have twice the PAH levels of unaffected birds.

    Bearhop said other than this non-lethal method, he’s not sure how such levels of pollution can be measured without killing animals.

    “Sampling blood might be one of the only ways to measure the long-term effects of oil spills,” he told LiveScience, noting that the birds handle the stress of capture and sampling well. “But it’s also important to look at dead birds. You need both sources to understand the true impact of this kind of pollution.”

  10. doc holiday

    BP said Monday that is has spent $3.12 billion so far in response to the spill, including attempting to contain oil, paying claims and reimbursing the U.S. and local governments. That’s up from $2.65 billion a week earlier. The figure does not include a $20 billion fund for Gulf damages that London-based BP created last month.

    ==> I don’t believe them, does anyone here? Br still doesn’t know how much oil is being spilled after about 75 days, but they do seem to know how much money they are spending having small groups of people rake of tarballs …. $3.2 B … gimmie a F’ing break – that about the size of a bonus to the CEO.

    Where is the proof of such a claim? They can run that bill up to a trillion, but I don’t see BP doing much, as it hides under the skirts of the Coast Guard, EPA, etc., etc…

    1. Paul Repstock

      LOL Doc…wine, hookers and PR are expensive..:)

      An if you want a good picture of the extent of governments bowing to expediency read the link I posted in response to ‘Fritz’…There are so many of these stories from all over the world…:(

      1. doc holiday

        wine, hookers and PR are expensive

        ==> It’s all priced in, but do they really get what they pay for? I imagine this offsheet accounting is a science for them, which evolves on a daily basis … I can just see Tony in the board meeting …… hmmm, this receipt for bailing out our legal team … what were they doing running from the police; gads, I thought we paid them off already? WTF, send in more money and troops!


  11. doc holiday

    Most of the oil cannot be mopped up, In fact, only about 8 percent was ever recovered. Dr. Jeffrey Short of Oceana testified at a hearing on the 20th anniversary of Exxon Valdez that, “Despite heroic efforts involving more than 11,000 people, 2 billion dollars, and aggressive application of the most advanced technology available, only about 8 percent of the oil was ever recovered. This recovery rate is fairly typical rate for a large oil spill. About 20 percent evaporated, 50 percent contaminated beaches, and the rest floated out to the North Pacific Ocean, where it formed tar balls that eventually stranded elsewhere or sank to the seafloor.”

    From> The Exxon Valdez spill was in 1989, they still, 21 years later, have not paid the [full] amount awarded in court (a mere $500 million) to those affected and in fact over 8000 people have died while waiting for compensation. Exxon is still in appeals court TODAY. Why would BP act differently?
    That’s why we need the escrow account
    June 15, 2010

    1. Paul Repstock

      Don’t worry Brother Holiday, the $20 billion cheque is in the mail…Whether BP still exists to draw it against by the time it is delivered is another question..:)

      The smartest lawyer of all time was the unknown shyster who first realized that ‘time trumps the law’. It is really hard to find a legal definition of, “In a timely manner”

  12. doc holiday

    Approximately 484 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled: 82 miles in Florida, 264 miles in Louisiana, 79 miles in Mississippi, and 59 miles in Alabama.

    About 1.68 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied: 1.06 million on the surface and 623,000 subsea. More than 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.

    ==> Old Exxon Valdez Corexit warning:

    Warning about use of inipol EAP 22 in waterways: It is ironic to note that the MSDS for both Inipol EAP22 and Corexit 9527 warn to “keep product out of sewers and watercourses” or “prevent liquid from entering sewers, watercourses, or low areas,” respectively. Exxon used a total of 104,510 gallons (395,500 liters) of Inipol on beaches in Prince William Sound alone during Exxon Valdez Oil Spill clean up operations from 1989 through 1991 (Bragg et al. 1992 in Mearns 1996).

    Hmmm, also see:

    13.4 Spillage

    As 2-butoxyethanol is toxic and absorbed through the skin,
    emergency crews need to wear proper equipment, including a mask with cartridge for organic vapour, for handling spills. The chemical
    should not be allowed to enter drains or watercourses.

    ==> Hopefully BP, EPA, CDC, FDA, et al employees will be having Corexit with their coffee everyday ….

  13. Memory

    Regarding the “Proxy Wars” piece, it is vain and self-indulgent to argue any kind of definitive claims from enormous and ill-defined historical counter-factuals. Having done a small measure of academic work on the period, however, I would suggest that a German victory in the First World War would have created a post-war world that most contemporary Americans would find uncongenial. Though the interpretation of some of his German government documents and private correspondence can be debated, I strongly suggest that anyone seriously interested in Wilhelmine Germany in the First World War read Fischer’s “Griff nach der Weltmacht” (“Germany’s Aims in the First World War” in translation) and possibly some of the scholarship responding to it before making speculative statements about this particular alternate 20th Century. German plans for the shape of post-war (specifically post German victory) Europe and the world were unpleasant and involved in some cases embryonic versions of the Nazi plans of a generation later – including forced relocation of racially inferior populations and the permanent subjugation of western Europe to a state of political and economic servitude to Germany. Indeed, plans were made to reduce even their allies Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire to what were explicitly called “vassal states.”

    Would these plans have been carried through? Would they have succeeded? Would the monarchy and the Junkers have been forced to dramatically revise their plans in light of Social Democratic and nationalist pressures after the war? Possibly. But the plans of repression and the coercive mechanisms to prevent such a (quite well foreseen by Bethmann-Hollweg and Ludendorff) reaction were in place and there is no evidence that it would not have been used.

    1. Paul Repstock

      Obviously you have studied history extensively. Do you remember the quote ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’s mistakes’ (not verbatum)

      The atrocities and excesses of the past, in no way excuse atrocities in the present. If mankind cannot learn that we are ‘doomed’ to continue this abuse cycle until we spiral back into nice damp caves somewhere. (another failed experiment)!

    2. Conor

      (heh,heh,heh)… When Wilhelm was exiled to his estate in the Netherlands, he ever so methodically chopped down all the trees on it… *chop,chop,chop,chop*… If that’s any indicator, no doubt a German victory during World War One would not have been a pretty picture. I guess we’re lucky, huh? I guess? *chop,chop*

  14. alex

    Re: How Goldman gambled on starvation

    Now that’s a disgusting story – starving people for profit in the food derivatives market.

    I hope this story gets more traction. It seems most people in the US (probably other wealthy countries as well) have largely forgotten just how badly exorbitant food prices hurt the poor around the world. Here in America we complained a little about the price of flour going up, but in many places it literally meant people starving.

    There was a lot of speculation at that time about what was causing the high prices, as there were no major crop failures or anything. As detailed by this article it was almost entirely due to speculation.

    1. Paul Repstock

      I really would prefer to doubt that even ‘Goldman’ would do this intentionally. Within Goldman Sacs there are legions of moral people who would be generous if thery identified a need. The sad thing is that in our pursuit of profit both personal and corporate we do not see the whole picture of our actions. And this is the sort of thing which finally ends the notion of a “corporation as a person”. The corporation has no innate morality. Having been constructed without a soul, it cannot experience empathy, though I beleive perhaps there could be some evidence of experiencing pain?? A corporation is a construct whose sole aim is it’s own continuation. The second goal is growth. Only thirdly comes the enrichment of the corporations’ owners. There are no moral impediments to the pursuit of these goals. Any appearance of kindness or concern for others is merely window dressing to further these goals. There are cultural differences between various corporations which dictate the application of policies and these can make some corporations much less harmful than others. But a corporate entity cannot ever be equated with a human entity.

        1. dh

          Hoe poetic!

          “A corporation, after all, is not endowed by its creator with inalienable rights,” Justice Ginsburg said, evoking the Declaration of Independence.

          SCOTUS is also not well endowed…

      1. aet

        Don’t get carried away by a judicial metaphor, crafted to meet the exigencies of A case.
        A “corporation” is simply a nexus of legal obligations, and their reciprocal rights. With in every case human accessories acting as their agents to effect changes in the world of legal relations, and all that that implies.
        Nothing more.
        But, nothing less!

    2. Conor


      Don’t hold you breath anytime soon. Stories like these are just to hard for most people to even process in their minds let alone sink in. A couple of moments of “oh, this is just terrible, blah, blah, blah”, then it’s all forgotten and-on-to-the-next-thing. It’s just too easy to avert our eyes. Hey, the blog is called Naked Capitalism, not partially dressed pick-a-boo capitalism… Maybe, to your credit, you are here.

      There’s actually a word for this kind of activity: externalization. This relates to exactly to how BP conducts its business. IT IS THEIR BUSINESS MODEL! By cutting corners all over the place, outsourcing their responsibility to Halliburton and others, hiring lawyers and PR firms, etc. they’re externalizing their losses on to the poor sucky plebs. It’s all just part of doing business…. “And hey, you! You would look so attractive in that new whatever-consumer-thing-a-ma-bob you really don’t need”.

      And the whole thing is even worse than that! Because these Corporations are all so ill-defined, are colluding with each other and/or own the media outlets outright, they actually manipulate the news to take our eyes off the REAL stories… Well I could go on about this for awhile. I’m preaching to the choir anyway.

      But hey, I hear ya’.

  15. doc holiday

    Massive Taiwanese tugboat fails first PR Test

    Coast Guard has announced that the past two days of (hardcore) testing the Taiwanese super oil skimmer (top speed 18 mph), the “A Whale”, are inconclusive. The {(bogus) PR} tests are to determine just how (drinkable) clean the water is being processed by the ten-story, 1000+ foot long ship. TMT, the company which owns the “A Whale”, claims that the world’s largest oil skimmer can process some 500,000 barrels of oily water per day, and can save some 20,000 barrels of reclaimed oil.*

    Hmmm 500,000 / 20,000 … wow, imagine that super efficiency being used at 18 mph as this super massive PR stunt tries to suck in 500,000 gallons of water each and every day for about 2 decades, as it sweep an area the size of Texas ….. yeehaw.

    I think it’s time to start talking nukes again; let’s light ‘er up and get on with drilling; close this ‘un up and move ovah’ the next hole … phhft

    The U.S. Coast says that the past two days of testing are inconclusive due to the rough seas, a result from the recent storm, Hurricane Alex. Another lesser storm front moved in as well. The EPA requires that any water discharged from a ship into the sea have no more than 15 parts per million of containments. The Coast Guard will extend the testing two additional days.

    * Is that 20,000 barrels total over 2 decades or per day? Does anyone really know any details, or having any links that have proof? Huh?

    1. Paul Repstock

      Doc, I truly beg you pardon on this…But who the hell cares if it is only 20,000 barrels per day!!!
      That is orders of magnitude above what any of the other skimmers could gather.
      I was afraid this would happen when I read yesterday that the skimmer needed to be tested.
      This is nothing but an excuse to avoid using it. A perfect continuation of the refusal of offers to have other skimmers come in to work on the cleanup. I suppose if Halliburton or even Al Gore owned the ship, it would work just fine…DOH!!!!

      1. Paul Repstock

        LOL, extremely ludicrous that the skimmer ship is only allowed to discharge 15 ppm of contaminants is it’s process water. Where exactly, was that same Bush gutted EPA when the drilling regulations were thrown out oh the White House window???
        I find it amazing that the technology used is good enough to even achieve that degree of efficiency when processing 500,000 barrels per day of oil! I would have though it a miracle if the skimmer could have recovered 95% of the oil when processing those volumes.

        1. Doc Cruise Ship Holiday

          Coast Guard, EPA boost BP oversight

          1. The oil that’s spewed for 2 1/2 months from a blown-out well a mile under the sea hit the 140.6 million-gallon mark, eclipsing the 140-million-gallon Ixtoc I spill off Mexico’s coast from 1979 to 1980. Even by the lower end of the government’s estimates, at least 71.7 million gallons have spewed into the Gulf.

          2. Please note: Meanwhile Thursday, the House passed the first major bill related to the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion, voting to allow families of those killed and injured workers to be compensated far more generously than current law allows.

          Terry Dale, president and chief executive officer of the Cruise Lines International Association, wrote Florida lawmakers that his industry opposed the bill because it “makes sweeping changes in maritime law that affect all sectors of the maritime industry.”

          ==> Ok, now, back to the retarded EPA and the need for skimmer fantasy: 15 ppm of pollutants—a requirement of 99.9985% purity.

          I wonder if Terry Dale and the cruise ship lobby can prove that they dump pure waste water… let’s go see:

          There are more than 230 cruise ships operating world wide. Cruise ships are literally floating cities that provide some of the same services that small cities or towns provide to their citizens. These vessels can carry as many as 3,000 passengers and crew members, and often operate in pristine coastal waters. As the cruise ship industry continues to expand, there is an increasing concern about the environmental impacts of cruise ship discharges, including impacts to water quality.

          ==> These shithead lobby assholes need to tell the skimmer people how to get around discharge violations …

          I’m sure this is all just bullshit and that we can trust the cruise ship lobby, and this link is really old, so I’m sure they cleaned up the dog and pony show and have helped many EPA people have nice vacations, and obviously, the EPA under the Bush Admin, was a well respected organization, which was well funded, and not corrupt:


          The cruise industry has a legacy of polluting the seas. >From 1993 to 2003,
          cruise ships committed more than 300 acts of dumping oil, garbage,
          hazardous waste, sewage and graywater, violating air pollution laws,
          inflicting damage to coral reefs, and falsifying environmental records,
          paying more than $80 million (U.S.) in fines and restitution within U.S.
          coastal waters..

          Ok, let’s review … EPA has standards for oil skimmers and cruise ships and the the EPA is a well run lobby.

  16. Gawain's Ghost

    “Forgive me if I don’t shake hands. . . Oh, I’d forgotten that you were still here. You may go no.”

    At some point you become less bothersome and more boring. You’re past that point.

  17. ottawan

    Nice to see some material on the adverse effects of futures trading. There has been some discussion in mainstream North American media, but its always about oil. Bravo Independent.

    As for the morality of futures traders and their trades: if you’ve overly stretched the mental-gymnastics brain cells, that part of yer noggin takes over (I believe its called the “realpolitik cortex”). This is the reason these things happen. Once someone in the market starts gaining from the undesired activity, every one else does it too. Normalization occurs as the participants become accustomed and their minds self-insulate from the contamination of self-doubt.

    Notable classic cases include those cult-of-personality types in Russia, C Suite compensation advisors, the belligerents in every war, and economists.

    1. Paul Repstock

      Yur probably right ottawan. I was naive to even mention that I didn’t want to think the suffering was caused intentionally. The bottom line s that few of the traders would have lost a lot of sleep if they knew. Collateral damage and all that…just some wogs anyway..:(
      I trade, but I’m way too far down the food chain to influence anything beyond a few second window. This is yet another example of a good thing being perverted. Commodity trading ideally smooths out the extreme highs and lows. Speculators make market and supplies where there otherwise might be none. But, this only works if large entities like Government and Goldman are prevented from rigging the game.

  18. doc holiday

    The EPA study showed that the chemicals, when not mixed with oil, did not significantly disrupt the endocrine systems of marine life. But the agency has said it plans to conduct more tests of the toxicity of the dispersant when mixed with crude.
    Dispersants have been a key part of BP’s cleanup strategy. Since the beginning of the disaster, more than 1.6 million gallons of the dispersant Corexit 9500 alone have been injected into the Gulf.
    Critics say the chemicals could harm marine life. But the Coast Guard has said that dispersant use is “evaluated daily” and that it’s using the “safest and most effective methods available” to protect the sea environment.

    ==> To date, 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been skimmed from the Gulf’s surface.

    Ok, go back to the other tidbit:

    Re: “A Whale”, claims that the world’s largest oil skimmer can process some 500,000 barrels of oily water per day, and can save some 20,000 barrels of reclaimed oil.*’

    Hence, there have been 28.2 million gallons or about 63,000 barrels of oil-water recovery — related to the current info that 140.6 million-gallons of oil have been spilled — so, day 76 @ 140.6 million gallons, which seems like a flow rate of 1,850,000 gallons per day or 42,045 barrels per day…

    So, even if the super-dooper skimmer works out and can get around the purity mumbo-jumbo, as it moves around at 18 mph, in an area the size of Texas, it can only capture 1/2 the flow of the oil being spilled. However, to be fair, the skimmer can collect a shitload of water everyday as it hauls ass and spins in circles

    ==> Can someone check me out on this shit, my pacemaker battery is about dead…… zzzzzzz

    Whoa there … what about that EPA shit:

    Meanwhile, Environmental Protection Agency scientists were set to meet with the agency’s chief Saturday to discuss the chemicals BP is using to break up the oil slick. Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s briefing on dispersants in Gulf Breeze, Florida,
    The EPA study showed that the chemicals, when not mixed with oil, did not significantly disrupt the endocrine systems of marine life. But the agency has said it plans to conduct more tests of the toxicity of the dispersant when mixed with crude.

    ==> Thank God that there is not oil mixed with the dispersants — that would have really been a shitty situation, thank God that was never an issue …. whew!!!!

    1. Paul Repstock

      I think yur just a cantankerous and skeptical old fart. Thank God I’m not alone…:)

  19. Doc Holiday

    Best BP jokes

    “Scientists say they have developed a car that can run on water. The only catch is, the water has to come from the Gulf of Mexico.” — Jay Leno

    “Bad news, it’s going to be a huge environmental disaster, the oil rig down there in the Gulf of Mexico. The good news is they think now that the oil spill will be diluted by the melting ice caps.” —David Letterman

    “The president met with BP CEO Tony Hayward, and Obama was demanding that BP clean up the Gulf. And I’m thinking, good luck. They can’t even clean up their gas station restrooms.” —David Letterman

    “The oil spill is getting bad. There is so much oil and tar now in the Gulf of Mexico, Cubans can now walk to Miami.” –David Letterman

    “Scientists say they have developed a car that can run on water. The only catch is, the water has to come from the Gulf of Mexico.” -Jay Leno

    “This oil spill in the Gulf is affecting everybody. In fact, when I went to lunch this weekend and ordered the sea bass, they asked if I wanted it regular or unleaded.” —David Letterman

    “British Petroleum said today that if this spill gets worse, they may soon have to start drilling for water.” —Jay Leno

    .. This is almost as funny as the Whale A news…

  20. robert

    I’m somewhat puzzled by your recommendation of Duff’s musings. It’s an incoherent piece with a couple of half truths in it. Are you going to link to the Protocols next time?

Comments are closed.