Friday, July 30, 2010


An independent film producer whose fly-overs of the Gulf I've been watching throughout this disaster was recently contacted by a young man who wanted to use his footage in a music video the young man was producing. The film producer said yes and the video was made and posted on youtube.

Now, FOX news is claiming falsely that the video footage of the Gulf is theirs and is demanding that youtube take down the music video.

I've heard of this strategy being used by the fascists before. STOP THIS INFRINGEMENT ON PERSONAL EXPRESSION!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

U.S. GROSSLY Mismanages Iraqi Funds

A U.S. audit has found that the Pentagon basically lost over 95% of $9.1 billion in Iraqi reconstruction money.

THIS WAS IRAQI, NOT U.S., MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Iraqis EARNED this money from their OIL REVENUES.

The U.S. LOST 95% OF the Iraqi Oil Revenue.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

EPA Whistleblower Blasts BP Paid Scientists Who Say Oil Gone!

Kaufman is a senior EPA employee who has been a whistle blower for decades. He was recently on Democracy Now speaking about the dangers of dispersants for humans and marine life alike (see my previous post)

The excellent site Florida Oil Spill news has a brief clip of Kaufman stating that the oil is still present, but its dispersion and submersion are going to ensure its "around for decades."

Click here for a longer clip of Kaufman explaining how toxic the combined oil and dispersant mix is and how it causes cellular destruction. Kaufman claims the ONLY reason it was used was to HIDE THE OIL

The use of the dispersants are the exact same kind of cover and hide strategy employed by the banks with the change of mark-to-market accounting rules. And the bogus bank stress tests are like the bogus "all's clear" signals being conveyed by BP shills and local Gulf politicians who want to get the tourists in and the fisherman out to sea...

Excellent Analysis on BP' Strategy to Limit Liabilities

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This ABC article is OVERT PROPAGANDA. Oil need not be visible in water or sand to be toxic. See previous posts about independent testing of oil in the Gulf.

The ABC news piece does acknowledge the role of dispersants at the end of the story, but implies that the dispersants actually broke down and eliminated the oil.

What a bunch of crap. All the dispersants did was hide the oil. Indeed, there is some evidence that dispersants may actually kill the bacteria that feed upon oil.

I'm really getting sick and tired of being lied to by the press about every issue or phenomena that matters to our present and future as a functional, healthy society.

I suppose I should take this profound lack of transparency as a primary indicator of what is truly happening...

Breathing Toxic Vapors in the Gulf Video

Spewing Oil From Latest Drilling Debacle

Somehow a tugboat hit an oil platform??????????????? Oil and Gas spewing at least 20feet in the air in LA....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. Housing "Propaganda"

This article by Jeff Nielson provides a pessimistic but also unflinchingly honest look at the U.S. economy and its problems. Here are a few excerpts of his summary statements, generated from his analysis of housing and economic data:

"As I have regularly detailed in recent commentaries, any “big picture” view of the U.S. economy shows that it is not only once again “crashing” - but crashing from what was already the lowest level of economic performance in history. This is not another “Great Depression”, but a “Greater Depression” - which will obliterate the U.S. economy unless its so-called leaders stop focusing all their energies on trying to hide its problems, and use those energies to try to halt this precipitous collapse..."

"The U.S. economy has been totally hollowed-out by decades of plundering by the ultra-wealthy: somewhere in the vicinity of $15 trillion. I guarantee that if the U.S. government were to tax-back that $15 trillion (held by only 1% of the population) that all of the consequences of such a policy would be overwhelmingly positive..."

I disagree with Nielson's comments about the deficit (I don't think the U.S. faces default or bankruptcy) but almost always agree with his interpretation of data

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Deepwater Litigation Has Only Just Begun"

The story was linked at Florida Oil Spill News

I don't have access to the Insurance Insider article linked at top. This is what Florida Oil Spill News has to say about it:

Today, in a subscription-only article entitled ‘Deepwater litigation has only
just begun‘, the Insurance Insider discussed one of the many controversial
statements by George W. Bush energy adviser Matt Simmons: “There isn’t enough
money in the world to clean up the Gulf of Mexico,” said influential oil and gas
analyst Matthew Simmons in June…

Regarding Simmons’ statement, the
publication wrote, “[It's] a comment that now looks to have more foresight and
less hyperbole than originally intended.”

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BP Oil: Is There a 2nd Major Leak?

Matt Simmons has been saying for months that there is a second leak, coming not from the riser but from a large fracture in the ocean floor.

There is some evidence to support his claim about a second leak.

First, the Joint Analytics Group studying the BP disaster has found a very, very large 2nd methane leak southwest of the riser leak (the riser leak is what was capped).

View the report and go to the last pages where the "seeps" are graphed on maps of the ocean floor. The second violet-purple dot represents a second significant concentration of methane. There is likely to be oil where there is methane...

Second, a link to a real-time map of marine traffic graphs boats organized into 2 separate pods. One pod is southwest of the other. I have been monitoring this marine traffic for 3 days. This patter of 2 pods only broke up when the ships headed in because of the tropical storm. They are now back in the 2 pod formation at 3:20 pacific coast time Sunday.

The government has already been caught red-handed lying about this disaster as local television stations have documented using independent testing how unsafe purportedly safe beaches are (see my posts) and also as an EPA employee and whistle blower interviewed at Democracy Now testified about the dangers of corexit.

I do not believe this disaster is in any way yet contained. I am incredibly troubled by the lack of transparency and outright deception going on...

See Washington's Blog for an excellent discussion of Matt Simmons' claims
The post is titled: "Matthew Simmons: Lightning Rod for Gulf Oil Controversy

Toxic Legacy in Fallujah: SICKENING

America, winning friends and fans everywhere by launching all-out assaults against civilians while supporting Israel's similar efforts in Gaza.

This time someone with "scientific" credentials has gone in to survey the ongoing "collateral" damage.
Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009
Chris Busby 1,* , Malak Hamdan 2 and Entesar Ariabi. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2010, 7(7), 2828-2837.

Abstract: There have been anecdotal reports of increases in birth defects and cancer in Fallujah, Iraq blamed on the use of novel weapons (possibly including depleted uranium) in heavy Fighting which occurred in that town between US led forces and local elements in 2004. In Jan/Feb 2010 the authors organised a team of researchers who visited 711 houses in Fallujah,
Iraq and obtained responses to a questionnaire in Arabic on cancer, birth defects and infant mortality. The total population in the resulting sample was 4,843 persons with and overall
response rate was better than 60%.

Relative Risks for cancer were age-standardised and compared to rates in the
Middle East Cancer Registry (MECC, Garbiah Egypt) for 1999 and rates in
Jordan 1996–2001. Between Jan 2005 and the survey end date there were 62 cases of cancer alignancy reported (RR = 4.22; CI: 2.8, 6.6; p < rr =" 12.6;" rr =" 38.5;" rr =" 9.24;CI:" rr =" 9.7;CI:" rr =" 7.4;CI:">

Infant mortality was based on the mean birth rate over the 4 year period 2006–2009 with 1/6th added for cases reported in January and February 2010. There were 34 deaths in the age roup 0–1 in this period giving a rate of 80 deaths per 1,000 births. This may be compared with a rate of 19.8 in Egypt (RR = 4.2 p <>

Whilst the results seem to qualitatively support the existence of serious mutation-related health effects in Fallujah, owing to the structural problems associated with surveys of this kind, care should be exercised in interpreting the findings quantitatively.

also at Global Research

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rolling Stone: The Poisoning

This is a must read account of the most massive environmental disaster in American history. The chemicals from the oil and dispersants (Corexit) are going to poison people, animals, and plants alike. We are killing our future by poisoning ourselves and our environment:

Excerpt from this excellent essay from Jeff Goodell published on July 23, 2010:

"The Macondo Reservoir, which BP was tapping into when the blowout occurred, is estimated to hold up to 500 million barrels. The reservoir is not particularly large by industry standards: It contains about as much oil as Americans consume in a month. . . .

". . .As soon as oil began erupting out of BP's well and into the water, the compounds in the oil began to separate, some drifting up to the surface, others remaining near the bottom, where they will inevitably spread a toxic brew into the cellular structure of virtually every plant and animal in the Gulf, from microscopic plankton all the way up to sperm whales. Even worse, BP has responded to the disaster by pumping nearly 2 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the Gulf in an effort to break up the oil into smaller, camera-friendly slicks. The cleanup operation, in effect, has turned the Gulf into a vast science experiment, one whose consequences – untested and unforeseeable – are likely to haunt the planet for decades to come. . . ."

...One local resident tells me that he has it on good authority that BP is shredding sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins at sea, then bringing them to shore and disposing of their remains. Impossible to imagine. . ."

Why I'm Glad Cap and Trade Failed

Don't get me wrong, I'm for regulating greenhouse gasses. However, cap and trade is a scam. Here are a few excerpts from an essay I'm writing that addresses this scam:

From my essay:
Cap-and-trade represents a market-based environmental policy that is typically preferred by industry and financial speculators over a more direct penalty or tax for polluters (Weeks, 2010).

In 2008, Commissioner Bart Chilton from the US Commodities Future Trading Commission reported in The Financial Times that carbon might emerge as the world's biggest derivatives market by 2013 (Gettler, 2009). In 2009 estimates for the carbon market valued it between $2 trillion and $3.5 trillion (Gettler, 2009).

It is worth noting that carbon derivatives were invented in part by the same woman who helped invent credit default swaps, Blythe Masters (Kassenaar, 2009; Washington’s Blog, 2009). Gillian Tett (2009) explains in Fool’s Gold that Blythe Masters of J. P. Morgan arranged the first credit default swap in 1994 with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in order to insure a line of credit J.P. Morgan was opening to the Exxon in 1993, after Exxon was threatened with a $5 billion fine for the oil spill....

Banks such as J. P. Morgan plan on serving as intermediaries in the growing carbon trading market...

Recently, calls have been made to regulate the market because of the proliferation of carbon derivatives: “Carbon derivatives should be regulated to stop the proliferation of instruments with the potential to wreak a subprime-style crisis, the head of chemicals group DSM said on Wednesday” (Hirschler, 2010 The Chief Executive of DSM was quoted as stating:
"There are now already in development derivatives of CO2 prices that are so
complicated that I do not understand it any more," he said. "If you get a
reservoir of derivatives which becomes so big that it becomes an industry in
itself that is very dangerous because you can get the tail wagging the dog.
(cited in Hirschler, 2010)
This concern that trading in carbon derivatives might drive the carbon market and eclipse the stated goal of reducing carbon emissions is widespread. The U.S. based environmental group, Friends of the Earth in 2009 released a report, Subprime Carbon, emphasizing the dangers of the market-based cap-and-trade system.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

EPA Lies about Water and Air Safety Exposed

I would also like to draw attention to Washington's blog today, which notes that an upcoming hurricane may create problems for the well head. The well is going to remain capped. This could pose problems during a hurricane.

It is clear that some amounts of oil and methane are indeed leaking from the ocean floor. The question is how much fluid and gas are leaking?

Chris Landau, a scientist, provides one account.

Matt Simmons provides another account. Simmons latest comments can be found at zero hedge.

BP has been forced to acknowledge some leaks but denies the degree of leakage argued by Landau and Simmons.

A hurricane may provide horrific evidence supporting Landau's and/or Simmons claims.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WSJ: "International Call to (Buy) Arms"

Today's WSJ discusses the economic prospects of US (off)defense related companies. Some tidbits in the article.

The US Pentagon budget has doubled in the last decade to $700 billion.

Projected cuts in spending on military hardware are prompting US (off)defense companies to look to export their goods.

Boeing Co hopes to expand overseas military sales to 25% of its defense revenue over the next 5 years

The US is one of the world's biggest arms pushers (maybe the biggest). We export machinery of death and products of debt (via Wall Street).

Winning hearts and minds one step at a time...

Video: ROV Driving Through Clouds of Gas and Oil

This is a youtube clip of bubbles and cloudy material erupting from the sea floor.

The LA Times-Picayune reports that Dr. Robert Bea, the expert from UC Berkeley who is on the study group for this disaster, claims there were no underwater seeps before the blowout in this vicinity.

Washington's Blog has a good discussion of the article

At issue in all this debate about leaks and seeps is the structural integrity of the well head. If the well head is damaged (at or below the sea floor), the cap currently in place could force oil and gas out through the bottom of the sea floor, worsening the situation and further damaging the well head.

Matt Simmons claims that the sea floor was ruptured at the time of the disaster and the well casing destroyed.

If he is correct, the situation is worse than publicly acknowledged.

However, there has been no independent confirmation of his claims.

See previous post for link to audio interview with Simmons at King World News.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

UC Berkeley's Deepwater Horizon Study Group Report

The testimony of Dr. Robert Bea is available in a strongly worded pdf report. Here are a few of his conclusions:

"I believe the Deepwater Horizon failure developed due to:• improper cement design (segmented discontinuous cement sheath)

• flawed Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA / QC) – no cement bond logs, ineffective oversight of operations

• bad decision making – removing the pressure barrier – displacing the drilling mud with sea water 8,000 feet below the drill deck

• loss of situational awareness – early warning signs not properly detected, analyzed or corrected (repeated major gas kicks, lost drilling tools, including evidence of damaged parts of the Blow Out Preventer [BOP] during drilling and/or cementing, lost circulation, changes in mud volume and drill string weight)

• improper operating procedures – premature off-loading of the drilling mud (weight material not available at critical time)

• flawed design and maintenance of the final line of defense – including the shear rams of the Blow Out Preventer (BOP).

• improper well design (configuration of well tubulars etc...

Furthermore, Dr. Bea believes the response effort has been lacking, to say the least. Here are his comments:

"My analysis of the facts developed to date show that BP PLC and the DOI MMS did not develop or implement effective measures for:

• well control after loss of containment – blowout

• capturing the loss of control materials (gases, oil, water)

• clean-up of the loss of control materials in the open ocean (booms, skimmers, burning, dispersants)"

The report indicates gross mis-management and almost nefarious behavior on the part of BP

When a Government Does Not Protect Public Safety... There is no Gulf Safety

The U.S. is NOT a democracy.

This is a basic fact, a basic truth.

While not all governments that protect public safety are democratic, the inverse is most certainly true: authentic democracies protect public safety.

Arguing syllogistically we can see clearly that our government is not democratic.

Why? Our government does not protect public safety.

This assertion is proved by 3 established facts:

1. As revealed in a previous post, the government is not warning people away from beaches and coastal waters contaminated by toxic levels of petro-chemicals.

2. As revealed by network news, the government's efforts to screen fish caught commercially and headed for public consumption is limited to "taste tests" and includes no laboratory analysis of petro-chemicals or dispersant contamination.

3. Most recently, whistle blowers within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have alerted the public to the EPA's unwillingness to evaluate the health hazards of dispersants used in the Gulf. An excellent article on the EPA's obscene lack of concern for public safety can be found here at Mother Jones:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tipping Points: What if Climate Change is Abrupt?

Methane released by thawing tundra and Arctic seeps may create a self-reinforcing feedback cycle that could result in abrupt climate change. This has happened in the past, as evidenced geologically.

An article at Common Dreams by Gary Houser explores this frightening idea

Humans expect the future to resemble the immediate past. What if it doesn't?

Here is an excerpt:

"Those who follow this issue likely have familiarity with the concept of "tipping points". This innocuous-sounding phrase does not do justice to its vast meaning. It refers to the crossing of a line whereby tremendous natural forces are unleashed and an unstoppable rush of interlocking climate disruptions wreak havoc on the earth and its fragile web of life-supporting ecosystems. Once set in motion, it cannot be predicted how far the devastation would extend. Geological records have linked a severe climate shift with the "Great Extinction" event which wiped out a ghastly 90% of all life forms on the planet. "

Majia here: I do not know how imminent this threat is; however, after the handling of the disaster wrought by Katrina and now the Gulf also, I am confident that our government will not act to protect the people or the long term viability of the nation.

The biggest threat from climate change is FOOD SCARCITY. Our food supply chains are very vulnerable. Already, global food demand risks outstripping supply. Any vulnerabilities in our food supply chains will result in food shortages.

Any abrupt climate change--up or down in temperatures--will compromise our food supply. This is a real threat and our government appears to be doing nothing to address it.

Genocide: We are Responsible!

Unfolding Gulf Drama

What is going on in the Gulf?

Several things are clear.

First, methane gas is escaping from the sea floor.

Second, oil is seeping from the sea floor.

Third, the implications of these facts are being obscured by BP and the government.

Here are some links that help bring interested readers up to date.

First, if you are interested in viewing a CNN video clip featuring an expert discuss the methane links click here

Interestingly, I could not find this CNN video at CNN. It is available at youtube though. I have no idea why it was taken down.

Second, if you are interested in a discussion of the implications of the methane and oil leaks, read here:

Finally, if you are interested in a discussion of how this entire drama is unfolding see the following two links

If you are wondering why this all matters, see the Matt Simmons video at Kings World News I posted previously.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oil Not Contained: "Seeps" Detected

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen has stated in a letter to BP of concerns about 'seeps' being detected from the ocean floor. This is the first official confirmation that I am aware of that oil is coming from places other than the rise.

This evidence is supportive of Matt Simmons position (see link in post below)

The letter by Allen can be found at the Oil Drum with discussion of its implications

Additional information can be found at Washington's blog, which has also reported information about the "seep"

I found a comment made at the Oil Drum discussion of interest. here it is:
Comment from Levi: "Amazing. I do NOT think that the Thad's "seep" is newly discovered. It's been my contention and belief for months now that BP (and the Govt.) have known since at least June 5th that there is a vent "some distance" from the well site.

That capping the well was a "test" should, thus, be no surprise. Nor should Adm. Allen maintaining that the test would end and "production" resume -- because he knew that there was a leak and it was only a question of how much (more) it would flow if the well was capped. I think Thad, by publicly declaring that a seep has been "detected" (note: he didn't say when it was detected) is calling BP's bluff (or gamble) that shutting the well head will make everything OK, politically, until the relief well(s) execute a successful bottom kill. BP is/was betting that the government has enough reasons to keep existence of said seep from public view.

How far away is Thad's seep? Dunno, but I'll bet that the one that truly matters is about 1.8 miles SSW of the Macondo 252-A site, at a depth of approximately 5770 feet. Because that's where ROV boats like Viking Poseidon and Ocean Intervention were going in early June.

Independent Testing of Gulf Water in Alabama

WKRG, a television station in Alabama, conducted independent testing of the Gulf water in their state across a variety of locations.

The blog site, Clean the Gulf Now, has the story as an embedded link.

Clean the Gulf Now reports that 11 parts per million of oil is considered toxic, while 2.61 parts per million of Corexit is considered toxic.

WKRG's samples all showed readings in the toxic level, ranging from 16 ppm to 221 ppm

Tragically, one child was playing in water at Orange Beach that registered 221 ppm

The sand at beaches registered 211 parts per millions.

The Dolphin Island Marina water sample exploded when the chemist added an organic solvent in the process of measuring oil levels. The chemist felt that methanol, methane, or corexit was responsible. The station WKRG is going to run another sample of that water to find out what is in it that caused the explosion.


It is difficult for me to accept that the money earned from tourism is more important than long term medical costs and human suffering that could stem from exposure to toxic chemicals, especially by children!!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Need to Hear Interview

I realize that the authenticity of Matt Simmons' remarks have not been established. However, this interview is cogent, lucid, and raises a number of significant concerns.

I believe it should be listened to and that scientific and government authorities should be evaluating the claims made here.


here is another interview with Matt Simmons in which he says the relief well will not work, that there is a gaping hole on the floor of the ocean spewing oil, and that BP has lied, and lied, and lied, and lied...
The truth of his claims will be evidenced across time...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Academic Shills???????????????

Alexander Higgins blog spot today alerted me to an article published in the Alabama press

The headline reads:

"BP buys up Gulf scientists for legal defense, roiling academic community" by Ben Raines July 16
Here is an excerpt:

"For the last few weeks, BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation.

BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company's lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research.

The Press-Register obtained a copy of a contract offered to scientists by BP. It prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.

"We told them there was no way we would agree to any kind of restrictions on the data we collect. It was pretty clear we wouldn't be hearing from them again after that," said Bob Shipp, head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama. "We didn't like the perception of the university representing BP in any fashion."

Majia Here: This is outrageous. Any academic or scientist who agrees to hide (i.e., not publish) findings is a shill and deserves to be severely sanctioned by the broader academic community.

Science is NOT science when it is clouded with secrecy.

Scientists who agree to hide findings for money bring to mind the Nazi scientists who conducted unspeakable "research" on human subjects.

Although I am not establish a clear equation between the 2 groups, there is a slippery slope seperating them...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Toxic Dispersants in Gulf Harming All Forms of Life

Excellent Article!

Here is another, more technical, analysis of how oil degradation is impacted by dispersants and their potential effects posted at the Oil Drum:
In the quote below, the author, Dr. Stephen Humphrey, is discussing a report analyzing the effectiveness and effects of dispersants. He points out that the toxicity of dispersants for marine life has not been studied:

"The report identified several critical knowledge gaps, including toxicity to particular organisms from exposure to dispersed oil, the final fate of chemically dispersed oil, and the effectiveness of dispersants for different oil types and environmental conditions. One key finding was: “The mechanisms of both acute and sublethal toxicity from exposure to dispersed oil are not sufficiently understood. Recent studies in the literature suggest that toxicity from physically and chemically dispersed oil appears to be primarily associated with the additive effects of various dissolved-phase polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) with additional contributions from heterocyclic (N, S, and O) containing polycyclic aromatic compounds. Additional toxicity may be coming from the particulate, or oil droplet, phase, but a particular concern stems from potential synergistic effects of exposure to dissolved components in combination with chemically dispersed oil droplets.”


HOWEVER...Dr Humphrey makes a good point when he concludes:

"It’s remarkable to me how much people have discussed toxicity of dispersants, and how little people have discussed the toxicity of crude oil, which is high for people and many other organisms. We definitely need to learn whether dispersant allows the oil to degrade fast enough and in large enough quantities to offset damage done by spreading the oil through more of the environment for longer. But we also need a comparable public discussion of the toxicity of the oil to people, to habitats and animals along the shore, and to the myriad creatures of the Gulf of Mexico."

Economic Stability and Wage Equity

Wage equity does NOT mean that everyone makes the same amount of money.

Rather, the point here is that our economy has become as unequal as Mexico's and gross inequality stifles aggregrate demand and produces economic havoc. This is why Robert Reich has been arguing so strenuously about the need for greater economic rewards for the bottom, because the bottom 80% of the population (!) has been losing out for 30 or so years now.

Robert Reich: "It's All About the Wages -- Our Economy Would Be Fine If Everyone Made Their Fair Share"
When virtually all the gains from growth go to a small minority at the top, the result is deep-seated anxiety and frustration.

Missing from almost all discussion of America's dizzying rate of unemployment is the brute fact that hourly wages of people with jobs have been dropping, adjusted for inflation. Average weekly earnings rose a bit this spring only because the typical worker put in more hours, but June's decline in average hours pushed weekly paychecks down at an annualized rate of 4.5 percent."

Majia Here: America simply cannot prosper if the top 20% of the populace get richer while the bottom 80% get poorer.

Now, I understand that the entire population may need to "downsize" expectations because our past rate of consumption was simply unsustainable. However, when approximately 1/8 the of our population is eligible for food stamps, it is time to reconsider allowing the "market" to solve all of our problems, particularly unemployment.

Unfortunately, due to "regulatory capture" our government is not responding to the pressing needs for economic and energy reforms....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bernanke a Follower of Friedman, NOT Keynes

Dean Baker: The IMF is Coming for Your Social Security
Dean Baker writes in this column that the IMF is stressing U.S. deficit reduction and has identified social security as the place to start cutting.

Baker's article notes why the IMF is full of crap.

I have written quite a bit about the dangers of "austerity." The IMF austerity program is a proven recipe for disaster. Cutting social security will pummel aggregate demand and will, in the end, exacerbate deficits, rather than improving them.

Additionally, the U.S. deficit does not "crowd out" savings because the US is the world currency reserve.

The IMF is for all intents and purposes a kind of "terrorist" organization that has wrecked havoc upon nations. The U.S. would be unwise to follow its advice...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Robert Reich: We're In a Recession Because the Rich are Raking in an Abusrd Portion of the Wealth

Reich argues:
"Our economy can't thrive when the richest 1% get an ever larger share of the nation's income and wealth, and everyone else's share shrinks..."

Inequality and lack of opportunity are tremendous problems that do stifle economic development.

I am really getting tired of reading the elitist rants of zero hedge commentators regarding Keynesian policies or programs.

The people who launch into these anti-Keynesian diatribes really don't know what they are talking about.

I am not condoning the US military spending or the poorly targetted Obama stimulus plans.

Rather, the point I'm making is that Keyensian demand is not simply about government spending. The point of the Keynesian system is to temper capitalism's recurring crises (a.k.a. the "business cycle") and to ensure a more equitable distribution of societal rewards than would occur with unregulated markets (because markets tend toward monopolies and corruption).

Neoliberal apologists ought to take a look at historical accounts of 19th century and early 20th century labor conditions.

Keynesianism (and LABOR UNIONS) TRANSFORMED western Europe and the U.S. into nations with thriving middle classes until neoliberal attacks against labor and regulation wrought the conditions for our current recession.

I personally believe that Keynesianism has problems as a governing policy and is unable to address many of capitalism's contradictions. However, the laissez-faire policies advocated by the zero hedge and mish fans of the world are guaranteed to reduce US living conditions to those found in grossly unequal nations like Mexico.

Corexit Sprayed by BP Poisoning Water and Air?

The first link is to a video interview with Dr. Chris Pincetich, a marine biologist.

Dr. Pincetich explains the limitations of EPA toxicity testing and its implications for corexit. For instance, he states that EPA testing for mortality requires a 96 hour time frame. His doctoral research found fish alive at 96 hours after exposure to pesticide were dead at two weeks. His research demonstrates that EPA safety testing is a farce and that corexit use in the Gulf is a scary experiment.

The second link is of independent water testing of Gulf water.

The results, if accurate, are very, very scary.

Alexander Higgins blog spot discusses the results of the independent water testing here


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Hobos and Welfare for America's Rich

Child Poverty Up to 22% in 2010
This is a significant increase. The counter punch article by DiMaggio does not give the near poverty rate, but it was an additional 20% prior to the recession beginning.

Here is another report.

Child Poverty is a major theme in my latest book, Governing Childhood into the 21st Century...

The plight of poor children has been exacerbated negatively by dramatic cuts in public programs by states, counties, cities, and school districts. For instance, the state of AZ discontinued enrolling children in its Kids Care health care program.
"KidsCare, Arizona's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage for children whose families have income between 100% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($22,000 to $44,000 for a family of four), is being eliminated as of June 15, 2010. Although many states are having fiscal difficulties, Arizona is the first state to eliminate a CHIP program..."

Welcome to the disaster capitalism of the 21st century...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Damaged Crops and BP Release

Perhaps you've heard about plants damaged in crops and gardens throughout the Southeastern U.S.?

While some commentators believe gasses released with the BP oil disaster are to blame, another source may play a role in the damage.

ProPublica reports that a Texas BP refinery had a huge toxin release immediately prior to the Gulf disaster.

ProPublica reports that "tens of thousands" of pounds of toxins were accidently released:

"The company now estimates that 538,000 pounds of chemicals escaped from the refinery while it was replacing the equipment. These included 17,000 pounds of benzene, a known carcinogen; 37,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to respiratory problems; and 186,000 pounds of carbon monoxide..."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Will the People in the Gulf Understand the Dual Betrayals?

The people in the Gulf region (and the nation) have been betrayed by BP, which cut corners for money and then knowingly used toxic dispersants in the ocean. The people in the Gulf region who are "volunteer" workers are being betrayed by BP, which is not warning them of, or protecting them from, the dangers of oil and chemical contamination.

The people in the Gulf region and the nation have been betrayed by their government. The U.S. government is failing to protect workers, protect civilians, and failing to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The media ban (see previous post) is a betrayal on 2 counts. It not only violates the important role of media in promoting transparency and accountability, but also signifies secrecy, a desire to hide, to elude discovery. This desire for secrecy is fundamentally antithetical to democracy.

What is it that BP and the U.S. Government want to hide? What is it that they do not want the public to know?

The US public are being betrayed by a government intent on secrecy. There is something to hide. What is it? What is being hidden is actually in plain sight. It is that our government is not transparent, it is not democratic, it is not accountable, and it is not concerned with the welfare of the populace.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Its the 4th of July and the First Amendment is Under Assault

First the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were the type of legal persons that can spend any amount deemed necessary to (manipulate)influence elections

Then the Supreme Court ruled that the government can rightfully declare any entity terrorist in nature and then can prosecute any individual who has any contact with that entity or that communicates about them in a way that can be perceived as beneficial to that entity.

Now the Obama Administration has allowed the Coast Guard and BP to ban the media from flying over, or coming within 65 feet, of any oil soaked areas or animals or workers. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is going on here????????????????????????????????????????

I already sent my outraged email to the White House and plan on following up with all my congress people. I hope that everyone who reads this does the same....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oil Lake Deep in Ocean Purportedly Covers Up to 40% of Gulf

Matthew Simmons claims the following:
1. There is "no casing" left on the well. Consequently, relief well will not work.

2. At least 120,000 barrels a day are being released and will continue to be released until the well is some how sealed

3. The Jefferson research vessel has found deep in the water a kind of lake of thick oil that is potentially covering 40% of the Gulf of Mexico

One can only hope this is not all true....

Here is a link on BP's outrageous efforts to "hide" oil by dumping clean sand to cover oil soaked beaches

Christian Science Monitor:
"After Gulf swimmers report illness, questions about opening a beach
Hundreds of beachgoers told health officials they felt unwell after swimming last week at oil spill-affected Pensacola Beach, Fla. Scientists cite many unknowns about the safety of swimming and working around the spill..."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Zero Hedge Reports that BP's Liabilities May Produce Lehman Like Financial Disaster

Here is an exerpt from the article:

"As horrific as the gulf environmental catastrophe is, an even more intractable and cataclysmic disaster may be looming. The yet unknowable costs associated with clean-up, litigation and compensation damages due to arguably the world’s worst environmental tragedy, may be in the process of triggering a credit event by British Petroleum (BP) that will be equally devastating to global over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The potential contagion may eventually show that Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns were simply early warning signals of the devastation lurking and continuing to grow unchecked in the $615T OTC Derivatives market..."


The Pew Research Center has a report chronicling the financial devestation of the American people.
55% of Americans lost hours, jobs, or pay during the great recession.
32% of Americans suffered unemployment.
Americans lost approximately 20% of their wealth.

Yet, the WSJ reports today that 34% of Americans enthusiastically support deficit reduction.

While the WSJ fails to explicate how these 34% of Americans propose cutting the deficit, the usual target for cuts is social spending, particularly social security and health care (see McKinnon "Defict Panel Stresses Spending Cuts, WSJ, A6).

So, impoverished Americans will also lose retirement and medical support.

Welcome to America Remade as an Impoverished Third World Nation populated by Americans who must work until they drop dead on the job and who will be denied basic health care.

I'm not against deficit cuts. However, I believe those cuts should be in the form of cuts to military spending, cuts to militarialized foreign aid (for example, cuts in military aid to Israel), and cuts to wasteful programs such as the "War on Drugs" that funnel funds and weapons to paramilitary forces abroad (in Columbia) and in the US (i.e., to Blackwater, now Xi) while US banks launder hundreds of billions in drug money.

Cuts to social spending preserve the wealth of elites while exacerbating America's declining health, education, and economic development.

Social austerity is CLASS WAR being waged by the World's Elite upon the vast majority of the world's populace.