May 312010

No, not that bank.  Money is a man-made creation, something that we’re always going to be able to create as long as we continue to exist.

The world bank is our planet and the oceans that support it.  The risk is real and it is extreme (and getting worse).  Watch this video — remember how incredibly important it is to have healthy oceans.  For food, for oxygen, for life.

May 312010

Send in by Sara (thanks!)

While the Gulf is getting all the attention, mostly because this disaster is happening in “our backyard”, Shell Oil has been polluting Nigeria on a scale that is just as unimaginable — even potentially arger then the Gulf disaster (although that’s changing rapidly as new facts and figures are released).

The farther we travelled, the more nauseous it became. Soon we were swimming in pools of light Nigerian crude, the best-quality oil in the world. One of the many hundreds of 40-year-old pipelines that crisscross the Niger delta had corroded and spewed oil for several months.

Forest and farmland were now covered in a sheen of greasy oil. Drinking wells were polluted and people were distraught. No one knew how much oil had leaked. “We lost our nets, huts and fishing pots,” said Chief Promise, village leader of Otuegwe and our guide. “This is where we fished and farmed. We have lost our forest. We told Shell of the spill within days, but they did nothing for six months.” Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill

Oil companies do not value our life; they want us to all die. In the past two years, we have experienced 10 oil spills and fishermen can no longer sustain their families. It is not tolerable.“

“If this Gulf accident had happened in Nigeria, neither the government nor the company would have paid much attention,” said the writer Ben Ikari, a member of the Ogoni people. “This kind of spill happens all the time in the delta.”

Here are some figures:

300 spills per year.  Millions of gallons have polluted forest, waterways, swamps, farmland, aquifers. Life expectancy in its rural communities, half of which have no access to clean water, has fallen to little more than 40 years over the past two generations.  More then 7,000 spills have occurred, 2,000 of them classified as “major”.  More then 1,000 cases have been filed against Shell alone.

Where is all this oil headed?  40% is going to the United States.

“The oil companies just ignore it. The lawmakers do not care and people must live with pollution daily. The situation is now worse than it was 30 years ago. Nothing is changing. When I see the efforts that are being made in the US I feel a great sense of sadness at the double standards. What they do in the US or in Europe is very different.”

“We see frantic efforts being made to stop the spill in the US,” said Nnimo Bassey, Nigerian head of Friends of the Earth International. “But in Nigeria, oil companies largely ignore their spills, cover them up and destroy people’s livelihood and environments. The Gulf spill can be seen as a metaphor for what is happening daily in the oilfields of Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

“This has gone on for 50 years in Nigeria. People depend completely on the environment for their drinking water and farming and fishing. They are amazed that the president of the US can be making speeches daily, because in Nigeria people there would not hear a whimper,” he said.

Ride a bike.  Park your car and walk.  I stopped driving many years ago now (really).  Stay home.  Stop supporting these greedy monsters (almost $5 billion in quarterly profits this year alone).  BP “earned” (stole) $5.56 billion this past quarter.
It’s evident we’re going to drown in our own pollution, or help cause someone else to drown in it  someplace else due to our connedsumption (or go bankrupt or lose their home or get sick and die).

We are making this possible by continuing our hostage-support to these monsters.

Is it really that simple?  Yes.  We still have the choice to stop helping them.  It’s ridiculous to think we can “stop them” when we can’t even stop ourselves.

May 312010

When you look at this, remember the post here from a couple of days back of Greenland ice loss also:

The big Arctic news remains the staggering decline in multiyear ice and hence ice volume.  If we get near the Arctic’s sea ice area (or extent) seen in recent years this summer, then this may well mean record low ice volume the fourth straight year of low volume.  And the latest extent data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center suggests we will: Arctic poised for record low ice

May 312010

This is a massacre — at least 19 air workers were butchered on a humanitarian ship seeking to delivery supplies to the Gaza.

This video is alleged to show Israeli commandos “attacked”:

Much more here: Israeli Forces Kill 19 Peace Activists (worth reading).

And more here: Israel Attacks Gaza aid fleet  –  Israel Butchery At Sea

Live video (looped video, live narration I think) – listen carefully to the voices — “stop resisting, they are using live ammunition”, etc.

Nothing polarizes people more then the Israeli / Palestine conflict.  I’ve seen recent posts elsewhere (before this attack happened, a few days back) that “Israel should simply kill everyone on board” since anyone trying to deliver aid was “in defiance of Israel”.

There is no nation on Earth that has the right to dictate such terms to anyone, anywhere for any reason.  The ship was flying a Turkish flag and in international waters, but was boarded anyway with armed men.  A melee ensued and aid workers were shot and killed.

There was no need nor any possible justification to board the ships anyway, certainly not in international waters as they posed no threat, no risk, nothing.   But this is not without precedent – former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s ship was attacked in 2008 — also carrying aid.

This latest atrocity might have legs to it — meaning that we may see some serious political / regional fallout / action take place.  Maybe.

Update: Steve Lendman – Brave Israeli Commandoes Slaughter Aid Activists At Sea

May 302010

More propaganda (lies) – Americans Stressed Out

I’m sure we are — but the figures cited aren’t even remotely true.  This is how disinformation is spread however, pass it off as ‘news’.  Swallow this hook, line and sinker — it’s not that bad
Greece just might give up the euro.  Big ramifications if they do.

Israel stations nuclear subs off Iran – remember those nukes Israel won’t confess to?  Some of them are floating right now.

UN Calls Upon Israel to Join Non-Proliferation Treaty – and the Israelis are FURIOUS.  Somebody forget to send Obama his monthly payment.

Scanning Your Eyeballs for ‘Non-Cooperative’ – What will these monster think of next?

Oops, spoke too soon:

Air Force Secret PsyOps Plane “Name a recent U.S. military operation, and you can pretty much guarantee that a specially modified Air Force plane was somewhere in the vicinity, trying to influencing the minds of the people below. It’s called the Commando Solo.

Holy shit.  What are they doing in “off-frequencies” (mind control, subliminal messaging and such like?).

This crap just never stops. Ahem, remember, we’re the good guys, and they’re protecting us….

May 302010

Attention: This is a GRAPHIC post with pictures.  Do not read if you are easily offended or disturbed.

This Memorial Day, we are encouraged to remember the fallen soldier.  Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday, accompanied by remembrance, booze and plenty of partying. Some Americans will visit the endless graves of the departed, but most Americans don’t seem to bother.

Many years ago, when I was very young, I would go sit in the cemetery on occasion, sometimes on Memorial Day, and ponder the fate and the lives of those who now rest in the ground.  It was very easy for me to be moved to tears even then, because as young as I was, the senseless waste of it all wasn’t lost on me.

Many years have now passed, and I’ve grown much older, but I still feel the same sense of loss and waste when this day comes.  During the Bush years, and now under Obama, this sense of loss has only worsened, as more lives are tossed away in the never-ending delusion of “freedom” through endless death and destruction.

It takes a lot of propaganda and brainwashing to keep people ignorant of all this, but it still works (and works well).  Only recently I received a note from someone who declared that “our brave soldiers were defending the Constitution”.  Accompanying this mindless dribble was a picture of troops in a U.S. jet flying over “enemy territory”.  This is pure bullshit of course, but part of the brainwashed propaganda accepted by so many.

Since the U.S. Constitution only applies to U.S. citizens, and to the laws and freedoms we have here in this country, then engaging in endless warfare in foreign lands has absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution and never has.  I also received a diatribe from a friend who has very strong feeling about this nonsense as he calls it, freedom in America begins here, on this soil, and ends here, where our laws and our Constitution actually apply, and no place else.  This is also true for people who claim we are “defending America” by engaging in (endless) wars overseas.  Anyplace else is just the defense of Empire and American business interests.  I agree.

But for some reason, these simple facts are lost in the mix of emotions and patriotic flag-waving.  The body count rises daily, all over the world by our aggression and the real reasons for all this senseless slaughter are never seriously questioned.

We would not even have a Memorial Day if the United States did not engage in one senseless war after another. Therefore, the real meaning of Memorial Day is found in its victims, and why there is a Memorial Day.  Let us remember the real reasons, the real sacrifices and the real causes and meanings behind Memorial Day — and let us stop pretending that any of this is “necessary”, “good” or even “required” for American freedom. Continue reading »

May 302010

I have no idea how many people read this blog anymore, so sort of feel like I’m swinging into the wind (again).  But here are a few important news bits for your information:

Top Kill has failed.  Early reports state the LMRP effort has also failed (this was their backup plan).

At this time, it appears that a relief well is the only “real” option (which isn’t guaranteed to work either).  And that is months away from completion.  And unbelievably, they’re only now going to do one relief well, instead of two.

BP is doing a lot of “damage control” (public relations) to try and spin this out and play it down on how bad things are.  And how big things really are, the sheer size of this oily monstrosity is mind-boggling.

Essentially, this means the Gulf will continue to spew crude in million barrel figures (per day, per week, take your pick).  There are also claims by Matt Simmons that another fissure 5 – 7 miles away has opened up, spewing even more crude into the Gulf.  This claim is unsubstantiated by NOAA (so far).  A websearch does not (yet) turn up any evidence (published data) on this claim.

However, this is what could have happened according to one theory:

There was a lost circulation zone above the high-pressure formation (we know this to be true already).  Oil could be migrating through a friable shallow section and then upwards through a salt weld or natural fault in the seafloor.  Killing the wellhead will not fix this potential second leak.

It is also possible, that the well casing was or is fractured, or leaking badly at some distance below seafloor.  This could have occurred at anytime during drilling, or as a result of the accident.  When the BOP (blow out preventor) partially closed, the BOP or debris restricted oil flow, creating backpressure (these are already known facts by the way).  This backpressure could have forced gas and oil into the leaky area under the seafloor.  This could flow subsurface and come up a few miles away as a massive “seep”.

This seep is alleged to be larger then the known losses at the BOP (well head).

This, if true, would be very, very significant, but I’d hold this one close to your chest and not get too excited just yet. Time will tell us all if there is actual evidence of this (it is being considered).

But the (known) high-porosity of the salt layers in this region are quite troubling (over 30% in some cases), as are the “horizontal velocities of salt movement to the south are in the several cm/year range, making this supposedly passive margin as tectonically active as most plate boundaries“.

As it is, the scale and significance of this disaster are unimaginable already.  The Gulf will be absolutely ‘destroyed’ for fisheries, marshlands, even recreation.  We have not yet even seen the effects of all this yet as it is much too early.  There are huge pools of oil washing around out there, coating the sea floor and invading the water column, eventually this stuff will come ashore in measures far, far beyond what we’ve already seen.

Prices on fuel, transportation, food, shipping, products will rise in response to the deep water drilling moratorium, but this is just the beginning. The oil companies will once again, gouge the connedsumers at first opportunity.

I think it is quite reasonable to expect a major impact on the “American way of life”.  Since this is in reality, a national disaster with global implications, the social / environmental / economic and political consequences will be felt around the world.

Update: BP’s Photo Blockade Denies Reporters Access

Pay close attention here, they’re seeking to control the information flow / “leaks” (pun intended) to put the proper spin on all this.  We’re already past the point where BP should be forcibly removed from the crime scene and held fully accountable for their inactions.

May 292010

The Triumph of Hope Over Reason

The human tendency to cling to hope in times of crisis, in times of need, and in times of pain is very real, an integral part of the human experience.  In these times, hope is our refuge, the safety net for the fragile minds and dreams of humankind.

But hope lives on in other times too, in times of peace, in times of prosperity and in times of abundance.  Hope dreams, hope imagines, hope seeks genesis in our daily reality.  Hope is essential for sanity, although ethereal and intangible, hope remains still real to us, essential and an important part of who we are.  Without hope, we have ‘nothing’, and with hope, we find that all things are indeed possible.

However, the triumph of hope over reason is just as real and just as deadly as no hope at all.

Also known as the triumph of hope over experience, the triumph of hope over reason is a flawed reality, an illusion of our own creation, one which impolitely ignores experience, facts, and history. 

I call these reason.  Coupled with wisdom, reason relies upon our experience and that of others, the actual known facts and those that we can reasonably project with wisdom, and all the known history.  With these elements at our disposal, we can accurately assess our hopes — if we are reasonable men and woman, and estimate whether or not our hope is real or illusionary.

But we often don’t.  Instead, we desperately cling to our illusions.

Hope triumphs but briefly in these situations, momentarily alive with promise, but then compressed by reality.  Hope flares with bright with ripening promise, but once served, decays quickly.  Hopes half-life can be nearly instantaneous, as facts, knowledge and information extinguishes the bright, but temporary glare of (false) hope that is not based upon intelligent reasoning.

On politicians – hope gently encourages us that this time it will be different, but reason shows us why it won’t.
On greed – hope reveals many examples of selflessness, but reason reveals overwhelming statistics.
On war – hope promises that this will be the final one, but reason reveals that it won’t.
On collapse – hope holds forth that we haven’t screwed it up that badly, but reason reveals that we indeed have.

I could go on and on here – but what is my point?  For years I have written on the facts, the intelligence and the evidence that surrounds us all. The illusionary hope that continues to promise what can’t be delivered has been repeatedly revealed to be a lie.

You can’t bring anything into existence that doesn’t already exist.  All that mankind has been able to do is to devise ways and means in which to exploit what already exists.  Our technology has enabled us in this arena in numerous ways, but even this ‘modern miracle’ doesn’t actually produce anything.  All we’ve gained, all we’ve accomplished with all our development and technology is but one thing: leverage.

I think it is very important for Earth’s survivors to contemplate on what this means. Where has the leverage been applied? To what end?  How long can it last?  What are its dependencies?

With the triumph of hope over reason, we can simply ignore these ponderous questions.  We need not solve them anyway — after all, hope more then suggests that we simply don’t have to.

But reasonable men and woman have gained by reason, by wisdom, by experience, and by facts, knowledge and history that we cannot simply hope things “better”, or hope things “last”, or “endure” or forever remain as they are.  Nothing in our experience supports this notion.

It may be “business as usual” as I am fond of saying, but it’s not, not really.  Even this cannot last forever and won’t.  Business as usual implies what doesn’t exist, infinite resources and a steady-state economic / political model.  Reason reveals that this can’t be and won’t be for much longer.

Clinging to hope over reason is simply crazy, as crazy as clinging to fantasies and illusions. Reasonable people know that such things are false hopes entirely, mythical fabrications of weak minds who have abandoned reason and experience, facts, and history.  Such fabrications are quite deadly, even today.  We live in a world where illusions are the oft-preferred “first choice” and even the final choice of millions of people. Many of our institutions profit from these illusions, entire industries have been erected around them.

The leverage that I’ve mentioned is increasing as world populations continue to expand and resources dwindle. We now have the power, and the audacity to diminish these resources in incredibly faster and faster ways.  Our effects in the Gulf for example will last multi-generations from now, long after our grand kids would be born.  And it’s like that all over the world now, as depletion, disaster, war, deforestation, pollution, destruction and over-exploitation happens faster and faster and faster by unreasonable people.

But in the face of this reality, in the face of known facts, established science, clear evidence and historical precedence — in the face of common sense and wisdom — hope still (temporarily) triumphs over all reason and we go on pretending that it will all get better (somehow).

Clearly, we are insane.  Or clinging so desperately to our illusions with our fragile minds with the desperation of the insane.

They keep insane people in the insane asylum for a reason, and that is so that they cannot do harm to themselves or to others.  However our society today has embraced the insane as ‘normal’ even expected behavior.  Even behavior that is to be rewarded.

Look around at the unfolding saga of ‘life’ as you witness it.  You can see clear evidence of insanity everywhere you look, hiding behind the (temporary) triumph of hope over reason. It’s in our culture, our lifestyles, our connedsumption, our business, our affairs, our every action and belief system.  Hope triumphs over reason in every case.

You would be well-advised to keep your opinions about this eye-opening exercise to yourself, lest you be declared incompetent by the insane.

And just for fun, think of it as a weekend exercise — look for a reasonable man or women who is not blinded by illusionary hope or mythical reality.  You won’t find very many.