May 22, 2010

Oh, and by the way…we’re still at war

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 2:47 pm

Author’s note: I posted this short article with a you tube video embedded. It clearly shows the shooting of an unarmed civilian in Iraq. Within three hours, You Tube removed the video citing a “terms of service violation.” The only thing I heard in the video that may have called for that was one or two f-bombs, but we hear those on paid-for cable TV every day. The thing that we are not supposed to see is in the video.

I was able to get another version of it, thanks to Michael Rivero at Check out the article and hit the link below the embedded video.

With all of the time and effort spent on covering the Gulf oil disaster, let’s not forget there are two ongoing wars.

Here is the latest video circulating on the internet from the other two disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Perhaps if taxpayers were not compelled to spend billions per year for this, there would be a little more resources to invest in mitigating the disaster on our own shores.

I’ll let the video clip speak for itself:

<embedded> —->censored

You can view it here:

Click on the “here” link in the article for a look at the reality of the war in Iraq.

May 21, 2010

BP, feds forced to admit oil gusher is larger than estimated, now what?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 3:56 pm

Author’s note: Yeah yeah yeah…another one on this. But I feel like sayin’ to the dumbass corporate media, “I told you so.” This is bad, really bad… I’ll post a sat image.


Now that BP, the federal government and the corporate propaganda networks known as ABCBSCNNBCFOX have finally conceded that oil is gushing into the Gulf at a far higher rate than the public has been told for the past month, will a real disaster response be initiated, or will there just be more cover ups and more finger-pointing at who may be to blame?

“Officials” have finally admitted that the volcano of oil erupting from the seabed of the Gulf is probably gushing closer to a rate of about 95,000 barrels per day, instead of the 5000 barrels that has been incessantly repeated for the past month. Many people have been saying that for weeks. How does it feel to be scooped by a bunch of shrimp-huggers, scientists who can take one look at it and tell it is worse than official reports, and even a lowly Examiner? I don’t think you care because, after all, you get paid more to lie for your corporate masters than scientists and fisherman on the Gulf earn who really work for a living.

As heavy crude washed onto the beaches of Louisiana earlier this week, unlike the oily sheen that touched shore earlier this month, BP had a great public relations announcement. The oil giant proudly proclaimed that a 4-inch in diameter, mile-long insertion tube was extracting 5000 barrels per day into a tanker on the surface. The only problem with that – 5000 barrels per day was the official estimate until now, and oil is still gushing into the water. Videos clearly show that the tube is catching only a fraction of the oil. Guess it was finally time to ‘fess up, huh boys? Even the feds got tired of covering up your bovine excrement.

So now what? Is it it time for finger-pointing, as scientists blame the White House and BP for stifling the flow of information and not allowing experts in the field to have access to the site in which this could have been properly assessed almost from day one? Or is it time to start cleaning up the mess? It may be too late. The time for the disaster response was four weeks ago, not now. The damage has already been done.

BP, meanwhile, seems to remain in CYA mode. Coast Guard officials, along with BP contractors threatened CBS reporters with arrest for photographing oil-slicked beaches in Louisiana. McClatchy news reports that the “low estimate of [the] oil spill’s size could save BP millions in court.”

It’s perfectly fitting that BP and the federal government are not as adept at restraining the flow of oil as they are the flow of information. Unfortunately, the truth will wash up on our beaches…soon. And there are going to be a lot of angry people when that happens. Apparently we can finance and fight wars halfway across the globe, but when a real problem arises on our own shores, no one has a clue as to what to do about it.

Read more, get links here:

Teabaggers Take Over!


Greek general strike: Is the Gaza flotilla caught in the middle?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 2:03 am

Several friends of mine just left for Greece in order to join an eight-ship flotilla that plans to sail from Athens to Gaza at the end of May. The eight ships will be carrying humanitarian supplies designed to help break a four-year siege of the Gaza strip — or at least that was the plan. But when my friends got to Greece, they suddenly found themselves right in the middle of a huge Greek general strike!

“The area where we are staying is right next to strike headquarters,” one friend e-mailed me today. Oh crap! I could have been there, reporting my little heart out on one of the hottest stories in the world with the exception of the BP oil spill — and instead I chose to go off to New York to hear Barbra Streisand. And now I’m missing all this freaking hot news! How disheartening.

Actually my bank account made my choice for me. Due to limited funds, I figured that going to see Barbra Streisand taut her new book, “A Passion for Design,” at the 2010 Book Expo on May 25 and me staying at the Gershwin Hotel’s youth hostel would be more in keeping with my budgetary requirements. Had I but known that such hot news was gonna be afoot in the land of Socrates, I would have run right out and got a freaking travel loan! Or hitchhiked to Athens.

“Jane,” wrote another friend, “Greece is up in arms about the austerity measures the government is wanting to impose so that they can be bailed out by the EU. Recently a good left-wing government was elected but they have little choice, having inherited a disaster of an economy. How long the strike will last? It’s anybody’s best guess.”

“Yes but,” replied another flotilla-bound friend now in Greece, “does the Greek government really need 2,000 additional police, typically with ten or twenty of them stationed at main intersections, all throughout Athens? Seeing this up close, I can really appreciate how chilling an effect this has on the people.”

Then another correspondent from Greece added her two cents. “If I could gently weigh in here, might I suggest that it’s not just Greece that is feeling the pain. It’s most of the other EU countries, too — Italy, Portugal and Spain to name the more crucial ones. But the others are also coming to the entry gate — bigtime. Thus, I think, in order to save its American-dominated economic structure based on military adventurism and profit at any cost, Greece has no alternative but to resort to 2,000 additional police. After all, the Greek people are really angry right now. And it doesn’t matter if their elected government is Left or Right — both are based on the same American-model economic structure, and they both fundamentally base their existence on production for profit, not people. They both will thus do whatever it takes to protect that economic base. And if we in the U.S. ever get ‘Greek Fever’ too and start protesting too loudly, the same thing will happen in America as well — only probably worse. And those 20-30 cops at each intersection will all be in place in America too, just in case we also get out of order.”

But let’s get back to the Shipping News. How is the Greek general strike going to effect the flotilla to Gaza? Hmmm. Here’s a report from another flotilla member: “We are now in an apartment here and anxiously awaiting word on what to do next. Meanwhile, we can’t get euros, since all the banks seem to be closed, and we can’t contact anyone — except through the internet which, thank God, we have in the apartment now — since we can’t get out to buy any cell phones! We have 10 euros, which is just enough to cover food for the next few hours. Otherwise, we are trapped.”

I coulda been there! I coulda been trapped too! That could have been ME running out of food in Athens! Rats.

Not only that, but the Book Expo people in New York have just sent me an e-mailed stating that there are only a limited number of Barbra Streisand tickets available and they now are being handed out on a first-come-first-served basis. What? Now I’m going to miss the Greek general strike, a huge international flotilla going to Gaza that may or may not be blown to bits by the Israeli navy, AND I’m also going to miss Barbra Streisand as well?

That just sucks eggs.

May 20, 2010

Right-Wingers: Make Money With Your Mouth – The I.B.A. Way!


May 19, 2010

The Tattlesnake – Even Kids Know Bristol’s Bunkum Isn’t Worth 30K Edition

“Bristol Palin will earn $30,000 per speech to talk about getting knocked up!”
– The Zeitgeisty Report, May 18, 2010.

Mom picked up her precocious 8-year-old daughter from school and, on the drive home, as was their custom, she told Mom how her day went.

About once a month, daughter’s teacher presented her class with the question, ‘If you could be anyone, who would you be and why?’ and that was the big event of this school day

“Oh,” Mom said pleasantly, “and who did you want to be?”

“Bristol Palin.”

For a fleeting instant, Mom fought back a strong urge to stop the car and throttle her progeny while cursing the kid’s pinheaded Republican grandfather on her father’s side. Instead, she asked calmly:

“Uh, do you mean Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol?”

Daughter toyed absentmindedly with a shoulder strap on her neon pink knapsack, “Yeah.”

“Why would you want to be Bristol Palin?”

“It said on the news she was going to get $30 thousand dollars a speech. She doesn’t know anything, so I thought I could get a hundred times that much for a speech ’cause I know more stuff now than she does and I won’t have to have a baby or hang around with her awful mother to get the job.”

Mom laughed, amused and relieved: At least her only daughter could always make a living as a stand-up comic.

© 2010 RS Janes.

May 18, 2010

Berkeley’s Grassroots House helps send a boat to Gaza

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 12:40 pm

The Berkeley Barb used to be my home town’s most famous “newspaper of record,” and we also had another hometown rag called “Grassroots”. However, both these papers have been out of print for more than 40 years and now most of our local Berkeley newspapers have gone digital — except for “Grassroots,” which has bucked that trend and simply gone “residential”. It has changed from being a newspaper into being, er, a building?

Located on Blake Street just below Shattuck, Berkeley’s Grassroots House still does all that crusading-against-injustice type of stuff that the newspaper it was named after used to do — only now it does it with shingles, wood and windows instead of with newsprint. According to a 2009 article by Lydia Gans in the Berkeley Daily Planet, “Grassroots House…is a community building that provides office and meeting space for a number of social justice organizations.” And one of those social justice organizations is the Free Palestine Movement — which is currently helping to financially sponsor one-half of the cost of a boat in an international flotilla sailing from Greece to Gaza with medical supplies at the end of May.

Does this make Grassroots House “The place that launched a half a ship”?

Local Free Palestine Movement members Janet Kobran and Paul Larudee will be on board the FPM-sponsored half-boat when it — and seven and a half other boats — leaves Greece for Gaza in a flotilla meant to break Israel’s four-year-long siege of Gaza by providing Gaza with various much-needed humanitarian supplies. And Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense, has promised to send almost the entire Israeli navy out to intercept this small flotilla.

Has Berkeley’s Grassroots House once again gotten itself into hot water?

Like its namesake, the original Grassroots newspaper, it looks like the Grassroots House has once again assumed the role of a biblical David by attempting to take on a very formidable Goliath — one who has threatened to use whatever force necessary to stop this humanitarian relief effort.

Oh well. That’s Berkeley for you — home to a whole bunch of us latter-day Davids. And although we may not win every round against the world’s many Goliaths, we still keep on trying. And perhaps this time the FPM’s half-a-boat will be successful in helping relieve the siege of Gaza.

(Here’s a link to the FPM, where you can actually track the flotilla’s progress via a coolness spot-locator:

PS: The City of Berkeley also recently announced that, within our city limits, a corporation is still NOT a person. Yaay!

PPS: When China successfully invaded America about a decade ago and established a strong beachhead in almost every town in the USA, it couldn’t conquer Berkeley! To this day, Berkeley still does NOT have a WalMart.

Oil slick enters Gulf loop current, tar balls found in Florida Keys

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 10:20 am

Author’s note: I know I have been beating this one to death, but that’s because I think this is the most significant event of our times. I have been writing for weeks that this is WAY worse than we are being told by BP, the media and the feds. I also predicted it would hit the Loop Current. The catastrophic results are going to be beyond comprehension and people are about to start smelling, seeing and feeling it. This disaster is also a good example of how both parties are in bed with corporations at the expense of the American people. I hope this one wakes people up and becomes a catalyst for change, because that would be the only good that can come from it.

NASA satellite imagery on Monday shows that the rapidly expanding oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has entered a powerful current known as the Loop Current, which flows through the straits of Florida and along the eastern seaboard as far north as North Carolina before heading out into the Atlantic. The entrance of the oil slick into the Gulf Loop Current is what officials fear will be a catastrophic event.

The pollution could endanger Florida’s shoreline mangroves, sea grass beds and the third-longest barrier reef in the world, the 221-mile-long Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Millions of snorkelers, fishermen and other tourists are drawn to the Keys each year, whose dollars are vital to the state’s economy.

This is bad news for Florida residents. Once the oil is in the loop, it could reach the Keys in as few as 10 days. “It’s only a question of when,” said Peter Ortner, a University of Miami oceanographer. The Sun-Sentinel reported that the oil slick not only poses a danger to the Florida Keys, but also to the southeast coast from Miami to West Palm Beach and as far north as coastal North Carolina.

“When” could be sooner rather than later, as the Coast Guard reported today that tar balls have already been found on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West on Monday. Park rangers conducted a shoreline survey of the beach and the adjacent Navy beach at Truman Annex and recovered the tar balls at a rate of nearly three tar balls an hour throughout the day, with the heaviest concentration found at high tide, around 12:30 p.m.

According to the satellite imagery, the oil slick on the surface of the water has rapidly increased in size. SkyTruth, an independent research organization, states that “the total area covered by slick and sheen, at 10,170 square miles…is nearly double what it appeared to be on the May 14 radar satellite image, and is bigger than the state of Maryland.”

The general consensus among scientists is that the leak is anywhere between four and 15 times greater than the official estimate. These reports indicate that the majority of the oil in the Gulf is located below the surface of the waves.

Read more, see the satellite imagery and get links here:

The Tattlesnake – Goodbye Specters of Doom Edition

A Brief Breakdown of Today’s Most Notable Primaries

Pennsylvania Democratic Primary: One of the best political ads I’ve seen in some time is Rep. Joe Sestak’s spot featuring Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter admitting he changed parties solely to get reelected. The old lizard practically hisses when he snarls the word “reelected” and you could easily imagine his desiccated Dorian-Gray-on-the-easel face asking Eve if she wanted a bite of his apple. Mr. Magic Bullet Theory has shown himself time and again to be a coldly calculating old-line politician at heart, and now it’s caught up with him. The last polls I saw had Sestak and Specter running even, but I don’t think it will be that close – the solons of the Big Media (BM) Punditsphere don’t seem to have noticed that Arlen has no real Democratic constituency in PA, unless it’s 80-year-old vipers, and, contrary to Dem Gov. Ed Rendell’s public support, the Edster is not about to exercise his state political muscle to shoehorn a creature like Specter into office again, especially after Obama and Biden politely flipped Arlen off. I call it Sestak by 10 points. (Tip to Dems: Follow Sestak’s lead and run ads showing your GOP opponent making an ass of him or herself in their own words. They work.)

Arkansas Democratic Primary: Once again the BM has managed to miss the story here, as they did in Connecticut when Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman in the Dem primary. As in Specter’s case, what was Lieberman’s core base of support? Wealthy insurance company execs, AIPAC and Republicans. Why would the GOP back Quisling Joe? Because they knew he was a closet Republican with electable name recognition who would help with their issues and screw up the Dem majority in the Senate. But this won’t happen down in Clintonland – sitting Dem. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, like Lieberman, has very narrow Dem support and none of it particularly enthusiastic, and the GOP hates her. On the other side, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has the same kind of avid progressive ground game Lamont had in CT. It may not even be close but, if it goes to a run-off, Halter will win the day: He’s got the eager troops; Blanche has the establishment Dem coffee klatch. Halter by 5 points.

Kentucky Republican Primary: Let’s keep it short and sweet: A Libertarian who believes in legalizing drugs and ending our wars overseas, Rep. Ron Paul’s son Rand Paul, is about to beat the pants off of the official GOP-endorsed candidate, Trey Grayson. This election may be a heads-up ‘game changer’ with a long shadow – GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell’s KY machine is dead and a Red State is heaving toward purplish Libertarianism rather than Mitch’s grisly Bush Neoconnery. The bonus is that the always-wrong and unfailingly unpopular (except to the BM Punditocracy) Dick Cheney has wholeheartedly endorsed Grayson, the sure kiss of death. Paul by at least 10 points and probably much more.

Update, May 19, 2010: Here’s how I did:

Pennsylvania: Sestak beat Specter, but I didn’t cover the spread – Sestak won by only 9 points instead of 10.

Arkansas: Headed for a run-off with Halter and Lincoln neck-and-neck. I’ll stick with Halter by 5 points in the run-off.

Kentucky: Rand Paul walloped Trey Grayson by more than 20 points. Although this election is being framed by the BM Punditburo as a victory for the Tea Partiers, do they mean the original Ron Paul Libertarian tea partiers or the astroturf Dick Armey-Glenn Beck corporate Teabaggers? Methinks it’s the latter, and the BM has it wrong again.

© 2010 RS Janes.

May 17, 2010

Sarah Palin’s Media Con-undrum


May 16, 2010

Giant underwater plumes of oil discovered, suggesting “official” estimate of leak may be incorrect

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 5:02 pm

Author’s note: It is becoming clear to even the mainstream media that BP and the U.S. government are lying about the severity of this disaster.

A review of widely varying estimates of the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico showed huge discrepancies between the “official” government and BP estimate and those of various scientists.

The discovery of huge underwater plumes of oil by University of Georgia researchers suggests that scientists may be correct and that BP and the U.S. government have grossly underestimated the amount of oil gushing into the waters of the Gulf.

The New York Times reported yesterday that “scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.”

Some analysts have reported that as much as 80% of the oil is not rising to the surface. If one considers that the oil slick on the surface already covers more area than Puerto Rico, then the magnitude of this disaster can begin to be put into perspective. According to scientists at the universities of Georgia and Mississippi, the real disaster may be lurking beneath the waves of the Gulf.

All reports indicate that the situation in the Gulf is going from bad to worse, and that the severity of it has been either grossly underestimated, or hidden from the public by BP and the U.S. government. Unfortunately, the truth will inevitably hit the beaches and the economy of the Gulf states.

Read more, get links here:

Them’s fightin’ words . . .

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , — Bob Patterson @ 4:36 pm


Is this sign, seen recently in Berkeley, from people who are for or against gun control?

Our Marines: Ridden hard & put away wet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 1:34 pm

Now here’s a touchy subject — recently there’s been spate of suicides by Marines who have just returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. But here’s the really touchy part: These suicides have all taken place on stateside Marine bases. One Marine recently escaped from a hospital at Camp Lejeune, got hold of a gun somehow and shot himself right there on the base. And another Marine at Quantico jumped in front of a train.

However, the Marine high command at these bases is fully aware of this problem and is doing something about it. According to one official Marine publication, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the Marine Corps. Even one death by suicide is too many. It is a tragic and preventable loss, causing untold grief to loved ones and units, and is of highest concern to the public, legislators, the Commandant, and all Marines. In addition, suicide and suicidal behavior at all levels can take a tremendous toll on the readiness and resources of the unit involved. For all these reasons, suicide awareness, prevention, and intervention must be of highest priority to all Marines, and especially Marine leaders.”

Returning troops at the major stateside Marine bases are now being routinely shown training films and PowerPoint presentations regarding how to deal with suicidal tenancies — but still. You gotta be pretty damn desperate to jump in front of a train. How many more of our Marines are that desperate? And if so, how did they get that way?

Here’s my personal opinion, based on time spent in Iraq embedded with the Marines. I may be wrong about this, but here it is. “American Marines compose the finest fighting force EVER. Forget about Romans and Spartans. Our guys are the best.” So what happened? Why all the suicides? “Because our Marines are being stretched far too thin. American Marines are being asked to defend the interests of an international corporate structure that has its octopus-like tentacles spread out all over the entire globe. That’s far too much territory to expect even our fabulous Marines to defend.”

But what inflames me even more is that the international corporate structures that our Marines are so gallantly defending aren’t even American corporations! Perhaps one day long ago they USED to be American corporations — but that was back in the days before outsourcing.

Our Marines are being asked to stick their fingers in [dams] all over the world so that wealthy international corporations all over the world can reap the profits. It’s not even Americans who are reaping the profits any more. No wonder our Marines are so stretched. They are daily and constantly fighting the never-ending battles of Endless War so that men who owe NO allegiance to America — or American workers or American Marines either — can make grossly disproportional profits off of others’ pain.

Our Marines are being ridden hard and put away wet so that corporations who don’t even pay taxes in America can still have their billionaire bottom lines protected.

And our Marines do this, day after day, year after year, serving hard time in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and Kenya. And WHY do they keep doing it? Because they are Marines — the best fighting force EVER. And our Marines’ abilities are not only being wasted by being spread too thin throughout the world to the point that when (not if) we will someday need them here at home, there may well be too few of them left to defend America proper and it will be too late.

The international corporations benefit from our Marines’ presence. And the Marine Corps pays the price. And, apparently, individual Marines are paying an even greater price. This fractured practice of using and misusing our Marines has just got to stop.

PS: According to the Jacksonville Daily News, “Camp Lejeune Marines…in the aftermath of the death of a colleague who shot himself during a police chase aboard base Monday said instead of the needed psychiatric treatment they sought they were given a cocktail of antidepressants and sent back to work.” Yes, nine long years of constant war does have a tendency to grind our troops down. Even World War II didn’t last that long.

And we may have unearthed just the tip of the iceberg here. According to Jacksonville’s, “A total of 48,086 mental health related visits for all Naval Hospital clinics aboard Camp Lejeune were recorded in fiscal year 2009. In fiscal year 2010, there have been 26,609 mental health related visits through March 31, said Lt.j.g. Tony Skrypek, department head for TRICARE Operations at Naval Hospital.”

Also, according to Salon magazine, PTSDs may still not be getting properly treated at Camp Lejuene — despite all the recent PowerPoint presentations going on. “Internal documents and e-mails show that Navy officials unfavorably doctored a psychiatrist’s performance record after he blew the whistle on what he said was dangerously inept management of care for Marines suffering combat stress at Camp Lejeune, N.C.”

PSS: And here’s a quote from my usually reliable Marine Mom source: “I’ve heard several Marines say that Afghanistan is the ‘Worst place on earth’. So instead of sending our Marines out to fight in the countryside over there, let’s start sending out the Afghan Army and Afghan police troops that we have been training for approximately 10 years — and leave the U.S. troops back on base.”

Marine Mom also sent me this video about the recent Nashville flood disaster: “Shouldn’t some of our money have gone to help Nashville — instead of pouring billions into Afghanistan?”

PPPS: The Marines aren’t the only ones being ridden hard and put away wet. The American people are too. While corporatist lobbies are happily siphoning America’s wealth off in order to protect their own interests, we could have used all that money on preventive infrastructure measures back here at home, so that the Nashville flood could have been prevented — not to mention the Ohio flood and Katrina.

What’s All This Hubbub About Oil Drilling?


May 15, 2010

Widely varying estimates of severity of oil leak in Gulf raise many questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 8:19 am

Author’s note: Just trying to be objective in the article, but I think someone is lying their ass off about this one.

After BP released underwater video footage of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, conflicting estimates of the amount of oil leaking raise many questions.

What is the rate of flow? How much oil is already in the water? Is there any way to make an accurate assessment? When will it hit shore? What will be the economic and environmental impact? Does anyone really know the answers, and if so, who is telling the truth?

The current reports on the rate of flow range from a minimal estimate of about 210,000 gallons per day to an extreme of 8.4 million gallons per day. That means that since April 20, anywhere between 5.04 million and 201.6 million have been released into the water. Keep in mind that it takes only one quart of oil to poison 250,000 gallons of seawater for all marine life.

It is becoming clear that no one knows exactly how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, but a review of the conflicting reports and their sources can give one a general idea of the magnitude of this disaster.

An initial report by BP and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shortly after the well erupted on April 20 put the rate of flow at 1000 barrels per day, which at 42 gallons per barrel, is 42,000 gallons per day. A report by the same sources on April 28 upped that to the 5000 barrels per day that has been accepted without question by most media outlets, until recently.

According to the New York Times, “The figure of 5,000 barrels a day was hastily produced by government scientists in Seattle. It appears to have been calculated using a method that is specifically not recommended for major oil spills.” It was calculated with a protocol known as the Bonn convention that calls for measuring the extent of an oil spill, using its color to judge the thickness of oil atop the water, and then multiplying.

Several scientists not affiliated with BP or the federal government have used other methods and calculated that the rate of oil flow is far higher than 5000 barrels per day.

Dr. Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University, who is an expert in the analysis of oil slicks, made his own calculations using satellite imagery. They suggested that the leak could “easily be four or five times” the government estimate, he said. Other scientists agree that the leak is much larger than BP and the federal government have revealed.

Steve Wereley, an associate professor at Purdue University, told NPR the actual spill rate of the BP oil disaster is about 3 million gallons a day – 15 times the official guess of BP and the federal government. Wereley analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry, which is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent.

According to NPR, another scientific expert, Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California-Berkeley, calculated the rate of flow to be between 840,000 and four million gallons a day. Without even having a sense of scale from the BP video, he deduced that the diameter of the pipe was about 20 inches. And though his calculation is less precise than Wereley’s, it is in the same ballpark. “I would peg it at around 20,000 to 100,000 barrels per day,” he said. Chiang called the current estimate of 5,000 barrels a day “almost certainly incorrect.”

Timothy Crone, an associate research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, used another well-accepted method to calculate fluid flows. Crone arrived at a similar figure, but he said he’d like better video from BP before drawing a firm conclusion.

Paul Noel, a software engineer contractor working at the U.S. Army arsenal in Redstone, AL, who also has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, puts the figure even higher – at 8.4 million gallons per day. Writing for Pure Energy Systems News, Noel bases his estimate on two additional factors, a process called Fractioning and his claim that the actual diameter of the source of the leak is five feet, not 21 inches as is commonly reported.

Rising through 5000 feet of water, the oil is going through a process…call[ed] Fractioning. Literally the tremendous pressure and temperature [cause]…the oil and Natural Gas [to] change on their way up. The very light, easy-to-evaporate parts are all that is rising to the surface. The heavy oil isn’t even getting to the top…the chemicals added at the well head to disburse the oil, speed this process up. Because of this fractioning, what you see from the air on the surface of the water represents maybe just 20% of the volume of the various types of oil in that area.


The numbers on the Transocean rig are for the drill pipe size. The inside hole of the drill pipe is 18 inches and the outside is 21. The platform numbers are for a 60.5 inch drill platform opening. This is what fits the outer casing. It is used to torque the casing down into the well. The platform is used at the turntable to torque the well drill pipe. I have seen lots of these wells. They are really 5 feet in diameter.

So, at one extreme estimate, oil is erupting at a rate of 4 barrels per second through a five foot hole in the sea bed. At the other extreme, “only” about 5000 barrels per day are gushing through a 21 inch in diameter pipe. Most scientists put the number somewhere in between.

If Noel is correct that 80% of the oil is heavier than water and remains below the surface, then that explains why tar balls are washing up on the beaches of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. If BP and the NOAA are correct, that still means the oil leak in on track to exceed the amount of oil that the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989 by June 11. If the scientists with the mid-range estimates are correct, this already is the worst oil disaster in the history of the world.

Either estimate raises even more questions. The most pertinent to coastal residents of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are: When will this oil slick hit the shores and what will the economic impact be? If no one knows how large this oil leak is, or if anyone does and are not revealing the truth, then it is impossible for Gulf residents to know what to prepare for.

Read more, get links and video here:

Azman Explains to Kids Why Arizona’s SB 1070 Isn’t Racist

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 2:23 am


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