June 24, 2010

Cap’n Wells Introduces BP’s New Careers in the Gulf

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:02 am


June 23, 2010

No gluten, no dairy: My search for the perfect éclair

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Jane Stillwater @ 9:36 am

Recently I met a doctor who told me, “The first thing that I do when I get a new patient is to take him entirely off gluten and dairy for a month. And chances are good that, if the patient takes my advice, whatever symptoms he has will improve.” I also read where autistic children do better without dairy products or gluten.

Okay. I’ve got digestive problems. I’ll try it. It works.

But then I ran into a really big snag — Solvang. You just can’t visit the Danish pastry capital of America without having an éclair. And what an eclair it was too! Seven inches long, covered with chocolate, with both custard AND whipped cream for filling — and with a yummy cherry sauce in there too.

Sometimes you just gotta break down and go off your diet.

Even back home in Berkeley and safely back on my “no gluten, no dairy” diet, I still kept having dreams and fantasies about that perfect Solvang éclair. What to do? You really can’t justify driving 250 miles just to score another éclair. Can you?

So I started Googling around for a list of bakeries in Berkeley. Berkeley has everything, right?

Andronico’s had an éclair on offer but it was one of those fancy gourmet eclairs and just wasn’t squishy enough.

Telegraph Avenue’s famous Eclair Bakery had gone out of business — and the Pastry King across from the Med only sold muffins and donuts.

“Love At First Bite” only sold cupcakes. Sweet Adeline didn’t carry eclairs. Crixa, that fabulous bakery around the corner from me where visual masterpiece cakes are lovingly created by hand, also didn’t carry eclairs. Rats.

Hopkins Street Bakery only carried éclairs with custard filling. I was only interested in ones with whipped cream.

Then there was Massa’s. Their entry into my éclair sweepstakes was GREEN. It was a very interesting éclair, with pink marzipan flowers on top and flavored with lemon zest. I’m glad I bought it. However, it was NOT a real éclair.

Virginia Bakery scored triumphant points with a good-looking, good-tasting traditional old-fashioned whipped cream éclair.

And Toots Sweet? I almost forgot about Toots Sweet but we were driving back from touring the Red Oak Victory ship that is part of the Rosie the Riveter Home Front national park in Richmond and we drove by Toots Sweet. “Have any éclairs?” I asked.

“We’re sold out now but will have some tomorrow. Our customers say that they are very good.”

Even the Berkeley Bowl offered a yummy-looking mini-éclair — but it too was only custard.

But the winner of my grand search for the perfect éclair? This will come as no surprise to residents of Berkeley. It was La Farine. OMG. They used both whipping cream and custard. But what really tipped the scales in their favor was that they used dark chocolate — even better than Solvang!

PS: I’m currently reading some books by futurist James Howard Kunstler, including “The Long Emergency” and “World Made By Hand”. In the future, Kunstler predicts, the demise of oil and gasoline will produce a society with no cars and no electricity. The Industrial Revolution will have become merely a small blip in the time-line of human history.

Also, the London Daily Mail has just reported that, “A solar superstorm could send us back into the dark ages — and one is due in just three years: Within an hour, large parts of Britain are without power. By midnight, every mobile network is down and the internet is dying. Television — terrestrial and satellite — blinks off the air. Radio is reduced to a burst of static.” And this black-out could go on for two or three years.–just-THREE-years.html

What does all this mean for the future of civilization? It means that we all need to run out and stock up on éclairs right NOW — while our refrigerators are still running. At the very least, we need to start stocking up on our MEMORIES of éclairs.

PPS: The Free Palestine Movement (, famous for organizing the first boats to relieve Israel’s brutal and illegal blockade of Gaza, just asked me to help them man their table at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit. So I’m there now. Stop by my booth and I’ll hand you a brochure.

June 22, 2010

The Tattlesnake – It’s McChrystal Clear: The General is Running for President Edition

By publicly making derogatory comments about his superiors in the chain of command – President Obama, VP Biden, Defense Secretary Gates, White House National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones — US Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal has committed an act of rank insubordination, and I think he did it intentionally.

Subsequent apologies for his loose-lipped Rolling Stone interview notwithstanding, McChrystal knows Obama must, in order to maintain what little credibility he has with the military as commander-in-chief, relieve McChrystal of his command and he should break him in rank down to a Colonel or, at least, Brigadier General, but, considering Obama’s reticence in such matters, he likely won’t do the latter.

McChrystal well knows that if he wants to criticize his superiors there is a legitimate and honorable way to do so – resign his commission and fire away as a civilian. Instead, the wily general has manufactured a situation wherein Obama must relieve him or lose all respect with the military establishment and a good portion of the public, as well.

Why would McChrystal set up such a situation? The easiest answer is that he’s planning on running for president as a Republican in 2012 and he can use it to a) play the aggrieved victim of a president and administration that doesn’t know what it’s doing in the Middle East; and b) insulate himself from charges of incompetence when we are forced out of Afghanistan. “I told the president the strategy he was pursuing to defeat the Taliban was naïve and wrong and that I had a better plan. This so angered him he found a flimsy reason to dismiss me.”

This is the line I believe McChrystal will employ following his resignation after Obama has relieved him of his command. Such criticism dovetails nicely with the GOP’s probable angle of attack on Obama in 2012 – arrogant, incompetent, headstrong, vengeful, naïve – and McChrystal will go to the head of the class of potential presidential candidates in a so far thin field for the Republicans — Romney’s no barn-burner; Palin’s a sour joke; Gingrich is stuck in the mud of 1994; Pawlenty’s a calamitous bore, and no one else is really on the radar.

Of course, the GOP establishment would welcome McChrystal with open arms as the second coming of Dwight Eisenhower, but even the various Teabaggers, quasi-Libertarians and Christian zealots who are now the party’s foundation would most likely not much contest nominating a ‘military hero’ such as the general. His campaign would also provide some lengthy (and stable) coattails for other Republicans to ride, a surcease from the almost daily factional friction of a minority party in turmoil.

The question: Will former Pentagon black-ops chief McChrystal’s new strategy to gain the White House work any better than did his plans to tame Afghanistan?

The answer: For a man as arrogant, incompetent, headstrong, vengeful, and naïve on public matters as Stanley McChrystal — who also, according to Rolling Stone, thinks Bud Light Lime is a great beer – is a resounding no.

Read more:

“The Runaway General” – Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone, June 8-22, 2010.

Stanley A. McChrystal’s Wikipedia bio.

“New Afghanistan Commander Ran Secret ‘Executive Assassination Ring’ Under Cheney”
– Tom Englehardt,, May 21, 2009, by way of The Huffington Post.

© 2010 RS Janes.

After 85 Years, Little Orphan Annie Creaks to an End


Let them eat Happy Meals!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Peregrin @ 5:34 am


BP internal document suggests estimate of Gulf oil leak may be increased again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 1:17 am

Author’s note: Less than a week ago I said this would be upped again. Looks like that may be the case.

According to an undated internal BP document obtained by congressman Ed Markey (D-MA), the estimate of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico may need to be increased again – for the fifth time.

According to the Telegraph UK, the BP document released on Sunday showed that the company has estimated that oil could pour from its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 100,000 barrels (4.2 million gallons) per day, nearly double the current reckoning by the US government.

The estimate is consistent with a report in which CNN quotes the lead government official responding to the spill, the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, as stating, “if we lost a total well head, it could be 100,000 barrels or more a day.”

The document is also consistent with an exploration plan and environmental impact analysis filed with the federal government in February 2009. According to the Houston Chronicle, BP said then that it had the capability to handle a “worst-case scenario” at the Deepwater Horizon site, which the document described as a leak of 162,000 barrels per day from an uncontrolled blowout – 6.8 million gallons each day.

What may be even more troubling is this report from the AP:

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill. That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating ‘dead zones’ where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. ‘This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history,’ Kessler said.

Given the continual incremental increases of the oil leak as well as the failure to mention the amount of methane gas escaping in to the Gulf, it does suggest that at best, this is a result of utter incompetence or outright lies. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the American people have been willfully mislead by BP, the corporate media and the US government in order to gradually condition them to accept the enormity of this disaster.

It is also possible that the environmental damage will not be able to be reversed – at least in our lifetimes. Some of the oil may be able to be cleaned up, but it is impossible to clean up methane. No matter which sources one chooses to believe, the estimates of the enormity of the disaster in the Gulf have continually escalated since it began on April 20.

Read more, get links and video here: Orlando Independent Examiner – BP internal document suggests estimate of Gulf oil leak may be increased again

June 21, 2010

Rush Limbaugh’s Honeymoon in Hell!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:16 am


17 service members die in June, 17 more families without fathers or sons on Father’s day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 1:56 am

Author’s note: With all the things going on with the Gulf, economy, etc., it’s easy to forget there are still two wars going on. But the wars are very real for these 17 families. This one was difficult to write, because I looked into each and every name on the June list of war casualties. Links to each are provided on my Examiner page.


Another 17 families spent their first Father’s day without a father, or a son. The pentagon has released the names of 17 service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan thus far in June, bringing the total to 214 for 2010.

The members of the armed services who put their lives on the line and make the ultimate sacrifice seem to be getting less and less attention.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the death of 10 NATO troops on Monday June 7, including five Americans was recorded on page 10 of The Washington Post. And although it published a photograph on its front page, The New York Times coverage was confined mostly to a bottom corner of page 12.

It is a safe assumption that most Americans who have been paying attention to the news in the corporate media do not how many service members died in June, and even fewer know their names. To whom it may concern, here are their names and some details about each one of them:

US Army SPC Christian M. Adams, 26, Sierra Vista, AZ. Adams left behind a wife, Donna, and a 2-year-old daughter, Faith. He was described by his stepfather as a religious man who loved his family and the military.

US Army SPC Brian M. Anderson, 24, Harrisonburg, VA. Anderson, killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan, is survived by his father, mother, brother and sister.

US Marines LCpl Michael C. Bailey, 29, Park Hills, MO. Bailey was killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan on June 16. His high school principal said, “he was always there for everybody else. He was always willing to help. And one of the things I will never forget about Mike was that he always had a smile on his face.”

US Army Capt. Michael P. Cassidy, 41, Simpsonville, SC. Cassidy was killed in Mosul, Iraq on June 17. After serving in the National Guard for years, Cassidy volunteered for active duty shortly after Sep. 11, 2001. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

US Army SPC Matthew R. Catlett, 23, Houston, TX. After serving three years in Iraq, Catlett headed to Afghanistan where he was killed by an IED on June 7 along with four other soldiers from the 101st Airborne. He is survived by his ex-wife and two daughters.

And the list goes on and on…(all 17 are covered in the main article).

There is a bigger picture here. 17 may not sound like a large number when given a 30-second sound byte or a few sentences, but it is very large when ones looks into the lives that each and every one of these individuals could have had. Besides honoring each and every one of these young men, fathers, husbands, sons by at least mentioning their names and telling a little about them or how they died, there is more that Americans can do. Americans could start by demanding an end to these wars.

There are now 4407 military personnel who have died in Iraq and 1124 who have died in Afghanistan, each with their their own story, and a life and loved ones they have left behind. 5531 families without fathers or sons this past Father’s day, not to mention the tens of thousands that have been horribly wounded in these wars. With all the other problems that this nation faces today, is it not about time to end this insanity?

A lot of Americans voted for a leader that promised to bring an end to the wars, yet nothing substantive has been done toward that end. Meanwhile, the corporate media buries news about the wars, leaving these brave young men and women to die with a hardly a mention to their names. They deserve more. We as a nation deserve more.

Our young people are not fighting a foreign enemy bent on invading our homeland, they are occupying the homeland of other nations and are paying for that with their lives. Meanwhile our homeland and our economy is being destroyed by the very corporations that reap the profits from these wars and from the reckless spending of our tax dollars that finance the wars.

Perhaps the best way to support our troops is to bring them home. And the best way to protect America may be to protect our borders, our shorelines and our economy by focusing our resources on solutions to the problems that we have here, not rebuilding other nations halfway across the globe.

Read more and get links here: Orlando Independent Examiner, 17 service members die in June, 17 more families without fathers or sons on Father’s day

June 20, 2010

What a Screaming A-Hole is Rush

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion — Tags: , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:44 pm

Just as an unrequested addendum to Bob Patterson’s fine article below, here’s what spoiled rich boy Rush posted on his website along with his diatribe mocking poor kids.


Somehow ‘screaming a-hole’ just isn’t strong enough for this arrogant lowlife bastard. I wonder if his working-class and barely white-collar listeners, most of them one paycheck away from abject poverty themselves, really think crap like this is funny -– making fun of poor people’s kids? Some of their kids are no doubt taking advantage of free school lunch programs, too — I wonder if they make the connection?

Not that many Dittoheads ever heard of Anatole France, but they might recognize Rush’s demented philosophy in this quote:

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

France also wrote this line that applies to Rush’s audience:

“It is better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot.”

Didn’t Jean Valjean know about dumpster diving?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 4:35 pm

Connoisseurs of symbolism were delighted to see that Rush Limbaugh’s suggestion that hungry kids should resort to dumpster diving came at the same time as when progressive websites were struggling with fund raising efforts. Starving for food or money? Rush will laugh at either predicament and urge his listeners to chortle along with him.

On the one hand millionaires make sure that their puppet spokesman has a lavish lifestyle in return for convincing the voters that more tax cuts for the rich are the humane thing to do, while on the other hand, people who want the public to be informed about home foreclosures, reduced social services, and oil spills are foraging for funds to sustain their efforts to suggest that maybe corporations (since they are now considered “persons”) should pay taxes just like their workers do.

(Has the Billionaires for Bush organization changed their name to Billionaires for Obama, yet? A bit of fact checking reveals that their website has not been updated since the 2008 Presidential election was held.)

Would it be overdoing sarcasm to call the hawkish corpulent conservative Christian spokesman by the code name used to designate one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan?

The fact that what the fat man said was the antithesis of what Christ taught but that Rush’s holds a great appeal for Christians might baffle some folks attempting to analyze Limbaugh’s popularity. It’s as if dittowers and the dittowettes were enthusiastic members of the Unquestioning Dimwits’ Club.

When this columnist was in parochial grade school, one of the nuns told about a group of people who would torment the Christians being led to the Coliseum. According to her, there were some of the tormentors who got so involved in the vitriol that they didn’t notice that the Roman soldiers had let the harassers enter the “green room” with the condemned. The soldiers considered that a bit of rowdy and raucous humor. The folks, who were the targets for the joke, apparently didn’t leave posterity any reaction quotes.

If any tea bagger has a home that goes into foreclosure, they might get an inkling of how the duped Roman hecklers felt.

Anyone who joins in Rush’s ridicule of the hungry should keep the anecdote about duped Romans in mind because if they ever fall on hard times, they would be well advised to not expect any sympathy or help from the Excellence in Broadcasting staff and management.

In the book “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” T. E. Lawrence notes that in a desert caravan, if someone falls behind the pack or got lost, the leader won’t stop or turn around or make any attempt to find the stray. Same rules apply when you throw your lot in with El Rushbo.

For Rush aren’t yachts like food? If you have to ask “How much is it?;” you can’t afford it!

Has any of America’s most prominent clergy chastised the man, who has just taken the “until death do we part” vow for the forth time, for his attitude which would fall short of the old “whatever you do to the least of my brethren” frame of mind urged by Christ? Of course not! They would no more criticize the patron saint of gluttony than they would give teabaggers the “don’t take your gun to town” advice.

Didn’t Ernest Hemingway say something about the pigeons of Paris sustaining him and his wife during the “starving artist” phase of his writing career?

In the book “Paris-Underground,” an American, Etta Shiber, describes life in Paris before and after the USA entered WWII. Ms. Shiber was given passage back to the United States as part of a prisoner exchange in 1943.

At one point, after Ms. Shiber gets out of prison, she asks her landlord about her dogs. On page 382 (Charles Scribner’s Sons hardback), she is told: “I don’t know if you noticed, Madame. There isn’t a dog in Paris any more. When there isn’t even enough to eat for human beings, what can you do about dogs?”

Mrs. Shiber then asks about the possibility her dogs were used as food and is given a vehement denial. The landlady does add: “I tell you, there are people who ate their dogs.” Wouldn’t that passage send Rush into hysterical laughter?

That opens up a whole new aspect for Uncle Rushbo’s brand of sick humor. Will America’s favorite “news man” soon be reminding the Democrats, after their unemployment checks run out, of the oriental wisdom: “Black dog tastes best!”?

(Would Lenny Bruce be proud of Rush Limbaugh’s efforts to revive and carry on the tradition of “sick humor”?)

Does Rush’s Florida seaside mansion have a vomitorium or would that be too decadent even for him? Will Rush hold a “tar balls arrive” fundraiser at his place for the good Republican candidates who apologize to BP? He will laugh off the arrival at his pad of the oil slick, won’t he? Shouldn’t the oil slick’s arrival make him laugh just as much as Jean Valjean’s prison sentence did?

How long will it be before Uncle Rushbo plays the “pile of little arms” speech from “Apocalypse Now” and adds his own laugh track?

Can a Christian minister preach the principles advocated by the Prince of Peace and still expect to get an invitation to the White House at Christmas time? If they are aware of the folk wisdom: “Ya gotta go along to get along!;” they’ll keep their mouths shut.

Speaking of misguided religious principles, this writer expects to do a column about the new book “God and His Demons” and a public appearance in Berkeley later this week by the author of that book.

Somewhere this columnist ran across a quote wherein a rich lady was reminded of the plight of the hungry to which she replied: “Well, why don’t they ring the bell?” She was referring to the servant’s bell which would summon a butler who would be assigned the task of fetching a meal from the kitchen. It’s that easy for the rich. We couldn’t find the source of that quote online. Shouldn’t that quote and the source be available on Jon Winokur’s twitter page?

A boy who is rumored to be the grandson of Eisenhower’s ambassador to India and who, according to unsubstantiated internet scuttlebutt, got his first gig as a disk jockey soon after his family bought a radio station, would just naturally assume that a well stocked refrigerator is as ubiquitous in American homes as is indoor plumbing. Such a lad might sound a bit disingenuous if he touted the philosophy of self reliance. Roger that, dittoheads?

We’ll use an ending quote that has an easier to identify source. In “Oliver Twist,” Charles Dickens wrote the line: “Please, sir, I want some more.” Will Uncle Rushbo add T-shirts with that quote to the page on his website that offers online huckstering? Did he or did he not realize that his line about dumpster diving would inevitably lead to comparisons to the “beat ‘em and starve ‘em” philosophy in “Oliver Twist”?

Now the disk jockey will play “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” Roger Miller’s “Dang Me,” and “Delicious” done by Jim Backus and friend. We gotta go work off a few excess calories. Have an “all you can eat” type week and, if you can, donate some money to web sites that are trying to refute the millionaire misanthrope. Maybe the next time it’s your turn to buy a round of drinks at the country club, you can get a laugh by telling your buddies what you did with the money in lieu of taking your turn.

BP Oiligator and the Big Screw!

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 2:51 am


Obesity at Disneyland: It’s down from four years ago

Four years ago I spent Thanksgiving day at Disneyland and was shocked to see so many obese teenagers there — touring the place in wheelchairs and scooters because they were too overweight to walk. This sight made a lasting impression on me. I’m talking about 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds weighing up to 500 or 600 pounds.

So when I returned to Disneyland again this year on assignment from my two-year-old granddaughter Mena, I expected to see more of the same — and I was completely delighted when I didn’t.

What I saw instead was a group of obese young adults. Apparently the teenagers that I had seen four years ago had now grown up — but there wasn’t so many of them as before. Why is that?

My thesis is that Americans have finally become aware that the high-fructose corn syrup in their sodas and the partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans fats) in their fries have caused them to balloon up far beyond anything that has ever happened before in human history.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Almost all nutritionists finger high fructose corn syrup consumption as a major culprit in the nation’s obesity crisis. The inexpensive sweetener flooded the American food supply in the early 1980s, just about the time the nation’s obesity rate started its unprecedented climb.”

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, ” In animal studies, eating trans fat promotes obesity and resistance to insulin, the precursor to diabetes.”

Several scientific studies have clearly indicated that the teens I had seen in Disneyland earlier weren’t just ravenous gluttons who couldn’t push themselves away from the table and who had no will power at all. These teenagers have been chemically poisoned for profit by the food industry.

How else can you explain this phenomena?

I recently ran into a young woman who I hadn’t seen in approximately the last ten months — and in that short time she had gained over 100 pounds. How the freak can you gain 100 pounds in less than a year? High-fructose corn syrup and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil, that’s how.

And diet soda might also be to blame — where your tongue sends a message to your brain that something sweet is heading toward your stomach, but then it never arrives — and this drives your spleen, pancreas and liver crazy!

According to an ABC News report, “Calorie-conscious consumers who opt for diet sodas may gain more weight than if they drank sugary drinks because of artificial sweeteners contained in the diet sodas, according to a new study. A Purdue University study released Sunday in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience reported that rats on diets containing the artificial sweetener saccharin gained more weight than rats given sugary food, casting doubt on the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners.”

Not only that, but our livers are trained to filter out any chemicals that it doesn’t recognize as something that our ancestors were familiar with. And no liver is gonna be able to recognize artificial sweeteners from back in the caveman days! And so our livers get screwed. And so do we. Why? Because basically all that diet sodas consist of are water and chemicals. But I digress.

Even with time set aside for obesity research, we still had a marvelous time at Disneyland. Ashley wanted to go see Captain E-O. I wanted to go see Small World, to find out if they had messed it up with all those new changes (they hadn’t). And Mena just wanted to see Pooh. We saw A LOT of Winnie the Pooh. “He’s ALIVE!” exclaimed Mena.

Mena loved the Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise. She hated the Haunted Mansion. And she started out to not like the Pirates of the Caribbean but was won over after a few minutes — although that night, she talked in her sleep and said, “I don’t like pirates.”

In any case, we sadly said goodbye to Disneyland after it closed at midnight and drove back to where we were staying in Inglewood, having had a truly wonderful time. And here’s the video to prove it:

June 19, 2010

BP: Beyond Petroleum – and the Law!

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:27 am


June 18, 2010

More questions about the Gulf oil disaster

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 8:20 am

Author’s note: Has your bovine excrement meter maxed out yet?

President Obama’s “feel-good” speech, raised a few questions about the Gulf oil disaster. Upon further review of information, there are many more.

It is becoming clear that this is a national nightmare without end. Some are calling it “America’s Chernobyl.” Every day new details are “officially” released, but none of those should come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the analysis of scientists over the past few weeks.

The truth is that no matter what President Obama or BP execs say, life in the Gulf region will never be the same…at least not in our lifetimes. No one is really in charge, because no one seems to know how to stop this leak. So far the only solution has been to dump millions of gallons of toxic dispersants on the oil gushing out, so that most of it doesn’t surface into public view. But that doesn’t make it go away. Oil, as well as toxic gases will soon be pouring ashore in unprecedented levels.

  1. The dispersants known as Corexit 9500 and 9527, are identified as a “moderate” human health hazards that can cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation with prolonged exposure, according to safety data documents. The chemicals break apart the oil and keep it from reaching the surface. It has been banned from use in the U.K. So why is it allowed to be used by BP in the Gulf?
  2. It is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:10) is lethal to 50% of marine life exposed to it within 96 hours. That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish. So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren’t they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?
  3. If these dispersants are so incredibly toxic to fish, what are they going to do to the land and crops when they get rained on us?  What are they going to do to people?
  4. Why are scientists finding concentrations of methane at up to 10,000 times normal background levels in Gulf waters?
  5. At some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico, levels of benzene have been detected at over 3000 parts per billion, and levels of hydrogen sulfide have been detected as high as 1192 parts per billion.  Considering that these levels are highly toxic to humans, why haven’t people been warned?
  6. Why are so many Gulf oil spill disaster workers showing up at local hospitals complaining of a “mysterious illness“?
  7. If the smell of the oil on some Gulf beaches is already so strong that it burns the nostrils of cleanup workers, then what is this oil doing to wildlife that have to swim in it?
  8. Why has the FAA shut down the airspace above the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?  What don’t they want the American people to see?
  9. Is it a bad sign that birds from the Gulf region are flocking north by the thousands?
  10.  Why is BP being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites?
  11.  Why is BP openly attempting to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo?
  12.  Senator Bill Nelson of Florida says that there are reports that there are additional ruptures in the sea floor from which oil is leaking (see video below).  If there are quite a few of these additional ruptures, then how in the world does BP expect to completely stop this oil leak?
  13.  If “70% or 80%” of the protective booms are doing absolutely nothing at all to stop the oil, then what is going to stop the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf from eventually reaching shore?
  14.  It is being reported that the deep sea oil plumes are creating huge “dead zones” where all creatures are dying as they are deprived of oxygen.  If this oil spill continues to grow could the vast majority of the Gulf of Mexico become one gigantic “dead zone”?
  15.  President Obama announced that the Gulf will be restored to 90% normal by the end of summer, but that we should also “pray.” Which is it?

It’s about time the American people, especially Gulf residents, get some answers…and the truth.

Read more, get a video and links here: Orlando Independent Examiner: More questions about the Gulf oil disaster.

The Tattlesnake – Hayward Ho, Joe Blows It, Michele’s Glow Dims and All That Glitters Edition

Why Ask Me? Thanks to Tony Hayward’s appearance before Congress, we now know the qualifications for a CEO of British Petroleum apparently are to be completely uninformed about your business and the details of the greatest man-made oil disaster in US history that your company caused. For maintaining this extraordinary level of blissful ignorance, Hayward was paid $4.7 million in salary last year. Note to BP: Seems like you could find someone just as empty above the neck for considerably less – I know several people looking for a job who know nothing about the oil business and would gladly accept $50K per annum to stay just as dumb as Tony.

Speaking of Tony’s eye-rolling Congressional performance, crackpot Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton, coincidentally the recipient of at least $27,000 in campaign cash from Big Oil, took the occasion to dump on Obama for making sure BP paid for its disaster with a $20 billion escrow fund (which Joe hilariously called a ‘shakedown’) and then apologized to BP for any inconvenience the people of the US might have caused the oil giant by holding them responsible for destroying the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 Americans and ruining the lives of millions of others. President Obama may not have had his finest moment in his speech last Tuesday, but with the opposition spearheaded by half-baked corporate cheerleaders like Barton; Mississippi Gov. Haley “You Sure These Here Tar Balls Are From BP?” Barbour; Louisiana Gov. Bobby “I’m Against All Federal Bail-Outs Except When My State Needs One” Jindal; Alabama Gov. Bob “The Oil Will Never Reach Our Beaches” Riley and other GOP space cadets echoing the same forehead-slapping “Let’s not be so hard on BP” line, Obama looks like FDR in high-gear in comparison. The delusional, pop-eyed, tongue-lolling crazy GOP is committing suicide in the Gulf States; seems like the political opposition could take advantage of that by running ads simply showing what the various Republican pols have said in defense of the hated BP, especially Barton. (Just imagine the spittle-flecked furor on the right if a Democrat apologized to BP.) But, then, these are today’s Democrats who have made ‘bipartisanship’ with the lunatic Republicans their religion. FDR would not have approved. (Incidentally, GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner forced Barton to apologize for his BP apology; even the Ohio SunTanMan knew what a stench of electoral defeat Strokin’ Joe’s words left in their wake.)

Speaking of losers, I think it’s a cinch that dipsy-doodle Republican wingnut Michele Bachmann will lose her bid for reelection in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. Given a strong Democratic challenger (for a change) and the embarrassment she’s caused to her constituents by her public bouts of delusional babbling, paranoid hysteria, and defense of BP’s unethical and destructive practices, she may very well be retired to a Fox News berth, or a sinecure as a lobbyist for the Focus on the Family’s Anti-Woman League.

– Gold Rush and Bust: For those who think buying gold will be a hedge against disaster if the economy melts down even further, keep in mind it is just a tradable commodity like corn, and actually worse than corn because at least corn is edible. Gold is a soft metal not good for much except jewelry and spacecraft and the price is high only because, for now, there are more buyers than sellers. However, if in the future the number of sellers exceeds the number of buyers, the price will plunge, which is exactly what I think will happen as things worsen. Although most economists think there’s no chance the price of gold will drop precipitously, these are some of the same seers who thought real estate values would perpetually increase. Unless you can find a way to eat it or wear it for warmth, investing in gold is just another junk bond scheme where the little guy will end up holding the bag. (Gold purveyors are now Glenn Beck’s primary sponsors – what does that tell you?) As John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “In economics, the majority is always wrong,” and Galbraith has been proven right, again and again.

BTW, those who favor a return to the gold standard for US currency don’t seem to realize that the price of gold is unstable and fluctuates daily and, therefore, so would the value of the dollar. Besides, the US doesn’t own enough gold to make this a viable notion.

© 2010 RS Janes.

June 17, 2010

The GOP Broken Record: Avoiding Blame Republican-Style


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