Saturday, July 24, 2010

BP Presents 350 Safety Violations On Oil Rig, Tomorrow's Nuclear War May Not Be A Game

Glenn Greenwald
Kathleen Parker
Dana Milbank
Zachary Roth

"British Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting the U.S. and yesterday he and President Obama gave each other pieces of art. That really wasn't necessary, Britain. You've already given us a huge oil painting." – Jimmy Fallon
"Apparently BP's containment cap is leaking. When asked if the rumors are true, a BP spokesman said, 'Aren't there any more Mel Gibson tapes?'" – Craig Ferguson
"The oil spill is getting bad. There is so much oil and tar now in the Gulf of Mexico, Cubans can now walk to Miami." – David Letterman

If you have hours to spend online, click over to the Washington Post and read the articles they published all last week on our intelligence infrastructure. Glen Greenwald's opinion piece is on the lack of concern and ho hum attitude it provoked in Washington. We may have become lax in our concerns from all of the television shows, movies, cartoons, and spy novels that celebrate covert activities as an accepted and patriotic fantasy. We should be worried about the number of private companies that have transformed industrial sabotage into government contractual work. Industrial espionage used to be much better than our governmental agencies. My father used to tell the story about the time he was working for TRW, and was working in the newly built, top secret classified room. He had to take off all personal effects before entering, and if he had to use the restroom, he had to be escorted to and from by an armed security guard. The phone rang once when  he was working there for about 20 minutes, and he picked it up.

"Hello, is this Jim Williams?"
"Yes, it is."
"This is Hughes Aircraft. How would you like to come and work for us? "

He declined, and then reported the episode to security, who had to quarantine the building and take the place apart, looking for cameras, bugs, or microphones. Since it was a project for the CIA that he was working on, he was lucky that it was only a rival company involved... It also explained why he could never take any of his children to work with him on Take Your Children To Work day. When we would ask, he always told us that he loved us, but if he took us to work with him they would have to kill us...:-)

As more information gets released about BP, Transocean, and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, it's pretty amazing that there haven't been more accidents and worker's deaths before now. In a secret BP report on safety violations that was presented  to Transocean, there were over 350 known concerns that were ignored. What few safety measures there were seemed to have been turned off regularly by BP, so as to not wake the workers if an alarm went off at 3 am. There are 33 other deep water drilling platforms currently in operations in the Gulf of Mexico, and over 3,500 smaller platforms working closer to shore. If the US suddenly insisted that all platforms have their safety systems working and up to standard, and then inspected them all like they are supposed to, how many would pass and be allowed to continue operating? And you know that it is worse in other countries that have less safety standards... Which reminds me, I have to go onto Facebook later today, and ask my friend in Florida if she has come down with dengue fever yet...

Yesterday the UN announced that all future aid being sent to Gaza use the established land routes, and there would be no problems in getting the humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Right now the UN distributes all aid into Gaza, and there was at least one flotilla still planned from Lebanon by the end of this month. Hamas, who is supposed to be in charge in Gaza, has asked that all future aid still be sent by ships, because they want someone else to do their work and try to break the Israeli naval blockade.
"The UN call to international organisations to use the over-land road to Gaza instead of the sea is unacceptable and illegal," Sami Abu Zahri, a Hamas spokesman, said on Saturday. Groups trying to deliver aid to the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave should "continue to reach Gaza by sea until the blockade is really broken," Abu Zahri said."
Proving once again how outdated and useless Hamas has become, using the misery and poverty of the people in Gaza as political pawns. Yeah, I know that Hamas has declined to participate in the proximity talks, but instead of looking like a bunch of militant hard-asses, they reveal themselves as irrelevant, manipulative old fools. time for an election, anyone?

Expect the resignation of the ultra right winger Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sometime soon. He is clashing with everyone else in the government and keeps making public his off-the-wall solutions that tend to escalate public tensions and hysteria. Even the huckster Netanyahu is too liberal for him...

Even more dangerous than the chess game between Iran and the US is the brinkmanship being displayed on the Korean peninsula. After it was determined that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean ship, the US decided to show its solidarity with the South by holding joint war-game exercises and imposing some more sanctions against the North. The war games begin tomorrow, which: "... will involve the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 20 other ships and submarines, 100 aircraft and 8,000 personnel."

It doesn't matter asking the question of who is in charge making decisions in North Korea, Kim Il-Jung or his energetic young son, because North Korea at first called such exercises gun-boat diplomacy (which it is), and then threatened to use nuclear weapons in a more hysterical outburst:
"The army and people of the DPRK will start a retaliatory sacred war of their own style based on nuclear deterrent any time necessary in order to counter the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war," it added.
So, thanks, Hillary and Mr Gates. As if the freaking boondoggle in the Middle East and south Asia hasn't been enough, I will get to wake up tomorrow and we'll be in a nuclear war with a schizophrenic nation bent on fulfilling its paranoid self-destructive fantasies, all because you got a little drunk with power after getting your sanctions passed against Iran. Now you are galavanting throughout Asia offering to solve everyone's problems by throwing sanctions at countries like they were Molotov cocktails... She just pissed off the Chinese by offering to mediate between them and the Vietnamese over the use of some islands, but she may not be alive by then, not if this friggin' war starts and it's her damned fault, and she's still in the region... Bill, your domestic issues may soon be resolved...

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