Monday, September 27, 2010

Chocolate Is Dying ?????????

Under the spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands.....No More. Not since a blight erased the chestnut tree from the American scene. Now with global warming and climate shift most North American conifers are dying of A,B, or C causes.

Please dear God not the Chocolate Trees!!!!

"In a rare tale of technology, bio­terrorism and chocolate, scientists are racing to sequence the cacao tree genome. They fear that without the genome in hand they will be unable to stop the spread of two virulent pathogens that threaten to devastate the world’s cocoa crop."

"In a strange twist, the quest for the cacao tree genome became a race between two companies that typically compete in the candy aisle of your local drug store, Mars and Hershey. According to a New York Times report, the Hershey-led research project has also finished a rough draft of the genome, but can’t discuss its work until a journal article is published.
The genetic data will be precious to those who cultivate and rely on the cacao tree, researchers say.
Despite its seeming ubiquity on newsstands, chocolate is reliant on a notoriously fragile crop that has been plagued by pests and disease. In the 1980s, Brazil was a top cocoa exporter. Then a fungus known as witches’ broom infected cacao trees and decimated the industry. [Time]
After that crash in the South American cacao market, production shifted to Africa.
Today, about 70 percent of the world crop is grown in West Africa, and several million small farmers depend on it for their livelihoods. "

According to the Candy companies the glass is half full. The Geneticist are saying the glass is half empty. WHATEVER!


Friday, September 24, 2010

The Rich Don't Really Understand That They Don't Understand

You've heard about the guy in Chicago that was complaining about not making ends meet on $250,000. Actually he was lying. They make about $400,000. Anyway here is his whining blog. Now of course he took it down after a billion or so negative post. But once on the www it is permanent. So from the archives here is the blog:

We are the Super Rich
Posted by Todd Henderson on September 15, 2010
"The rhetoric in Washington about taxes is about millionaires and the super rich, but the relevant dividing line between millionaires and the middle class is pegged at family income of $250,000. (I’m not a math professor, but last time I checked $250,000 is less than $1 million.) That makes me super rich and subject to a big tax hike if the president has his way.
I’m the president’s neighbor in Chicago, but we’ve never met. I wish we could, because I would introduce him to my family and our lifestyle, one he believes is capable of financing the vast expansion of government he is planning. A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.
I, like the president before me, am a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and my wife, like the first lady before her, works at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she is a doctor who treats children with cancer. Our combined income exceeds the $250,000 threshold for the super rich (but not by that much), and the president plans on raising my taxes. After all, we can afford it, and the world we are now living in has that familiar Marxian tone of those who need take and those who can afford it pay. The problem is, we can’t afford it. Here is why.
The biggest expense for us is financing government. Last year, my wife and I paid nearly $100,000 in federal and state taxes, not even including sales and other taxes. This amount is so high because we can’t afford fancy accountants and lawyers to help us evade taxes and we are penalized by the tax code because we choose to be married and we both work outside the home. (If my wife and I divorced or were never married, the government would write us a check for tens of thousands of dollars. Talk about perverse incentives.)
Our next biggest expense, like most people, is our mortgage. Homes near our work in Chicago aren’t cheap and we do not have friends who were willing to help us finance the deal. We chose to invest in the University community and renovate and old property, but we did so at an inopportune time.
We pay about $15,000 in property taxes, about half of which goes to fund public education in Chicago. Since we care the education of our three children, this means we also have to pay to send them to private school. My wife has school loans of nearly $250,000 and I do too, although becoming a lawyer is significantly cheaper. We try to invest in our retirement by putting some money in the stock market, something that these days sounds like a patriotic act. Our account isn’t worth much, and is worth a lot less than it used to be.
Like most working Americans, insurance, doctors’ bills, utilities, two cars, daycare, groceries, gasoline, cell phones, and cable TV (no movie channels) round out our monthly expenses. We also have someone who cuts our grass, cleans our house, and watches our new baby so we can both work outside the home. At the end of all this, we have less than a few hundred dollars per month of discretionary income. We occasionally eat out but with a baby sitter, these nights take a toll on our budget. Life in America is wonderful, but expensive.
If our taxes rise significantly, as they seem likely to, we can cut back on some things. The (legal) immigrant from Mexico who owns the lawn service we employ will suffer, as will the (legal) immigrant from Poland who cleans our house a few times a month. We can cancel our cell phones and some cable channels, as well as take our daughter from her art class at the community art center, but these are only a few hundred dollars per month in total. But more importantly, what is the theory under which collecting this money in taxes and deciding in Washington how to spend it is superior to our decisions? Ask the entrepreneurs we employ and the new arrivals they employ in turn whether they prefer to work for us or get a government handout.
If these cuts don’t work, we will sell our house – into an already spiraling market of declining asset values – and our cars, assuming someone will buy them. The irony here, of course, is that the government is working to save both of these industries despite the impact that increasing taxes will have.
The problem with the president’s plan is that the super rich don’t pay taxes – they hide in the Cayman Islands or use fancy investment vehicles to shelter their income. We aren’t rich enough to afford this – I use Turbo Tax. But we are rich enough to be hurt by the president’s plan. The next time the president comes home to Chicago, he has a standing invitation to come to my house (two blocks from his) and judge for himself whether the Hendersons are as rich as he thinks. "

Now of course he will only have to pay the new rate on $150,000 of his $400,000 so he has now told you two lies. The first $250,000 of his income will not have a tax increase.

So here is what the Wall Street Journal gave him for advice:

Adjust your expectations. "I can show you a client of mine right now who lives in a suburb of Chicago, he's a doctor, makes $350,000 a year, and he routinely racks up $25,000 on his credit cards," says Michael Kalscheur, a financial planner at Castle Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis. The reason? Too many people have "unrealistic expectations," says Mr. Kalscheur. They figure they should be vacationing in Italy, driving expensive cars, the whole deal. "We need to knock him upside the head. He's got to stop spending money." Every financial planner will tell you the same thing: The real challenge is tackling the psychology.

Refinance your mortgage. I have no idea how big and expensive your home is, but you can now get a 30 year jumbo mortgage at around 5.3%. Even on a $1 million loan that comes to $5,500 a month, and it's tax deductible. If your home is so expensive that you can't even afford it at these rates, you can't afford it. Sell it and move somewhere more affordable. If you're underwater on the mortgage, talk to the bank. Forget about "equity," which may not exist, and look at the cashflow.

Get a grip on your discretionary spending. Carry a pocket notebook with you for a month, and write down everything you spend. Get your wife and children to do the same. It will help you understand where your money is going. Almost every financial planner will tell you that this is invariably a huge eye-opener. As Jonathan Sard, a financial advisor in Atlanta, says, you may find you spend $100 in Target every time you go in for lightbulbs, or spend $300 taking your kids to a White Sox game. With everyone it's different, but you need to know where the losses are. If writing everything down is too much of a challenge: Junk the plastic, and just carry cash. This is instant budgeting. If you carry $500 a month, that's all you can spend.

Stop blaming the government. According to the Congressional Budget Office, a household earning $265,000 a year is in the top 20% in the country, and one earning $395,000 is in the top 10%. (The relevant thresholds are $190,000 and $290,000, respectively. And those figures were from 2007, a more prosperous time). So you're near the top of the tree in the richest country in history. At the same time, contrary to what you seem to think, federal taxes are not extortionate by modern historical standards. According to the CBO, families in the top 20% pay average federal taxes of 25.1%. The figure in President Reagan's final year in office: 25.6%.
Think about relocating. No kidding. It's not about how much you earn, it's about how much you get to keep, and if you are paying too much to live in an expensive town like Chicago, you may be much better off earning less somewhere cheaper. You and your wife both have highly portable jobs. According to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, someone earning $350,000 in Chicago could get the same standard of living on just $230,000 a year in, say, Austin, Texas or Cincinnati.

Reconsider the investments. You say you're putting money into the stock market each month, even though you are paying off huge student loans. You need to do the math. If your investments are through a 401(k), they make sense: They're saving you taxes, maybe taking advantage of a company match. But if they are in addition to your 401(k) plan, they may not make sense right now. You are probably better off using the money to pay down that debt.
Rethink the two cars. Are you leasing them? How much are they costing you a month? This is one of the biggest ways middle class families blow their cash. I can't believe the number of people who think these moving white elephants are a status symbol. When I see an expensive car go by, all it tells me is that the owner is (a) insecure and (b) has no sense. These days you can get a decent set of wheels for a lot less than $10,000. Buy used. Pay cash. Run it till it dies.
Rethink the schools. You're sending your children to private school. But how much is it costing you? I take your point about terrible local public schools, but can you move to a neighborhood with better public schools? Or downscale to less-expensive schools?

Talk to a tax accountant. You say you're using TurboTax. With your income, you might benefit from some professional assistance. Are there deductions you can take that you're not using? Are you subject to Alternative Minimum Tax? Should you make your fourth quarter state and federal tax payments before Dec. 31? You may be able to help your financial position.

Go after all the little costs. You're hemorrhaging money. Get the kids to mow the lawn or do it yourself. Bake your own bread. Cook your own meals. Buy generic brands and bulk brands. Go to Costco, Sam's Club and other discount clubs. Junk the landline. Junk cable for Netflix. Rethink your banking: You're probably bleeding money through needless "fees" every month. Forget the "conspicuous consumption." Go for the conspicuous unconsumption. Brag about how little you spend. Find new ways to avoid spending money.

Oh, and one more thing. Never, ever, ever again blog about how hard it is to live on $300,000 or $350,000 a year at a time when one middle. (It was actually $400,000)

So everybody hates this fool. As well they should. 94%of Americans make less household income than his family. Yet to him, it is a crime that the President wants them to pay for their countries operation.

The rich don't seem to understand that they don't understand. What's worse. They don't care much either and when anyone brings either of those points up they whine "Class War"!
OK, we can do that. Is that bitter?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who(m) Do You Trust?

To prove the negative, how many times do we demand that from our fellow Americans?
We are unhappy. We are mad. We want to strike out against those who hurt us, oppress us, devalue us. Those in power today are very worried that we are reaching a tipping point and will throw the bums out or start a class war. So like always they provide the scapegoat. Today with our social networks this is as easy as pie. The fear and needs are real. They just want to help focus it a little into channels not harmful to them so that they keep what they got from you.

An example of their results:

Circulating on Face Book:

"How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while... they plot the next attack that will slaughter these same good neighbors and children? The events of September 11th changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me. I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America . Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it? Or do you pray that Allah with destroy it in one of your Jihad's? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America ? If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it. Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America . Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy. I am only interested in action. What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war? I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting 'Allah Bless America ' I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole. The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals. The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing 'leaders' like Khadafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat. If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, and pure, and true, when your 'leaders' are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam. We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the greatest constitution in the world. I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family. I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American. But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. Until then - I don't trust you being in my house !"

My reply:
That feels good and right doesn't it. It is tempting to take that position.
XXXXXXX, that's B.S.,that's like all of us affected by the McVeigh bombing in OKC, requiring every big yellow truck* on the road to have a big sign certifying that i...t is free of explosives, or having every car from Minnesota (or was it Wisconsin) checked every few miles while in Oklahoma and having the occupants show a notarized statement of loyalty to America.

Should we have a follow up examinations every five years for our ex-military to determine their continued loyalty and mental stability?Shall we all give up our privacy to obtain security?

Historically, it is exactly the attitude towards the Japanese Americans during WWII. That was a fine chapter in our history.

What is being propose is that we take away from our fellow Americans what we are scared they might be thinking about taking away from us. Who is next? Mexicans? Nigerians? Texans? Sequoya county residents? I can make a case for each of those.

(*Actually on the big yellow truck deal, most of those people driving have never driven a truck before. It would be best to stay well away from them anyway.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baker Street

Raphael Ravenscroft on the Tenor Saxophone

Baker Street: Music by Gerry Rafferty

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Un Raton By Any Other Name Is A Ground Squirrel (With a Reply)

"Raton: A city
Location: New Mexico/USA Settled in 1871 and called 'Mouse' in Spanish because a certain breed of ground squirrel or rock squirrel swarmed over a nearby mountain. "

Once upon a time I made the mistake of saying to my Children that the Spanish word "Raton" (Mouse) sometimes meant "Squirrel". This was before the Internet and so I was limited to mundane sources to prove my point....and I couldn't. But now I have.

If ever you have ever wished for bright children, may God not grant your wish. They are a pain in the ass 24/7/365 until death do we part.

They got on my case. They laughed at me. They ridiculed me. They made fun of me. They were mean. Their behavior in this matter was bad.

Now here is evidence that in New Mexico, in this city, if not region, raton means squirrel.

Will they honor this proof? Will they give me credit? Hell no they won't. But for all the rest of mankind out there, I just wanted you to know that I was correct and they weren't right.
HERE is a reply from my older son. This is why it is a lost cause....
"We knew all this back during the original debate. But just because once upon a time a select few Spanish speakers erroneously referred to squirrels as rats doesn't make squirrels into rats, nor does it change the true meaning of "raton" in their language. Maybe if the entire population was consistent in the error for centuries, even after the error was pointed out to them, then the meaning of the word would expand. For example, referring to an American Bison as a "Buffalo" is not incorrect in my book, no matter what those biologists say. Those biologists haven't read enough Linguistics or Phil of Language, and they are entirely out-voted by everyone else. But that's not what's going on with "raton". Because if you go to a New Mexican Spanish-speaking neighborhood holding a ground squirrel in one hand and a rat in the other and ask a New Mexican Spanish-speaking local to point to the "raton", guess which one will get picked?It is a HUGE leap in logic to go from "Once upon a time centuries ago a few locals, either in error or in jest, referred to the local squirrels as rats and named the town after them" to "Squirrels and rats share the same name in Spanish". If a town in New York were to be renamed "Rat, NY" after all the "rats with wings" that infested the area, does that mean that in the English language "rat" rightly refers to pigeons? Nope.So after all these years, you are still wrong for the same reasons. You have just forgotten the intricacies of the argument. I hear that these memory troubles often happen in advanced age such as you've reached, so that's understandable. Don't feel too bad."
See what I mean?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The BP Oil Rode A Slime Highway To Cover The Ocean Floor

This is what a sea floor core should look like with no oil.

What shall we do with these BP fellows?

Their peers don't seem to want to punish them.
The Feds are pussyfooting around trying to find a way out of this.
The States are in bed whoring it up with them,
The media, well they are pretending it is old news.
What shall be done?

They found some more of the oil.

It is in a layer covering the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
How much oil is there?
How much of the Gulf floor is ruined?
We don't know yet.

This is what the sea cores look like after the BP oil disaster.
Two inches of oil covering the bottom.

Scientists Find Thick Layer Of Oil On Seafloor

Thank you NPR for being true to your calling and to us.

"Scientists on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico are finding a substantial layer of oily sediment stretching for dozens of miles in all directions. Their discovery suggests that a lot of oil from the Deepwater Horizon didn't simply evaporate or dissipate into the water — it has settled to the seafloor.".....

"Joye describes seeing layers of oily material — in some places more than 2 inches thick — covering the bottom of the seafloor.
"It's very fluffy and porous. And there are little tar balls in there you can see that look like microscopic cauliflower heads," she says.
It's very clearly a fresh layer. Right below it she finds much more typical seafloor mud. And in that layer, she finds recently dead shrimp, worms and other invertebrates.".....

"How did the oily sediment get there? Joye says it's possible that chemical dispersants might have sunk some oil, but it's also likely that natural systems are playing an important role.
"The organisms that break down oil excrete mucus — copious amounts of mucus," Joye says. "So it's kind of like a slime highway from the surface to the bottom. Because eventually the slime gets heavy and it sinks."
That sticky material can pick up oil particles as it sinks."......

"Joye's findings so far have found oil in depths ranging from 300 to 4,000 feet. Shallower waters, in particular, are potentially important not just for life on the bottom but for the entire marine ecosystem.
"A lot of fish go down to the bottom and eat and then come back up," Hollander says. "And if all their food sources are derived from the bottom, then indeed you could have this impact."
Figuring all that out though, will probably take many years."

So what is to be done?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No Justice For The Jumpers

9-11 Seven-Eight-Nine Years and No Justice for the Jumpers

Every year , against my better judgement, I watch the re-runs of the 9-11 tragedy.
They show little or nothing of the jumpers.
They don't let you hear the thuds recorded at the time.
Would that be in bad taste, inflammatory, yes, I guess it would be.
Every year I think about posting those myself.
I think about pulling them out of my archives and put them here.

But I don't.

I do not show them diving to death to keep from cooking alive.
I do not show them burst on the sidewalk like pumpkins.
Instead I will re-post this:No Justice For the Jumpers!
It was the Jumpers.
The falling of the buildings was mind blowing.
The collapse of the Towers was unbelievable.
It was the Jumpers.
That was believable.
Those people I could identify with.
I could understand.
That I could wrap my mind around.
With them I identified.
That was what stoked my hatred.
Someone had to pay for the Jumpers!

As I look back now that is how I came to hate George W. Bush and all he was and stood for and everyone who supported him.
They are Shit to me.
W did not make them pay.
He dropped the ball.
He went off on a personal family crusade.
He did not seek, much less obtain Justice for the Jumpers.
He left us, me, unsatisfied, unfinished, unresolved!
He is a loser.
He let them get away.
Naw, don't give me back those Karl Rove (Lee Atwater Junior) talking points.
Don't you dare.
I want Justice for the JUMPERS.
I want Retribution for those who burst on the sidewalks.
I want Punishment in the name of those holding hands as they jumped together.
I want Parity of Pain given in the name of those who in flames leaped to their deaths.
I want Justice For The Jumpers.
That's all, just common justice.

McCain says if we elect him he can give it to us.
Big talk for a demented old man.
Why didn't you get it done already Mr Senator?
Besides John you smell like Bush and I hated that loser.
Obama says he can get it for us.
Can he?
I don't see the passion or the need for it in him.
You Have to NEED Justice or Revenge before you will pursue it where ever and however it needs to be pursued.
I go a bit insane on 9-11.
Just like I go insane every April 19th.
The Jumpers need Justice.
Justice for the Jumpers!
Is that really too much to ask?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Death By Stoning, A Description

I first read this account in 1968, while in East Africa. It has stayed in my mind ever since. when I read about adultery or stoning in the Bible I remember this description by James A. Mitchener. He watched such an event in 1948 and wrote about it in 1963.

As we wait for the Mullahs and other men of Iran to demonstrate a similar blood lust on a woman taken in adultery, I think it is only proper that we understand what that actually means.

If you are squeamish or sensitive do not continue to read this. Mitchener recorded it all.

An Execution in Ghazni: Stoned for Adultery

"When the soldiers reached the stake, they inexpertly drove several nails into it -- and lashed the prisoner's hands to these nails, at the same time securing her ankles to the bottom of the stake. When they stepped back, the dirty white chaderi fell completely over the bare feet and the prisoner was wholly masked. She was still free, however, to look out upon the world of hate-filled faces. I turned to watch the mullahs and did not see what happened next, but I heard a thudding sound and a gasp. I looked around see that a rather large stone had struck the woman and fallen at her feet. The gasp must have come from her. Now the men at my right, the ones who had eaten with me and brought me to the scene, knelt to find stones...they began throwing at the shrouded figure. From all sides stones whizzed toward the stake, and most struck, and it was obvious that punishment for adultery in Afghanistan was severe.

The Woman refused to cryout, but a cheer soon rose from the crowd. One powerful man had found an especially good stone, large and jagged, and he threw this with force,aiming carefully at her body, and it struck so violently in her abdomen that soon the first blood of the afternoon showed through the chaderi. It was this that brought the cheer...another stone of equal size struck the woman's shoulder. It brought both blood and cheers...A large man with unerring aim pitched a jagged rock of some size and caught the woman in the breast, blood spurted through the torn chaderi and at last the woman uttered a piercing scream... men from all sides gathered fresh ammunition.

The sagging body was struck eight or nine times in the next fusillade, but mercifully the woman could not have know. Now a burly man shouted that he had found the perfect rock and the others must stand aside. The crowd obeyed and watched breathlessly as he took careful aim, whirled his arm, and launch his missile with ugly force. It flashed across the fifteen yards separating the men from their target and sped accurately as intended, striking the unconscious woman in the face. Quick blood marked the spot and the crowd cheered.

The blow was so terrible that it wrenched the prisoner's hands from the nails and allowed her to collapse in a heap about the stake. As she did so, the crowd broke loose and rushed to the fallen body smashing it with boulders which no man, however powerful, could have thrown from a distance. Again and again they dropped the huge rocks on the fallen body until they crushed it completely, continuing the wild sport until they had build a small mound of stones over the scene..."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Like a Dog

Today in a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama said of the opposition, "They talk about me like a dog."

"That’s been at the heart what we’ve been doing over these last 20 months: building our economy on a new foundation so that our middle class doesn’t just survive this crisis -– I want it to thrive. I want it to be stronger than it was before.
And over the last two years, that’s meant taking on some powerful interests — some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time. And they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. (Applause.) That’s not in my prepared remarks, it’s just — but it’s true. "

So is finally to the point that he understands that these people are willing to destroy him to win.
I hope so. Otherwise, they will become bolder and bolder and then one day they will believe they can do anything. Then......

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It Is The Methane Hydrates Stupid! Redux

Well, I'll be Damn, it WAS the Methane Hydrates, surprise, surprise. Now I guess they think it is safe to admit it.
But folks, it ain't over until it is over. The SOBs still haven't admitted to 11 negligent homicides because the were screwing with something they knew better than to screw with. Who will be prosecuted for murder? Who ever decided to drill into the methane hydrate sediments are the killers.

The hydrates are still messing with them.

"ON THE GULF OF MEXICO – Icelike crystals had formed Saturday on the 300-ton blowout preventer that failed to stop oil from spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, forcing BP crews to wait before they could safely hoist the device to the surface.
The hydrates — which caused the oil giant problems when the company was trying to contain the oil spilling into the Gulf — need to melt because they are combustible. Crews must take care not to damage the device, which is considered a key piece of evidence in the spill investigation.
"We don't want to lift it and risk an uncontrolled release of gas because that's inherently dangerous," Darin Hilton, the captain of the Helix Q4000 vessel that's raising the device with a giant crane, told The Associated Press.
The AP was the only news outlet with a print reporter and photographer on board the ship.
The device would be lifted the final 500 feet to the surface once it was assured the hydrates had dissipated. It was not an unexpected delay, Hilton said. Before the stop, it had been painstakingly raised at a rate of about 450 feet to 500 feet per hour.
Marvin Morrison, BP's wellsite leader aboard the Q4000, said workers aren't just waiting for the hydrates to melt normally. Men in red jumpsuits and white hardhats could be seen on the deck using enormous wrench-like tools to turn dials on pipes that were dousing the blowout preventer with warm seawater to speed up the melting.
Hydrates form when gases such as methane mix with water under high pressure and cold temperatures. The crystals caused BP PLC problems in May, when the company tried to place a 100-ton, four-story dome over the leak to contain it.
One man on the deck in a white cage with glass windows is using a joystick to guide the crane holding the blowout preventer upward. It will ultimately be raised through a large hatch in the underbelly of the Q4000 up to the top deck, where it will then be placed on what is essentially a huge, metal holding device called a shipping skid.
The device likely wouldn't be hoisted onto the vessel until sometime Saturday evening.
There are 137 people aboard the ship, including FBI agents who are waiting to take possession of the device after its mile-long journey. It will eventually be taken to a NASA facility in Michoud, La., to be analyzed.
The 50-foot device was detached from the wellhead Friday afternoon. Another blowout preventer had successfully been placed on the blown-out well. Officials wanted a new blowout preventer to deal with any pressure that is caused when a relief well BP has been drilling intersects the blown-out well.
Once that intersection occurs sometime after Labor Day, BP is expected to use mud and cement to plug the blown-out well for good from the bottom.
The April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and led to 206 million gallons of oil spewing from BP's undersea well.
Investigators know the explosion was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before igniting.
But they don't know exactly how or why the gas escaped. And they don't know why the blowout preventer didn't seal the well pipe at the sea bottom after the eruption, as it was supposed to. While the device didn't close — or may have closed partially — hearings have produced no clear picture of why it didn't plug the well.
Lawyers will be watching closely, as hundreds of lawsuits have been filed over the oil spill. Future liabilities faced by a number of corporations could be riding on what the analysis of the blowout preventer shows."

Remember, a solid frozen unit of methane hydrate will expand 60,000 times when heated.
Drill mud and concrete will be hot enough to melt it. The Fat lady is warming up in the wings, but she ain't sung yet.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Greetings, This Is To Inform You That We Have Officially Reduced Your Probable Life Span By An Estimate Eleven Or Twelve Years

Kind of like getting a letter from the government.
August 31, 2010

Re: Accelerated Mortality Rates For Vietnam Veterans

This is to inform you that your life will be much shorter than the average American.

Due to your wallowing in dioxins in Southeast Asia in the years 1968 and 1969 your body is contaminated with toxic substance that will most probably cause cancer and other related disease. The population of Vietnam Veterans of which you are one has a median life expectancy of 64 to 65 years old as compared to the non- Vietnam Veterans in your demographic cohort who will live longer to a median of 76 years and be more healthy as well.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
Those guys at the VA who said dioxins were not toxic back when.

Well, OK.
Glad I retired early.

I guess this means I need to review my retirement plans.

I wasn't paranoid all those friends were dying.

Well, I've already reached the Median . I am 65 years old. I wonder what the curve of Life Expectancy looks like on the back side. Is variance still just 11/12 years like at the median or is it steeper?

Dang, half of all Vietnam Veterans died before the could collect their Social Security.

Well that should make the debt reduction committee happy.

That alone will probably cover the cost of presumptive treatment of dioxin related diseases by the VA.

So this means that I signed up for four years of my life with the Army but they have taken 16 years instead.

Damn, those poor draftees. they thought they were in for just two years and now they are paying out 13 or 14.

I wonder do I have five more years? Six? Ten at the outside? Fifteen would be a miracle.

Living to 80 would be the same as those numbnuts that didn't go, living till 96.

Dang I really won't see any of those grand-kids will I?

I think I need to sit down and think about this.

I may need to reconsider what I'm doing.


1. Blue Water Navy Agent Orange Information

2. The Vietnam Veteran Health and Benefits Campaign

3.Agent Orange/Dioxin and Other Toxic Exposures: Final Rules August 31, 2010

4. Federal Register

2,594,000 Personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam. Jan. 1, 1965 - Mar. 28, 1973.

Of the 2.6 million, between 1 - 1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack. These will be the ones most likely to have had exposure to Dioxin. 30% of those were draftees.

So America, Vietnam will have cost you all that you already know about, plus eleven million to nineteen millon lost man years you haven't know about.

11 to 19 million man-years over and above previous cost.

I am closing off comments to this blog because I just don't want to deal with them.

What if someone sent you this "letter"?