Drill, Baby, Drill

As expected, President Obama is planning to lift the drilling moratorium and to return to his planned drilling program off pristine areas of the East Coast. While Obama is no longer claiming that oil rigs really do not spill much, it really does not matter much. Bureau head Michael Bromwich has announced that the six-month ban is unlikely to be renewed in a blow to environmentalists. One lasting change? The Obama Administration changed the name of the scandal-laden Minerals Management Service to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.


The Administration has been putting on a full court press with officials expressing relief that they can find no large amounts of oil left — brushing over the millions of gallons of toxic chemicals that they allowed BP to dump into the ocean to disperse the oil. Experts have objected that the Obama Administration has been actively downplaying research showing these chemicals remain in the food chain for many years. Administration officials have said that the health impact of these chemicals remains uncertain — leading others to question the decision to dump millions of gallons into the ocean.

The recent public offensive appears calculated in part to lift the ban. In the ultimate example of “out of sight out of mind,” Bromwich insists that he can “see no information so far that would justify extending the moratorium.”

Source: CNN

280 thoughts on “Drill, Baby, Drill

  1. I would suggest that the billions of dollars that Gates and Buffet have convincingly freed up http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheet/item/40-billionaires-to-donate-half-their-money/pledge-drive/ would best serve by developement of an alternative clean fuel vehicle….Mr. Obama can then continue his ‘serving’ of the corporate beast, have the poopmobile http://jonathanturley.org/2010/08/06/excuse-me-where-is-the-mens-fueling-station/and all the fuel he wants….

  2. “Bromwich insists that he can “see no information so far that would justify extending the moratorium.”

    How about the fact that the technology and the lack of coherent planning responsible for this latest catastrophe in the gulf is ubiquitous across the industry?

  3. Slartibartfast
    1, August 11, 2010 at 10:34 am
    I would assert that there is also no information so far that would justify lifting the moratorium.

    ========================================================

    Most emphatically I join in that assertion.

  4. And some one said that Obama was a new vision. Wow, and I have defended him in order to give him a chance. I read today that even the crab is tainted with oil. Well I guess what’s good enough for the gulf is good enough for the east coast…..

  5. AY,

    I think we have to call out the president on what he’s doing wrong while still acknowledging what he’s doing right (and, compared to the previous administration, that’s a lot, but that comparison is more and more ‘damning with faint praise’ every day). It would be nice if the administration tried to mollify the left a little by the only thing that really matters – actions.

  6. Slartibartfast
    1, August 11, 2010 at 11:07 am
    AY,

    …. It would be nice if the administration tried to mollify the left a little by the only thing that really matters – actions.

    =============================================================
    Once again I must emphatically agree with that assertion.

    No original thoughts from me today … I’m just going to hop onto other’s coattails.

  7. I did not vote for Obama. I voted for Nader. I still said give him a chance. But its Bette than Palin being around

  8. Blouise said:

    “No original thoughts from me today … I’m just going to hop onto other’s coattails.”

    No problem, happy to have the company. Enjoy the ride. ;-)

  9. I agree with Slarti, also. Last night the tea party faction of the republican party did very well in CO MN GA CT.

  10. Swarthmore mom said:

    “Last night the tea party faction of the republican party did very well in CO MN GA CT.”

    Which may well be good news for the Democrats come November.

  11. Slarti:

    we have had 2 major oil spills in the last 30 years, one by a third world country (Mexico) and one by a company with an historical sketchy record (BP). Lets just ban BP from drilling until such time as is determined the actual cause of the accident.

    Why penalize all drilling/oil companies for the bad actions of one? I would imagine some mathematicians are child molesters, do we throw them all in jail or deny them work because of one or 2 bad actors?

    My apologies to mathematicians everywhere, I know dentists would have been a better choice for an analogy. :)

  12. Swarthmore mom,

    We must use this info to turn out the vote … I hope the DNC is listening … I’ve read of some solid plans in that direction … I might even restart my contributions if I believe they aren’t being complacent.

  13. From Think Progress (8/10/2010)

    DOJ gags scientists studying BP disaster.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/10/scientists-bp-gag/

    Excerpt:
    In an explosive first-hand account, ecosystem biologist Linda Hooper-Bui describes how Obama administration and BP lawyers are making independent scientific analysis of the Gulf region an impossibility. Hooper-Bui has found that only scientists who are part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process to determine BP’s civil liability get full access to contaminated sites and research data. Pete Tuttle, USFWS environmental contaminant specialist and Department of Interior NRDA coordinator, admitted to The Scientist that “researchers wishing to formally participate in NRDA must sign a contract that includes a confidentiality agreement” that “prevents signees from releasing information from studies and findings until authorized by the Department of Justice at some later and unspecified date.” Hooper-Bui writes:

    It’s not hazardous conditions associated with oil and dispersants that are hampering our scientific efforts. Rather, it’s the confidentiality agreements that come with signing up to work on large research projects shepherded by government entities and BP and the limited access to coastal areas if you’re not part of those projects that are stifling the public dissemination of data detailing the environmental impact of the catastrophe.

  14. Byron,

    At the very least we need to shine a light on safety procedures – if companies are made honest about admitting their recklessness, the market will go a long way towards sorting them out (of business, that is ;-)). Also, there needs to be investment into new technology so that if there is a spill 30 years from now, we wont still be using exactly the same safety, containment, and cleanup technology that we used 30 years ago.

    And it’s okay, I know that not all engineers are greedy bastards who put their own profit ahead of the public good every time… ;-)

  15. Elaine,

    It seems to me that this is what Wikileaks is for… (please let me be right on this one!) This definitely seems like a good time for a scientist to employ some duplicity and exercise some civil disobedience.

  16. My view is that the six month moratorium was merely a political reaction to the situation. Six months for what? I’ve yet to hear an explanation of what was to be done during that period of time and, to my knowledge, we know nothing more now than we did when the moratorium was first announced.

  17. You can trust me when I tell you:

    1. Most of the oil from the spill in the Gulf has disappeared.

    2. The dispersants used weren’t really very toxic.

    3. Seafood from the Gulf is safe to eat.

    4. The check’s in the mail.

    5. Of course, I’ll still respect you in the morning.

    ;)

  18. I am sorry, but not surprised to see our President, Bush 44, continue on his course of corporate servitude. I voted for him with no great enthusiasm, but I can proudly state that I voted for Dennis Kucinich in the Wisconsin Primary and would love to vote for for him in the 2012 Presidential Election. Are you listening, Robert Gibbs? If the Tea Party splits the Republicans and the Progressives walk away from the corrupted Democratic Party and form a new Bull Moose party, there might be an entirely new alignment of political parties in the U.S.

  19. Buddha:

    not a bad idea. But then wouldn’t the expense be an issue because for every well you would need 2 rigs. Maybe only on deep water wells? But had BP done that it would have saved them hundreds of millions of dollars so would it really be that much more expensive?

    Personally I think we ought to concentrate on wells closer to shore in less than a 1,000′ of water. Although one outcome of this disaster is that a good deal has probably been learned. The best teacher is a screw up of large proportion. It would be interesting to see what lessons were learned.

  20. From Raw Story (8/11/2010)
    Gulf scientist: Justice Department is gagging me from studying oil spill
    http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0811/gulf-scientists-hampered-restrictions-confidentially-agreements/

    Excerpt:
    In May, a US Fish an Wildlife officer took away ant samples from some of Hooper-Bui’s PhD students because their project had not been approved by Incident Command, a joint program of BP and federal agencies.

    “Because I choose not to work for BP’s consultants or NRDA, my job is difficult and access to study sites is limited.”

    The media also felt the effects of limited access to the Gulf through restrictions on plane and boat traffic that made it difficult to document the worst spill in U.S. history.

    Although Hooper-Bui could gain almost infinite access to the Gulf by choosing to work for BP or a government bureaucracy like the NRDA, she notes that discussing her research would be limited by stringent confidentiality agreements.

    “The price of secrecy involved with participating in [National Resource Damage Assessment] or conducting research under the auspices of BP is too high. My students and I couldn’t discuss our data, results or experiences for three years or until the litigation against BP is settled,” she wrote.

    As Raw Story reported, scientists in the Gulf of Mexico have already found that the larvae of blue crabs has been tainted with oil. An ominous finding, according to Bob Thomas, a biologist at Loyola University, because, “it would suggest the oil has reached a position where it can start moving up the food chain instead of just hanging in the water.”

    “Something likely will eat those oiled larvae … and then that animal will be eaten by something bigger and so on,” Thomas noted.

    Like the blue crabs in the Gulf, the effect of the spill on the insects and arthropods studied by Hooper-Bui is an important indicator of the impact on the coastal ecosystem.

    “Insects were not a primary concern when oil was gushing into the Gulf, but now they may be the best indicator of stressor effects on the coastal northern Gulf of Mexico,” wrote Hooper-Bui. “Those stressors include oil, dispersants, and cleanup activities.”

    With the tight regulations imposed by BP and federal agencies, Hooper-Bui worries that “the independent researcher may be added to the list of species that will be endangered by this ecological disaster.”

  21. The Obama Administration changed the name of the scandal-laden Minerals Management Service to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

    Change you can believe in.

    Suckers

  22. The science games being played by BP are directly related to its ongoing efforts to limit its civil liability. The games being played by the Administration are merely favors to the industry.

  23. Byron,

    With the record profits oil companies have been posting? I’m not buying the expense argument. Although I agree that we should focus on shallow waters over anything below 1000 ft.

  24. Bdaman
    1, August 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    The Obama Administration changed the name of the scandal-laden Minerals Management Service to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

    Change you can believe in.

    Suckers

    ==========================================================

    And I raise you one “drill, baby, drill”

  25. Byron,

    Canada requires a pre-drilled relief well and apparently companies are still willing to drill offshore… Buddha’s right, the ‘expense’ argument doesn’t hold water.

  26. And this is exactly the sort of change we were all expecting when we voted for Obama . . . right?

    The wingnuts want to wreck everything & well will die in a giant fireball of our own creation. The Dems seem content to have us die slowly in a fetid pool of our own waste. Some choice, I guess I am now part of the “professional left”

  27. Byron,

    Just thought I’d point this out “one by a company with an historical sketchy record (BP).”

    The point isn’t that one bad actor’s actions caused a spill. The point is that one bad actor was ABLE to cause the spill.

  28. From Huffington Post (8/4/2010)
    The Crime of the Century: What BP and the US Government Don’t Want You to Know, Part I
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/the-crime-of-the-century_b_662971.html
    (This article includes photographs.)

    Excerpts:
    The unprecedented disaster caused by the BP oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon Mississippi Canyon 252 site continues to expand even as National Incident Commander Thad Allen and BP assert that the situation is improving, the blown-out source capped and holding steady, the situation well in hand and cleanup operations are being scaled back. The New York Times declared on the front page this past week that the oil was disolving more rapidly than anticipated. Time magazine reported that environmental anti-advocate Rush Limbaugh had a point when he said the spill was a “leak”. Thad Allen pointed out in a press conference that boats are still skimming on the surface, a futile gesture when the dispersant Corexit is being used to break down oil on the surface. As the oil is broken down, it mixes with the dispersant and flows under or over any booming operations.

    To judge from most media coverage, the beaches are open, the fishing restrictions being lifted and the Gulf resorts open for business in a healthy, safe environment. We, along with Pierre LeBlanc, spent the last few weeks along the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Florida, and the reality is distinctly different. The coastal communities of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have been inundated by the oil and toxic dispersant Corexit 9500, and the entire region is contaminated. The once pristine white beaches that have been subject to intense cleaning operations now contain the oil/dispersant contamination to an unknown depth. The economic impacts potentially exceed even the devastation of a major hurricane like Katrina, the adverse impacts on health and welfare of human populations are increasing every minute of every day and the long-term effects are potentially life threatening.

    Over the Gulf from the Source (official term for the Deepwater Horizon spill site) in to shore there is virtually no sign of life anywhere in the vast areas covered by the dispersed oil and Corexit. This in a region previously abundant with life above and below the ocean’s surface in all its diversity. For months now, scientists and environmental organizations have been asking where all the animals are. The reported numbers of marine animals lost from BP fall far short of the observed loss. The water has a heavy appearance and the slightly iridescent greenish yellow color that extends as far as the eye can see.

    On two, unrestricted day-long flights, on July 22nd and 23rd, we were fortunate enough to be on with official clearance. We saw a total of four distressed dolphins and three schools of rays on the surface. As the bottom of the ocean is covered with crude and only the oil on the surface broken up by dispersant, the rays are forced up to the surface in a futile attempt to find food and oxygen. Birds are scarce where one would usually find thousands upon thousands. The Gulf of Mexico from the Source into the shore is a giant kill zone.

    *****
    The reason BP has gone to such great lengths to hide the devastation caused by the irresponsible drilling operations and blow out at Mississippi Canyon 252 is financial. Every death that results from the oil spill has a cash value, whether animal or human. Images of dead animals are difficult to spin in the media, and they resonate across all demographics. BP also has a strong interest in maintaining a business-as-usual model for the beach resort communities along the Gulf Coast that have been economically devastated and lost the majority of their annual revenue during the summer season of 2010. The only sharks circling the Gulf waters now are based on land.

  29. Gyges,

    Well said.

    Swarthmore mom,

    The Mike Lux article should be forwarded to everyone in the administration. I went to the ‘Organizing for America’ website, but was unable to find a way to send a message to OFA – which seems like another symptom of the problem Mr. Lux is talking about…

  30. From Democracy Now (8/4/2010)
    Environmental Activist Jerry Cope on “The Crime of the Century: What BP and US Government Don’t Want You to Know”
    (Video of interview included with transcript)
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/8/4/environmental_activist_jerry_cope_on_the

    Environmental activist Jerry Cope has spent the last few weeks traveling along the Gulf Coast and experiencing firsthand the contamination in the air and water. In an article being published on Huffington Post, Cope argues that instead of celebrating the allegedly vanishing oil, we should be concerned about the disappearance of marine life in the Gulf. He describes the Gulf as a “kill zone” and looks into where the marine animals have gone, given that BP has reported a relatively low number of dead animals from the spill.

  31. Slarti,

    Thank you. Would you mind giving Buddha permission to give me your e-mail (or he could give you mine)? I had a thought the other day re:Free Will/moral behavior that you might find interesting, and don’t particularly want to find and revive the original thread.

  32. @Byron:

    Hey, I am a mathematician…

    Actually your analogy is flawed. There is nothing that a mathematician, dentist or attorney does that might result in them accidentally molesting a child; at least no more so than any other person. (It could happen, imagine a fifteen year old with a fake ID in a bar, for example.)

    Oil companies are inherently exposed to the risk of accidental spillage, and as we now know, such accidents cost far more than the value of success. The reason for the moratorium SHOULD be that the value obtained by drilling for oil (almost zero for the citizens of the area, or the citizens of the USA), is far outweighed by the cost of the accident.

    As a mathematician, I’d say we do not proceed until we can solve the equation, and we cannot because we don’t know the probability of an accident (it is not too small to measure, as BP and Exxon and others have claimed), or the probable cost of a cleanup, or the expected value of success. So why would we let them do it?

    Letting companies drill off our coast is pretty stupid. They own the oil they get, and they always sell it on the world market, right beside everybody else’s oil and for the same price, to the highest bidder. It doesn’t lower our oil costs a penny, not in any way. The “royalties” we are supposed to get are a pittance, a token payment that ends up going back to the oil companies in subsidies and tax breaks. We don’t really gain a single thing by letting oil companies drill off our coast. They don’t even pay income taxes! (But they do have lobbyists and make millions in campaign contributions).

  33. Elaine M.,

    And of course I won’t…..

    Blouise,

    I thought it was my coattails this day….dang you change ships in the middle of the ocean…..

    Bdaman,

    I am sure you are very familiar with Packing Mud……Don’t you all make it a dance when the young ones try to escape?

  34. Tony C,

    Byron was taking a poke a me (I’m also a mathematician). I agree with everything you said (I guess we all think alike ;-)), especially on the risk/cost equation.

  35. Byron–

    “It would be interesting to see what lessons were learned.”

    I think it would be near impossible for us to learn “the right” lessons from this disaster because we aren’t being given the truth…the whole truth…and nothing but the truth about the negative impacts of the Gullf oil spill from BP–or from our government.

  36. Holy Shit Batman, the Joker is loose….

    Did, you perchance live in the old country, like maybe Transylvania?

  37. Slarti,

    “You know Egon, this reminds me of that time I stopped you from drilling a hole in your head.”

    “That would’ve worked if you hadn’t stopped me.”

  38. Tony C:

    the analogy was in punishing all for the actions of one. The probability of a major spill, based on historical evidence, is very small. Zero if you take out the Mexican spill. Granted I suppose you could give each well a probability but how do you come to the probability with no data points? You can flip a coin a hundred times and determine heads and tails, but you are still basing your probability on experience. Isn’t all statistics based on historical outcomes? And don’t you need a data set of something to compare to?

    As far as benefit, jobs are created. As far as taxes go, individuals pay taxes. As for lobbyists, they should be done away with.

    Not letting companies drill for oil is even more foolish. Lets do away with any industry that may do harm to our environment and go back to subsistence living. Do you think wind and solar power are pristine? How do they manufacture solar panels? How many birds will be killed by wind turbines? DDT was banned on the possibility that it could cause birds to die and untold thousands of people have died because of the ban. Mostly in third world countries. What are the unintended consequences? What is not seen may be worse than what is seen.

    As a final thought, how many people do Exxon and BP employ directly? And how many people are employed by companies that do business with them? And finally how many people are employed because people that are directly or indirectly employed by Exxon and BP buy cars, clothes, go out to eat, take vacations and buy Ipods for their children? The very idea that we gain nothing by letting them drill is to show a manifest ignorance of economics.

  39. AY,

    I live here (I’m pointing around the bottom knuckle of my middle finger on my right palm – it’s a Michigan thing).

    Buddha,

    “That’s a big twinkie”

  40. Byron:
    ————————————————
    we have had 2 major oil spills in the last 30 years, one by a third world country (Mexico) and one by a company with an historical sketchy record (BP).
    ———————————————

    You are leaving out, at the very least, Nigeria:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shell

    The Guardian Headline: “Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it”

    From the article:

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

    The scale of the pollution is mind-boggling. The government’s national oil spill detection and response agency (Nosdra) says that between 1976 and 1996 alone, more than 2.4m barrels contaminated the environment. “Oil spills and the dumping of oil into waterways has been extensive, often poisoning drinking water and destroying vegetation. These incidents have become common due to the lack of laws and enforcement measures within the existing political regime,” said a spokesman for Nosdra.

    The sense of outrage is widespread. “There are more than 300 spills, major and minor, a year,” said Bassey. “It happens all the year round. The whole environment is devastated. The latest revelations highlight the massive difference in the response to oil spills. In Nigeria, both companies and government have come to treat an extraordinary level of oil spills as the norm.”

    Judith Kimerling, a professor of law and policy at the City University of New York and author of Amazon Crude, a book about oil development in Ecuador, said: “Spills, leaks and deliberate discharges are happening in oilfields all over the world and very few people seem to care.”

  41. Byron,

    You are confusing the probability of something with estimating that probability using statistics (a very bad way to estimate this sort of probability). The fact that you just got 10 heads in a row doesn’t change the probability that the next toss will be a head. In the challenger investigation Dr. Feynman discovered that the engineers all believed the probability of an engine failure was on the order of 1 in 300 while the managers believed it was more like 1 in 100,000. It would be reasonable to determine what the probability of a spill on a BP rig is versus the probability of under typical procedures for the rest of the industry. I’m betting that BP’s odds of screwing up are much better. You know, your final paragraph sounds very similar to the argument that Congressional Republicans have completely ignored regarding the stimulative effects of increased spending on food stamps ($1.64 worth of economic activity per dollar spent) vs. tax cuts ($1.03 per dollar). No one is talking about putting BP (or any other oil company) out of business – just stopping them until they clear up the lies they made regarding the likelihood of a spill and come up with a plan of what to do in case of another spill. What’s wrong with that?

  42. YISSIL:

    Thank you for that information. I was focusing on the US and Gulf area since this has to do with drilling in our territorial waters. I believe the environmental record in the US is pretty good, this spill notwithstanding.

    I also think oil companies should be good stewards of the environment and need to remediate well sites once they are finished drilling. There really is no excuse for soiling someone else’s nest.

    How much of this has to do with the political climate in Africa and the influence that money has in the form of bribes?

  43. Slarti:

    I personally think BP has some issues and should be temporarily restrained from drilling in the US until they can determine what went wrong and whether it is a systemic problem with BP’s operations or just a tragic accident.

    The Challenger odds were 1:1. But there is no real way to determine the odds of something that hasn’t happened. Mr. Spoke excepted. I think it is an educated guess rather than probability. With coin flips you have some way to measure the odds, with BP it is based on the opinions of experts. As your post demonstrates the odds were actually 1:1 not 1:300 or 1:100,000. The engineers and managers were engaging in speculation not probability.

  44. Dredd:

    “Now that Iraq will become the number one oil producer in the world soon, do you think the war was not really about oil now?”

    does that mean we can get paid back with interest now?

  45. Byron,

    You’re missing my point (and by your logic the odds would be zero since the engine didn’t fail, the O-ring in the SRB did). The probability of engine failure on a mission is a number between 0 and 1 (presumably less than 1 since failure didn’t occur on any shuttle mission). The engineers ESTIMATED this number as 1:300 (presumably based on their knowledge of the engines) while the managers ESTIMATED the same number as 1:100,000. Statistics and probability are two separate things – you handicap yourself if you use statistics as the only means of estimating probabilities. Also, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find a similar engineer/management split in estimating probability present in BP since management thought the odds of a spill were zero (the engineers were thus either incompetent or they must have thought differently).

  46. Yes indeed, if Bush had done this people would have been in his shit, but not to worry, Obama did it, so everything’s just fine. I’ve completely changed my ethics now that the new brand is in office.

    Here’s a story for people who think right and wrong still matter, everyone else, just ignore reality please, or use distraction and talk about the tea bag menace. Whatever you do, don’t think about what Obama is actually doing and evaluate that, because it just means you’re on drugs.

    “It’s tempting to believe that the Gulf spill, like so many disasters inherited by Obama, was the fault of the Texas oilman who preceded him in office. But, though George W. Bush paved the way for the catastrophe, it was Obama who gave BP the green light to drill. “Bush owns eight years of the mess,” says Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. “But after more than a year on the job, Salazar owns it too.”

    During the Bush years, the Minerals Management Service, the agency in the Interior Department charged with safeguarding the environment from the ravages of drilling, descended into rank criminality. According to reports by Interior’s inspector general, MMS staffers were both literally and figuratively in bed with the oil industry. When agency staffers weren’t joining industry employees for coke parties or trips to corporate ski chalets, they were having sex with oil-company officials. But it was American taxpayers and the environment that were getting screwed. MMS managers were awarded cash bonuses for pushing through risky offshore leases, auditors were ordered not to investigate shady deals, and safety staffers routinely accepted gifts from the industry, allegedly even allowing oil companies to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil before tracing over them in pen.

    “The oil companies were running MMS during those years,” Bobby Maxwell, a former top auditor with the agency, told Rolling Stone last year. “Whatever they wanted, they got. Nothing was being enforced across the board at MMS.”

    Salazar himself has worked hard to foster the impression that the “prior administration” is to blame for the catastrophe. In reality, though, the Obama administration was fully aware from the outset of the need to correct the lapses at MMS that led directly to the disaster in the Gulf. In fact, Obama specifically nominated Salazar – his “great” and “dear” friend – to force the department to “clean up its act.” For too long, Obama declared, Interior has been “seen as an appendage of commercial interests” rather than serving the people. “That’s going to change under Ken Salazar.”

    Salazar took over Interior in January 2009, vowing to restore the department’s “respect for scientific integrity.” He immediately traveled to MMS headquarters outside Denver and delivered a beat-down to staffers for their “blatant and criminal conflicts of interest and self-dealing” that had “set one of the worst examples of corruption and abuse in government.” Promising to “set the standard for reform,” Salazar declared, “The American people will know the Minerals Management Service as a defender of the taxpayer. You are the ones who will make special interests play by the rules.” Dressed in his trademark Stetson and bolo tie, Salazar boldly proclaimed, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

    Salazar’s early moves certainly created the impression that he meant what he said. Within days of taking office, he jettisoned the Bush administration’s plan to open 300 million acres – in Alaska, the Gulf, and up and down both coasts – to offshore drilling. The proposal had been published in the Federal Register literally at midnight on the day that Bush left the White House. Salazar denounced the plan as “a headlong rush of the worst kind,” saying it would have put in place “a process rigged to force hurried decisions based on bad information.” Speaking to Rolling Stone in March 2009, the secretary underscored his commitment to reform. “We have embarked on an ambitious agenda to clean up the mess,” he insisted. “We have the inspector general involved with us in a preventive mode so that the department doesn’t commit the same mistakes of the past.” The crackdown, he added, “goes beyond just codes of ethics.”

    Except that it didn’t. Salazar did little to tamp down on the lawlessness at MMS, beyond referring a few employees for criminal prosecution and ending a Bush-era program that allowed oil companies to make their “royalty” payments – the amount they owe taxpayers for extracting a scarce public resource – not in cash but in crude. And instead of putting the brakes on new offshore drilling, Salazar immediately throttled it up to record levels. Even though he had scrapped the Bush plan, Salazar put 53 million offshore acres up for lease in the Gulf in his first year alone – an all-time high. The aggressive leasing came as no surprise, given Salazar’s track record. “This guy has a long, long history of promoting offshore oil drilling – that’s his thing,” says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “He’s got a highly specific soft spot for offshore oil drilling.” As a senator, Salazar not only steered passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which opened 8 million acres in the Gulf to drilling, he even criticized President Bush for not forcing oil companies to develop existing leases faster.

    Salazar was far less aggressive, however, when it came to making good on his promise to fix MMS. Though he criticized the actions of “a few rotten apples” at the agency, he left long-serving lackeys of the oil industry in charge. “The people that are ethically challenged are the career managers, the people who come up through the ranks,” says a marine biologist who left the agency over the way science was tampered with by top officials. “In order to get promoted at MMS, you better get invested in this pro-development oil culture.” One of the Bush-era managers whom Salazar left in place was John Goll, the agency’s director for Alaska. Shortly after, the Interior secretary announced a reorganization of MMS in the wake of the Gulf disaster, Goll called a staff meeting and served cake decorated with the words “Drill, baby, drill.” from Rolling Stone via Glenn Greenwald. Oh, and don’t forget we’re trying a person we picked up as a child and tortured. Yes indeed, that Obama is the best Republican president ever.

  47. Jill Are you still celebrating from last night? The tea party beat those republican chamber of commerce types. Still take Obama over your tea party.

  48. Byron 1, August 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Tony C:

    the analogy was in punishing all for the actions of one. The probability of a major spill, based on historical evidence, is very small. Zero if you take out the Mexican spill. Granted I suppose you could give each well a probability but how do you come to the probability with no data points? You can flip a coin a hundred times and determine heads and tails, but you are still basing your probability on experience. Isn’t all statistics based on historical outcomes? And don’t you need a data set of something to compare to?

    ————————————————–

    Wow. How does one look at the situation and say “if we ignore the examples of event x actually occurring, then the probability of event x occurring in the future is 0”?

    Here’s a nice, if incomplete, list of oil spills:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

    That’s all types: ruptured pipelines, crashed tankers, failed storage tanks, and, yes, a bunch of underwater drilling rigs that failed.

    The lessons here are:
    – underwater wells DO blow out
    – when they do, the spills are very hard to stop
    – when spills happen, they cause lots of damage
    – we really don’t have the technology or methods to reduce the harm when the spills happen

    Try as hard as you might to confuse yourself looking at particular trees, there is a forest here.

    Even if the odds of any one particular well blowing is low, if we increase the number of wells, then we obviously increase the odds of another blown well.

    If we had spent the last 30 years developing really good methods for capping wells and cleaning up the spilled oil, then we’d be having a totally different conversation. But as it stands, we now know that we are essentially defenseless when a well does blow, therefore it’s nuts to drill more wells that we really don’t need.

  49. Byron:

    “How much of this has to do with the political climate in Africa and the influence that money has in the form of bribes?”

    100% It is entirely about bribes, which don’t just make corrupt politicians rich, but are what keep corrupt governments in power. I’m not sure if this is what you meant, but the source of the corruption is the oil industry. Who else would it be?

    What bribes really do is make the government an agent of the oil company, so the government never does anything which might harm the oil company’ economic interests. Therefore there is zero environmental protection. This is, uncontroversially, what happened in Nigeria.

    To the extent the US government becomes a corrupt agent of the oil companies, the same thing happens here. Money talks. It’s always a matter of degree. In the case of offshore drilling licenses issued by the “scandal-laden Minerals Management Service” the degree of corruption seems to have been, as in Nigeria, 100%

    What we have in the US, because the corrupting power of corporate money is not yet absolute as it is in Nigeria, is some chance to push back against the propaganda, and against the political influence, that corporate money buys. If that ability to pushback, or the will to use it, isn’t there, then we end up living in Nigeria.

    (I find these long posts a bit much sometimes, but I figure everybody here is a lawyer so they aren’t even a light snack, verbiage wise.)

  50. re: percentages

    It isn’t just an exercise in randomness of course. If you turn off the alarms so people can sleep it raises the odds.

    So even if it happens once, you want to check to see what else they were doing to cut corners, and then check the other guys to see if they are doing the same or worse.

    The idea that you should just take people’s word that everything is hunkydory shows an unrealistically sunny view of human nature.

  51. I am sure you are very familiar with Packing Mud

    you mean Mud Packin, there’s a difference between the two.

    When your Packin Mud it’s like Packin Heat, except you walk Bow legged.

    Mud Packin is, well, you know.

  52. Jill,

    That seems a little odd being placed as a comment to a post criticizing President Obama.

    Slarti,

    I think you might get a kick out of Lem’s “The Chain of Chance.” Especially as an avid science fiction fan (It’s not science fiction, but Lem might very well be my favorite Science fiction author).

  53. Jill–

    “Yes indeed, if Bush had done this people would have been in his shit, but not to worry, Obama did it, so everything’s just fine. I’ve completely changed my ethics now that the new brand is in office.

    “Here’s a story for people who think right and wrong still matter, everyone else, just ignore reality please, or use distraction and talk about the tea bag menace. Whatever you do, don’t think about what Obama is actually doing and evaluate that, because it just means you’re on drugs.”

    **********

    I don’t think that’s what most of us here are saying. I think we’re just starting to get at the truth of the matter about the cover-up of the negative impact of the Gulf oil spill…about what’s been happening to journalists and scientists. You may believe most of us have changed our ethics–but I don’t think that is so.

    I believe there are lots of liberals/progressives who have spoken out about some of the things that the Obama administration has done/not done. Why do you think Robert Gibbs has been complaining about the “professional left?”

  54. and speaking of Bush.

    This morning at DFW Airport, George and Laura Bush greeted 150 (very surprised) troops as they arrived home from Iraq and Afghanistan

  55. Hey Swathmore Mom you asked me about Rubio last week.

    Harry Reid stuck his foot in his mouth by saying I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a republican.

    There skin”s a tone darrker

    in which Rubio responds

  56. TomDarch:

    you might want to review those spills. They are pipe lines and ships and one was a riser hit by a tug boat. There are a few rigs but most seem to be oil pipe lines, at least in the US. So based on that I would say drilling in the US is pretty safe but we might want to improve product delivery.

    So I guess your point is just shut down the oil industry so we don’t have any oil spills.

    By the way do you know the amount of natural seepage from the earth which occurs? Do you know how long it has been going on? Did you know there are huge tar volcanoes off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA from a large seepage 30,000 years ago?

  57. I was just googling to see who the most recent cabinet member to go to jail was. I still don’t know. The first was AB Falls, a Teapot Dome alumnus. Oil is like flypaper, in many ways.

    The most recent cabinet minister to resign while under investigation was Alphonso Jackson, Bush’s Secretary of HUD. Wouldn’t do company business with someone who said he didn’t like Bush. No convition.

    Lester Crawford, Bush head of the FDA, got convicted for conflict of inerest, but that’e not cabinet level. Suspended sentence anyway.

    Lots of small fry, abrahmoff and all that.

  58. My researches have sadly led me to the Clinton Administration. He didn’t go to jail, but Henry Cisneros lied to the fbi about how much he paid his mistress. 10k fine

  59. Jill,

    You’re like the left’s equivalent of Rush Limbaugh (only in the conservative/liberal hyperbole part, not the stupidity and lying parts ;-)). If I had the power put you on as many talk radio stations as he is, I’d do it but since I can’t, may I suggest that you don’t have to keep your rhetoric and outrage turned up to eleven all the time. Just because two things are bad doesn’t mean they are both the same. President Obama is very different from President Bush even if there are some areas where it’s hard to tell the difference. And given the fact that the Bush administration was politicizing the bureaucracy via burrowing right up until he left office, the Obama administration’s failure to fix the problem in time is unsurprising, if disappointing. For better or for worse, we picked President Obama two years ago and we’re stuck with him for another two years. While I have no problem admitting that there are things President Obama has done that I don’t agree with, you seem unwilling to admit that President Obama has gotten a great many good things done in extremely adverse political circumstances.

  60. Slarti,

    You are despite agreeing with much of what you are saying, I am going to stipulate you are a “glass half full” kind of guy. Limited success isn’t the problem with Obama. It’s his failure to do anything substantive to restore the rule of law or indeed most of his truly important campaign promises (like a public option for health care). He has, in fact, embraced and furthered the police and surveillance state the traitorous war criminal Bush instigated. The President has the unilateral “right” to assassinate American citizens (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/07/assassinations)? Pardon me, but the fuck he does. That’s just another example of an overreaching Executive. He’s the President – NOT the Emperor. That’s as blatant a Due Process violation as Bush suspending habeas corpus – which Obama has also done nothing to restore. That little tidbit alone paints Obama as part of the problem with Washington, not the solution. The lesser of two evils isn’t good. It’s simply a different shade of evil.

  61. The republicans threaten to filibuster most good things Obama tries to do thus proving he is not the emperor. His power is limited. Have not most our presidential choices been limited? I know the choice between Jimmy Carter and Jerry Ford was. The choice was stark between Gore and Bush just as it will be between Obama and whatever tea party sympathizer the republicans try to run against him. I don’t see the world strictly in terms of good and evil. I think Bush was the president that did that. We are still suffering from an anti-muslim hangover in this country from Bush’s good versus evil style of thinking.

  62. Smom,

    So you have no issue with the following?:

    Claiming he has the authority to assassinate American citizens without any kind of Due Process.

    Not restoring habeas corpus.

    Not repealing the Patriot Act and in fact expanding upon it.

    Not prosecuting Bush and Cheney for war crimes and treason.
    ______

    Sorry, but wrong is wrong no matter who does it. Obama is a liar and an aider and abettor after the fact to the crimes of the Bush administration.

    As a nation, we are still on the path that ends badly. And Obama has tried to fix a mortal wound with a band-aid at best. Sold out is sold out no matter who holds the leash.

  63. I will stipulate that path to Hell is paved faster with the GOP in control. But paved it is. Paved with lobbyist graft and the blood of Americans.

  64. We are still suffering from an anti-muslim hangover in this country from Bush’s good versus evil style of thinking.

    No we’re not, there gonna build a mosque 2 blocks away from ground zero, to which Fox’s host of Red Eye, Greg Gutfeld vowed this week to build a gay Muslim bar right next to it. Then it’s been rumored that Chef Ramsey announced he was going to open up Hell’s Kitchen on the other side, serving up some really hot BBQ Pork.

  65. Byron,

    The point is that there is a probability distribution for the amount of oil that will be spilled in the gulf each year due to offshore drilling operations. I would expect industry experts to be able to determine this distribution with reasonable accuracy. If everyone knew the odds of spilling, say, 100 times the yearly seepage from one well and what the environmental and economic effects of such a spill would be then we could have an intelligent discussion about the risks vs. the cost of safety procedures. If the beginning of wisdom is knowing that you know nothing then the beginning of learning is knowing what you need to know.

    Buddha,

    Yeah, I’m a half-full guy but I just don’t think we should be surprised that the policy wonk has chose to concentrate on policy (especially in the midst of a recession) rather than take on the Constitutional issues of executive overreaching and I think painting his actions in this area with the same brush as you do people who intentionally worked to extend executive power as much as was possible no matter what the injury to the Constitution or our nation’s honor is disingenuous.

    You’re right about the anti-muslim hangover, though – I’m amazed at how vigorously that’s been rearing its ugly head lately…

  66. What do you propose we do Buddah? Stay home? Vote for any wacko third party candidate as someone on here proposed? Concede the country to the tea party republican party?

  67. I’m a glass-half-empty kind of guy and if the Republicans get control of the senate or the house the glass is going to be all-empty.

  68. Buddha said:

    “I will stipulate that path to Hell is paved faster with the GOP in control. But paved it is. Paved with lobbyist graft and the blood of Americans.”

    Can we pave the way out with lobbyist blood and healthcare for all Americans? ;-)

    Yissil said,

    “I’m a glass-half-empty kind of guy and if the Republicans get control of the senate or the house the glass is going to be all-empty.”

    I’m afraid that you’re right about that.

  69. Slarti,

    “take on the Constitutional issues of executive overreaching”

    There’s a huge difference between not taking on and exacerbating.

    “and I think painting his actions in this area with the same brush as you do people who intentionally worked to extend executive power as much as was possible no matter what the injury to the Constitution or our nation’s honor is disingenuous.”

    Really? How would you characterize the assertion he can assassinate American citizens without Due Process? Hmm? It’s certainly not working to retract extended Executive power. There’s a huge difference between being disingenuous and being accurate.

    Smom,

    I propose everyone grab some popcorn and wait for the fires, riots and political violence. Because those times they are coming. Faster under the GOP, but based on the current DNC under performance and malfeasance of office, they are coming regardless. Because the corporatists want to sell weapons and operate private for profit prisons in the name of domestic pacification. And they are coming on the road Washington and K St. graft is paving. What I propose is people get ready to survive the coming storm. Because at this point? I don’t think it can be stopped. If the first thing Obama did was have Bush and Cheney arrested, we might (might!) have had a chance at avoiding what’s coming. But no. He’s just as bought off as they were. A whore for corporate cash.

    Get ready for Rollerball!

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

    I intend to laugh and prepare to help clean up the aftermath in accordance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as not interpreted by sociopaths and religious zealots.

  70. To second The Buddha and expand on my (much) earlier comment, I can only describe President Obama as cowardly on civil liberties issues. Don’t Ask,Don’t Tell still going strong. Gays still being thrown out of the military. No war crimes being investigated or prosecuted. No Constitutional violations being investigated or prosecuted. Guantanamo still open. Obama’s Attorney General actively opposing every habeus corpus hearing. Two Military Commission trials about to begin- not civilian trials. 50,000 troops will stay in Iraq, apparently until the new dictator throws them out in a year or two. Afghanistan war escalated in spite of the fact that Osama Bin Laden is gone and thus our reason for being there is also gone. Warrantless spying of many kinds not stopped. I contend that Obama is Bush 44. At a time when we need a Theodore Roosevelt as President, we have a Theodore Cleaver.

  71. (the road to hell) Paved it is with no speed limit in sight.

    It seems that BP has insured a continued presence for itself in the Gulf:

    “BP has managed to link the fate of its $20 billion oil spill victims compensation fund with its continued ability to pump oil from the Gulf of Mexico.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/11/bp-links-compensation-wit_n_679171.html

    Sloths, cute little sloths apropos of nothing, just to take that nasty taste away after reading the above story:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/09/baby-sloth-rescue-at-cost_n_675899.html

  72. Buddah I think you will be sitting and waiting for a long time for the riots to begin. Young people could care less as long as there isn’t a draft.

  73. HenMan,

    This is also a time when we need a Franklin Roosevelt as president and President Obama is doing a much better job on that score (in much more difficult political circumstances).

    Buddha,

    I choose to believe that violence may still be averted and until it’s here I believe that working within the system (and fighting to reform it) is the most effective course of action. You may be right, but until its proven you are I plan on raging against the dying of the light.

  74. The apocalypse will come when the teaparty has control of the nuclear football. The only way anyone’s going to survive that is if Jesus takes him up to heaven in the rapture just in the nick of time.

    You won’t get any older but you will stop making sense.

  75. Slarti,

    I do not disagree on the course of action. I’m just saying I think at this point I think it’s probably futile.

    Smom,

    There is a limit to how many mercenaries one can hire.

    There is, however, a limit on how many people can live lives of destitution before they start eating the rich. Remember, it wasn’t a war that started the French Revolution. It was the abuses and indifference of the “ruling class” to the suffering of the citizens.

  76. ‘If the Apocalypse comes, beep me.’

    BUFFY, “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  77. The only protesters I see are tea party people out on the corner of the Northwest Highway and Central Expressway. Every Saturday they are out yelling at Mexicans to go home.

  78. Slartibartfast–President Obama is no FDR. President Obama’s major achievement so far is a badly compromised healthcare reform bill- a gigantic gift to the health insurance companies by making the purchase of health insurance mandatory. What was the problem in the healthcare system that required fixing? The health insurance companies were the problem because of their greed and lack of ethics. The civilized nations of the industrialised world all have government-run healthcare systems with no involvement by insurance companies. Be thankful that FDR didn’t put Social Security into the hands of the insurance companies-it would have gone broke years ago just from the corporate thievery.

  79. Buddha: “He has, in fact, embraced and furthered the police and surveillance state the traitorous war criminal Bush instigated. The President has the unilateral “right” to assassinate Americans? Pardon me, but the fuck he does. That’s just another example of an overreaching Executive. He’s the President – NOT the Emperor. That’s as blatant a Due Process violation as Bush suspending habeas corpus – which Obama has also done nothing to restore. That little tidbit alone paints Obama as part of the problem with Washington, not the solution. The lesser of two evils isn’t good. It’s simply a different shade of evil.”

    Fletch: “Well said; well spoken.”

    Slarti: ““and I think painting his actions in this area with the same brush as you do people who intentionally worked to extend executive power as much as was possible no matter what the injury to the Constitution or our nation’s honor is disingenuous.”

    Actually it’s disingenuous to ignore a basic theme in American jurisprudence regarding the punishment of those who aid & abet, act as accessories after the fact, join an ongoing criminal conspiracy* and generally obstruct justice by exercising power beyond right which no one has a right to.

    Come to think of it, the constitution itself deems such exercise of power as its first and foremost enemy; thus Article IV and the Article VI oath of fealty. Go figure.

    *N.B. Careful about those elements of that inchoate crime of conspiracy; much to your chagrin, it’s far more complex than mere opinion and innuendo.

  80. Henman The people in the US want private insurance. There is not a mandate for government sponsored insurance. Polls now show the majority are against changes in the current health care system. They think Obama went to far. John Boehner is going to roll it all back when he takes over in January.

  81. Swarthmore mom,

    If I recall It was at one time mandatory that companies with more than 50 employees or did business over state lines offer health insurance. I may be wrong….I could be wrong there are or were so many versions..that I could have been right at one time and wrong now. But I think that I am right now….

  82. The Texas attorney general sued the Obama administration Wendesday over its new deep-water offshore drilling moratorium, claiming it is unjustified and federal officials did not contact the state before issuing the ban.

    Attorney General Greg Abbott filed the 18-page suit in federal court in Houston against Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The ban halted the approval of any new permits for deep-water projects and shut down drilling at 33 exploratory ocean wells in the wake of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    In his lawsuit, Abbott called the ban “an unjustified, arbitrary and capricious policy that will inflict harm upon coastal communities.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/11/1772079/texas-sues-feds-over-offshore.html

  83. Henman,

    I said he was doing a better job of being FDR than he was of being Teddy and he is – stimulus, health insurance reform, rescuing the auto industry, financial reform – these are all big things that he has gotten done. Do you honestly think that it was within the realm of political possibility for anyone to have gotten single-payer health care? I’m highly dubious that a public option was even possible in this climate.

    Swarthmore mom,

    John Boehner will make it look like he’s trying to roll back health insurance reform if he takes over in January – he has no real chance of doing so and he knows it.

    Bob,

    As Heinlein said, the choice between bad and worse is much more important than the choice between good and better. I do feel that equating the degree of culpability of the former administration to that of the current one is disingenuous, especially in light of the economic realities they had to deal with. Face it, the American public has no stomach for prosecuting war criminals and the bloody partisan fight it would cause – not when most people are far more concerned about the economy. I might stop to think about it if you offered me a choice between a job and prosecuting Dick the war criminal, but I don’t think that many other people that are unemployed would hesitate a second. It is nice to see that you’re added a desire to see all crimes as equivalent to your willingness to prosecute people for crimes they didn’t commit.

  84. Swarthmore mom–The people of the U.S. want private health insurance because they don’t know there is an alternative. They are against changes in the current healthcare system for the same reason and also the fear of change caused by Republican claims that you couldn’t choose your own doctor and would have to wait months or years to get a simple operation. If you have any Canadian, European, Russian, or South American friends, ask them if they would prefer American health care to their own country’s health care and they will give you the same friendly laugh you would give a child who just told you the moon is made of Swiss cheese. I recommend you get a DVD of Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko”. Granted, it’s slanted to his point of view, but it will give you the basics of how “socialized medicine” works and why it has been adopted by every industrialized country but ours.

  85. Slarti: “I do feel that equating the degree of culpability of the former administration to that of the current one is disingenuous, especially in light of the economic realities they had to deal with.”

    So, ‘economic realities’ determines whether one is more or less culpable under the law? Or may we ignore the law simply because we think we have too much to do at the time? You’re so full of shit you’re gonna float away.

    Kant: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    Or, if you need an anthropomorphic version of the categorical imperative via modern film:

    William Munny: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

    You’re just another wide-eyed liberal groupie looking to make excuses for Obama. Obama not only ignored his Article VI oath by excusing the previous executive of exercising power beyond that which no one has a right to, but he took FURTHER actions to embrace and fortify said constitutionally repugnant policies by defending them in court. And at least Bush spoke out of just one side of his mouth.

    Slarti: “It is nice to see that you’re added a desire to see all crimes as equivalent to your willingness to prosecute people for crimes they didn’t commit.”

    Outside of your imagination, exactly what people have I identified for prosecution? I find your grasp of criminal jurisprudence quite amusing. It’s rather hard to identify and prosecute anyone without an investigation; just as it’s impossible to evaluate evidence and investigate anything with mere opinion and innuendo.

    Speaking of opinion and innuendo, apparently that’s all you have in rebuttal to that little problem of real evidence in your court.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/08/01/australian-public-schools-teaching-humans-and-dinosaurs-co-existed/#comment-150372

  86. To the best of my knowledge,no country that adopted “socialized medicine” has ever dropped it and gone back to a private system= the people wouldn’t stand for it.

  87. You are right Henman. I saw the Michael Moore movie. Many American people don’t like the idea of socialized medicine or socialized anything. They think our system is better. Everyone should have medicare.

  88. “I can’t be too sure I might see that final bionic hybrid, you know that whole Terminator idea that always gets brought up, but for sure we are going to make a lot of progress,” said researcher Collin Luk.
    ______

    Every technology, every tool is a two-edged sword.

    Destruction and creation in a hand held package.

    From a simple lever to a state of the art military.

    Every technology, including this one . . .

    This this mircohip technology is as scary as garage genetics.

    There is massive misuse potential in this little toy.

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.

  89. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, August 11, 2010 at 11:44 pm
    Yissil,

    “Futility is as futility does.”

    You said it, Sisyphus. Where’s my rock?

    ==========================================================

    Rolling right down towards you …

  90. Slarti– I agree with much of what you said and I see your point about Obama and FDR- both began their presidencies under horrifying economic conditions that were deteriorating by the hour and couldn’t be put on the shelf while they worked on other things. I still accuse President Obama of cowardice on civil liberties issues and believe he must restore the previous checks on presidential powers and checks on intrusions into the privacy of the lives of the American people. Need I bring up the spectre of Sarah Palin with unchecked presidential powers- including the power to kill any American without due process of law?

  91. I talk a good game but mostly I just smoke french cigarettes and try to pick up confused looking world literature majors. I give them the cliff notes version of this or that and make up a few unintelligible quotes and they fall for me like a rock going uphill.

  92. Bob posted:

    [Me]: “I do feel that equating the degree of culpability of the former administration to that of the current one is disingenuous, especially in light of the economic realities they had to deal with.”

    So, ‘economic realities’ determines whether one is more or less culpable under the law? Or may we ignore the law simply because we think we have too much to do at the time? You’re so full of shit you’re gonna float away.

    In my opinion, the president was faced with a decision to prosecute war criminals or avoid another depression – and I think he made the best choice available. And yes, I do think that mitigates the decision not to prosecute the Bush administration. President Obama can answer for the cases in which his Justice Department has argued against civil liberties, but I will point out that, at least to me, it is important to know if has, for instance, exercised the ability to assassinate US citizens or just argued that he should have it (both are repugnant but I think there is a huge difference in degree here). But as you never tire of pointing out, I’m not a lawyer, so I’m sure you’ll tell me how my understanding is naive…

    Kant: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    Or, if you need an anthropomorphic version of the categorical imperative via modern film:

    William Munny: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

    You’re just another wide-eyed liberal groupie looking to make excuses for Obama.

    Whatever. I’m just trying to judge him fairly and in the proper context and I see him as doing quite a bit of good (as well as some bad) and unquestionably having done A LOT (definitely in FDR territory as far as quantity goes) in what I think is the most divisive, partisan political environment since the Civil War.

    Obama not only ignored his Article VI oath by excusing the previous executive of exercising power beyond that which no one has a right to, but he took FURTHER actions to embrace and fortify said constitutionally repugnant policies by defending them in court. And at least Bush spoke out of just one side of his mouth.

    Again, if the choice was between avoiding a depression vs. prosecuting President Bush, there’s no question in my mind that President Obama made the right one. It’s easy for you to pass judgement sitting at your keyboard when you don’t have to consider the prospect of, say, a 15% unemployment rate.

    [Me]: “It is nice to see that you’re added a desire to see all crimes as equivalent to your willingness to prosecute people for crimes they didn’t commit.”

    Outside of your imagination, exactly what people have I identified for prosecution?

    You’ve certainly implied that you wish to prosecute the Bush administration for complicity in 9/11.

    I find your grasp of criminal jurisprudence quite amusing. It’s rather hard to identify and prosecute anyone without an investigation; just as it’s impossible to evaluate evidence and investigate anything with mere opinion and innuendo.

    Glad you find me amusing (I find your poor grasp of basic physics hilarious, so I guess it’s only fair). My problem with you is that you don’t seem to understand how investigation works (HINT: employing a confirmation bias is a poor investigatory methodology).

    Speaking of opinion and innuendo, apparently that’s all you have in rebuttal to that little problem of real evidence in your court.

    Reading scientific papers (even bad ones) takes time and I haven’t had any. Believe it or not, my life doesn’t revolve around you. You’ll just have to wait for my next installment on how your controlled demolition hypothesis is scientifically unsound. In the meantime you could always get out your tinfoil hat and explain your mysterious ‘holes in the primary radar’ that don’t seem to exist in the primary radar data…

  93. Blouise,

    You said it was rolling towards Buddha, would it not be more correct to say that its a slow drip….but then again…what was the cause of Jefferson’s death?

  94. Oil rigs don’t generally generate spills, and presidents don’t generally keep campaign promises….

    But sometimes, once or twice every 4 years, they do.

  95. Henman,

    You don’t need to bring up the specter of Sarah Palin as a good part of the reason for my support of President Obama is because I fear the kind of damage that a ‘President Palin’ (shudder) could do to our country…

  96. Well Jericho,

    Miracles do come once in a while….see…you too can wait and watch in wonderment and awe, as the rest of the heathens such as I do…..

  97. Anonymously Yours
    1, August 12, 2010 at 9:47 am
    Blouise,

    You said it was rolling towards Buddha, would it not be more correct to say that its a slow drip….but then again…what was the cause of Jefferson’s death?
    **************************
    Buddha Is Laughing
    1, August 12, 2010 at 9:53 am
    What is late diagnosed prostate cancer?

    ===============================================================

    Good morning, gentlemen,

    Spent last evening at Blossom (symphony summer home) listening to Bruckner (1800’s composer) so am totally mellow this morning.

    AY … you double entendre rascal, you … poor Buddha is still recovering from his battle with the recluse and you are ulling his earthly chain as only a master debater can … yeah, it’s Hot in Cleveland! 8)

    …What is late diagnosed prostate cancer? a lawsuit from the grave? … thus reinforcing the joke told earlier on another thread

    The symphony is preparing a DVD for release so the concert was free to those who don’t hold season tickets as filming of the audience was taking place … the smoke arising from the woods surrounding the venue was dense ………..

  98. Blouise,

    I see that copy of “Porn for Dummies” is paying off. :D

    Before this gets out of hand (so to speak) I would like to stipulate that AY pulls on nothing attached to my body at any time and in any way, shape or form.

    Except for maybe my heart. *sniff* *sniff* *HOOOOOONNNNNNNKKKK!*

  99. Slarti: “In my opinion, the president was faced with a decision to prosecute war criminals or avoid another depression – and I think he made the best choice available.

    Oh goody; a literally ‘false dilemma’ fallacy.

    Sing along!

    ‘Disjunction junction what’s your function?’

    ‘Validatin’ conclusions with bogus either/or questions.’

    Anyway, so the president can EITHER prosecute war criminals OR avoid another depression? LOL. And the two are mutually exclusive how? And just out of curiosity, what “war crimes” are you talking about?

    Embracing the surveillance state and urinating on the 4th Amendment?

    Ignoring Due Process by claiming the right to assassinate Americans?

    Suspending habeas corpus?

    These are ‘war crimes’ how?

    Slarti: “And yes, I do think that mitigates the decision not to prosecute the Bush administration.”

    Prosecute Bush for what? Defrauding the country into war? Bugliosi already laid out the case for that and that’s still not a war crime.

    N.B. We weren’t discussing ‘war crimes.’ We were discussing the executive exercising power beyond right which no one has a right to. We’re discussing Obama not only excusing such behavior, after campaigning against it, but embracing said constitutionally repugnant policies and defending them in court. And your reply is that a bad economy entitles him to ignore Articles IV and Article VI because he can’t be both true to his appointed office and tend to an ailing economy at the same time? Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ.

    Slarti: “President Obama can answer for the cases in which his Justice Department has argued against civil liberties, but I will point out that, at least to me, it is important to know if has, for instance, exercised the ability to assassinate US citizens or just argued that he should have it (both are repugnant but I think there is a huge difference in degree here).”

    Do you really think there’s a difference between making someone ‘disappear’ with a 600 yard shot to the head or simply taking the person away while suspending habeas corpus? Where the law ends tyranny begins. Either way shameless apologists, like you, enable the executive to remain in a position to do whatever the hell he wants.

    “When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.”

    Apologists, on both sides of the aisle, who go out of their way to excuse “their guy in office” simply because he’s “their guy” do nothing but respect the man above the law and office. It is categorically deplorable and inexcusable; no matter how low the Dow Jones may be.

    Slarti: “Whatever. I’m just trying to judge him fairly and in the proper context and I see him as doing quite a bit of good (as well as some bad) and unquestionably having done A LOT (definitely in FDR territory as far as quantity goes) in what I think is the most divisive, partisan political environment since the Civil War.”

    Of course you do.

    Slarti: “You’ve certainly implied that you wish to prosecute the Bush administration for complicity in 9/11.”

    No, I said the only time I consider the death penalty as viable is in cases of treason; you know, just like what Washington wanted to do with Arnold. While Bugliosi has already set forth a concrete case against certain members of the Bush administration for defrauding the country into war and thus causing the murder of thousands of people, I have yet to see someone lay out a viable case against the Bush administration for 9/11. Keep your implications to yourself.

    Slarti: “Glad you find me amusing (I find your poor grasp of basic physics hilarious, so I guess it’s only fair). My problem with you is that you don’t seem to understand how investigation works (HINT: employing a confirmation bias is a poor investigatory methodology).”

    Your attacking my grasp of physics is simply the result of my refusal to accept your using the law of conservation of energy as a rhetorical jumping off point for some incredibly fallacious reasoning; just like your use of the false dilemma fallacy above.

    Slarti “Reading scientific papers (even bad ones) takes time and I haven’t had any.”

    Part and parcel of “investigation” includes READING the material you’re allegedly commenting on; and now you’ve finally admitted that you’ve been attacking the paper for months WITHOUT HAVING READ IT. Congratulations.

    Tell me more about ‘investigatory methodology.’

  100. I forgot to ask; how does embracing warrantless wiretapping, executive assassination orders and the suspension of habeas corpus help the economy exactly?

  101. BobEsq:

    dont forget:

    “. . . but freedom of men under government is, to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it . . .”

    CHAP. IV. Of Slavery.

  102. Bob,Esq.

    That way they can keep track of everything that you do. They will know where you are, when you bank and if you have paid your fair share of the incomes taxes. You must be in the lower to middle tax brackets. Because if you were in the upper to top 3 per cent it does not affect you.

    I remember a time when a friend of mine from New York City Friend was a Bookie. He ran numbers for a living. His boss was on the Ronnie mailing list for the Inaugural Ball. He had pictures made with Ronnie and Nancy. I still think its a hoot.

    Bryon,

    I was not around but I am pretty sure that people treated there slaves like they treat property. If you think about paying 18,000.00 dollars in 1860 money for a person to work on your plantation you are talking a lot of money even in today’s dollars. So why would they want to treat them badly?

    Sure there are some, but what about the folks that have a 80K dollar vehicle today. Are they any less capable of road rage? Not that I endorse slavery, but think in those terms.

  103. AY:

    Mr. Locke is speaking to the issue of no one person being above the law at least in that passage.

    Here is the full text:

    “Sec. 22. THE natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule. The liberty of man, in society, is to be under no other legislative power, but that established, by consent, in the commonwealth; nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact, according to the trust put in it. Freedom then is not what Sir Robert Filmer tells us, Observations, A. 55. a liberty for every one to do what he lists, to live as he pleases, and not to be tied by any laws: but freedom of men under government is, to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, where the rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man: as freedom of nature is, to be under no other restraint but the law of nature.

    Sec. 23. This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases. No body can give more power than he has himself; and he that cannot take away his own life, cannot give another power over it. Indeed, having by his fault forfeited his own life, by some act that deserves death; he, to whom he has forfeited it, may (when he has him in his power) delay to take it, and make use of him to his own service, and he does him no injury by it: for, whenever he finds the hardship of his slavery outweigh the value of his life, it is in his power, by resisting the will of his master, to draw on himself the death he desires.

    Sec. 24. This is the perfect condition of slavery, which is nothing else, but the state of war continued, between a lawful conqueror and a captive: for, if once compact enter between them, and make an agreement for a limited power on the one side, and obedience on the other, the state of war and slavery ceases, as long as the compact endures: for, as has been said, no man can, by agreement, pass over to another that which he hath not in himself, a power over his own life.

    I confess, we find among the Jews, as well as other nations, that men did sell themselves; but, it is plain, this was only to drudgery, not to slavery: for, it is evident, the person sold was not under an absolute, arbitrary, despotical power: for the master could not have power to kill him, at any time, whom, at a certain time, he was obliged to let go free out of his service; and the master of such a servant was so far from having an arbitrary power over his life, that he could not, at pleasure, so much as maim him, but the loss of an eye, or tooth, set him free, Exod. xxi.”

  104. Byron,

    Exactly! Doesn’t it raise your blood pressure just a little? I mean what’s the point if we can’t hold the government to the basic confines of the social compact?

  105. Slarti: “In my opinion, the president was faced with a decision to prosecute war criminals or avoid another depression – and I think he made the best choice available.

    Oh goody; a literally ‘false dilemma’ fallacy.

    Sing along!

    ‘Disjunction junction what’s your function?’

    ‘Validatin’ conclusions with bogus either/or questions.’

    You’re right, the attempt to prosecute Bush administration war crimes couldn’t possibly have any impact on the economy. The Republicans would just see it as an attempt to reign in executive power run amok and not in any way an attack on Republicans as a whole. Hell, they’d probably jump right on the bandwagon and start locking up Bush Administration lawyers… Since I was wrong about the Republicans being upset, I guess it wouldn’t have made it more difficult to get any of the three Republicans who voted for cloture on the stimulus on board (and it probably wouldn’t have affected the environment that drove Arlen Specter to the Democratic party at all). Since the Republicans told us that the stimulus didn’t work, even if prosecutions sank the bill or caused it to be watered down even more we can assume that unemployment wouldn’t have gone up to something like 15% and even if it did, I’m sure we would have gotten nowhere near a tipping point into depression. Finally, since I prefaced the comment with ‘in my opinion…’, everything that I said was 100% true (unless you think I’m lying about what my opinion is). Just like it would be completely true if I wrote: “I think Bob is an arrogant bastard with some serious misunderstandings of basic physics.” (I’d like to note that I’m using the term bastard in a colloquial sense here – I have no knowledge whatsoever of Bob’s parentage.) I guess in the end, I’m just being stupid to think that actions in one area might have an effect on something in another area.

    Anyway, so the president can EITHER prosecute war criminals OR avoid another depression? LOL. And the two are mutually exclusive how? And just out of curiosity, what “war crimes” are you talking about?

    Embracing the surveillance state and urinating on the 4th Amendment?

    Ignoring Due Process by claiming the right to assassinate Americans?

    Suspending habeas corpus?

    These are ‘war crimes’ how?

    I was referring to torture as I believe that the reigning in of executive power would have to start with prosecuting the war crime of torture (which Cheney has essentially admitted in my opinion). I don’t know how else you could attack the issue since the SCOTUS hasn’t seemed much inclined to slap down executive overreach lately…

    Slarti: “And yes, I do think that mitigates the decision not to prosecute the Bush administration.”

    Prosecute Bush for what? Defrauding the country into war? Bugliosi already laid out the case for that and that’s still not a war crime.

    I believe that torture is still a war crime. I suppose that defrauding the country into war could be considered an aggravating factor.

    N.B. We weren’t discussing ‘war crimes.’ We were discussing the executive exercising power beyond right which no one has a right to. We’re discussing Obama not only excusing such behavior, after campaigning against it, but embracing said constitutionally repugnant policies and defending them in court. And your reply is that a bad economy entitles him to ignore Articles IV and Article VI because he can’t be both true to his appointed office and tend to an ailing economy at the same time? Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ.

    As I said above, since the SCOTUS isn’t interested in stopping executive overreach, I don’t see any real way to get at the issue without prosecuting the crimes that were committed via executive overreach (and torture seems like a clear case of well-documented crimes being committed). I’m arguing that painting the transgressions of the Bush and Obama administrations as equally bad is a false equivalence and that it matters (at least to me) whether or not any actions have been taken under these doctrines. Finally, I think you are oversimplifying the situation – President Obama has never made a secret of the fact that he cares more about economic issues and administration officials have admitted that the economy was in much worse shape that they had thought before the inauguration. Administrations do not have limitless focus to spend on every issue and triage dictates that you fix the artery that the patient is about to bleed out from before you worry about the poison. Furthermore, given a lack of focus, any part of the bureaucracy is going to bend its actions to suit its proclivities and the Bush administration spent eight years politicizing the civil service in a manner unprecedented in both its size and scope. To use an analogy to one of my favorite TV shows growing up, I think the president is like Hawkeye Pierce (well, he might not be Hawkeye, but at least he’s not Frank Burns ;-)) working on the patient’s body and we’ve got to wait until we get out of surgery to see if he can work on the mind like Sidney and the spirit like Father Mulcahey (or if we need to get someone else for that). Trying to equate President Obama’s actions in dealing with the massive problems on multiple levels left by the Bush administration to the actions of the people who’s deliberate actions caused those problems is childishly simplistic.

    Slarti: “President Obama can answer for the cases in which his Justice Department has argued against civil liberties, but I will point out that, at least to me, it is important to know if has, for instance, exercised the ability to assassinate US citizens or just argued that he should have it (both are repugnant but I think there is a huge difference in degree here).”

    Do you really think there’s a difference between making someone ‘disappear’ with a 600 yard shot to the head or simply taking the person away while suspending habeas corpus?

    Yes. One can potentially be rectified, the other can’t. Also, I think that there is a difference between arguing that one has the right to shoot someone in the head at 600 yards and actually doing it.

    Where the law ends tyranny begins. Either way shameless apologists, like you, enable the executive to remain in a position to do whatever the hell he wants.

    No, I’m just think that the problems resulting from 8 years of the Bush administration aren’t going to be solved quickly and I think that the Obama administration is correct to focus on the economy in the current situation. I think you’ll find that I’m not for any more executive power than you are, I just think that it’s a lot less important than jobs right now and I think that the administration is doing a good (but not great – say B to B-) job on the economy. Additionally, I think we’re heading into an election which has the potential to stop the president’s economic agenda cold and that it would be a disaster to do so. As long as the Obama administration fixes the economy (and works to restore effective regulatory systems) I’m fine with waiting until 2016 (assuming that President Obama wins a second term and doesn’t take care of it himself in his second term) to get an administration to reform the executive office (I think that Buddha’s CPP is an excellent first step in this direction). I want to do everything in my power (as little as that is) to help the president succeed because I think we’re all screwed if he fails and the only other choices available right now lead to certain failure in my opinion. I’ll let everyone else decide if I’m a ‘shameless apologist’ or if I have reasons to support my opinions.

    “When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.”

    Apologists, on both sides of the aisle, who go out of their way to excuse “their guy in office” simply because he’s “their guy” do nothing but respect the man above the law and office. It is categorically deplorable and inexcusable; no matter how low the Dow Jones may be.

    I don’t excuse anyone’s actions because he’s ‘my guy’, I just have different priorities than you and I think that the American people overwhelmingly agree with me. In fact, I respect the office above the man (one of the reasons that I refer to President Bush with the respect due the office rather than the disrespect I feel for the man personally – I make a conscious exception for Dick the war criminal).

    Slarti: “Whatever. I’m just trying to judge him fairly and in the proper context and I see him as doing quite a bit of good (as well as some bad) and unquestionably having done A LOT (definitely in FDR territory as far as quantity goes) in what I think is the most divisive, partisan political environment since the Civil War.”

    Of course you do.

    It’s a real bitch for you that I’ve been giving a consistent, well-thought out opinion, isn’t it? Could you please let us all know when things have been more partisan since the Civil War. It would be helpful if you could include things like statistics showing a comparison of the percentage of Senate bills subject to a filibuster or the average deviation from a straight party line vote in the House for the time that you think it was more partisan and now. And while you’re at it, why don’t you suggest some metric of the ‘mass’ of legislation passed so we can figure out where President Obama’s first 18 months rank.

    Slarti: “You’ve certainly implied that you wish to prosecute the Bush administration for complicity in 9/11.”

    No, I said the only time I consider the death penalty as viable is in cases of treason; you know, just like what Washington wanted to do with Arnold. While Bugliosi has already set forth a concrete case against certain members of the Bush administration for defrauding the country into war and thus causing the murder of thousands of people, I have yet to see someone lay out a viable case against the Bush administration for 9/11. Keep your implications to yourself.

    My mistake. I certainly inferred that from your writing. Maybe you should be more careful what you say. For the record, I think the death penalty is immoral in any application. My assertion regarding 9/11 is that the current evidence suggests that there is no viable case against anyone not involved in flying the planes into buildings because the effects of the airplane impacts are sufficient to explain the collapses and aftermath.

    Slarti: “Glad you find me amusing (I find your poor grasp of basic physics hilarious, so I guess it’s only fair). My problem with you is that you don’t seem to understand how investigation works (HINT: employing a confirmation bias is a poor investigatory methodology).”

    Your attacking my grasp of physics is simply the result of my refusal to accept your using the law of conservation of energy as a rhetorical jumping off point for some incredibly fallacious reasoning; just like your use of the false dilemma fallacy above.

    I stand by my reasoning – on every single point on which I have been questioned I have responded with an explanation as well as references and as far as I can remember you have never raised a single rebuttal of the content of any of my references (and you’ve certainly never provided any references of your own to this effect). You say my reasoning is fallacious. I say your understanding is lacking. James Joule agrees with me (and so do Wikipedia, various websites about physics and every physics text that I’ve ever seen…). As always, everyone gets to make up their own mind, just like they do about whether or not I committed the false dilemma fallacy you accused me of above.

    Slarti “Reading scientific papers (even bad ones) takes time and I haven’t had any.”

    Part and parcel of “investigation” includes READING the material you’re allegedly commenting on; and now you’ve finally admitted that you’ve been attacking the paper for months WITHOUT HAVING READ IT. Congratulations.

    Wow, you really hit that straw man hard! How badass. I’ve read several papers by Dr. Jones, but none of the several links I found to the Bentham paper in the past worked (I don’t recall you posting a link to it until recently – at least I’ve never found it and I generally check out all of the links you post). I’ve never misrepresented what I have and have not read and none of my objections to Dr. Jones’ ethical or scientific standards depend on having read that particular paper. I do believe, however, that the paper you linked is the one in the journal who’s editor resigned after Dr. Jones’ paper was published without her knowledge.

    Tell me more about ‘investigatory methodology.’

    Maybe later, I’ve still got another post of yours to answer…

  106. Slarti,

    Not that I have to tell you but, when you shine as bright as you do and you hail from the other side of Lansing. Which btw was stolen from the Indians…yep…sold by a Catholic Priest….Nokomis was the chiefs name, back to the subject. You can make a smiley face with sun glasses with an 8 and right paren…) see: 8) you sure do need them….

  107. AY,

    You don’t have to tell me – my sunglasses were a necessary part of my gear for Duke games. I felt naked before basketball games until I had my head painted and sunglasses on. 8)

  108. Slarti,
    As I said on another thread and will repeat here … against my better judgement, I am becoming interested in this contest.

  109. Blouise,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it – I’ll have one more installment done tonight… ;-)

    Buckeye,

    Have you read this?

    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/08/01/australian-public-schools-teaching-humans-and-dinosaurs-co-existed/#comment-152428

    I’ll make another post on that thread tonight. If you really want more of me vs. Bob (and friends) check out:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2009/12/09/one-hundred-and-twenty-percent-of-people-cant-be-wrong-fox-news-shows-people-are-dubious-about-the-accuracy-of-global-warming-science-with-a-poll-showing-120-percent-of-people-are-skeptical

    Over 500 of the roughly 1500 posts on that thread are mine.

  110. Slarti,

    My husband is out of town tomorrow and I have nothing to do so I guess I’ll bookmark the link and get eystrain.

  111. Slartibartfast
    1, August 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm
    Blousie,

    Just so you know, some of those posts are kind of long…

    =============================================================

    No … surely you jest!

  112. Slartibartfast
    1, August 14, 2010 at 12:03 am
    Blouise,

    I’m not joking. And don’t call me Shirley.

    =========================================================

    Only when flying!

  113. Buddha, Byron,

    Seeing that both of you commented on the Article IV and Article VI dimensions of Obama’s policies, i.e. exercising power beyond right which no one has a right to, i.e. that which I’ve been talking about, would you care to tell me where Slarti got the license to change the subject entirely?

  114. Bob,Esq.

    I take a stab at this. Slarti is a Mad Mathman. Rules do not apply when you are from East Lansing (to wit Cedarfest) went to Duke (Tobacco Row money). What else could you expect, except to talk about something that they know something about unless, he changes it to something else. I have a vague recollection of quantitative Physics such as:

    If a person is skiing and finds that they must give themselves a push to get started down the slopes. The slopes have angles of less than 8 degrees.

    What is the coefficient of static friction between the skis and the snow?

    Slarti, will either agree of no agree that this might me a correct correlation to an answer:

    m*g*sin(8)=m*g*cos(8)*µs
    µs=tan(8)

  115. Slartibartfast said “James Joule agrees with me”.

    Are you talking about James Prescott Joule? Didn’t he die over 120 years ago?

    To say that someone who has never reviewed your thesis “agrees with you” is a fallacy that screams of desperation. If no expert in a related field has reviewed your analysis (peer review) you should not be attempting to sell your thoughts as being something they are not.

    “Over 500 of the roughly 1500 posts on that thread are mine.”

    Argumentum ad nauseum, ad populum, and ad hominem are consistent with those presented by Slartibartfast. These are the tools of a sophist. These should not be confused with scientific analysis.

    What took me back was Slartibartfast’s conclusion that it would take such an enormous amount of thermite to take down the buildings, while at the same time arguing that the collapse could occur without it. Logic dictates that any building that could collapse without the need of “cutter charges” could not be said to require an enormous amount of the same had they been used.

    What the 1500 or so posts on the 9/11 thread demonstrate is that a mathematician has attempted to account for the collapse using energy without associating force. His same analysis could be applied to any building that we know was taken down by controlled demolition and used to demonstrate that no demolition materials were used. According to the Slartibartfast analyisis of collapse, all structures are on the brink of collapse, simply because they have the GPE to effectively “self-destruct”.

    Replace the Boeing 767’s with a Learjet 23 and the Slartibartfast analysis would still permit the building to collapse as observed.

    I enjoy good well-reasoned analysis and debate. Appealing to one’s own authority and telling the reader that a dead man concurs with your analysis may work when the audience lacks the knowledge or analytical skills to make up their own minds, but that tactic can hardly be considered persuasive among educated men and women.

    Slartibartfast threw not just the kitchen sink, but the whole kitchen, against the wall to see if it would stick. Those items that were so lacking in foundation that they could not be easily refuted were considered (by him) to be accepted. This is not the type of analysis that is or should be commonly accepted. When, what should be an “I don’t know” or “I haven’t been able to explain that”, is replaced by “prove it didn’t take place” it cannot be considered to be a scientific analysis. It can only be considered to be a war of words.

    The only scientific analysis of the WTC collapse that should be accepted is one where the author is willing to state that not enough information exists to arrive at any scientifically sound conclusion.

    If Slartibartfast’s analyisis was truly sound, he could tell you the minimum plane size, speed, fuel load, and impact location needed for the collapse to occur. I see nothing in his analysis that would permit such a calculation.

  116. Slarti,

    Changing the subject is pure bush league. Not once was the word ‘torture’ used in this thread until your last response. There’s a difference between mutatis mutandis and inserting your premises into another’s argument and thence continuing your argument.

    Example:

    I asked: “I forgot to ask; how does embracing warrantless wiretapping, executive assassination orders and the suspension of habeas corpus help the economy exactly?”

    Your response: “You’re right, the attempt to prosecute Bush administration war crimes couldn’t possibly have any impact on the economy.”

    Intellectually honest? Not in the slightest. Pure bush league.

    And here you go again

    I said: “Anyway, so the president can EITHER prosecute war criminals OR avoid another depression? LOL. And the two are mutually exclusive how?”

    [FYI, this question directly addressed your use of the false dilemma fallacy; i.e. the use of a bogus either/or question to validate an unsupported conclusion.]

    I said: “And just out of curiosity, what “war crimes” are you talking about?

    Embracing the surveillance state and urinating on the 4th Amendment?

    Ignoring Due Process by claiming the right to assassinate Americans?

    Suspending habeas corpus?

    These are ‘war crimes’ how?”

    [FYI, the foregoing indicates my initial confusion at your attempt to introduce the topic of war crimes; since we weren’t discussing war crimes.]

    Slarti: I was referring to torture as I believe that the reigning in of executive power would have to start with prosecuting the war crime of torture (which Cheney has essentially admitted in my opinion).”

    Wrong; this is the FIRST instance of the word torture in this entire thread between you and I. You were never referring to torture until you decided to change the subject, and the premises of my argument, and attack them accordingly.

    Slarti: “I believe that torture is still a war crime. I suppose that defrauding the country into war could be considered an aggravating factor.”

    For someone who professes to be keenly aware of differing degrees of criminal culpability, you seem to be clueless as to the difference between defrauding thousands of people into early graves, a.k.a. MURDER, and plain torture.

    Slarti: “As I said above, since the SCOTUS isn’t interested in stopping executive overreach”

    And as I, and Buddha, pointed out in the posts above, why shouldn’t Obama be concerned about stopping himself from using the constitution as a urinal puck? A poor economy entitles the executive to disregard Articles IV and VI?

    Slarti: “I’m arguing that painting the transgressions of the Bush and Obama administrations as equally bad is a false equivalence and that it matters (at least to me) whether or not any actions have been taken under these doctrines.”

    Well, we know the NSA is carrying out wireless wiretapping as we speak. And part and parcel of the reason we have a habeas corpus clause in the constitution, we don’t know if anyone is being held in secret…

    But in regards to your ‘false equivalence’ argument, the man who embraces the constitutionally repugnant policies of his predecessor is just as culpable as his predecessor.

    Bears repeating:

    —————–

    Slarti: “I do feel that equating the degree of culpability of the former administration to that of the current one is disingenuous, especially in light of the economic realities they had to deal with.”

    So, ‘economic realities’ determines whether one is more or less culpable under the law? Or may we ignore the law simply because we think we have too much to do at the time? You’re so full of shit you’re gonna float away.

    Kant: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    Or, if you need an anthropomorphic version of the categorical imperative via modern film:

    William Munny: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

    You’re just another wide-eyed liberal groupie looking to make excuses for Obama. Obama not only ignored his Article VI oath by excusing the previous executive of exercising power beyond that which no one has a right to, but he took FURTHER actions to embrace and fortify said constitutionally repugnant policies by defending them in court. And at least Bush spoke out of just one side of his mouth.

    ————————

    Again: “he took FURTHER actions to embrace and fortify said constitutionally repugnant policies by defending them in court.”

    With regards to your MASH analogy, that’s something Hawkeye would do? Or is that more like Hawkeye entering the O.R. drunk and filthy. Face it Radar, put your Obama Teddy Bear away; it’s time to grow up.

    I said: “Do you really think there’s a difference between making someone ‘disappear’ with a 600 yard shot to the head or simply taking the person away while suspending habeas corpus?”

    You replied: “Yes. One can potentially be rectified, the other can’t.”

    Which part of ‘making someone ‘disappear’ did you not get? Hint: You do know that Jimmy Hoffa ‘disappeared’ right?

    Slarti: “In fact, I respect the office above the man”

    Do you? Actually, your bush league attempt to switch the subject to a form you can reply seems far more indicative of contempt for the document. FYI, the office is a lesser part of the entire document; and by document I mean constitution — just in case you’re not paying attention again.

    Slarti: “My mistake. I certainly inferred that from your writing. Maybe you should be more careful what you say.”

    Judging just from this post, I’m apparently far more careful than you. Like I said, keep your implications (and inferences) to yourself.

    Slarti: “As always, everyone gets to make up their own mind, just like they do about whether or not I committed the false dilemma fallacy you accused me of above.”

    That’s true; and seeing your version of the fallacy was literally ‘textbook,’ I’m keen to guess who’s going to place their neck on the block just for you.

    I said: “Part and parcel of “investigation” includes READING the material you’re allegedly commenting on; and now you’ve finally admitted that you’ve been attacking the paper for months WITHOUT HAVING READ IT. Congratulations.

    Slarti: “Wow, you really hit that straw man hard! How badass.

    Apparently you don’t know what a straw man is; else you wouldn’t have used the term in such an inappropriate knee jerk fashion. Where’s the straw man specifically Slarti?

    Slarti: “I’ve read several papers by Dr. Jones, but none of the several links I found to the Bentham paper in the past worked (I don’t recall you posting a link to it until recently – at least I’ve never found it and I generally check out all of the links you post).”

    I posted the links for months Slarti; both primary and secondarily. I also informed you that Jones is not the primary author, but tertiary. Neils Harrit is the lead author and the paper, unlike you, is peer reviewed. The only reason you keep attributing the paper to Jones is that, HAVING NOT READ THE PAPER, it gives you room to cast dispersions and innuendo. Quite scientific.

    Slarti: “I’ve never misrepresented what I have and have not read and none of my objections to Dr. Jones’ ethical or scientific standards depend on having read that particular paper.”

    You did in fact dismiss the paper several times as if you had read it. And you do in fact, having not read the paper, ignore that many of Jones assertions were validated by the findings in that paper; metaphorically speaking, the bullets and gun matching the bullet holes Jones was discussing.

    Slarti: “I do believe, however, that the paper you linked is the one in the journal who’s editor resigned after Dr. Jones’ paper was published without her knowledge.”

    Sarah Palin couldn’t have spun it better.

    So Professor Pileni resigned because of something to do with Professor Jones? That’s your story and you’re sticking with it?

    Show me.

  117. Lincoln:

    “According to the Slartibartfast analysis of collapse, all structures are on the brink of collapse, simply because they have the GPE to effectively “self-destruct”.”

    I would say that is a true statement otherwise controlled demolition would not work. Buildings are designed to support the dead load of the structure and live loads imposed by the function of the structure. The material used has a factor of safety built into the analysis or live and dead loads are modified by a safety factor. The only thing required for collapse is an initiating event of a certain size (energy level) to overstress supporting members to failure.

    I also don’t think BobEsq would disagree with that statement either, he just disagrees with the type of initiating event.

  118. Lincoln: “What the 1500 or so posts on the 9/11 thread demonstrate is that a mathematician has attempted to account for the collapse using energy without associating force. His same analysis could be applied to any building that we know was taken down by controlled demolition and used to demonstrate that no demolition materials were used. According to the Slartibartfast analyisis of collapse, all structures are on the brink of collapse, simply because they have the GPE to effectively “self-destruct”.”

    Such clarity of thought; in the confines of this cracker factory no less. THANK YOU! Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ, thank you!

    Words cannot describe my utter joy… So I’ll have to explain in pictures.

    See 1:51, 3:10 and my moniker generally.

  119. BobEsq:

    Lincoln as Bugs Bunny? But in the end Bugs didnt get the ice skating penguin to the “promised” land and handed him off to . . . ? 8)

  120. Byron,

    You’ve heard the phrase, “you had me at hello.”

    Well Lincoln had me at “a mathematician has attempted to account for the collapse using energy without associating force.”

    Force necessitates a DIRECTIONAL component; thus the reason I told Slarti:

    “And no one is fronting your obscenely non-directional GPE argument because all the GPE in the world won’t melt steel unless you can explain how said energy is DIRECTED to do so. Witness the fact that Niagra Falls is not on fire.”

  121. Slarti,

    As I prepare for my Saturday afternoon romp through the 1500 posts, I decided to first read the most recent offerings from Lincoln and Barbarian Bob …

    Bob did not disappoint … “Such clarity of thought; in the confines of this cracker factory no less. THANK YOU! Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ, thank you!”

    … and I will ignore Lincoln’s “Marie Antoinette” attitude as expressed in these words … ” … when the audience lacks the knowledge or analytical skills to make up their own minds, but that tactic can hardly be considered persuasive among educated men and women.”

    …but instead take to heart “The only scientific analysis of the WTC collapse that should be accepted is one where the author is willing to state that not enough information exists to arrive at any scientifically sound conclusion.”

    As a member of the Great Un-scientific-Washed community I will commence munching on the 1500 crackers your debated has baked.

    A nice fruit basket would be appreciated. :oops:

  122. Blouise,

    “Barbarian Bob?” Really? Wouldn’t a ‘barbarian’ be more prone to refer to his opponent as “Meat?” No, wait, that would be Slarti’s pet name for me.

    And what’s your defense; tu quo que?

    Please.

  123. Byron said “The only thing required for collapse is an initiating event of a certain size (energy level) to overstress supporting members to failure”.

    When the human mind is permitted to analyze a phenomenon by making use of such ambiguity the resultant conclusion must rely on the same ambiguity for support.

    Energy doesn’t “overstress” anything. The word you are looking for is “force”.

    Energy alone cannot be used to analyze an event. Two energies do not engage in battle. They must be directed. This directed energy is known as force. When the force is applied to an object work can be performed. The trick is to have the force needed to perform the work be greater than the force trying tom stop you.

    What Slartibartfast has done is to assemble an orchestra (energy), but he provided them with no music or conductor. When music was played he considers it to be the result of having excellent musicians. His conclusions rely on the musician having the ability to play the notes. We know it takes more. Much more. Even if you assembled the best musicians in the world (giving them the greatest chance of creating music by playing random notes) the result would most likely not be considered music. The sheet music and conductor provide direction. They also serve to provide, and significantly improve, efficiency. Without direction, efficiency must be accepted as being extremely low. However, the Slartibartfast analysis relies on extremely high efficiency from random notes.

    Energy is like an orchestra. They may have great potential, but until they are provided with direction they aren’t likely to work harmoniously (create what we would call music). The Slartibartfast analysis has them working harmoniously simply because they are excellent musicians.

    Gravity can be said to provide some direction, but the efficiency of the interaction would remain extremely low. Random events rarely result in high efficiency.

    Take a dump truck full of gravel. That load has an average height of 8 ft. Now pour that gravel onto the road. Was the road destroyed? Why not? The potential definitely did exist. Did it not? Using only energy, tell me why it did not. Try using the Slartibartfast method to determine the results. If you understand his analysis, you should be able to make use of it in this scenario.

  124. Bob,Esq.,

    I offer no defense but rather bow my head in abject humbleness as I grovel before the throne of your towering intellect … turn your mighty gaze towards others for this lowly peon is undeserving of your notice. :mrgreen:

    In other words; buzz off bozo … I’m readin’ here

  125. Slarti,

    Whew … there is a lot of material to cover but I am in the rhythm and just stopping to catch my breath

  126. Byron,

    While I greatly enjoy debating with you about things economic and political, it’s nice to be on the same side from time to time…

    Bryon posted:

    Lincoln:

    “According to the Slartibartfast analysis of collapse, all structures are on the brink of collapse, simply because they have the GPE to effectively “self-destruct”.”

    I would say that is a true statement otherwise controlled demolition would not work. Buildings are designed to support the dead load of the structure and live loads imposed by the function of the structure. The material used has a factor of safety built into the analysis or live and dead loads are modified by a safety factor. The only thing required for collapse is an initiating event of a certain size (energy level) to overstress supporting members to failure.

    Thanks for saying this – I’ve been trying to get this point across for ages. Bob doesn’t seem to understand that controlled demolition is one way to initiate gravitational collapse not the only way and that any building will undergo gravitational collapse given an initiating event that compromises the structure and sufficient GPE above the initiating event to make the collapse self-sustaining.

    I also don’t think BobEsq would disagree with that statement either, he just disagrees with the type of initiating event.

    It seemed to me that Bob did disagree with that statement – according to him you can’t do analysis based on conservation of energy without using force. I wonder how he passed his basic physics classes…

    Blouise,

    Bob do write real pretty, don’t he? Too bad his understanding of physics is so stunted.

  127. Bob,

    “….. And what’s your defense; tu quo que? ….”

    =====================================================

    Nope, for I drew a conclusion relevant to the attack … but I digress … but to reading.

  128. Bob,

    Since I find you telling me that my opinions are invalid and that I can’t use words unless they’ve previously been used in the thread uninteresting, I probably wont be commenting on the executive overreach/torture discussion here anymore. I explained my position and the reasoning behind it. Overall, I’m happy with President Obama’s performance, even though he hasn’t done what both of us would like done as far as executive overreach. I don’t think that many Americans have the luxury to care more strongly about executive overreach than the economy right now. I personally believe that a Republican Congress or Presidency is a clear and present danger to our economy and that naive, black/white analyses like yours serve only to make this danger more likely. I choose to judge the president based on all of his actions – you can make up your mind based on the president’s actions regarding executive overreach alone if you want to, but making decisions about complex, muti-faceted topics based on a single issue has always struck me as shortsighted, stupid, and intellectually lazy.

    On a more prosaic note, I’ll be responding to the 9/11 comments by you and Lincoln on the thread:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/08/01/australian-public-schools-teaching-humans-and-dinosaurs-co-existed

    As a kindness to anyone trying to follow this fight can we keep the 9/11 discussion on that thread?

  129. Slarti,

    pardon me, but, if pushed, I could go on an irrational tangent. But the effect could be a direct correlation to the circumference’s diameter, but the variables in dispute could be ascertained given the probability of variable correlations.

    How’s that for circular reasoning…..

  130. Bob,Esq.

    You are probably correct. But given a mathman’s mind, they can be irrational….push his buttons and see if you could push him in to a tangent.

  131. Slarti: “Since I find you telling me that my opinions are invalid and that I can’t use words unless they’ve previously been used in the thread uninteresting, I probably wont be commenting on the executive overreach/torture discussion here anymore.”

    Is this your way of apologizing for changing the subject when you had no retort?

    Slarti: I explained my position and the reasoning behind it.

    No, you didn’t as I explained above.

    Slarti: Overall, I’m happy with President Obama’s performance, even though he hasn’t done what both of us would like done as far as executive overreach. I don’t think that many Americans have the luxury to care more strongly about executive overreach than the economy right now.”

    Exactly where does law and order fit in your whimsical and capricious universe?

    Lemme guess, Kant got it wrong when he wrote:

    “Everyone must admit that if a law is to be morally valid as a ground of obligation, then it must carry with it absolute necessity. [One] must concede that the ground of obligation here must therefore be sought not in the nature of man, nor in the circumstances of the world in which man is placed, but must be sought a priori solely in the concepts of pure reason; he must grant that every other precept which is founded on principles of mere experience-even a precept that may in certain respects be universal-in so far as it rests in the least on empirical grounds-perhaps only in its motive–can indeed be called a practical rule, but never a moral law.”

    Slarti: “I personally believe that a Republican Congress or Presidency is a clear and present danger to our economy and that naive, black/white analyses like yours serve only to make this danger more likely.”

    You sound a lot like Little Bill at the end of Unforgiven.

    “Obama doesn’t deserve this; he was building a house–in a bad economy.”

    Hint:

    Categorical imperative: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

    Accordingly, you have yet to offer one viable reason for excusing Obama’s embracing and defending the executive over-reaching powers established by the Bush administration.

    Slarti: I choose to judge the president based on all of his actions – you can make up your mind based on the president’s actions regarding executive overreach alone if you want to, but making decisions about complex, muti-faceted topics based on a single issue has always struck me as shortsighted, stupid, and intellectually lazy.”

    More proof that you DON’T value the office or document over the man.

    Had Bush used the economy as an excuse to extend his stay in office, i.e. yet again exercising power beyond right which no one has a right to, you’d be fit to be tied. Why? Not because he added yet another tyrannical (look it up) act to his rap sheet — obviously you’re fine with warrantless wiretapping, suspending habeas corpus, etc. — but because he’s not your guy.

    You’re not only a wide-eyed liberal apologist, you’re a hypocrite as well. And I’m being nice.

  132. “I offer no defense but rather bow my head in abject humbleness as I grovel before the throne of your towering intellect … turn your mighty gaze towards others for this lowly peon is undeserving of your notice.”

    Passive aggressive or bereft of integrity?

    You tell me.

  133. Sure cut the middle man’s profit only looking for a little take. That is ok. When Vito shows up Blouise, you’ll know….lol

  134. Lincoln:

    “Energy alone cannot be used to analyze an event. Two energies do not engage in battle. They must be directed. This directed energy is known as force. When the force is applied to an object work can be performed. The trick is to have the force needed to perform the work be greater than the force trying tom stop you.”

    What does a force do to a structural member? It causes it to elongate or compress. In other words strain. Strain is caused by a force but what is work? Work is a force over a distance or the area under the force strain curve.

    So yes energy alone can be used to analyze an event. And the thread about 9/11 brought that home to me in a big way. The tell tale is the amount of movement either elongation or compression that a member sustains. You can determine the amount of energy required to bend something and then you can determine the force required or vice versa.

  135. Byron: “So yes energy alone can be used to analyze an event. And the thread about 9/11 brought that home to me in a big way. The tell tale is the amount of movement either elongation or compression that a member sustains. You can determine the amount of energy required to bend something and then you can determine the force required or vice versa.”

    Force necessitates direction. The fact that force necessitates a directional component holds true analytically; i.e. the concept of the predicate is contained within the concept of the subject. Stating that all forces have a directional component is as patently obvious as stating that all bachelors are unmarried.

    Thus the reason Lincoln said: “Energy alone cannot be used to analyze an event. Two energies do not engage in battle. They must be directed. This directed energy is known as force.”

  136. Bob,Esq.,

    Sarcasm … honey …. sarcasm … in a style you employed rather poorly

    Now it’s your turn to wallop me with one of your favoites:

    “Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ” and hope I’ll run away and hide from the big bruiser .. not a chance bully-boy … not a chance

    I’ve been reading the thread … you were the first one to mention the Towers in a post to Byron, then Robert chimed in with his “charges left from 1994” theories but you were the first to address the subject to Slarti in the manner as follows:

    “First, you apparently wouldn’t know Ockham’s razor, or the law of parsimony, if you were pissing on it. “Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora” [“It is pointless to do with more what can be done with less”].” (Slarti had been addressing Robt. 1994 charges theory)

    Slarti’s first post to you:

    “The fact that there are whackjobs with doubts similar to yours doesn’t mean you’re wrong, but it sure as hell doesn’t add credibility to your argument.”

    And then you to Slarti:

    “Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ. You don’t even know what the term “heat of fusion” means. How can you be so bold in your statements when you’re so ignorant of basic chemistry and physics?

    Fifty dollar philosopher talk for “since your ‘argument’ is based on an informal fallacy of logic, it’s a load of horseshit.””

    But I am going to give you this … I bet you’re a lot of fun at the track!

  137. Anonymously Yours
    1, August 14, 2010 at 6:03 pm
    Sure cut the middle man’s profit only looking for a little take. That is ok. When Vito shows up Blouise, you’ll know….lol

    =========================================================

    xo

  138. Whatever Bob. You can go on explaining how I don’t understand my own opinions, I’m content with people judging my opinions based on what I’ve written. I’ve repeatedly documented your hypocrisy, ignorance, and lack of intellectual honesty in the past so I don’t think people will give much credence to your allegation that I’m a wide-eyed liberal apologist and a hypocrite but, as always, everyone gets to make up their own mind.

  139. Here’s another spin on ‘Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.’:

    I probably have a very different view of the prospect of another Depression than you do since I’m currently unemployed (working towards being self-employed) and living in Michigan, but right now I don’t care about what Bush and Obama deserve regarding executive overreach, I care that, in my opinion, the Obama administration’s policies are improving the economy and the policies advocated by the Republicans would hurt the economy further. To use another quotation:

    ‘IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!’

  140. What you care about is not necessarily what the law IS. Whether or not you care about that distinction is another topic entirely; as I attempted to show you.

  141. BobEsq:

    But energy calculations can be used to determine force and vice versa. And the direction of the movement is the direction of the force.

    Please review the video I posted.

  142. Byron,

    I’m sorry, I had no patience for professors that struggled with English in college; and still don’t now. It’s incredibly distracting. If there’s a specific point in the video you’d recommend I view, please point it out. But I will not spend 45 minutes listening to tortured English that distracts me from the subject at hand.

    Other than that, I deem Lincoln’s assessment of Slarti’s argument as spot on; since he’s voicing the same complaint I had the whole time.

    Pointing out the existence of a sum certain of GPE in no way explains how said GPE was DIRECTED to result in the observations at Ground Zero; i.e. the collapses as well as the molten metal found in the three building footprints.

    Or as Lincoln so eloquently stated: “Energy is like an orchestra. They may have great potential, but until they are provided with direction they aren’t likely to work harmoniously (create what we would call music).”

  143. Blouise,

    Yeah, Bob’s taken a lot of umbrage based on my misunderstanding the term ‘heat of fusion’ initially (plus being condescending and dismissive of his allegations of controlled demolition) – the fact that I’ve been able to document (or in a very few instances correct) all of the physical arguments I’ve made since then with references from multiple sources must really piss him off…

    Bob,

    I wan’t commenting on what I think the law is, I was commenting on what I believe and why. Everything I said was an honest attempt at an accurate reflection of my reasoning. I’m sorry if you can’t understand my reasoning, but we don’t get to choose between some ideal liberal and President Obama, we get to choose between the president and the Republicans. In my opinion a liberal third party candidate in 2012 would almost certainly ensure the election of the Republican candidate (which could plausibly be Sarah Palin). To me this is a catastrophic outcome. I’m a pragmatic person (I think of myself as a pragmatic idealist – I advocate what I see as the best available step towards as lofty goals as possible), if you have a better short-term option than supporting President Obama (in general) that you think leads to better outcomes with a higher probability, then I’d love to hear it.

  144. Well Slarti,

    I am not appreciative of you being dismissive of my statement to you regarding tangents….

  145. Bob,

    If you can’t take the time to review the link Byron posted, you’ll find a module on conservation of energy and how it’s used here:

    http://cnx.org/content/m14106/latest/

    I’ve posted this link before and it basically corroborates my entire methodology of using conservation of energy. Incidentally, when you demand that people look at your links but refuse to look at theirs, it’s kind of hypocritical… FYI.

    As an aside, I’ve found that being an engineer, Byron has a very different view of energy and structure than I do, but our views never seem to contradict each other. I wonder why that is… It couldn’t be because both of our views are based on a correct interpretation of the physics, could it?

    AY,

    I apologize and, for penance I will tell you about how a friend of mine any I would spend the 10 minutes before Advanced Algebra II class my sophomore year in high school. We would cover the blackboards with trigonometric puns – sometimes we filled up both the front and back boards. We probably could have filled up another blackboard if you were there. How’s that for a tangent?

    sin-ing off,

    Slart

  146. High School? Algebra? Blackboard?

    Wasn’t high school for fools? I hated it badly, rarely went. Cut about 98 days the Freshman year and 99 the Sophomore. I went when they had test and stayed on the AB honor roll for some reason. lol….Algebra? Did you have a Nun teach you as well? Her name was Sister Dana. She was rather large and when I say large. But for the Habit, Costume, she would have needed a moomoo….That was part of the reason that I hated High School….Ah yes, blackboards… did you know that they break? I found that out….lol…

    Then I went to College and I did not want to get out….I never wanted to graduate….isn’t that sick?

  147. “Or as Lincoln so eloquently stated: “Energy is like an orchestra. They may have great potential, but until they are provided with direction they aren’t likely to work harmoniously (create what we would call music).”
    =============================================================

    Now, that’s funny! (having spent years playing in an orchestra …)

  148. AY,

    Big Al Ruffe, the football assistant coach, taught us algebra – I would frequently ask him questions that I knew the answer to in order to verify that he didn’t… Leona Bronstein taught us chemistry – or as we used to call her ‘Attila the Nun’. She was a tall, thin woman who looked like a witch and wore fashions debuted on an AMF bowling ball in polyester. As for college, I got out in 4 years, but it took me 10 years of grad school at 3 different universities (5 counting multiplicity) over a decade and a half to get my Ph.D.

  149. Slarti,

    Did Leona live off of Coolidge Road? Hey, if you have a Phd and J.D. is it proper to be called Dr. Dr.? Or Drs.? or what?

    I did two stints in Undergrad. Both at Texas 76 to 79 and then 80 though 84. I did graduate in May of 79 Accounting and decided that I did not like work so much that by the next January I was safe..no loner a Corp Auditor…and then the rest…well you can imagine….then off to the Blue and Maze…..Almost got busted at the bridge….lol..

  150. AY,

    I don’t know where Leona lived, but I lived off of Coolidge (my dad still does). I used to joke with a friend of mine (who has an MD) that I would call him ‘Doctor’ as long as he called me ‘Master’ (I had two master’s degree’s at the time). Unfortunately by the time I got my Ph.D. he had gotten a master’s in health care policy or some such from some diploma mill called Harvard… (he wasn’t much for reputable schools since he got his MD and bachelor’s at Michigan – at least he had the sense to do his residency at Duke and later have a tenured position there which was good until Ohio State made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he traitored himself).

  151. Money makes sluts out of most……Or perceived Status of Acclaim…. but really what is it all worth if you lose yourself.

  152. Slarti:

    here is an interesting fact:

    “Most of the oil in the Santa Barbara Channel and on nearby beaches comes from natural leakage of buried reservoirs, not man-made spills. Europeans who visited the area in the 16th century reported the sea was covered by a “sheen of oil, visible for as far as the eye could see,” and that local Indians waterproofed baskets and canoes with tar collected on beaches. It is estimated that, yearly, these seeps release the equivalent of one third of the oil spilled by Exxon Valdez.

    Seeps of oil are common in coastal California, having given rise to such place-names as Oil Creek, Oildale, Brea (Spanish “tar”) and Coal Oil Point. By far the best known is the La Brea Tar Pits, located in downtown Los Angeles.

    Authorities believe the only way to reduce leakage in the Santa Barbara Channel is to reduce pressure in the reservoir by pumping out as much oil as possible.”

    Bdaman posted about huge “tar” volcanoes off the coast that are some 30,000 years old. Seems like the gulf leak will not do much damage after all. It also tends to imply that maybe we shouldn’t have placed dispersant’s and just tried to collect the oil.

    Another point is that oil drilling would be an environmentally friendly thing to do off the coast of California.

  153. Byron–

    What happened to animals that blundered into the La Brea Tar Pits???

    What’s the source of that “interesting fact?”
    **********

    “Seems like the gulf leak will not cause much damage after all.”

    Don’t worry–be happy. What you been smokin’?

  154. Elaine,

    I didn’t know salmonella could cause diarrhea of the mouth. ;)

    One learns something new every day.

  155. Buddha,

    I’m not planning on eating an seafood from the Gulf if I can help it! How about you?

    **********

    Byron,

    “…maybe we shouldn’t have placed dispersants and just tried to collect the oil.”

    I can agree with you on that point!

  156. Byron,

    I have to agree with Buddha’s sentiment here – friends share ;-)

    The fact that oil leaks out naturally doesn’t mean that there wont be any increased impact from a spill that is likely orders of magnitude bigger. Add in the dispersants (which I agree will probably turn out to have been a big mistake) and I don’t think that we can say the gulf leak hasn’t and wont do much damage. And while I would be willing to entertain the argument that the marginal pollution of offshore drilling might be small compared to the ‘natural’ pollution, calling offshore drilling ‘environmentally friendly’ is ridiculous…

    Elaine,

    I won’t be eating seafood from the gulf anytime soon, either.

  157. Sometimes the truth looks one in the face and they still can’t comprehend what the facts are that make it so.

  158. Aye yo Adrian, U talkin ta me. Bada Bing, u got a problem wit dat.

    I tell ya watt, how’s bout you put it up your nose wit a gahden hose, Vinnie Babarino style.

  159. Drillers May Face Months of Waiting Even After Obama Lifts Deep-Water Ban

    Oil and natural-gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico may remain idle for months even if President Barack Obama’s administration agrees to an early end for its moratorium on deep-water drilling.

    “In some ways it doesn’t matter when the moratorium comes off, because there are other impediments to drilling now,” Jim Tisch, chief executive officer of Loews Corp., said in an interview today at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Loews owns 50 percent of Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., the largest U.S. deep-water oil driller.

    Obama is likely to lift the drilling ban in October, ahead of its scheduled Nov. 30 expiration, said Michael McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, an oil-industry consulting firm in Washington. Heightened regulatory scrutiny of drilling’s risks may delay the resumption of operations by companies such as BP Plc and Apache Corp. until mid-2011, McKenna said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-25/drillers-may-face-months-of-waiting-even-after-obama-lifts-deepwater-ban.html

  160. Bdaman:

    why? a good deal of what you post is verifiable and usually turns out to be true. Especially your global warming info. I just saw a show that said the earth was a “snowball” for a good many years and that life was developing in deep sea vents.

    If earth can be a snowball it can certainly become a hot house, which it was during the time of the dinosaurs. I also heard that one of the reasons insects and other creatures were so big was because of the higher oxygen content of the atmosphere at that time. I think the jury is no where near to being able to come to a conclusion, but I think it more and more looks like a natural process that is being used for political/economic reasons.

    Have you seen that movie “Con of the Wind”? I saw a trailer and it looks rather interesting. Anything government has to subsidise to make people buy is probably not worth having. You don’t have to subsidize pizza and beer or I-pads to get people to buy.

  161. Bdaman:

    “Obama is likely to lift the drilling ban in October, ahead of its scheduled Nov. 30 expiration . . . ”

    just in time for the mid-terms. what a joker.

  162. Change you can believe in.

    Speaking of GW

    Despite the fact that President Obama made Cap and Trade and other green policy plans a focal point of his early days in office — not to mention his campaign for president — the White House has quietly scrubbed from its official website many of Obama’s promises and green initiatives. I guess the era of Obama really is “change you can believe in.”

    http://bigjournalism.com/wthuston/2010/08/22/obama-scrubs-white-house-website-of-climate-change-promises-media-mum/

  163. Byron you doin O.K.? I been real busy with my Tropical Forecast.

    TD 7 upgraded to T.S. Earl as of 5:00 and should have Fiona in about 72-96 hours. Huge High building over the Mid Atlantic starting this weekend means look out below. Should have four named systems by ths time next week. Three in the Atlantico and one in DA Gulf de Mehico. Tu inteindes ?

  164. Swathmoremom you shouldn’t have. Lots of evidence unfolding on that. I’ll take the bait if you want me to, just say the word.

  165. What do “global warming,” “global governance” and “sustainable development” have to do with the proposed “Ground Zero mosque?” One would think absolutely nothing; however investigation into the money, organizations and people behind the project has uncovered some revealing and disturbing connections. An extensive analysis of these findings provides the missing insight into the larger agenda, motives and modus operandi associated with what is now known as the Park51project. It also reveals the reasons behind the persistence of the insipid and insulting project and why it remains viable in the face of such visceral opposition.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/26762

  166. The election started out as anti- Mexican. Now it is anti-Muslim and anti-black although most African Americans are christian. So what is the bait? It might work for the republican tea party in 2010, but with the changing demographics it is a losing strategy for the future. Turnouts are much larger in presidential years.

  167. Obama is one and done, why do you think he plays so much golf, has parties, takes upteen vacations, takes 8 minute helicopter rides. Even Letterman is taking jabs.

  168. Was the Rev. Wright a closet Muslim? Obama is not a Muslim and neither are his wife or daughters. He could be a one term president depending on what emerges from the republican primaries. Right now the selection looks poor. Maybe that son of Dan Quayle’s that won last night in Arizona could run.

  169. Swathmore Mom you assume Obama would want to run again and if he did there is no way in hell he would ever get reelected.

    Was the Rev. Wright a closet Muslim?

    Might as well be with his G.D. America crusade. Obama never listened to him anyway, at least thats what he said.

    Obama is not a Muslim and neither are his wife or daughters.

    He sure does bow alot. Was in Indonesia for schooling, said the call to prayer was the sweetest sound he’s ever heard. Traveled to Pakistan and Afganistan but nobody really knows why and it was because he let it slip out during a campaign speech the only reason we know about it.

    While Michelle was in Spain, she and Sasha went to the Great Mosque of Granada. Speculation is like the Imam going on his outreach tour and his wife I might add on tax payer dollars, Michelle was doing the same.

  170. The Olympic Committee should take away Lindsey Vohn’s gold medal and give it to Obama.

    Nobody has gone down hill faster than he, NOBODY!!!!! :)

  171. Swarthmore mom:

    I quite frankly think his economic policies are wrong, it has nothing to do with his skin color or his religious beliefs. I know a good many white Christians who hold similar economic beliefs and I think they are wrong as well.

    Since you and most everyone else on the left think his economic policies are correct, you assume one must be a racist or religious bigot to oppose them. Why else would anyone oppose those ideas? Personally I oppose them because I think they are wrong and there is a long history of their failure in many countries in many different times and in many different incarnations to support my argument.

    It is certainly easier to dismiss opposition based in religious or ethnic bigotry than to attempt to understand another’s opposition to a demonstrably failed economic philosophy.

  172. Byron Most people on here think Obama’s economic policies are wrong but for the opposite reasons you do. The economic policies have nothing to do with the “Obama is a Muslim” rhetoric.

  173. Byron,

    I assume that people who didn’t oppose Bush’s economic policies and then oppose the continuation of those policies, using a bunch of nonsensical word combinations are motivated by something other than dislike of the policies. When those same people use pictures and language commonly associated with racism and bigotry, I start to suspect that they may in fact be racists and bigots.

    Call me crazy.

  174. SM:

    I dont disagree that some opposition is attributable to racism but I do not think it is as wide spread as your post(s) seem to imply.

  175. Gyges:

    whomever supported Bush’s economic policies is an idiot and didn’t understand it then and doesn’t understand it now. Knee jerk reactionary republican fools-then and now.

    I guess what I am saying is don’t paint all of us with the same broad brush. I dislike what I have seen of his philosophy, I don’t know the man implementing them.

    To change the subject, what do you think is going to happen in November? I am starting to think the repubs are going to pick up a few seats in the house and maybe a couple in the senate but I don’t think it is going to be the blow-out the pundits are predicting based on this recent round of primaries.

  176. Byron,

    I’m sure it will be like most midterm election. These things tend to be pretty predictable. Anyone calling for a Clinton Era Republican majority is ignoring the fact that the Tea Party is a)splitting the vote with 3rd party candidates b)driving the Republicans so far out of the mainstream no sane independent would vote for them and c) damaging the whole “conservative” brand.

    On the other hand, people are more likely to vote for people who appeal to instinct when the chips are down. I think the authoritarian bent of modern conservatives would appeal to the “choose biggest male for alpha” level.

  177. SM,

    I’m not saying Buck’s likable, just that Bennet isn’t.

    You have a choice between liver and a kind of fish you’ve never heard of, and you know you don’t like liver. You’re going to choose the fish. Unless your friend mentions that the fish is toxic.

    It’s a long time till November.

  178. From Huffington Post (8/25/2010)

    Gulf Oil Spill: Rick Steiner Got BP Disaster Right From The Beginning, Warns Crisis Is Far From Over
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/25/the-sage-of-spills-rick-s_n_693812.html

    Excerpts:
    I first spoke to Rick Steiner more than three months ago — about two weeks into the Deepwater Horizon disaster — after a source recommended I talk to him for a story I was writing about the spill as a teachable moment. Steiner is a marine conservationist and activist in Alaska who started studying oil spills when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, and never stopped.

    What Steiner said to me during that first interview was blunt, depressing — and struck me as having the ring of truth. Little did I know how true.

    “Government and industry will habitually understate the volume of the spill and the impact, and they will overstate the effectiveness of the cleanup and their response,” he told me at the time. “There’s no such thing as an effective response. There’s never been an effective response — ever — where more than 10 or 20 percent of the oil is ever recovered from the water.

    “Most of the oil that goes into the water in a major spill stays there,” he said. “And once the oil is in the water, the damage is done.”

    Steiner was also one of the first scientists to warn that much if not most of BP’s oil was remaining underwater, forming giant and potentially deadly toxic plumes.

    I thought of Steiner last week, as I sat in a congressional hearing room listening to Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey question Bill Lehr, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Lehr was one of the authors of an increasingly controversial federal report about the fate of BP’s spilled oil that Obama administration officials misleadingly cited as evidence that the “vast majority” of the oil was essentially gone.

    Markey’s persistent questioning eventually got Lehr to acknowledge that, contrary to the administration spin, most of the spill — including the oil that has been dispersed or dissolved into the water, or evaporated into the atmosphere — is still in the Gulf ecosystem. Then Markey got Lehr to recalculate what percentage of the spill BP had actually recovered, through skimming and burning.

    That amount: About 10 percent.

    In other words, Steiner was right.

    **********

    Before the Obama administration lifts its deepwater-drilling moratorium — currently set to expire on Nov. 30 — Steiner said the government should do four things:

    1. Complete a comprehensive risk assessment that establishes the “101 other ways” that deepwater blowouts can occur.

    2. Develop a much more effective risk mitigation system, i.e. better blowout preventers.

    3. Develop better blowout response plans, such as the marine well containment system being developed by Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell.

    4. Develop better oil spill response plan for worst-case scenarios — with equipment ready to go, precontracted responders trained and drilled, protocols established for dispersants and burning, and regional citizens advisory councils.

    The first three are crucial, because they are about prevention. But the fourth is still important, Steiner said. “We need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that effective oil spill response is possible, because it isn’t. Yet they still need to prepare.”

  179. Elaine:

    ““Most of the oil that goes into the water in a major spill stays there,” he said. “And once the oil is in the water, the damage is done.””

    Is it? How do you account for the fact that every year there is an oil leak 1/3 the size of the Exxon Valdez off the coast of California from natural sources and there is no environmental damage?

  180. Top Democrats are growing markedly more pessimistic about holding the House, privately conceding that the summertime economic and political recovery they were banking on will not likely materialize by Election Day.

    In conversations with more than two dozen party insiders, most of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of play, Democrats in and out of Washington say they are increasingly alarmed about the economic and polling data they have seen in recent weeks.

    They no longer believe the jobs and housing markets will recover — or that anything resembling the White House’s promise of a “recovery summer” is under way. They are even more concerned by indications that House Democrats once considered safe — such as Rep. Betty Sutton, who occupies an Ohio seat that President Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote in 2008 — are in real trouble.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41469.html#ixzz0xik1hdOk

  181. Looks like the Deere is no longer looking into the headlights.

    Oh the times they are a changin.

    Deere Quits Climate Coalition Supporting Cap-And-Trade

    CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- Deere & Co. (DE) has quietly dropped out of a coalition of large companies that has supported a cap-and-trade program for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

    Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer of farm machinery, opted to leave the U.S. Climate Action Partnership in May because the group’s legislative strategy “no longer served as a foundation for moving forward” with climate change regulation, Ken Golden, a spokesman for the company said Tuesday.

    “We came to the conclusion that Deere had other opportunities to be involved in climate change initiatives,” Golden said.

    The Moline, Ill., company joins a handful of other companies that have left the partnership in recent months, as political support erodes for comprehensive energy legislation that includes a cap-and-trade program and stricter mandates for energy conservation. Other members to leave the group include construction machinery company Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), and energy companies BP PLC (BP.LN, BP) and ConocoPhillips Co. (COP)

    http://www.automatedtrader.net/real-time-dow-jones/13419/deere-quits-climate-coalition-supporting-cap_and_trade

  182. Unemployment: A damning memo shows the administration knew its oil drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico would kill tens of thousands of jobs but did it anyway. We’re the ones getting drilled.

    There’s a law known as the law of unintended consequences. It’s invoked when you try to do the right thing but overlook other events and occurrences set in motion by your actions. In the case of the drilling moratorium, the consequences were intended.

    In June, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman struck down Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s original moratorium, saying it was overkill based on flawed reasoning. “If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are?” Feldman asked in his ruling. “That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed and rather overbearing.”

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/544944/201008251810/Jobs-Knowingly-Killed-And-Destroyed.aspx

  183. Byron,

    ““Most of the oil that goes into the water in a major spill stays there,” he said. “And once the oil is in the water, the damage is done.””

    Is it? How do you account for the fact that every year there is an oil leak 1/3 the size of the Exxon Valdez off the coast of California from natural sources and there is no environmental damage?

    Here’s one response to your question:

    From Newsweek

    If Oil Naturally Leaks From Underwater Sources Every Day, Then Why Are Man-Made Spills Such a Big Deal?
    by Ian Yarett May 05, 2010
    http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-human-condition/2010/05/05/if-oil-naturally-leaks-from-underwater-sources-every-day-then-why-are-man-made-spills-such-a-big-deal.html

    Excerpt:
    Literally tons of oil get released on a regular basis from natural underwater petroleum seeps around the world. Does that mean man-made spills like the ongoing one in the Gulf of Mexico are less problematic than most people think?

    It’s true that seeps located off the California coast release up to several thousand gallons of crude oil each day and that these leaks eventually amount to many times the amount of oil released in even the worst man-made oil spills, like the Exxon Valdez in 1989.

    But there are also some important differences between these situations—and many reasons why the environmental impact of a man-made spill is hardly comparable to that of oil leaked from natural seeps.

    For one, the biological communities around natural seeps have developed and adapted to the presence of oil over hundreds or thousands of years. When oil spills from a tanker or oil rig, on the other hand, biological communities that haven’t had to deal with oil before are suddenly exposed to it at high concentrations. “At underwater seeps, you’ve already got luxuriant concentrations of microbes who depend on that seep as a carbon source and are very good at chewing it up in place, but you don’t have any of that when a catastrophic release like [the one in the Gulf of Mexico] occurs,” says Jeffrey Short, who spent decades studying oil spills as a chemist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is now Pacific science director at Oceana. “You’re just exposing a naive biological community to an extraordinarily damaging change all at once.”

    As a result of exposure to an ill-prepared biological community, microbial degradation of man-made oil spills occurs much more slowly than degradation of oil from natural seeps, where the resident organisms literally make their living off of the oil that gets released. It’s also important to note that natural seeps dribble oil at a rate that is much slower than most spills—so the flow is not nearly as overwhelming to surrounding organisms. The bottom line is that oil does indeed naturally seep from the seafloor in many places and that this seepage does, over time, add up to an awful lot of oil, rivaling some of the biggest human spills. But natural seeps have become part of the ecosystem (over long periods of time), while oil spills wreak massive ecological destruction.

  184. Byron,

    From TPM
    Natural Oil Seeps vs. Oil Spills
    May 26, 2010, 12:21AM
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/j/d/jdf15/2010/05/back-when-this-all-first.php

    Excerpt:
    A 2003 National Academies study estimated that about 980,000 barrels of oil, or about 41 million gallons, seep into the Gulf – every year. Recall that the Exxon Valdez is estimated to have spilled about 250,000 barrels.

    So if that much oil is released every year, why isn’t the Gulf covered in oil slicks? It actually is. You just can’t see them (and it doesn’t really matter). Oil can spread out very, very thinly. In fact, a gallon of oil can spread out to cover more than a full square mile, forming the tiniest film on the surface, one-hundredth of a millimeter thick. At that dose, oil is not dangerous. Note: in an oil spill, a lot of oil is released into the same place at the same time. It is still hydrophobic and all wants to sit on top of the water, so it forms a thicker slick than that.

    While invisible up close, microscopic oil slicks from natural seeps are visible from space because cohesion between oil molecules flattens wave action to form smooth areas on the water.

    Because seeps are dispersed and oil only seeps from them instead of gushing, areas around seeps are still able to support thriving biological communities. Scientists don’t even think the animals living near seeps have needed to evolve any adaptations*; seeping oil simply doesn’t have that great an effect.

    *One cool exception to this statement: you may have seen pictures or videos of the giant red tubeworms etc. that leave near deep ocean hydrothermal vents. Those vents don’t just expel superheated water; some are actually gas seeps too. The chemosynthesis that supports those ecosystems actually uses methane as a feedstock. So those animals have not adapted to natural gas as a toxin they can tolerate, they’ve adapted to natural gas as a food source they can eat, and gas seeps as a habitat they need to survive! …but oil is bad!

    Strong oil seeps can lead to increased microbial productivity (as those bacteria break down more abundant oil) and result in some local hypoxia (lack of oxygen) on the ocean floor, but not to the point of causing large dead zones. Further, individual seeps are not always active and the release rate can even vary considerably during a single day and from day to day. As a result, only a small area around a seep is ever actually exposed to “fresh,” un-degraded oil, and that is when it is most toxic.

    What we know as “oil” is actually a varying combination of thousands of different compounds. Many of these react differently and have different fates when released into the water: some molecules evaporate, others degrade in sunlight (“photolysis”), some dissolve in seawater, some get eaten by microbes, and others sink and end up in sediments. That is, if they don’t wash up on a beach or become entrained in the biosphere first.

    A study published in May 2009 found that oil from natural seeps normally stays in the water for between 10 hours and 5 days. In that time, those molecules that easily can be broken down are, leaving behind the remaining, heavier oil – consisting mostly of larger compounds that are more difficult to dissolve, evaporate or be digested by microbes. These molecules sink to the floor.

    Oil from natural seeps stays in the water for less than 5 days.

    An analysis of sediment samples from different areas around a natural seep revealed a consistent rate of hydrocarbon loss in the oil that eventually sank. This indicates that there is an upper limit to how much oil can be broken down by natural forces in the ocean. This appears to be the key finding for us.

    The question we are trying to answer here is, “how are oil seeps different from oil spills?” Oil seeps occur constantly, throughout the Gulf. Although they do release a lot of oil together over time, their individual spill rates are far, far lower than the Deepwater Horizon gusher. What’s more, these much smaller seeps are dispersed around the Gulf, so each seep’s oil can be degraded quickly.

    That is not what happens in an oil spill. It is true that the amount of oil that has spilled from this gusher so far is less than the ANNUAL AGGREGATE of all 600+ seeps in the Gulf. But it’s all coming out at the same time, in the same place. The water in one location can only degrade so much oil at one time; an oil spill goes far beyond overwhelming the ocean’s natural oil-coping mechanisms.

  185. http://www.turnofffox.org/ You should read more of Josh Marshall’s “Talking Points Memo”, bdaman ,and get better reporting than your Fox channel. I have been reading it for a couple of years. Does not claim to be fair and balanced.

  186. I really don’t watch it that much any more only because my wife snatches the remote and say’s turn that shit off I’m sick of it. I might get the chance to watch the first 15 minutes of Orielly and thats about it.

    So then I go to the computer and she says why don’t you put a clock next to it and count how many hours you spend on it.

    Can’t win

  187. Bdaman,

    You have a wise wife! Better to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report than FOX. At least when the news is bad–as it usually is–those shows can make you laugh. The shows’ writers are adept at skewering idiot politicians of both major parties.

  188. Here you go SwathMore Mom

    Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 of the important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

    The GOP has consistently been trusted on most issues for months now, but in July they held the lead on only nine of the key issues.

    Republicans lead Democrats 47% to 39% on the economy, which remains the most important issue to voters. Those numbers are nearly identical to those found in June. Republicans have held the advantage on the economy since May of last year.

    But for the first time in months, Republicans now hold a slight edge on the issues of government ethics and corruption, 40% to 38%. Voters have been mostly undecided for the past several months on which party to trust more on this issue, but Democrats have held small leads since February. Still, more than one-in-five voters (22%) are still not sure which party to trust more on ethics issues.

    Government ethics and corruption have been second only to the economy in terms of importance to voters over the past year.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/trust_on_issues

    The last sentence, see Rick Scott vs McCollum

  189. 9/11 MOSQUE IMAM BOASTS, “Obama’s historic speech in Egypt came from me!”

    The Shoebat Foundation has obtained a shocking audio recording of Rauf’s own voice boasting in Arabic that Obama’s historic speech in Cairo was provided by the Imam’s work with the Cordova Initiative in what the Imam called “The Blue Print” which, according to him, was the solution to the Islamic-American divide. Rauf claimed that Chapter 6 of the Imam’s work engineered by the Cordova Initiative was the construct for the entire speech:

    “This is an example of the impact of our work in a positive way to be used by the President.”

    “The blue print,” Rauf elaborated, included everything from U.S. policy to Jewish and Christian relations with Muslims.

    For an Imam in New York to be involved in the orchestrating U.S. foreign policy is quite the claim. In the recording dated February 5th, 2010 Rauf boasted that:

    http://www.specialguests.com/guests/viewnews.cgi?id=EklkylyAyumQZDLoWO&tmpl=default

  190. Swarthmore mom,

    Thanks for the Taibbi link … been out of town and forgot to check him … met a man the other day who likened the teabaggers to the old videos that we used to see of the “street arabs” jumping up and down and yelling … he called teabaggers the “street republicans”.

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