••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

...no more than five to ten people in a hundred who die by gunfire in Los Angeles are any loss to society....
—Jeff Cooper, NRA Board of Directors

Apartheid isn't that cut and dry. All men are not created equal....
—Ted Nugent, NRA Board of Directors

for more, go to

update 8/8/11: looks like nraleaders.com is gone. i can't find it. instead try http://www.vpc.org/press/9505nra.htm and http://thinkersandjokers.com/thinker.php?id=2716.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

so, what are they hiding?

Quick back story: A few months back, the Supreme Court hands down the Citizens United case, which gives corporations the right to spend as much as they want, at any point they want, in elections. In an effort to blunt the impact of that ruling, House Democrats developed the DISCLOSE Act, which would use transparency to combat money. Under the terms of the law, corporate CEOs would have to appear in their ads, and shell organizations would have to identify their top five donors on screen. There would also be an unprecedented amount of donor transparency.

Of course, some organizations don't like this. And one of them, the National Rifle Association, is powerful enough to do something about it. They've demanded an exemption from the bill, and they've gotten one. "The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations," reports John Bresnahan. The NRA is the only organization that meets the criteria.

Monday, June 28, 2010

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign:
that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
—Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Friday, June 25, 2010

It was treated as an oddball twist in the otherwise wrenching saga of the BP oil spill when Kevin Costner stepped forward to promote a device he said could work wonders in containing the spill's damage. But as Henry Fountain explains in the New York Times, the gadget in question — an oil-separating centrifuge — marks a major breakthrough in spill cleanup technology. And BP, after trial runs with the device, is ordering 32 more of the Costner-endorsed centrifuges to aid the Gulf cleanup.

CLAYTON, Mo. – As the first crowd of customers filed into Panera Co.'s nonprofit restaurant here, only the honor system kept them from taking all the food they wanted for free.

Ronald Shaich, Panera's chairman, admitted as he watched them line up that he had no idea if his experiment would work. The idea for Panera's first nonprofit restaurant was to open an eatery where people paid what they could. The richer could pay full price — or extra. The poorer could get a cheap or even free meal.

A month later, the verdict is in: It turns out people are basically good.

"There's an attitude in the military that you have to 'tough it out,' but that's not true," Smith said. "No one should have to live in pain."

Many vets, however, seem to be doing just that. About nine in 10 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who registered for care with the Department of Veterans Affairs are experiencing pain, and more than half have significant pain, according to a study presented in May at the American Pain Society's annual meeting. Significant pain is a 4 or greater on a scale of 1 to 10.

Sources of pain include combat injuries, including burns and post-amputation, said lead study author Michael Clark, clinical director of the VA's Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program in Tampa.

Exposure to multiple, powerful blasts can also leave vets with pain, Clark said. Even if they're not hit by shrapnel or debris, blasts create powerful pressure waves that can be strong enough to throw those in proximity to the ground or into buildings, Clark explained.

It's believed that the cumulative exposure to those sudden surges in pressure may damage central nervous system tissues, leading to headaches and thinking difficulties, among other symptoms, Clark said.

Often, pain conditions are worsened by other post-deployment problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. Both make treatment more difficult, Clark said.

looks like stan mcchrystal might not have 9 lives after all. michael hastings' rolling stone piece cites two of the general's narrow escapes so far:

After Cpl. Pat Tillman, the former-NFL-star-turned-Ranger, was accidentally killed by his own troops in Afghanistan in April 2004, McChrystal took an active role in creating the impression that Tillman had died at the hands of Taliban fighters. He signed off on a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star that suggested Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. (McChrystal would later claim he didn't read the recommendation closely enough – a strange excuse for a commander known for his laserlike attention to minute details.) A week later, McChrystal sent a memo up the chain of command, specifically warning that President Bush should avoid mentioning the cause of Tillman's death. "If the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death become public," he wrote, it could cause "public embarrassment" for the president.

"The false narrative, which McChrystal clearly helped construct, diminished Pat's true actions," wrote Tillman's mother, Mary, in her book Boots on the Ground by Dusk. McChrystal got away with it, she added, because he was the "golden boy" of Rumsfeld and Bush, who loved his willingness to get things done, even if it included bending the rules or skipping the chain of command. Nine days after Tillman's death, McChrystal was promoted to major general.

Two years later, in 2006, McChrystal was tainted by a scandal involving detainee abuse and torture at Camp Nama in Iraq. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, prisoners at the camp were subjected to a now-familiar litany of abuse: stress positions, being dragged naked through the mud. McChrystal was not disciplined in the scandal, even though an interrogator at the camp reported seeing him inspect the prison multiple times. But the experience was so unsettling to McChrystal that he tried to prevent detainee operations from being placed under his command in Afghanistan, viewing them as a "political swamp," according to a U.S. official. In May 2009, as McChrystal prepared for his confirmation hearings, his staff prepared him for hard questions about Camp Nama and the Tillman cover-up. But the scandals barely made a ripple in Congress, and McChrystal was soon on his way back to Kabul to run the war in Afghanistan.

and now of course he's blown the reprieve obama gave him after last year's leaked report insisting on 40,000 more troops for afghanistan.

how many second chances does he expect?

i've alluded above to the ww2 saying "loose lips sink ships." i'll add two of the four cardinal virtues, temperance and prudence. then there's sunzi: know the other and know the self.

i'm wondering how many of his and his staff's remarks were made not just in the presence of a reporter but in public places.

do you think maybe mcchrystal just wanted to be added to the list that includes mcclellan and macarthur?

AGADIR, Morocco – Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth's oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.

A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said.

"These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean," said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report.

The researchers found mercury as high as 16 parts per million in the whales. Fish high in mercury such as shark and swordfish — the types health experts warn children and pregnant women to avoid — typically have levels of about 1 part per million.

The whales studied averaged 2.4 parts of mercury per million, but the report's authors said their internal organs probably had much higher levels than the skin samples contained.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Now Mr. Musk, who is in the middle of a divorce, says his account is empty. Actually, less than empty. He says he invested his last cent in his businesses and is living off loans from his wealthy friends. He subsists, according to court filings, on $200,000 a month and still flies his private jet.
he subsists on $200k a month?

poor guy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

state department list of foreign terrorist organizations:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court upheld the government's authority Monday to ban aid to designated terrorist groups, even when that support is intended to steer the groups toward peaceful and legal activities.
nevertheless, i advise the pkk to seek peaceful resolution of their dispute with turkey thru the use of international law.
the dems just sent me a quote i'm only too happy to use:

...if the GOP wins back the House, Barton is the guy who could be in charge of regulating the oil industry.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

[from wikipedia, including their footnotes]

Following college Barton entered private industry until 1981 when he became a White House Fellow and served under Secretary of Energy James B. Edwards. Later, he began consulting for Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas Co. before being elected to Congress in 1984.[3]

Congressman Barton has taken $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the Oil industry since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Congressman is the Ranking Minority Member on the Energy & Commerce Committee and during the June 17, 2010 hearings on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, apologized to BP for what he termed the the $20 billion "shakedown" of BP by the White House.[4]

Rep. Barton has been regarded as a global warming skeptic[5] and his opposition to addressing global warming has been consistent and long-term[citation needed]. Barton is considered an oil industry apologist[citation needed], most notably by rebuffing the White House for asking for a cleanup fund from BP in response to the Gulf Oil Spill disaster[citation needed].

As a chairman with primary responsibility over the energy sector, Barton has consistently acted over the years to prevent congressional action on global warming.[9] In 2001, Barton declared, "as long as I am chairman, [regulating global warming pollution] is off the table indefinitely. I don't want there to be any uncertainty about that."[10] Barton led opposition to amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the Energy Advancement and Conservation Act in 2001, opposing an amendment to require the President to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels as called for by the non-binding United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the U.S. is a party.[dead link][11] In 2003, Barton again opposed amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the National Energy Policy Act of 2003, opposing a nonbinding amendment that would have put Congress on record as saying that the U.S. should "demonstrate international leadership and responsibility in reducing the health, environmental, and economic risks posed by climate change."[dead link][12] In July 2003, Barton offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act to remove language that both recognized global warming and called on President Bush to reengage with the international community to find solutions.[dead link][13] In addition, Barton has consistently opposed proposals to reduce the nation's dependence on oil.[14][15][16]

In 2005, prompted by a February 2005 Wall Street Journal article,[17] Rep. Barton has launched an investigation into two climate change studies from 1998 and 1999.[5] In his letters to the authors of the studies, he requested not just details on the studies themselves but significant information about their entire lives and previous studies. This has been widely regarded as an attempted attack on the scientists rather than a serious attempt to understand the science,[18] although some view it as a normal exercise of the committee's responsibility and an effort to make possible scientific debate on a subject within its jurisdiction.[19][20] The Washington Post condemned Barton's investigation as a "witch-hunt".[21] Environmental Science & Technology, an obscure policy journal often cited by politicians, including Barton, reported what it said was scientific proof that global warming science is wrong.[22] See also Barton's own response to this controversy in The Dallas Morning News.[23] The dispute expanded with Sherwood Boehlert's House Science Committee taking a strong interest.[24]

In 2006, Barton earned two "environmental harm demerits" from the conservative watchdog group Republicans for Environmental Protection, the first "for derailing floor passage of a sense of the House resolution ... acknowledging climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"; the second, "for holding hearings, in his role as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, designed to intimidate climate scientists and raise doubt about the impacts and causes of climate change."[25] The hearings were held by Barton's committee on July 19, 2006, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; there, several skeptics testified regarding the hockey stick graph.

During Former Vice President Al Gore's testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee in March, 2007, Barton asserted to Gore that "You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong."[26]

Barton used his committee chairmanship to block the Combating Autism Act of 2006, despite overwhelming bipartisan support. Barton claimed the money steered toward environmental causes of autism were not the reason he blocked passage of the bill,[27] However, he voted for passage of the bill once the environmental language was removed[citation needed].

On June 17, 2010, Barton accused the White House of a "$20 billion shakedown" of oil giant BP by requiring the company to establish a huge escrow account to pay the claims of people harmed by the Gulf Coast oil spill[28]. He made the assertion at the outset of a House hearing where BP's chief executive officer, Tony Hayward, appeared for the first time before Congress. Facing Hayward at the witness table, the Texas Republican congressman said, "I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House" on Wednesday.[29]. Barton was referring to the agreement that President Barack Obama announced with BP for establishment of a $20 billion relief fund.[30]. In response, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs criticized Barton’s remarks and asked other members of Congress to do likewise. "What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction," said Gibbs.[31]

3. ^ http://joebarton.house.gov/back.aspx?Page=Biography
4. ^ a b ("Citizens for Ethics full and final report". Citizens for Ethics. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
5. ^ a b c (Roland Pease (2005-07-18). "Politics plays climate 'hockey'". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4693855.stm. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
6. ^ a b c ("Report says Barton's campaign paid wife". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. http://www.star-telegram.com/national_news/story/141802.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
7. ^ [1][dead link]
8. ^
9. ^ Mufson, Steven; Eilperin, Juliet (2008-06-06). "Senate Democrats May Pull Climate Bill". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/05/AR2008060503603.html?wpisrc=newsletter. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
10. ^ http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/useftp.cgi?IPaddress=
11. ^ [2][dead link]
12. ^ [3][dead link]
13. ^ [4][dead link]
14. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.asp?year=2001&rollnumber=311
15. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2003/roll132.xml
16. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll121.xml
17. ^ In Climate Debate, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off - WSJ.com
18. ^ (Alan Leshner. "letter to Joe Barton". American Academy for the Advancement of Science. http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2005/0714letter.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
19. ^ (Editorial. "Bruiser Barton". The Hill. http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/Editorial/072005.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
20. ^ (Steven Milloy. "Tree Ring Circus". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163999,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
21. ^ (Editorial (2005-07-23). "Hunting Witches". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/22/AR2005072201658.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
22. ^ (Paul D. Thacker. "Skeptics get a journal". Environmental Science & Technology. http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/aug/policy/pt_skeptics.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. )
23. ^ [5][dead link]
24. ^ Web site for the Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives :: Welcome
25. ^ Republicans for Environmental Protection 2006 Scorecard
26. ^ Gore Implores Congress to Save Planet
27. ^ *Plunkett, John. "Activists Putting Heat on Barton" Dallas Morning News, October 2006.
28. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvKZh3EY9S4&feature=player_embedded
29. ^ CBS News, Rep Joe Barton apologizes to BPs Tony Hayward, June 17 2010, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20008020-503544.html
30. ^ CBS News, Rep Joe Barton apologizes to BPs Tony Hayward, June 17 2010, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20008020-503544.html
31. ^ Reuters, Apology to BPs Hayward triggers uproar, June 17 2010, Steve Holland, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1721590120100617

in other words, he's a 1st-class brown-noser for big oil!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the second interview below (from earth day) is so good they replayed it today!

The Future of the Oceans

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Illustration of fishing down the food web by Hans Hillewaert / Wikimedia.

Hour 1 This Earth Day we thought we would get an update on the health of the world’s oceans. Rising temperatures, increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and over-fishing are threatening marine life.  Many of ocean’s plants and animals are endangered and could face extinction, including blue fin tuna, certain shark species, polar bears, and coral reefs. This hour, we’ll talk about ocean conservation and the marine life that’s most at-risk with Boris Worm, marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and Carl Safina, President of the Blue Ocean Institute.

Listen to the mp3

Author Charles Bowden calls Ciudad Juarez 'Murder City'

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
MurderCityBowden, Charles
Hour 2
Ciudad Juarez is just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. What once was a border boom town after NAFTA spurred the building of factories is now best known for a horrific wave of violence that continues to escalate. The city’s murder rate soared from 207 in 2007, to 1,660 in 2008, to 2,660 in 2009, and is on an even higher pace this year. CHARLES BOWDEN has written a new book, Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields, that offers bloody testimony to an epidemic of drug-trade-fueled murders that has turned Juarez into one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

Listen to the mp3
read this saturday at serenity:
think it ezy
t'save a wrld?
laws o natur
ain' made
t'break wi a fngr snap
'r evn a flik o a wrist

whn i ain' dancin
'r playn
'r writn
i sit here
on wha mortls call my throne
n try t'dcide
f it's wrth th pain

tha's right

think an all-knowin
ain' all-suffrin,too?
it's a pun
think i'm bov tha sort o thng?
think agin]

i let y do
wha y want
bt it hrts
n doin
wha needs doin
t'save yr ass
hrts wrs

so i sit here
n contmplate
f it's wrth it
t'bear down
n make th effrt
t'change my ways
n bend my damn laws
t'let yu liv
so i cn watch
yu fuk up
n lissn
t'yu cmplain
nothr thousn year
til i jus hav t'dcide
all ovr agin

talk bout a thanklss job

before it i read NULL & VOID, which is the second poem here.

GULF SHORES, Ala. – Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange — and troubling — phenomena.

Fish and other wildlife are fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast. But that is not the hopeful sign it might appear to be, researchers say.

The animals' presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.
from the 'mission statement' of Americans for Legal Immigration:
If three fourths of America's legal citizens want illegal immigration curtailed and laws are in place to facilitate their wishes through a constitutional democracy, then why is America experiencing the largest population increase through illegal immigration in our history?
the answer is simple:

the laws that are "in place to facilitate their wishes" DON'T facilitate their wishes! they DON'T WORK! they're UNENFORCEABLE! they're BAD LAWS!

you think people want to break the law? you think they'd enter illegally if they could get in legally? think again.

they enter illegally or overstay their visas because it's too hard to get a visa and too hard to renew one, but they want to be here so much that breaking our laws seems better than the alternative.

the solution is to give a visa to anyone who passes a criminal background check, carries no contraband, and has no contagious diseases.

and don't make them wait years to get it or renew it!

VENICE, La. – The "small people" of the Gulf Coast have a humongous message for oil giant BP: They're tired of the company's big-time executives making insensitive comments.

On Wednesday, BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told reporters in Washington: "I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people."

Justin Taffinder of New Orleans was not amused.

"We're not small people. We're human beings. They're no greater than us. We don't bow down to them. We don't pray to them," Taffinder said.

Svanberg is Swedish, and his comments may have been an unintentional slight. He uttered the remark to reporters following a joint press conference with President Barack Obama — who had spoke of the small business owners, the fishermen and the shrimpers affected by the spill.

But coastal residents already were angry over the oil spill disaster and at BP CEO Tony Hayward's earlier comments that he "wants his life back."

Asked about the chairman's remark, BP spokesman Toby Odone told The Associated Press in an e-mail that "it is clear that what he means is that he cares about local businesses and local people. This was a slip in translation."

the only thing that's 'clear' is that a lot of people aren't feeling very forgiving about much of anything and are ready to find fault with pretty much everything.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

is this a comment on the intelligence of voters, or what?

Alvin Greene has been on the phone all day. That's to be expected for the guy who just won South Carolina's Democratic Senate primary and is facing incumbent Republican Jim DeMint in November. But everyone calling Greene has just been trying to find out who the heck he is — and one thing reporters learned Tuesday is that a criminal complaint was sworn out against him last year for allegedly showing obscene photos to a South Carolina college student and suggesting they go to her dorm room.

Greene, a 32-year-old unemployed military veteran who lives with his parents, defeated Vic Rawl on Tuesday for the Democratic Senate nomination despite having run essentially no public campaign — no events, no signs, no debates, no website, no fundraising.

The result has baffled political observers, who had heavily favored Rawl — a former state legislator, attorney and prosecutor who had the edge inasmuch as he actually campaigned and tried to win. Many in South Carolina (which has grandly lived up to its reputation as a political circus this year) suspect that somewhere, a crafty GOP political operative is snickering.

As far as the local political press can discern, the only positive step Greene took toward campaigning was when he plunked down a $10,400 check in March to satisfy the state's filing fee and get on the ballot. He never registered a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission or filed a financial disclosure with the Senate Ethics Committee.

So why did he run, and how did he win? "I campaigned," Greene, who spoke rapidly and seemed distracted, told Yahoo! News in a brief interview. "It was a low-budget campaign. I funded it 100 percent out of my own pocket, and kept it simple — it was old-fashioned." Asked what, precisely, that campaign consisted of, and how much he spent on it, Greene demurred. "Not much. I had friends helping me."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

BOSTON – State and federal officials worked Tuesday to decontaminate a clam boat anchored in isolation off Massachusetts after it dredged up old munitions containing mustard gas, severely sickening a crewman.

The Coast Guard was trying to locate the two military shells, which the crew tossed overboard in about 60 feet of water about 45 miles south of Long Island, said Coast Guard Petty Officer James Rhodes. He acknowledged finding the shells will be difficult.

The military used the ocean as a dumping ground for munitions from after World War II through 1970. While the tons of old chemical weapons in offshore waters present a danger to fishermen, experts don't believe they are a possible source of weapons for terrorists.

The Atlantic City, N.J.-based vessel was fishing Sunday in a charted munitions dumping zone, but the designation is just a warning and carries no fishing restrictions, Rhodes said.

The two shells — about a foot long and three inches in diameter — came aboard in a haul of clams. The Coast Guard believes one of the shells cracked or otherwise leaked its contents.

On Tuesday, a National Guard team boarded the vessel, the ESS Pursuit, to test for contamination, while the Coast Guard worked to secure the ship in waters off New Bedford so that it can be moored and decontaminated. The captain and first mate have declined to leave the 145-foot dragger, fearing it could run aground, the Coast Guard said.

The boat had returned to New Bedford early Monday after one of its six crewmen, Konstantin Burndshov, reported blistering and shortness of breath.

Hours later, another crewman was brought ashore after he reported feeling lightheaded. He was examined and released. Two other crewmen left the boat late Monday, with one reporting nose and eye irritation.

Burndshov had painful blisters about three-quarters of an inch high on an arm and a leg, said Dr. Edward Boyer, a toxicologist who is treating the man at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Boyer suspected exposure to mustard gas, used most frequently during World War I, given Burndshov's telltale symptoms: blistering and the onset of his symptoms about 24 hours after exposure. On Monday night, blood and urine tests confirmed the diagnosis. Boyer said even though Burndshov was wearing protective clothing, including oil skins and elbow-length gloves, the mustard gas still penetrated to his skin.

"It literally pulls the top of the skin off the layer underneath it," Boyer said. The doctor said Burndshov was "handling it very well," and Burndshov was listed in good condition at UMass Memorial.

The Defense Department began using the ocean as a dumping ground for chemical and conventional munitions after World War II. The military says it stopped in 1970, and two years later Congress banned waste disposal in oceans, including chemical weapons.

Officials say it's impossible to know exactly how much and what type of weapons have been dumped in the ocean because of incomplete records. A 2001 Army report found 74 past instances of ocean disposal — 32 off U.S. shores and 42 off foreign coasts. For example, in 1967 the Army dumped 4,577 one-ton containers of a mustard agent and 7,380 sarin rockets off the New Jersey shore, according to Army records.

Only some of the ocean dumps were mapped, and chemical munitions have been found in areas they weren't supposed to have been dumped, such as just a few miles off Hawaii, said Craig Williams of the Chemical Weapons Working Group, a Kentucky-based organization.

In 1976, a fisherman in Hawaii was burned after bringing up a mortar round filled with mustard gas. A mustard gas-filled artillery shell was found in Delaware in 2004 after it was dredged up by a clam boat off New Jersey and remained intact after being sent through a crusher that was making clamshell driveway fill. Three bomb disposal experts were injured dismantling it.

Mustard gas, also called sulphur mustard, is usually not a gas at all, but a thick, odorless and colorless liquid that turns solid in temperatures over 58 degrees. It looks brown when mixed with other chemicals and has a garlic-like smell.

Mustard gas can be deadly if it's used as an aerosol and inhaled, causing blisters and other problems in the lungs. More frequently, it's used to weaken the enemy by forcing them to devote men and resources to get incapacitated victims off the battlefield and into care, said Dr. Steve Bird, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a chemical weapons expert.

The gas was used most frequently during World War I, but has been used sporadically since, including during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, he said. The chemical retains its potency over time, though some of its components break down, he said.

"The stuff still works just the same, and is still as toxic as it was before," Bird said.

The tons of chemical weapons underwater are an extremely unlikely source of weapons for terrorists, Williams said, given the difficulty in locating them, uncertainty about the hazards they present in an inevitably deteriorated condition and the fact that other dangerous chemicals are more readily available.

"That's pretty far-fetched," he said. "If I'm a terrorist and I want to use chemical weapons, I can go to 16 hardware stores and get the stuff I need to make it, rather than be trolling around in the middle of the ocean."

Sunday, June 06, 2010

just wondering...

In March 2008, at the Minerals Management Service's lease sale,[19] BP purchased the mineral rights to drill for oil on Mississippi Canyon Block 252, referred to as the Macondo Prospect, in the United States sector of the Gulf of Mexico, about 41 miles (66 km) off the southeast coast of Louisiana.

The Deepwater Horizon commenced drilling in the Macondo Prospect in February 2010 at a water depth of approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m).[20] As of April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon was still working on the site.[21][22][13][23]

19. ^ "Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area Lease Sale 206 Information". US Minerals Management Service. 2008-08-08. http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/lsesale/206/cgom206.html. Retrieved 2010-06-06.

20. ^ a b "Macondo Prospect, Gulf of Mexico, USA". offshore-technology.com. 2005-10-20. http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/macondoprospect/. Retrieved 9 May 2010.

21. ^ a b c Robertson, Cambell; Robbins, Liz (April 22, 2010). "Oil Rig Sinks in the Gulf of Mexico". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/us/23rig.html?hp. Retrieved April 22, 2010.

22. ^ BP (April 21, 2010). "BP confirms that Transocean Ltd issued the following statement today". Press release. http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7061443. Retrieved April 21, 2010.

23. ^ "Gibbs: Deepwater Horizon Aftermath Could Affect Next Lease Sale". Rigzone. 2010-04-30. http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=92025. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
[above from wikipedia. note numbers are theirs.]

so apparently the bush admin sold the lease, thus authorizing the project.

on the other hand, drilling didn't begin till more than a year into the obama admin, and they didn't stop it.

you could say it was the political climate [steele & al, palin v biden], but there's plenty of blame to go round.

on obama's side is palin's now ironic debate attack on biden:
You even called environmentally friendly drilling offshore as 'raping' the outer continental shelf. With new technology and tiny footprints on land, it's safe to drill and we need to do more of that.
it may well be that obama and his advisers thought that kind of rhetoric had so swayed public opinion that they had to compromise.

too bad.