Saturday, March 13, 2010

Exxon's Growing Reliance on Expensive Oil; Chinese Granny Buried Alive By Property Developers

Jenna Orkin

To respond to Eyeballs' comment on the settlement of the lawsuit by Ground Zero workers (Friday's post):

It's not just that the US government lied, allowing hundreds of thousands to get sick of whom hundreds have already died. The way the envirodisaster of 9/11 was handled was intended to upend Standard Operating Procedure and replace it with a new precedent.

Prior to 9/11, cleanup after an environmental disaster proceeded according to representative testing in concentric circles radiating from Ground Zero. If wind conditions generated more contamination north of the site, say, you'd focus your cleanup more in that direction.

How much would you clean up? The standard was: Enough so that only one person in a million would get cancer from the toxic substance involved.

After 9/11, the representative testing for which Congressman Nadler and a few of us in the community fought 24/7 went out the window. And the one in a million cancer risk was replaced by a one in ten thousand cancer risk per contaminant. That's a hundred times the previous standard. A Sierra Club report cites over 2000 contaminants released by the collapse of the towers and subsequent fires. But as more than 85,000 known chemicals are manufactured in this country, the real figure is likely much higher. However, even sticking to the conservative 2000 figure, given a one in ten thousand cancer risk per contaminant, we face, over all, a one in five cancer risk resulting from the disaster alone.

That's not taking into account the additive effects of these toxic substances (which the EPA never considered,) much less their synergistic effects about which little is known. However, a Mount Sinai study showed that someone who is both a smoker and an asbestos worker doesn't simply have twice the cancer risk of someone who is one but not the other; the risk is eighty or ninety times as bad.

But even disregarding those realities, 9/11 changed the precedent to allow a hundred times more cancers (per contaminant) than had previously been tolerated.

This becomes significant if we ever have to deal with a dirty bomb. For the EPA has explicitly stated that if such a device is found in a suburban mall, for instance, far from a densely populated area, they'll clean up with their former rigor. But where an area is important to the economy, a cancer risk a hundred times greater than was previously tolerated will be permitted. Never mind that economically significant areas also tend to be more densely populated. The policy lays out in the starkest terms that economic interests trump public health.

Quote of the day:
Professors Rogoff and Reinhart show that when external debt passes 73% of GDP or 239% of exports, the result is default, hyperinflation, or both. IMF data show the US already too far gone on both scores, with external debt at 96% of GDP and 748% of exports.

The rioters can go home, in other words. The system will collapse on its own. Lehman balance sheet massaging may not be unusual

Could Lehman be Ernst & Young's Enron?
96% Icelanders Vote Against Tax to Repay Foreigners
Australian Gov't Wrests Healthcare from States

EU Tobin Tax (Across Borders) ID Cards for Workers
Senate Warns Employees To Avoid Drudge Report
Chinese Granny Buried Alive by Property Developers
A kinder, gentler empire than this one on the horizon?
The Debate Over German Security Policies
Two decades after reunification, the German decision to call in a NATO air strike on fuel trucks in the Kunduz province of Afghanistan is a test of Germany's maturity. But even the handling of this incident has already turned a harsh spotlight on the shortcomings of Berlins security policy.
'The Church Is Not a Criminal Organization'
Shades of, "I am not a crook."

Exxon's growing reliance on expensive oil
China looks to 'combustible ice' as a fuel source
Wind resistance: Analysis suggests generating electricity from large scale wind farms could influence climate
Tuberculosis strikes hard among Canada's Inuit
Tuberculosis is ravaging Canada's Arctic with infections among Inuit peoples doubling since 2004 and rates now 185 times higher than non-natives, an indigenous group said Wednesday.

Zebra cleans hippopotamus's teeth


gamedog said...

RE:EU Tobin Tax

The piece was written by Daniel Hannan, a Tory MEP who milks the EU system for personal gain.

The Tories manage a façade of rebellion in the EU parliament, whilst having a Bilderberger (Ken Clarke) in the UK shadow cabinet.

The vote against the tax was 80 to 530, this permanent majority helps maintain the façade of democracy whilst the traitors sell us down the EU river.

He finishes the piece with....

"...the campaign for pan-European taxation is only just beginning. This will be the big battleground of the next five years. It’s time for a European Tea Party."

Hows that for getting yourself in at the grass roots level!

Be said...

At the last comment I am not at all suprised. Animals live well together and have helped it's fellow creatures for a long time now. Guess I know this because I have seen cats and dogs get along for all my childhood. Our cat used to jump up to our dog an snuggle for hours. And our dog have scared of other cats. If you have a family, get both a cat and a dog. It fucking rocks and will teach your kids many leasons.

Elmo said...


I click on: "The rioters can go home...", and I get: "Zebra cleans hippopotamus's teeth"

RanD said...

"A kinder, gentler empire..." is of course oxymoronic, in that the term "empire" is little more than linguistic lip-service obfuscation of the fact that empires exist ultimately to serve TPTB -- not the commonweal.

Also, "The Church" -- as most currently think of and define the term within our species' current psycho-operational paradigm -- is not so much "a Criminal Organization" as it is a conceptually bogus institution.

But there's a plethora of things all screwed up in this world we're in right now, none of which are amenable to being "fixed". And the genius postings that FTW blog's overseer(s) give(s) us very nicely verify what we need to see and learn from to understand what we must.

And, we heartily thank you for your labors of love.

Lawrence said...

Hey. Just noticed you can pre-order "Collapse" in the iTunes store. Excellent. Looking forward to my automatic download.

tim said...

I finally got to watch "Collapse", thank-you for that. The following is not meant to critisize, it's just very difficult to put into words. Please quote the 3-dimensional law of physics that explains the 100th monkey. "We" are
infinite Consciousness expressed as infinite Energy. 3-dimentional laws of physics only apply to the lowest level of our existence. Maybe the destruction of this 3-dimensional world is exactly what we need to evolve.

agape wins said...


I see 9 11 as a very complicated issue, many facets, some we may never figure out! There are Two evolutions, long term/extend/gradual, & then there is Cataclysmic Evolution! There are gaps/"missing links" scattered throughout the time line which the experts ignore.
I could name several, but The atomic AGE/Bomb & 9 11 stand out to me as Evolutionary Events. Planed or otherwise, they have/are having effects in life forms and social conditions, & interactions which are unexpected, and hard to explain. Read on!

My how the daggers are coming out, instead of working together; spend
valuable time poisoning your blade, MCR said things would be messy, even FTW is coming apart, I'm afraid that my noting the Cooperation taking place all over the world between/among normally hostile factions, or groups is useless the lines are/have been drawn.
The old Paradigm wins again!
Go back and read Again-SLOWLY this time;Revolution--A dire warning!
IT'S about Labeling And the the Hate it fosters. Evolve out of the
Quagmire/Quicksand you are constrained in! I do not want to be in this/your lifeboat, there are not enough pumps to keep it afloat!

I started this days ago, I think is needs a part 2.

"Here" is posting on FTW ("On Blogger Since February 2010"), nothing to do with age, experience, education, or intelligence, more to do with
background, knowledge about past posts, a glimpse into the mindset (thread of reasoning).
There is little that is black or White, it's like having a friend that you can "See through", it's not like a 2 hour heart to heart,
you pick up bits and pieces along the way, we are scattered around the world, each feeling out the "Landscape", positioning the map so to speak, not revealing "our position- spilling the beans"
The "People" are not involved, just each of us thinkers/planers working with what we have,LOCALLY, feeling out the unknown! It took me years (" On Blogger Since June 2008") to "understand the 'Language" spoken here.
We are not "Warmongers", or "Deep enders", looking for a fight.
There are other Blogs for radicalism, if you want to get stirred up, look around a bit before nailing us to the wall, please, I am glad to have your input!
Just met a Man from Argentina, talked for 20 min., vary interesting, discussed, kinship/cooperation, variety/difference & the
advantage of individuality, uniqueness.

I fear that it will come to Bloodshed, that is the old paradigm, I am working to avoid/stall that outcome, As MCR said we Should be above that; but that is the old nature we all revert to, recall Teddy Roosevelt's , "Walk softly, but carry a big stick"!!

HERE,HERE WWII planned in 1904-when were the plans for today formed??

Everyone should know my feelings about WWII, the prelude to 9 11.

"Bradley lays the blame for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor squarely on the shoulders of Teddy himself:

Only now can history understand that it was these events in the
summer of 1905 that would doom more than one hundred thousand American boys in the Pacific theater decades later. Operating as a two-man diplomatic tag team, Roosevelt and Taft would green-light what later
generations would call World War II in the Pacific."
End of #1

agape wins said...

"And after reading The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War, I have the sneaky suspicion that there’s not much love lost for George Bush, either."

“The reasons we go to war always matter,” he says, throwing in an
expletive to make sure his meaning is clear. “They always matter.”

"Miller, of course, is an ordinary fighter rather than an amnesiac
superassassin, but his predicament is not so different from Jason
Bourne’s. His motives become apparent to him only at the moment of decision, and the more confusing the circumstances, the more quickly he must react." FROM;


I was not picking you out, there are many posters who dislike RanD, & from the content of their posts are antagonistic to "Others" and an opposing Viewpoint. We need more openness/exchange not less!

Read here;

MCR has stated his position several times, Jenna has posted both sides,do you think you can box me in? Think again, we are facing something never encountered before.
"His motives become apparent to him only at the moment of
decision, and the more confusing the circumstances, the more quickly he must react.", please don't put yourself somewhere with no options!
When did TPTB start Planning, they know how you think/react, do they?

I am Amanzuri. (Ricefarmer?)

OregonSurvivor said...

Careful what you sing!

Big Money Gets Folk Singer Fired

Hear it Here:
Big Money

punctuation without capitalization said...

@ RanD: people have been saying the church is on the outs for years, and yet it still persists.

i actually think this website can learn a lot from the catholic monasteries--given that they essentially saved the achievements of western civilization after the collapse of rome.

eyeballs said...

punctuation without capitalization,

You struck a raw nerve there, with that old song about the Church saving civilization. Read Gibbon to see a completely different take on what the Church did to the Roman Empire. It's not pretty.

First, they made a deal with Constantine and The Empire. Christianity was legalized in 312. Ah, religious toleration. But the more spiritual Christians had already been sidelined. Constantine, not the pope, became head of the Church, even though he was not baptized till his death. (And, in fact, he was baptized by an Arian Christian, not a Nicean -- go play with that.) The leaders of the early Church got together and began taking over Rome. Between Constantine's legalization and about 380, when Theodosius made Christianity mandatory (the only legal religion in the Entire empire, Arian Christianity also being outlawed) the entire Roman Empire, its high culture, its booming economy, its pervasive educational system AND THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA were destroyed. The Olympic Games were cancelled because they were too pagan. All this in approximately the length of time between Eisenhower and Obama.

A key image is Ambrose, the Roman Catholic Prefect of Milan assuming the title Bishop of Milan in 378, and then driving the Arians, who were a powerful Christian sect at the time, into the status of persecuted heretics.

Education went from a function of the state, to being a function of the Church. One could no longer educate children outside the Church. Imagine being forced to attend Catholic school or remaining uneducated.

Rome was sacked (by Arians) in 410, and the rest of Roman history is denouement, if not postscript. Walter Ullmann (a Catholic, in fact) has carefully traced the rise of the early papacy, and shows how its main motive, after completing its takeover in Rome, was to oppose the Byzantine Emperor (the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire). This dictated both educational policy and external relations.

The Christianization of the Germanic tribes was undertaken to make Catholic Europe able to compete with the East, which did not acknowledge the pope. It was done at the point of a sword, after a deal was made between the Frankish chief and the pope. That wedding of severe otherworldly religion with military and political might characterized Europe until the Enlightenement.

So we need not thank The Church for saving Western Culture. Far from it. Certainly, individuals who realized the importance of education (and had the time and funding to pursue it -- unfortunately, only monks for several centuries) did save and copy books, discuss issues cautiously among themselves and make forays into the dangerous knowledge of the Muslim Arabs and the Byzantine scholars. But many were punished for heterodox views, and no one dared to challenge the vitals of mainstream papal religion, which sponsored the book-copying monks.

My point is that we do not need religious groups making these kinds of deals with warlords in order to keep knowledge alive. That was a lousy strategy. In some cases, that may actually be the best strategy, for a short time. But the important thing is "just do it", pass on knowledge, and keep a lively ferment of curiousity and dialogue and rigorous scholarship.

You can participate in that vital process in your own way, today and this year. Get some of that web-based knowledge onto acid-free paper and see that it does not get damaged by fire or flood or mold or theft. Make copies for others, if you are able. Get as much valuable education now, as you can. Teach young and old. You need not be celebate or religious to preserve and extend the best of our heritage.

dalex said...

Fascinating info brought out by agape wins. If you have a moment, read the Bradley interview here:
Among other things, more confirmation of drug-dealing as the "Family business" of our "elites."

Memorable line from book review: "Bradley does give us one point to take away. At least we can charge ahead into Afghanistan and Iraq in the comforting knowledge that nations were as stupid and self-serving then as we are now."

Thanks also to Eyeballs, for the history lesson.

Spring is here! Get those seeds and plants in the ground! I'm heading outside to get things started...

punctuation without capitalization said...


sounds like somebody graduated from the richard dawkins school of critical thought: from hyperbole, to generalization, to indictment.

that said, instead of saying "saved" i probably should have said "preserved." it was a bit hyperbolic to say "saved" myself. on the other hand, there are a few statements that you've made that are worth addressing...

while gibbon is certainly a scholar, there are more than a few theories about why rome fell, and gibbon is only one among them. not to mention that gibbon is an enlightenment thinker who thinks the middle ages were superstitious, ignorant times, in which human reason was shunned. one only need read aquinas to see that gibbon was working with a bias that became a serious detriment to his work. when you make statements like "That wedding of severe otherworldly religion with military and political might characterized Europe until the Enlightenement" it makes me think you haven't studied the history of christianity very carefully either. especially when you blame nicean christians for this! if anyone is to blame for "otherworldly thought" it would be the arians.

lastly, the accusation that theodosius burned the library of alexandria is only half true. while it's certainly true that he went about destroying pagan temples, there is no mention at all of him destroying the books from the library. and the accounts that we have of the event are writers not sympathetic to christians at all. if anyone would have mentioned the destruction of books by christians, it would have been them.

the reasons monks were the main ones preserving knowledge and books was the fact that monasteries were one of the relatively safe places to do it! europe was hardly a politically stable place during the middle ages. but there was certainly more than "cautious discussion." again, i'll call back to aquinas--a man who was versed in aristotle (among others). aquinas was a huge force in forming catholic theology, a regular participator in the debates of the day. he would unashamedly discuss pagan philosophy and ideas with popes, church authorities, and rules. i hardly call that "cautious discussion."

that said, i would agree with you that you don't need to be religious to participate or preserve our heritage. i never suggested such a thing. i merely pointed out that we could learn a thing or two about that from guys like the benedictine monks.

eyeballs said...

punctuation without capitalization

Aquinas was a smart cookie, but as a scion of the military elite, turned monk, he was just about the epitome of that wedding between military leaders and otherworldly religion.

Posing Aquinas and his worldview against Gibbon and his, I'd prefer Gibbon, m'self.

We're agreed, though, that religion is not what saved (or preserved) the glories of civilization. That was my main point. We can learn from some important work done by the monks, but we don't necessarily need to emulate them to any large extent.

RanD said...

@ punctuation without capitalization:

Agreed: "people have been saying the church is on the outs for years, and yet it still persists." We affirmed the same in our 4:47 AM response to Sebastian's 8:24 AM post when stating that "we [R & D] do not agree that 'The dessert [sic] religions, all three of them, are [yet totally] redundant and useless as human institutions." [sic]

As we see it everything that viably exists does so for a purpose, and that "the church" -- which still viably exists -- therefore apparently does so because it continues to serve a purpose, no matter how unclear that purpose might be for some of us, including ourselves, in that we also agree with Sebastian that "...the mutually suicidal dance of the three ugly Abrahamic Sisters has been going on long enough."

As far as we're concerned the whole damned Judaeo-Islamic-Christian religion thing is a monstrous screwed up mess that has become a blight upon the entire human estate, and there's nothing we'd like better than getting it erased from existence; which, as we also stated in our 4:47 AM post, "is exactly what The Little Book of Life is all about." And yet, as we say, we also see it that "everything" that viably exists has its purpose -- until it ceases to exist.

punctuation without capitalization said...

@ eyeballs:

well, in some things we are in others, not.

i would be careful before you call aquinas the wedding of otherworldly religion and military. it's true that aquinas's family was a military family, but remember that he was quite looked down upon by his family for becoming a monk. also, aquinas was an enormously influential thinker in the development of the western church. so even if he was an "elite," that does not mean that his views were not widespread. his influence was deep and profound.

i would also be careful in calling christianity an "otherworldy religion." i would highly recommend that you check out the debate between early christians and the gnostics. there is no way you can cast christianity as destructively "otherworldly." yes, there are some beliefs in transcendant ideas (who doesn't have those? the achilles heel of enlightenment rationalism lies in their inability to acknowledge this), but they were hardly destructively so. certainly no more otherworldly than your average roman.

lastly, we are not quite agreed about your last statement ;-)...while it would be hyperbole to say that christianity "saved" western culture, i can certainly point to history and say that many christian institutions were responsible for preserving these achievements in the face of overwhelming odds.

punctuation without capitalization said...

@ RanD:

"the whole damned Judaeo-Islamic-Christian religion thing is a monstrous screwed up mess that has become a blight upon the entire human estate"

indeed, the history of the world is quite an awful one...yet i'm really not sure speaking in such broad, sweeping strokes gets to the heart of the problem. people from all stripes of life have done awful things for all kinds of reasons, religion among them. to blame the "abrahamic religions" themselves is so broad as to be unhelpful. buddhists, atheists, hindus, unreligious, nominally religious, christians, muslims have all been both peaceful and violent in turn.

perhaps we need to look deeper than the religions.

RanD said...

@ eyeballs and punctuation without capitalization:

This is an important conversation going on here. Our take:

"GOD" is a three letter word which refers to THE intrinsicially alive singularity out of which literally every single thing that exists has been, is, and will be manifested and sustained. Being an "intrinsicially ALIVE singularity" then means GOD intrinsically functions as that which is in an infinite and eternal state of motion from one state of being into an intimately/directly correlated -- yet ALSO fundamentally "new", i.e. "significantly changed/altered" -- state of being, while remaining a SINGULARITY.

With this being so -- WHICH IT IS -- then 'achievements' made yesterday on evolution's score card of life do not transfer to evolution's score card of today when judging the current state of the human condition: Ours is a GOD which is ALIVE, not the one which died yesterday in order to give us today in which to humanly express our ever-evolving ever-chenging ever-alive understanding of -- and thereby absolutely fully experience our complete heart mind & soul love of -- today.

It is good that we are having this conversation.