30 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Titans of Industry

The U. S. Department of the Interior has fined BP over five million dollars for underpaying an Indian Tribe its royalty payments.

It’s unclear whether this resulted from incompetence or intent. With BP it can be difficult to tell. (BP blames a computer problem).

More BP foolishness here.

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In Colorado.

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He takes on the meme that we, individual citizens of the United States (and individual citizens of any other country that uses oil and oil products) are to blame for BP’s wild well and reckless practices.

Most of the folks who have made such claims have, I think, good intentions. Their idea is that, by blaming individuals for the incompetence and recklessness of Buccaneer Petroleum (as if incompetence and recklessness are inevitable results of peak oil), they can shame the populace into demanding changes.

Shame is seldom a good motivator and holier-than-thou does not win friends and influence people. I commend Brendan’s post to your attention (warning: language). He points out that most of us did not create a petroleum culture; we were born into it.

Here’s a nugget:

1. Most of “us” don’t get to set energy policy: the most we can do is harass our politicians to do the right thing. We saw how well that worked out for a public option, for financial reform, and for the Iraq War. We may be a representative democracy, but it’s often not that representative. And when we try to replace bad representatives, we face the full weight and strength of the system: Blanche Lincoln, who helped carve out every good thing about health insurance reform out of the bill was supported by the White House and the entire Democratic establishment in the recent Arkansas primary. Other examples include the Democratic establishment’s support for Ed Case in Hawaii, their support for Arlen Specter in PA, their refusal to step in for Ned Lamont when he won the Connecticut primary in 2006, their opposition to Donna Edwards and support for corrupt Al Wynn in 2008, and their warm welcome to Joe Lieberman after he campaigned against Obama! Many of “us” are doing our damnedest to change the way we live, and many of “them” constitute massive roadblocks.

3: Pursuant to 2, if the government would really get behind energy alternatives perhaps the rest of “us” wouldn’t be so trapped by THEIR choices. Reagan’s the obvious goat for doing away with Carter’s tax credits for solar, and god knows the republicans practically ejaculate petroleum, but the cast of the energy farce includes Democrats like Kennedy (anti-wind power in Massachusetts), Rockefeller (big coal supporter), Dingell (has opposed raising fuel efficiency standards for YEARS), and Landrieu (still shilling for oil drilling despite what’s happened to her state).

Afterthought:

I find the rich folks on Martha’s Vineyard–and similar locales–who are fighting a wind farm in their part of the world because they fear it might ruin their view to be particularly obnoxious–and, as most of them likely consider themselves “progressive,” hypocritical. Pretty soon I’m likely to have oil in my aquatic backyard, though the odds are that it will not actually hit the beach ten miles east of where I sit.

They can look at a windmill way off in the distance just barely over the horizon standing there quietly generating electricity for Christ’s sake. Whatever danger a windmill may pose for wildlife, it cannot do in a decade what Buccaneer Petroleum has done every hour for the past two months and counting.

I shall shut up now, for the next sentence descends into language I prefer to keep elsewhere than in this place.

Personally, I find wind farm windmills to be rather majestic in an industrial reality sort of way.

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30 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Recipes

A very simple recipe which, when served, tastes very special. I worked it up tonight and was very gratified by how it was received.

Ingredients:

      2 lamp chops
      3/4th tbsp. dill
      1 tsp. garlic powder
      1 tsp. ground pepper
      Dry sherry

Procedure:

1. Marinate chops in sherry, turning at least once.

2. Combine spices to make a dry rub. Approx. 30 mins. before cooking, rub chops well with spices.

3. Grill to medium or medium rare, either on a grill at lower heat or under a broiler. A grill is preferable because you can lower the heat, whereas a broiler in a stove is all-or-nothing.

Serve with sweet corn grilled in the shucks.

Notes:

A dry red wine would also work for the marinade. I keep sherry around because it can be used in place of either red or white wine and the full flavor of sherry goes well with the rich flavor of lamb. (Do not marinate with anything you aren’t willing to drink–straight. If you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it.)

Increase ingredients proportionately for larger quantities. You want to enough rub to cover the chops well on both sides.

The rub would also work well with a roast, such as leg of lamb.

Other spices can be added. Thyme and marjoram should work well, Rosemary, which is traditionally associated with lamb, would probably conflict with the dill.

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30 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Naomi Klein explains it all:

At this weekend’s summit the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, convinced his fellow leaders that it simply wouldn’t be fair to punish those banks that behaved well and did not create the crisis (despite the fact that Canada’s highly protected banks are consistently profitable and could easily absorb a tax). Yet, somehow, these leaders had no such concerns about fairness when they decided to punish blameless individuals for a crisis created by derivative traders and absentee regulators.

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30 June 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Geek Stuff

Just as folks often speak without thinking, they twit without thinking. Probably not a good idea when you work for the Department of State.

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30 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Seen on the Street

Hysterical Marker

More »

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Deficit hawks: Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The general assumption is that reducing the deficit should be a top national objective, and that Social Security should be considered a major source of deficit relief. That much is simple enough. But little else about the campaign against deficits is so simple.

Two issues must be sharply separated. The first is the fiscal policy question of how long increased deficits can be prudently tolerated in the interests of stimulating the economy. The second issue, Social Security, is different – though one wouldn’t know it from listening to most deficit hawks.

Government budget deficits are a serious problem, but Social Security is not a serious part of it. To say otherwise is to engage in mythmaking, and the deficit hawks are doing a lot of that. Those who warn that Social Security’s revenues will fall short of outlays in the 2040s are really pointing to a need for small adjustments, not a problem with the program’s solvency.

Addendum:

Via Michael Tomasky at the Guardian (whose article is worth a glance), try this out to see where real savings lie. Hint: Not in reducing old folks to penury.

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29 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Pictures at the link.

A car slammed into a New Jersey AutoZone store on Tuesday morning.

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29 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

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29 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

The surprising thing is . . .

“Our very way of life is under siege,” said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. “It’s time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are.”

According to Mortensen—an otherwise mild-mannered husband, father, and small-business owner—the most serious threat to his fanciful version of the 222-year-old Constitution is the attempt by far-left “traitors” to strip it of its religious foundation.

“Right there in the preamble, the authors make their priorities clear: ‘one nation under God,'” said Mortensen, attributing to the Constitution a line from the Pledge of Allegiance, which itself did not include any reference to a deity until 1954. “Well, there’s a reason they put that right at the top.”

. . . this doesn’t sound like someone had to make it up, does it?

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29 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Republican Lies

From Fact Check dot org. Follow the link for the full analysis and citations:

Q: Did carbon dioxide emissions from the volcanic eruption in Iceland negate five years’ worth of effort to control CO2?

A: Not even close. Carbon dioxide emissions from the volcano were small relative to human activity, and partially offset by the shutdown of European air travel.

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29 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Beyond Beyond the Fringe

Here.

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Deficit Graph

Via Marc.

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29 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Masters of the Universe

Economic man is a rational animal:

A former oil futures broker who went on a weekend drinking binge before blacking out and trading more than 7m barrels of oil has been banned from working in the City (London’s “Wall Street”–ed.) for at least five years by the Financial Services Authority.

Also, pigs, wings.

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The St. Petersburg Times photoblogs the desecration of Pensacola.

Via True Blue Texan.

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28 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Life under the Regency

Elaine in Roanoke has an excellent post at Blue Virginia prompted, by all things, by an article in Parade.

Read it.

I think it explains a piece of why the leadership of the South has not quite relinquished the Lost Cause and why vehicles such as the one shown below are still seen on the street.

Van flying Confederate Battle Ensign

(I tried to link to Parade but they kept kicking me to their mobile site, so no link.)

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28 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Too Stupid for Words

As a follow-up to this morning’s post on hot pursuit, . . .

State police say a 29-year-old Framingham driver tried and failed to strike a grandfather and his grandson after the elderly man asked him to turn down is loud music and stop using foul language in Boston, triggering a police chase westbound on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

He crashed his car, injuring no third parties, and the cops ran him down.

I expect that he’ll be lucky not to be charged with attempted murder and given an offer to plea to attempted manslaughter.

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No doubt the Honorable Mr. Marshall’s having been one of “those kind of people” had nothing to do with it.

From TPM:

Looks like Senate Judiciary Republicans have at least one unified talking point today: Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to ever serve on the Supreme Court, was an “activist judge.” As Elena Kagan kept on her listening face, multiple senators slammed both Marshall’s judicial philosophy and her service as his clerk in the late 1980s.

Grandstanding bigotry is such a tribute to Republicanism.

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28 June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Not being a West Virginian, I don’t have much of an opinion of him one way or the other.

Ed Edroso and Rude Pundit (warning: language) probably have the most balanced comments I’ve seen on his life at the time of his death.

He was the last of a generation.

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