A problem for the Tea Party protesters: how does one call for less government intervention whilst, simultaneously, attacking Obama for "doing too little" when it comes to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe provides the answer:
KIBBE: Well I think if you look at what?s happened down there, it?s a sad story of government incompetence as well as negligence on the part of BP. And I think what you have to look at is when there is a natural disaster like this we do expect our government to do some things and to do them well. And the whole point of limited government is you want the government to be competent at those few things that we need it to do and this is an example where the government was asleep at the switch and there?s a series of regulations that led to deep drilling as opposed to more economical and safer options.Now, apart from the obligatory statement that there was "negligence on the part of BP", the most important thing he is trying to do is move the blame towards Obama, by stating that this is "a natural disaster".
Of course, natural disasters are uncontrollable events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Tens of millions of gallons of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico due to an oil company?s negilgence and misconduct does not qualify. In fact, just last year, BP opposed stricter safety and environmental rules proposed by the U.S. Minerals Management Service. A BP executive tried to fight off the new regulations on Capitol Hill, saying that drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been shown to be ?both safe and protective of the environment.?Natural disasters occur as a result of nature; hence the name. There are many ways in which one could describe the BP oil spill, but natural disaster simply isn't one of them.
Justice was slow and very mild after 25 years. As limited as the verdict was, it still didn't include then current Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson or any other US executives who chose to ignore the case and court summons. Instead the courts punished the team from India alone.
A court in central India ruled Monday that seven top executives and the company they worked for are guilty for their role in the 1984 industrial disaster that killed thousands in Bhopal, India.
The leaking of poisonous gas from Union Carbide India Limited -- the now-defunct local subsidiary of the American chemical company -- was one of the world's worst industrial disasters. Plaintiffs had waited more than two decades for the verdict.
The convicted former employees have been sentenced to the maximum punishment allowed in the case. The judge imposed a two-year prison term and a fine of about $2,000 each after convicting the men of negligence causing death, endangering public life and causing hurt.
When I die, which I expect will be simultaneous with the end of my life, I imagine one or two people, immediately or at some time in the future will ask themselves, "What prompted it?" I want to leave clear a record of my perspective, jaundiced as it is by depression, rapid cycles of belief in the opportunities of life and conviction of the futility of those opportunities and beliefs.
I've had a lot of opportunities, and moments when I felt I was making "all the right moves," but even at those times I have been unable to shake a deeply-carried sometime suspicion, but more often conviction, that nothing I did would make any difference to me, while I am too selfish to content myself with being meaningful to other. When I practiced law, my legal clients had life-changing outcomes as a result of my efforts and yet I could never shake the belief that my successes meant nothing and my victories were drowned in a sandpit of futility. Objective "success" cannot change the subjective futility and desperation that I feel.
I confess that, having left the practice of law ten years ago, over the last four years, my most consistent and long-running civic activity has been the unveiling of the MAMZ character at the center of the internally diametric opposition of 'leftist joins CIA and then becomes CIA-trained leftist leader' narrative that is the convoluted DailyKos phenomenon. I have become obsessed with the snowballing effect that researching and publishing about MAMZ has had, with eight thousand viewings of one of TruthOut1020's three videos that followed the documented history of MAMZ's self-acknowledged involvement with the CIA, four years after he claims to have become committed to Democratic victories, and after previously supporting only the Republican Party's most repressive and bigoted policies.
How can my death be about someone else's life? In fact my death is about the meaninglessness of life. Certainly, there is much in my life that would offer meaning to others, e.g. as my wonderful and caring wife, the maturation of my two adolescent step-daughters, and the friends who know and love me even when I have forgotten that I had a friend at all. It is all true and none of it makes any difference.
Whether by decapitation, hanging, or some other intervention, I certainly would like to see the end of my daily questioning of the meaning of my life. The truth is that no conventionally understood measure of meaning will change my conviction that my life is meaningless, or at least pointless and futile to me.
I decided some eight years ago that the expectations and hopes of others are not a sufficient reason for me to go on suffering, when I can't feel or experience what other people believe and perceive about my existence. While no individual has a right to poison an entire ecosystem, each of us has the right to poison ourselves.
SO, I leave this list of answers to the "why's?" that inevitably follow a self-induced end of life with the advent death.
Greetings from Little Rock, where it's election day!If Bill Halter defeats Blanche Lincoln[...]
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I urge you to vote for a new generation of leadership if you live in South Carolina. Today is primary day and we as Democratic supporters need to elect the viable candidate that can win in November.
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OK, the Right has been putting out their "Tax and Spend" garbage about Democrats for a lot of years now. But like most of the stuff that comes from the Right it has very little to do with, well actual reality, as you can see from the graph above.
Keep in mind that the hero of the Right and most Teabaggers, Ronald Reagan, is considered the prototypical model of the ideal president, no "Tax and Spender" was he. Of couse, this is mythology. Ronald Reagan was no taxer, he cut the taxes for the richest among us and left the rest of us to take up the slack. But Ron was a spender, a bigtime, Hollywood Blowout kind of a spender. He tripled the national debt and turned this country from the largest lender in the world into the largest debtor in the world.
In order to cover new federal budget deficits, the United States borrowed heavily both domestically and abroad, raising the national debt from $700 billion to $3 trillion, and the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation
Having rejected a multinational inquiry into the killings on board the Mavi Marmara, Israel has announced that she will be conducting the investigation herself.
So, the people who were on board the ship, and the people who actually fired the bullets which resulted in the deaths, will not be questioned at all.
Israel announced that it would conduct an internal investigation into last week's assault on a convoy of aid ships headed to Gaza, after defying pressure for a thorough international inquiry.
Defence minister Ehud Barak told parliament that the inquiry would be in addition to a separate military investigation, and would seek to establish whether Israel's blockade of Gaza and its raid "met with the standards of international law".
"We will draw lessons at the political level, [and] in the security establishment," said Barak, who stressed that the Israeli soldiers involved would not be investigated; they would be questioned "neither in Hebrew nor in English".
How do you look into an incident, whilst simultaneously promising not to question the people who took part in that incident? How can one decide whether the force used was proportionate or disproportionate without hearing from the soldiers involved regarding the circumstances in which they decided to fire?
The panel would also examine whether the navy used proportionate or disproportionate force during its takeover of the ship. Israel says the deaths occurred after the naval commandos were viciously attacked by the passengers and were forced to open fire in self-defense.
However, the forum of seven ministers decided, the panel will not be allowed to interrogate soldiers or officers who took part in the commando raid.
BECK: But I'm also getting some amazing mail from the left that now says I'm a Nazi anti-Semite because I quoted a book on Friday -- it was the Red Book, or something like that. It was a who's who, who's in the communist party in 1935. Apparently, I don't know, apparently written by a Nazi sympathizer here in America. Part of the, I'm sure -- I don't know because I didn't look it up -- but I'm sure part of the Father Coughlin, social justice crowd, because this is the choice that progressives give you -- you're either a Nazi or a communist. No, I'm neither. But now -- so now I'm kind of stuck between the place where the left says that I'm a Nazi sympathizer and a Jew lover. So I guess the left can have it all, that I'm a Jew-loving Nazi sympathizer. It's a really interesting place that I don't know if anybody's ever been.My charge against Beck was never that he was a Nazi or an anti-Semite, my charge was that, "he finds a book, where someone attacks Communism, so he instantly passes this on to his audience without doing any further research into who exactly this person is that he is promoting."
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As Jeffrey Kaye - known to Kossacks as valtin - writes today in a too-little-noticed diary, findings of a newly released investigation indicate that the Cheney-Bush administration conducted illegal experiments on human beings as part of its torture program designed to break captives that it suspected of being terrorists.
While Kaye and others have for years suggested this was going on, the Physicians for Human Rights has now confirmed it in its chilling report, Experiments in Torture. You can read other coverage of the report by digby, emptywheel, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Washington Post and The American Prospect.
This isn't the first time that PHR has taken notice of such experiments or the torture they were part of. In the face of stonewalling, far too little interest from the media and curtailed budgets, the organization has spent years digging into the collusion of psychologists and other health professionals in greasing the wheels for war crimes committed by the CIA and other agencies. In the latest report:
The human subject research apparently served several purposes. It increased information on the physical and psychological impact of the CIA’s application of the "enhanced" interrogation techniques, which previously had been limited mostly to data from experiments using US military volunteers under very limited, simulated conditions of torture. It served to calibrate the level of pain experienced by detainees during interrogation, ostensibly to keep it from crossing the administration’s legal threshold of what it claimed constituted torture. It also served as an attempt to provide a basis for a legal defense against possible torture charges against those who carried out the interrogations, since medical monitoring would demonstrate, according to the Office of Legal Counsel memos, a lack of intent to cause harm to the subjects of interrogations. ...
In the second and third instances indicating human experimentation presented here, the evidence also suggests that the collection of medical information was acquired and applied to inform subsequent EI practices. In the second instance, health professionals analyzed data based on observations of 25 detainees who were subjected to individual and combined applications of the EITs. They derived generalizable knowledge about whether one type of application over another would increase the subjects’ susceptibility to severe pain.
Such practices, and the others detailed by PHR, violate domestic and international law. This includes the Nuremberg Code, which established ethical principles for human experimentation.
OK, but so what? Every member of the Cheney-Bush torture regime still roams free, having not even been given a wrist-slap for ordering, condoning, participating in or writing twisted legal rationalizations for these violations. Why would the revelations in PHR's new report matter except as confirmation for what we already have long suspected? Because there is a possibility, PHR argues, that unlike the justifications written for enhanced interrogation techniques, the Office of Legal Counsel may not have approved the experiments as being legal. That might make administration officials liable for new charges that might be prosecutable.
Consequently, PHR has asked for an investigation. Its full recommendations can be read in the jump. The record does not provide much hope that these will be taken seriously, but such roadblocks have never stopped the organization from trying to remind us that we're supposed to be on the side of civilization not barbarism.