Monday, June 21, 2010

open thread

I hope everyone watched Gasland which aired on HBO tonight. If you haven't seen it you need to do so. Before the oil and gas industry turns your backyard (literally) into a poisonous fracking sewer.

Gasland (the movie)

Gasland (Facebook page)

Gasland (Wiki page)

Filmaker Josh Fox with Jon Stewart - Daily Show video segment
(June 21, 2010).

¹ Gasland (trailer):

June 21, 2010,
Muckraking Road Movie on Natural Gas Drilling

The filmmaker Josh Fox in an image from “Gasland,” a documentary on problems attributed to natural gas drilling.

As oil continues to flow in the Gulf of Mexico, a new documentary investigates a landlocked drilling controversy.


Q. You obviously have strong feelings about this issue. Do you think you gave a fair presentation of it? Were there any towns you encountered that had a positive experience with drilling leases?

A. I’ve been asking the industry since the movie has been out there, “If you’ve got a town where there’s more than 100 wells, and everything’s going fine, and you don’t have these issues, take me there.” Because I haven’t found it. And I’ve been to hundreds of places. I have not found a place where this is going swimmingly, where you don’t have a significant portion of the people in those towns complaining about problems with the water and the air. So, no, I don’t think it exists.

Q. The film is about hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking” — is there a form of natural gas drilling that you do think is acceptable?

A. That’s not my forte, but from what I understand they don’t have nearly the same kinds of problems when they’re doing lower-pressure drilling or the traditional, conventional natural gas drilling. … My main focus was on fracking, which will supposedly revolutionize the industry. I think we all know from what’s going on in the Gulf what can happen when you have unregulated extractive energy.

June 23, 2010:

Shale gas drilling controversy / Enviro Politics Blog
Because drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is no longer a high-risk venture pursued by a score of small and moderate-sized, independent gas companies. It’s now become big business—big international business.

Mason writes:

“We already know that energy companies, including BP, have been involved in lobbying against tighter shale gas regulation, asking that decisions are taken at state level, rather than being left to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“After all, they have a huge amount to lose if the US suddenly loses its fervour for shale.

“The London-listed companies are exposed to the tune of billions: Shell bought up $4.7bn of assets in Marcellus last month, BG Group has a $2bn joint venture with Exco and BP has a $2.5bn partnership with Chesapeke.

“They have all piled into shale drilling over the last couple of years, touting the technology as the answer to America’s energy thirst.”

To reinforce the point, Mason notes that BP’s Tony Hayward has hailed shale gas as a “complete game changer.”


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bob the Howler

This post by Betty Cracker at Rumproast gave me a chance to use this picture of Bob the Howler Somerby in his Howler hidey-hole.

I don't read Bob the Howler's peevish croakings very often mainly because I have better things to do with my time and because someone who refers to himself in multiples - as if he were some kind of small legion - makes me uneasy.

For some reason Bob consistrently insists on denoting himself a "we". For example:

We were struck again and again last night by the things we heard on MSNBC.

It’s hard to keep current when computers are down. We regret that, because we’ve been fascinated by Rachel Maddow’s recent coverage of senate candidate Sharron Angle, who won the GOP senate nomination in Nevada last Tuesday.

For that reason, we get nervous when we see the way Maddow has instinctively approached this candidate.

A bit of background: We’ve been struck, in the past few weeks, by what we now call “the two Rachels.

[emphasis above mine] A guy who refers to himself as "we" is worried about "two Rachels" - ?

Is it possible that old Bob may have undergone some kind of Kafkaesque metamorphasis some time ago which turned him into some kind of half man half compound apposition eyed howler fly? Or something.

That might at least explain his tendency to perceive himself and others in multiples. And when Bob rolls out of bed each morning and stomps off to the bathroom to shave or pee in the sink - or whatever it is a half man half fly does each morning - what he sees staring back at him in the medicine cabinet mirror looks something like this:

Which might also too possibly explain (for some Kafkaesque reason or another) why he spends so much of his time there these days conducting weird remote trials and hurling seething imprecations at the television set or buzzing around the room swatting at the lampshades and with an old yellowing rolled up copy of the Miami Herald.

If i were Bob Somerby I'd steer clear of bullfrogs and spider webs and carnivorous house plants.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Can See Sarah Palin's Boobs

From My Porch

Exclusive SBL pre-pub first look: Joe McGinniss cover (genuine North Slope crude oilcloth dust jacket).


Saturday, June 12, 2010

open thread

Summer Tour:
Big Guitars From Memphis
June 12, 2010 - Crown Plaza Hotel - Rosemont, Illinois


Friday, June 11, 2010

SBL Open Stage (kick out the jams)

¹ Dropkick Murphys - Worker's Song:

This one's for the workers
who toil night and day
By hand and by brain
to earn your pay
Who for centuries long past
for no more than your bread
Have bled for your countries
and counted your dead

In the factories and mills,
in the shipyards and mines
We've often been told
to keep up with the times
For our skills are not needed,
they've streamlined the job
And with sliderule and stopwatch
our pride they have robbed

We're the first ones to starve,
We're the first ones to die
The first ones in line
for that pie-in-the-sky
And we're always the last
when the cream is shared out
For the worker is working
when the fat cat's about

And when the sky darkens
and the prospect is war
Who's given a gun
and then pushed to the fore
And expected to die
for the land of our birth
Though we've never owned one
lousy handful of earth?

All of these things
the worker has done
From tilling the fields
to carrying the gun
We've been yoked to the plough
since time first began
And always expected
to carry the can


June 11, 2010: N Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
June 13, 2010: Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival
more dates


Saturday, June 5, 2010

We NeoCon The World

Maybe Caroline Glick and her merry troupe of singing Israeli schutzstaffel would like to perform their latest stunt perception management number con job for the families and survivors of the USS Liberty who will be celebrating a memorial day anniversary on June 8, 2010.

US Navy Veterans Continue to Seek Justice for Israeli Attack

Tuesday 01 June 2010
by: Dahr Jamail

The Israeli military has attacked a flotilla of international peace activists, killing as many as 19 innocent civilians while they were carrying ten tons of aid to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This is not the first time the Israeli military has attacked a nonthreatening entity in international waters.

On June 8, 1967, while sailing in international waters, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of the Liberty's crew of 294, more than half were killed or wounded. More than 40 years later, survivors are still seeking justice.

The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.

Joe Meadors was on the Liberty during the attack.

Gaza Flotilla American was Also Survivor of Deadly 1967 Israeli Attack on U.S. Navy
Thursday, June 03, 2010

For one member of the flotilla that tried reaching the Gaza Strip with supplies, a military strike by Israel was an all-too-familiar experience.

Joe Meadors was aboard the Greek-flagged ship Sfendoni on Memorial Day when Israeli forces intercepted it, along with five other vessels, to maintain Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Although his ship did not come under attack on Monday, Meadors’ vessel 43 years ago—the USS Liberty—was badly damaged by Israel during the Six Day War.

The USS Liberty was an intelligence ship sailing in international waters on June 8, 1967, when Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats attacked, resulting in the deaths of 34 American personnel, and 171 wounded. Israel has always contended the attack was a mistake, and the government subsequently paid about $13 million in compensation to settle claims arising from the incident.

Another Liberty survivor, James Ennes, told the media that Meadors joined the Gaza flotilla in part to raise awareness about what happened to their ship more than four decades ago.

Meadors was taken into custody on Monday by Israeli forces, but was released and returned to the United States.

Another ship in the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, was the scene of a bloody fight when Israeli commandoes boarded the ship in international waters, leaving nine of the ship’s occupants dead.

Berkley Daily Planet
To Navy vet Joe Meadors, “There is no doubt that the Israelis were committing piracy on the high seas against the Freedom Flotilla and used deadly force against unarmed humanitarians whose only crime was defending themselves against a sea and airborne invasion by heavily armed aggressors."

"As a survivor of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty," Meadors said, "I am fully aware of the tactics the Israelis are capable of and willing to use with impunity and without remorse. That time they fired machine guns, cannon, rockets, napalm, and torpedoes on us, then deliberately machine-gunned life rafts we had dropped over the side in anticipation of abandoning ship. And the only response from the American government was to impose a gag order on the crew of the USS Liberty."

"This time, too," Meadors continued, "the Israelis have shown no remorse, and I fear that the US government is again granting them impunity."

USS Liberty incident June 8, 1967.