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May 25, 2010

Government inspectors partied meth on oil rigs as the industry ghost-wrote inspections

This is how the empire falls, with a whimper, not a bang Center for Biological Diversity Response to Inspector General's Investigative Report on Minerals Management Service Corruption
:The Inspector General report released today highlights the ongoing failures of the Minerals Management Service, which is riddled with illegal drug use, bribery, and, worst of all, falsification of inspection reports crucial to ensuring the safe operation of drill rigs in our waters. ...“MMS safety inspectors taking drugs on oil platforms is bad enough, but falsifying reports and allowing the industry to ghostwrite their inspections is completely outrageous.

May 23, 2010

The Problem with Greenpeace

The tide turns against Greenpeace In a nutshell: Greenpeace activists are loudly opposed to genetically engineered food and are opposed even to testing the food to see if it's safe. And Greenpeace members have been destroying GM crops in England.
Greenpeace anti-GM food activists may well have done the organisation's reputation irreparable damage. In place of the pious deference shown by the British Press to the movement's every word on biotechnology, a consensus is now growing that the mindless vandalism of recent weeks has gone too far. It is not, of course, just the lunatic fringe of Greenpeace that has been hauled before the magistrates to answer charges of criminal damage. The organisation's executive director, Peter Melchett also felt entitled to take the law into his own hands by helping to destroy GM maize on a farm in Norfolk, and was forced to delay a foreign holiday as a result until bail was agreed. If these were just rather eccentric activities, quite characteristic of the English upper classes of which the 4th Baron Melchett is so much a part, then they might be forgiven. But preventing the course of genuine scientific enquiry, which aims to answer the very questions that Greenpeace poses regarding the safety of GM crops, is both mindless and undemocratic. So much so, that another member of England's green aristocracy, the Honourable Sir Jonathan Porritt, Baronet and ex-director of Greenpeace allies Friends of the Earth, condemned the destruction of experimental crops. Friends of the Earth themselves, however, were remarkably silent on the issue, but Helen Browning, chair of the Soil Association which sets standards for organic foods, opined that breaking the law was unjustified.

May 22, 2010

Crime and the city: David Brooks is full of shit again

This is the laziest sort of ahistorically bad social anthropology available. The New York Times should be ashamed of this drivel. Op-Ed Columnist - Children of the ’70s - NYTimes.com
Crime did not abate. Passivity set in, the sense that nothing could be done. The novel “Mr. Sammler’s Planet” by Saul Bellow captured some of the dispirited atmosphere of that era — the sense that New York City was a place with no-go zones, a place where one hunkered down. Things are different now, of course. By 1990, 5,641 felonies were committed in New York City’s 24th Precinct, according to Podhoretz. Last year, only 987 were. But some of the psychological effects remain. We’re familiar with talk about how Vietnam permanently shaped the baby boomers. But if you grew up in or near an American city in the 1970s, you grew up with crime (and divorce), and this disorder was bound to leave a permanent mark. It was bound to shape the people, now in their 40s and early-50s, reaching the pinnacles of power. It has clearly influenced parenting. The people who grew up afraid to go in parks at night now supervise their own children with fanatical attention, even though crime rates have plummeted. It’s as if they’re responding to the sense of menace they felt while young, not the actual conditions of today. The crime wave killed off the hippie movement. The hippies celebrated disorder, mayhem and the whole Dionysian personal agenda. By the 1970s, the menacing results of that agenda were all around. The crime wave made it hard to think that social problems would be solved strictly by changing the material circumstances. Shiny new public housing blocks replaced rancid old tenements, but in some cases the disorder actually got worse.

Did BP cover-up the oil disaster?

Did BP cover-up the oil disaster? - Bing Video Click through for Olbermann clip. Spoiler alert: They did.

Watch a live Video feed of the 1.1 million plus gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico

WKRG.com Live Oil Spill Cam on USTREAM: Watch a live Video feed of the 1.1 million plus gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico WKRG.com http://www.... Live video chat by Ustream

May 21, 2010

Billy Nungesser: Twenty-four miles of Plaquemines Parish is destroyed. Everything in it is dead

YouTube - Billy Nungesser: Twenty-four miles of Plaquemines Parish is destroyed. Everything in it is dead