June 15th, 2010


Documents reveal BP's missteps before blowout


NEW ORLEANS - BP made a series of money-saving shortcuts and blunders that dramatically increased the danger of a destructive oil spill in a well that an engineer ominously described as a "nightmare" just six days before the blowout, according to documents released Monday that provide new insight into the causes of the disaster.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released dozens of internal documents that outline several problems on the deepsea rig in the days and weeks before the April 20 explosion that set in motion the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The committee has been investigating the explosion and its aftermath.


BP started drilling in October, only to have the rig damaged by Hurricane Ida a month later. The company switched to the Deepwater Horizon rig and resumed drilling on Feb. 6. The rig was 43 days late for its next drilling location by the time it exploded April 20, costing BP at least $500,000 each day it was overdue, congressional documents show.

As BP found itself in a frantic race against time to get the job done, engineers cut corners in the well design, cementing and drilling mud efforts and the installation of safety devices known as "lockdown sleeves" and "centralizers," according to congressional investigators.

In the design of the well, the company apparently chose a riskier option among two possibilities to provide a barrier to the flow of gas in space surrounding steel tubes in the well, documents and internal e-mails show. The decision saved BP $7 million to $10 million; the original cost estimate for the well was about $96 million.


BP also apparently rejected advice of a subcontractor, Halliburton Inc., in preparing for a cementing job to close up the well. BP rejected Halliburton's recommendation to use 21 "centralizers" to make sure the casing ran down the center of the well bore. Instead, BP used six centralizers.

In an e-mail on April 16, a BP official involved in the decision explained: "It will take 10 hours to install them. I do not like this." Later that day, another official recognized the risks of proceeding with insufficient centralizers but commented: "Who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine."

The lawmakers also said BP also decided against a nine- to 12-hour procedure known as a "cement bond log" that would have tested the integrity of the cement. A team from Schlumberger, an oil services firm, was on board the rig, but BP sent the team home on a regularly scheduled helicopter flight the morning of April 20.

  NICE!!   They cut corners on basic safety precautions... chose the riskier of 2 options that was cheaper... 
and then STILL f**ked up estimates almost every step of the way in trying to fix this mess.   And there are people trying to argue for CAPPING their liability and damages??

THIS is the point where I start to expect to see upper managers starting to face jail time.  This is not just ecological damage, but dont forget we had 11 people die in that explosion too.  And with a decision to cut corners on safety precautions -- a defense will be much harder to mount.

What galls me is that BP is still making it difficult to collect money for people who they've agreed to award it to -- even at the end of all this shit, they're still a greedy corporation to the very end...although one that seems to be defended by the British government.


Gay man attacked by two marines in Georgia / FBI and Justice Dept ponder filing Hate Crime charges

Cpl. Keil Joseph Cronauer, 22 (left) and Lance Cpl. Christopher Charles Stanzel 23 (right)

Two Marines have been arrested [misdemeanor battery charges] for allegedly beating a gay man in Savannah, Georgia. Keil Cronauer and Christopher Stanzel are accused of attacking Kieran Daly so badly that he suffered bruises on his brain, reports the Savannah Morning News. In addition to the bruises, Daly suffered two seizures immediately after the attack. His friends performed CPR. While Cronauer and Stanzel told police that Daly was harassing them, Daly explained that the two were mad because they thought that he had winked at one of them. The Morning News reports: "The guy thought I was winking at him," Daly said. "I told him, 'I was squinting, man. ... I'm tired.'" Daly said one of the men told him he demanded respect because he served in Iraq. And at least one hurled slurs at him as he tried to walk away."That's the last thing I remember is walking away," Daly said. Because Georgia is one of just five states that does not have legislation requiring stiffer penalties for hate crimes, the marines were released to military police. The station reports that Cronauer and Stanzel are based at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina and are currently restricted to the base.

There are many sad things in the story, but the most perplexing question for me is why aren't these Marines in a brig and just merely confined to their base? This story during Gay Pride month confirms for me precisely the need for hate crimes laws: states and localities refusing to treat these cases in a serious manner. The FBI and Justice Dept are looking into the possibility of filing charges under the recently enacted Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.


Here's more information, and check out their commanding officer's reaction to all this. It will make your blood boil!
hat lasso

End of stimulus


I love Coyne. I've never liked the idea of bail-outs or stimulus.

I do think welfare is great with individuals, so they are not homeless and not starving. But corporate welfare should never exceed the welfare that would otherwise serve their employees and subs dependent on a business. In a free market, the market dictates success just as business savvy does. A bailout interferes in the natural economy.

And stimulus is just as bad. "Put simply, the money has to come from somewhere. Whatever funds you “put in” to the economy by government has first to be “taken out” of it. Borrow at home, and you displace private spending with public—the “crowding out” phenomenon. Borrow abroad, and you run into balance of payments difficulties: foreigners can only lend you the dollars they earn from trading with you. Borrow from the central bank, “print money,” and you bring on inflation, with all of its destructive impacts."

My take is that stimulus is not in keeping with the spirit of free market capitalism. It creates false economy that has to fail eventually.

A friend of mine's dad lost his foot last year to complications due to diabetes and a other illness's. Now he's about to loose his hand. Sadly it seems he's lost the will to live. But this is his journey and his alone. Rather then loose bits of himself in order to "save him" and prolong the inevitable, the man is now unwilling to see the surgeon. There is honour in this path.

Economic decisions are similar. While we could save Fanny, Freddie and even GM, the broader decisions to try to save whole nations is insane. USA never seemed in danger of complete collapse, but without the unnatural stimulus it probably would have suffered worse then it has these last two years.

And Greece, etc. What is the worse that could happen? These economy fail completely, and these nations revert back to a meagre existence of living off the land, unable to pay rent, and survival at a base level. Why is this so bad? Living within your earnings is a great lesson to learn.
me in front.

The United Nations - could it actually become a World Government?

Well, folks , I am back from a holiday there I could only get onto the interwebs thruogh my wife's laptop, but I am back now.

I got a mod post to say that I was missed by some people. However, I am assured that their aim is constantly improving. :)

Could the UN Become a world Government? Do we really need a World Government, I ask myself.

Let me tell you my own thoughts on this and then you tell me yours, Oh wise denizens of the Free World.Collapse )

Rendering unto Caesar: The Terrorism of Superstition

There are people who contend that politics and superstition should be separated. Certainly, the world would be a better place if superstitious people simply went about their own personal affairs and stopped meddling in the private lives of their neighbors, but that's not going to happen anytime soon. The superstitious are terrified that if they don't terrorize their neighbors, they will suffer for eternity.

Some will argue that the Constitution guarantees the right of people to be superstitious, but that's no reason to appease their superstitions. It is one thing for the superstitious to terrorize their own children and quite a different matter for them to terrorize their neighbors. They even go so far as having their children terrorize the neighbor kids. This kind of conduct is vicious and brutal.

Superstition belongs to Caesar. It enslaves an entire population in a mental prison of fear and ignorance. People who reject superstition cannot ignore the cruelty of the superstitious.

What do you do to shelter your loved ones from the rabid terrorism of superstition?

prop 8 update

I don't know who has been following the Prop 8 trial out in California, but here's an update.

The judge has issued a series of questions to both sides. The questions are here:


I welcome your responses to any/all of the questions. My two cents is in regards to:

"What is the import of evidence showing that marriage has historically been limited to a man and a woman? What evidence shows that that limitation no longer enjoys constitutional recognition?"
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