Saturday, May 22, 2010

Open Thread

Have we missed any news stories?

We all hear of people using fake identification to sneak into institutions or fake professional papers such as doctor, airline pilot, university professor, etc.

Now someone has used fake papers to get into the military, even getting secret clearance.

Evidently an oil rig in the North Sea went rogue and mavericky, so they are trying to shut it down to avoid a disaster.

It is difficult for a government to grasp the truth once it comes untethered from the truth. If I remember correctly, a while back federal regulators were caught in sexual escapades with oil people they were regulating.

President Obama stated "It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow an old phrase, we will trust but we will verify."

The reality is however that "The people will trust and the government will verify". Thus, nothing has changed and this will be repeated.

Should oil rig permits, if drilling offshore is allowed in the future, be approved by a panel of local citizens (a jury) in areas that could be damaged?

One model for real property evaluation has been blogged about here on Dredd Blog, so we wonder why that would not be beneficial in other scenarios too.

Also, in all poison oil disasters, if the oil company executives did wrong should their personal wealth go toward paying for the damages?

The idea is to protect at both ends of the equation, during permitting and after wrongs have been committed.

Currently both ends are open to negligence and intentional wrongs without personal accountability.

Much of the Gulf Coast population is now beginning to come out of shock to cry about the Gulf Oil Disaster says a good NY Times Article on the real-life devastation ongoing there. One can't help feel for the innocent who the drill baby drill leaders have virtually destroyed.


  1. Regulatory capture is a well studied and documented phenomenon, and really represents nothing more than the "revolving door" that the government has become. Honest people often start out working for the government, then move to the private sector for the money, then back to the government in a higher position later to influence policy, then back to the private sector as a reward, etc. While we might rail against such practices by regulators and garden variety bureaucrats, it actually mirrors the practices of the politicians and other elite of the system (Dick Cheney and his bunch are the shining examples) who do this all purposely as a means of looting the treasury, steering government contracts, and dismantling the regulatory process.

    The solution? The collapse of the Federal Government, which is already well underway, and its replacement by an as yet unspecified arrangement(s). My personal belief is that the US will fracture into several/many smaller states - possibly coexisting with the remains of an extremely hollowed out state on the east coast - over the course of the next century, no doubt with a great loss of life and strife in the process. The current arrangement has simply grown too big and too corrupt to continue being useful for anyone but the elite, who are already busy feeding on its carcass as we speak. I'll even go out on a limb: first shots fired in the next American revolution no later than 2015 (actually, they already have been, they just haven't been recognized as such - see Joe Stack), and wholesale dissolution and reorganization no later than 2025 (both extremely conservative predictions - could be much faster than that). That's if larger factors like natural disasters and/or nuclear war don't make the whole thing academic first.

    Accelerating factors will be the long line of the sovereign budget default dominoes that have already begun to fall, increased energy costs and shortages which will compound financial concerns and limit military responses, the continued financial and social costs of responding to global warming events and concerns, and the natural tendency for people to look out for themselves and their immediate circles at the expense of the larger whole when things begin to come apart - and for opportunistic vultures to feed on the carcass of what remains. All of these forces are already well under way.

  2. Piercing the corporate veil to go after BP officials personally will never happen, as that's the linchpin in the whole corporate capitalist system.

    Bankrupting the company to pay for their mess is at least a possibility, but it'll never happen either. First of all, Obama would be killed before that would ever happen, but secondarily, the implications for oil companies would be ominous, and ain't no government that's as addicted to oil as ours is EVER gonna bite the hand that feeds it in such a direct manner.

    Besides, why make them pay when the precedent for passing the costs off to the public has already been so recently and obviously set with the finance industry? No one's ever going to pay for any of it directly anyway, as the government's going to default sometime in the near future regardless.

  3. Regarding the Texas School Board's agreement to rewrite school text books with a conservative slant: it's obvious now that Texas will likely be the first state to go their own way, and well they should. Maybe some of that Gulf oil has already seeped into the water supply down there, but its increasingly obvious that the Texas-Oklahoma alliance simply operates from a different set of paradigms than the rest of us, and they need to make other arrangements as soon as possible. Don't mess with Texas indeed! Fuck ALL the fundamentalist homophobic steer fuckers in Texas and Oklahoma both.

    One thing they do have right down there however. They need to put up an impenetrable border fence around both to keep the crazy bastards in and prevent them from infecting the rest of the at least somewhat normal population around them - although Kansas and Nebraska might want to consider joining their alliance as well.

    Arizona? Now they're another story all by themselves... Must be the heat over there, although with 90% of the state's population living in a condensed, smog infested, soup bowl, I'd be more inclined to wonder how any of them retain their sanity whatsoever. Hard to believe illegal immigration is even an issue in such a hell hole, other than the border patrol's strategy of pushing them to the desert plains to the south where they're more easily caught or simply killed under the brutally hot and dry conditions.