Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Ongoing BP Saga

This is interesting:

In what is measuring up to be the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history, the government is nearly helpless to stop the oil flowing from the Deepwater Horizon well that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20.

The White House said Sunday that it expects the spill to grow by 20 percent after BP gets started with its latest effort to contain the spill, beginning Monday or Tuesday. The White House also said it is tripling its environmental cleanup crew.

But the additional spillage is opposite what BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said on “Fox News Sunday” — that the decision to cut open the pipes in order to put a cap on the well will likely not add to the amount of oil flowing into the water.

“What we need is a clean cut across the top of that riser package at the bottom of the sea. The amount of oil will not change. The oil was coming out anyway from just above it at a broken area of the pipe at the end of the pipe. So that is not going to change the flow,” he said.

President Obama’s top environmental adviser Carol Browner said Sunday the government is responding with what she called the largest environmental mobilization effort ever, but it looks like it could be up to BP to dig a new well before the gushing spill stops pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.

“There’s not just one being dug, there are two. Because we insisted — the government insisted that there be a second one in case something went wrong with the first one,” Browner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

That’s after BP’s “top kill” effort to plug the hole with hundreds of thousands of pounds of mud failed. BP is looking at the next alternative — trying to grab the oil that’s spilling into the water and move it onto a vessel that will pull the oil onshore. 

“Obviously that’s not the preferred scenario. We always knew that the relief well was the permanent way to close this, to get it killed so there wasn’t oil coming up while the relief well was being drilled was the second option. Now we move to the third option which is to contain it,” Browner said.

Fox News

I think the most surprising thing is that we did not have a concrete contingency plan lined up from the beginning. How can we start drilling with such potential for disaster and yet not have a solid, proveable series of steps we could go through in order to avert disasters of this proportion?

It is the fault of the government, naturally, for not having required more stringent regulations on what to do in disaster situations.

And just as a note: there should be more blame heaped upon the President merely because God knows the media would be crying for blood if it was the Bush administration, and that it would somehow all link back to big corporate interests controlling Bush but as people have pointed out, Obama has received a lot of support from corporations.

If anything, it should merely be pointed out that they are not so different from one another.

곽노현 후보 “공보물 미발송, 선관위 고발방침”

한국의 선거가 재미 있다…

6·2 서울시교육감 선거에 출마한 곽노현 후보 측은 30일 “서울시선거관리위원회가 곽 후보의 선거공보만 대량 미발송한 사실이 확인됐다. 부정선거 의혹이 있다”고 주장했다.

진보진영 단일 후보인 곽 후보 측은 이날 기자회견을 열어 “관악구 은천동 4천여 가구에 곽 후보의 공보물이 빠진 채 다른 후보들의 공보만 배달됐다”며 “서대문, 강서, 강동구에서도 곽 후보의 공보는 빠져 있다는 제보도 접수됐다”고 말했다.

곽 후보 측은 “이번 공보 배달 사고는 단순한 실수라기보다는 부정·관권선거와 관련이 있다고 의심하지 않을 수 없다”며 “시선관위를 검찰에 고소·고발할 방침”이라고 밝혔다.

한교닷컴

원래 내가 이런 뉴스를 보면 안 믿을거다. 그런데 지금 이명박 대통령은 한국의 인터넷을 통제하고 싶고, blogger가 체포 됬고, 등등 아마도 곽노현의 말이 아주 틀리지 않다.

한국의 정치인들이 부정하는 가능성이 높은 것 같다.

Human Rights Prevents Terror Plotters From Deportation

This is when the absurdity of modern life comes full circle:

Two men who plotted to kill thousands of Britons in a terrorist atrocity cannot be deported because it would infringe their human rights, a court ruled yesterday.

Al Qaeda operative Abid Naseer and his accomplice Ahmad Faraz Khan were planning a ‘mass casualty attack’, probably against shoppers at the Arndale Centre in Manchester over the Easter holiday last year.

But judges said Naseer, 24, and 26-year-old Faraz Khan – who came to Britain as students – should not be sent back to Pakistan because of the risk they could be tortured.

Daily Mail

It is rather impressive… Naturally, I think these guys should serve a lengthy sentence in Britain and be sent home regardless of what awaits them.

When you plot to massacre civilians do you really deserve rights that were originally created for human beings? It is inhumane if you deport a person who would face torture and death in a foreign country for some offense like drug use, but this is completely another.

If I went to a foreign country and plotted to bomb their people I would consider myself quite fortunate to not be being tortured there.

Thought Process, Taoism & Barbarism

Thought is a lifelong process and an on going project for each thinker. I am not sure how other people think so I can only analyze my own thought.

I have noticed three distinct stages that seem to rotate endlessly: Idealism, Skepticism & Reformed Idealism. This could theoretically correspond to ‘thesis, antithesis and synthesis’ but these phrases seem cold, scientific and alien. I do not want to go to bed with these words — they would not warm my bed.

Not only does the individual thought go through the idealism, skeptic analysis and then reformation, but even in our life we have stages where all of our thoughts on a topic for a few days, or a few years, or a few decades are idealistic or they are skeptical before we reach our reformation. One can point towards the fact that there are many youth who are very idealistic on some topics — many extremist movements are defined by their youthfulness.

Our thought process is dualistic not necessarily because we believe in the scientific method so strongly and must test our ideals (though this is part of it), but also because of our basic human emotions.

We fall in love with an idea, and then we use logic to justify it; we fall out of love with an idea, and then we use logic to bash it. And finally, when we are done bashing it, we sometimes float back to this simple ideal once again and realize what our errors were and we proceed to tweak it into something better once again.

This is good. This is human. This warms the bed.

I would like to point out something about Taoism.

The Chinese character for Tao is 道; the character for Tao indicates a path; the character itself is of a dude holding his chin while walking a path. The guy is thinking about something pretty hard… And why does such a character have that meaning? Well, this is not an empty character. We know exactly where he is walking from, where he is walking currently, and we know where he wants to go.

He started walking away from a point that is referred to as Ahn (安); ahn means comfort. Ahn represents civilization, society, family. In order for him to gain enlightenment.

The man is now walking in a place we refer to as Yaman ( 野蠻 ); yaman is the state of barbarism. It is man living in tribe like communities, illiterate and separated from all of civilization. It is necessary for man to walk through this place and to understand it in order for him to understand himself.

When man has learned what civilization is, and then has learned what barbarism and the ‘natural state’ is, he reaches his goal and has become more or less ‘enlightened.’ But we should not use the word enlightenment — it has a Buddhist connotation. The highly technical and pretentious word that the Taoists use for this place can be translated as ‘goal’ or ‘objective.’

This is quite similar to our thought process: we start out with something fake, idealized, not fully understood; something that is fundamentally alien to man because we cannot attain it. This pathetic excuse for a thought, this dreamworld, this Lord Of The Rings is our civilization, our society.

When we reach the ultimate goal we are no longer in idealism, and we are no longer in skepticism; we have a better idea.

We are no longer civilized, but neither are we completely barbarian. We are much like the Manchus or the Won dynasty: sure, we rule China, we rule civilization, but we do not mix with the civilization in the same way.

Did you know that after the Ming dynasty, when the Manchus took over, they used the Great Wall [i]in reverse?[/i] The wall was no longer there to [i]keep barbarians out of China. It was there to keep the civilized Chinese out of their barbarian lands.[/i]

The Manchus actually wanted to keep out civilization — they saw how the Chinese lived, and they decided they would rather be the various bad names that the Chinese called them than become Chinese themselves.

This is where we can look at the concept of the Noble Savage that J.-J. Rousseau gave us: there is a certain enlightened nature to the more primitive aspects of humanity. They are not corrupted by civilization. Even Christ once told us that we must [i]believe like little children.[/i] A child and a noble savage are not entirely unlike one another: neither have yet been corrupted by the forces of society. We must leav civilization to achieve this purity.

It is also worth drawing the parallel in Buddhism of Ibsan (入山) which literally means ‘to enter the mountains.’ This is synonymous with becoming a Buddhist monk. The mountains are the only lands around civilized places that allow one to be isolated — to be freed from the influences of the world.

There are of course practical considerations that we have to make, but I think we do need to learn a lesson from our thought process:

We become better, stronger, superior people if we put everything through a skeptic phase of destruction; we have to make an antithesis on our whole society and civilization itself.

When we build a newer, better building we do not build it on top of an older building; we tear down the old building and we start from scratch.

So now, we have to burn our Rome; we have to get in our Drakar ships and raid the coasts of Normandy. We have to get on our horses and find the weak point in the wall, and then we must kill every living thing that stands in our way, steal everything that we can carry and set fire to everything that we cannot.

After we’ve done this to our ideals, we will have set a fine layer of soot on the ground in which much can grow our reformed ideals.

And then we are neither civilized nor are we purely barbarians; we are Rulers. We have our civilization, and we have our society, but we are not fully part of it, nor do we want to be part of it. This is the goal.

We conquer our ideals and then we live above our ideals — our ideals are newly grown and changed, and they are better, but we are still not a part of them; we are like the Manchus trying to keep the ideals from coming over the wall so that we can keep ourselves pure. Our ideals are there merely because we personally can gain some insight from them, but we rule them, and we keep them separate from us.

This is the point at which we know we have achieved a good conclusion.

BNP Clashing In East London

Three young Asians (I will never fully understand how liberally the British use the word Asian — they are giving everyone East of the Himalayas a bad name) come to start a fight with an old BNP geezer; typical tactics.

Let’s go up and get in the face of those campaigning because of our preconceived notions that they are “racist” because they aren’t excited about having their nation inundated with foreign workers robbing the domestic working class of opportunities.

A fight broke out between a British National Party parliamentary candidate and some Asian men as party members were out campaigning in east London.

Some men earlier swore at leader Nick Griffin and threw fruit at him and he was taken away from the scene.

The candidate for Romford, Bob Bailey, was filmed shouting at a group of men in Ripple Road before punching a man who spat at him.

Police were called after 1500 BST to the fight between the two groups.

‘Campaign of hatred’

At the time Metropolitan Police said they were called to the incident but no-one had been arrested at the scene.

Later however, police said an 18-year-old man attended Barking police station and alleged common assault against another man.

The Barking Community Safety Unit is to look into the matter.

When asked about the fight Mr Griffin told BBC London the fight was the result of a “campaign of hatred and dehumanisation against any group of people, in this case us”.

He said: “I think people have to realise that the people have spoken, this is a democratic vote and everyone has to go along with that, whether it’s us, our opponents or people on the streets, and if there are a few crazies or thugs on the streets I’m sure the police will deal with them quite quickly.

BBC

Things are starting to get ugly — the PC thugs are out en force attempting to silence anyone who stands up for common sense immigration reform and right wing policy.

People think they can go around and bash people that they label as ‘racist,’ but now they are finding out that not only are they incapable of bashing them (and embarrassingly so) but they are also becoming incapable of defeating them in elections.

Now what will the PC brigade do that their campaign of intimidation is failing, and the British people start asking their leaders tougher questions?

The more the Conservatives turn their back on the average person the stronger the BNP will get.

Rice Paddies On The Planet Romulus

Today I was sitting in class doodling; I was originally trying to make the soft circles with different degree of shading that makes flames. I found that I made something that looked rather interesting…

So I continued down from it; with the shades of gray, light gray, dark gray and near black; I made a complex pattern that began resembling an alien landscape.

Suddenly, it reminded me of the Star Trek episode in season three where you get a glimpse of Romulous.

Oo Geukhwi leaned over and said, “What are you drawing?”

I smiled and mumbled, “I am drawing rice paddies in the countryside of the planet Romulous.”

He became confused, but we both laughed slightly.

I think I will continue drawing Romulan landscapes and perhaps share them with you one day.

I identify a bit with the Romulans. I find a great deal of appeal to their strange culture. I think this was a good, healthy exercise for the mind.

Pope Benedict Places Blame For Sex Scandal On The Church

A lot of people have waited for this — it is the right move by the Pope.

LISBON, PORTUGAL — Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday blamed the church’s own sins for the clerical sex-abuse scandal — not a campaign mounted by outsiders — and called for profound purification to end what he called the “greatest persecution” the church has endured.

His strongly worded comments placed responsibility for the crisis squarely on the sins of pedophile priests, repudiating the Vatican’s initial response to the scandal, in which it blamed the news media as well as advocates of abortion rights and legalizing same-sex marriage for mounting what it called a campaign against the church and the pope.

Speaking en route to Portugal, Benedict said the Catholic Church has always suffered from problems of its own making but that “today we see it in a truly terrifying way.”

Washington Post

I do not think that the media has targeted the Church but rather it is a case where for so long the media did not ever report anything negative about the Church. They’ve now had a rude awakening now that we’ve taken the kid gloves off and are ready to be mature about issues about the Church.

Perhaps to some extent there have been groups trying to vilify the Church more and more, and I think that the vilification was truly justified for a long time. But as the Pope says: now is about the time that we start recognizing that the Church is finally moving past this and recognizing its own shortcomings.

It looks like the Pope is signing the Peace Treaty and recognizing their own shortcomings. Now it is our job to recognize their recognition and begin our push to treat such instances as criminal matters and uphold our part of justice.

Ethnic Studies Targeted in AZ

This is certainly an intriguing question:

A bill that aims to ban ethnic studies in Arizona schools was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jan Brewer, cheering critics who called such classes divisive and alarming others who said it’s yet another law targeting Latinos in the state.

The move comes less than 20 days after Brewer signed a controversial immigration bill that has caused widespread protests against the state. The governor’s press office did not return requests for comment Tuesday evening.

HB 2281 bans schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals. The bill also bans classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.

LA Times

It makes a modicum of sense when we are looking at classes that may be encouraging ethnic separatism.

Certainly everyone would cry foul at classes meant for ‘White Studies’ (and then we have to rehash the old idea that oh, jeez, everything else is ‘white studies,’) as potentially promoting racialist or ethnocentric ideas, but no one raising a cry of foul in regards to other studies has become a bit much for me.

I do not believe that these classes are necessarily supporting racialist or ethnocentric ideologies, but they certainly aren’t helping to resolve the notions of race and echnicity within America.

I have always been a fan of minimalism — simply stated, we ought to reduce people down to their most basic level. The level of being an individual who stands independent from those around them.

Promoting ethnic identification, whether positive or negative, from a young age will result in a lot of issues.

Of course, college is a different question — part of the intellectual goals of a person ought to be to understand other ethnic groups from within their own line of reasoning. thus ethnic studies makes sense. As do gender based studies, etc. But at young ages…

This sounds like a good idea.

The room for indoctrination and abuse is large when we give some ideologue the ability to preach at teenage kids about ethnicity and nation.

Senators To Query Kagan But Don’t Expect Answers

This is the recent trend in politics — to put our Supreme Court Justice nominees on the stand and have them say nothing of consequence for the explicit purpose of hiding their true intentions from the elected representatives of the American people. The goal is simple: to deceive the representatives and to deceive the American people until at which point the dirty has been done and they can reveal their true thoughts and ideas.

Talk about a broken system — we do not even have fair assessments of what our nominees for our highest court think due to the nature of the beast.

WASHINGTON — Want to know Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s thoughts about the legality of the White House’s new health care law? How about her position on the constitutionality of gay marriage, or Arizona’s new law on illegal immigration?

Too bad. If Kagan follows the playbook for nominees, she won’t be speaking her mind about legal, political or social issues raised by the senators whose votes she needs for confirmation.

Unless she breaks the traditional silence of other recent Supreme Court nominees – something the nominee herself called for in 1995 – senators will have to vote on elevating Kagan to the nation’s highest court without finding out where she really stands on today’s hot-button topics.

Washington Post

Welcome to the American Republic.

It is more proof of the inherent dishonesty government is able to endow even the most noblest of institutions with.

Obama Administration Considering Miranda Rights

This is something that one would have certainly expected more from the Bush administration. What are the ramifications? Many.

Attorney General Eric Holder said for the first time today on ABC’s “This Week” that the Obama administration is open to modifying Miranda protections to deal with the “threats that we now face.”

“The [Miranda] system we have in place has proven to be effective,” Holder told host Jake Tapper. “I think we also want to look and determine whether we have the necessary flexibility — whether we have a system that deals with situations that agents now confront. … We’re now dealing with international terrorism. … I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public-safety exception [to the Miranda protections]. And that’s one of the things that I think we’re going to be reaching out to Congress, to come up with a proposal that is both constitutional, but that is also relevant to our times and the threats that we now face.”

America’s system of Miranda rights developed out of a 1966 Supreme Court ruling which found that the Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment rights of an alleged rapist and kidnapper, Ernesto Arturo Miranda, had been violated during his arrest and trial (Miranda was later retried and convicted).

Huffington Post

In a way, I could see how some on the Left would feel betrayed by this move as, naturally, the Democrats have claimed to be the protectors of these sorts of rights. It was the big, bad republicans trying to blow the house of cards down on their heads.

In the future they will be remembered for this controversy.