BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Sunday - March 25, 2012

A pretty fishy link

Take a 5 minute digital vacation and dive Dakuwaqa’ Garden in Fiji, with just a mouse click. You’ll need an HD monitor. The CC button turns on captions. Nice restful music too. Follow this link to the pretty fishies. And some rather unusual looking ones too.


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h/t to Mom


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/25/2012 at 01:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Over The Edge And Into The Abyss

When you’re spending on the scale Washington does, what matters is the hard dollar numbers. Greece’s total debt is a few rinky-dink billions, a rounding error in the average Obama budget. Only America is spending trillions. The 2011 budget deficit, for example, is about the size of the entire Russian economy. By 2010, the Obama administration was issuing about a hundred billion dollars of treasury bonds every month — or, to put it another way, Washington is dependent on the bond markets being willing to absorb an increase of U.S. debt equivalent to the GDP of Canada or India — every year. And those numbers don’t take into account the huge levels of personal debt run up by Americans. College-debt alone is over a trillion dollars, or the equivalent of the entire South Korean economy — tied up just in one small boutique niche market of debt which barely exists in most other developed nations.

“We are headed for the most predictable economic crisis in history,” says Paul Ryan. And he’s right. But precisely because it’s so predictable the political class has already discounted it. Which is why a plan for pie now and spinach later, maybe even two decades later, is the only real menu on the table. There’s a famous exchange in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Someone asks Mike Campbell, “How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways,” he replies. “Gradually, then suddenly.” We’ve been going through the gradual phase so long, we’re kinda used to it. But it’s coming to an end, and what happens next will be the second way: sudden, and very bad.

A good read at NRO.

via Insty


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/25/2012 at 10:03 AM   
Filed Under: • Economics •  
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inavded by a small town in romania?

Did not know I was booting today until I saw this.

Welcome to America?

Well, if not today then coming soon to a city near you.

I see these vermin in the very same light as the muzzie jihadi scum. The world’s cancer. And both should be annihilated.

Much of this problem of course is the result of the one world open borders that the UK is sadly tied to. And will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, what’s a bit jail time to these folks? A break from their normal working hours while their offspring learn the family trade. 

Rolling in it: The Romanian fraudsters who raked in £35m in cash machine scam

More than 90 per cent of cash machine fraud in UK attributed to Romanian criminal gangs

Most of those arrested have links to the same city: Bacau in eastern Romania

Proceeds of crime ‘now makes up 70 per cent of Bacau’s economy’

By Kerry Mcqueeney

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As well as Britain, it is thought criminals from Bacau are operating in Latin America, Australia and the U.S.A.

Playing on a bed of banknotes, this innocent baby is - literally - rolling in it.

The infant clutches £20 notes in his tiny hands, oblivious to the origin of the dirty cash.

For these are the proceeds of a Romanian fraudster behind a cash machine scam - one of many targeting British bank customers.

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The picture of the baby rolling in money plundered from British bank accounts was just one image found by police on a phone seized when officers raided a safe house used by a Romanian gang.

More than 90 per cent of all cash machine fraud in the UK is attributed to these and hundreds of other Romanian criminals, according to senior investigators.

The scams involve camouflaged electronic devices being fitted to the facade of cash machines in Britain which ‘skim’ victims’ data and PIN numbers to create replica cards.

The clones are reproduced to withdraw cash from any of the country’s 60,000 dispensers, with an average of £500 being withdrawn on each card.

The device takes under a minute to fit to the front of a cash machine and it can store the details of hundreds of customers’ cards.

The head of the police unit tasked with tackling the problem said the fraudsters stole £35million from British bank customers last year - and most of those arrested in connection with the scams had links to the same location: the city of Bacau in eastern Romania.
Bacau-based Adu Baunu, convicted in 2008 for credit card fraud, took a picture of his baby rolling in cash stolen from British cash machines

Bacau-based Adu Baunu, convicted in 2008 for credit card fraud, took a picture of his baby rolling in cash stolen from British cash machines

Detective chief inspector Paul Barnard, from the dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit run jointly by the Metropolitan and City of London police forces, said it was ‘striking’ that 92 per cent of those arrested, or brought to attention of police in relation to cash machine crime, were Romanian nationals.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘Most of the hundreds of Romanians arrested in the past 12 months are from Bacau or have connections to that region.’

Proceeds of crime is now thought to make up 70 per cent of Bacau’s economy, a senior Romanian lawyer claimed last week.

The flow of cash into the city is so great that an array of mansions have sprung up in the area and a number of expensive car dealerships have opened.

Many of the criminals seem content to flaunt their ill-gotten gains in their home country, splashing out on expensive cars and gaudy houses.

The baby in the picture is the child of thief Adu Bunu - from Bacau - who was jailed in 2008 for a hole-in-the wall scam estimated to have netted more than £1million.

He flashed his stolen cash by taking photographs of his infant son Eduardo playing among the banknotes.

And two recently jailed brothers, who ran a criminal gang in Romania, own a string of properties across Bacau.

read more, source, sunday mail


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Posted by peiper   United States  on 03/25/2012 at 09:35 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDaily LifeTravelers/Gypsies/SquattersUKUSA •  
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The Thunder From Down Under

hey hey hey, goodbye


Labor Party Almost Eliminated In Queenslands Australia Election

[ Conservative ] New Labor Party Sweeps 75+ of 89 Seats

Independents take 4 seats, Labor holds on to only 6 or 7, 3-4 seats being recounted



Queensland Premier Anna Bligh resigns after losing at least 10 of her cabinet members. NLP’s Campbell Newman sweeps to victory.

The Liberal National Party’s Campbell Newman has won the key Brisbane seat of Ashgrove and will lead a government with a massive majority in the new Queensland Parliament.

Late on Saturday night, as counting continued, it appeared that the LNP will have 74 or 75 members in the 89-seat parliament, with Labor winning 11 seats or fewer.

A string of Bligh Government ministers have lost their seats in the electoral bloodbath, including Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser who had been regarded as a possible Labor leadership successor.

At 8.46pm, claiming victory, an emotional Mr Newman thanked “all Queenslanders” for “voting for change”. Then he acknowledged the people of Ashgrove.

“We will keep our promises and we will not let you down. You have spoken decisively and emphatically and delivered a strong government so we can deliver for you and get this great state back on track,” Mr Newman said, flanked by his family.
...
“We don’t underestimate the task ahead. It will be hard, it will be long, but we will get on with the job. The job starts tomorrow morning.”
...
Labor appeared to be reduced to a netball team of seven, a far cry from the cricket team most political commentators had predicted.

The LNP looked like inflicting a staggering 16 per cent swing against Labor. Ms Bligh had been in the fight of her political life in her own South Brisbane seat, with little-known LNP candidate Clem Grehan leading for most of the night. But Ms Bligh snuck ahead with about a quarter of the count remaining.

A smiling, surprisingly upbeat Ms Bligh said Queensland voters had made their choice clear.

“It’s absolutely clear tonight that Queenslanders have spoken with the strongest possible voice and they have voted for a change of government,” she said. “I congratulate the Liberal National Party on what has been a historic victory.”

15 hours of liveblogging coverage here:

QUEENSLANDERS have gone to the polls and driven the Labor Party from government in an historic and brutal Election Day. See how it unfolded right here.

10PM:  AND THAT’S A WRAP: March 24, 2012, will be remembered as the day the electorate delivered a decisive, devastating blow to an incumbent Labor government. We hope you have enjoyed our minute-by-minute coverage.


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Queensland is Australia’s second largest and third most populous state, with about 4.6 million people, roughly 20% of the total population. This was a unicameral election, which means the whole darn government was up for grabs. The resultant sweep was only the 6th time since 1915 that Australians gave a sitting government the old heave-ho.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) is a political party in Queensland, Australia. It was formed on 26 July 2008 by the merger of the Queensland divisions of the centre-right Liberal and National parties.

The party is considered to be on the centre-right of Queensland politics. In Australia, the term Liberalism refers to centre-right economic liberalism, rather than centre-left social liberalism as in other English-speaking countries. Party ideology has therefore been referred to as liberalism, distinct from its meaning in other English-speaking countries, but also as conservatism, which features strongly in party ideology.

The party won government for the first time at the 2012 state election, winning 78 out of 89 seats for a substantial majority in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.

As Queensland goes, so goes Australia? Perhaps so, we’ll have to wait and see. I can’t say that I even begin to slightly understand Australian politics, but this seems like a win for freedom and a big smack in the head for the nanny-staters. And I’m proud of the Aussies for keeping close to the classic definition of liberalism, versus the corrupted version here and in Europe where it is just another term for communism.

Labor’s Queensland election thrashing was so bad that if the state’s voters took similar aim in a federal poll, all the party’s Queensland MPs, including Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, would lose their seats.

Labor heavyweights and federal MPs from the sunshine state say action is needed to ensure the weekend’s bloodbath is not mimicked at a federal election due next year.

Former premier Peter Beattie said the party was in crisis.
...
Ms Bligh said there was a message for Labor, generally.

“We simply can’t walk away from the fact that we’ve seen results similar to this in other states of Australia - it’s tough times for Labor,” she said.

There are fears for Mr Swan’s prospects at the federal election, with state electorates in his seat recording huge swings against Labor.

Statewide, there was a swing of about 16 per cent against Labor. If a move of that size occurred at a federal election, every Labor MP in Queensland would be ousted, including Mr Swan and former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

UPDATE: Labor Party may lose official status. Seriously, they are that far gone. I gather that in Australia, if you can’t make a good enough showing, you don’t even get office space and have to work from home.

For non-Australians, ... in 2007 all the States and the Federal Government were Labor. Currently Liberal (meaning conservative) governments have won NSW, WA, and Vic and now look like taking a landslide in Queensland. These are the four largest states. [out of 6]

… This would mean Labor falling short of official party status and relying on the incoming LNP government to grant it party offices, staff and resources. The Queensland Greens failed to win a seat and suffered a fall in support.

Greens given the boot, socialists on the verge of extinction ... guess that Carbon Tax thing wasn’t too popular after all.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/25/2012 at 08:49 AM   
Filed Under: • InternationalPolitics •  
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calendar   Saturday - March 24, 2012

Cork Those Corgies

So I had my first window customer of the year today.

Nine hours on the job, >$30/hr, cash money, no receipt. I’m worn out, but otherwise fine. And it’s off to get some Thai food tonight, thank you very much.

It was at the Corgie Lady’s house. I’d done her place a couple years ago, just the upstairs, and she called me back a couple of weeks ago. Now, I’ve done the Cat Lady’s house, and that’s an awful job. 12 cats, 5 litter pans, no ventilation. O. M. G. But the Corgie Lady only has 6 or so of the little cuties, plus a cat. Generally Corgies are just the sweetest little dogs. These all live indoors, though they do get to go out on the enclosed porch. But it doesn’t make much difference. Too many dogs, not enough air. And unlike cats, dogs bark. Half a dozen of them bark ... all day long. She has an alarm system, God knows why. Every time the dogs hear a noise, see a new person (me, even though they’d seen me just 10 minutes before), or just feel like it, they start barking. And when one starts barking, they all do. That’s exciting for the dogs. Problem is, when these little dogs got excited ... they started passing gas. And they were excited all day. Constantly. And she has a lot of them. Six? Seven? Hard to tell, they all look alike. So I spent the day neck deep in dog fart. It was a relief to open the windows to clean the outsides and get a little fresh air, but the little monsters more than compensated for that with extra effort. Yapyapyapyapyap yap, foom.

And the cat is up on the mantelpiece, being all Black and shit, giving me that “You see what I got to put up with?” look.

I hear ya kitty. Word up.

And her windows now look superb of course. The ones in the basement and in the garage had never been cleaned before. Ever. And they’ve been in that house for ... 30 years? I had to sweep cobwebs, piles of dirt and pet hair, just to get to them, and they took a triple washing to get through the grime.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/24/2012 at 05:14 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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teacher tells French students killer was also a victim. students walk out of class.

I originally saw this story in slightly different form in the Mail, but all efforts to find the on line link failed and instead led to other like stories.
This is from the Jerusalem Post who do not furnish the following information.

The teacher was Lorraine Collin, and she is an English teacher at the Gustave Flaubert High School in Rouen. (France)
Most of the other headlines ID her as a French teacher either implying she was a French language teacher, or else she was French herself.
Odds are she wasn’t French but I’ve no way of knowing that. Just a guess. In either case, this is a seriously disturbed woman.  She said the the killer was “a victim of an unhappy childhood.”

Meanwhile ..... the brother of the killer says he is “proud” of his brother’s actions and that he did the right thing.
Sure thing. Killing unarmed and helpless ppl and especially babies is a brave and noble act.  Jeesh.  Just shows ya what the west is up against. And that dirt bag isn’t alone by any means.

TEACHER REQUESTS STUDENTS TO HONOR TOULOUSE KILLER

France’s education minister called for disciplinary proceedings against a teacher in the north of France on Friday, after she allegedly asked her students to observe a moment’s silence for serial killer Mohamed Merah, the man who gunned down three children and a rabbi in front of Jewish school in Toulouse earlier this week.
Students in the the French English teacher’s class in Rouen wrote to their principal that she had called the serial killer a “victim,” and said his links to al-Qaida were fabricated by the media and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to AFP.
The teacher’s request prompted most of the students to empty out of the classroom, though some stayed behind to “try to understand what she was talking about,” AFP reported according to their letter.
French Education Minister Luc Chatel has called for the teacher to be suspended for her request, which was made the day after police shot Merah dead in the south of France after he went on a killing spree.

JPOST


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Posted by peiper   United States  on 03/24/2012 at 12:53 PM   
Filed Under: • FRANCEOutrageous •  
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a ghost story?  you decide.

I’m always fascinated by things like this.  Not too sure I believe any of it cos I’ve never personally experienced anything. But then again ...
Well, ya never know. But I confess to wishing sometimes that there were proof positive of such things.
Anyway, it’s fun to speculate.


Supernatural supermarket captures ‘ghost’ on security footage after owner forewarned of haunting

By NINA GOLGOWSKI

A grocery store in South Australia says paranormal detectives are investigating a possible ghost with a penchant for flinging Fruit Roll-Ups.

Brompton IGA store owner Norm Hurst says he turned to his surveillance footage after finding a box of the fruit snacks laying in an aisle, about six meters from its original location, after he had locked up shop.

‘The previous owners told me it was haunted,’ Mr Hurst told Adelaide Now. ‘I thought, ‘yeah, whatever.’ But since we’ve owned the place, strange things have happened.’

Mr Hurst watched the CCTV footage and says he was shocked by what he saw.

‘One of the cameras shows the packet of Roll-Ups just arriving on the ground,’ he told the Herald Sun. ‘It has not just slid off, it has been thrown out of the pasta, yet, the Roll-Ups are kept 12 metres away.’

source and more


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Posted by peiper   United States  on 03/24/2012 at 11:59 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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an example of cops without guns. works well huh?

Haven’t been up to much post wise last couple of days.  Wife doing better but right eye still not fully opened.  She’s on the mend but it’s slow.  I think one of her worst fears may be happening which is some (so far only slight) scaring on the right side of her neck and part of lower chin area.
She keeps looking but doesn’t see it all.  This Shingles thing is a nightmare, but at least the blisters are gone and at them moment leaving a pink like rash where they once were. Have to wait this thing out. Much discomfort on her part, lots of itching especially in the eye but can’t scratch. Frustrating.

Interesting papers yesterday including this from the Mail.

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This is what happens when cops don’t have guns.
I don’t care what the bed wetting, bleeding heart, handwringers say with regard to American police and guns. It’s always critical.  I feel better seeing our cops fully armed when we’re in the USA.


Dog owner charged with allowing pet to maul five police officers during raid which went horrifically wrong
· Pierre Robinson, 25, will appear in court today accused of ‘allowing the dog to be dangerously out of control’
· He is also accused of kidnapping and GBH with intent, which is why police were looking for him
· Blood-stained pavement marks the spot where the officers were attacked
· Armed officers forced to shoot four rounds before dog finally killed
· Four of the officers are said to be in a serious but stable condition and one had minor injuries
· The pitbull-type had attacked before, according to neighbours
· Five police were admitted to hospital last night, but two have since been released
By CHRIS GREENWOOD, NICK MCDERMOTT and MARTIN ROBINSON
PUBLISHED: 15:29, 22 March 2012 | UPDATED: 12:58, 23 March 2012
Five policemen were in hospital last night after being savaged by the animal, and were said to have ‘life-changing’ wounds as serious as those seen after a shootout.
One officer had his arm broken between the animal’s jaws, while others had chunks of flesh torn from their legs and arms. Some will require plastic surgery, and one could lose several fingers.

LINK TO GRAPHIC VIDEO WITH SOUND. NOT PLEASANT VIEWING

A side note if I may with regard to war news.

American military under much criticism re. the soldier who killed 16 (or was it 17?) Afghans recently. Expected of course and no excuses being made, but want to bring to your attention another war story that finished up here in the UK.
Not on the same scale but.

Brit soldier returned having not fired his gun or killed anyone during his deployment in Afghanistan.  He was very frustrated.
So, he shot his landlady dead because he said, “.he wanted to know what it was like to kill someone.” Sorry, no link to full article but what more needs saying?


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Posted by peiper   United States  on 03/24/2012 at 03:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeUKwork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Friday - March 23, 2012

You Could Knock Me Over With A Feather

I sure didn’t see this one coming. Not in my wildest dreams

EU Votes In Favor of Joint Land Strikes Against Somali Pirates

yesterday -

EU to back strikes on Somali pirates
2012-03-22 22:36

Brussels - The European Union will probably approve plans on Friday to strike Somali pirate equipment on beaches, widening the scope of its naval operations four years into a mission to protect shipping.

Germany had voiced reservations about plans to allow EU warships and helicopters to fire at trucks, supplies, boats and fuel stowed on the coast of Somalia, but a minister indicated on Thursday that Berlin would now back the plans.

“Military officers say they want to render harmless the ships on the beach that could be used. This was a convincing argument,” German deputy defence minister Christian Schmidt said after a meeting of EU defence chiefs in Brussels.

EU officials have stressed that the new mandate would not call for the deployment of troops on the ground in Somalia.

“We made clear that this should be limited actions against assets on the edge of the beach. Piracy must be fought at sea,” Schmidt said.

Following months of debate, the decision is expected to be taken when EU foreign ministers meet on Friday, one day after the defence chiefs, EU officials said.

today -

EU Extends Counter Piracy Mission Off Coast of Somalia

March 23, 2012, published in News, Press Releases by EU NAVFOR Public Affairs Office

On Friday 23 March 2012 the Council of the European Union confirmed its intention to extend the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) counter-piracy mission, Operation ATLANATA off the Somali coast until December 2014.  At the same time the Council also extended the area of operations to include Somali coastal territory and internal waters.

Today’s decision will enable Operation Atalanta Forces to work directly with the Transitional Federal Government and other Somali entities to support their fight against piracy in the coastal areas.  In accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Somali government has notified the UN Secretary General of its acceptance of the EU’s offer for this new collaboration.

Speaking about the extension of the mandate and area of operations, Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, who is the Operational Commander of the EU Naval Force, said “The extension of the mandate until the end of 2014 confirms the EU’s commitment to fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa.  Piracy has caused so much misery to the Somali people and to the crews of ships transiting the area and it is right that we continue to move forward in our efforts”.

Unreal.

But don’t confuse this EU initiative with what NATO is up to out there. That’s a separate mission, and it too is continuing.

(BRUSSELS) - NATO agreed Monday to extend its anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2014, stressing that foreign navies are helping to reduce the number of hijackings.

Operation Ocean Shield, which currently has four warships at sea, has patrolled the Horn of Africa, acted to disrupt armed robberies on the high seas and escorted UN ships bringing aid to Mogadishu since 2008.

So the ships of the navies of various EU nations are going to start shelling the beaches of Somalia, but the ships of the navies of various EU nations that are part of the NATO operation will continue to do interdiction and rescue only at sea. It’s probably the same ships. They’ll just get a Time Out from the admiral, and furl the little blue NATO flag.

I want to know two things: 1) will the EU define “the beach” the proper way, ie “anything we can hit within the range of our cannons”, about 20 miles give or take; and 2) where can I buy tickets to the show?

I am totally stunned that the powers that be have figured out that the solution I put forth several years ago - sink all their boats, blast all their buildings and fuel supplies - is not only workable, but is the right approach and they intend to do it.
Horry. Clap.

Let’s hope that their navies still have some large guns they can bring to bear. More good news: even if the EU decides to take a literal littoral view and defines “beaches” as that sandy bit by the waves, the breakaway chunk of northern Somalia now know as Puntland is putting its anti-pirate land cops back in action.

As the world descended on London to discuss the mess that is Somalia, it was announced that the Puntland Police will be reactivated to hunt down pirates ashore.

Speaking to the media at the event, Puntland’s interior minister Abdullahi Ahmed Jama proudly boasted that the “Puntland Maritime Police Force” will be resuming operations imminently and their brief will be to target pirate gangs on land. The initiative is to be funded by the UAE government and the personnel will be trained by a private security firm.

The PMFF was initially established back in 2010, but was suspended after the UN grew concerned about their operations and the legality of their actions.

Oh, and all of this is being done with the happy approval and cooperation of what passes for government in Mogadishu. “Kill them all, we don’t care.” is their take on the whole situation.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/23/2012 at 02:22 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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He’s Not a Slow President, He’s Not a Fast President

he’s a half fast president

Obama Supports Lower Half of Keystone XL Pipeline

Cuz half a solution is better than none?

When you don’t know whether to shit or go blind, is it best to just close one eye and fart?

President Barack Obama will send a memo to federal agencies on Thursday directing them to prioritize permitting for TransCanada’s southern leg of the Keystone oil pipeline, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.

Facing a barrage of Republican criticism over high gasoline prices during the election year, Obama will visit Cushing, Oklahoma, on Thursday to promote his energy policies, which include support for the southern leg of the pipeline.

The pipeline would drain a glut of crude in Cushing, the storage hub for U.S. crude oil traded on the futures market, easing deliveries to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

“More oil is flowing into Cushing than can flow out, creating a bottleneck that takes away the incentive for additional production, while also preventing oil from reaching refineries along the Gulf coast,” the senior official told reporters in a conference call.

And naturally, once the lower part of the pipeline is built and the glut is drained, then the pipes sit empty and this becomes another huge government boondoggle. Awesome plan Barry. Awesome.

PS - his “help” on this is close to non-existent anyway: no approval from His Oneness is needed, although a “get it done” memo from the boss tells you more than you want to know about bureaucratic heel dragging.

An oil-state Republican says when President Barack Obama stands in Cushing, Okla. on Thursday to announce that he is expediting the permit process for the southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline, he’ll pulling a fast one on Americans:

“The problem is, we don’t need any presidential approval for that (the southern section of pipeline),” said Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.). “It doesn’t cross any international lines,” Sullivan told Fox & Friends on Thursday.

The Oklahoma-to-Texas section of the pipeline requires permits from the states, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sullivan said – “and it’s going to happen in spite of the president,” he added.

“And I think this is nothing more than a con job. Oklahomans don’t appreciate very much this photo opportunity that he’s doing. And I don’t believe the American people are going to believe in this con job, either.”

Maybe the best energy investment the government could make would be to take a couple billion from his crony’s phony green start-ups and build a new, large, generic oil refinery. Perhaps in Cushing OK. Run it with spare experts from all the oil companies, and use it as a training center for new petro-engineer graduates, and supply generic diesel / heating oil / jet fuel (they’re all very similar mixes) all year long. Sell that to the oil companies at cost, perhaps with some 20 year buy-in plan so that in a generation the refinery becomes a shared privatized endeavor. Whatever. But it would take a whole lot of pressure off the other refineries, and bring down the cost of industrial energy (trains, planes, ships, heating factories and homes) significantly. And as part of the big picture, an increased national refining capacity would mitigate seasonal price spikes. Well, that assumes that the other refineries we have actually stay open. That is not always the case:

2/27/12: The U.S. Energy Department on Monday said fuel markets in the Northeast “could be significantly impacted” if Sunoco closes its Philadelphia refinery in June, leading to tight supplies and price spikes is some areas. The report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that supplies of ultra-low sulfur diesel would be most affected by refinery shutdowns and transportation constraints.

“If the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery closes, price impacts are highly uncertain,” said the report. “If areas cannot be adequately supplied in the short term, prices can spike.”
...
Markets have been able to accommodate the closure of the ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer closed in September and Sunoco’s Marcus Hook refinery shut down in December, the Energy Department said, partly offset by the startup of a Delaware City refinery in October after a two-year hiatus during a change of ownership. But the potential loss of the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery “presents a complex supply challenge, and no single solution has been identified by industry participants that will address all of the logistical hurdles that must be overcome.”

Pittsburgh and western New York state, which now are supplied through pipelines from the Philadelphia refineries, would most likely suffer dearly if supplies of diesel and heating oil were constrained.  Sunoco, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia, announced last year that it would shut down its 335,000-barrel per day refinery in the city if it is unable to find a buyer by June. The plant along the Schuylkill River represents 24 percent of the refining capacity in the Northeast.
...
Sunoco said it has lost nearly $1 billion in three years on refining and is committed to exiting manufacturing and focusing its business on retail marketing and logistics. If the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery shuts down in July, suppliers may need to find 240,000 barrels a day of gasoline and 180,000 barrels of ultra-low sulfur diesel by 2013.
...
ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is increasingly in demand to meet environmental regulations, presents a greater challenge because little is produced overseas. Local marketers would need to transport the fuel from Gulf Coast refineries. But pipeline capacity from the Gulf Coast is limited, as is the supply of U.S.-flagged vessels that would be needed to carry the fuel between U.S. ports.
...
The supply issue would be further complicated because New York state is requiring that heating oil - essentially the same thing as diesel - meet ultra-low sulfur levels in July. The Energy Department said New York’s heating oil requirement will effectively increase ultra-low diesel demand by 70,000 barrels a day. Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont are scheduled to adopt ultra-low sulfur heating oil standards through 2018.

Refineries in the Northeast have supplied about 40 percent of the region’s gasoline, 60 percent of ultra-low sulfur diesel and 45 percent of the heating oil. Imports and deliveries from the Gulf Coast make up the rest.

With U.S. demand for fuel in decline, U.S. refiners say that they are losing money because of an oversupply of refining capacity and rushing to shut down unprofitable facilities.  In addition to the three refineries near Philadelphia that are currently on the market, Sunoco shut down its Eagle Point refinery in 2010. Sunoco is currently converting the Gloucester County plant to a fuel terminal. A huge refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, jointly owned by Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela, is also closing this month.

And that’s not all. Refineries in the islands and even down South America way are shutting down, idling, or running at partial capacity and taking a loss. Gosh, you’d think all that hopey-changey recovery would have brought demand back up by now. Nope.

Another Caribbean refinery able to run heavy, sour crude oil will cease operation.

Citing “unfavorable refinery economics and the outlook for continued unfavorable refinery economics,” Valero Energy Corp. said it will halt crude runs at month’s end of its 235,000 b/d facility in Aruba.

Valero’s move follows by 2 months the announcement by Hovensa LLC, a joint venture of Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, of closure of the 350,000 b/d refinery at St. Croix, VI (OGJ Online, Jan. 18, 2012). Hovensa will operate the facility, capacity of which had been reduced from 500,000 b/d, as a terminal.

Now I am totally confused again. Gas prices are high because there is high oil demand, yet oil refineries are closing because there is low gas demand. An oil glut at the tank farm in Oklahoma is slowing down oil refining and thus kicking up the prices, but refining is slowing down anyway because prices are too high and nobody is driving or heating their homes (ie, demand is off). Huh? This reads like some chicken-egg-thing death spiral. Is it even remotely possible that Maxine Waters was right, and that energy should be nationalized? Perish the thought. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/23/2012 at 07:14 AM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The OneOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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Cat is out of the bag

Scientific American: Only Way To Beat Global Warming Is One World Totalitarian Government

Well, gee, I toldja so a few years back, right?

Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe
...
To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. There would have to be consideration of some way of embracing head-in-the-cloud answers to social problems that are usually dismissed by policymakers as academic naivete. In principle, species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors would be a sine qua non, but that kind of pronouncement also profoundly strains credibility in the chaos of the political sphere.

Behavioral economics and other forward-looking disciplines in the social sciences try to grapple with weighty questions. But they have never taken on a challenge of this scale, recruiting all seven billion of us to act in unison. The ability to sustain change globally across the entire human population over periods far beyond anything ever attempted would appear to push the relevant objectives well beyond the realm of the attainable. If we are ever to cope with climate change in any fundamental way, radical solutions on the social side are where we must focus, though. The relative efficiency of the next generation of solar cells is trivial by comparison.

The author also suggests downplaying nuclear power and clean coal, but at least has the honesty to ponder the “gosh, how do we set it up so that a tyrant can’t abuse the system if he gets in charge?” issue. Too bad no answer to that one is included. He does write in a nice erudite style, which slightly hides and softens the message, which is as cold and absolute as only Science or Stalin can be.

Stupid greenies. You aren’t going to push developed nations back into the stone age, and you aren’t going to stop developing nations from developing. If they ever do. If you really want to minimize waste heat and CO2 levels, then you have no other realistic choice: beef must go, and the world must learn to live on chicken and fish. Oh, and everything must run on electricity, generated by nuclear reactors and tidal generators. Wind power is a circle jerk daydream, and solar power is a minimal localized solution with a huge cost overhead and a nearly infinite break even point.

And now the cat is completely out of the bag: global communism is the answer to the “problem”. Redistribution and rationing, by force. Great, let’s do it. Because the first thing the Oceania Ministry of Finance will figure out is that investing in Eastasia is a waste; no matter how much money, effort, or technology you invest there, things will never improve. And Eastasia is wall to wall people, and always has been. Better to just cut them off now; in 20 years there won’t be anyone left, and think how much less waste heat and CO2 that will mean.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/23/2012 at 06:38 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherCommies •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 22, 2012

It’s For Their Own Good

UK Schools To Children: No Best Friends Allowed

Have to teach them early to be soulless machines you know.



Teachers are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don’t get upset by fall-outs. Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.

Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey. She added: “I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together.

“They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they’re learning to deal with it.”

Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans. He said: “I don’t think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre.

“I don’t see how you can stop people from forming close friendships. We make and lose friends throughout our lives.” The Campaign for Real Education, which wants more parental choice in state education, said the “ridiculous” policy was robbing children of their childhood.


Because it’s your right to never feel emotional pain, disappointment, or even the least inconvenience in life. And it’s for the chiiiildren, so that makes it okay. Right?

And in 15 years when they find they’ve raised a generation of amoral heartless robots who kill without the slightest compulsion, they’ll wonder why. Breaking down the culture by destroying the family unit, the sanctity of marriage and relationships, and even the emotional bonding between children is all part of the Marxist plan. The only affection allowed is towards the state.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/22/2012 at 11:30 AM   
Filed Under: • Nanny StateUK •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 21, 2012

A Supreme Bitchslap for the EPA

SCOTUS: 9-0 Ruling in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

The Supreme Court handed down a major win for both property rights and due process rights today in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was the EPA’s use of so-called administrative compliance orders, which are government commands that allowed the agency to regulate the use of private property without also subjecting its actions to judicial review. In a 9-0 ruling, with the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia and separate concurring opinions filed by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court declared that these EPA actions must be subject to judicial review.

Four years ago, Mike and Chantell Sackett bought property to build a home near a lake in Bonner County, Idaho. After obtaining local permits the Sacketts began work, pouring in some land fill. But their work came to a screeching halt when they were visited by officials from the Environmental Protection Agency. The couple was slapped with a compliance order asserting that the land is subject to the Clean Water Act and that they had illegally filled protected wetlands. They were told to stop filling in the lot, and to restore it to its pre-construction condition or face thousands of dollars in potential liability.

The Sacketts sought to challenge the EPA’s finding in court, but were told that that they needed to go through a permitting process first, and only after the EPA moved to enforce the order could they seek judicial review.

Today, a unanimous Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and found that the Sacketts may bring a civil action under the Administrative Procedure Act, which provides for judicial review of “final agency action for which there is no other adequate remedy in court.”

Justice Alito, concurring:

The position taken in this case by the Federal Government—a position that the Court now squarely rejects—would have put the property rights of ordinary Americans entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) employees.

The reach of the Clean Water Act is notoriously unclear. Any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year is in danger of being classified by EPA employees as wetlands covered by the Act, and according to the Federal Government, if property owners begin to construct a home on a lot that the agency thinks possesses the requisite wetness, the property owners are at the agency’s mercy. The EPA may issue a compliance order demanding that the owners cease construction, engage in expensive remedial measures, and abandon any use of the property. If the owners do not do the EPA’s bidding, they may be fined up to $75,000 per day ($37,500 for violating the Act and another $37,500 for violating the compliance order). And if the owners want their day in court to show that their lot does not include covered wetlands, well, as a practical matter, that is just too bad. Until the EPA sues them, they are blocked from access to the courts, and the EPA may wait as long as it wants before deciding to sue. By that time, the potential fines may easily have reached the millions. In a nation that values due process, not to mention private property, such treatment is unthinkable.

Volokh Conspiracy: “He urges Congress to clarify the scope of the CWA so that property owners will at least have a clearer indication of the scope of EPA authority over their land. Despite these limitations, the decision is a significant victory for property rights, and a rare case of unanimity on an important property rights issue.”

Decision here

It’s just as upsetting to me that the government would allows such an Act to be written in the first place as it is that they would, showing an utter lack of either common sense or common decency, take the Act all the way to the Supreme Court TO GET THEIR WAY. This is NOT what the federal government of the US of A is supposed to be like. I call for a general flogging of the case’s lawyers, the dingbats at EPA who went on an uppity hissy fit forcing their crap down citizen’s throats, and a double lashing for the rat bastards in the Legislature who authored this crap. Writing and enforcing law should not be “We’ll do whatever we want, and we’ll get away with it until the Supremes shoot it down, in half a dozen years or so, maybe.” Tar, feathers, horsewhip; some user creativity required. The next bunch gets the tree and the rope.

Perhaps I am remembering the details wrong, but I think the Sackett case was one where the EPA forced them to quit building because they had a “wetland” on their property, which was caused by a drainage culvert being jammed up? And then when they cleaned out the culvert and all the water drained away, and then they put in some fill dirt to level the ground off, and the EPA condemned them for destroying a “wetland”. Asshats. But I may be thinking of some other case, and some other outrageous action by the EPA. Lord knows they’ve got plenty of that to go around.

The Clean Water Act prohibits “the discharge of any pollutant by anyperson,” 33 U. S. C. §1311, without a permit, into “navigable waters,”§1344. Upon determining that a violation has occurred, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may either issue a compliance order or initiate a civil enforcement action. §1319(a)(3). The resulting civil penalty may not “exceed [$37,500] per day for each violation.” §1319(d). The Government contends that the amount doubles to $75,000 when the EPA prevails against a person who has been issued a compliance order but has failed to comply. The Sacketts, petitioners here, received a compliance order from the EPA, which stated that their residential lot contained navigable waters and that their construction project violated the Act.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed, concluding that the Clean Water Act precluded preenforcement judicial review of compliance orders and that such preclusion did not violate due process.

Ok, rope and tree for that bunch. Extra high and springy branches, so they dance better for our enjoyment. It’s their DAMN JOB to know better. “precluded preenforcement judicial review” means “do as the government says, right now, or get fined. You DO NOT have a right to a hearing.” and that this DID NOT violate due process (which means “you get a hearing").  If it weren’t a “green” issue, the loonies on the left would be screaming “NAZIS!!!!111!!” and they’d be right for once.

Justice Scalia does a big old eyeroll on his keyboard at the audacity of the EPA’s actions here in the first place: the Wetlands Act is limited to “navigable waterways” (although it doesn’t say navigable by what - perhaps a duck, or a miniature canoe?) and the adjacent wetlands that feed them directly. The Sackett’s gigantic 2/3 of an acre is several pieces of property away from Priest Lake in Idaho, and those properties already have houses on them. So step off, eh?

However, this is a limited decision. All that SCOTUS ruled on is that the Sackett’s do have the right to a hearing. They did not rule that the EPA is completely full of shit in this case, nor that it is run by uppity enviro-nazi bastards with powers unchecked, nor that their Acts and Rules are tyrannical. But I’m pretty sure Scalia knows it. Today at least, they blunted one of it’s fangs. Slightly.

Oh, how I long for the day when SCOTUS will grow a big hair pair and render decisions like “Go piss up a rope. PS, we’ve decided that your entire agency is unconstitutional, so you’re all fired and your rules are completely void. Have a nice day. The end.” All the more reason to get any flavor of Conservative into the White House, because some of those Black Robes are really getting ready for the big forever dirt nap.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/21/2012 at 03:56 PM   
Filed Under: • EnvironmentGovernmentJudges-Courts-LawyersMiscellaneous •  
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Spring

It’s Spring, so get out there and enjoy the lawn or something.

image


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/21/2012 at 03:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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