The Blow-Out Preventer

A relatively simple device: The Blowout Preventer

It’s mandatory in Norwegian offshore oil drills. It’s mandatory in Brazilian offshore oil drills. It is not mandatory in oil drills off the US coast.

It could have prevented the latest spill.

But. You had the oil industry effectively on the helm of your country for too long. And, without effective regulation, they won’t even begin to consider using these – costs you know.

UPDATE:  See more information regarding the oil spill by commenters TerrytheTurtle, houseofroberts, 2ebbandflow, and Hoodathunk here, here, and here.

UPDATE II: TerryTheTurtle has made us aware of a valuable source, for those who are following the research of the oil spill’s cause. You will have regular updates here and another article based on a European source can be found here.

Music Night. Happy birthday, Willie

(and Gummitch). Willie Nelson is certainly one of, if not the most, recognizable cross-over rock and country singer/songwriters. Beginning in the 1970s, “outlaw country” was defined by people like Nelson and Waylon Jennings, writing and playing for a rock and roll audience as well as the Grand Old Opry crowd. I found it interesting that most of the videos on YouTube feature duets or group performances; there is relatively little of him singing solo. More after the jump.

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Reasonable Suspicion v. Probable Cause

REASONABLE SUSPICION

Reasonable suspicion is a term used to describe if a person has been or will be involved in a crime based on specific facts and circumstances. It may be used to justify an investigatory stop. Reasonable suspicion is more than a hunch that a crime has committed but does not require as much evidence as probable cause.

To evaluate reasonable suspicion, the court must decide if a reasonable person or reasonable officer would also infer that a person is involved in a crime were the circumstances the same.

The Supreme Court ruled in Terry V. Ohio that an individual may be stopped and frisked by law enforcement agents based on reasonable suspicion. The court found that this type of detainment (referred to as a Terry Stop) does not violate the Fourth Amendment, which restricts unreasonable search and seizure.

A person may not be arrested based on reasonable suspicion – an arrest is made based on probable cause. However, if probable cause develops during an investigatory stop, the officer may arrest the suspect.

When would an investigatory stop for reasonable suspicion be appropriate?
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Have I got some great FABULOUS “shit” for you..

Sen. Claire McCaskill talks shit… (videos)

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Nick AndersonHouston Chronicle Editorial Cartoonist and Animation Artist.
For Nick’s animations, visit Nick Anderson: Animation Archives.
For Nick’s cartoons, visit Nick Anderson.

Full Moon in Scorpio

Today is the first full moon after Oestara, and the moon is in Scorpio; a good day to bring light to truth.

I found these videos…disturbing, to say the least; a definite challenge to preconceived/indoctrinated notions.

As I watched these for the first time, it occured to me that one could not study theology without learning what is described below. That means only one logical conclusion: those religious leaders I trusted the most were perpetuating a lie.

Why? Follow the money…

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.

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A Greek Tragedy, revisited.

Greece - Ruins

So taxpayers are asked to foot the bill again. European governments have decided on a bailout for Greece, so they can stay in the EMU (European Monetary Union), where they should not have been accepted in the first place.

It was Goldman Sachs, who else, who helped Greece to cook the books in order to make the 3% of GDP debt-threshold the EMU prerequisited for entering the EUROzone. Fully aware of their doings they, at the end of last year started to lay their bets on a default of Greek debts. This sent Greek bonds yields spiralling out of control, the latest was a 18% yield, a percentage Greece cannot afford to pay to borrow money to run their country. And all banks were busily selling Greek bonds to their customers, who in turn very much appreciated a (then) 5% yield to the almost nothing in interest you get on your money from your local bank.

Now what? Will the bonds default and leave the investors out in the cold? Will there be write-offs, so Greece can draw a little breath and get their debt situation sorted?

Fat chance. Deutsche Bank boss Ackermann has already issued one of his famous warnings of impending financial apocalypse if Greece wasn’t bailed out and should default on their debt. So, this knight in shining armour is saving the Eurozone’s economy from armageddon? Or is he helping the investors who bought the bonds from Deutsche Bank and by this saving the Banks reputation, their business and his bonus?

Not only Goldman sucks.

And: Portugal is next.

What’s the REAL reason for Arizona’s new José Crow law?

I was eating lunch in my car before school, listening to the re-play of Thom Hartmann, and what do I hear?  Greg Palast making more sense about the horrible new “papers please” law in Arizona.  It’s not about preventing illegal immigration at all — although that plays very well to the teabagger crowd — it’s about keeping U.S. citizens, who happen to be of Hispanic origin, from VOTING.

Greg Palast did some checking into voter disenfranchisement of the Hispanic community in Arizona back in 2008, and guess who he found merrily hacking away at the voter registration rolls?  If you guessed Governor Jan Brewer (then Secretary of State), then give yourself a high five and a big gold star!

Jan Brewer makes Katherine Harris, of skeezy 2000 Florida presidential election fame, look like a martyred saint.

Don’t be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona

Is Jim Crow really dead?

Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.

I don’t buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.

What’s new here is not the politicians’ fear of a xenophobic “Teabag” uprising.

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer’s command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelming Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.

That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you’re not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.

So I asked Brewer’s office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?

No, not one.

Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?

The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. “We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case.”

This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.

Iglesias’ jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none.

“They wanted some splashy pre-election indictments,” Iglesias told me. The former prosecutor, himself a Republican, paid the price when he stood up to this vicious attack on citizenship.

But Secretary of State Brewer followed the Rove plan to a T. The weapon she used to slice the Arizona voter rolls was a 2004 law, known as “Prop 200,” which required proof of citizenship to register. It is important to see the Republicans’ latest legislative horror show, sanctioning cops to stop residents and prove citizenship, as just one more step in the party’s desperate plan to impede Mexican-Americans from marching to the ballot box.

Read the rest of the story here.

(Image source)

The Watering Hole: April 26 – To the Shores of Tripoli

The second item in the US Marine Corps Hymn actually represents the first major off-shore engagement by a fledging nation. The Battle of Derne was a decisive operation in defanging the Barbary pirates which had been harassing United States merchant ships in the Mediterranean from the nations founding.  Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon was the marine commander of that day and has been honored by the Corps ever since.

PresleyOBannon

This was actually our nation’s  fist step in the suppression of terrorism  and W had yet to be born. In fact, the next terrorist attack on our nation’s interests occurred about 196 ½ years after this victory.

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.