The Watering Hole; Thursday, April 25, 2013: “YES” for Keystone!

Soon we’ll know. The Keystone Pipeline will either be approved, or not. Tar Sand Oil . . . nice stuff, lotsa MONEY in it, etc. All it takes to snag it is to cut down Canadian arboreal forests and then contaminate millions of acre feet of water in the clean-it-all-up process!  YeeHaw!!!! Etc.  After that, no worries: pump it into a pipeline that runs from Canada to Houston, and VOILA! INDEPENDENCE! YAY! AMURKA! IN GOD WE TRUST!!!!!

I read that somewhere (well, most of it at least).

So: what if the pipeline should ever spring a leak? NO WORRIES! Because HEY!! Only birds will die, and heaven only knows we’ve got way too many birds out there anyway, buzzing around, pooping on stuff, etc.

Yeah, right. So: here are, courtesy of my old college buddy (and naturalist) Denny Green, three of his recent photos of those intrusive goddam birds. You know the type . . . they poop EVERYWHERE, and don’t contribute even a DIME toward either reducing our national debt or toward blowing up Arab stuff. Birds are WORTHLESS!

See for yourself:

Brown Pelican, La Jolla Cove, Feb. 2013; Photo by Denny Green

Brown Pelican, La Jolla Cove, Feb. 2013; Photo by Denny Green

Avocets, Mating Pair; Gilbert AZ, March 2013; Photo by Denny Green

Avocets, Mating Pair; Gilbert AZ, March 2013; Photo by Denny Green

Stilts, Mating Pair, March 2013; Photo by Denny Green

Stilts, Mating Pair, Gilbert, AZ; March 2013; Photo by Denny Green

So there you have it: FIVE (bird) reasons for humans to destroy this planet! I mean, imagine it. Once we destroy THEM, there will be NO MORE BIRD POOP! Only lots of oil – oil — OIL!!! Diesel fuel! Gasoline! SMOG!!! YeeHaw!

Etc.

It’s really tricky to pretend Wingnuttistanian heritage. I tried, but . . . well, I hope . . . I blew it. Etc. . . .

Final question: Could a Pelican, or an Avocet, or a Stilt . . . ever find the means to define EVIL? Or is that a concept — a gift of maybe a god? — that only we of superior intelligence (////) can manage???

This is today’s Open Thread. Have at it . . . and Shayne, get well soon, OK?

55 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday, April 25, 2013: “YES” for Keystone!

    • I’ve often wondered if the secret recipe for fracking juice was liquefied hazardous waste they can’t dump elsewhere.

      • Probably is, but you know we’ll never know as thanks to Cheney’s 2005 bill and the ‘Halliburton loophole’ fracking companies are able to hide what they put in the ground as a ‘trade secret’. From what I read of what is coming back into the water tables and wells, it’s all the nastiest hydrocarbons you can think of.

  1. Think Progress has a thread – 13 reasons to be glad Bush is no longer President. Why 13? There is only one. He was a puppet President.

    • Heads up for you Dycker. Nascar racing at Richmond this weekend is Friday night and Saturday night!

      Did you hear about Matt Kenseth’s illegal engine at Kansas? They took pretty much everything but the trophy away from Gibbs Racing. One connecting rod was under the minimum weight, by three grams. Gibbs doesn’t even build the engines, by the way, they are all assembled by Toyota Racing Developement, and an outside supplier was responsible for the single underweight rod in a fairly large batch.

      I think they should have DQed the win entirely, and gave it to second place Kasey Kahne.

      • Oh yeah I knew of the night races. I will be having the in laws for dinner so I don’t think I will see it live.

        3 grams!! WOW Zero tolerance for high tolerance parts. How can they leave him with the win and take away everything else? Seems strange. Have all the other Toyota cars been checked?

        • I doubt they do teardowns for lower finishers, but I bet there’s someone at TRD sitting with boxes of rods and an electronic scale, doing a 100% inspection on them from now on. You’d think all the rods would be grouped in sets, matched to within a quarter gram, on engines that turn those high rpms. It’s a wonder it didn’t shake like crazy on the dyno, when it was tested at TRD.

            • But in Matt Kenseth’s engine the 3 gram difference didn’t shake it to pieces. Must not have reached or spent much time at harmonic rpm!

    • Thirteen reasons: Dubya was/is/forever stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid.

      Wait, that’s fourteen . . . oh well, this time I’ll let it go.

    • ugh – tuned in just in time to ‘hear’ baby-boy Bush speak. (thank the stars he and Cheney are no longer in charge)

      (surprise) The audience is white as white can be.
      I read the museum/library has a life-size replica of the Oval office AND the Rose Garden…

    • “It was a nice ceremony. The presidents told nice stories about each other. This is what the presidents do when they get together; it’s a nice break from the day-to-day catastrophe that is American politics.” – exit the Clown Car, bulging with unindicted war criminals, grifters and sociopaths….. f**k off back to painting yourself in the bathroom, Chimpy until we can finally ship you to the Hague

  2. The Economic Argument Is Over — Paul Krugman Has Won

    Over the course of this debate, evidence has gradually piled up that, however well-intentioned they might be, the “Austerians” were wrong. Japan, for example, has continued to increase its debt-to-GDP ratio well beyond the supposed collapse threshold, and its interest rates have remained stubbornly low. More notably, in Europe, countries that embraced (or were forced to adopt) austerity, like the U.K. and Greece, have endured multiple recessions (and, in the case of Greece, a depression). Moreover, because smaller economies produced less tax revenue, the countries’ deficits also remained strikingly high.

    Even though Paul Krugman is right, and Reinhart And Rogoff and all their minions are wrong, I don’t see a solution in deficit spending alone to improve unemployment. We just don’t produce enough goods anymore here to support a large enough service sector to put the rest of the unemployed to work. We keep changing the rules about how we calculate GDP, only so we can hide the continuing decline of our manufacturing sector.

    • Infrastructure. Transportation, Electricity. perhaps a National Aqueduct System. (Why not?) These are things most countries can do to hire people so that there will be people out there with money to spend. Spending moves an economy. In turn, the extra income earns extra tax revenue for the govt, which can then afford to spend a little more, which produces more jobs, and then jobs from the built stuff the other infrastructure projects helped create. I don’t think any country pulled itself out of a recession by not spending money. If they did, I’d have to imagine they were way behind the rest of the world. Think of the technological advances that would pass by a country that couldn’t afford to spend money keeping up. “Now that the recession’s lifted, let’s Telex our plans to the world!”

    • “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

  3. There has already been two leaks of the existing Keystone pipeline. One in MN and more recently one in Arkansas that left that toxic sludge on the curbs of peoples homes and after a storm made it into the lake which I’m sure is a big draw for recreational fishing and will probably cost the locals their incomes this summer.

    • The leak in Arkansas was the Exxon Pegasus pipeline, Shayne. It’s a much older pipeline than Keystone, and not designed for tar sands sludge.

      The problem with pipelines is a lack of proper maintenance, which requires shutting down the line, and continuing to increase the volume, and thus, raising the pressure beyond the design specifications, until the damn things leak, all to try to get more profits from existing equipment. Greed.

      I’d support the XL if they would shut down some of these older lines and scrap them, and agree not to export any more petroleum from the US. But they have to not cross the Ogallala Aquifer with the route. That’s a deal breaker.

      • Speaking of oil disasters, last Saturday marked the third anniversary of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. Brian Merchant checks in on the damage:

        “Billy Nungresser, the president of Plaquemines Parish, which covers the part of Louisiana most heavily hit by oil after the initial spill, says that the oily fallout continues to this day. Just yesterday, Nungresser told a local TV news station that “oil is still washing ashore in places like Bay Jimmy.”

        Meanwhile, fishermen say their catch is still drastically lower than it was before the spill—and the onslaught of chemical dispersants BP used to try to contain it. “The damage is still ongoing right now. My shrimp is down 40 percent and my oysters are down 93 percent,” George Barisich, president of the United Commercial Fisherman’s Association, recently told Eyewitness News. He believes that the dispersant—a proprietary cocktail called Corexit that is believed to be comprised of butoxyethanol, organic sulfonates, and a small concentration of propylene glycol—interrupted the reproductive cycle of the shellfish in the region.”
        http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/three-years-after-the-gulf-spill-oil-is-still-washing-up-in-louisiana#ixzz2RVm9QlKt

        Mark Hertsgaard focuses in on the controversy surrounding Corexit at the time:

        “Wilma Subra, a chemist whose work on environmental pollution had won her a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, told state and federal authorities that she was especially concerned about how dangerous the mixture of crude and Corexit was: “The short-term health symptoms include acute respiratory problems, skin rashes, cardiovascular impacts, gastrointestinal impacts, and short-term loss of memory,” she told GAP investigators. “Long-term impacts include cancer, decreased lung function, liver damage, and kidney damage. (Nineteen months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a scientific study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution found that crude oil becomes 52 times more toxic when combined with Corexit.)

        BP even rebuffed a direct request from the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, who wrote BP a letter on May 19, asking the company to deploy a less toxic dispersant in the cleanup. Jackson could only ask BP to do this; she could not legally require it. … Knowing that EPA lacked the authority to stop it, BP wrote back to Jackson on May 20, declaring that Corexit was safe.”
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/04/22/what-bp-doesn-t-want-you-to-know-about-the-2010-gulf-spill.html

      • To build a really long tube and then destroy forests and massively contaminate water in order to reclaim really shitty oil from . . . and then to pump all the shit that results across the US to a port in Texas, and then probably ship the shit to China (or wherever the MONEY might be) – – all at the expense of the earth’s biosphere . . . well, I dunno, sounds a bit extreme, somehow..

        DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Maybe it’d be better if, out there somewhere, someone with a fucking brain would . . . might?? . . .

        Ya, ok, I git it. . . . .

    • We need a massive push for energy that is NOT gained from either fossil or nuclear. It’s out there — whether wind, solar, or any other alternative, it waits for us . . . humans . . . to gather it in and to use it.

      So simple. But jeebus, what a poke-in-the-eye-with-a-sharp-stick to big business! Poor bastards!

      Bottom line: Which is more useful, more contributive to humanity, to all the earth . . . MONEY? Or Thinking?

      I say we should ban Money. Markets. Coins, dollars, yen, pounds, allathat. Try relying on something USEFUL instead. Like thinking, maybe. Yes. Thinking. It could work. Maybe?.

      Nah. Leaves no room for Republicans.

      Hmmm. OTOH . . . .

      Yeah, I know, I be dumb, but what the hell . . . I ain’t STUPID. Maybe, Hope, . . .

      • Minnesota has a law that allows residents to direct that their usage of electricity come from alternative sources. That isn’t to say I’m wired directly to the wind turbines, but the electric company has to reduce the amount of carbon-based energy and increase the amount of alternative energy based upon my usage. You pay a bit more for this, but it’s nice to do. On top of that, they now send out letters showing you your own electricity usage compared to other homes in your neighborhood, and I’m always one of the most efficient.

  4. The reason we don’t see more tragedies like West, Texas is because the US has outsourced industries to places like Bangladesh, where a decrepit, eight-story clothing factory collapsed this week, killing at least 218 people.

    So yeah, we’re killing them over there so they don’t die here.

  5. The new report out from Oil Change International:

    “The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is a project that will carry and emit at least 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year. This is a conservative figure, based on industry analysis of the carbon emissions associated with current tar sands production. … [This] is equivalent to the tailpipe emissions from more than 37.7 million cars. This is more cars than are currently registered on the entire West Coast (California, Washington, and Oregon), plus Florida, Michigan, and New York – combined.

    Between 2015 and 2050, the pipeline alone would result in emissions of 6.34 billion metric tons of CO2e. This is greater than the 2011 total annual carbon dioxide emissions of the United States.”

    Terrific.

    Click to access Cooking_the_Books_FINAL-SCREEN.pdf

  6. I just signed the whitehouse.gov petition supporting Pete DeFazio’s proposed legislation to get rid of the unique requirement that the Post Office pre-fund 75 years of health benefits.

    http://wh.gov/t95i.

    This legislation needs everyone’s support. It’s a ridiculous burden on the Post Office, which still provides a vital service.

  7. ‘The Ed Show’ returns to MSNBC on May 11

    We are proud to announce The Ed Show hosted by Ed Schultz will return to MSNBC starting Saturday, May 11 at 5 p.m. ET.
    The Saturday and Sunday show will debut as a one-hour long program expanding to a two-hour format from 5-7 p.m. ET later this summer.

    Ed is holding a town hall in Madison, Wisconsin on May 2nd, which is supposed to provide material for his first show, IIRC.

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